WELCOME TO FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH WINNSBORO!

All are welcome at Winnsboro’s First Church so dive on in! We are a warm and welcoming congregation where you can meet people, celebrate life, grow deeper, 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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8-9-21 FUMC Updates

The 2020 (held in 2021) OLYMPICS had their closing ceremonies last night and I’ll admit, I haven’t watched much of the Olympics this year … I’ve kept up with the highlights but never actually sat down and watched an entire live event. I did, however, go back and watch some recorded events that touched my heart. Did you see, for example, the dramatic end to the Olympic high jump final? Qatar’s Mutaz Barshim and Italy’s Gianmarco Tamberi had earlier cleared 2.37m, but with the bar raised to the Olympic record of 2.39m, neither of them was able to complete a successful jump. (By the way, the difference between .37m and .39 m is about 2.75 inches!) So, rather than move into a proposed “jump-off”, Barshim asked an official, ‘Can we have two golds?’. The official agreed, and Tamberi leapt into the arms of Barshim in pure joy as the knowledge that he and his good friend were joint gold medal winners!

As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17 

 

At first glance, the Olympic games appear to focus on individual skill and accomplishment, but ALL these athletes had coaches to train them, teammates to encourage them, families to support them, and competition to keep them driven. The same rules apply to Christians. We need each other for leadership, fellowship, and inspiration and we look to other churches that are growing and thriving to learn from them! Alone we can do very little, but together, we can become so much more!

We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us. 2 Corinthians 5:20

Olympian athletes serve as ambassadors for their country, or I believe they should. They know that the things they say or do bring glory or shame to their home countries and that should matter! Likewise, Christians are ambassadors for Christ! We represent the Kingdom of God because Jesus asked us to be the light of the world every single day! How exciting to know that we play a role in the GOODNESS that happens in the world!

 

 The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again. But one disaster is enough to overthrow the wicked. Proverbs 24:16

 

If the Olympics teach us anything, it’s that even the best athletes don’t always win a medal. A gymnast who won a gold medal one night can stumble and fall the next. The fastest man alive can be beaten by a nameless competitor. No matter how good you are, nobody wins every time. It’s a hard lesson many Christians still struggle to accept. There’s an old saying, “God expects more failure from you than you expect from yourself.” What’s important is that we accept our mistakes and learn from them – true Olympic winners remember their faults and use them to get better. Christians should do likewise.

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SING, SING, SING … the choir is back! The choir was excited to be back yesterday, Lola was excited to be back yesterday, and I am committed to making the ONE hour we have together in worship on Sundays an AMAZING hour for us to praise and honor God! And if you want to be in the choir – get ready! We don’t have definite plans yet, and we have made commitments with Adler and Hearne for two more dates, BUT our Staff Parish Relations Chair, is searching now for a Music Leader so pray, pray, pray!

Until then, our very own wonderful, Judy Beaty has offered to work with some of the choir members to lead us in singing until we find someone, so THANK YOU, JUDY!  Anyone who wants to sing in the choir should plan to start meeting in the choir room at 10:30 am on Sundays starting August 22nd. I will keep you informed as to what will be happening so stay tuned! 

WHILE OUR GOALS HAVEN’T CHANGED WE’LL FIND A NEW PATH: As you know, as we began to come back from COVID and people started to return to church this spring, we only had a handful of choir members coming and we were still socially distancing. On Easter, we removed all the restriction protocols, and we began thinking about music again but since we still only had a few choir members back. In May, I decided to try something different.

I told you then that since summer was usually the time the choir got a break from their Wednesday/Sunday commitment anyway, it would be a good time to try to find a worship leader who we could “click” with … someone who knew Methodist hymns, could teach us some contemporary songs and eventually, lead the choir when summer was over. As hard as I tried, I never did find a person who met those criteria and/or was willing to join us sooooooo … we are searching again!

Our goal is still to find someone who can be part of our plan to support the 2021 CORE VALUES you voted on in January:

         Evangelism, reaching the unchurched

         Making disciples, creating followers of Jesus

         Children and youth, young families 

The Church Council zeroed in on your desires to focus even more directly on CHILDREN/YOUNG FAMILIES and worship, and music, is certainly a part of this larger plan. I had hoped we could “try-out” musicians to find 1) someone who would be a good fit for us and 2) could help us attract new people but I also told you that I would accept all responsibility if that did NOT work! And sadly, we did NOT find that person and I take full responsibility for that!

