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All are welcome at FUMC so dive on in! We are a warm and welcoming congregation where you can meet people, celebrate life, grow deeper and 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! 
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5-12-21 FUMC Updates with exciting info for KIDS

This Sunday is PENTECOST Sunday, the day the Holy Spirit descended to be with us, just as Jesus promised!  Within Christianity, The Holy Spirit is one of the theological concepts that is most difficult to understand, maybe because we like facts, tangible things, evidence of existence. I truly enjoyed the description of the Holy Spirit in the popular book, The Shack where early in the story, the main character describes the Holy Spirit by saying: “My eyes had to work to see her at all… I knew all of this as more an impression of her than from actually seeing her, as she seemed to phase in and out of his vision.”

I’ve got to admit, that’s often how I feel about the Holy Spirit … a little like hands trying to grasp hold of water as it comes out of the faucet, I feel the Holy Spirit slips through my fingers if I’m not INTENTIONAL! I am MESMERIZED by the fact that this Spirit is one and the same as God, is one and the same as Jesus and it’s baffling! So, for the next few weeks, we’ll be talking about the Holy Spirit … what the Spirit does, and how we can be INTENTIONAL about our earthly relationship with Him (or Her?!)

If you have not taken the Spiritual Gifts analysis on our website, we’ll be talking about our Spirit-given gifts in 2 weeks but I think it will help you now … CLICK HERE … it’s a short questionnaire that you should answer without analyzing, but answering honestly, as if you’re all alone with God and only HE sees you!

SOME EXCITING THINGS HAPPENING FOR KIDS: I am trusting that the Holy Spirit will empower US so we will empower OTHERS to know the love of Christ and those OTHERS must start with our kids!  PLEASE START PRAYING NOW as we begin our summer program!

          THIS SUNDAY, 5/16, AFTER CHURCH in WESLEY HALL … I’m inviting everyone who wants to know more to stay for a quick 30-minute gathering in WESLEY HALL after church on Sunday … we’ll provide snacks to tide you over before lunch, and we’ll give more information and will answer all your questions!  Coming to the meeting does not commit you to anything other than to PRAY that God will empower us to BLESS OUR CHILDREN so please come!

          Children’s Church starts back Sunday, June 13th, 10:50 am … Paige will be back to restart the learning hour for kids K-6 until we find a new Children’s Director (20 hours week), but we need your help please!  We need adults to be a PLUS-ONE presence to support Paige in her teaching and crafts. We will send you a Ministry Safe training link so you will be part of our safe sanctuary policies (you’ll watch 4 short videos) and, we need 3-4 people to volunteer 1 Sunday a month.  Just say, “I’ll do it!  This is my church!” and reply to this email today!

          SUMMER PARENTS NIGHT OUT, Fridays, June 4, July 9 & August 6, 6 – 9 PM … in order to meet some new families in our community, I am thrilled we’ll be offering a series of 3 Parent Night Outs this summer, a BLAST for the kids and a BREAK for the parents!  Working alongside Joe & Crystal Chandler and Joey & Rita Newton, we are planning a light dinner, games, maybe a craft, a movie … and yes, this will require lots of people to help!  IT’S JUST ONE NIGHT A MONTH and you might be interested in:

  • researching costs of bounce houses
  • shopping for snacks and food
  • cooking hot dogs and getting food ready (we’ll serve hot dogs, chips & cookies – simple!)
  • getting a craft ready and helping the kids make something
  • overseeing a game
  • being a chaperone

COME SUNDAY and find out more or reply to this email and let me know you can be part of this movement FORWARD!

          PRAY THAT GOD LEADS US TO A NEW CHILDREN’S DIRECTOR, 20 HOURS/WEEK … we are looking for an energetic, creative Children’s Director who will teach our kids, attend their games or special events & get to know the parents, and organize fun events!  If you know anyone, please have them contact me as we’ll be starting our search very soon!

BIBLE TALK, Wednesday, 5/12, 10 am – 11:15 am, Wesley Hall … this week we’ll unpack JAMES 1 and explore why faith matters, especially in difficult circumstances.

