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8-9-21 FUMC Updates

The 2020 (held in 2021) OLYMPICS had their closing ceremonies last night and I’ll admit, I haven’t watched much of the Olympics this year … I’ve kept up with the highlights but never actually sat down and watched an entire live event. I did, however, go back and watch some recorded events that touched my heart. Did you see, for example, the dramatic end to the Olympic high jump final? Qatar’s Mutaz Barshim and Italy’s Gianmarco Tamberi had earlier cleared 2.37m, but with the bar raised to the Olympic record of 2.39m, neither of them was able to complete a successful jump. (By the way, the difference between .37m and .39 m is about 2.75 inches!) So, rather than move into a proposed “jump-off”, Barshim asked an official, ‘Can we have two golds?’. The official agreed, and Tamberi leapt into the arms of Barshim in pure joy as the knowledge that he and his good friend were joint gold medal winners!

As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17 

 

At first glance, the Olympic games appear to focus on individual skill and accomplishment, but ALL these athletes had coaches to train them, teammates to encourage them, families to support them, and competition to keep them driven. The same rules apply to Christians. We need each other for leadership, fellowship, and inspiration and we look to other churches that are growing and thriving to learn from them! Alone we can do very little, but together, we can become so much more!

We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us. 2 Corinthians 5:20

Olympian athletes serve as ambassadors for their country, or I believe they should. They know that the things they say or do bring glory or shame to their home countries and that should matter! Likewise, Christians are ambassadors for Christ! We represent the Kingdom of God because Jesus asked us to be the light of the world every single day! How exciting to know that we play a role in the GOODNESS that happens in the world!

 

 The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again. But one disaster is enough to overthrow the wicked. Proverbs 24:16

 

If the Olympics teach us anything, it’s that even the best athletes don’t always win a medal. A gymnast who won a gold medal one night can stumble and fall the next. The fastest man alive can be beaten by a nameless competitor. No matter how good you are, nobody wins every time. It’s a hard lesson many Christians still struggle to accept. There’s an old saying, “God expects more failure from you than you expect from yourself.” What’s important is that we accept our mistakes and learn from them – true Olympic winners remember their faults and use them to get better. Christians should do likewise.

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SING, SING, SING … the choir is back! The choir was excited to be back yesterday, Lola was excited to be back yesterday, and I am committed to making the ONE hour we have together in worship on Sundays an AMAZING hour for us to praise and honor God! And if you want to be in the choir – get ready! We don’t have definite plans yet, and we have made commitments with Adler and Hearne for two more dates, BUT our Staff Parish Relations Chair, is searching now for a Music Leader so pray, pray, pray!

Until then, our very own wonderful, Judy Beaty has offered to work with some of the choir members to lead us in singing until we find someone, so THANK YOU, JUDY!  Anyone who wants to sing in the choir should plan to start meeting in the choir room at 10:30 am on Sundays starting August 22nd. I will keep you informed as to what will be happening so stay tuned! 

WHILE OUR GOALS HAVEN’T CHANGED WE’LL FIND A NEW PATH: As you know, as we began to come back from COVID and people started to return to church this spring, we only had a handful of choir members coming and we were still socially distancing. On Easter, we removed all the restriction protocols, and we began thinking about music again but since we still only had a few choir members back. In May, I decided to try something different.

I told you then that since summer was usually the time the choir got a break from their Wednesday/Sunday commitment anyway, it would be a good time to try to find a worship leader who we could “click” with … someone who knew Methodist hymns, could teach us some contemporary songs and eventually, lead the choir when summer was over. As hard as I tried, I never did find a person who met those criteria and/or was willing to join us sooooooo … we are searching again!

Our goal is still to find someone who can be part of our plan to support the 2021 CORE VALUES you voted on in January:

         Evangelism, reaching the unchurched

         Making disciples, creating followers of Jesus

         Children and youth, young families 

The Church Council zeroed in on your desires to focus even more directly on CHILDREN/YOUNG FAMILIES and worship, and music, is certainly a part of this larger plan. I had hoped we could “try-out” musicians to find 1) someone who would be a good fit for us and 2) could help us attract new people but I also told you that I would accept all responsibility if that did NOT work! And sadly, we did NOT find that person and I take full responsibility for that!

As iron sharpens iron, we will continue to work together to grow our church! We are all Christ’s ambassadors on this earth and what we do shows others the love of Christ, and our children MATTER! And I may trip MORE than seven times but with your help, I will get up again and we’ll keep striving toward our mission – to make disciples for Jesus Christ!

PRAYERS FOR OUR SCHOOLS:  tonight, Monday, 8/9, 5:30 PM at the Winnsboro Civic Center .. all the churches are gathering to pray for our students, administrators, staff, teachers, and parents so I hope to see you there!!

UNDIES AND GIFT CARDS FOR OUR SCHOOLS: we’ve been asked to bring gift cards (Dollar stores, Walmart, etc.) and children’s underwear, sizes 3T – 8 … we’ll be collecting them throughout August.

WHY DOES THE 23rd PSALM SPEAK TO YOU?  We’ll talk about it on Sunday!  See you then!

 

Grace and peace,

 

Pastor Debbie