Reaching beyond our church walls
for those seeking a place to belong.
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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10:50 a.m.

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3-22-21 FUMC Update

How great to see more and more people coming back to church and hear that more and more people have had their vaccines!! You have no idea how bizarre it was to worship in an empty sanctuary for so much of the last year and to see you all coming back is incredible!

Thank you for being so cooperative about the TORNADO DRILL we had after church – DANNY MOSS YOU ROCK!  I have attached a map of the evacuation plan (CLICK HERE) so you will know where to go IF there is ever a weather emergency. Please look to see where you sit and know where to go – balcony folks will go to stairwells and main floor folks will go to the choir room/bathrooms in choir hall.

Yesterday we began the transition to HOLY WEEK as we talked about Mark Chapter 12 … since then, I’ve been thinking a lot about the resurrection, heaven, and what we imagine the afterlife will be (Mark 12:18-27), but EASTER is just days away so death and resurrection is probably on your minds too!  I was really intrigued when I read a story about Timothy Keller, a well-known pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York, who wrote a book called, On Death … it is a book of hope based on hundreds of hospice counseling experiences he had.

But last year, amid the Covid pandemic, Keller learned he has pancreatic cancer. Recently he wrote an essay in The Atlantic about having to confront his own death and he wrote: “I spent a few harrowing minutes looking online at the dire survival statistics for pancreatic cancer and caught a glimpse of On Death on a table nearby. I didn’t dare open it to read what I’d written.”  If you’d like to read the rest of this devotional, CLICK HERE.

2nD VACCINE CLINIC THIS THURSDAY, MARCH 25TH, 8 am – 1 pm … Christus Mother Francis Hospital Winnsboro is coming back this week (for ages 50+) and while I don’t know if there are any appointments available, if you want to make an appointment, CALL Diane Bottoms at Christus Mother Francis Hospital DIRECTLY and she will call you back .. 903-342-3960. If no answer, leave a message and she will return calls in the order they were received.

PLEASE HELP US show our community the HOSPITALITY in our hearts to serve others! CLICK HERE to see 1-hour time slots available … to welcome people as they come and go, pick up lunch for the 12 Christus employees (or perhaps, if you’d like to donate lunch for 12, reply to this email please.)  Thanks to Shiela Haynes and Sue Gross who will be overseeing the Hospitality Project!

FAMILY ACCESSIBLE RESTROOM COMPLETE!  If you missed church yesterday (you can watch it on Facebook or YouTube) I am very, very happy to announce that our handicap and family accessible bathroom is now finished and open to the public! So many generous, generous people made this important project possible … now, families have a bathroom to take their children and people on walkers or in wheelchairs can come to our church knowing we CARE!  Again, God knows who made this possible and He is smiling!

EASTER IS 2 WEEKS AWAY … April 4th!  We’re so excited that the most important week of the Christian year is almost here!  Palm Sunday starts HOLY WEEK and I do hope you will engage fully, in person or on Facebook LIVE, in these special worship services. See the website for details!  KIDS … please meet in the lobby of the sanctuary this Sunday, 9/28 at 10:45 am … you’ll kick off Palm Sunday for us!

I am blessed to be on this sacred journey to the cross with you!
Pastor Debbie


3-19-21 FUMC Update – Vaccines here at our FLC next Thursday 3/25, 8 am -noon

Thursday, March 25th, 8 a.m. to noon
For those 50 or older … email ASAP   Diane.Bottoms@CHRISTUSHealth.org 
To request an appointment for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine send an EMAIL and include birth date, phone number, and full name ASAP … appointments go very quickly!  Diane, from the hospital, will email you back with a time but be patient … she does not work over the weekend but will respond to emails first come, first served! 
Vaccines will be given in the First United Methodist Church Family Life Center (behind the church), 301 Church Street at Elm. (The church can not help with making appointments – please email diane.bottoms@christushealth.org)
Let us continue to pray that covid-19 can be eliminated!
Pastor Debbie


3-15-21 FUMC Updates

I am excited to share a brief devotional with you from one of our new Church Council members, someone you all know well from his role in our worship on Sundays AND his familiar voice on East Texas Radio stations … THANK YOU CLINT COOPER!  He writes:

Beware of the Ides of March. A soothsayer need not tell us this for March 15. Despite Julius Caesar’s death in 44 B.C., danger or change occurs daily in our lives. Also, on this date, Germany occupied Czechoslovakia in 1939. A deadly blizzard hit the Great Plains in 1941. Over 73 inches of rain fell over the Indian Ocean island of La Reunion. A generation mourned over CBS canceling Ed Sullivan in 1971. In 1988, NASA reported that the ozone layer over the Northern Hemisphere is depleting three times faster than predicted, and last year the World Health Organization issued a global health alert. Exodus 27:30 says God organizes and always has a plan. God has a plan for our lives. Our goal should be to seek out, know and execute that plan for the best results in life. He is more than willing to share it with us if we humble ourselves and ask.


