1. First United Methodist Church of North Hollywood
IN THIS ISSUE:
• Palm Sunday Drive-Thru
• Holy Week
• Easter EGG-Stravaganza
• Black History Moments
• Farewell Jeff Thomas
GOOD NEWS is published monthly by
First United Methodist Church of North
Hollywood, California 91601
Phone (818) 763-8231
Rev. Grant Hagiya
Rev. Jim Powell
Rev. Steve Peralta
Director of Music
Director, Program Ministries
Director Digital & Social Media
Hi Everyone! 2021…it’s been an eventful one so far, and we aren’t even through the
first quarter! We’ve seen a mob move into the Capitol Building in an effort to thwart
democracy. We’ve seen the United States hit 500,000 deaths from COVID19 in less
than a year, and we’ve witnessed the swearing in of President Biden. We watched all
this happen in less than three weeks. Personally, I have dealt with COVID deaths in
my family and have officiated 3 memorial services…I’m tired.
Those words, “I’m tired” are not usually the words we use at the start of a new year.
Usually we are filled with anticipation and resolve that this year will be better than the
last; but this year, I am tired. Maybe these are the words that describe how you are
feeling right now…we are tired from finding new ways to do our work, to do school,
to do church, to see friends…we are tired of being stuck at home…we are tired of not
being able to plan for the future because of the pandemic. We are tired of conflict
and the tension of a contested election…I’ll stop now.
But the hope that rises because of our faith keeps us going. We know that God is still
God…still at work, still present in our lives and in the world. We know that the
pandemic will end once the vaccines are administered. We have hope that a greater
sense of civility will be present in the political conversation we have. There is a light
leading us to a new day and it keeps us going.
We may not be able to make firm plans for community events or in-person worship,
but there is some important work which will help shape our future as a church. I am
beginning to shape a statement of mission, core values, and priorities for our church
and I need your help. These statements of mission, values, and priorities need to both
reflect the nature of who we are as a church as well as who we aspire to be. Please
take a look at these questions and submit responses to me:
1. What drew me to this church?
2. What keeps me coming to the church?
3. What is the purpose of our church?
4. What about our church does the community around us need to know?
5. What does our church need to do in order to fulfill our purpose?
6. What are my most immediate hopes and dreams for our church?
I will be working with staff and church leadership to take your input, as well as our
own, to build a common understanding of identity and direction for our church. We
will keep you apprised of our work and look forward to sharing the final results for
your approval at a future all-church meeting.
As we take our next steps into 2021, I pray that you find moments of rest and
inspiration as we move from today into tomorrow. I am privileged to be your pastor,
and will continue to lift you up in prayer every day.
2. March 7 – Communion Sunday “Choose Relationship”
Jesus cleans out the temple, lamenting that what was meant to be a house of prayer (relational) has become a place
of commerce (transactional). How do you understand your faith and your religious activity?
Nicodemus visits Jesus in the dark and Jesus encourages him to step into the light. Jesus is clear, God does the
saving; our job is to step into the light. Will you choose the light or the darkness?
The weight of the moment is on Jesus and he seems to be done talking; you either follow him to Jerusalem or you
don’t. For us, at some point you have to stop theologizing and get on with it. Are we going to stop talking about
Jesus and start walking with him?
March 28 – Palm Sunday
“Choose Your Tribe”
As Jesus enters Jerusalem, there are the disciples, there are the crowds, and there is the rest of the city shouting,
“Who is this?” The disciples and the crowds who have followed have the answer, but the story illustrates how in
the holy city of Jerusalem, Jesus is the outsider. In the city you live in, who will you stand with?
HIGHLIGHTS OF VIRTUAL WORSHIP
Tune in every Sunday for a brand new worship service!
We share on YouTube @nohofumc and on Facebook @nohofumc1.
Piano & Vocals - Jeff Thomas Call to Worship Response - Norman Kelsey
Pastoral Prayer - Rev. Mary Dennis
Moment with Children - Patty Kelsey
February 7 - Recharge Your Battery
February 14 - Following Directions
February 21 - Be Prepared
February 28 - YES to Jesus!
