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7-18-22 FUMC Updates, 10 Commandments

Whew!  The 10 COMMANDMENTS are tough to revisit, aren’t they?  As I have been digging down into what rules and laws have to do with FREEDOM I am even more amazed at God’s grace!

Unfortunately, in the 25-30 minutes we have on Sundays to talk about such important topics, it’s hard to get the FULL picture of how important the Old Testament 10 commandments are, but as I mentioned on Sunday, Jesus lives out those commandments, and reiterates those commandments by combining the 1st four commandments we talked about yesterday, the LOVE GOD commandments, with the next six commandments, the LOVE OTHERS commandments. We’ll talk about those last six in the next two weeks.

Let me give you a little more of the story …

The first time Moses went up to Mt. Sinai to receive God’s laws, he remained for 40 days. God gave him 10 commandments, carved in stone, and more than 600 additional laws that Moses was to share with the people. Yes, I said … the FIRST time. Exodus Chapters 20 – 31 outlines all those laws and I can imagine that Moses was pretty overwhelmed when he finally came down from Mount Sinai.

And what did he do? He smashed those tablets in a rage!

Why? Because: When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, “Come, make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him.” Ex. 32:1 What’s so incredible about this is that it was Aaron, Moses’ brother, the right-hand man that God sent to help Moses that organized the building of the idol!

Presumably, the people made the idol “just in case” their God wasn’t really the one, true God, but they broke the central principle of the laws even as they were receiving them: “You shall have no other gods before me”. Ex. 20:3

When Moses saw the Israelites, God’s people, worshipping the golden calf they had built…. and saw the calf and the dancing, his anger burned and he threw the tablets out of his hands, breaking them to pieces at the foot of the mountain. And he took the calf the people had made and burned it in the fire; then he ground it to powder, scattered it on the water, and made the Israelites drink it.  Ex. 32:19-20

This is astonishing stuff!! Moses was furious because “the people were out of control and that it was Aaron’s fault. The people had made fools of themselves in front of their enemies” Ex. 32:25  God was so angry He wanted to destroy them (but grace prevailed!) and I would bet the Israelites were terrified of the repercussions coming! This was one BIG mess!  

In the end, it was God’s grace that drew Moses back up the mountain for the second round of rules, and here’s the thing … the new, revised ten commandments (you can read them here) were given to Israel, along with all the other rules, not simply as a suggestion but as a rule of life! God wanted them to know how to live a wonderful life in His beautiful land, and under His authority, and these commandments are what would make them who they were meant to be. They provided a unique moral and ceremonial pattern for their community living: it told them what festivals to celebrate, who they could marry, what they could eat, etc.

I like how Psalm 19 paints a lovely picture of WHY the study and observance of the law was so important to the Israelites:  The law of the LORD is perfect, refreshing the soul; the decrees of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple… They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb (Ps 19:7,10). This is pretty powerful imagery, especially in a culture that didn’t even KNOW about refined sugar!

Sadly, while God did not abandon His people, they were punished for worshipping a false idol: And the Lord struck the people with a plague because of what they did with the calf Aaron had made. 32:35 And this is the nature of sin … our choices, while we are always forgiven, DO have consequences! Freedom comes when we make choices pleasing to God and the 10 commandments give us everything we need to live ABUNDANTLY in God’s grace!

THIS SUNDAY: Love Others – Commandments 5-6 


WHAT’S GOING ON?  See the calendar here!

We’re happy to welcome the DULCIMER DAMES to FUMC!  They will be meeting to practice in Asbury Hall on THURSDAYS, 1:30 – 3 pm and you are welcome to join them!  The dulcimer is a “musical instrument with a sounding board or box, typically trapezoidal in shape, over which strings of graduated length are stretched, played by being struck with handheld hammers.” If you want to learn and be around supportive others who want to practice, or you’re looking for a group to encourage your already blossoming hobby, you are welcome!  Click to here how pretty they sound! For more information contact: Glynda Willis, gkwillisgk@msn.com.

CRAFTERS will start meeting again on Wednesdays, 3-5 PM again starting August 3rd. Come for the creative fellowship and help make crafts for Christmas in the Park

WILD, WACKY WEDNESDAYS in July continues, 6 – 7:15 …we’ll all have hotdogs and ice cream together, then at 6:30 the kids will head outside for wacky water fun and the adults will meet for Bible study to discuss the UNFORGIVABLE SIN.