UNITED METHODIST WOMEN QUIET DAY: Thursday, May 13th, 11:00 am, Asbury Hall … bring your Bible and a sack lunch for this special day of prayer and reflection.  All are welcome!

Last week I asked everyone to be aware of things that need to be done for our church and if you SEE SOMETHING – DO SOMETHING … many thanks to the person who washed the parking signs in at our grass parking lot in front of the Baptist Church and to the person who is now keeping track of all our songs and music for our licensing!  GOD IS SMILING!!  Here are some other opportunities for YOU to be the church:

         2nd DOSE VACCINE CLINICS FINISHING UP: May 14th and May 19th, Family Life Center … anyone that had a MODERNA vaccine a few weeks ago will be returning for their 2nd shot this Friday or next Wednesday and we’d like YOUR help!  Many thanks to those who have already signed up … we need one greeter from 1-2:30 PM this Friday and there are lots of spots on Wednesday, May 19th. We also need some people to bring snacks, i.e., small packs of cookies, nuts, mini-candy bars, crackers, etc. for 12-15 people … nothing fancy! You can drop them in the red bin by the office anytime before Friday.  SIGN UP HERE.

         WISD GRADUATION PROJECT: Saturday, May 29th at the Stadium, handing out water bottles to the families as they arrive … this is a GREAT project for the young kids too!  Contact Ken Ragsdale HERE and say, “I’ll do it!”

I hope to see you all this Sunday … ADLER AND HEARNE will be back with their incredibly special worship to help us celebrate the HOLY SPIRIT!

In Christ Alone,
Pastor Debbie


5-3-21 FUMC Updates

This past Sunday Mary White said, “I’ll do it! This is my church!” and she played beautiful music for us in worship with Shannon Monk and Geoff Sharp!  This response to things that need to be done in the church has been resonating with me for a few weeks now and as I look around at all our beautiful buildings, and all the exciting opportunities we will have to make disciples for Jesus Christ, I know we will all need to claim something that we can do for God’s church!

I want to thank the generous people who have volunteered to take care of the fluorescent bulbs AND who will be power washing the buildings in the next few weeks … WE ARE GRATEFUL TO YOU!  It doesn’t take much to do SOMETHING, for example …

… if you park in the grass lot in front of the Baptist church, bring a few wet paper towels this Sunday and wash down the signs that say First UMC Parking that are so dirty you can’t read them.

… if you see weeds n the flower beds, or between the concrete, pull them!

… can you do simple work with Excel?  We have a license to play music online, but we need to report the songs that are not part of the public domain … can you help me?

Sometimes what seem like insignificant tasks have impact on people you would never imagine!  And this is what drew me to a recent article about a woman named Frances Angermayer.  One hot June night in 1943, worried about the war, Frances couldn’t sleep because she was praying for her stepbrother Glenn who was stationed in the South Pacific. After tossing & turning, she got out of bed and sat down in front of her typewriter thinking about how soldiers facing death would feel, especially if they didn’t know God. 

She said: “I placed myself in such a situation, and the words of ‘Conversion’ came to me” and 20 minutes later, the first draft of “A Soldier’s Conversion” was on paper. It was about a soldier’s encounter with God on the eve of battle, and here is a portion of what she wrote …

Look, God, I have never spoken to You —
But now — I want to say, “How do You do.”
You see, God, they told me You didn’t exist —
And like a fool — I believed all of this.
Last night from a shell hole I saw Your sky —
I figured right then they had told me a lie. …
Funny — I had to come to this hellish place,
Before I had the time to see Your face. … 
I guess the “zero hour” will soon be here,
But I’m not afraid since I know You’re near. … 
Well, I will have to go now, God — good-by!
Strange — since I met You — I’m not afraid to die.


WE’RE MAKING FEWER ANNOUNCEMENTS IN CHURCH: As you know, we have lots of ways to communicate and we are going to use LESS time in the few sacred moments we have in worship for announcements because you can find information in LOTS of places!  The ongoing weekly events you can find on the calendar but we will announce new or SPECIAL events.  Please like, share, and comment on our posts so YOUR friends see what’s going on here … we want to meet LOTS of new people and your posts can help spread the word!  All of our social media accounts are easy to find!