February 7 - Jesse Boone
February 14 - Sherri Perry
February 21 - Daniella Lake
February 28 - Abigail Dankwah
Pastor Steve’s Sermon Titles and Scripture
February 7 - Keeping on Mission| Mark 1:29-39
February 14 - Listening to Jesus | Mark 9:2-9
February 21 - Choose Your Path | Mark 1:9-15
February 28 - Choose Your Cross | Mark 8:31-38
February 7 - Jeff Thomas on Piano | Precious Lord, Take My Hand
February 14 - Libeck & Shaun Vieten | Living for Jesus
February 21 - Sandra Benton | His Eye is on the Sparrow
February 28 - Congregants | I Have A Dream
The Season of Lent
Ready or not, The Season of Lent is upon us! The season began on Wednesday, February 17th with Ash
Wednesday. Lent is a time when we take on disciplines meant to help us focus on our relationship with Christ.
These disciplines take on the forms of praying, reading the Bible, doing works of service, and of course, fasting
and self-denial. We take them on in the hopes that we develop healthy patterns of spirituality which help us live
lives faithful to the way of Christ.
Organist - Roger Eshleman
Black History Moment Participants
February 7 - Norman Kelsey | Henry Hank Aaron
February 14 - Sherri Perry | Let America Be America Again by Langston Hughes
February 21 - Dianne Lake | Wade in the Water (a freedom song of the underground railroad)
February 28 - Norman Kelsey, Dianne Lake, Dr. Heemanshu Bhagat, Patty Kelsey, Abigail Dankwah, Sherri Perry,
Darrell Lake, Rachel Mottaz, Jesse Boone, Tara Varilek, Henry Mottaz, Daniella Lake | I Have a Dream by
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
3. What’s Happening in March?
LENTEN STUDY - Every Thursday at 7:00 PM on Zoom
Meeting ID #831 3215 9312
We are reading and discussing Adam Hamilton’s book The
Way which follows Jesus’ ministry and his walk to Jerusalem
and the cross. The book is available at www.amazon.com
and at www.cokesbury.com.
The Schedule is as follows:
Feb. 18 - Chapter 1 "Baptism & Temptation"
Feb. 25 - Chapter 2 "The Healing Ministry"
Mar. 04 - Chapter 3 "Proclaiming the Kingdom"
Mar. 11 - Chapter 4 "Calming the Storm"
Mar. 18 - Chapter 5 "Sinners, Outcasts, and the Poor"
Mar. 25 - Chapter 6 "The Final Week"
4. It's HOP-PENING!
OUR SPRING COMMUNITY EVENT
IS COMING SOON!
NOHO FUMC PARKING LOT
We are looking for volunteers to give 3 hours of their time, on Saturday, April 3rd, with set up at around
This event will be an Easter version of our
Halloween Trunk or Treat.
Same concept with a different theme.
Guests will drive-thru and around our parking lot,
counting Easter Eggs inside our car trunks and collecting goodies for their baskets.
Participants will need to arrive at least 30 minutes prior to the start of the event, park at a safe distance from
other cars, decorate their trunks in a Spring or Easter theme, and provide plastic Easter Eggs, filled with
wrapped candies, or other types of goodies you would want to find in your Easter Basket.
This is a drive-thru event only. No walk ups are allowed.
Social Distancing and all safety precautions will be in place.
Masks must be worn at all times.
Please sign up at firstname.lastname@example.org
5. Black History Month
Celebration Highlights and Acknowledgments
By Norman Kelsey
This past month we had several informative and inspiring Black History moments during our on-line
worship. Dianne Lake and Sherri Perry, and I, provided thought-provoking, hope-filled segments for
the first three weeks of February.
Up first, my presentation focused on the late Hank Aaron. I spoke on how he heroically persevered in
the face of racism as a Major League baseball player while in pursuit of the all-time home run record
held by Babe Ruth. Mr. Aaron had passed away two weeks prior at age 86.
Next, Sherri Perry shared a powerful reading of the renowned Harlem Renaissance poet Langston
Hughes’ “Let America Be America Again.” Her dynamic recitation added resonance to Mr. Hughes’
The third Sunday, Dianne Lake sang a stirring a cappella rendition of the spiritual “Wade In The
Water.” She added a brief introduction of why spirituals are significant and the role they played over
For the fourth week, we expanded the participation to reflect the diversity of voices within our church
community for a special virtual presentation.
