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! 
 
Sunday Morning Worship
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10:50 a.m.

 
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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


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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


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4-5-21 FUMC Updates

As I write this update, I can’t help but reflect on our 2021 Holy Week… 1 week ago we celebrated Palm Sunday and so many children helped us remember that Jesus rode into Jerusalem triumphantly and they actually recognized Him as a KING for the first time!

On Holy Thursday we had a moving and somber reflection of the last supper and experienced the emotion of the disciples as our readers reenacted their memories of their time with Jesus.   

Just yesterday morning, many of us were celebrating the risen Christ as the morning light came over the horizon at the Ragsdale’s beautiful home for our sunrise service… I couldn’t bring myself to even start on time because to see everyone gathering and the time of fellowship was so heart-warming and necessary!

And then, when Adler and Hearne arrived in the sanctuary to start tuning their guitars in preparation for our 10:50 service, Ken, and I both had tears of joy in our hearts as they began to practice CHRIST THE LORD IS RISEN TODAY! When the traditional service began, it was joyful and full of singing and worship, and there a spirit of energy and excitement that was truly overwhelming!

There are so many people to thank for making this beautiful week possible, many of you were behind the scenes and I don’t even know how you helped … but God knows, and He is smiling! To all the readers who played the roles of disciples on Thursday night, especially our kids, JACK CHANDLER, and LANE NEWTON, you were amazing!!  Clint Cooper, you were AWESOME narrating such a deeply moving and dramatic reading, and Danny Moss, Tommy Teague, Sue Gross, Bettye Gilbert, Brad Scharf, Carla Chitsey, and Dan Strickland … you were wonderful!

There are no words that can possibly do justice to the gratitude I have for Ken and Elaina who made our sunrise service so incredible!  Not just sharing their beautiful home but their giving spirit of joyful hospitality! Matthew and John Noe rebuilt the magnificent cross on the property, many people moved chairs and tables back and forth, others picked up donuts and made the coffee before 6 am!

So many of you also brought the beautiful Easter lilies that made our church so beautiful on Sunday! Julie and Elaina have designed our altarscapes all through Lent setting a tone for worship that is amazing! Shiela Haynes has coordinated all the “extras” for our worship services and along with ALL the ushers have made people feel welcome and safe at our church!

But most of all, my true rock star is KEN RAGSDALE!  As your Pastor, Ken is truly my partner in your worship experience!  I KNOW how much work goes into making our visual worship experience what it is – I know all the extra hours that go into preparing for special events – I know the anxiety that happens when technology problems pop up at the last minute – I know what goes on behind the scenes to make the Word of God come alive in a fast-paced and ever-changing world and Ken Ragsdale – I’ll say it again, you are my rock-star every single Sunday! 

THIRD VACCINE CLINIC COMING TO THE FLC THIS TUESDAY, 4/6, 3 – 5 PM … Christus Mother Francis Winnsboro is coming back to our FLC this Tuesday to vaccinate another 100 people and YOU have stepped up to show our neighbors our hospitality!  Thanks to the following who will help make this possible: Barbara Selvidge, Cyndie Ewert, Glynda Willis, Joan Willis, Erika Martin, Sandra Thompson, Chuck & Nancy Roy, Bettye Gilbert, and Clint Cooper! MANY THANKS!

UNITED METHODIST WOMEN, Thursday, April 8th, 10 AM, Asbury Hall … looking for a place to meet other Christian women who focus on faith, fellowship, and mission? Come join them back in their favorite room! 

DONATE BLOOD IN WINNSBORO THIS THURSDAY, 4/8, 10 am – 3 pm … once again we’re happy to work with First Baptist to support the Carter Bloodmobile coming to Winnsboro!  Make an appointment today by CLICKING HERE  – your gift DOES save lives!

