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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6-28-2022 FUMC Updates

JULY 4th weekend, already? How can this be?  As we have just started our summer worship series on the EXODUS, it’s appropriate that July 4th weekend celebrates our FREEDOM. When I was young, I lived in the suburbs of Philadelphia for a few years and our field trips were to places like the battle of Valley Forge, Independence Hall where the Constitution was signed, the Betsy Ross House, and the Benjamin Franklin Museum. Today as we celebrate our freedoms as a nation and the freedom that was won by a long struggle filled with sacrifices, I found myself wondering … what inspired the people in those 13 little colonies in this new world to fight so hard for freedom!  Well, of course!!! I’m sure some of their courage came from their Christian ideals directly from the Book of Exodus.

The deliverance of the Israelite slaves out of Egypt, the most powerful nation on Earth at the time, is the quintessential story of freedom! The event was so momentous because it was MORE than the freeing of slaves in order to make a new nation, the EXODUS was a story of personal and political freedom. I realize there is debate about the faith of the founding fathers, but I don’t think we can understand the political and philosophical drive for liberty without knowing that the Bible was part of the “cultural air” they breathed!  

Did you know … the Liberty Bell, which was commissioned in 1752 by the Pennsylvania Assembly for use in the State House has these words on it: “Proclaim LIBERTY Throughout all the Land unto all the Inhabitants Thereof.” Leviticus 25:10 Do you know where it came from?  This was a command given to Moses while at Mount Sinai!

I came across a quote from Benjamin Netanyahu, former Prime Minister of Israel who said: “Moses was the greatest revolutionary of all time. Remember that in antiquity there were grand empires that were based on one principle and that is slavery. And Moses challenged that twice. He challenged it by taking his people who were slaves in bondage in Egypt and freed them and took them to their Promised Land. But he also challenged it by providing a moral code for mankind that said it is not the king or the emperor that decides the law, there is a higher law.

Now, these were absolutely revolutionary ideas. And, it’s the combination of the physical freedom; physically freeing the slaves from Egypt, but also ennobling them to a higher code of personal dignity, respect for your fellow man, and personal freedom that was so at odds with the ancient world. And this shone a light and that light progressively expanded and reached larger and larger sections of humanity until it became the dominant code by which we live, or we at least aspire to live.”

In the biblical account, after the Israelites left Egypt we find them at Mount Sinai where they received a revelation from God: the law given to Moses.  Sometimes we see these 10 Commandments as restrictions meant to keep the people from enjoying certain pleasures, but not really! Keeping the law is the path to safety and blessings! The law frees us to live with each other in peace, allowing for the most enjoyment of the good things that God has provided.

As we all celebrate the great freedom this country offers, let us not forget it comes from God Himself! 



Kids Connection Children’s Church week 3 was a joy! We learned about Communion and how we are all welcome at God’s table and we are all ONE in the Body of Christ!

 THANK YOU to everyone that has volunteered to be a part of this amazing ministry. The time with these children is priceless. Watching the joy on their faces each week and hearing them recite what they have learned is such a blessing. I feel so honored to be a part of this amazing church and to get to spend my Sunday mornings watching the children grow in faith.  If you’re unsure about serving in CHILDREN’S CHURCH on Sunday mornings, come by and see what we’re doing – if you can open a glue stick or a box of crayons, you’re qualified!

The children will be in worship on that Sunday to participate in communion with their church family. I will greet the children in the front of the church starting at 10:30 am, sit up in the balcony with them and their families during the service, and come down with them so that we can enjoy communion together. It is so important for them to worship with the body of Christ and to see that the table is open to all!

 JULY is upon us! It is almost time for Wacky Wild Family Wednesdays! A BIG THANK YOU to our Wednesday Night Meal team for volunteering to cook dinner for us each week! I need a few things to make this event the BEST! If you have any of the following items that I could borrow for the month of July, please drop them off in Wesley Hall this Sunday… I would greatly appreciate it:

 Hoses

 5 Gallon buckets

 Hose splitter

 4 Small Buckets

 20 Gallon (or larger) clean plastic bin (2 of these)

 Email communications@fumcwinnsboro.com with any questions or to let me know that you are looking for ways to be involved in the Children’s Ministry.

 Heather Warren


 MONDAY, JULY 4th … buildings will be closed as they are on all federal holidays so Knitters and Stitchers will not meet.

 WEDNESDAY, JULY 6th… 6 – 7:15 PM

–         6 PM … our fellowship meal will be light and easy but please come to support our summer WILD, WACKY, FAMILY WEDNESDAYS! 