–          Weekly Email (also on the home page of the website … https://www.fumcwinnsboro.com/)

–           Calendar …https://www.fumcwinnsboro.com/calendar-of-events/

–           Facebook …https://www.facebook.com/FUMCWinnsboro

–          Instagram … https://www.instagram.com/firstmethodistwinnsboro/

–          Twitter … https://twitter.com/FumcWinnsboro

BIBLE TALK, Wednesday, May 5th, 10 am – 11:30, Wesley Hall or on ZOOM … this week we’re digging into the Spirit-filled text of Galatians 5 and asking the question, Can God Change Our Character?  If you’re watching on ZOOM you can get the link on the website calendar

WEDNESDAY NIGHT FELLOWSHIP MEALS RESUME THIS WEEK, May 6, 6 PM … we hope to see everyone out for a fabulous homemade dinner of smothered pork chops, beans and rice!  Thanks to our kitchen crew, our dessert makers, and to all of YOU for your love offerings!

NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER, THURSDAY, May 6th, NOON – 1 pm at the Civic Center Auditorium … please come join me for one hour of prayer as the Pastors in the Ministerial Alliance gather to lead the community through individual prayer stations as well as communal prayer together.  (PRAYER GUIDE CLICK HERE)

THE KNITTERS, CROCHETERS & STITCHERS ARE BACK!  Every Monday, 1-3 PM, Family Life Center … looking for a place to knit, stitch and talk at the same time?  Come be part of the fellowship and bring your projects with you! Contact Sarah Hays if you have questions!

CRAFTERS meet Every Tuesday, 9 am, Asbury Hall … Christmas in the Park comes in November so start working on your crafts at home or come for the fellowship!  Contact Carla Chitsey if you have questions.

THIS SUNDAY IS MOTHER’S DAY – I look forward to seeing lots of our families together and if you’re traveling, I wish you safe and joyful travels!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Pastor Debbie


Over the years, the poem found its way into magazines, sermon illustrations, radio broadcasts, newspaper columns, including The New York Times and the Hebrew Chronicle, and even the Congress of the United States, often without attribution or remuneration, under various titles, such as “Poem Echo in Foxhole.” The poem made its way into the hands and hearts, pockets, barracks, and foxholes of an estimated 6 million soldiers in Africa, Asia, the South Pacific, the Aleutian Islands, and Europe. It was translated into several languages and became known as “the poem heard ’round the world.” 

On D-Day, June 6, 1944, a Catholic chaplain found 30 copies on the bodies of the injured and the dead on the beaches of Normandy. It was even found in Buchenwald, the Nazi concentration camp, and on the body of a dead Nazi soldier in northeastern France. One soldier at the Battle of the Bulge wrote: “I came across your poem just today. By tonight it had found its way to every man within the company — and left its mark. Men have died near me, men will die in the future, perhaps myself — but I know this, the thought you have left with us will last beyond whatever may come in the future.”

“Even now,” the poet reflected 13 years later, “it is impossible for me to believe I wrote a poem that meant so much to so many.”

Have you considered how it’s sometimes such LITTLE things that you can do that make a difference?

Consider the seven men who were appointed to assist with fair distribution of food in the early church. The 12 apostles were spending their time praying and preaching the word of God, but they knew how important it was to Jesus to care for the needs of those around them. After all, they had served the hungry before (5,000 in one case and 4,000 in another, plus women and children, (MT 14:13-21,15:32-38). So, they encouraged others to get involved:

What [the Twelve] said pleased the whole community, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, together with Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch. They had these men stand before the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them. The word of God continued to spread; the number of the disciples increased greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith. Acts 6:5-7.