BIBLE TALK WILL START BACK, IN-PERSON and on ZOOM WEDNESDAYS, APRIL 21st, 10 am – 11:30 am … now that COVID cases are down so drastically and most everyone who has wanted to be vaccinated is now safe to get out, we will meet IN-PERSON for a 5-week spring study, GOD’S MESSAGE TO YOU. We’ll be looking at 5 New Testament chapters, verse by verse, as the church began to grow after the resurrection of Christ.  IT WOULD HELP ME KNOW WHAT ROOM WE SHOULD MEET IN so please let me know if you plan to join us … we will either meet in ASBURY or in WESLEY. We will also welcome those who wish to join us on ZOOM and as always, you can find the sign-in link on the church calendar.

WINNSBORO CANDIDATE FORUM: Thursday, April 22, 6 pm, Civic Auditorium … I was honored to be invited to moderate the 2021 City of Winnsboro Candidate Forum!  The Winnsboro News is sponsoring this NON-PARTISAN event and I encourage everyone to exercise their civic duty to learn more about the City Council candidates (4 running for 2 positions) and Mayoral candidates (2 are running).  You can submit questions for… wnewseditor@outlook.com. The forum will also be LIVE STREAMED on the City of Winnsboro Facebook page.

EARLY RESPONSE TRAINING, Saturday, April 24 at First UMC Henrietta: do you feel called to be someone first on the scene when disaster strikes? After tornados, fires, floods, etc.? The United Methodist Church is ALWAYS ready to respond to emergencies and we provide the training!  Find out more about ERT here, or talk with our very own, Pastor Sue Gross who will be one of the trainers! If you’re interested, take part in socially distanced, in-person certification for Early Response Teams on Saturday, April 24 at First UMC Henrietta. Opportunities are available for new attendees and those looking to recertify. The cost is $15, which includes lunch. CLICK HERE for details.

I’LL BE ON VACATION FOR A FEW DAYS: I will be in town this week working on our next sermon series but on Friday I’ll be going to see my kids and Arkansas and then taking the next week off.  I’m excited to tell you that Sarah Doke from Tinney Chapel will be preaching this Sunday!  Sarah just completed her LAY SERVANT MINISTER coursework and will be officially commissioned at the Annual Conference in June!  We will postpone COMMUNION until I get back on April 18th and I’ll look forward to being back with you then!

For Pastoral Care needs while I am gone, 4/9-4/17, please call Pastor Sue Gross, 903-767-6339, or for general needs, contact our Lay Leader, Ted Haynes, at 972-533-9383.

WE WILL SOON FINISH THE GOSPEL OF MARK:  I have truly enjoyed studying the Gospel of Mark with you these last 12 weeks … to be able to closely follow one consistent story from beginning to end has been invigorating for me and I hope it has been for YOU!  When I get back, we’ll look at what the disciples experienced after Jesus’ resurrection and we’ll end in April with the ASCENSION!

In Christ Alone,
Pastor Debbie


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3-28-21 FUMC Important Updates

How exciting to see so many young kids at our Palm Sunday service on Sunday! When the young families are here there is so much energy and JOY and I really do believe that as we begin to emerge into a new post-quarantine church, God will open exciting new ways to attract young families!  Of course, we’ll have to do our part to BE the kind of church where families want to raise their children to know the love of Christ … so how will we do that? First I’ll give you the EASTER updates, then our COVID PROTOCOL updates but then, please stay with me (or print this message attached) so you can read the entire plan … this email is PACKED with important information!

HOLY WEEK INFORMATION
HOLY THURSDAY, 4/1, 6:30 pm, sanctuary … this Thursday night is a special worship service where we will immerse ourselves in the Last Supper with the disciples.  Can you imagine what each of them must have been feeling on that terrible night Jesus was betrayed and arrested? We will have communion together so if you’re watching at home, please have your bread/crackers and juice or water ready to join us.

SATURDAY, 4-3-2-1 PARADE & PRAYER … the attached flyer provides details on the COUNTDOWN TO EASTER with an 8 am 5K run/walk starting at Winnsboro High School, then a PRAYER PARADE at 9 am at WHS followed by an Easter Egg Hunt at 10:30 am at the high school.  There will also be a prayer time at our newest church in town FREEDOM CHURCH (Highway 11 east).