As iron sharpens iron, we will continue to work together to grow our church! We are all Christ’s ambassadors on this earth and what we do shows others the love of Christ, and our children MATTER! And I may trip MORE than seven times but with your help, I will get up again and we’ll keep striving toward our mission – to make disciples for Jesus Christ!

PRAYERS FOR OUR SCHOOLS:  tonight, Monday, 8/9, 5:30 PM at the Winnsboro Civic Center .. all the churches are gathering to pray for our students, administrators, staff, teachers, and parents so I hope to see you there!!

UNDIES AND GIFT CARDS FOR OUR SCHOOLS: we’ve been asked to bring gift cards (Dollar stores, Walmart, etc.) and children’s underwear, sizes 3T – 8 … we’ll be collecting them throughout August.

WHY DOES THE 23rd PSALM SPEAK TO YOU?  We’ll talk about it on Sunday!  See you then!

 

Grace and peace,

 

Pastor Debbie


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8-4-21 FUMC Updates

My heart is filled with gratitude today thinking about the generosity of people in our congregation! Thanks to all of you who supported the WOOD COUNTY Foster Children’s Tips4Tots – Carolyn and I had a great time and more than $30,000 was raised!!

Tonight at 6 pm, we’ll be having our Wednesday Night Fellowship Meal, and our kitchen team selflessly shops, cooks, bakes, and serves wonderful food so we can visit with each other! Then, this Friday night, we have 19, yes 19, people signed up to serve our kids on PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT: serving dinner, overseeing the bounce house, shepherding our kids to activities, making ice-cream sundaes, supervising games, and crafts, etc. I have also seen Danny Moss at the church a lot this week preparing the ceilings in Asbury to be replaced, and our crafters will be moving their things out so the work can be done. There is a remarkable feeling of JOY that comes when we serve others, and I am thankful to you all who do so much!

LET’s PRAY with our community FOR OUR SCHOOL, TEACHERS, KIDS, AND PARENTS: Monday, 8/9, Winnsboro Civic Center, 5:30-6:30
OUR SCHOOLS NEED OUR HELP: we’re collecting underwear, sizes 3T – 8 and GIFT CARDS from Walmart or our Dollar Stores … many organizations collect school supplies and backpacks but it’s hard to imagine that some of our youngest children don’t have clean underwear or have accidents in school and Nurse Erika say this is a REAL need. We’ll be collecting underwear and gift cards through AUGUST, and I thank you in advance for what you can do!
TONIGHT, 8/4, 6 PM … Wednesday Night Fellowship Meal: come for CHICKEN SPAGHETTI and stay and spend time with friends! Thanks for your love offerings!
FRIDAY, 8/6, 6-9 PM … Parents’ Night Out: please share our Facebook and Instagram posts with your friends! We realize this is back to school weekend, so families are busy, but we’re going to host the BEST event ever!
THE BEST IS YET TO COME: this Sunday, 8/8, we’re embarking on a new worship series reviewing the liturgical words used at end-of-life celebrations and celebrate we WILL! We’ll explore the beautiful words of resurrection and what NEW LIFE really looks like when we think about HEAVEN!
Grace and peace,
Pastor Debbie

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7-20-21 FUMC Updates … BEES, HONEY and the BODY OF CHRIST

I love our Saturday morning Farmer’s Market!  We are so fortunate to have such amazing vendors with so many different fresh vegetables, homemade soaps, fresh-baked bread, homegrown beef, and yes … HONEY! Honey is on my mind because I read a great article about a group of United Methodist beekeepers who reported that their involvement with the pollinators has increased their sense of wonder and faith!  One said: “I never feel more connected to the earth and to God than when I’m surrounded by a million venomous insects,” says Jay Williams, a member of Christ United Methodist Church in Franklin, Tennessee. “It’s like a tap on the shoulder that says, ‘Hey, there’s more than you think.'” And Tate Abbott, 18, who is studying wildlife biology in North Carolina, has wanted to be an apiarist (who knew there was a scientific name for a beekeeper?) since she was 7 years old. “Even the simplest things, like when bees go out to pollinate flowers … it’s little but that stuff matters,” Abbott says. From watching the bees, she concluded that “simple acts of faith” she does for God “may be little but … can make a huge difference.”

