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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4-09-19 FUMC Updates

I am at the Prothro Methodist Retreat Center as you read this. I wish I could tell you that it’s a RELAXING retreat, it isn’t.  But . . . it is probably the most sacred and holy work I do throughout the year. I serve on the BOARD of MINISTRY which is an appointed, then confirmed by the Annual Conference, group of lay and clergy representatives to identify the future Pastors for the United Methodist Church. Once candidates have felt a call to ordained ministry, it is our responsibility as Board of Ministry members to be sure they are ready. This week is our third meeting this year and we meet Sunday afternoon from 3:30 – 9 p.m. We have breakfast at 7 a.m. and finish up in the evenings about 9 p.m. We interview six candidates a day and then we deliberate, in prayer and holy conferencing, which candidates are ready for ordination, and which might need another year of preparation. This is a very humbling experience and when I tell you it’s sacred, I can’t explain how PRESENT the Holy Spirit is in these conversations. Please pray for us all as we begin this process. I’ll be back for our LAST Lenten Study on Wednesday night!
Come for Our Lenten Study ~ Wednesday night after dinner, 6:30 p.m. ~ This week we will be talking in depth about the burial clothes that were left neatly folded in the tomb, and we’ll get a taste of what the promise of resurrection REALLY means! These are single, stand-alone talks so if you’ve missed them or missed some, please come anyway!
Wednesday Night Meals ~ Just a reminder, the net proceeds from the meals through LENT will be going to the Methodist Children’s Home. Please be generous with your love offering!
Last Chance to Bring Candy for the Easter Egg Hunt ~ The egg hunt is April 14, so please drop off a small bag of candy at the office before WEDNESDAY, or bring it Wednesday night please. 
Holy Week Begins This Sunday ~ Details on the website HEREI’d like to encourage you to make time to soak up the tension of this sacred, faith building week. It begins this Sunday with Palm Sunday and shouts of joy and Easter egg hunts and pictures in the courtyard with the beautiful azaleas blooming. Then the tone drops drastically as we have a Last Supper with Jesus before He is arrested, sentenced to death and crucified. Rather than ask, “What can I get from all these worship experiences this week?,” think about asking, “What can I give Jesus with my presence and my commitment this week?”
Sunday, April 14, 10:50 a.m. ~ Palm Sunday ~ Kids will meet in the lobby no later than 10:45 for the palm parade. The Easter Egg Hunt will follow after the service. Kids, bring your Easter Basket.
Wednesday, April 17 ~ NO DINNER
Thursday, April 18, 6:30-8 p.m. ~ Holy Thursday ~ A very special experience in WESLEY HALL, remembering the Passover Jesus shared with His friends and the spiritual significance of that meal in communion today.
Friday, April 19 ~ Drop by anytime between 4-6 p.m. ~ GOOD FRIDAY ~ A somber time to remember the last 24 hours in the life of Christ. You’ll receive a guided self meditation that will allow you to walk through the sanctuary at your own pace.
Sunday, April 21 ~ Easter (details on the website)
6:45 a.m., SUNRISE SERVICE ~ Throw on a pair of jeans and join us to celebrate the morning at Ken and Elaina Ragsdale’s home, 270 County Road 4228, Winnsboro. (From the intersection of SH 11 West and FM 852 West, go 2.75 miles to a right turn on CR 4228.)  RAIN? We’ll move to the SANCTUARY. Check the homepage of the website or FACEBOOK for an update at 6 a.m., or we’ll send a text on the prayer chain.)  
7:45 a.m., PANCAKE BREAKFAST at the Ragsdales
10:50 a.m. TRADITIONAL SERVICE in the sanctuary
Want to help with the pancake breakfast on Easter morning?  CONTACT DON BEATY at donbeaty47@gmail.com  
Want to Help the Ragsdales set up for Sunrise Easter Service? Move chairs to and from the church? Contact KEN RAGSDALE kenr91@peoplescom.net 
Please be in prayer for those people who do not have a church home and are contemplating the possibility of going to church somewhere on Easter.
Debbie Lyons, Pastor
First United Methodist Church Winnsboro
301 Church Street, Winnsboro, TX. 75494
CLICK HERE for our Facebook
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4-02-19 FUMC Updates

