First United Methodist Church - Wausau Wisconsin
Saturday, February 16, 2019
Live and Share God's Love


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Sermon Podcasts

You can listen to and/or download a podcast of recent sermons posted on the new Sermon Links page.


This is part of an article (edited) that can be found at

How (and Why) Shall We Worship?

by L. Edward Phillips with Taylor Burton-Edwards

The worship committee is meeting for the first time. The chairperson asks the pastor, “What are we supposed to accomplish with this committee?”

The pastor answers, “Our goal is to facilitate good worship for our church.”

“How will we know when we have done that? The idea of ‘good worship’ seems a little vague to me.” The pastor suggests, “Let’s poll this committee to find out what our expectations of “good worship” might be.”

“I like worship that uses the old traditional hymns, such as ‘Blessed Assurance.’”

“But my teenagers want gospel songs they can clap their hands to! Remember how much they liked the Christian rock music performed by that touring youth choir?”

A teenager joins in, “I didn’t like that at all! I find it embarrassing when my church tries to do that stuff.”

Another teen says, “I do like it, as long as it helps me and all of us feel the presence of the Holy Spirit.”

“I think we should always say the Lord’s Prayer.” “But do we have to say it every Sunday? I like it when
the pastor just makes up the prayer.”

“Isn’t worship supposed to give us something to think about?”

“We think all the time. We don’t need more thinking. We need more of the presence of God.”

The teenager speaks up again, “We can’t just think or feel all to ourselves and call ourselves Christians, right? We need worship to get us out there, to focus more on the social issues and people all around us, like hunger, or the homeless man who tries to wash our windshields when we get in our cars.”

“But let’s not forget personal conversion. That’s what Christianity is for. We can feed and house people all we want, but that won’t save them from hell or get them to heaven.”

We know worship is important, and we want it to be vibrant and vital. Yet, we have many diverse and sometimes incompatible ideas of what “good” worship on Sunday morning should include.

Does this scenario sound familiar in your congregation? We know worship is important, and we want it to be vibrant and vital. Yet, we have many diverse and sometimes incompatible ideas of what “good” worship on Sunday morning should include.

Some prefer what we call “traditional worship” that gives us a strong sense of continuity with our tradition, using traditional hymns, prayers, and creeds. Others prefer what has been called “contemporary worship,” which uses different technologies, leadership and music styles, and seems to appeal more to the experience of God in the now than the people’s connection with God across the ages and eternally. Some idealize worship that culminates in a call to conversion or commitment, while still others expect worship primarily to inspire or challenge their thinking.

These differences in expectations turn out not to be simply about style. More fundamentally, they’re about what we think we’re doing in worship, what we understand the ultimate purposes of worship may be…

What do you believe about worship? What makes it worshipful? How should a church decide what to include and what to leave out? Share your thoughts with our Worship Design Ministry Team – Margaret Getzin, Meagan Fandrey, Lin Strong, Kurt Hornby, Vicki Nowaczyk or Martie Pahris.


Why Bother with Choirs?

Singing in Choir...

Provides a healthy creative and artistic balance to heavily data-based education.

Is therapeutic, giving singers the chance to momentarily put aside their other pressures and concerns.
Is an effective vehicle for developing faith using music and church history.
Develops poise under pressure.

Teaches the value of teamwork.

Develops young people’s sense of culture and sophistication by adding beauty and aesthetic depth to worship.

Teaches the value of careful preparation in reaching goals.

Teaches a sense of responsibility and setting priorities.

Provides the foundation for a lifetime enjoyment of music.

Gives members a sense of pride and self-worth by showing singers that their individual leadership, demeanor and discipline make a significant to the success of the group

Sunday Worship Times

8:00 a.m Morning Chapel
10:00 a.m Worship in the Sanctuary

With Holy Communion on the 1st Sunday of the month. As United Methodists, we practice Open Communion. All who are seeking God are welcome at Christ’s table.

Sermon Series: See All the People

Sunday, February 3

4th Sunday after Epiphany

Theme: Love. Now I Get It!
Text: 1 Corinthians 13; Matthew 21:28-31

Sunday, February 10

5th Sunday after Epiphany

Theme: The Pressing Crowd
Text: Luke 5:1-11

Sunday, February 17

6th Sunday after Epiphany

Theme: The Expectant Crowd
Text: Luke 6:17-26

Sunday, February 24

7th Sunday after Epiphany

Theme: The Questioning Crowd
Text: Luke 6:27-38

Beginning this year, we are holding “Family Worship” times during the 10 a.m. worship service on 5th Sundays (which generally happen quarterly).

Wait, you say, we already have family worship! What makes this different? Yes, we have families - oldsters, youngsters and in-betweeners in worship.

On 5th Sundays, we will have some of each of these participate in the service leadership (and not only in ushering and greeting). We will have more family friendly songs, scriptures and sermon (shorter, too). And we will encourage families to worship with their youngsters who usually play in the nursery. Afterward everyone’s invited to gather for juice (okay, coffee, too), snacks and conversation in the Parlor, as usual.