The Good News Weekly Devotion by Jen Zappa, Director of Children’s Ministry & Preschool

Hello Church family,

Mayday! Mayday! We survived this month!  Have you heard? May is the new December. The festivities kick off with teacher appreciation week and Mother’s Day, then the action ramps up with the banquets, band concerts, plays, award ceremonies, ball games, recitals, class parties, water days, field days, goodbye days, graduations, graduation parties, and a partridge in a pear tree. It’s physically and emotionally exhausting attending all the May things, but I wouldn’t want to miss any of it. The end of the school year is bittersweet. It’s sad to say goodbye to friends and teachers, but everyone is ready for summer!

First Kids has an action-packed schedule of events planned for your children that promises to be both fun and spiritually enriching. I love spending time with your children and want them to come to church! Below is an overview of our upcoming summer activities.

Preschool Camp ~ June 3-6 ~ 9 am to 12/noon. 

Wonderfully Made Preschool camp is open to children aged 3 through rising kindergarteners. This is a great opportunity for the children to make new friends, play, and learn about Jesus!

“Little Lambs” ~ Sunday, June 9th  ~  3 pm

Babies and parent(s) are invited to fellowship together, while their little ones explore, craft, and play with friends. Light snacks served. Meet upstairs in the Wesley Building.

Summer Music Camp featuring Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. 

June 17-23 ~ 6-8 pm ~ Open to 3 years old to adults! Register online today!

We need all ages in the show! Open to 3 years old to adults! While the older kids and adults work on the show, the children will enjoy traditional VBS activities. They will rotate between Bible lessons, crafts, games, snacks and during music the kids will learn their part of the show!

First Kids Summer Sundays ~ 4pm-6pm

Children aged 3 through 5th grade are welcome to join for bible lesson, craft, games/yoga, and a snack!

Back to School Splash! July 28th 5pm-7pm.

This is a church family event! Please join us for dinner, fun, and fellowship!

Please contact me with any questions or if you want to help with any of the First Kids summer events.

With love,

Jen Zappa

Summer at Madison First UMC

The Good News Weekly Devotion | May 16, 2024

Yesterday, our staff met for a full day of reflection on the past almost 12 months and to plan the next 12 more for the 2024-2025 year.  We went around the table and shared our experiences in our job positions, our triumphs and how we could use support going into the next year. Some of us are tenured in working in the church and some of us are brand new to it, yet we were all there together as one body to give life and love to our church and community. We all agreed that each one of us has amazing strengths and talents that are unique to each of us and we couldn’t do it without each other! While we all have other obligations and responsibilities in our life, together as a staff we will serve God with a purpose to grow our church and spread the Good News to our community. Yesterday we were able to focus on how we can continue to move forward as one body and what that will look like in the next year to come – it was a great day!

Mary Frances Carroll
Communications Director


This week’s devotion is from the Upper Room, and hopefully will allow you to reflect on God’s important purpose for you in your life.
An Important Purpose

In many of the apostle Paul’s greetings to the early churches, he stated that he was an apostle of Christ by the will of God. While Paul recognized his life’s purpose, often as believers we feel less assured of our purpose and wonder if God is using us in our present circumstances. Sure, God called great theologians like Paul to serve God. But we who work in factories, drive trucks, care for children, do clerical work, teach, farm, and live in all kinds of circumstances can also be used by God.

God has a purpose for each of us just as God had a purpose for the young servant girl we read about in 2 Kings 5. She served the wife of Naaman, army commander for the king of Aram. Her faith changed the course of Naaman’s life and helped alter his hostile view of Israel.

Many of us can’t fathom how God could use us, but God is continually working in and through our lives. We don’t have to be great theologians to be used mightily by God. We just need to trust that we have been called to follow God, whatever our circumstances. We can trust that God has a purpose for our lives.


2 Kings 5:1-14

Thought for the Day

I trust that God has an important purpose for my life.

Today’s Prayer

Faithful God, thank you for the ways you work in and through our lives. Help us to focus on how you might use us this very day. Amen.

You can subscribe to Daily Devotions and prayers from the Upper Room by signing up online:

A Letter to the Congregation

Dear Madison First UMC Congregation,
I’m writing a brief note to you all about the changes that happened at the General Conference last week. In short, the 40-year ban on homosexual ordination and homosexual weddings in the United Methodist buildings was lifted. At the same time, there is specific language about allowing clergy and churches to decide for themselves about these issues. In other words, there is no mandate at all to perform homosexual weddings or to hire homosexual clergy.

As we all know, there are a wide variety of opinions on these issues in our church and our community. Some are wanting to move forward to full inclusion and others would like to move more slowly or not at all. I have been praying a lot the last few days trying to clear my mind on this issue…again. My short answer is: our church has been through enough change in the last 10 months. I’m not making any more changes to how we run our church. We are just going to keep doing what we have been doing. In the words of John Wesley, “Though we cannot think alike, may we not love alike? May we not be of one heart, though we are not of one opinion? Without all doubt, we may.”

While many in our congregation may be ready for something new to happen – I’m trying to keep us all together. Our congregation is still healing from the split last summer. We don’t wave the pride flag out front, nor do we beat people up with the anti-homosexual passages in the Bible. We are graceful and accepting here, perhaps not as affirming as others may want. In the Bishop’s words, “Local churches can continue to serve and operate the way they have always done. There is no move to force the local church or clergy to do anything they are not prepared or willing to do.”

I don’t think any of us want to be on the front page of the paper again. Social media will always be full of people who mock and ridicule our church, but I am encouraging you to refrain from online debates. Like Jesus said, “if anyone strikes you on the cheek, turn the other also.” And lastly, just pray that whatever path those people have taken will work out for them.

If you would like to talk with me further about these issues, please give me a call or let’s have coffee. I think our future is bright as we hold the center on these issues.


Rev. Zack Martin 

Youth Retreat : Crystal River, FL

It’s time to ROAD TRIP!
This June, the youth are heading down to Crystal River, Florida for some fun in the sun fellowship!
Good eats & fun retreats are in store! The cost is $300/student and includes transportation, lodging,
food & fun like snorkeling with manatees and much more! Just pay your $50 deposit by May 16th to
secure your spot!
Register today!

Churchwide Music Camp: June 17-21

Madison First UMC presents: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat: Summer Music Camp
Directed by Dr. Lenae Rose
June 17-23 from 6-8PM | Wesley Sanctuary
Open to 3 years old to adults!
Showtimes: Saturday June 22 and Sunday June 23
Register online today!

SPRC News!

Dear Church friends,
We are happy to report that we have hired Dr. Alexandra Dunbar as our new Organist. Dr. Dunbar most recently served the congregation at Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Athens for the past four years. She comes from a very musical family and studied at the Manhattan School of Music (BM), and the Juilliard School (MM, DMA). She plays violin, piano, and organ. Her postgraduate degrees are in harpsichord and piano. Dr. Dunbar performs often at solo and chamber recitals and has soloed with orchestras in venues from New York City, Italy and Prague. She has six musical siblings as well and has performed in Carnegie Hall with her sister, Maggie Snyder, as a sister duo called Allemagnetti. Please welcome Dr. Dunbar at our 11:00 traditional worship services.
Dan Zant and the Staff Parish Relations Committee


YOGAFAITH ~ GENTLE YOGA with Eddie Burden ~ Wednesdays at 6PM