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4-5-21 FUMC Updates

As I write this update, I can’t help but reflect on our 2021 Holy Week… 1 week ago we celebrated Palm Sunday and so many children helped us remember that Jesus rode into Jerusalem triumphantly and they actually recognized Him as a KING for the first time!

On Holy Thursday we had a moving and somber reflection of the last supper and experienced the emotion of the disciples as our readers reenacted their memories of their time with Jesus.   

Just yesterday morning, many of us were celebrating the risen Christ as the morning light came over the horizon at the Ragsdale’s beautiful home for our sunrise service… I couldn’t bring myself to even start on time because to see everyone gathering and the time of fellowship was so heart-warming and necessary!

And then, when Adler and Hearne arrived in the sanctuary to start tuning their guitars in preparation for our 10:50 service, Ken, and I both had tears of joy in our hearts as they began to practice CHRIST THE LORD IS RISEN TODAY! When the traditional service began, it was joyful and full of singing and worship, and there a spirit of energy and excitement that was truly overwhelming!

There are so many people to thank for making this beautiful week possible, many of you were behind the scenes and I don’t even know how you helped … but God knows, and He is smiling! To all the readers who played the roles of disciples on Thursday night, especially our kids, JACK CHANDLER, and LANE NEWTON, you were amazing!!  Clint Cooper, you were AWESOME narrating such a deeply moving and dramatic reading, and Danny Moss, Tommy Teague, Sue Gross, Bettye Gilbert, Brad Scharf, Carla Chitsey, and Dan Strickland … you were wonderful!

There are no words that can possibly do justice to the gratitude I have for Ken and Elaina who made our sunrise service so incredible!  Not just sharing their beautiful home but their giving spirit of joyful hospitality! Matthew and John Noe rebuilt the magnificent cross on the property, many people moved chairs and tables back and forth, others picked up donuts and made the coffee before 6 am!

So many of you also brought the beautiful Easter lilies that made our church so beautiful on Sunday! Julie and Elaina have designed our altarscapes all through Lent setting a tone for worship that is amazing! Shiela Haynes has coordinated all the “extras” for our worship services and along with ALL the ushers have made people feel welcome and safe at our church!

But most of all, my true rock star is KEN RAGSDALE!  As your Pastor, Ken is truly my partner in your worship experience!  I KNOW how much work goes into making our visual worship experience what it is – I know all the extra hours that go into preparing for special events – I know the anxiety that happens when technology problems pop up at the last minute – I know what goes on behind the scenes to make the Word of God come alive in a fast-paced and ever-changing world and Ken Ragsdale – I’ll say it again, you are my rock-star every single Sunday! 

THIRD VACCINE CLINIC COMING TO THE FLC THIS TUESDAY, 4/6, 3 – 5 PM … Christus Mother Francis Winnsboro is coming back to our FLC this Tuesday to vaccinate another 100 people and YOU have stepped up to show our neighbors our hospitality!  Thanks to the following who will help make this possible: Barbara Selvidge, Cyndie Ewert, Glynda Willis, Joan Willis, Erika Martin, Sandra Thompson, Chuck & Nancy Roy, Bettye Gilbert, and Clint Cooper! MANY THANKS!

UNITED METHODIST WOMEN, Thursday, April 8th, 10 AM, Asbury Hall … looking for a place to meet other Christian women who focus on faith, fellowship, and mission? Come join them back in their favorite room! 

DONATE BLOOD IN WINNSBORO THIS THURSDAY, 4/8, 10 am – 3 pm … once again we’re happy to work with First Baptist to support the Carter Bloodmobile coming to Winnsboro!  Make an appointment today by CLICKING HERE  – your gift DOES save lives!

BIBLE TALK WILL START BACK, IN-PERSON and on ZOOM WEDNESDAYS, APRIL 21st, 10 am – 11:30 am … now that COVID cases are down so drastically and most everyone who has wanted to be vaccinated is now safe to get out, we will meet IN-PERSON for a 5-week spring study, GOD’S MESSAGE TO YOU. We’ll be looking at 5 New Testament chapters, verse by verse, as the church began to grow after the resurrection of Christ.  IT WOULD HELP ME KNOW WHAT ROOM WE SHOULD MEET IN so please let me know if you plan to join us … we will either meet in ASBURY or in WESLEY. We will also welcome those who wish to join us on ZOOM and as always, you can find the sign-in link on the church calendar.

WINNSBORO CANDIDATE FORUM: Thursday, April 22, 6 pm, Civic Auditorium … I was honored to be invited to moderate the 2021 City of Winnsboro Candidate Forum!  The Winnsboro News is sponsoring this NON-PARTISAN event and I encourage everyone to exercise their civic duty to learn more about the City Council candidates (4 running for 2 positions) and Mayoral candidates (2 are running).  You can submit questions for… wnewseditor@outlook.com. The forum will also be LIVE STREAMED on the City of Winnsboro Facebook page.

EARLY RESPONSE TRAINING, Saturday, April 24 at First UMC Henrietta: do you feel called to be someone first on the scene when disaster strikes? After tornados, fires, floods, etc.? The United Methodist Church is ALWAYS ready to respond to emergencies and we provide the training!  Find out more about ERT here, or talk with our very own, Pastor Sue Gross who will be one of the trainers! If you’re interested, take part in socially distanced, in-person certification for Early Response Teams on Saturday, April 24 at First UMC Henrietta. Opportunities are available for new attendees and those looking to recertify. The cost is $15, which includes lunch. CLICK HERE for details.

I’LL BE ON VACATION FOR A FEW DAYS: I will be in town this week working on our next sermon series but on Friday I’ll be going to see my kids and Arkansas and then taking the next week off.  I’m excited to tell you that Sarah Doke from Tinney Chapel will be preaching this Sunday!  Sarah just completed her LAY SERVANT MINISTER coursework and will be officially commissioned at the Annual Conference in June!  We will postpone COMMUNION until I get back on April 18th and I’ll look forward to being back with you then!

For Pastoral Care needs while I am gone, 4/9-4/17, please call Pastor Sue Gross, 903-767-6339, or for general needs, contact our Lay Leader, Ted Haynes, at 972-533-9383.

WE WILL SOON FINISH THE GOSPEL OF MARK:  I have truly enjoyed studying the Gospel of Mark with you these last 12 weeks … to be able to closely follow one consistent story from beginning to end has been invigorating for me and I hope it has been for YOU!  When I get back, we’ll look at what the disciples experienced after Jesus’ resurrection and we’ll end in April with the ASCENSION!

In Christ Alone,
Pastor Debbie