WELCOME TO FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH WINNSBORO!

All are welcome at Winnsboro’s First Church so dive on in! We are a warm and welcoming congregation where you can meet people, celebrate life, grow deeper, stronger in your faith and turn energy into action that transforms the world. EVERYONE is invited and if you’d like us to meet you at the door, email us HERE and we’ll be there! 
 
Sunday Morning Worship
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10:50 a.m.

 
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FUMC Updates 1-20-22 … Baby, It’s Cold Outside!

Brrrrrr … one day it’s 70 degrees and the next it’s in the ’20s!  What a crazy winter we’re having!  It might be cold outside but I hope you’re staying warm INSIDE and staying safe as COVID is running rampant through East Texas.  So many people have tested positive and, thankfully, most are experiencing manageable symptoms.  In November we only had 1,123 cases in our local 7 counties but it crept up to 2,828 in December. Already through January 17th, we have 10, 546 cases and the hospitalizations are continuing to increase. I keep an eye on Net Health, our local public health agency, and want to encourage everyone to be careful! 

GOOD NEWS: reported COVID cases in the WISD schools are down about 20% this week over last week and THAT’S reason to celebrate! And after a conversation with the Intermediate School today we still HOPE to start Kids Beach Club on February 8th!  We know “this too shall pass” so please pray, pray, pray it passes SOON!

ACTIVITIES CANCELLED THROUGH JANUARY:

–       Family Ties Sunday School Class, 9:45 am Sunday mornings

–       Monday Knitters, 1 pm

–       Wednesday night meals 6 pm

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Jesus took a little child and had him stand among them. Taking him in his arms, he said to them,  “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.” Mark 9:36-37

KID’S BEACH CLUB VOLUNTEER TRAINING, Tuesday, February 1st, 4-5 PM, Wesley Hall:  have you seen the short video that shows you what a typical KBS afternoon looks like? Please check out our WEBSITE and see what a great ministry we’re planning for our 3rd-5th grade kids!  Also, all volunteers who will be at the schools will need to register and have a background check there also so CLICK HERE if you haven’t registered yet.

We are still planning to start this wonderful ministry at the Intermediate school on FEBRUARY 8th, 3:30- 5 pm, so the KBC Director of Training has scheduled OUR training for February 1st, 4 pm.  Everyone who wants to work on-site at the school should plan to attend but please, please, please, don’t wait to let me know we can count on you!  We have curriculum notebooks to put together for you but we need to know how many to print.

Also, if we don’t have enough volunteers, I will invite other churches to participate and I’d really prefer not to do this.  I’ll hold off until this MONDAY, 1/24 so please don’t wait to let me know what you’d like to do!

Here, again, is where God can really use your gifts, graces, and servant souls:

– Greeters … friendly, warm people to greet the kids as they arrive, hand out snacks & sign them in (3:15-3:45)

– Small-Group Leaders … this is a VERY important role and it’s one where the volunteers should be consistent every week. Leaders 1st meet with the kids (7-10 kids), have snacks together, and introduce the CHARACTER WORD.  Then the kids come back with you again after the Bible story and all your questions are provided to encourage conversation. See attached curriculum for our 1st day! (3:30-5)

– Memory Verse Coordinators … each week the theme is around one main verse and one main character word. You’ll teach the verse and write it out on a poster board … it’s only a 5-minute job but it’s IMPORTANT!  And remember, it’s all done for you – you just present it! 4 pm – 4:30 pm

– Song leaders … high energy, fun people to lead music and inspire the kids after a long day at school, 3:45-4:15 pm

– Game Coordinators … the last 20 minutes of every Tuesday is FUN, FUN, FUN, and Beach Club provides all the game ideas that support the story and character word of the day … you just have to execute! 4:20-4:50 pm

 Dismissal Team … coordinate kids dismissal and help them into the cars as they leave (4:45 – 5:15)

In addition to on-site servants, we need the following “behind the scenes” and very important volunteers …

TUESDAY, January 25th, 10 – 11:30 AM … come help us get all the volunteer notebooks together!  Punch holes in the 10 lesson plans, cut apart the memory verse cards, devotionals that are sent home with the kids, and laminate the bookmarks.