Guess what happened? The seven chosen for this ministry proved to be more than fillers of food boxes and organizers of soup kitchens, by getting involved in serving, their service was CONTAGIOUS, and others began to serve also!  Guess what happened? The seven chosen for this ministry proved to be more than fillers of food boxes and organizers of soup kitchens, by getting involved in serving, their service was CONTAGIOUS, and others began to serve also! 

Frances Angermayer was a shy secretary in a physician’s office her entire working career and while she did her job faithfully, she would NEVER have become a public speaker for the Lord like Stephen or Phillip! Yet God used her simple writing to do amazing things!

Whatever little thing you can do please don’t underestimate the impact it can have on someone else! Someone new to our church who drives around looking for a place to park and then SEES the sign that says there’s parking right across from the front door of the church may find a home here at FUMC!  Someone else might see how beautiful our grounds are cared for and think, “Hmm, this is a church that takes care of their property!”, and helping your Pastor with something she’s not very good at like spreadsheets?  Well, let’s just say I know my gratitude in ALL these things will be contagious!

In his book, Buck Naked Faith: A Brutally Honest Look at Stunted Christianity, Eric Sandras suggests: “There’s a big difference between asking God to be a part of our story and our becoming a part of his. Ask Jesus to give you eyes to see something he is doing this week that you can be a part of. No matter how large or small it appears, commit to be obedient. You may have to step out of your routine.”


4-27-21 FUMC Updates … I’ll do it! This is MY church!

“I’ll DO IT!  This is my church!”

If you missed church on Sunday or had trouble watching on Facebook because the Friday night storm took out our Suddenlink connection, I want to repeat the story Clint told because it inspired me to inspire others to get plugged in.. Why? Because serving God brings us a wonderful kind of joy and reward:

Whatever you do, do it from the heart for the Lord and not for people. You know that you will receive an inheritance as a reward. You serve the Lord Christ. Colossians 3:23-24

Last week, when Bettye Gilbert was on her way to Bible Study she saw some people wandering around looking for the vaccine clinic … she immediately welcomed them, and rather than just pointing to where they should go, she said, “I’ll take you!”  Since Christus was only giving a few shots, we hadn’t scheduled volunteers so when Bettye got there she decided to stay and BE THE CHURCH.  I saw her when Bible study was over and thanked her, but she smiled and said, “Of course I was going to do this!  THIS IS MY CHURCH!  What a GREAT attitude – AND IT WAS TRUE! 

I have been praying and praying that God is going to REVIVE His post-pandemic church so we must be preparing to welcome new people and connect them to the ministries where they can feel they belong!  On Sunday, I introduced a new focus so YOU can feel the joy of saying, “I’LL DO IT!  This is my church!”

Each week we’ll outline opportunities for you to do something that needs to be done in God’s House to demonstrate our commitment to stewardship and aesthetic evangelism because, after all, people DO judge the book by the cover! What new people see when they come to our buildings matters so we hope EVERYONE will jump in and do something!

As we are beginning to open our building for outside groups like the WISD Softball & Baseball Banquets, it’s time for spring cleaning and some “hands-on” help. Here are 3 important projects we mentioned on Sunday and we’re inviting you to be part of a third:

  1. POWERWASH OUR BUILDINGS … the mossy looking green “stuff” on the brick is actually a salty formation that can damage the brick over time, not to mention looks very unkept, so just bring your own power washer or lend us one for someone else to use!
  2. POST OUR USED FLOURESCENT BULBS ON CRAIGSLIST OR FACEBOOK MARKET: we went to energy-efficient fluorescent lights in our buildings so we have 65 used bulbs that we want to sell for a MINIMAL amount. If you sell things online, this is a job for you!

Please contact Danny Moss and he’ll get you started on either of these projects!

  1. WE’RE COOKING AGAIN!  Our Wednesday night meals are starting back on the FIRST WEDNESDAYS of the MONTH this summer (the first one is May 5th, 6 PM) AND we’ve invited the Girls Softball Banquet (Monday, May 17, 6 PM) and the Boys Baseball Banquet (Saturday, May 22, 7 PM) to have their year-end banquets at our church too! Soooooo … would you like to help do some cooking? 