–         6:30 -7:15 PM … while the kids will head outside for wacky water fun (BRING TOWELS!), the adults will move to Wesley Hall for a look at WILD things the Bible says!  If you have wondered about a story or scripture that makes you shake your head, let me know and we’ll talk about it!

PARENTS OF TEENAGERS:  Heather has reached out to your kids to help with the water games on Wednesdays in July … please remind/encourage them to come ready to get WET!

SATURDAY, JULY 16, 10 am-3 PM … in partnership with First Baptist, we’re hosting the BLOOD DRIVE … make an appointment HERE when YOU want to help, or just show up!

 SAVE THESE DATES:  7/30 and 8/6, Discover Your Spiritual Gifts, 9 am-3pm  … we are so very lucky to have the North Texas Conference coming to Winnsboro to teach this very important course. This course will help you understand the unique spiritual gifts God has given you (and yes, you DO have a unique spiritual gift!) and how your gifts can be used to serve God’s church! DETAILS WILL BE COMING … if you’d like to order the book, I will order using our tax-free account.  Participant’s text: Each One a Minister by William J. Carter, $14

Enjoy this beautiful break in the weather and I’ll see you Sunday!

Pastor Debbie


6-21-22 FUMC Updates … From RELUCTANT to BOLD Faith

Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer!  Summer officially begins today, and the temperatures surely affirm that the 3rd season of the year is in full swing.

REMINDER: the next Wednesday night meal will be on JULY 6th

July 6th will also start our 


We’ll start with a quick, casual meal then wild water activities for kids outside and wacky words from the Bible for adults inside!

What Bible stories have made you scratch YOUR head?

Are there scriptures that you think: “Surely THAT’S not in the Bible?!”

Have the words of Jesus ever made you wonder, “What did he MEAN by THAT?”

While the kids are out having fun in the water slides, we’ll explore some of these Biblical things that people might even deny are IN the Bible … and believe me, there are a LOT of things in the Bible that are a bit shocking that we never talk about!  What do YOU want to know more about?

Send me your favorite HEAD SCRATCHERS and we’ll talk about them in July!



Kids Connection Children’s Church week 2 was a triumph!  We had 7 children come to learn about baby Moses.  We learned that the Pharaoh of Egypt was threatened by the Israelites and ordered that all baby boys should be thrown into the Nile to drown. Moses’ mother kept him hidden for as long as she could until she finally built a basket and hid him in the reeds to float down the Nile. His sister Miriam followed his journey until Pharaoh’s daughter drew him out of the water.  She named him Moses because it meant “drawn out of the water.” We “raced” our baby Moses down the Nile, we tried to cross the Nile and avoid the Nile crocodile, and we made photo frames for our dads for Father’s Day.  Our thought for the day was God can make good of any situation we face.

CALLING ALL 6th– 8th GRADERS – COME CONNECT! Wednesday, 6/22, 6 – 8:30 … come inaugurate the upstairs LOFT in the FLC, and hang out for pizza and a movie! KIDS – BRING YOUR FRIENDS!

JUST A REMINDER THERE WILL NOT BE CHILDREN’S CHURCH ON SUNDAY, JULY 3RD. The children will be in worship on that Sunday to participate in communion with the congregation. I will greet the children in the lobby of the church starting at 10:30 am, sit up in the balcony with them and their families during the service, and come down with them so that we can enjoy communion together at the very beginning of the communion service.   It is so important for them to worship with the body of Christ and to see that the table is open to all!

I am still looking for volunteers for Sunday morning! Our teenagers are going to help on Wednesday nights in July, but we need someone for the 4th Sunday, please. But, if I can get 8 volunteers, each person would only need to commit to every other month so let me know if you can serve at all!  And remember – I will create the lesson, plan the crafts and organize the schedule: I just need your help supervising.

Email me at communications@fumcwinnsboro.com with any questions or to let me know that you are willing to volunteer!  I am so blessed to watch these children grow in faith each week!

Heather Warren, Communications & Children’s Director


Saturday, 6/25, 4-6 PM … Kanen and Katrice Pre-Wedding Meet and Greet, Wesley Hall

Mondays, 8 am, Hope Café, Men’s Gathering with Brother Henry

Mondays, 1 pm, Knitters and Stitchers, FLC



Children’s Church, K-5 in Wesley Hall … kids can be checked in at 10:30 am and picked up after church.

