The Grapevine


Grow A Church for God

A Fundraiser to Grow

New Ministries for Our

Children, Youth and Our


Saturday, July 12th

5-8 pm at the

Muir-Hanna Vineyards

Sierra Service Project News

Our SSP kids, along with their counselors, Marissa Conway and Mike Robak, are heading to Los Angeles for their urban service experience. They’ll meet in the parking lot at 7:00 am on Sunday, June 29th and will leave at 7:30 am. They will return on Saturday, July 5th. Please be sure to come to church on Sunday, July 6th so you can hear all about their adventures.

Our SSP kids are so grateful for the generosity you, as their church, shower upon them. They know that without you, this amazing experience would not be available to them. Many thanks to all of you who have donated money or time or have bought something at one of their fundraisers. They think you all rock!

(editor’s note)

Should you like to make a donation, please write your check to FUMC and put SSP in the memo line.

Thanks so very much!

Welcome New Members

Napa FUMC Is pleased to have these people join our church family.

Pat Davis

Pat is a long time Napa resident who found our church through the auspices of Carlena Milligan. She is helping in the UMW Thrift Shop and belongs to the Lillian Wallace Circle. She also participates in a dinner group. Pat is retired from the Napa school district where she worked in the food services department. She is a widow with four adult children, eight grandchildren and four great grandchildren. She regularly visits elderly people in their homes. She also is a mentor to a Girl Scout troop and is on the Board of Directors for the Senior Center, Inc. In her spare time she enjoys bocce and an exercise class.

Beverly Efishoff

Bev is returning to the church that she grew up in. She is a retired Napa Valley Unified School District elementary school principal. She served at Snow, Yountville and Pueblo Vista schools. Her daughter, Marnie, is married and lives in Seattle. Her son, Brad, is married, has two children and lives in Napa. She is one our church pew tenders. She spends many hours working as a Friend of the Library and also helps with the Optimist Girl’s basketball league. In addition she ushers for some of the Napa Valley College productions. She enjoys bocce and Bunco.

Conchita Marusich

Conchita and her husband, Rick, came to Napa from La Canada in 2010. June Moroney is the one who introduced Conchita to our church. She is a consultant in a family business. She is also the president of the Democrats of Napa Valley and on the Democratic Central Committee. Conchita and Rich belong to a church supper group that they enjoy. They have a son, Chris, who lives in Napa and a daughter, Jenny, who lives in Brisbane, Australia.

Burke Owens

The congregation knows Burke as our Field Placement Student from the Pacific School of Religion. He has been assigned to our church for a second year. He leads the labyrinth walk every Friday evening. In addition he sings in the choir, is involved in the Circles Program, the 360 Readiness Program and sometimes sings with the Fusion Praise Band. He also works in the wine industry in marketing, communication, education and some sales. He moved here from Marin County with his wife, Caroline, in 2000. Their son Bryn, and daughter, Rose, both enjoy living in San Francisco. When Burke has any spare time he enjoys music, art, reading and food and wine events. He is also a big fan of 1930’s movies.

Natalie Barnard


Christian Jackson

Natalie is the Marketing and Social Media Specialist for Frogs Leap winery. She moved here from Laguna in Orange County. She enjoys traveling and working out at the gym. She is also a marathon runner.

Christian is an Air Force pilot with the rank of Captain. He is stationed at Travis AFB. He and Natalie are new to Napa. He moved here from Philadelphia. After moving here they went church shopping and found their church home with us. They spend a lot of their time working on their new home and caring for their dog. They also enjoy traveling.

Please take time to introduce yourselves to these new members and make them feel “at home” in their new church. We are grateful they for their decisions to join us in this wonderful church.

Help Wanted!

We Trustees would like a volunteer to maintain and clean the Labyrinth area on a weekly basis. Is this something that would satisfy your personal need to help? If so, please call Gary Neal at 707-479-8520.

Church Picnic

SUNDAY the 24th of August 2014

1:00 PM – Kennedy Park

Mulberry II Section

Fun & Fellowship will provide hot dogs, hamburgers, all the fixings, utensils and plates -- and water.

Please bring a side-dish or dessert to share.

It would be a good idea to bring a comfy camp chair too.

There will be games.

The laughing and silliness is up to you.

***Every Monday - Silent Meditation at 5:30 p.m.

in our Sanctuary

***Every Friday - Labyrinth Meditation Walk in the Labyrinth Courtyard

Appeal Decision

Rev. Frank Schaefer won his appeal

before the U.M. Appeal Committee:

His orders were restored!