EASTER SUNRISE SERVICE: 4/4, 6:50 am, Ragsdale Home, 270 CR 4228, Winnsboro … come and have coffee and donuts with us as we begin the dawn of a new day at SUNRISE! Dress comfortably and invite your friends!  In the event of questionable weather, we will post an update on our Facebook page, website page, and Instagram by 5 AM.  We will have the service in the sanctuary in the event of rain so say a prayer for great weather!

REGULAR EASTER SERVICE, 10:50 am in the sanctuary … Adler and Hearne will be here to celebrate EASTER with us as we welcome families and hopefully, new friends who will all be coming to celebrate the RISEN CHRIST!

Also, I know you’re excited to have NEW people join us for Easter so PLEASE if you are able, park in my driveway, in front of my house, or in the parking lot in front of the Baptist Church! And won’t you PLEASE leave the back pews open for our guests? It’s hard to come to a new church the 1st time and not know what to do so please be aware of people you don’t know!

And one more thing, which I HOPE you will see as a very GOOD problem to have IF we have it! If we have so many people in the sanctuary that we need volunteers to move into Wesley Hall and watch LIVE on the big screens, please be willing to give up your seat! If you see me go stand by the choir door, I’ll raise my hand with the apx. number of people we need to make room for. Please just casually get up and go …  we won’t ANNOUNCE this because we don’t want anyone feeling awkward, just stand up and go to Wesley Hall please. THANKS, SO MUCH for truly putting others first!

CORONA VIRUS PROTOCOL CHANGES
As we announced on Sunday, COVID cases have dropped drastically in our 7 counties! In the last 4 weeks, there have been LESS THAN 425 cases per week in all our 7 counties compared to 2,500 cases per week in the January-February report. That, and because so many people have been vaccinated, we will remove the pew restrictions/ribbons next Sunday. Of course, we’ll encourage people to wear masks who still do not feel comfortable and ask that families keep some distance between each other, but we are going to empower people to make good choices for themselves. We’ll keep a close watch on the infection rate and be ready to CHANGE if we need to or, as new information emerges.

We have done everything we possibly can to make getting vaccines accessible for our church members and as of TODAY, everyone in Texas 16 and older is eligible to get the vaccine!  I recognize that some of you don’t plan on getting the vaccine so I’d imagine you’ll want to continue to wear masks and be careful about your social distancing. For everyone who feels safe, we can’t wait to see you back, AND YES, we will be standing again to sing!

What is our plan to MAKE DISCIPLES FOR JESUS CHRIST?
First and foremost, we already have the most IMPORTANT thing we need – we love each other, and we are the most welcoming church in Winnsboro! We’re willing to love NEW members of the church family and we understand that the church does not exist for OUR benefit, it exists for the benefit of those who do not know the love of Christ! Because we are willing to put our desires to the side in order to make our church attractive for NEW people, God is already smiling!

Last fall when the Church Council was brainstorming our 2021 hopes to MAKE DISCIPLES, we recognized that some changes would have to happen … first, we had budgeted a part-time, 10 hour a week position for a CHILDREN’S MINISTRY LEADER but we realized if we were going to be true to our desire to grow our children’s ministry, 10 hours would not be enough! So, instead of replacing a 20 hour a week secretary whose primary time was spent doing financial work, we hired a professional CPA for 1/10th the cost, yes, 1/10th the cost! We then reallocated that salary in 2 ways …

Half of the secretary salary, 10 hours a week, was put toward a new position of SOCIAL MEDIA COORDINATOR, and as you know Sarah Sparks was hired last fall.  To connect with young families, we knew we needed to use social media more effectively and since Sarah started, we have now strengthened our INSTAGRAM account, we’ve started a TWITTER account and, of course, we’re beginning to focus on building younger followers on FACEBOOK.