I must admit, my excitement of Easter being just 2-1/2 weeks away makes me want to take a DEEP BREATH thinking about the magnitude of the responsibility for providing an opportunity for Jesus to touch people who may ONLY come to church on Easter! This excitement is tempered a bit by the fact that I’ve been thinking about my Dad who has been in the hospital, I’ve been sad for my friend whose 23-year-old daughter died unexpectedly from an autoimmune disease, I was out of town for four days two weeks ago and have to be out of town three more days next week for Board of Ministry work, not to mention that HOLY week has beautiful, sacred, VERY special events on Thursday night, Friday afternoon, Sunday at sunrise and then, of course, our traditional Easter service at 10:50!  WHEW!
As busy as things are, I see so many droplets of grace! God, as always, is hard at work. My Dad got a new pacemaker yesterday and he’s going home tomorrow; my friend’s faith is so strong and her witness inspires me; Laquita is absolutely INCREDIBLE and doing so much to keep everything on track; Amy Moss, our worship chair, is planning ahead and getting things ready: the Ragsdales are already getting ready for the amazing Easter sunrise service at their home; JC is working hard with the choir to make Easter special; Don Beaty and the men are making plans for the pancake breakfast; many of you will bring candy for the egg hunt; some will soon be bringing lilies for our traditional Easter service in the sanctuary; Elaina and Julie will be making plans to design our altar with JOY, JOY, JOY . . . Whew, again! I could go on and on! We are the BODY of Christ and we have had this somber season of LENT to prepare for Easter just 18 days away. Let us rejoice and be glad in it!
WEDNESDAY NIGHT MEALS MINISTRY ~ We are so incredibly BLESSED to have a team of people who faithfully plan, shop, cook, make desserts, and cleanup for our Wednesday night meals, week after week! The food is always delicious and the fellowship is always heart warming! I spoke to Don Beaty this morning and we thought it might be good to FREEZE OUR LEFTOVERS to be used for people who return from the hospital and need some help for a few days, for people who stop by the church office and are hungry, for home-bound people who may not get a homecooked meal very often, etc. Sometimes when we don’t know what to do, but we WANT to help, food is a simple answer! If YOU would like to take a frozen meal to someone on our prayer list or in your neighborhood, just call the office and let us know! If we have meals, we want you to be the face of the church whether they are connected to OUR church or not!
Please Bring A Small Bag of Candy for the Easter Egg Hunt ~ Wednesday night, April 3, or Sunday morning, April 7 ~ The Egg Hunt will be after church on April 14. Thanks for your help!
EASTER EVENTS are all detailed on the website (CLICK HERE) but you can also pick up a HOLY WEEK invitation to share with neighbors and friends. They are in the choir hall or lobby. I do want to start sharing some details as we get closer:
PALM SUNDAY ~ April 14, 10:50 a.m. (Children will gather in the lobby at 10:40 am) ~ If you’re wondering where the worship series, THE STONES CRY OUT came from, you’ll find out on Palm Sunday! This Sunday observes the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem that was marked by the crowds who were in Jerusalem for Passover (I’ll talk more about this NEXT week) waving palm branches and proclaiming Him as the messianic King. The Gospels tell us that Jesus rode into the city on a donkey, enacting the prophecy of Zechariah 9:9, and in so doing emphasized the humility that was to characterize the Kingdom He proclaimed. The irony of this is that five days later they would all cry for His execution ~ a sobering reminder of our human tendency to want God on our own terms.
This Sunday is also known as Passion Sunday to commemorate the beginning of Holy Week and Jesus’ final agonizing journey to the cross. On April 14,the kids will reenact the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem by the waving of palm branches and singing songs of celebration. 
MEN ~ Want to help with the Pancake Breakfast on Easter morning? CONTACT DON BEATY at donbeaty47@gmail.com
WANT TO HELP THE RAGSDALES SET UP FOR SUNRISE EASTER SERVICE? Move chairs to and from the church? Contact KEN RAGSDALE kenr91@peoplescom.net
THIS SUNDAY ~ We will be looking at the Confession of Peter when he proclaims Jesus to be the Christ, the long awaited Jewish Messiah. The proclamation is described in 3 Gospels: Matthew 16:13-20, Mark 8:27–30 and Luke 9:18–20 when Peter declares, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 
Debbie Lyons, Pastor
First United Methodist Church Winnsboro
301 Church Street, Winnsboro, TX. 75494
CLICK HERE for our Facebook
CLICK HERE for our website


