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12-13-21 FUMC Update – UMCOR Disaster Relief

One year ago, we were cautiously opening the church again after having been closed for the third time because of spiking COVID cases in our community. Thanks to our online ability to broadcast worship LIVE, we never missed a Sunday of worshipping “together” last year, but as cases slowly began to drop​ in 2020 I felt tremendous ​JOY​ ​knowing that at least some of us could gather for part of the Advent season!

I feel that ​same ​joy knowing so many more will be venturing out for Christmas Eve services this year! I still do watch the NetHealth Covid numbers, and I’m very happy to see that our cases in East Texas are extremely low! But, there are so many other things that can inhibit our joy IF we take our eyes off Jesus Christ. Who can watch the devastation caused by destructive tornadoes, or hear coverage about inflation, or read about people we love suffering in hospitals or families planning funerals, and not remember that life doesn’t stop in December?

But as Christians, we keep focused on the message of Christmas … hope, joy, love, and peace! Our world NEEDS Christmas!  WE need Christmas!  So, as we get closer and closer to that special night when we celebrate the birth of Christ, remember how many people you know who need Christmas too!  Invite someone to join us, share our Christmas Eve posts on your Facebook and Instagram pages, pray that those who do not know the joy that comes through a relationship with a church family will find that joy this Christmas!​  Friday, December 24th is right around the corner … halleluiah for Christmas!​

UMCOR DISASTER RELIEF TRAINING, Saturday, January 15, 8:30 AM – 4 PM, our Family Life Center … if you find yourself looking at the heartland of our country ​that was ​devastated by the killer tornadoes and wonder, “What can I do?”, how about stepping right into the rubble and getting involved?  Our United Methodist Committee on Relief, UMCOR, is already establishing work teams to help and our very own Pastor Sue Gross is on the front lines.  As our East District UMCOR coordinator, Sue is organizing a training/certification for anyone willing to help with tornado clean-up. This will include moving debris from inside and outside homes, ​and ​possibly some tarping of rooves and/or windows/doors​.​ There will be PLENTY to do for a very long time and more details will follow, but please give prayerful consideration to getting involved. For more information please contact Sue Gross      (903) 473-1334 (home), (903) 767-6339 (cell).

​ANOTHER WAY TO HELP is to make donations to UMCOR where 100% of your giving goes directly to the mission. UMC churches around the world share the administrative costs so that all donations go directly to the need. CLICK HERE to go to the website. ​

BROTHER HENRY’S MONTHLY STUDY, Tuesday, 12/14, 10 AM, Wesley Hall, Family Ties Classroom … Prophecies, The Right Time, Bethlehem, MA.1:18-2:23

LAST WEDNESDAY DINNER, 6 pm & ADVENT BIBLE STUDY OF THE YEAR, 6:45 pm: Wednesday, December 15 … after dinner we’ll be looking at “fingerprint” evidence that affirms our belief in the birth of Christ!

GIVING TREES FOR THE BACKPACK FOOD MINISTRY … in the choir hall or front lobby through the end of December.

ORDER FROM RADA AND SUPPORT UMW and LOCAL MISSIONS! Try RADA here! Rada has amazing knives and kitchen tools and you can browse the catalog and ship anywhere in the country HERE on the UMW website page! Janat Erwin may have, ON HAND, the perfect gift you need so contact her too … 2erwins@suddenlink.net

SONGS OF CHRISTMAS continue this Sunday and we’ll be days away from Christmas when we talk about Mary, the Mother of our Lord, Jesus.  

Advent Grace and Peace!

Pastor Debbie–