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! 
Sunday Morning Worship

10:50 a.m.

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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


3-4-21 FUMC Gathering Updates

With the more spring-like temperatures upon us, and Easter now just 4 weeks away I’m sure we all have a sense of HOPE that God is making all things new!  COVID vaccines are up, cases are down and we can’t wait to be back in church together again!
While Governor Abbot has opened all businesses to 100% and removed the mask mandates, my parents had an expression … JUST BECAUSE YOU CAN, DOESN’T MEAN YOU SHOULD!  Yes, people have to be responsible for their own behaviors but we also have to be mindful to take care of each other!  Remember .. not everyone has had vaccines or has antibodies. 
We ALL want to get back to 100% as soon as we can and we will be considering how to start bringing things back incrementally – so please be patient.  We have already loosened the mask mandate so you only have to wear masks in and out of the buildings or when walking around and talking to people.  We will still disinfect hands and maintain social distancing but over the next few weeks we hope to see more and more things change.
Attached (CLICK HERE) is a letter from Bishop Mike McKee suggesting we not rush back to “normal”. He says”for the time being – continue doing what you have been doing as we all remain committed to “do no harm.” 
Please continue to PRAY, PRAY, PRAY that things get BETTER and BETTER and BETTER!
Pastor Debbie


3-1-21 FUMC Updates

This week Shiela Haynes told me she was struggling to keep up with her passion for photographing high school sports because both the boys AND the girl’s teams were moving forward AND … BASEBALL WAS STARTING!  Yikes!  Where is this year going!

This reminded me of an article I read about one of our GREAT baseball legends, Hank Aaron, who died on January 22 at age 86. He is remembered not only for record-setting achievements on the ballfield, but also for humility, kindness, perseverance, grace, and faith! Many described him as being “the salt of the earth”! Hhmmm, I wondered … the salt of the earth … who do I know that I could describe like that today?  (The  rest of my devotional, CLICK HERE)

CRAFTERS ARE GETTING READY TO CRAFT AGAIN: Tuesday, 3/2, 9 am, Asbury Hall …we apologize for the late notice but the minute it was confirmed that Christmas in the Park will be back this year (NOVEMBER 13th), our crafters were ready to start getting a new plan in place! If you can’t come tomorrow please start thinking about your ideas and share them with Carla Chitsey.

CHANGE IN “MASK” PLANS: due to the drop in COVID cases and hospitalizations in East Texas, masks will only be required IN and OUT of our buildings or whenever you are “walking around”. We will still maintain 6′ social distancing and hand disinfecting but please pray that more and more people getting vaccinated will be able to start coming back to church … we miss MANY of you!!

CALENDAR CLICK HERE … we try to keep the calendar updated with what we know about so if you see things that are incorrect or things you want to add/delete, please let me know!  The link to join the WEDNESDAY Lent study is also there … this week we’re addressing WORST BABY NAMES EVER (and here’s something to make you think …“The LORD said to Hosea, ‘Go, marry a prostitute and have children of prostitution, for the people of the land commit great prostitution by deserting the LORD’ ” (Hosea 1:2). YUP … what was God thinking?

MARK’S GOSPEL CONTINUES … yesterday we talked about MIRACLES (Reflection Questions, CLICK HERE) and this Sunday, 3/7 we’ll move into chapter 7 with a particular focus on the 2nd half of the chapter. If you’re still staying home, you can always watch on YouTube if you don’t have Facebook.

Grace and peace,
Pastor Debbie


2-22-21 FUMC Update

What a GORGEOUS day it is today and even though it’s on the cool side, it’s amazing how WARM it feels after such a frigid week!  I have only heard from one family that had no water for the week (and they assured me it was “no problem” because they have handy people in their family who could fix it) and I hope those of you who were without hot water or water for a day or two are all thawed out!  Please let us know how you’re doing or if you need any help!

As I told you in church yesterday, we kept close eyes on our buildings through the ice storm and fortunately, Ken, Conner & Cheyanne walked the building again on Saturday morning and, low and behold, the Wesley Hall dishwasher must have JUST started to leak because the water hadn’t even hit the center of the kitchen!  Fortunately, we got the water turned off, mopped up the water, dried off the floors and it seems we’ll only need to replace the dishwasher!  I AM SO GRATEFUL!!

I spoke to Brother David last night at 1st Baptist and they, too, were able to be on top of their broken pipe damage quickly – I asked what we could do to help, and he said they think they have it managed. I AM SO GRATEFUL to have such a good working relationship with our neighbors doing God’s work!

WEEKLY DEVOTIONAL … I must admit that while I spend very little time on Facebook, I did love seeing all your pictures in the snow last week! Some of you were trying to get a tiny bit of fresh air while appreciating the historic amount of snow we had! As the snow and ice began to melt, (it’s going to be 70 tomorrow!) most of us enjoyed the fact that we won’t likely have snow like this again for an awfully long time! Halleluiah!

For artists out there, our temperatures last week were too cold, and our snow was too powdery to see any great snow sculptures, but I came across some SPECTAULAR snow art on the internet! Did you know that for 30 years, almost every year in January there has been an International Snow Sculpture Championship in Breckenridge, CO.?  Teams from around the world compete to hand-carve 20-ton blocks of snow into enormous, intricate works of art and artists are only allowed to use hand tools, creativity, and inspiration to bring their ideas to life! They are quite incredible, (check out this 1 minute VIDEO) … see the pictures and the rest of the devotional (CLICK HERE).

WIND IN THE WILDERNESS, Lenten Bible Study, Wednesday, 10 AM … last week we talked about how the Prophet Isaiah saw the winds of change coming and this week we’ll explore Jeremiah 23 and look at STICKS and STONES. Sign in and help videos on the calendar.

SANCTUARY OPEN FOR PRAYER: Tuesday mornings, 9 am – 10:30 am … prayer guides are in the 1st pew in front of the pulpit or take time to “be still and know that God is God”!

LENT DEVOTIONALS ATTACHED:  yesterday, February 21, was the 1st Sunday of Lent and we packed a LOT into the morning!  You can watch the message on YouTube or the entire service on Facebook.  You can always find the Mark reflections questions on the website but I also want to thank DON BEATY who shared Lent reflection questions for ALL the 6 weeks of Lent … THANK YOU DON! 

This Sunday we’ll be looking at MIRACLES and their MEANINGS in Mark … if you have been staying at home to keep safe but have now received your 2 COVID vaccines, we’d love to see you back!

Many blessings,
Pastor Debbie