MOSES: From Reluctant to Bold Faith, Ex. 1 – 2:10 … if you missed the INTRO message to our summer worship series you can watch it anytime on Facebook HERE. This Sunday, we’ll dive into MOSES, testimony to the fact that God uses ordinary people, in seemingly ordinary ways, to do extraordinary things! As we begin to explore how reluctant faith becomes BOLD faith there’s already much we can learn … God is intimately involved and present in our lives just like He was present thousands of years ago with the Hebrew midwives, the softened heart of an Egyptian princess, and in the religious fervor of a mother. God is working out a purpose in history, just as God always has and always will … SEE YOU SUNDAY!

Joyfully in Christ,

Pastor Debbie


6-15-22 FUMC Updates … VISION

Without vision, the people perish … Proverbs 29:18

Having a clear vision is a VERY important tool for growth and movement in a church and I want to thank everyone who attended our all-church VISION STATEMENT workshops.  We talked about our history, our demographics, our strengths, and challenges and we reviewed our core value focuses established through meetings and voting last year:  children, evangelism, and discipleship.

A vision must start with a MISSION and, in short, the mission is what we do and why we exist.  The mission is focused on the present and brings direction to what needs to be done now and the mission statement of the United Methodist Church is strong: Go and make disciples for the transformation of the world. Matthew 28:19.

A vision statement is future-orientated but should also incorporate the DNA of who we are and what our strengths are. It focuses on where we are going and should provide an idealistic dream ‘seen’ with eyes of faith and ‘felt’ in our hearts. The vision reveals the destination, something to be steered and worked towards.

What makes a church’s mission and vision different? In short, the difference between the two is this: the mission dictates why we exist, and the vision shows what we will do to accomplish that.

At First United Methodist Church Winnsboro we are committed to:

Reaching beyond our church walls 

for those seeking a place to belong.

Research and studies show that church attendance has been dropping for years, even before COVID, so since people aren’t coming INTO the church we must go out. Reaching suggests this isn’t always easy – it pushes us out of our comfort zone to new places to meet new faces. Our vision also includes the acknowledgment that most people want to feel a sense of belonging, a sense of being loved and included. Because hospitality and fellowship are part of who we are, God has equipped us to create a place where people feel they can belong, and grow in their faith! 

Please pray that the Holy Spirit guides us to help people feel the love of Jesus Christ through us!



Kids Connection Children’s Church week 1 was a success!  We had 7 children come to learn about Joseph.  We learned that even though Joseph was sold into slavery and jailed that he remained faithful to God and ended up able to save his family from starvation during the famine in the land.  We learned that our behaviors (both good and bad) have ripple effects that touch the lives of those around us and that we should choose what we do carefully knowing that the choices we make touch the lives of those around us.  We then made God’s eye crafts to remind us that God is always with us and always watching, and to remind us to pray.  We also sang and praised the Lord!  It was a morning full of joy and love!

Thank you to Conner and Cheyenne Ragsdale for helping the children grow in faith and love!  You too can be a part of the amazing ministry.  Can you commit to one Sunday per month?  I really need someone that can commit to volunteering on the 3rd and 4th Sunday of the month.  Email me at communications@fumcwinnsboro.com with any questions or to let me know that you are able to volunteer!  I am so delighted to watch how this ministry grows!



Calendar of Events on our website HERE.

WEDNESDAY, June 22, 6-8:30 PM, Middle School CONNECT: kids in 6th-8th grades are going to be hanging out, eating pizza, watching a movie, and inaugurating the LOFT in the FLC.

Beginning this Sunday, 6/19, we’ll honor our fathers and dive into the story of Moses, one of the famous fathers of our faith. From birth, Moses was divinely set apart to lead God’s people back into a right relationship with God and this calling was fulfilled because of God’s desire to consistently show up throughout his life in miraculous ways. 

I look forward to seeing you on SUNDAY as we explore why the OLD story in Exodus connects so directly with the NEW stories of the Gospel.


Pastor Debbie 


6-7-22 FUMC Updates

Thanks to everyone who attended the Q & A meeting that we had after church yesterday about the human sexuality issues facing the United Methodist Church – your questions were great and I’m so thankful we can talk so openly about what little we really know about what changes our denomination is facing.  Thanks to Ted Haynes who is serving in numerous District and Conference roles to keep us updated on all the information as it changes but let me reiterate … we will not know HOW our book of polity, the BOOK OF DISCIPLINE will change until May 2024 when the General Conference meets again.

Here are the notes from former emails I have sent that I reviewed today.

As you may know, the General Conference normally meets every four years to amend, if necessary, the law, doctrine, administration, organizational work, and procedures as outlined in UMC The Book of Discipline. Since the General Conference was postponed in 2020, then again in 2021 and 2022 and now until 2024 due to the pandemic, we still operate out of our 2016 Book of Discipline. 

