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9-24-20 FUMC Update

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died this week after battling pancreatic cancer at age 87. The second woman and the first Jewish woman ever appointed to the high court, Ginsburg was a strong liberal voice for gender equality, separation of church and state, and the rights of workers, voters, immigrants, persons with disabilities, and minorities. Tributes to “RBG,” whom Chief Justice John Roberts called “a justice of historic stature, … a tireless and resolute champion of justice,” have been piling up on the steps of the Supreme Court and she is now the first woman to be given the honor to lie in state at the Capitol.

In more recent years, Ginsburg found herself more often in the minority on the court, but in the tradition of Jewish prophets, who she was named after, she embraced the value of dissent, using her prophetic voice to point out what she thought was incorrect about the majority opinions.

As in our current worship series on GOD, POLITICS, and the CHURCH, I won’t comment on the political battle over how and when her seat on the Supreme Court will be filled, but I have been thinking about the role of our justices, in their advocacy and dissent, as they function in the life of God’s people. We seem to have lost the ability to “agree to disagree” in a diplomatic way so you might ponder these questions with me:

– Is it possible to voice dissent without becoming disagreeable or discouraging? If so, how might dissenters present their positions in a constructive way that draws people to listen?

– Who has spoken words of dissent into your life? Who has been an advocate? How did they impact you?

–  How have you seen people of faith function effectively as dissenters? As advocates? How can voicing dissent further God’s work? How can advocacy build up the community of faith?

– How should Christians determine what issues are important enough to warrant dissent to popular opinions? Where can we find the courage to dissent when it seems as though everyone disagrees with us, and when dissent could cost us dearly?

The messenger who had gone to summon Micaiah said to him, “Look, the words of the prophets with one accord are favorable to the king; let your word be like the word of one of them, and speak favorably.” But Micaiah said, “As the Lord lives, whatever my God says, that I will speak.” … [Then Micaiah said to King Ahab,] “So you see, the LORD has put a lying spirit in the mouth of these your prophets; the LORD has decreed disaster for you.” 2 Chronicles 18:12-13, 22

CHILDREN’S CHURCH IS BACK! We’re so excited that Paige Baber is back to engage the kids in learning more about the love of Jesus Christ! In order to make enough SAFE SPACE, they will be meeting in the Family Life Center from 10:50 am until the sanctuary service ends.  Parents, please drop your children off the FLC at about 10:40 am and then scurry over to pick them up when the sanctuary service is over. We’ve explained to the children that IF IT’S OK WITH THEIR PARENTS, they can take their masks off when they are seated APART from others, but if they’re standing or walking around, they should keep their masks on. Paige is doing her student teaching at Winnsboro Elementary School this semester so she’s tuned into safety protocols – thank you Paige!

I also want to say a HUGE, GIGANTIC thank you to our wonderful volunteers who make ministry SAFE for our kids! Thank you, SANDRA STRICKLAND, DON BEATY, and ED PAGE who assist Paige, in this important ministry. We are a Ministry Safe certified church so all our adult volunteers are Ministry Safe trained and work in teams of two. Teamwork is so important so please thank them ALL!

CARTER BLOOD CARE COMING TO WINNSBORO, Tuesday, September 29, 7 a.m. ~ 1 p.m. ~ This Tuesday morning there is a blood drive in Winnsboro at USA Harness on Coke Road. Our blood banks are exceptionally low and with surgeries starting up again Carter Blood Care really needs our help. You can go to https://www.carterbloodcare.org/donate-blood/

SUNDAY HAPPY MOMENTS ~ Please, please, please take out your cameras and capture the HAPPY MOMENTS where you see God working in your life or things that make you SMILE! I would love to share everyone’s pictures of their grandbabies (mine would be first, haha!) but let’s look beyond. I’d like to see pictures of the kids back in CHILDREN’S CHURCH, or our Sunday schools doing something special, or YOU doing something to serve someone else or a special accomplishment of your children! I’d like to show a few on Sunday but I can put LOTS of Facebook so please send me your pictures!

I look forward to continuing our political conversation this Sunday and I’ll be talking about Isaiah who warns the people NOT to put their trust in other countries because they have the most chariots and horses who could protect them … they should only put their trust in GOD!  (Isaiah 30:1-8)

In Christ Alone,

Pastor Debbie


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9-18-20 FUMC Update

Fall is in the air, and I want to thank Julie and Elaina for our beautiful altarscapes and flowers that bring such an autumn spiritual JOY to the church! This is the beginning of my favorite season of the year, and I think I feel particularly joyful because I sense there is LIGHT at the end of the COVID tunnel! Numbers in our area continue to go down. We have not had a lot of cases within our schools, more people are feeling safe enough to get out, talk of a vaccine seems to be getting stronger. Ahhhh, let us continue to pray for the light to get brighter and brighter!

What a nice problem we have trying to figure out where groups can meet who want to return! Because of social distancing, we have to allow six feet of space between families, so I can’t THANK everyone enough for being flexible! Coffee and Conversation has moved rooms, Family Ties has moved rooms. And now, in order to accommodate all our kids who have committed to coming back, Families Ties will be moving again so the kids can come back for Children’s Church in the FLC and Pot Luck can return to Asbury. Whew, thanks to Danny Moss for being diligent with our occupancy numbers (see attached) and THANKS TO EVERYONE for being flexible during this crazy time!

WELCOME BACK POT LUCK and CHILDREN’S CHURCH! We’re so excited to see things safely and slowly taking steps forward! Thanks to everyone as we continue to reopen a little bit at a time. Remember to always wear a mask if you’re walking around (you can take it off when seated) and disinfect your hands coming and going. Class leaders (or volunteers) will always disinfect the surfaces and chair handles as they leave their respective rooms. Attached are the updated reopening plans – please look them over!

Pot Luck Class returns to Asbury Hall this Sunday 

Children’s Church returns this Sunday to the Family Life Center! Children’s Church will be a bit different this Sunday. Kids in 2nd through 6th grades will NOT come to the sanctuary. Parents, please take them to the FAMILY LIFE CENTER at 10:40. (Please don’t come too early or Paige may not be ready!) Paige and another adult will meet you there so you have plenty of time to get back to the sanctuary for church at 10:50. At the end of the church, the balcony will be dismissed first so please leave promptly to get your kids so you can hear all about their exciting worship time together!

2020 ALL CHURCH CHARGE CONFERENCE, Wednesday, November 9, 4-5 p.m. ~ Every fall we gather as a church to review the past year and look forward to the new year ahead. This year, as in so many other things that are different because of COVID, our conference will be different. It will be on ZOOM. Don’t worry, it’s not as hard as you think! If you have not experienced a Zoom meeting or webinar yet, there are “HOW TO” videos and instruction documents available at https://ntcumc.org/annual-conference-2020/resources.  I encourage everyone to review these so you can join us!

This Sunday we begin a new worship on series on GOD, POLITICS, and the CHURCH. Don’t worry, there will be NO political endorsements, but I will ask the question: Where IS God in your politics?

Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people whom he has chosen as his heritage!  Psalm 33:12

GRACE and PEACE,

Pastor Debbie


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