“Today's decision shows that the church is moving toward love over legalism. It is the path that so many in the church have been modeling already. Indeed, people throughout the United Methodist Church, who invited me into their pulpits, sat with me at their dinner tables and supported my family with their donations, have refrocked me already. Their movement of love embraced me and together we are moving forward to bring about that day when our denomination no longer excludes any of God’s beloved children. And I will continue to work toward that goal.” Rev. Frank Schaefer

Read decision on the UMC Website

Courtyard Celebration!

Last Sunday, our social hour following the 9:30 service of worship was held in the newly refurbished courtyard adjacent to Randolph Street. Over two Saturdays this past month, members of the Board of Trustees and a healthy set of volunteers worked as a taskforce to rebuild the trellis and benches and replace sections of our grass areas with low water ground cover.

The first Sunday of summer was not merely a celebration of the beautification of our outdoor campus; it was a celebration of the leadership provided by Trustee Chair Gary Neal, Project Manager Dan Grant, and the fifteen to twenty members who came to lend a hand. It was also a celebration of the financial support of our Gifts & Memorials Ministry under the leadership of Annette Perry who provided $5,400 to provide the materials needed to accomplish the work. So, if you would like to make a gift in honor of a family member or fellow church member or in memory of a loved one, every dollar given to Gifts & Memorials makes a tangible difference in the life of our congregation.

Be sure to thank all these individuals for improvements to our campus—the biggest sign we display to our community! Also, be sure to wonder over to the Labyrinth Courtyard adjacent to Fourth Street where benches were reconstructed and landscaping pruned to provide an aesthetically pleasing environment for one of Napa First’s newest ministries: The Labyrinth Walk every Friday afternoon at 5:30. Why not join us next Friday as Pacific School of Religion field placement student Burke Owens leads us in a half-hour of reflective movement and enjoy the fruit of the loved shared by many hands!

Catch Team Results

Have you been meeting new members of our Napa First UMC community lately? It would be hard to avoid our new friends. Membership Secretary Sally Hunter reports that in 2013, we received a total of four new members. But in just the first six months of 2014, we’ve received 22 new members into our fellowship, five of which have come to our congregation through the Fusion Worship Experience at 11:00 am every Sunday in the Asbury Room!

And, in collaboration with Director of Children’s Ministries Vicki Poli, we’ve begun a new ministry specifically for our new families with children and youth. Called First Friday for Families, families join together for a potluck meal at 6:30 pm on the first Friday of each month (excluding this Friday, July 4th!). Then, children are treated to a full-length animated feature film with Vicki, youth hang out with Director of Student Ministries Marissa Conway, and parents proceed to the church parlor for a discussion led by Pastor Lee Neish based upon the curriculum: Confessions of a Struggling Parent. Our next First Fridays will occur on August 1st.

Also in collaboration with Vicki Poli and Director of Student Ministries Marissa Conway, we are preparing for the largest Vacation Bible School we’ve seen in years! 25 children are already registered for a week of Weird Animals! If you know of children, grandchildren, or neighbors’ children who would enjoy a week of fun and growth, please help them register for the week of July 7-11. And, we are looking for additional volunteers who would love to spend a morning or multiple mornings enjoying this growing community of children and youth. Why not join us!

Christian Patriots

What follows are excerpts from a sermon preached by William K. McElvaney at the Cathedral of Hope, Dallas, Texas, on July 3, 2005. Because this year’s message on June 29th is comprised of the Cathedral Choir’s performance of music from the Beatles and the message on July 7th is comprised of stories of mission shared from our youth returning from their Sierra Service Project in Los Angeles, there will not be an opportunity for me to address church/state relations during the Independence Day season. I especially found McElvaney’s comments helpful and trust you will, too.

July 4th and Christian Patriots

I wonder if you come to this July 4th weekend with some of the thoughts and feelings stirring in my soul. On the one hand, I come deeply grateful. Neighborhood gatherings, intergenerational parades, goose bump music. Yet much more. I’m grateful, in spite of some provisions of the Patriot Act, for freedom of speech, assembly, and worship. July 4th has taught me to reflect with somber appreciation for the sacrifice of lives given through the years on behalf of our country, regardless of whether I consider a certain war to have been justified. The devotion of those who answer the call to military service deserves respect even when the rhetoric of military and political leaders proves untrustworthy.

I’m thankful for the amazing diversity of our citizenry who through the years have come from the shores of every country on the globe. I’m grateful for the incredible beauty of our land—the great Pacific Northwest, New England, the purple mountain majesty of the Rockies, the National Parks and Monuments spread throughout the fifty states. I celebrate the almost endless opportunities available to a broad cross-section of our people, yet by no means shared equally by all.

The locus of first loyalty for Christians resided in the New Testament, especially in Jesus’ example and teachings. While Christians are called to be responsible participants in civil affairs, God’s work of love, peace, and justice in all nations—the Reign or Rule of God in theological terms—is the lens or frame through which Christians seek to understand and live out Christian vocation. This New Testament mooring provides a deeper and broader view of what it means to be loyal to one’s country even if and when it means standing in opposition to one’s own government. Christian patriots are grounded in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, not in the political variations of Washington, D.C. Christians will and do disagree on how we interpret both the New Testament and political decisions. Even so we do well to remember that Jesus, out of loyalty to God, was disloyal to Caesar and the Roman Empire, as well as to the religious establishment of his day. The Beatitudes outrank all other attitudes regardless of party affiliation or political claim.

Christian Patriotism Begins at Home

I have long believed that Christian Patriotism begins at home. Christian patriots defend our nation against domestic foes such as environmental degradation, poverty, lack of health insurance for children, and other injustices. We have too narrowly defined patriotism as action against foreign threat to the neglect of domestic threat. How can we claim to love our country, yet reject or neglect whole groups of people and their rights and needs.

Isaiah 58 provides us needed insight and direction. After returning from exile the people of Israel are without vision for the future. The nation languishes in gloom. So the people, hoping for Yahweh’s attention and favor, humble themselves with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes. But there is a dilemma. Yahweh does not take notice. An exasperated cry arises from the people. Why have we fasted and you pay no attention? Why do you not acknowledge our humbling of ourselves?

Yahweh responds with something akin to a sneer. “You call this a fast, a day acceptable to the Lord? Behold, you seek your own pleasure, you oppress all your workers. The fast I choose is to let the oppressed go free, to share you bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house.” Here the passage does something very noteworthy. It gives us a series of then’s: “Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily; Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; Then your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt. You will be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets in which to dwell.”

What we see in this text is a major re-imaging of Israel’s fast or worship from a cultic act to a compassionate one; from an ascetic act to an ethical act; from self-abasement to self-giving. Yahweh will bless and restore life to Israel only when its common life embraces Yahweh’s justice and shalom. Economic justice is high on Yahweh’s list.

Walking in the footsteps of this text, Christian patriots receive our national priorities. We see the same emphasis in Matthew—food to the hungry, drink to the thirsty, welcome to the stranger, clothes for the naked, and attention to the sick and to those in prison. We encounter Jesus Christ in the needs of our brothers and sisters.

Once again, how can we love our country if we reject or neglect whole groups of people? Christian patriotism connects these great biblical texts with conditions today, with special attention to the most vulnerable among us.

Christian patriots thus insist that state constitutions and the federal constitution serve as instruments of inclusion rather than exclusion. To love our country is to protect equal rights for all citizens.

Christian Patriots: Peacemakers at Home and Abroad

Christian Patriotism not only begins at home; its very heart and soul is peacemaking on our soil and abroad. Patriotism has too often been defined solely as supportive of war to the neglect of active nonviolent peacemaking, especially for Christians. Was Martin Luther King, Jr., less a patriot for protesting the Vietnam War in which more than 58,000 Americans were sacrificed on the altar of a needless war?

I believe the Christian Church has a critical illness. I hope it’s not terminal. Its name is amnesia. We seem to have forgotten that the One to whom we profess loyalty is the Prince of Peace. Luke’s birth narrative carries the announcement, “Glory to God in the highest; on earth peace and goodwill to all.” Does “Blessed are the Peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God” no longer ring in our ears? Peace with justice is God’s “I Have a Dream.” Peacemaking constitutes, or should, the “Magnificent Obsession” for Christians. This defines our calling as Christians.

I want to encourage us and all Christians to make peacemaking our vocation in Jesus Christ. I know this is a priority at Cathedral of Hope. We need to encourage and expect future state and national leadership to respect international law; to seek political solutions to conflict rather than military; to approach conflict based on study and knowledge of historical socio-political issues as well as the success of nonviolent movements; and to address the root causes of conflict as best we can understand them. Sure this is a tall order but would we expect less from the Prince of Peace?

Gifts and Memorials

Often gifts are given to the Gifts & Memorials Fund honoring the passing of a loved one or a tribute to someone on a special occasion. It is a meaningful way to celebrate someone's life.

These funds are being used in our church's Memorial Gardens located on the Randolph Street side. Several years ago, fruit trees were planted in the John Hoffman Grove. Currently, benches are being repaired and painted; part of the grass area is being removed for the participation in the Napa's Grass for Cash Program; and major repairs on the wooden arbor holding the heritage Lamarque rose. This historical rose bush dates back to 1882 when it was first planted next to the parsonage.

Take a few minutes to visit and see the improvements being done with funds from the Gifts & Memorials Fund.

Committee Members: Annette Perry- Coordinator, Bill Crane, Doris Forsythe, Lucy Stebleton

Endowment Fund

"Give the gift that keeps giving"

Annual Report - 2013

Endowment Fund balance, as of December 31, 2013 - $342,168.33

Total contributions - $7,175 with six (6) contributors

Total quarterly distributions - $8,000

The Endowment Fund is governed by the CA-NV United Methodist Foundation located in Sacramento with the Santa Rosa office managing this permanent fund. Earnings are used for maintaining our historical buildings.

Committee Members

Annette Perry, Coordinator

Mary Herzog, Hugh Reat, Hugh Silcox

Meet Our 2014 Graduates

Ben Ballantine graduated from the University of Michigan this Spring with a Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology.  He had received a scholarship to play baseball for the Division 1 Wolverines and was granted a fifth year of eligibility after breaking his ankle at the beginning of the season last year.  Ben was born and raised in Napa. He was a preschooler at Wine Country Day and attended St. John’s Lutheran for kindergarten and the start of first grade before entering the dual immersion program at Westwood Elementary School, later to be named Napa Valley Language Academy.  He was in the first class at Harvest Middle School and then attended Napa High, playing football, basketball and baseball for the Indians.  He sang in Sonshine Singers, a K-2nd grade choir we used to have at FUMC, and was confirmed in 2004 with Adam, Chris, Gabe, Matthew, Andrew, Brooke, David, Kyra, and Robin.  He may go on to graduate school but is hoping to be picked up by a team to continue playing baseball a while longer.     

Taylor Kipling Lewis

Taylor attended the Napa Valley Language Academy for kindergarten through 5th grade where he learned to read, write, and speak in Spanish. He then moved on to Harvest Middle School, and just graduated from Vintage High School.

Taylor has been playing violin since he was 4 years old and played in his middle school and high school orchestras, as well as the Napa Valley Youth Symphony.

In August, Taylor will begin his collegiate journey. He will attend Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas. Southwestern is a small liberal arts school founded by the Methodist Church, and is the oldest university in Texas. He is very excited!

Taylor loves spending time with his family, making french-fries at In-and-Out, playing ultimate Frisbee, and making people laugh.

He will be spending a month in Europe this summer touring with a group of friends. He will visit Paris, Rome, London, Stockholm, and Aachen.

We are very excited for him to be entering into this new chapter of his life and appreciate the love and support that our church family has provided to him over the years.

Andrew Neish, son of JoAnne (Jo) and Lee Neish, will be graduating from UC Davis with a Double Major in Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering and with a Minor in Economics. Besides his academic pursuits at UC Davis in engineering, Andrew played trumpet in the UC Davis Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Christian Baldini. He was the founder of the Space and Satellite Systems Club, served as president of ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) and was a founding member of TEDxUCDavis. Andrew was elected to the Honorary Society for engineering, Tau Beta Pi and will be graduating with highest honors, Summa Cum Laude.  He will be attending Stanford University for his Masters in Aerospace Engineering this coming fall.

Brooke and Patrick Silcox are the children of Bruce and Molly Silcox and grandchildren of Hugh and Aletha Silcox:

Brooke graduated from Sac State with a BS in Recreation, Parks, Tourism, and Administration. As an undergraduate she did volunteer work with Young Life in Sacramento. This summer she will be a counselor in a Young Life backpacking program in Canada. In the Fall she will be employed full time with Young Life.  She received Confirmation  in Napa FUMC. She also spent one summer with the Sierra Service Project.

Patrick graduates from Vintage High School. He has enjoyed motor cross and off road dirt biking. He participated in Young Life in both Junior High and High School. His plans include attending a community college.