I’m so glad many of you were able to get signed up for the COVID vaccines this Thursday and Friday – as expected, all the appointments HAVE BEEN FILLED!

VOLUNTEERS STILL NEEDED FOR THURSDAY 3/18 & FRIDAY 3/19: many thanks to all the people who always sign up to help for anything we need but we still need YOUR help too!  We will gather to move tables around on WEDNESDAY at 4 pm and it shouldn’t take long … but I still need some friendly greeters to welcome people, “squirt” hands, and pass out water bottles when they leave.  Please take ONE HOUR to help us serve our community:

THURSDAY … 10 -11, 11-12, and 12 – 1

FRIDAY … 8-9, 9-10, 11-12 and 12 – 1

THE CARTER BLOODMOBLE IS COMING TO WINNSBORO: Thursday, April 8th … COVID has put an incredible strain on the blood supply so please make an appointment to donate …https://www.carterbloodcare.org/


3/28   10:50 am… Palm Sunday, kids will meet in the lobby at 10:45

4/1   6:30 pm … Holy Thursday, sanctuary, we’ll have a somber and sacred service to remember Jesus’ last supper, his agony on the garden of Gethsemane, and his arrest. If you’ll be watching from home, please have your elements ready to join us for communion.

4/4    6:50 am … Easter Sunrise, will be outdoors at the Ragsdale’s Home (270 CR 4228, Winnsboro) We will need some volunteers to help get some tables and chairs over there so stay tuned for details.

4/4    10:50 am … Traditional Easter, we’re very excited that we’ll have Adler and Hearn with us to help us celebrate here in the sanctuary! 

SEXUAL MISCONDUCT: The North Texas Conference UMC has asked us to remind everyone that we take sexual misconduct seriously and have policies in place to address clergy misconduct and congregant misconduct. The Policy on Sexual Misconduct regarding Education Within the Conference Relating to Sexual Misconduct for your personal reference www.ntcumc.org/Sexual_Ethics_Policy_9-2019.pdf . Should you have any questions, you may contact the CART team director Rev. Liz Greenwell at greenwell@ntcumc.org .

THIS SUNDAY, March 21, it’s the BEGINNING OF THE END, or as JoNell Newman reminded me, it’s the BEGINNING of the BEGINNING!  Jesus is going to Jerusalem and He is busy, busy, busy! Read Chapter 12 this week!

Blessings to all!
Pastor Debbie


3-12-21 FUMC Update: COVID VACCINES and our chance to show HOSPITALITY

Are you 65 or older? 
Email Diane.Bottoms@CHRISTUSHealth.org ASAP and request an appointment for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to be given in our Family Life Center next Thursday, March 18th, 9 a.m. to noon, or Friday, March 19th, 9 a.m. to noon. Include your birth date and a phone number where you can be reached along with your full name. Diane will email you back with a time but be patient … she does not work over the weekend but will respond to emails first come, first served. Let us continue to pray that covid-19 can be eliminated!
–  We will need a few people on Wednesday afternoon to move tables and chairs around … please reply by email if you are available between 4-6 PM (I’ll confirm a specific time based on the responses) 
–  I would like to have 1-2 people greeting people OUTSIDE (or in the lobby if the weather is bad) of the FLC welcoming people and offering a water bottle as they leave, from 8:45 to 12:30 on Thursday and Friday morning … you can come for an hour!  I will open the sanctuary so if anyone wants to stop and pray for a few minutes when they leave they will be welcome.
–  We will buy lunch for the 11 Christus volunteers – could you pick up from someplace in town and deliver it on Thursday or Friday?  (We will pay for it in advance)
– Would you be willing to pic-up some “snacks”, maybe some grapes, granola bars, mini-candy bars, etc. for 11 people over 2 days? I will reimburse you. 
Please share this information with your friends who have not been vaccinated!
Pastor Debbie


3-8-21 FUMC Updates

My family had a silly rhyme when I was growing up …

“Spring has sprung, the grass has ris’,
where then are the flowers is?”

After our severe ice storms a few weeks ago, I was wondering if our flowers would bloom this year, but God’s creation is resilient! I have already seen wild daffodils blooming all over the sides of our country roads, and how is it that dandelions have no trouble coming up?  To everything there is a season, and can you feel the spring fever in the air?