Here’s what I find so fascinating about bees … they have a commitment to the common good of their hive, just as we, as the body of Christ, should have a commitment to the church!  A honeybee colony can contain from 20,000 to 80,000 honeybees and one queen and to keep the colony functioning well requires a high degree of organization, efficiency, and coordination. 

-The queen bee mates with around a dozen male bees (drones), and she can produce up to 2,500 eggs a day, more than her body weight. She is the mother of every bee in the hive and determines the gender of each of her children. The only thing the male honeybees (drones) do is mate, after which they die.

-Female worker bees serve the swarm in distinct divisions: builders construct the honeycomb, guards provide security and protection from intruders, sanitation workers clean the nest to ward off disease, nurses feed the queen bee and larvae, A/C and heating specialists control the temperature, so the hive doesn’t get too hot in summer or too cold in winter, and gatherers collect nectar and make honey. 

-Scout bees locate sources of nectar and potential new nesting sites, as needed, and return to the nest to communicate information to the rest of the colony through a waggle dance. Scouts vary the dance to indicate the direction, distance, and quality of the food source or nesting site.   

Researchers have discovered that bees can use tools: They are able to learn to pull a string or move a ball across a goal line in “bee football” to get a food reward. But while honeybees are disciplined and dedicated workers, they spend two-thirds of their time doing nothing, resting to recharge their energy.

Beekeeping in the Middle East dates back at least 3,000 years, according to archaeologists. Honeybees pollinate most of our crops and trees, giving us the food, we eat and the air we breathe. In some cultures, the work of pollination that bees do has been called holy; they are considered by some to be sacred animals because of their self-sacrificial pattern of living for others that supports the ecosystem of the entire earth. Bees help create habitats for birds, insects, and mammals, fertilizing plants upon which animals and people rely for oxygen, food, and other resources necessary for survival.

Honey is referenced in the Bible over 60 times! (SEE BELOW)

Back to my recognition that bees all have a commitment to the common good of the hive and that, in fact, is why our Lord gave us unique gifts & talents designed to make disciples! Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. … All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses. For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 1 Corinthians 12:4-7, 11-12

The passage above could have been written about a beehive! While honeybees lack the ability to speak, read or write, they can teach humans much about cooperation and teamwork. Each bee contributes a specific skill to the colony, synchronizing their efforts for the benefit of all! Worker bees, who only live about 30 days, collect nectar for the sake of the colony, not for themselves. It takes two months to produce honey out of the nectar, so the workers eat honey provided by other bees that have preceded them, and they never get to consume the fruit of their own labor, which they leave for others to eat!

Likewise, the health and well-being of the body of Christ depends on each person fulfilling their responsibility to the church as a whole. When we all exercise our individual gifts, serving in various ways through different activities for the common good, the entire body of Christ thrives! There are no lone-ranger Christians! Humans are interdependent, but sometimes we like to imagine that we can pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps. The truth is, we all need each other to survive and thrive.

On one last random note: Proverbs 16:24 says …”Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body”. Let’s allow our kind words to build others up and, at the same time, keep us in a positive mental state, which is so healthy for my body.” 

OUR LAST PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT IS Friday, August 6th, 6-9 pm … if you haven’t yet been Ministry Safe trained and want to jump in and help, just let me know, but if you have …  CLICK HERE and pick a spot to make a difference for our kids and their parents!  Many “bees” make the event come together and we need you all!  If you have already registered your children, no need to register again – just please let us know if you’ll be here. If you want to share details with your friends, our website had details: https://www.fumcwinnsboro.com/kids-youth/

MONDAY, August 2nd, 4-8 pm*** GREAT NEWS: you can now come to the ALL YOU CAN EAT Catfish Buffet from AJ’s Fish House and pay $20 at the door OR make reservations ahead of time (and be entered into a special raffle)!  It’s going to be a very FUN night as Pastor Debbie & Carolyn Stewart will be crazy, wacky celebrity waiters at the WOOD COUNTY Foster Child fundraiser, Tips for Tots on August 2nd.  *** While you can go and eat until 8 pm, Carolyn and I will only be there from 4-6 so I hope you can come early!  

FROM OUR Lay Servant Ministries: the Annual Laity Event on Aug. 14, 9-3, ZOOM Webinar, is open to all laity and clergy. REGISTER HERE: https://ntcumc.org/lay-servant-ministries and look for registration button)
 
HAVE A GREAT WEEK!
Pastor Debbie
 

SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: Honey

God described the promised land as “a land flowing with milk and honey” (Exodus 3:8, 17). 