Contact Don Beaty to help with cooking on any of those 3 nights, or contact Bettye Gilbert to make a dessert for our 1st Wednesday night meals.

BIBLE TALK, Wednesdays, 10 am – 11:30 am, Wesley Hall: God’s Message For You … this week we’re unpacking one of the GREATEST chapters in the Bible, 1 Corinthians 13.  We’ll be together in person, and we will also be on ZOOM. (Get a sign-in link on our website calendar)

BOOK FAIR AND KATE’S PARK DEDICATION THIS SATURDAY, May 1: Katie Park, Michael and Judy’s daughter, went to heaven last July but her legacy is alive and well in Winnsboro! This Saturday the Winnsboro Center for the Arts is dedicating the BOOK FAIR to Katie who helped start the 1st book fair 3 years ago. Check out the schedule here. I am also honored to be doing the dedication for KATE’S PARK at 3:15 this Saturday and so many of you in this church have donated or will donate, to making this park happen … please come and support this family and see what your generosity has helped create! If you haven’t seen what a wonderful project this is, please check it out here.

WE NOW HAVE A TWITTER ACCOUNT:  Sarah has worked with Clint Cooper to get our newest social media account set up and it’s up and running here: https://twitter.com/FumcWinnsboro!  What is TWITTER? “Twitter is a service for friends, family, and coworkers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent messages. People post Tweets, which may contain photos, videos, links, and text. These messages are posted to your profile, sent to your followers, and are searchable on Twitter search. Learn more about how to use Twitter here.”  Please FOLLOW us just as you would follow us on Facebook for quick updates.

CRAFTERS ARE MEETING WEEKLY NOW:  Tuesdays, 9 AM … come for fellowship or start making your crafts at home for Christmas in the Park in November!

HIGH SCHOOL LOOKING FOR CHAPERONES to the PEROT MUSEUM: they are taking Freshmen on Thursday and Sophomores on Friday, May 6th and Friday, May 7th, and they are looking for some chaperones to ride with some teachers. They need about 20-25 volunteers EACH DAY with their new chaperone policy so each chaperone will be in charge of 5 kids!  Anyone interested in “being the church” can email: debbie.may@winnsboroisd.org

MARK YOUR CALENDARS: National Day of Prayer at the City Civic Center Thursday, May 6th, lunchtime … I’m excited to partner with other local pastors to bring a focus to the GREAT need for prayer in our nation, community, churches, and families and the theme this year is so very important … 2 Corinthians 3:17, Love, Life and Liberty!  Details will follow but I have attached the promotional poster (CLICK HERE) AND the prayer guide (CLICK HERE) … LET’S START PRAYING NOW!

I’d love to see you at BIBLE TALK tomorrow or this Sunday as we celebrate the ASCENSION!  Shannon Monk and our very own Mary White will be here to inspire our worship with music (just WAIT until you hear the anthem Mary will play for us!) … invite your friends!

Grace and peace,
Pastor Debbie


4-19-21 FUMC Updates

WOW, there was so much energy and JOY in church yesterday and once again, it was so good to see more and more of you BACK after not seeing you for 13 months!!  Your presence adds to what we all know, and that is this … CHRISTIANITY is STRONGER in COMMUNITY!

I want to thank Sandra Strickland for the devotional today – her timing is perfect in so many ways …


HAD GOD FORGOTTEN?  April 12, 2021
     For years I have made a habit of watching the pine trees begin to come back in the spring after the cold winter.  I had read a story of the pines putting forth a straight stem on the end of a branch a little before Easter.  Then just a few days before Easter, the single branch forms a cross.  It makes no difference the date for Easter of that year, the cross appears through the hand of God.

     Here in East Texas we had a very severe freeze in mid-February and many pines were killed by the below zero temperatures.  Several weeks later some of the dead pines began to come back to life, but many didn’t rejuvenate.  I began watching the pines days before Easter which was on April 4th this year.  Any time I wasn’t driving, I had my head in the air observing pines along the way!  Easter came and Easter went this year and I had not spotted one cross.  On Monday, April 12th, I circled through the parking lot of the hospital where one pine was always loaded with crosses at Easter.  The only difference this year was that it took a week and a day later for the pine due to the severe cold temperatures in mid-February.  When some never recovered, this one did and the crosses were making their appearance at last.