As people began coming into the church on Sunday, I looked at the few socially distanced choir folks and exclaimed that I could FEEL the energy growing! It was so darn GREAT to see so many of you again!  As I mentioned, before we release COVID restrictions, we were waiting for the CDC guidelines to come out with safety protocols for those who have been fully vaccinated, and we now have them … CLICK HERE. You will see some changes, slowly over the next few weeks, but again, please be patient as it appears most of our safety measures will still be necessary for a little while longer.

HAVE YOU WATCHED AN ONLINE SERVICE LATELY? Yes, we can’t wait for people to come back but there will always be people, especially VISITORS, who want to “check us out” before they come and/or they live too far away to come in-person! Ken and Kade have worked hard on the broadcast so please watch it … listen to the sound quality and the music … let us know what is working and what isn’t! CLICK HERE for this past Sunday’s message.

SPRING FORWARD/FALL BACK: don’t forget to set your clocks FORWARD on Saturday night before you go to bed … the days are getting longer!

CHURCH COUNCIL MEMBERS WILL BE COMMISSIONED SUNDAY: I want you to know what an amazing group of leaders we have in our church!  On Saturday we had an exciting KICK-OFF to start planning what church will look like in a post-pandemic world.  We all understand 2 things:  Jesus is the “Captain of our ship”, and our mission is clear: TO MAKE DISCIPLES FOR JESUS CHRIST.  This Sunday we will officially commission these amazing, faithful servants into their roles on the Church Council … please pray for us all as we work to do the exciting work of sharing God’s love with those who do not know His love!

Joanna Horton, Chair
Danny Moss, Trustee Chair
JaneAnne Newton, Finance Co-Chair
Mary Tom McLemore, Finance Co-Chair
Cyndie Ewert, Staff Parish Relations Chair
Ted Haynes, Lay Leader
Ken Ragsdale
Sandra Strickland
Clint Cooper*
Sue Gross*
Joe Chandler*
Kade Martin*
Judy Beaty*

                      *Starting new terms

THANKS TO THOSE WHO TOOK THE CORE VALUES SURVEY: attached results CLICK HERE, although I was disappointed that only 9 congregation members shared their thoughts, the Church Council was well represented (in blue).  We will be focusing to grow our top 6 ASPIRATIONAL categories which just happen to line-up beautifully with our mission, to MAKE DISCIPLES! (I love it when He affirms that we’re on the right track!) Please call if you have questions!

CRAFTERS MEET THIS TUESDAY, 9 am, Asbury … CRAFTERS are excited about starting to gather again on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays at 9 am. We’re getting ready for Christmas in the Park, a great fundraiser for the church so won’t YOU please consider joining them?  Or, you could start making some good quality, affordable, “Etsy” saleable crafts (you crafters know all about Etsy, right?) at home! Remember …what we put out to sell reflects who we are so let’s be thoughtful and creative! 

UNITED METHODIST WOMEN: Thursday, March 11, 10 am, Asbury Hall … if you’re looking for fellowship with a heart for mission, join UMW this week! Sandra Patrick will give a presentation on women who have been influential in the UMW.  All are welcome!

PLEASE CONSIDER GIVING BLOOD: Thursday, April 8, 10 am -3 pm, we’re partnering again with First Baptist to bring TWO bloodmobiles to Winnsboro … they do FREE Covid-Antigen testing when you give blood so make an appointment today!


  • 3/28 PALM SUNDAY, 10:50 am … children will meet in the lobby at 10:45 to carry the palm branches through the church.
  •  4/1 HOLY THURSDAY, 6:30 pm … join us in the sanctuary to remember the Last Supper.
  • 4/4 EASTER SUNRISE SERVICE, 6:50 am … at the Ragsdale’s, 270 CR 4228
      • TRADITIONAL SERVICE, 10:50 am … in the sanctuary, Adler & Hearn will help us celebrate.

THIS SUNDAY we move into a critical turning point in Mark’s Gospel as we now begin the journey from Galilee to Jerusalem.  Chapters 8, 9 and 10 make up the structural center of this gospel and as we begin the journey to Jerusalem, Jesus predicts His death.

And just a reminder, we’re so excited to see people coming back but please be flexible where you sit because half of the pews are still closed so you may not be able to sit where you used to sit.  But I’d love to see more of you upfront with me!  KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN FOR GUESTS, TOO! 

If I don’t “see” you on ZOOM this Wednesday, I’ll see (or “see”) you Sunday!

In Christ Alone,
Pastor Debbie