God provided the Israelites manna in the wilderness, which tasted “like wafers made with honey” (Exodus 16:31), “nursed” his people “with honey from the crags” (Deuteronomy 32:13) and satisfied them “with honey from the rock” (Psalm 81:16).

Honey was given as gifts (Genesis 43:11; 1 Kings 14:1-3), used to support the priests and the Levites (2 Chronicles 31:4-5), traded as a commodity (Ezekiel 27:17), included in provisions for troops (2 Samuel 17:27-29) and used as part of a ransom (Jeremiah 41:8).

Jonathan tasted a bit of honey from a honeycomb he found during a battle, and “his eyes brightened.” The honey strengthened him for the task at hand (1 Samuel 14:24-30). John the Baptist subsisted on locusts and wild honey (Matthew 3:4; Mark 1:6).


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7-12-21 FUMC Updates

There’s no getting around it … we live in a fast-paced world of technology! Our phones have become handheld computers, Bluetooth has replaced wires, we can now take videos and pictures and in an instant and send them to LOTS of people all over the world!  Technology keeps us aware of what’s going on in the world within seconds of things happening, we can get answers to questions instantly, and maps are obsolete with GPD that not only maps out direction but tells us when there are road slowdowns! 

If you go online to search for ANYTHING you’re likely using GOOGLE (70% of the total market is driven by Google and 85% of the MOBILE search market uses Google) What does this matter? A search engine company PODIUM reports “The way that customers find and choose businesses has changed drastically in recent years. In the past, consumers would rely mainly on a business’s advertising, previous experience, or recommendations from family and friends but with more and more people turning to local search Google is even starting to automatically filter out local businesses with less than a 4-star rating.  (You can learn more if you’re interested HERE.)

We’d like to boost our ratings so when people search for us they won’t end up at FUMC Winnsboro LOUISIANA or when they search for a church in Winnsboro, TX. They don’t find other churches that get their attention first.

SO, HERE’S A SIMPLE WAY YOU CAN HELP YOUR CHURCH …

  1. Go on our Facebook page and rate our page HERE.

… You will see a star rating under the Cover Image on the left-hand side of the Page Timeline. Click On the Stars.

… Select the “Write A Review” button.

… Write A Review.

… Press Submit.

  1. Go on our GOOGLE HERE and in the search bar at the top of the page search for First United Methodist Church Winnsboro, Texas.

… You will see our listing on the right side of the page with info, map & some pictures.

…Scroll down to the bottom until you get to REVIEWS

…Rate and write a review

…Press submit
 

MANY THANKS TO THOSE WHO SAID: “This is my church, I’ll do it!!”

  1. Our July WEDNESDAY NIGHT MEAL was awesome! Of course, meatloaf is my favorite so I am biased but many thanks to the kitchen team and dessert makers who made it such a great night!
  2. Our Parent’s Night Out was a Blast! We had 28 kids and 14 adults and we had a GREAT time.  Here’s a short video so you can “meet” some of the kids … click HERE!  The next one is on Friday, August 6th so save the date!
  3. Our buildings have been POWER WASHED! Lane Lewis, Conner Ragsdale, and his friend Kayden worked for HOURS cleaning off the grunge and mold from the buildings. 
  4. The dead bushes & trees from the ice storm are being REMOVED! Conner Ragsdale and his fiancé Cheyanne, had the chain saws and clippers out to start the process and we’ll be slowly trimming things “closer” in the months to come.

 

PRAYER in the COURTYARD, Tuesday mornings, 8-9 am… Have you considered spending some intentional time with Jesus? Do you find yourself telling God, “I GOT THIS?” and feel like you’re sinking? Are you called to pray but can’t seem to find the time? Mike Ewert is spearheading PRAYER in the COURTYARD where you can come and go on Tuesday mornings from 8-9 am in a sacred, outdoor shady space. Come and be still and let the power of the Holy Spirit work in a very special way!

