11-26-19 FUMC Update

HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!  As we end our season of ABUNDANCE and move into the season of CHRISTMAS, I want to thank everyone who sent pictures for our slideshows and I want to thank Art Simmons for filming and editing all of our “blessings” videos!  All the videos are on Facebook so scroll back to early November and see videos from Wanda Noe, Tracy Calvert, Don and Judy Beaty, Mike Ewert, John Hargus, Jim Dyson, Callen Lewis, Phoenix Galloway, Meredith Ewert, Ed Page, Bettye Gilbert, Amy Moss, and Penny Boice.  

Many thanks also, to everyone who helped decorate the sanctuary for Christmas. We have decked the halls and we’re ready to embrace the Child who changed the world! 
 
ADVENT GIVING TREES in DECEMBER ~ While we are sitting down to tables overflowing with food and wonderful Thanksgiving celebrations with our family and friends this week, let’s remember that right here in our own community are people struggling to feed their families. That’s why I’m very excited to announce that our 2019 Advent Mission will be the Winnsboro BackPack Food Program, a wonderful ministry to provide food for children who are at risk of going hungry on weekends and holidays.
 
WISD caring teachers and staff members identify children who are showing signs of hunger or malnutrition, and discreetly distribute a backpack of food for them to take home on weekends. The backpacks are filled with nutritious, easy-to-open food that does not require stove-top cooking. The backpacks are sent home on Fridays and empty backpacks are returned to and refilled for the following weekend.  This program is operated through the Winnsboro Community Resource Center, a 501c3 organization of the East Texas Food Bank. Donating money allows the Center to purchase the food they need at extreme discounts so please give generously through December by clipping your cash or checks, made out to FUMC, on the money trees in the lobbies.
 
COME MEET THE BACKPACK PROGRAM DIRECTOR, Heather Lopez
Wednesday, December 4, 5:45 PM after the Wednesday night meal (There is no meal November 28)
 
PRAYER IN THE SANCTUARY, Tuesdays at 9 a.m. ~  Come join us! There are prayer guides in the front pews or just come and sit and pray at YOUR leisure!
 
YOUR PHOTO PROOFS ARE IN THE SANCTUARY LOBBY ~ You can order any combination of 8 x 10 sheets (8 x 10’s, 5 x 7’s, wallets, etc.) so stop by the lobby after church and let Jim know what combinations you want for YOUR families!
 
CHRISTMAS BIBLE STUDY STARTS THIS WEDNESDAY MORNING, November 27, 9-10:30 am, Asbury ~ Advent is the Christmas season that begins four weeks before Christmas so because of the way the calendar is this year, we’ll begin early and end early on December 18.  This week we’ll be diving into the biblical scriptures surrounding MARY, the mother of the Savior, and the angels in the Christmas story.  Men and women, come join us!
 
SENIOR MINISTRY Special Events and Trips Planning, Monday, December 2, 10 a.m., at Annie Mae’s on Main Street ~ We’d love to see LOTS of people bring ideas and get involved so please come join us!  (The RV/Camping group will meet again on December 12 at 9:30 a.m., also at Annie Mae’s.)
 
IT’S NOT TOO LATE TO RETURN YOUR 2020 COMMITMENT CARD ~ Many thanks to all of you who returned your commitment cards on Sunday. I hope you found the discernment process refreshing as you planned how YOU want to grow in your faith in 2020. You can bring your cards on Sunday or mail them. They will remain UNOPENED and we will pray over them on Tuesday mornings through December.
 
WHY DONATING YOUR REQUIRED MINIMUM DISTRIBUTION MAY SAVE YOU MONEY ~ The Fidelity website explains: “If you are age 70½ or older, IRS rules require you to take required minimum distributions (RMDs) each year from your tax-deferred retirement accounts. This additional taxable income may push you into a higher tax bracket and may also reduce your eligibility for certain tax credits and deductions. To eliminate or reduce the impact of RMD income, charitably inclined investors may want to consider making a qualified charitable distribution.” The IRS requires you take this distribution, no exceptions, and I want to thank those of you who have already directed your distributions to be sent to your church.  GOD IS SMILING! CLICK HERE for details.
 
THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO HELPED “DECK THE HALLS” ~ So many wonderful people participated in getting the church ready for Christmas and my heart was FULL watching the organized chaos! The choir sang and readers read scripture and told stories, and we’re ready for the season to begin! Special thanks to Amy and Danny Moss and Penny Boice, and Julie Lewis and Elaina Ragsdale who went above and beyond!
 
It’s time to RECLAIM Christmas! This Sunday we begin our 4-week Advent worship series and we’ll be singing LOTS of Christmas music and exploring the beautiful Christmas stories, don’t miss a single Sunday!
 