3-25-19 FUMC Updates

I hope you have found a way to do something special for Lent. And it’s not too late! Easter isn’t until April 21st and a Lenten “fast” doesn’t have to consist of just abstinence from the things we love, but it can be doing things that will make our lives more meaningful.  
Why do we do this? We do this in order to focus our relationship with God, and remember the 40 days Jesus spent in the wilderness during the temptation of Satan. Maybe you could not BUY anything you don’t need and give the money to the church, clean out one closet/garage a week and take good, reusable things to the Blessing Box, make a commitment not to gossip or say ANYTHING derogatory about anyone, try a Sunday school group, write a note every day to a different person on the prayer list (our directory is on the website), attend the Wednesday night Bible study, don’t eat after dinner, give up 30 minutes of computer time for prayer time, etc. Again, it’s not too late! 
Wednesday, March 27, 6:30 p.m. ~ After dinner, come join us as this week we’re diving into the promise behind the sign, KING OF THE JEWS,  placed above the head of Jesus on the cross. We will also look at the promise of the NAILS. While the conversation is difficult, we must appreciate the torture of crucifixion to understand the glory of salvation!
This Sunday, March 31, 9:30 a.m. ~ Coffee and Donuts with Judge Lucy Hebron ~ in WESLEY HALL 
We are inviting EVERYONE, all Sunday school classes and all those NOT in Sunday school classes, to come hear the amazing faith story of Wood County Judge LUCY HEBRON! Please don’t miss this. You won’t be sorry you shared this opportunity with a neighbor or friend!
Carla Chitsey’s Book is Available on Amazon ~ How exciting that we have an author in the church. GOD SPELLED BACKWARDS is the name of her book! You can SAVE by buying a copy directly from Carla and paying no shipping so please email her at  cchitsey@yahoo.com
L o o k i n g   A h e a d? The Easter webpage has updated information on all the upcoming Easter related events ~  Bible study, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter sunrise service and Easter traditional service. I’ll be sharing more details as we get closer but please be sure to mark these dates on your calendar!
Palm Sunday, April 14 ~ Be sure all your children and grandchildren are here for the palm processional!
Holy Thursday, April 18, 6:30 p.m. ~ A Christian Last Supper Experience ~ Want to learn how the Jewish Passover impacted our sacrament of communion? This will be a very special experience!
Good Friday, April 19 Drop in anytime between 4-6 PM to remember the day Christ was crucified.
6:45 a.m. ~ SUNRISE out at the Ragsdale’s home
7:45 a.m. ~ Pancake Breakfast, also at the Ragsdale’s 
10:50 a.m. ~ Traditional Service
Have you ever felt rejected? Left out? Not “good enough?” THE STONES CRY OUT again this Sunday as we look at Rejected Stones, Psalm 118 and Matthew 21:33-44. We are getting closer and closer to Easter, who might YOU invite to be part of that amazing day?
Debbie Lyons, Pastor
First United Methodist Church Winnsboro
301 Church Street, Winnsboro, TX. 75494
CLICK HERE for our Facebook
CLICK HERE for our website


3-18-19 FUMC Update

HAPPY SPRING! What a fabulous day we had yesterday as we celebrated the Prayer Quilt Ministry and the presentation of the 50th quilt! The beautiful colors and the reminders of how many lives have been touched was amazing and we thank ALL the people who diligently choose the patterns and colors, and do the cutting, ironing and stitching!
This Wednesday, March 20, is the first day of spring and as the days get longer and the journey to the cross gets shorter, I am looking forward to seeing more and more people back in church and connected to the wonderful ministries that provide a true sense of belonging!
9-11 a.m. ~ Women’s Bible Study, Leslie James’ book DIFFERENT
5:45 p.m. ~ Fellowship Meal ~ Invite a Friend!
6:30 p.m. ~ HE CHOSE THE NAILS Bible Study. This week, the promise of the soldiers spit and the wine soaked sponge
5th Sunday, March 31 ~ Coffee and Donuts with Judge, 9:30 a.m.
In 2019, we’re inviting EVERYONE, all Sunday school classes and all those NOT in Sunday school classes, to meet TOGETHER on the 5th Sundays for coffee, donuts and a wonderful speaker! We’re kicking off on March 31st with an AMAZING guest, Wood County Judge LUCY HEBRON! Judge Lucy has an incredible testimony of how her family immigrated under dangerous and difficult conditions from Russia, and she will also update us on how she integrates her faith in her public role.  PLEASE INVITE a FRIEND to come meet our NEW County Judge. I have heard Judge Lucy speak on this topic, and you won’t be sorry you shared this opportunity with a neighbor or friend!
LOOKING AHEAD? The Easter webpage has updated information on all the upcoming Easter related events: Bible study, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter sunrise service and Easter traditional service. I’ll be sharing more details as we get closer but please be sure to mark these dates on your calendar!
HOLY THURSDAY ~ A Christian Last Supper Experience ~ April 18, 6:30 p.m.
GOOD FRIDAY  ~ April 19 ~ drop in anytime between 4-6 p.m.
EASTER SUNDAY ~ April 21 ~ Sunrise Service at 6:45 a.m., traditional service at 10:50 a.m.
THE STONES CRY OUT AGAIN this Sunday as we look at Hearts of Stone . We will take a closer look at things in our lives we’d like to leave at the foot of the cross, especially ways we easily slip into judging others instead of loving others. The scripture is clear about the consequences, Woe to you who ….”
Debbie Lyons, Pastor
First United Methodist Church Winnsboro
301 Church Street, Winnsboro, TX. 75494
CLICK HERE for our Facebook
CLICK HERE for our website