The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have A Dream” speech August 28, 1963, on
the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. On
Sunday, Feb. 28, members of our congregation took turns reading portions of Dr. King’s indelible,
moving words to conclude Black History month.
Special thanks to all who helped share Dr. King’s “Dream”: Dianne Lake, Dr. Heemanshu Bhagat,
Patty Kelsey, Abigail Dankwah, Darrell Lake, Rachel Mottaz, Sherri Perry, Jesse Boone, Tara Varilek,
Henry Mottaz, and Daniella Lake.
If you missed it, wish to experience it again, or share it, you can find it on our church’s YouTube page
as part of worship and as a stand-alone video. All of this year’s Black History moments can be found in
the online replays on the NoHo FUMC YouTube channel. I encourage you to watch every one. Peace.
As the humanitarian relief and development arm of The United Methodist Church, the United Methodist
Committee on Relief (UMCOR) equips churches and individuals for ministry with persons in need. UMCOR
responds to U.S. and international disasters, addresses diseases and poverty, assists refugees and immigrants,
provides clean water and works to reduce hunger. For more than 80 years, United Methodists have faithfully
given to UMCOR Sunday. The official day of UMCOR Sunday 2021 is March 14, 2021.
When disaster strikes around the globe—Haiti’s 2010 earthquake or Typhoon Haiyan in 2013—so many
watching the drama unfold on our living room televisions feel entirely helpless. How could any one person
make a difference in the wake of such widespread devastation? As responders around the globe scramble to
help survivors, the United Methodist Committee on Relief, UMCOR, is prepared to act. When you give, you
equip Christ’s body to serve in His name. Please give generously on March 14th via TEXT TO TITHE or
mail in offerings. Send to 4832 Tujunga Avenue, NOHO, 91601.
6. Good Luck Jeff Thomas
Update on In-Person Worship
We’ve been worshipping virtually for a year now,
but the light is at the end of the tunnel. As more
and more people receive their vaccinations, the day
when we can worship together again is coming
closer and closer. However, that date is still not
clear. After Easter, we will begin the work of
projecting a date that we feel good about, possibly
in June or July.
Until then, we continue to enjoy the virtual service
and give thanks to the many who make the service
engaging and meaningful.
General Conference Update
The 2020 General Conference has been postponed
yet again due to the pandemic. It is now scheduled
for August 29 – September 6, 2022. While most of
you will not notice any difference in our day-to-day
life and ministry in North Hollywood,
denominationally we remain in limbo as the
denominational split looms ahead of us. Until
then, we continue to pray for the day when the
restrictional language of the Discipline is removed
and all of God’s children are allowed full-
participation in the life of the church without
I left Arkansas for Los
Angeles in September of
1985. Our first apartment
was on Klump. After a few
months, we moved, I
hadn’t been to church and
really started missing it. I
remembered the big red
brick church by down by
our old place on Klump
and thought I’d give it
a try. I believe my first Sunday in attendance was
when Ernie Brown turned around from the pew in
front of me and said, “you need to be in the choir.” I
joined shortly thereafter.
In October of 1987, I was offered and accepted the
position of youth director. Zachary was on the way
and we needed another car. We bought a slightly
used 87 Honda Civic and the payments were just
about the same as my church salary. I was only
keeping the job to pay off the car. It’s funny how
things like that work out in life.
Lots of ski trips to Lake Arrowhead later the
Methodist Camp in Wrightwood. Our annual
Halloween haunted house tours would raise my
anxiety levels, but with God’s protection, no one was
ever seriously hurt. Every now and then, I get a text
or a FaceBook note from one of my ‘youth group’
kids, thanking me for what we accomplished in those
days. I take a small amount of pride in being allowed
to be involved with the lives of so many young people
at the church.