For many years there have been conversations in our denomination about the language in our Book of Discipline regarding Human Sexuality that says: “We affirm that all persons are individuals of sacred worth, created in the image of God.” The paragraph goes on to say, “The United Methodist Church does not condone the practice of homosexuality and considers this practice incompatible with Christian teaching.” ¶161.G This is the language that guides us now and will guide us through 2024 when the General Conference meets again … this not change until then.

However, because this language has been hurtful to some who believe it is incompatible with what Jesus taught, there has been a movement to amend that language to be more inclusive.  Again, though, since no change will be made until 2024, we have no idea what changes may come or what language might change.  But, anticipating that change may come two years from now, some United Methodist churches have chosen to leave our denomination and be part of a new denomination called the Global Methodist Church which launched in May. The Global Methodist Church has already been established as a brand NEW denomination and they have already said that will not ordain LGBT people or allow gay weddings.

On April 23rd our Bishop, Mike McKee invited us all to have a conversation about this topic and I attached those notes again. The Bishop’s opinion about this is clear – he hopes that NO churches will leave – and as of this past week, there are only 12 churches out of our 270 in the  Conference who are CONSIDERING leaving but none that have said they ARE leaving.

Churches that express interest in leaving the United Methodist Church before the decisions are made at the 2024 General Conference will begin a 9-12 month discernment process with a disaffiliation team of 3-4 clergy and laity from the East District.  TED HAYNES WILL BE ONE OF THOSE LAY MEMBERS.

At the Bishop’s meeting, he reminded us that the United Methodist Church has had “lovers’ quarrels” in the past over allowing women in the pulpit, or allowing African Americans to worship in our sanctuaries, but our formidable love for Jesus Christ and the guidance of the Holy Spirit helped us work through those differences.  His hope is that we can work together, and stay together, out of that very love for Jesus but also, our love for each other in spite of things we don’t always agree on.

Our Church Council believes waiting to see what the 2024 changes will be is more prudent, but we wanted to share this information again, in a Q and A forum as we did today, to see what members of the congregation think.

Here are some updates shared today …


No legislation can be passed about the human sexuality issue in the Book of Discipline until 2024 however, the North Texas Board of Trustees will share details about the disaffiliation process.


Yes. There are a handful of pastors or churches who have violated the BOD and the Bishop and Cabinet are upholding the BOD. Violations are brought to their attention are treated as PERSONNEL issues and certain privacy issues apply. 

Let’s be in prayers together as this transition period in the denomination continues. Ted and I are willing to come to talk with your Sunday school group, answer your questions, and/or find answers if we don’t know them.  If we learn more information after Conference, we’ll let you know.
I included the link for the news agency of the United Methodist Church in the attachment of my email yesterday, but here it is again … https://www.umnews.org/  UMNews.org of not the PR firm for the church but the NEWS arm of the church – you can sign up for daily news updates or Friday news updates on all sorts of topics, OR you can get the app on your phone:
Download from:
Ted Haynes and I have enjoyed the beautiful worship services with 3 different Bishops at Annual Conference this week. We’ve also heard about the wonderful work our shared apportionments through the Conference supports … check these out:
KIDS INTERESTED IN SUMMER CAMP?  Bridgeport is fully open again and scholarships are available so check it out HERE.
Providence Place (formerly Methodist Children’s Home), San Antonio

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++Let’s also be in prayer about supporting our new children’s ministries!  

Contact Heather if you can do something – anything – to help! (See her attached email here.)

FLC REGULAR WEDNESDAY NIGHT MEALS WILL RESUME JULY 6th ... there will be no meals the rest of June with the exception of those coming to the PART 2 VISION meeting this Wednesday night, June 8th, at 6 PM in Wesley Hall.  We’ll order pizza and get to work brainstorming our vision statement.

Thursday, June 9th, 6 pm, JR/HIGH SCHOOL KIDS … meet Pastor Debbie at the Barrell House for dinner & let’s catch up!

Friday, June 10th, 6 pm, “OUT OF HIGH SCHOOL” KIDS … meet Pastor Debbie at the Barrell House for dinner, and let’s catch up

Saturday, June 11th …10 am, United Methodist Women Quiet Day at Pat St. Miklossy’s home.  Contact Pat for details. 903-850-5131

Sunday, June 12th … 10:30 Kids Connection KICK-OFF in Wesley Hall,  EVERYONE is invited to join us for donut holes and juice boxes as we consecrate our new children’s ministry and pray over the kids BY name!

