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First UMC reaches out with new Revive worship
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Paws-4-Praise at Vets Park

First United Methodist Church is planning a community picnic at Veterans Memorial Park with activities for everyone – including the family dog – according to Young Adult Service Team leader Andrea Maxwell.
“We are calling this Paws-4-Praise,”  Maxwell said, adding she hopes everyone will turn out for the fun and food. It is also a pre-launch celebration for First’s Revive worship services.
The day will begin at 8 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 10,  at the big shelter area on the southwest side of Vets Lake. Humans and their canine companions can take part in a “Dog-Trot” around Vets Lake with stops for fetching, water and agility. Returning back to the shelter house, there will be treats and refreshments for humans and canines alike.
A worship service featuring the Revive band will be held in the shelter house  at 9 a.m., with a special blessing of pets. Everyone (and thing) is invited. Following the worship there will be bouncy houses, carnival games, Sno-cones and hot dogs.
  “We are asking a $10 registration that will be used for the ongoing missions and service projects at the church.” Maxwell said.
Everyone is responsible for their own dogs’ behavior, and picking up after them.

First United Methodist Church, 2123 Forest Ave., Great Bend, is excited to announce the launch of REVIVE worship beginning at 11 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 17. With the addition of Revive, First is intentionally reaching out to a new group of people with worship that is relevant to their lives.
Revive worship is founded on the experience of the living God, and will feature contemporary music, visual and conversational presentation of God’s Word, and participation in the ancient church’s practices and sacraments. The ultimate goal is to engage and inspire people for Christ, so that they may grow and go into the world in mission.
“We want to meet people where they are,” said Paige Stegman, Revive worship leader. “Our music is edgy, the stuff you hear on K-Love.”
Andrea Bauer, a member of the Revive worship team, added, “We hope that people will see that we are all God’s children, and together we can all find our purpose in this life.”
This process began almost two years ago when a young adult Bible study group began dreaming about what type of church would speak to their generation. The Leadership Team at First studied the demographics of the Great Bend area and saw there was a large segment of the population that was not being served by the “traditional” church.   
“This was a long and difficult study,” said Mark Calcara, Leadership Team member. “We asked hard questions about ourselves — who we were not reaching, and how we might have more faith and be a better church.”
First UMC members mapped out their vision and mission, then carefully laid out goals and plans to be more focused outside the walls. A Worship Team was formed and began to travel to different alternative and post-modern churches in Wichita and Kansas City. From this experience, study, and lots of prayer, a form for an alternative worship was developed.
“We believe that there is a seismic shift in cultural worldviews, and the Christian faith has largely been slow to adapt,” explained the Rev. Lennie Maxwell, pastor at First.  “There are basic foundations to Christian tradition that must be maintained; style, order and ritual are not among those. These have all changed many times over the last two millennia. The church at Pentecost shared the Good News in every language, so that it might be heard and understood – that is still our commission.”
The new Sunday schedule at First UMC beginning on Aug. 17 will be:
- 8:45 a.m. Traditional worship
- 9:45 a.m. Discover Hour (Sunday School)
- 10:30 a.m. Fellowship (North Entrance)
- 11 a.m. Revive worship
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This story was submitted by the Rev. Lennie Maxwell, pastor at First United Methodist Church.