I became choir director in January of 2000, but
before accepting the position, I had to call Rose
Sparling, Rose was a soprano in the choir, to get her
permission first. When I was studying music at the
University of Arkansas, it never occurred to me that I
would be a church musician. It was just something I
simply did not want to do. I couldn’t have been more
wrong.The 20 years that I have served as your music
director have been the most artistically rewarding
years of my life. I thank you for that opportunity and
I look forward to continuing to serve you in whatever
capacity I can.
In closing I will just say this: It has always been my
absolute privilege and honor to serve and minister
at the First United Methodist Church of North
Love and prayers from all my family.
7. Wishing you many blessings on your birthday!
Love, Your Church Family
• Jeff Thomas, announced that his sister, Lori Ann, passed away from
Covid-19 in February.
• Judy Andrus, Catie's mother, passed away from her long battle with
• Muffett Brinkman's stepdad, Carl VanDorn, recovered and is back in
the nursing home.
• Lift up our seniors who are waiting for their vaccine.
• Lift up our friends who live alone.
Please take a moment from your day to lift up these friends. If you have any prayer requests, please
contact the church office at (818) 763-8231 or email email@example.com. Should you request a
Pastoral call or visit, please also contact the church office to schedule a time with Pastor Steve.
March 1 Jerry Acosta
March 1 Willa Koenigsaecker
March 1 Barbara Roberts
March 2 JoAnn Parnell
March 3 Joe Forgione
March 7 Ed Webster
March 8 Michael Kent
March 11 Zachary Thomas
March 12 Pat Sucher
March 17 JoAnn Roche
March 18 Sue McDonald
March 19 Bridget Deason
March 28 Tim Coyle
March 28 Evangeline Fetterman
March 28 Anne Roche
March 28 Ethan William Forgione
March 29 Alycia Watts
March 30 Joan Becker
March 30 Daniel Cox
March 30 Eli Cox
March 30 Carrie Downs-Minetree
March 30 Deborah Moore
• Ursula Sack is recovering from her triple bypass. She was in a lot of pain
at first, but is doing much better now.
• Muffett's good friend, Oscar, who was hospitalized with a brain and spinal
column bleed, has recovered!
• Gary Solt has recovered from his fall from a ladder and is undergoing
physical therapy. He wants everyone over 55 years of age, to throw away
their ladders, and HIRE SOMEONE!!!
8. LECTIONARY READINGS FOR MARCH 2021
March 7 Third Sunday in Lent. Purple.
Exo. 20:1-17; Ps. 19; 1 Cor. 1:18-25; John 2:13-22
March 14 Fourth Sunday in Lent. Purple.
Num. 21:4-9; Ps. 107:103, 17-22 (UMH 830); Eph. 2:1-10; John 3:14-21
March 21 Fifth Sunday in Lent. UMCOR SUNDAY. Purple.
Jer. 31:31-34; Ps. 51:1-12 (UMH 785); Hebrews 5:5-10; John 12:20:33
March 28 Palm Sunday. Red or Purple.
Liturgy of the Palm: Mark 21:1-11; Ps. 118:1-2, 19-29 (UMH 839)
Liturgy of the Passion: Isa. 50:4-9a; Ps. 31:9-16 (UMH 764); Phil. 2:5-11;
Matt 26:14-27:66 or Matt. 27:11-54
Sunday Worship Services are Posted Online by 8:00 AM | Worship at Your Leisure
Join us online via Facebook @nohofumc1 or YouTube @nohofumc
Virtual Coffee Fellowship at 11:30 AM on Zoom every Sunday | Meeting ID 893 0136 6824
Virtual Communion will be served on December 6th via our online worship service.
(Please have your communion elements ready).
Please have your articles for the Good News to the church office by March 17th for the April 2021 publication
or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you no longer wish to receive this publication, please contact the church office
or return this address label noting that we are to discontinue sending it. Thank you.
POSTMASTER - Please send changes of address to:
First United Methodist Church of North Hollywood
4832 Tujunga Avenue, North Hollywood, CA. 91601
“NoHoFUMC is a community that practices the all-inclusive and transforming love of God as modeled by the life and
ministry of Jesus Christ. We celebrate our diversity in race, ethnicity, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity,
age, gender, ability, citizenship, and socioeconomic status. Moved by the Holy Spirit, we welcome all people into the full
participation of the life of the church.”