SPIRITUAL GIFTS CLASS, Saturday, July 30, part 1 and August 6, part 2, 9 am – 3 pm … this 2 part-class will help participants understand spiritual gifts and how the church can use them to fulfill its mission and ministry. Participants will identify their own spiritual gifts and also learn what it means to be a spiritual leader who is equipped to lead others in exploring and using their own spiritual gifts. Contact Carla Chitsey for details: cchitsey@yahoo.com

YOU’RE INVITED TO THE GRAPE HARVEST, July 23rd and July 30th, 7 am – 11 am, Mary & Brad’s vineyard, 9502 FM 1448, Winnsboro: this has become a tradition at FUMC where we help harvest grapes and then share the fresh juice on our communion Sunday! Mary writes: “We furnish harvest forks, buckets, and gloves.  You should wear clothes you don’t mind getting a little grape juice on and bring sunscreen, hat, and protection.  The grass will be shredded but you will probably want closed shoes for the vineyard.  Be sure to bring your swimsuits and flip-flops for stomping and enjoying the pool! Our goal is to finish around 11 so that we can enjoy a stomp, swim, potluck, and tasting.  Many harvesters make light work and more time for fun!  It’s a family affair!  We hope you will come and bring your friends! For planning purposes, it would be helpful if you can let us know which harvest you will be attending and approximately how many people are in your party.” maryewhite@comcast.net

Please HONOR THE SABBATH, 10:50 – 11:50 am on Sundays … children’s church, K – 5th graders; online on Facebook, (https://www.facebook.com/FUMCWinnsboro) or in-person with your friends and neighbors.


Pastor Debbie


7-5-22 FUMC Updates

Have you ever wondered why God chose Moses, a self-confessed murderer, to lead His people out of Egypt and be the LAWGIVER? Do you think it’s strange that there is no mention of Moses asking for forgiveness or being forgiven?  Or could it be that “murder” and “killing” have different meanings in ancient cultures?

This Wednesday, July 6th6-7:15 PMFLC … our JULY Wild, Wacky, Family WEDNESDAYS start at 6 PM and after a casual dinner, the kids will go outside for WACKY water fun from 6:30-7:15 (bring towels!), and the adults will mosey on over to Wesley Hall as we try to find answers to some of those WILD things in the Bible, also from 6:30 – 7:15!  

This will be the plan for every Wednesday night in July – maybe dinner will be a little lighter, maybe we’ll have tacos instead of hotdogs – but there will be food at 6, then water fun and Bible study from 6:30-7:15 every Wednesday this month and EVERYONE is invited!


The directory is only as current as the information you give us has been updated with any changes you have provided us. The directory is meant for your own personal use – please don’t share addresses or contact information with anyone.  If you want a printed copy or want to verify your information, contact Heather at COMMUNICATIONS@fumcwinnsboro.com.

UPCOMING DATES:  always on the calendar HERE.

Wednesday, 7/6, 6-7:15 FLC …Wacky Wild Family Wednesday- dinner for all, Bible study for adults & water fun for kids

Saturday, 7/16, 10m-3 pm, First Baptist …The Carter Bloodmobile will be at the First Baptist Church and YOU can help save a life! Make an appointment here or just show up! https://www.carterbloodcare.org/donate-blood/

Saturday, 7/30 & 8/6, 9 am-3 pm, Discover Your Spiritual Gifts… the North Texas Conference is coming to Winnsboro to teach this very important course! This course will help you understand the unique spiritual gifts God has given you and how your gifts can be used to serve God’s church! CLICK HERE for more information, early registration closes July 18th, If you’d like to order the book, I will order using our tax-free account but please let me know if you want a book.

Participant’s book: Each One a Minister by William J. Carter, $14

EMMAUS WALKS, Men’s Fall Walk, September 22-25, 2022, Woman’s Fall Walk, October 20-23, 2022. The Walk to Emmaus is an Upper Room sponsored 3-day spiritual experience, Thursday evening – Sunday evening, that includes 10 faith talks, fabulous worship experiences, great food, and yes, some FUN mixed in. CLICK HERE for details on the Upper Room site. Then be sure to let me know if you’re interested!  There have not been any walks in 2 years so these Walks will likely fill up quickly … let me know if you have questions!


This Sunday the EXODUS continues with DELIVERANCE … Moses confronts Pharoah with God’s 10 plagues and the journey to the Promised Land begins!  Honor the Sabbath!

All in Christ,

Pastor Debbie


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