The other half of the secretary salary was added to the CHILDREN’S MINISTRY LEADER position so now, as we begin to come out of COVID, we will be able to hire a 20 hour a week children’s leader.  Let me share with you our goals for this position, understanding that based on coronavirus changes we have had to be FLEXIBLE in our timetables and most of this may not begin until late summer:

  • Restart children’s church Sunday mornings at 10:50 am (late spring)
  • Start a new mid-week evening adult Sunday School class for young parents and a new mid-week evening program for kids, 1st – 6th grade … we’ll begin having discussions with parents late spring/early summer.
  • Begin having a nursery during midweek programming and Sunday worship for infants through Kindergarten.
  • Start a KIDS’ BEACH CLUB MINISTRY at the school for 3rd thru 5th graders this fall … this is what we’re most excited about and we are working to get permission to do this now!  Bringing a “mini-VBS” to the kids in the school one afternoon a week is SUPER exciting … it will be a great way to serve children who DO have a church home but an even better way to REACH children who do not!

We also discussed the fact that if we want to attract younger families, WE NEED TO TRY A NEW MUSIC STYLE, with a goal of blending some newer music in with the traditional hymns.  As I have always said since I got here in November 2017, while some people would love to sing old traditional hymns every Sunday and others wish we could sing more new songs, when you love your neighbors, you’re willing to make a little sacrifice for each other!  And I believe, in this post-pandemic world, we have an opportunity to try something different if we really DO want to attract younger families.

We have had a budget for a music director for 2 years that we only used for 3 months in 2019, mostly because the choir had dwindled, then COVID hit. Starting this MAY, we’re going to step out of our comfort zone and try something QUITE different!  We’re going to give the choir a 3-month break and hire 1-2 musicians/soloists each week to come and play music and lead singing, combining traditional and new songs. I have asked Lola to be flexible and continue to support our musicians/soloists when we need a pianist, but I also realize she may want to find a new job.  I am trusting that God will work all this out!

We are blessed that we had 4-5 of our choir members return to church in December when we reopened and take turns leading us in music. I am so grateful they will continue through April.  
 
Then, in May through July, we will secure different musicians/singers to lead our worship on Sundays AND allow more time for MORE music in the service.  Our winter teaching service on Mark was designed for a quarantine service where most people were watching online, and many of them sign in and sign out for the message only and skip other parts of the service.  Simply put, a teaching service requires a little longer message, 30 minutes, where regular sermons can be shorter allowing more time for music! So why have I recommended we try something totally new? What kind of music am I talking about?

As I mentioned I would like to see a blend of both traditional songs, with maybe an updated bridge to add some “newness” to the traditional verse, AND some more contemporary songs that we can learn.  But I’d also like to try different styles … some of our local musicians write their own Christian songs, some are a little bit country, gospel, “Top 40”, etc., but they will ALWAYS do a blend of HYMNS from the hymnal and some new songs!

Benefits of having different musicians:

  • We can TRY new styles of music without committing to hiring just ONE worship leader; if we decide that someone is a fit for us and we are a fit for them later, we can cross that bridge IF we decide to hire “regulars.”
  • By having different musicians come and play they often invite their followers to come to hear them – this will give us an opportunity to meet new people and be exposed to opportunities to make disciples.
  • This will give us “something new” to promote heavily in our community and give people a chance to “come and see”! 

DOWNSIDES of trying something new?

  • Change is not always easy!  Some will be unhappy.  But what I know is this … if you ask everyone in our church, this question, “What’s more important, A) singing nothing but old, traditional hymns every Sunday, or … B) singing some old, traditional hymns and having more young families?” the vast majority would choose B! 
  • Not every musician will be “our” style and we won’t invite them back! We, okay I, will make mistakes!  But I am willing to ere on the side of trying than to not do anything at all, and I am willing to take full responsibility for trying something new!

I will be available after Easter to EVERYONE and ANYONE who has any questions or thoughts or concerns!  I realize change is a little scary – believe me, I’m having to put a LOT of trust in God in this process – but please come talk to me … my office doors are wide open! (After Easter!)

I am extremely excited about creating a music ministry that will reach a much broader audience than we have been able to reach in the past – I hope you are too! THE WORST THAT CAN HAPPEN? We stop doing this and try something different!

I PRAY YOU ARE BLESSED BY THIS HOLIEST OF HOLY WEEKS …

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.    John 3:16-17

Pastor Debbie


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