Exciting New Sunday School Model Comes to FUMC. We Need You!

First United Methodist Church Christian Education Dept. will be adding a twist to it’s elementary Sunday School program this school year. Still using the United Methodist Deep Blue curriculum, FUMC will be using the workshop rotation Sunday School model  where Bible stories and spiritual truths are reinforced by using all the senses. The basic idea is that the Sunday School will focus for several weeks on a single Biblical story. There are a number of lab-style workshops such as missions, science, storytelling/drama, art and audio/visual, where students will rotate each week from workshop to workshop. Rather than the same old boring Sunday School, children will have more fun while learning more and retaining more about the Bible. The school year will be divided into five week sessions so teachers can volunteer for a five week period for any of the workshops. Rather than teaching something different every week, teachers will be teaching their same part for five weeks. They don’t rotate; only the students. Teachers will have the chance to improve each of the five weeks of the unit. Rev. Sherry Brady, Megan Robbins and Michelle Schreur are excited about this program, and want potential teachers/volunteers to have a chance to look at the first unit materials which have been downloaded for everyone to see. There will be a Sunday School teacher/volunteer meeting on Thursday, August 30th at 6:00 p.m. in the Friendship room. This is an opportunity for anyone interested in teaching/volunteering to see how the rotation will work and ask questions. We want you to feel free to come with as many questions as possible. We will have lesson plans available so teachers/volunteers will have two weeks to look over the material and be prepared for our Sunday School kickoff on Sunday, Sept. 9th @ 9:15 a.m. Please feel free to contact Rev. Sherry or Michelle if you have any questions before August 30th.


Sidewalk Sunday School starts up August 15th

Sidewalk Sunday School starts up for the 2018-2109 school year on Wednesday, August 15th. This will be the 11th year that First United Methodist Church has offered this FREE after-school program for area children. Sidewalk Sunday School is every Wednesday from 2:30-4:00 p.m. and includes Bible stories, crafts, food and games. This is for children from 4 years old (pre-K) to 6th grade. Rides home or to the Gila Valley Boys and Girls Club are available in the church van. Call Rev. Sherry Brady at 428-4211 for more information.IMG-6710.JPG

Meet Our New Childcare Director


Ashley Montoya became the new director of First United Methodist Preschool Child-Care Center in June. She is a welcome addition to our program.

Ashley is returning to Safford after several years in the Phoenix area where she worked in the behavioral health field.  Having been born and raised in Safford, she is excited to be back with family and friends.  Previously Ashley had worked for our Center, serving as a teacher and assistant director.  Her daughter, Aliciana who is 8 years old, attended Methodist Preschool from 2 years old until 5 years old.

During Ashley’s free time, she enjoys spending time with family and loves the outdoors.  She especially likes to fish and go camping.

Some of the goals Ashley has set for the Center is to upgrade the classrooms and office and to create a more modern outlook.  She is working on creating a Facebook page, a website, and electronic postings to show all the great things that happen on a daily basis.  She plans to provide additional training and educational opportunities for teachers, improve the curriculum and build more family involvement between the parents and the Center.

Recently the Methodist Preschool has been awarded a grant from United Way to provide some tuition assistance scholarships for families.  Look in the Eastern Arizona Courier for a photo of the awarding of the grant. The Center also accepts children who receive DES assistance for their tuition as well as children whose families pay the regular tuition. The Center currently has openings for one year old to five year old children.  Providing quality preschool and child care has always been the mission of the Center.

“I look forward to working with my amazing staff and with families to build a better future in early education for our youth,” Ashley said.

Drop by the Preschool Office to meet Ashley.  Please come and visit the classrooms, meet the teachers, and watch the children enjoy learning.  The Center is open from 7:00 AM until 5:30 PM Monday through Friday.  This Center is one of the longest established local missions of our church.

2018 FUMC Preschool Graduation

Thursday, June 7th First United Methodist Church Preschool and Daycare Center held its 2018 graduation. Acting Director Barbie Spining opened the ceremony by welcoming family and friends, and after the opening prayer by Pastor Sherry Brady, she recognized our wonderful teachers and staff.  Krystal Peralta, Michalle Ford, Sally Campos, Joy Marcus, Arial Palma, Desiree Palma and our terrific cook Lucy Luna were given circle of children pins for their faithful service. The governing board was also recognized. All the children were gathered up front and songs that they had learned in chapel on Fridays with Pastor Sherry and in class with Ms. Michalle, and even one in Spanish that they learned from Pastor Maribel Calvo. The songs were: If You’re Happy and You Know It, The B-I-B-L-E, Hallelujah, Praise Ye the Lord, Buenos Dias, and Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. Each child was awarded their diploma by Mrs. Spining, and MANY pictures were taken. The service was followed by a refreshments in the Fellowship Hall. Congratulations to Paige Barnes, Jordyn Carrasco, Kylee Colon, Ian Ford, Anna’ise Ortega and Isaac Ortega

Youth participate in South District Jr. High Mission

Youth from the South District of the Desert Southwest Conference came together for three days to worship, do hands-on ministry and some fun May 29-June 1. Some thirty young people and adults from eight churches bombarded St. Marks United Methodist Church with laughter, and heavy appetites. Rev. Sherry Brady, drove three youth from Safford FUMC, and picked up four from Willcox UMC and two from Bowie Baptist Church along the way. Four teams of 6-8 with leaders went to different non-profits to help out in the morning and the afternoon. Some organizations that the youth helped were the Pima County Animal Shelter, Beads of Courage, the Ronald McDonald House, Primavera Men’s Shelter,  the Clothing Boutique at Christ Church UMC, and one group cleaned out a nearby wash. There was worship every night and was opened with music lead by Rev. Tom Jelinek and his youth from Patagonia UMC. Then another night of worship was lead by the praise Band from Sanctuary UMC. Rev. Richard Jones from St. James UMC provided our message. But all their work wasn’t rewarded without some fun. One night the youth went to the Oro Valley Aquatic Center, and another to Bedroxx Bowling. After breakfast and the cleanup of the St. Marks UMC, vanloads of youth and adults traveled to Phoenix for an afternoon of fun at Wet’n’Wild waterpark. Goodbyes were said at the water park until next summer.