1-25-18 FUMC Updates

Thanks to everyone who came to the VISIONING meeting on Monday night – what an AMAZING night we had celebrating the incredible church memories that have “stuck” with people, identifying the “DNA” of our church (loving/caring/welcoming) and looking at the demographics of who REALLY lives in our community.  There are almost 68,000 people in a 20 mile radius of our church and the vast majority are 55 and older … this is very unique to our community when compared to the state as a whole. We also discussed the fact that since Jesus has given us our MISSION … to GO, MAKE DISCIPLES, our focus should be on the 57% of people in a 20 mile radius who are NOT involved in a religious community. (If you are interested in demographic research, please let me know – it’s QUITE fascinating!)
 
OUR NEXT VISIONING: Monday, February 5, 6:30 – 8 PM … we’ll be getting deeper into the specifics of where God is calling us to put our prayers, presence, gifts, service and witness in order to make new disciples for Jesus Christ.  We have one POWER HOUR of worship on Sunday mornings to make a first impression AND help each other grow in our faith – is the sermon, music, liturgy, etc. what it needs to be to be the BEST it can be? Do we need a team to focus on COMMUNITY EVENTS to bridge relationships with those outside our church?  Do we need more focus on CHILDREN?  Or YOUTH? Or EMPTY NESTERS?  Or ACTIVE SENIORS? Is our “aesthetic evangelism” holding us back? What do NEW people see, smell, feel, experience when they come? (A young man who was at the first visioning workshop told me last night with AUTHENTIC honesty that our church feels like his great grandmother’s house … I asked him if there was a lot of LOVE in that house and he said “Yes, but it’s a really old house.”) 
 
I was going to send a survey out to the congregation this week but I’m going to wait until after our NEXT visioning meeting so we have some more time to talk before zeroing in on specifics. I will, however, be putting a survey on our FACEBOOK asking people who are NOT CONNECTED to a religious community to share WHY … you should see that on Facebook next week. STAY TUNED!
 
HIGH SCHOOL KIDS:  we’re REVIVING an old tradition … STEAK NIGHT AT MY HOUSE, this Saturday, 1/27, 5 PM … after a great confirmation conversation this week, the parents decided to have a relaxed, “no agenda” night for ALL the high school kids to talk about “what’s next”.  I have sent an email to all the kids that we KNOW of but please be sure to spread the news to your kids/grandkids that I might not know about.  Ken Ragsdale is handling the food with the parents and we WOULD like to have an idea of how many kids to fire up the grill for … I’ve heard from MANY of you and I’m excited to get to know these kids!
 
FINANCE COMMITTEE UPDATE: the finance committee had a great meeting this week and your 2018 year end statements will be in the mail next week. Thanks to ALL of you who give so generously to God!
 
We have  decided NOT to publish the weekly offering amounts in the bulletin because after discussing the purpose of reporting that number, we see better ways to be transparent about our financial position.  Instead, we will be announcing when Church Council Meetings are and everyone is always welcome to attend and discuss finances as well as other things, and we will make quarterly updates from the pulpit.  Our monthly financial statements are ALWAYS available as we are an “open book” so feel free to contact us if you have questions.
 
We’re also working on some other exciting things and I can’t wait to share them with you soon!
 
BASIC and ADVANCED LAY LEADERSHIP TRAINING … March 10th and 24thFUMC Deport. How wonderful to have training in our own back yard!!  Basic Lay Servant Training and an advanced class: “Called to Preach”. (The Called to Preach is a new course that is replacing the “Go Preach”.  The book we will be using is titled “From Pew to Pulpit” by Clifton F Guthrie.)  Classes are open to anyone interested and you are NOT required to become a Lay Servant.  The Basic Class is useful for anyone interested in being an active member of the church.  (Anyone whose last training was in 2015 or before needs to recertify this year)  Contact  LORI MASSEY, East District Director of Lay Servant (Speaking) Ministries 903-227-0302
 
GO CAMP for KIDSOur very own KIMBERLY NOE is going to be one of the volunteers at these fabulous new GO CAMPS that bring the CAMP to the KIDS … a great weekend camp outside of Paris, TX. February 23-25 in Detroit, TX (CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS) or the summer camp in July:  CLICK HERE FOR THE JULY CAMP. Please don’t let financial concerns keep your children/grandchildren from participating – talk to me!!
 
RADA CUTLERY UPDATE …The sale of Rada cutlery continues to be UMW’s main income source.  A new order will be submitted soon.  Call 903-629-2259 if you will be needing anything for yourself or a gift. CLICK HERE to see the catalog.
 
REMINDERS:
 
LEADERSHIP TRAINING DAY: 1/27, 9 am – NOON, 1st UMC Sulphur Springs  … one of the true benefits of being a CONNECTIONAL denomination is that we have learning and growing opportunities from a GREAT group of leaders outside the walls of our own church. Your elected leaders are ALL encouraged to attend this workshop but it is for EVERYONE IN THE CHURCH!  We are especially excited about this year’s training with ALL the Center Director Leaders from our Conference Office – this is a RARE opportunity to learn from the LEADERS!   They will open the day with their work and plans for 2018 and then open up the floor for a panel discussion with questions and responses. When this is over we will adjourn into five breakout sessions and YOU GET TO CHOOSE which of these are of interest to YOU!  
– Working in discipleship ministries, children and youth, camping and retreats, and adult Christian formation. (This is a VERY important area for us!)
– How to organize a mission team to south Texas to help with ongoing rebuilding after Hurricane Harvey this year. 
– How churches can experience church vitality and new energy through community engagement. 
–  Those interested in the finances and asset management of the church will appreciate the administrative issues and new laws and policies that will affect local churches.
 
“Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:15–16)
 
Debbie Lyons, Pastor
First United Methodist Church Winnsboro
301 Church Street, Winnsboro, TX. 75494
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