MONDAYS during Beach Club, 1-2 PM …  cutting and laminating for the next days’ program

DONATIONS: for snacks every week (we’ll know more when we start getting registrations) and “sussies” for the Treasure Box. If you missed the lunch we had, the kids earn TREASURE TREATS for bringing their Bibles, being kind to a neighbor, repeating the memory scripture, etc. At the end of the day, they go to the Treasure Chest and choose “sussies” little, small things (i.e small candy bars, sticky hands, wax lips, slime, finger puzzles, etc.).

NOTE WRITERS: we will have KBC notecards to send after children register, for birthdays and special events.  If you can write a few sentences, we’ll give you the stamps and cards!

Right now, we are praying for volunteers, the parents who will be sending their children, and the students who will come … be diligent, please!

PRAYER QUILT MINISTRY SEW DAY: Thursday, January 27th, 9 am – 3 pm, Asbury Hall … bring your lunch and come be part of this awesome ministry!  You can learn how to get started, work on your projects or share in the joy of preparing prayer quilts for others. Contact AMY MOSS for details. amy.h.moss@gmail.com or 9034914206

ONE WORD CONTINUES … I hope you have made time to complete the 1st and 2nd devotional worksheets I’ve sent, but you can get them HERE. By now you should have several words that you feel God might be giving you and this Sunday we’ll start moving toward CHOOSING one of His words!  This Sunday will be very specific in HOW to choose God’s word so don’t miss it!

Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans. (Proverbs 16:3)

Grace and peace,

Pastor Debbie


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1-12-22 FUMC Updates … Kids Beach Club is starting 2/1!

I hope you have all been thinking about your ONE WORD for 2022! As I told you on Sunday, after finding myself in a FUNK when some much anticipated and exciting plans completely collapsed when I was the Pastor in Caddo Mills, I dove into a book called ONE WORD THAT CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE. From a Christian perspective, I was looking for ONE WORD that would help me get refocused and back on a new track where God would open doors instead of closing them. But finding ONE word was exceptionally hard for me because there were so MANY words that could have applied to what I thought I needed … thought is the keyword … God had other plans!

Don’t get ahead of GOD on this journey!  If you missed the sermon on Sunday, you might want to scroll back and watch it on FACEBOOK because it will help you with the spiritual formation work we’re doing. (See the attached devotional worksheet from last week.)  I also learned that the secular of the 2 books I talked about, ONE WORD THAT CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE is available FREE on Hoopla at the library … you can get it as an audio or e-book so dust off your library card today!  https://www.hoopladigital.com/title/12011595

KIDS BEACH CLUB STARTS FEBRUARY 1st, 3:30-5 PM at the WISD Intermediate School for 3rd-5th grade … what IS Kids Beach Club?  Go to our website and watch the video … it’s SUCH an amazing ministry and I’m sure there is SOMETHING you can do to be part of this opportunity to reach new families in our neighborhoods!  This is our MAIN ministry focus for the next 3 months so I hope you will all get engaged!

I want to thank Carla Chitsey for the delicious TACO SOUP she made for the KBC meeting we had after church!  Thanks to all of you who came and have signed up to pray and write notes or be greeters … we really need some more small group leaders, please!  I have attached the sample curriculum for our FIRST day so you can see how EASY it is … also, CHECK OUT our website where kids can register.  

You will also start seeing lots of posts on Facebook and Instagram – please share our posts on YOUR pages … this is modern-day evangelism, and we want as MANY people to be excited about this as possible!

IT’S TIME TO GET EXCITED!  We are sending 315 flyers home with EVERY child at the Intermediate school this Friday … please don’t put off saying, “This is MY church … I’ll do it!”  There is a LOT of planning that must happen so please don’t miss out – let me know how YOU want to be involved!

AS COVID CASES & HOSPITALIZATIONS INCREASE …

We all love each other, and we all want to keep each other safe so please be mindful of your distance when greeting/talking with people and keep plenty of distance in the sanctuary or meeting spaces when you’re seated!  If you are sniffly, congested, have a sore throat, fever, flu-like symptoms, or are just, plain sick, please stay home. (You can join us in WORSHIP on Facebook LIVE). If you are not vaccinated, please make healthy choices for yourself and others around you.  Masks are welcome!

UMW MEETING TOMORROW, Thursday, 1/13, 10 am, Asbury Hall … there’s plenty of room to spread out so please come and be part of other mission-minded women committed to serving God!

COME HANGOUT WITH HEATHER, this Friday, 1/14, NOON – 2 pm … drop by and meet and get to know our new Communications Coordinator!  We’ll have light snacks and drinks, and you’ll have time to get to know Heather, and more importantly, SHE is excited to have time to get to know YOU!

UMCOR DISASTER RELIEF TRAINING, this Saturday, 1/15, 8:30 – 4 PM in our WESLEY HALL … thanks to SUE GROSS for coordinating this effort for our Conference … get details and/or HERE.

BROTHER HENRY’S MONTHLY BIBLE STUDY: Tuesday, January 18, 10-11 am, Wesley Hall, Family Ties … THE WORD OF GOD … come get to know others and dig into scripture!

ENDOWMENT FUND 2021 … many thanks to our Endowment Team who oversees our investments!  Beginning from a total of $207,580 at the start of 2021, our end-of-year balance in the account was $243,409 which doesn’t count contributions received in December that have not yet been sent out, an annual return of 16.7%.  Our stock holdings were up 23.5% on the year and bonds up only 0.45%.

22nd Annual MLK Celebration, Monday, 1/17, parade starts at 10 m in front of First Baptist Church. The Winnsboro Rodeo will lead the parade and the Red Raider band will participate and it will end in MLK Park located at the corner of Connie Mae and Elm St. LET’S BE VISIBLE IN OUR COMMUNITY!

WOMEN’S COMMUNITY BIBLE STUDY is moving to the Presbyterian Church. After many years of meeting here, they needed a little more room with acoustics that were more conducive to their teaching needs and wanted to share the joy of serving the community.  They have also POSTPONED the start of their ELIJAH STUDY to February … please be in touch with LINDA SUCHE for details.  hal1@suddenlink.net

WEDNESDAY NIGHT DINNERS POSTPONED UNTIL FEBRUARY … stay tuned … we’ll be BACK!!

YEAR-END FINANCIAL LETTERS … will be available in the sanctuary on Sundays sometimes before the end of January! If you need a copy mailed, please let us know.

SEE YOU ALL SUNDAY, on Facebook or in-person!
 
Pastor Debbie

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1-5-22 FUMC updates … there’s a lot going on!

It’s a new year, the Christmas season is over, most of us have taken down our decorations (thanks to all of YOU who helped in the church last Sunday!), and we’re ready to move into a NEW season! This is why I’m so excited about our next worship series that we’ll be starting this Sunday … we’re going to focus on ONE WORD God will give us for 2022!  Yes, ONE WORD!  You might be wondering, how is God going to DO this? And what’s the purpose of having ONE WORD? 

Please don’t miss being in church or watching online with us this month!  Through spiritual formation, we’re going to work together to explore who God wants us to be this year and we’ll create avenues for God to guide us and direct us to a unique word JUST for us! The purpose of this work will be to have a simple word that we most hope God will change in us in order to form our character at a deep, sustainable level. As our relationship with Him grows, WE will grow as His children!

After each Sunday message, you’ll get an email with a worksheet to help you explore your personal relationship with God. I would encourage you to take your time and truly reflect on the scriptures and questions because the goal is to help you grow in your faith!

I also want to caution you – PLEASE DON’T JUMP TO THE FIRST WORD THAT COMES TO YOUR MIND! That word may end up being God’s word for you, but in the end, it probably won’t be! Remember, there are thousands of words God has access to so hold on tight and let God be God!

STAY FOR A LIGHT LUNCH AFTER CHURCH THIS SUNDAY – and find out more about how you can be part of KiDs Beach Club! If you can smile at a child and give them a snack and a nametag, we need you! If you can read instructions on how to play a game that’s already been designed, we need you! If you can sit down with a maximum of 8-10 kids and ask them questions (the questions are provided!) about a Bible story they just hear, we need you! If you’re good at data management, we need you! If you can make a treasure chest to hold all kinds of little treats for the kids, we need you!  

Kids Beach Club provides a wonderful DETAILED curriculum with everything we need to have an AWESOME ministry at the intermediate school!  All we need is loving adults to help! This IS our church focus for the first quarter of this year and yes, it’s labor-intensive, but I am praying God stirs your heart to do what we SAY we want to do – and that is … attract new, young families to our church and connect with people who don’t know the love of Christ! I hope we have enough volunteers that we can do this program on our own, but I will also reach out to other churches in the Ministerial Alliance and ask them for volunteers if we must! Please let’s do this together – please come on Sunday and learn more! A list of some of the places to get involved is attached – and if you’re interested in seeing the layout of lessons in a full-year program, I’ve attached that too!

COME PRAY WITH US, Thursday mornings, 9 am, Wesley Hall … we are going to be intentionally focused on praying for Kids Beach Club but, as always, we will pray for all those on the pray chain as well as other things going on. God commands us to pray so let’s be obedient to His word:

  • “Pray continually” -1 Thessalonians 5:17
  • “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession, and thanksgiving be made for everyone …” -1 Timothy 2:1
  • “And when you pray …” -Matthew 6:5
  • “This, then, is how you should pray …” -Matthew 6:9
  • “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” -Romans 12:12
  • “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.” -Ephesians 6:18
  • “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” -Philippians 4:6
  • “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” -Colossians 4:2

United Methodist Women are starting back, Thursday, January 13th, 10 AM, Asbury Hall (Potluck Class) … all women are invited and encouraged to attend, especially if you’ve never come before! It’s a fantastic way to get to know other women with a wonderful mission-driven purpose in mind. CLICK HERE to find out more about UMW.

Hang Out with Heather! Friday, January 14th, NOON – 2 PM, Wesley Hall … come meet the newest addition to our staff, Heather Warren, who is going to be an INCREDIBLE asset to our church! Heather has worked for a dear friend of mine at FUMC Melissa for the last 5 years and she brings energy, knowledge, ideas and so much TALENT! She is only working a few hours a week this month but will be transitioning to 25 hours a month, hopefully by mid-February. REACH OUT AND WELCOME HEATHER … communications@fumcwinnboro.com

THE CRAFTERS START BACK ON TUESDAY, January 17th, 8:30 AM, Asbury Hall!  The crafters meet once a week on Tuesday mornings for fun and fellowship and a little bit of crafting. They will be trying some new things this year and have different people coming to teach new craft ideas so please join in! If you need more info, please call Carla Chitsey, 903-347-6012.

BROTHER HENRY’S MONTHLY BIBLE STUDY: Tuesday, January 18, 10-11 am, Wesley Hall, Family Ties … THE WORD OF GOD … come get to know others and dig into scripture!

WOMEN’S COMMUNITY BIBLE STUDY STARTS BACK, Wednesday, January 19th, 10 AM … Join Linda Suche & others for this 7-session study on the Prophet Elijah from best-selling author Priscilla Shirer. “Journey through the life and times of the prophet Elijah to discover how the fire on Mount Carmel was forged in the valley of famine, and how the emboldened, fiery faith you desire is being fashioned by God in your life right now.” CLICK HERE to read more about the study.

ONGOING EVERY WEEK:

Monday Men’s Gathering at Hope Café (Richie’s) … 8 am

Wednesday Fellowship Meal, Family Life Center … 6 pm

MONITORING COVID CASES LOCALLY: While we are being very mindful of COVID cases increasing and most of our 7 counties are back in the RED ZONE (SEE NET HEALTH website HERE, they update every several days) we are doing our best to move forward as safely as we can.  If you are sick, please stay home! If you have been exposed, please stay home! HERE are the CDC guidelines published 24 hours ago. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, which helps guide the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s decisions on vaccines, said “there appear to be prominent symptoms from omicron: cough, fatigue or tiredness, congestion, and runny nose. Unlike in previous variants, the loss of taste and smell seems to be uncommon, she said.”  You may think you have allergies but please be mindful that this new variant is similar to allergies and bad colds.  Hospitalizations ARE ticking up, more slowly than the rate of infections, so let’s try to keep each other safe!

SEE YOU SUNDAY!  I hope you’ll stay for a light lunch afterward!

Pastor Debbie


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12-29-21 FUMC Updates … KiDs Beach Club is coming!

Last Sunday’s worship was so much fun, and I want to thank those of you who were there for embracing the message of Handel’s Messiah! I have wanted to preach a message about the Biblical foundation of that magnificent oratorio for a long time and it was fun singing a few minutes of the HALLELUIAH CHORUS with you at the end! (Watch the service on FACEBOOK here.)

STARTING FEBRUARY 1st KiDs BEACH CLUBPlease join us for a light lunch after church on Sunday, January 9th, and start praying now! For 2 years we have been hoping to get this exciting ministry started in our Intermediate school and finally, it’s time!  I have seen how this ministry changes the lives of kids, especially those who do not have a church home, and this is an ALL HANDS ON DECK ministry with lots of opportunities to serve! I’ve attached some very basic information on WHAT KiDs Beach Club is and where we need your help!  Please plan to stay for lunch after church on January 9th so you can hear what our church focus is going to be about in the 1st few months of the new year!

PLEASE HELP ME WELCOME HEATHER WARREN as our NEW COMMUNICATIONS AND CARE COORDINATOR!  After many interviews and a long search, God has sent Heather to Winnsboro and to FUMC Winnsboro!  Heather has held this position for the last 5 years at Melissa FUMC but she and her husband have just bought land and a house here in Winnsboro!  She will be transitioning into a 25 hour/week role and I can’t wait for you to get to know her.  Check out her brief bio on our website.

WEDNESDAY NIGHT MEALS CONTINUE … 12/29, 6 PM … homemade stew!

THE CRAFTERS NEED YOUR HELP! You do not have to be an artist to be a crafter! If you can slap paint on a board, squeeze the trigger on a glue gun or tie a bow they can use your help. The crafters meet once a week on Tuesday mornings for fun and fellowship and a little bit of crafting. They will be trying some new things this year and have different people coming to teach new craft ideas so please join in! If you need more info, please call Carla Chitsey, 903-347-012.

BROTHER HENRY’S MONTHLY BIBLE STUDY: Tuesday, January 18, 10-11 am, Wesley Hall, Family Ties … THE WORD OF GOD … see attached questions.

WOMEN’S BIBLE STUDY: Wednesday mornings starting January 19, 9 – 11 a.m., Asbury Hall.   Join Linda Suche & others for this 7-session study on the Prophet Elijah from best-selling author Priscilla Shirer. “Journey through the life and times of the prophet Elijah to discover how the fire on Mount Carmel was forged in the valley of famine, and how the emboldened, fiery faith you desire is being fashioned by God in your life right now.”
 

This Sunday we end our worship series on the SONGS OF CHRISTMAS when Mary & Joseph bring baby Jesus to the temple and experience a marvelous encounter with SIMEON!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Pastor Debbie


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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–


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