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FUMC Updates 11-28-22

Thanks to those of you who came to the first Advent study this morning!  I have truly been inspired by the study of ANGELS AMONG US and the input from those of you who came today was so refreshing!  Our Tuesday morning conversations (10 am in Asbury) will continue through December 20th so please carve out some time to spend with us … it’s great getting to know each other and I love hearing your stories!

AND THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO HELPED WITH THE ADVENT FAMILY KICK-OFF!  Sunday afternoon was a lot of fun for the kids AND the adults … the crafts were spot on to the Advent message of hope and waiting, and the movie was typical of Tim Allen as Santa Claus!  Thanks to Heather, Nicco and Brenton, and all the volunteers for working hard to make it such a great afternoon!

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Last Sunday we talked about the FEAR which seems to be a common response from all the characters in the Christmas story when they are approached by  angels. Zechariah was a priest who had all the faith in the world and even HE had a hard time believing an angel had come to answer his prayers! (Watch it here.) Are you ready to pay attention to the messengers God sends to you

This Sunday, we’ll continue to see the Angel Gabriel hard at work as he delivers another shocking message to Mary, a virgin. When she learns that she will give birth to the long-awaited Messiah, she is perplexed: But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God.” Luke 1:30 

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Then, next Tuesday morning we’ll go much deeper into the story and the role angels play in our lives today. 

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ADVENT GIVING TREES will benefit the CHILDREN’S ADVOCACY CENTER … it was so heartwarming to already see some checks and money clipped to the lobby giving trees.  Sadly, child abuse and neglect are common: at least 1 in 7 children have experienced child abuse or neglect in the past year in the United States. This is likely an underestimate because many cases are unreported. Because of the stress poverty causes on families, rates of child abuse and neglect are 5 times higher for children in families with low socioeconomic status, and in our community, we have more families living in poverty than the State of Texas average. Prayerfully consider YOUR above-and-beyond giving for children in absolutely unimaginable situations. There will be a giving tree in the CHOIR hall and one in the FRONT lobby through December.

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PLANNING 
AHEAD

Who might YOU invite this year?

Candlelight Christmas Eve Service: Saturday, 12/24, 5 pm

Christmas Morning Service: Sunday, 12/25, 10:50 am, kids can come in their jammies!

WEDNESDAY FELLOWSHIP MEAL: I hope to see you all at dinner Wednesday night – the kitchen crew is making beef stew and I’m sure it was be DELICIOUS!  Bring someone you know who will appreciate a great home-cooked meal and relaxing time with NEW friends!

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May your heart be filled with HOPE,

Debbie


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HAPPY THANKSGIVING WEEK!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING WEEK!  I pray you all have a wonderful week with family and friends, and I hope you find ways to carry on our Sunday message (watch on Facebook anytime) to make your thanksgiving more than just a day, but an attitude of gratitude every day of the year!

ADVENT BEGINS THIS SUNDAY: Thanks so much to everyone who stayed to help get the sanctuary ready for ADVENT which begins this Sunday in preparation for the birth of Jesus. Elaina and Julie are working hard on the altarscapes for the Christmas season and all this work is to enhance the worship experience as we await the birth of the Christ child.

The word Advent means “coming” or “arrival” and refers to the first time Jesus came, more than 2000 years ago.  But it also looks forward to the Second Advent when Jesus will come again. In this “double focus” on past and future, we live “between the times” where, as God’s people, we have been commissioned to “love the Lord your God with all your heart” and to “love your neighbor as yourself”.

Yesterday, we decorated the church with evergreen wreaths, garlands, and our beautiful tree that symbolizes the new and everlasting life brought by Jesus.  This Sunday, we’ll light the first candle of the Advent Wreath which also has significant meaning: the circle of the wreath reminds us of God Himself, His eternity and endless mercy, which has no beginning or end; the green of the wreath speaks of the hope that we have in God, the hope of newness, of renewal, of eternal life.

The Advent wreath candles symbolize the light of God coming into the world through the birth of His son. The four outer candles represent the period of waiting during the four Sundays of Advent, which themselves symbolize the four centuries of waiting between the prophet Malachi and the birth of Christ. Sometimes, the candles are purple, usually associated with the color of suffering and mourning, and penitence as used during Lent and Holy Week. We use the color BLUE because Advent is about anticipation, characterized by the 4 candles of hope, peace, joy, and love.

The center candle of the Advent Wreath reminds us that Christ was born fully human and fully divine, and HE is the heart of the season. The Christ Candle is traditionally lit on Christmas Eve for when Jesus was born the light of the world came into the darkness of our lives to bring newness, life, and hope. It also reminds us that we are called to be a light to the world as we should reflect the light of God’s grace to others (Isa 42:6).

Our new worship series, THE MESSENGERS of CHRISTMAS will focus on the angels who brought a simple message … DO NOT BE AFRAID. As the candles are lit over these next four weeks, the darkness of fear and hopelessness recede and the shadows of sin fall away as more and more light is shed into the world! The flame of each new candle says something is happening, and that more is yet to come … so get ready!

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel!

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Sunday, November 27, 2 – 4 PM, all church FAMILY Christmas Kick-Off! For the kid in all of us, Heather is planning to help start the first Sunday of Advent with cookie decorating, making Christmas crafts, and the premier of the Tim Allen Santa Claus 4 series! You can COME AND GO or stay and watch as much of the movie as you want! Everyone is welcome!

 

ADVENT STUDY STARTS TUESDAY MORNINGS, November 29, 10-11 am… as I was preparing our sermon series on the angels who delivered the birth messages to Zechariah, Joseph, Mary, and the Shepherds, I realized that Sunday mornings don’t give us nearly enough time to REALLY get into the role angels played in this remarkable Christmas story. And, we don’t get to talk about some of these amazing ANGELS! So, starting next Tuesday morning, 11/29 come join me as we talk about the scripture and dive much deeper into how it’s relevant to us today in the 4 weeks to come.

MEALS on WHEELS, a rewarding and easy way to serve … once every two months, members of our church drive over to Pine Street Baptist and pick up prepared meals to deliver to elderly people who depend on us for regular and healthy meals. For less than 1 hour every 2 months, we get to do something so simple and so rewarding and you can help, too!  You can work by yourself or work with a partner but please answer Christ’s call and call our coordinator, PAT ST. MIKLOSSY, 903-850-5131… “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” MA. 25:39-40

Our church buildings are closed and there will be no scheduled events this Thanksgiving week.

Knitters & Stitchers will return Monday, 11/28, 1-3 PM

Wednesday Night Fellowship Meal will return 11/30, 6 -7 PM

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

May the blessings of Thanksgiving be yours!

Pastor Debbie


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