Debbie Lyons, Pastor

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11-19-19 FUMC Updates

Every single week when I accept your financial gifts during the offering I lift them back to you, then I lift them toward the cross and I am always deeply convicted, personally, of how God must smile upon us! I lift them back to you in order to recognize your selfless giving and willingness to trust God and His promises, and when I then lay those gifts down for Him my words every week are similar. Thank you, Lord, for blessing this church and blessing Your people! Please multiply this offering and guide us to make disciples for Your Son, Jesus Christ

I am also deeply convicted, every single Sunday, when I see your faces in church knowing how complicated and difficult life is for some of you. I see the health challenges and illnesses some of you experience. I hear about your personal struggles with depression and anxiety. You share your stories with me about family conflict and financial struggles. Life experiences change us and change where our faith focus is during transition times! And sometimes, transition times become “new normals,” and God leads us in new disciplines and revised commitments. GOD UNDERSTANDS – I understand – we all understand that in some stages of life we give less and pray more – or we attend church more on Sundays but give up the Wednesday night meal – life changes. But I know, I KNOW, that God knows our hearts and our emotions and our desires and He is with us always!  

As you pray about your spiritual disciplines in the new year, talk to God, talk to your spouse or a good friend about how you want to grow in your faith in the coming months. Complete the card you received in the mail and bring it this Sunday, November 24, and leave it with God! No one will open those envelopes! They will, however, be prayed over on Tuesday mornings by anyone who joins us in the sanctuary at 9 a.m. through December, then they will be returned to you next November 2020.  

Thanks so much to those of you who already submitted your personal commitment cards this past Sunday after prayerfully considering how you want to grow in your faith in the new year. May you ALL be blessed on this spiritual journey and may God pour out His blessing in abundance upon you all!

WEDNESDAY NIGHT DINNER this week is at 5:45 as always ~ There is no other study this week. There will NOT BE DINNER NEXT WEDNESDAY, November 27, the night before Thanksgiving. To our kitchen team, including dessert makers and clean-up crew, we are soooooo grateful for YOU!  

Fa la la la la … la, la, la, la! Tis’ the season to be jolly …

ALL CHURCH LUNCH AND HANGING OF THE GREENS, this Sunday, November 24, 11:50 a.m. ~ Please stay for lunch after church this Sunday as we celebrate the closure of our season of abundance and the return of our commitment cards! We’ll have an informal SOUP BUFFET and many thanks to Danny McMahon, Amy Moss, and Mike Ewert who are making chili/soup and yes, I am making soup too! Then, after lunch, we’ll be heading to the sanctuary where we’ll DECK THE HALLS for Christmas which starts December 1! The choir will be helping us carol through the organized chaos of people working and singing and listening to some of the Advent texts and it’s a fun hour of wreath hanging and tree decorating that you don’t want to miss!

JOIN ME FOR FOR A CHRISTMAS BIBLE STUDY ~ Starting Wednesday morning, November 27, 9-10:30 a.m. through December 18, Wesley Hall ~ I’m very excited to dive deep into the key players of the Christmas message as we explore the historical, archaeological and spiritual parts of this epic story.  MEN AND WOMEN, neighbors and friends are ALL welcome! 

HEADS UP ~ Christmas Eve Service will be at 5 p.m. this year! After Christmas last year, I met with our three Sunday school classes and with the Church Council about the times of our late service, 10 p.m., and the low attendance we have experienced. With very little exception, everyone agreed an earlier service time was preferable! People said it would be easier for older people who don’t stay up that late OR drive that late, easier for young families who have kids that need to get ready for Santa coming, and overall easier for everyone who has dinner plans with their families on Christmas Eve and find it hard to go to church at 10 p.m. when traveling back home after dinner or who wanting to have the kids nestled snug in their beds and with mama in her kerchief and dad in his cap! We’re also hoping this will be a much better time for our choir to be here because while it IS one of the most important services for non-church goers of the year, they too have families and so many of them have not been able to come in the past! 

STAY TUNED FOR DETAILS ON OUR ADVENT MISSION TREES ~ We are blessed to live in a community with LOTS of amazing charitable organizations serving lots of people in our community thanks to lots of generous people who support them! Your Church Council is exploring those options now and we’ll let you know details in the next week. In the meantime, RICHIE’S is planning their wonderful Thanksgiving Benefit and for the last 10 years they choose families in Winnsboro who need a hand up. Everyone is invited for dinner, of course, (11am-2pm )but they’d also love donations BEFORE November 26:

– Turkeys and whole hams 

– Fresh yams and celery and eggs

– 12 oz. cans of pineapple

– ANY desserts

– Paper products: small dessert plates, salad bowls, 3-compartment styrofoam plates

PHOTO CLUB, Monday, November 25th 5pm ~ Thanks to Jim Dyson and the Photo Club who have been taking our directory pictures. We’ll be sending you “proofs” of your pictures so you can order them in time for Christmas…soon! Join the Photo Club on Monday night and be sure your holiday pictures are perfect.

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having abundance in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. 2 Cor. 9:8

Debbie Lyons, Pastor


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