     Don’t give up on God.  He will not let us down.  His timetable is not always the same as ours, but He will always deliver when the time is right.

Pine Trees

VACCINE CLINICS CANCELLED THIS WEEK:  thanks to all of you who signed up to help with the clinics this week but Christus is moving the vaccines to larger metropolitan areas to get better signups.  We were able to be GOOD HOSTS for the entire Christus Winnsboro staff AND to the 575 people who got vaccines here. If they decide to come back, we would gladly host them again and I thank ALL of you who served!

BIBLE TALK WEDNESDAY, 10 AM, MOVING TO WESLEY HALL:  I hope you’ll come join me on these next 5 Wednesday mornings as we explore 5 important chapters from the New Testament on GOD’S MESSAGE FOR YOU.  This week, I suggest you read Romans 8 so when we go verse by verse through the text, your hearts will be familiar with the text!

WINNSBORO CANDIDATE FORUM: Thursday, April 22, 6 – 7:30 pm, Civic Auditorium … I am humbled to be the moderator for this question-and-answer time so YOU can get to know your candidates! Even if you don’t live in the City as a “voter”, if you eat, shop, or do business in Winnsboro please send your questions to the Winnsboro News at wnewseditor@outlook.com or, come and ask questions on Thursday night!

BLUE SUNDAY SPECIAL OFFERING, this SUNDAY 4/25, 10:50 am … if you drive by the church this week, or when you come to church this Sunday, you’ll notice lots of blue pinwheels in the ground all around the church. While you may sense they signal a festive atmosphere, they do not … the pinwheels are pinwheels of PREVENTION, designed to call attention to CHILD ABUSE AWARENESS Month.  Child abuse does not discriminate – NO child is immune! 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday. Here’s what’s scary – 98% of abused children know their abuser: a family member, coach, pastor, teacher, caregiver, or neighbor! Perpetrators are exceptionally good at grooming the child and the family and we all must play a part in taking our blinders off and seeing the signs. I am attaching more information here (CLICK HERE) because I will NOT go into the tragic details on Sunday, but this problem has become so severe due to the unemployment, illnesses, etc. from COVID-19 that if we can save ONE child from this heartbreak, we must!  Therefore, this Sunday, April 25 we will ask you to consider making a special gift, in addition to your regular giving, to the NORTHEAST TEXAS CHILD ADVOCACY CENTER. If it’s easier for you to do it online, our website will take donations also and you can do that now at the top of the page:  CLICK HERE if you want to make a special gift online. (NETCAC Needs List 1 and Needs List 2)


SATURDAY, MAY 1st … let’s help honor KATE PARK and be part of serving the community!

         9 am – 3 pm … The 3rd Annual Winnsboro Center for the Arts BOOK FESTIVAL will be held in honor of Kate Park who inspired the FIRST Festival just 3 years ago.  There will be book signings, author panels, and kids’ entertainment so plan to come, CLICK HERE for details.!  And why not volunteer an hour or two so people SEE our Church out in the community!  Sign up for a volunteer shift HERE.

         3:15 pm, Kate Park Memorial Park Dedication at the Gilbreath Memorial Library … I will be giving the invocation and opening prayer and I’d LOVE to look out and see LOTS of people from Michael and Judy’s church there to support them!  It will not be a long ceremony to please plan to come!

NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER: Thursday, May 6th I cannot think of a better time to be praying than NOW and while details are up in the air, we will probably have a “come and go” event at the Winnsboro Civic Center. There will be likely be individual prayer stations for family, schools, city, nation, etc. and I’ll get you the details as soon as I have them!  WOULD YOU LIKE A YARD SIGN?  They are only $8, and I would love to see these signs all over Winnsboro!!

WHEW, things are getting busy again and let’s rejoice and BE GLAD IN IT!!

Pastor Debbie