Sunday Morning Activities


What is FaithLink?

Want to join a group that discusses topics in “real time”?  Take part in FaithLink!  This weekly study, brought to you by Cokesbury, provides participants with opportunities to explore contemporary issues, world events and faith in line with our United Methodist beliefs.  Classes are held every Sunday throughout the year, from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. in the church library.  Everyone is welcome to attend.

Who Do I Contact To Attend?

Simply get a free cup of coffee from the Wiltse Center or Social Hall and drop in for Sunday morning discussion.  We would love to have you take part in these lively discussions.  Got questions?  Call the church Administrative Office for more information:  616-842-7980.


 What Is This Sunday Morning Study About?

From September through May each year, class participants are invited to travel on various video-lecture journeys with renowned scholar, teacher and Bible historian Ray Vander Laan. Through this series, participants see and experience the lands of the Bible.  Ray Vander Laan helps illuminate the historical, geographical and cultural context of the sacred Scriptures and makes people feel as if they are actually there in Jerusalem and other ancient sites.  The purpose of the class is to help participants understand the scriptures in the manner and times when they were written in order to make life and faith application in today’s world.  All DVDs featured were filmed on location in the Middle East, providing an historical backdrop to the Words and times of God.

How Can I Register for the Class?

Classes in the Ray Vander Laan Series are held from September through May, on Sunday mornings from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (after the second worship service), in Rooms 13/14 on the church’s lower level.  Facilitators are:  Gwen and John Bartels.  If you are interested, please call the church administrative office for complete details:  616-842-7980.


What Type of Books Does This Group Discuss?

This fall-through-spring discussion group focuses on the reading of books by contemporary authors such as Philip Gulley, Francis Collins, Marcus Borg, Michael Dowd, James Mulholland and N.T. Wright.  Thought-provoking discussion is guaranteed.  Some of the titles the group has discussed include:  The Meaning of Jesus, The Language of God, If Grace Is True, and Reading the Bible Again for the First Time.  Also, the group has shown the PBS series “From Jesus to Christ:  The First Christians,” to explore Jesus’ many faces, the story of the “storytellers,” the clash of customs and cultures among early Christians in order to help discern the question, “Why did Christianity succeed?” Many scholarly resources are explored during this popular class to help participants grow deeper in their faith.

How Do I Find Out More?

This group meets after the second service from 11:30 – 12:30 p.m. in the Ryder Lounge. The current book being discussed can be found on our Adult Education page, here. All are welcome.  The discussions are facilitated by Jill Miller.



Beginning January 15, 2017,  join other adults and facilitator Val Martin in the Wiltse Center for hot topics discussion. No need to register or study – grab a beverage, snack and drop in as you are able for discussion on current faith issues and events from resources such as FaithLink and Greater Good; no pre-reading or homework, just practical solutions and support for real-life challenges.

This group meets after the second service from 11:30 – 12:15 p.m. in the Wiltse Center in alignment with children and youth calendar activities, fall through spring.  All are welcome.




Where Did the Term “Acolyte” Originate?

Since ancient times, Acolytes have helped the pastor begin worship services through the ceremonial lighting of the candles.  “Acolyte” is a term with origins in the ancient Greek language meaning:  companion, attendant, or helper.  Since Old Testament times, both light and fire brought into the worship service remind us that God is the light of the world and fully present to believers.  At UMC-Dunes, congregational members are encouraged to “come to worship” and “leave to serve,” taking Christ’s light back into the world concluding worship.

What are the Duties of the Acolytes?

At UMC-Dunes, Acolytes serve the congregation by:

  • Lighting altar candles
  • Lighting the Paschal candle during Lent and Easter
  • Carrying the processional cross of Jesus
  • Assisting during Communion Sundays
  • Extinguishing the candles at the conclusion of worship services

How Old Does an Acolyte Have to Be in Order to Serve?

Typically, Acolytes are between the ages of 9 and 13, or fourth through eighth grades.  They wear white robes to match the altar or liturgical color of the season.  During Communion Sundays, they are dressed in their white robes.  At the conclusion of worship, Acolytes return to the altar table and extinguish the candles.

How Does My Child Become an Acolyte?

Contact the church main office at: 616/842-7980


What Are the Ushers’ Responsibilities?

If you would like to direct people to a seat so they can hear about the greatest show in heaven and on earth, please consider becoming a United Methodist Church of the Dunes usher!  Ushering is a great way to meet more members of your church family.  After all, you were planning to be in church anyway, weren’t you?  All you have to do is be here about twenty minutes early, gather up some church bulletins, and usher people to their seats.  NOTE:  No popcorn allowed during the show!

Who Do I Contact To Get Involved?

If you would like to be a part of the ushering ministry, or need further information, please contact the following individuals:

  • For 8:30 a.m. Sunday Worship Service – Larry Fitch at 616-296-0844
  • For 10:30 a.m. Sunday Worship Service – Doug DeVries at 616-846-6462

Be sure to check out the Adult Education page for more classes and opportunities, including Sunday morning offerings.

Credit for acolytes and greeters/ushers graphics:  Google images;;;; The Naked Now – ; Simply Christian:; God at 2000: