Neighboring Notes


What Does Being a Good Neighbor Look Like?

Pickleball 2023

FUMC Hurst opened our arms and hearts to our neighbors in January 2022 to build community relationships through the sport of “Pickleball”. Pickleball is a simple sport that is contagious in bringing people together for the good of all. Since January 2022, there have been a LOT of neighbors visiting FUMC Hurst to:

  • Learn how to play Pickleball
  • Build intergenerational relationships with other players and our church community.
  • Connect with faith and community by invitations and attendance at worship, as well as mission and outreach events.

Pickleball by the numbers:

  • During 2022, a total of 202 learned and played pickleball at FUMC Hurst and an additional 170+ during 2023.
  • Of these 372+, 47 were/are FUMC Hurst members…and everyone is enjoying the “Pickleball” experience!
  • 75 different churches were/are represented by the other 325 with 101 not indicating a church affiliation.
  • 27 different cities were represented, 68 different zip codes…ages 9 through 80+.

Every Wednesday from 2-8 pm in Fellowship Hall there are 65-90 of our neighbors visiting FUMC Hurst, building relationships as FUMC Hurst guests. If you are curious about learning to play the game, we’d love to have you! If you are curious about who this community is, we’d love to have you as well! If you would like to help with hospitality and building relationships with our neighbors, we invite you to come as well! People come and go as they can, some staying from 2 to 8 p.m. without a break!
Feedback from our pickleball community players include:

  • “I look forward to Pickleball every Wednesday at FUMC Hurst. The players’ welcoming and friendly attitudes make this an enjoyable experience.”
  • “Playing pickleball at FUMC Hurst is one of the highlights of our week. The camaraderie, friendly competition and fellowship make you feel so welcomed.”
  • “Thanks to Steve, Cindy, Sarah, Jill, and this church. I grew up Methodist and fell by the wayside due to so much hypocritical crap. But I like that this church does so much for the community—it talks the talk and walks the walk. My faith is quite restored. Still not ready to commit, but happy to enjoy the fellowship of pickleball.”
  • “FUMC Pickleball is sheer joy on a Wednesday—the people, the game, and the camaraderie. That sums it up –energy, synergy, goodwill, sportsmanship, community, and hope.”
  • “I have been playing pickleball at FUMC for a few months. I am really enjoying the game and meeting all the friendly folks. Everyone has been so welcoming…Kudos to Steve and Cindy Harding.”
  • “I was devastated when I realized that after back surgery I could never play racquetball again. Then I was introduced to an awesome group of pickleball players at the First United Methodist Church. Thank you FUMC Hurst!”
  • “Thank you for inviting me to play pickleball at First United Methodist of Hurst. What does it mean to me? It’s a part of my week I look forward to. The staff and players are welcoming and I enjoy the connections made during pickleball.”
  • “Pickleball has brought fun and being active back into my life. This group at FUMC Hurst is blessed to have coaches Steve and Cindy and Rev. Sarah with us each week. The fun, kind people that I have met there are an added bonus.”

We are using Pickleball to engage, equip and empower our neighbors to unite, inspire and develop meaningful community relationships with our neighbors. Want to make some new friends and have fun?...Just come to the Fellowship Hall any Wednesday between 2 and 8 p.m.! Questions? Contact Steve or Cindy Brown Harding at 817-807-0050, Jill Novelo, or Rev. Sarah Boyette at .

Playing Bingo, Building Relationship, Sharing Joy

Community Dinner 2024 at Miguelito's

I have always enjoyed playing BINGO, but have never really had much luck with it. So when I heard we were playing Neighborhood BINGO and I heard how it would work, I knew this would be my chance to redeem all my other losses. Mom and I hit it hard and heavy the first two weeks and it’s a good thing we did because she got COVID the third week and we were quarantined. Fortunately, we only had three things left on the card and were able to finish them once quarantine was lifted. As a result of playing, I learned a lot about Hurst that I didn’t know or had forgotten. I learned that people are people and were genuinely surprised and pleased that our church was making an effort to get into the community. I learned there were tons of diverse restaurants in Hurst, much more than I realized. I learned that playing BINGO isn’t about the prize; it’s about building relationships. It’s easy to view a part of town I don’t frequent as “poor” yet I saw abundance instead of scarcity. And we had a lot of joy while playing and hopefully brought joy to other people.
—Fannette Welton

Keeping Warm at ELL

The wind might be blowing, ice may be predicted, and temperatures could be hovering below freezing, but volunteers and students have been warm at ELL. English Language Learning (ELL), a collaboration of White’s Chapel Methodist Church and First United Methodist of Hurst, has been admitting new adult learners of English and welcoming them each week at 9 a.m. on Saturday to hot coffee, tea and intimate chats at our Conversation Café. We welcome any adult or high school student who wants to donate an hour on Saturdays to learn about people from places like Afghanistan, Korea, Ukraine, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Peru.

January brought Cathy Hendrickson, an attorney who works with refugees and immigrants, to present tips on “How to Avoid Legal Trouble in the U.S.” Students asked many questions and vowed to take her advice.

Over 30 volunteers also benefited from a “Lunch and Learn” workshop on the unique benefits of the Accelerative Learning methodology for outstanding results in more effectively teaching adult learners. Karen Gentry-Sizemore, CEO of Learning Elements and volunteer with ELL, has over 30 years of experience as a teacher, curriculum writer and education consultant at major corporations, like American Airlines, around the globe. Teachers will take their increased knowledge of Total Physical Response and Brain Gym into their classrooms to stimulate learning in their multiple intelligences.

In February, we welcome adults and high schoolers to come listen to our adult students read one-on-one at our monthly Listening Day on February 10 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
You will go as a group to each of our six classes encouraging students who proudly read English to you. Be prepared to see the precious face of God as the students proudly master the pages!

To volunteer, simply enter at door N1 any Saturday morning at 9 or 10 a.m. and speak with our greeters or email Laura Bussell at .


Neighboring Opportunities


  • Connect with your neighbors by serving at the Mobile Food Pantry. Volunteers are always needed. 
    • 2nd Friday of each month: (7:30 a.m.-12 p.m.)
    • 4th Monday of each month: (2:30 p.m.-6 p.m.)
  • Support The Village Pantry
    • Top 5 needed items: Tuna, Jelly, Mac-n-Cheese, Diapers and Soap: 
      Items can be brought to the Atrium and placed in the Mission Central baskets.

Opportunities to Participate

  • Tutoring at Shady Oaks and Harrison Lane Elementary Schools
    Need folks who can consistently tutor during the school day for an hour. You pick the day and the time. For more information, contact Carolyn Kitchens, .
  • Tutoring at Bellaire School
    Everything you need is provided by the school. For more information, contact Fannette Welton, .
  • English Language Learners (ELL)
    Saturdays, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.
    Contact Kit Hickerson at  for information.
  • Backpack Ministry
    Serve as a regular packer or a sub. Requires a few hours once a week. For more information, contact Carolyn Kitchens, .
  • Mission Central Food Pantry
    Variety of schedules are available. For more information, contact Treasure Ford, .
  • Mobile Food Pantry
    2nd Friday, 7:30 a.m.-12 p.m.; 4th Monday, 2:30-6 p.m. For more information, contact Treasure Ford, .
  • Mission Central Village Library
    Tutors are needed after school, Monday-Thursday 4-7 p.m. Even one hour a week would help! For more information, contact Treasure Ford,