Wednesday, June 22, 6-8:30, MIDDLE SCHOOL KIDS, pizza, and a movie to inaugurate the kids’ rooms upstairs in the FLC.

We’ll be ending our Living the Spirit Life series next Sunday with an exciting “chariots of fire” look at what it means to be HOMEWARD BOUND!

Pastor Debbie


FUMC Updates 5/30/22

I hope you all enjoyed your Memorial Weekend! I found myself watching SAVING PRIVATE RYAN and crying just as hard all these years later as I did back in 1998 when I saw it for the first time! Then I stumbled upon a moving WWII documentary, “Operation Valkyrie,” about the brave German army officers who plotted, unsuccessfully, to assassinate Adolf Hitler and take back control of the country after millions of Jews had been killed, and I was even more emotional. It reminded me again how impossible it is to believe that one man, Adolf Hitler, could make the entire German nation believe that they were part of a mythical “Aryan race” that was superior to other races! How could they believe this required the extermination of those they believed to be imperfect: Jews, blacks, homosexuals, and yes, even Christians who wouldn’t “toe the line”?

What is still painful for me to understand even today is that the vast majority of Germans were Christians during the Nazi era. The Nazis coerced the leaders of two-thirds of the churches to unite in support of Hitler as a “national” church which made it possible for them to continue as if nothing was horribly wrong. Of course, they had to turn a blind eye to the horrors around them: the absolute destruction of neighboring sovereign countries and the murder of millions of their neighbors and friends.

Martin Niemöller was a prominent Lutheran pastor in Germany who was an outspoken public critic of Adolf Hitler and spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in concentration camps. He is best remembered for his postwar words that stand engraved on a memorial at the U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC:

First, they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—

because I was not a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—

because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—

because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

God forbid history repeats itself. God forbid we would ever find ourselves having to turn up the music in our sanctuary on Sundays in order to tune out the train cars rolling through our town carrying our neighbors to their horrific deaths.

Let us continue to pray, really pray, that hate is thwarted by love, and peace among people in our country, and especially now in Ukraine, IS possible.


DROP OFF OR BRING YOUR CARDS FOR THE PEOPLE OF UVALDE: we can not begin to comprehend the pain and suffering of the families and people in Uvalde after 19 children and 2 of their teachers were murdered in their classroom last week. But we CAN do something tangible … we can express our shared grief, sympathy, and thoughts in our cards, letters, and notes. Please bring or drop off your cards by next Sunday, June 5th and we will mail them, all together, to show we really do care!

WEDNESDAY CRAFTERS ARE ON SUMMER HIATUS: crafters will not be meeting on Wednesdays this summer, but we hope that many of you talented people will join them as they work at home to make some wonderful things for our Christmas in the Park this fall. We are so grateful that your creative “therapy” benefits the church!

CALLING ALL PEOPLE OF GOD WHO WANT TO SEE MORE CHILDREN IN OUR CHURCH! Please continue praying for Heather Warren who will be our new half-time Children’s Director starting June 12th. She’ll get things started with our new Children’s Church starting on Sunday mornings, June 12th, and on that day we’ll all meet in Wesley Hall at 10:30 to kick off our new K thru 5th-grade ministry and pray for our children, by name. She will be sending out an email this week with details on where YOU might answer God’s call to serve so, please say “This is my church, I’ll do something!”

LET’S WRITE OUR VISION STATEMENT: Wednesday, June 1, 6:45 after the Wednesday night meal … this summer our WEDNESDAY night meals will move to the first Wednesday night of the month and this week after dinner please stay and help us start the work to create our VISION statement – we’ll go to WESLEY HALL at about 6:45 and then NEXT Wednesday, June 8th, we’ll come back to Wesley Hall at 6:00 and we’ll order pizza & finish our work.  Our VISION statement will be a short, personal descriptive statement that says how we will make disciples for Jesus Christ – and your input will help write it!

NORTH TEXAS ANNUAL CONFERENCE: June 5-7, Richardson, TX … every year regional Conferences of the United Methodist Church gather around the world to do the business of the Church. As in all local polity and organizational decisions in the church, an equal number of lay leaders and clergy make decisions together.

Q and A, Sunday, June 5, after Church in Wesley Hall …stop by Wesley Hall after church this Sunday and bring any questions you might have on denominational changes. We’ll do our best to answer questions about upcoming announcements.

THIS SUNDAY our “Living a Spirit Life” continues with a look at what HOME means to Christians, and what it meant to Jesus, LUKE 9:57-62.  

Grace and peace,

Pastor Debbie