3-4-19 FUMC Updates

I’m always rejuvenated when we start a new worship series and as LENT begins, I find there is SO much to think about that I hardly know where to begin! The good news is that I really DO know where we begin … we begin with the solemn service of ASH WEDNESDAY (3/6, 6:45) which is the reminder to us all that we all come from dust, and to dust we all return. Gen. 3:19. Lent begins with a reminder that we are mortal people, only promised eternal life by a Savior who was willing to sacrifice Himself for our sins, so I hope you’ll all come Wednesday night for this special worship time together.

ASH WEDNESDAY, March 6th: 5:45 dinner, 6:45 worship … please come for a simple dinner on Wednesday night in a spirit of “sacrifice”. All the net proceeds from our Wednesday night love offering will be donated this year to the Methodist Children’s Home, where children have been adopted and cared for many years! Following dinner, we’ll move to the sanctuary for the opening worship of Lent, a somber service where ashes will be placed on your forehead as a reminder of our sin and mortality. JC will be singing a beautiful song for us, so don’t miss it. SUNDAYS THROUGH LENT:  I’m very excited about our worship series through Lent, THE STONES CRY OUT … starting this Sunday, March 10th, through Palm Sunday on April 14th, we’ll remember what Christ has done for us, and how we can be ready for Easter! It’s a somber season of reflection (this website gives a great background on Lent) and a time to consider what WE might sacrifice as we focus on the ULTIMATE sacrifice of Jesus, His brutal death on the cross. This first Sunday, 3/10, the STONES OF TEMPTATION will take us to the wilderness with Jesus as He was tired and hungry and being tempted to turn stones into BREAD … what do WE do when we’re tempted? How can we avoid making the wrong choices? PLEASE THANK ELAINA RAGDALE and JULIE LEWIS for their wonderful altar-scapes!  During the special days and seasons of the year they work hard to bring a visual focus and emotional connection to the service by their creative altar decorations. LET’S GATHER!  Wednesday, March 13th, 5:45 … if you were in church this Sunday you received an “invitation” to give to a friend, inviting them to come join us to CELEBRATE the first dinner after daylight savings time AND the first Wednesday of the pre-Easter season!  Please pray deeply about who God might put on YOUR heart and share an invitation with someone who might be looking for a place to belong. WEDNESDAY NIGHT BIBLE STUDY: Starting March 13th, 6:30 … I always love bringing Max Lucado’s words to LIFE and we’ll do JUST that at our next study: HE CHOSE THE NAILS.  After dinner we’ll dig into the GIFTS that come to us from the DEATH of Christ … yes GIFTS of the cross, the nails, the sign calling Him King of the Jews, the sponge that was used to mock His thirst as He was dying, and more.  I hope you’ll all come – we’ll start at 6:30 be finished by 7:45! POT LUCK SUNDAY SCHOOL CLASS … Sundays, 9:30am, Asbury Hall … our self described “70 somethings” class is starting a new study on Ecclesiastes designed especially for this stage of life and you’re invited! If you don’t have a place to connect, give it a try! PREPARE TO BE AMAZED BY GOD as we begin the sacred season of Lent …

Debbie Lyons, Pastor
First United Methodist Church Winnsboro
301 Church Street, Winnsboro, TX. 75494
CLICK HERE for our Facebook