TIPS FOR TOTS FISH FRY, Monday, August 2, at the Wood County Carol Green Convention Center… PLEASE DON’T LEAVE US ALONE OUT THERE!  Carolyn Stewart and I are inviting you to join us at a FISH FRY benefitting THE FOSTER KIDS PROGRAM OF WOOD COUNTY!  We will be two of the fun, crazy, and wacky “Celebrity Waiters” so order your FISH FRY dinner tickets in advance for $20, or $25 at the door! IF we do a good job serving you, all our tips, and the tips of ALL the “celebrity waiters” will go directly to serve the children! We’ll be serving from 4-6 pm but the event goes from 4 – 8 pm so get your tickets today!  www.Tips4Tots.org

This Sunday we’re looking at the lessons we learn from another BAD GIRL in the Bible Jezebel … FASTEN YOUR SEATBELTS!

Pastor Debbie


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7-3-21 FUMC Updates

Happy July 4th! I hope you’re enjoying this mid-summer reminder of how truly BLESSED we are to live in America! I am happy to be back from my 2-week vacation and I can tell you that with Covid vaccination rates increasing people ARE traveling again, hotel occupancies ARE increasing, and restaurants ARE getting busy again!  What a difference a year makes!

I love the July 4th holiday because it reminds me of how proud I truly AM to be an American! I realize there is a small fraction of people who disagree, but oh how I wish they could understand that our country is great because GOD is our foundation … not a President, not a Supreme Court and not a Congress! Men and women are not perfect, so our country is not perfect, but our country was founded on Godly principles and so to me … July 4th IS a religious holiday!

I read a great story from TIME Magazine about John F. Kennedy that puts this into perspective …

“On July 4, 1946, Kennedy — then 29 years old, the Democratic nominee for a Massachusetts Congressional seat, and still a lieutenant in the Navy Reserve — was the featured speaker at the City of Boston’s Independence Day celebration. He spoke at Faneuil Hall, the red-brick building where long ago the colonists had gathered to protest taxes imposed by King George III and his Parliament.

Kennedy began by talking not about taxes, or about the British, or about the consent of the governed, but about religion. ‘The informing spirit of the American character has always been a deep religious sense. Throughout the years, down to the present, a devotion to fundamental religious principles has characterized American thought and action,’ he said.

For anyone wondering what this had to do with Independence Day, Kennedy made the connection explicit. ‘Our government was founded on the essential religious idea of integrity of the individual. It was this religious sense which inspired the authors of the Declaration of Independence: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights.’”

Kennedy wasn’t the only politician who saw GOD in our foundational principles…

The Declaration of Independence issued from Philadelphia on July 4, 1776, included four separate references to God. In addition to the “endowed by their Creator” line mentioned by JFK in his July 4 speech, there is an opening acknowledgment to “the laws of nature’s God,” an appeal to “the Supreme Judge of the World,” and a closing expression of “firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence.”  George Washington, announcing the Declaration of Independence to the troops in a General Order dated July 9, wrote, “The General hopes and trusts, that every officer and man, will endeavor to live, and act, as becomes a Christian Soldier defending the dearest Rights and Liberties of his country….knowing that now the peace and safety of his Country depends (under God) solely on the success of our arms.”

I pray that the theology of our country’s founding will NOT be forgotten! Sure, the Declaration’s concept of God-given rights certainly is not without its flaws but without a belief in God that should be the foundation of a strong moral fiber, what do we have?

So, amid all the barbecues and fireworks this July 4, take just a moment and reflect on our Creator. As Kennedy realized, the American Revolution, which resulted in the free we live in today, started with God, and with the Founders’ belief in rights that are His gift to us!

WEDNESDAY, JULY 7th, 6 pm, FELLOWSHIP MEAL… I look forward to seeing you at our first Wednesday Fellowship meal in the Family Life Center … I’d love to meet your friends so bring a guest!

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT, Friday, July 9 … thanks to all of you who are MINISTRY SAFE trained and ready to roll!  The sign-ups for the next 2 events are ready now so just CLICK HERE and pick the spots you want! Parents:  let us know your kids will be coming … if you came last month, there’s no need to register again, but if your kids are coming for the 1st time or you have friends that want to save time and register online, CLICK HERE. And yes, everyone can register at the door!

REMINDER NO CHILDREN’S CHURCH on JULY 11th … we will have communion on July 11th so as always, there will not be children’s church.

IMPROVEMENTS AT THE CHURCH:  the Trustees are working on the sidewalk in front of the sanctuary to renovate two parking spaces to help people getting from their vehicle to the front doors. While there have been some weather delays, we’re looking forward to the improvements being complete.

Hope to see you Wednesday night!
Pastor Debbie


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