Nolan Rubin spent the last four years attending Vintage High School where he was a part of the wrestling, baseball, and football teams. He was a captain of the football team his senior year. He earned his Eagle Scout award as a freshman and spent much of his time volunteering for organizations including Special Olympics and Napa Saints Football. Next year Nolan will be attending UCLA on a full NROTC scholarship. He will major in physiology and specialize in kinesiology and study a foreign language, perhaps Arabic, in preparation for being commissioned as an officer in the United States Marine Corps upon graduating from UCLA. After his service, Nolan would like to use his degree to open his own gym or be an athletic trainer for a collegiate or professional sports team.

By no means is this a complete list.

We will be happy to print any and all Graduate’s bios in the next Grapevine. Please email them to

If you’d like to send a picture, we’ll print that too.

The FUMC of Napa is tremendously proud of our church kids.

May God bless each one of you on your upcoming journeys and if you’re leaving home, may you find a United Methodist church that you love, and may it be a great source of support and love for you.

 UMW Thrift Shop written by Pat Parker

Something very special happens every Tuesday from 9am to 2:30pm at the church. The United Methodist Women’s Thrift Shop is open for customers and volunteers. Barb, Jan and Eleanor say they like volunteering at the shop because they can greet and meet the many folks coming to shop. Barb likes to speak in Spanish with many customers. Aloha and Carol like “working” here because of the sense of community with the other volunteers and also because they are giving a service to the community. I was “hooked “ when I placed a beautiful evening gown on the dress rack and it sold to a young woman in less than 15 minutes.

The items for sale (clothes, shoes, housewares, linens, dishes, toys and other treasures) are carefully chosen and nicely displayed by Martine along with Pat, Carol and Evelyn’s help. Not everyone who works in the Thrift Shop is mentioned here but we all work together as a team.

Prices are kept extremely reasonable so virtually everyone can shop and buy what they need or want at very low cost. One of my preschool teacher colleagues, Maria, likes our thrift shop the best because she could buy 5 pretty and colorful cotton blouses for $10 to wear to work.

Those of us who volunteer in the shop really feel like we are helping to change the world, as Pastor Lee often recommends that we do. Any woman who attends our church can help. Flexible hours and days are available: Always Tuesday, from 9am-12pm and/or 12-2:30pm, volunteer one or up to four times a month. Won’t you come to join us? Call LaVonne Van Cleve at 224-4867.

Cut a Rug” errr Dress for

Little Dresses and Shorts for Africa, or Haiti or Cuba or Nicaragua or ????

Methodist Women come and join us to sew cotton dresses and shorts on Friday, July 11, 2014! Our sewing party starts at 9:30 and goes to 11:30 am.

Just come and bring any extra cotton fabric (5/8th -1 1/8 yard for a dress) you have, your sewing machine, sewing scissors, and thread. We will cut out dresses and shorts and sew. We will also have ironing boards and irons available to press the fabric before cutting and while we sew.

We have small, medium and large patterns and if you would like to sew at home too before our party, contact Pat Parker at 253-7472 for the patterns specially made by Margaret Payne from Nancy’s Notions.

Joan Feury has a contact traveling to Haiti the first part of August who has an empty suitcase she would love to fill with girl’s dresses and boy’s shorts.

Please come and join us for this wonderful mission project.

Grapevine Schedule

Deadline July 24th—Mailing July 30th

Our Purpose Statement is to be outwardly focused to bring people into relationship with Jesus to display God’s Kingdom on earth through acts of love, peace and justice.

Sunday Worship Service: 9:30 am—Sanctuary

Fusion Contemporary Worship Service: 11:00 am—Asbury Room

Monday Silent Meditation Group—5:30 pm—Sanctuary

Friday Labyrinth Meditation Walk—5:30 pm

Adult Bible Study Group—10:45 am—Parlor

GRAPE Express—3 years through 5th grade—9:50-Visual Vineyards

Youth Group—Every Sunday—Jr. Hi—4:30-6:00—Hi School—5:30-7:00

During the summer months there are no regular meetings

Visit us on Facebook—Napa First United Methodist Church—707-253-1411—email—

Pastor: Rev. Lee Neish

Lay Leaders: Barbara Thompson & Mark Andersen

Lay Speaker: Michael Herzog

Office Manager: Dianne Mahler

Director of Music: Jan Lanterman

Organist: Harold Julander

Director of Cathedral Choir: Jan Lanterman

Director of Bonner Bells: Diane Levorsen

Director Student Ministries: Marissa Conway

First United Methodist Church ~625 Randolph St.~ Napa 94559~ (707)253-1411


Visit us on Facebook: Napa First United Methodist Church