Reaching beyond our church walls
for those seeking a place to belong.
All are welcome at FUMC so dive on in! We are a warm and welcoming congregation where you can meet people, celebrate life, grow deeper and stronger in your faith, and turn energy into action that transforms the world. EVERYONE is invited and if you’d like us to meet you at the door, email us HERE and we’ll be there! 
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10:50 a.m.

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2-19-19 FUMC Updates

What a GREAT Sunday it was at FUMC!!  Lots of energy and a JOY to welcome Ted and Shiela Haynes into membership!  Ted and Shiela have moved here from Tulsa, OK, and they’re excited about getting involved in the church!  I know you’ll enjoy getting to know them as much as I am!
THIS SUNDAY: a special THANK-YOU to Judy Beaty … … it’s not often we find volunteers as committed as Judy has been to serving her church by leading the choir for the last 2 years. Refusing to take any compensation, and faithfully inspiring and directing our choir out of sheer LOVE, Judy has been a wonderful gift to ALL of us, making music an integral part of our worship experience! As we get ready to pass the baton to a new music minister, please be sure to come say THANK-YOU to Judy this Sunday as she prepares to get the break she so very much deserves!
PLEASE WELCOME OUR NEW MUSIC MINISTER: JC Waddell! … I am very excited to announce that we have hired JC Waddell as our new part-time Music Minister. JC and his fiance, Stacy, live in Winnsboro and they are both very excited to have a new church home at FUMC!  JC has a B.A. from Henderson State University, AR, in INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC EDUCATION. He is currently the Middle School Band Director and Assistant High School Band Director at Paul Pewitt CISD (since 7/15) and he was the Choir Director at Hawkins FUMC (2/14-7/17, 5/15-5/16) and comes with glowing references! JC will be working closely with Judy Beaty and our amazing choir in this transition time so please pray for him in this transition.
PASSING OF THE BATON RECEPTION … Sunday, March 3rd after church …  let’s thank JUDY BEATY as she passes the baton to JC WADDELL at a short reception after church on March 3rd. We’ll have light refreshments and time to thank Judy and welcome JC personally!
NEW SUNDAY GROUP GETS STARTED THIS SUNDAY: 2/24, 9:30 AM … there was lots of energy in the FLC this Sunday as Amy Moss gathered a group together to talk about what people are looking for in a NEW small group. Until long term plans are established and a leadership team is created, please read the Book of Jonah (it’s only 4 chapters!) … this link has study notes on the right side.  If you haven’t found a place to connect, don’t miss the inaugural gathering this Sunday at 9:30 in the FLC!!
MIDDLE SCHOOL … Camp Bridgeport??  Parents … have you thought about the POWERFUL impact summer camp can have on your kids and their faith? Please talk to each other and see if there’s a date that will work for you all … scholarships may be available so don’t let cost hold you back.  Click Here for details!
THANKS TO THE YOUTH FOR SERVING OUR VALENTINE’S DAY DINNER!  They did SUCH a great job that, thanks to some GENEROUS donations, they raised $500 for the SENIOR GRADUATION CELEBRATION, an event designed to provide a safe place for seniors to enjoy their special, special time together! 
WHAT IS AN ENDOWMENT FUND2/20, 6:30 … Stay after dinner this Wednesday night and find out more about how God MULTIPLIES generous giving!  You’ll love getting to know Rev. Carol Montgomery from the Texas Methodist Foundation – she has a TRUE heart for generosity and making disciples for Jesus Christ.
EPHESIANS CHAPTER 4 … 2/24 … we are getting deeper and deeper into the message that “everyone belongs and ALL have a place in the family of God.”  This week, Paul tells us to get rid of our old “selves” and step out as NEW people in Christ!


2-11-19 FUMC Updates

We are all very excited to welcome Jill and Johnny Hobbs as members of FUMC!  How appropriate that our message on Sunday was “Welcome to the Family” because it’s always so inspiring to see people make a commitment to God when they take their vows of membership! 
As you know, I try to see every single person that walks through our doors as members of our family from the first day they come, and I also try to see everyone as made in the image of God, worthy of love … I hope YOU do too!  With Valentine’s Day approaching, let’s keep the message of LOVE fresh on our minds and in our hearts as we welcome new people into the FUMC family!
VALENTINE’S DAY WEDNESDAY NIGHT DINNER:  5:30 PM, 2/13 … This Wednesday night you’re in for a treat as our amazing and incredible kitchen team prepares a fabulous Valentine’s Day dinner for us!  Invite a friend and come for a great night of food and fellowship!!
UNITED METHODIST WOMEN: Thursday, 2/14, 10 AM … Faith, Hope, Love in action … THIS is what UMW is all about! All women are invited to come … “United Methodist Women shall be a community of women whose purpose is to know God and to experience freedom as whole persons through Jesus Christ; to develop a creative, supportive fellowship; and to expand concepts of mission through participation in the global ministries of the church.”
LOOKING FOR A PLACE TO CONNECT on SUNDAY MORNINGS?  Come for Coffee and donuts this SUNDAY, 2/17 10am Family Life Center … there are LOTS of places to connect at FUMC: our choir meets every Wednesday after dinner, our community women’s Bible study meets Wednesday mornings, quilters, crafters and knitters meet regularly, and we have 3 existing Sunday school classes that meet too!  If you haven’t found a place to “belong” or are looking to be part of something new, please join Amy Moss and others who are exploring the possibility of a “new group” on Sunday mornings … what might this look like? What would be important for YOU to find a connection?  This Sunday, just come and see … 
WHAT IS AN ENDOWMENT FUND? Wednesday, 2/120, 6:30 PM … please plan to stay after dinner and learn more about the incredible blessing we have been given to create new financial opportunities to make disciples for Jesus Christ! Rev. Carol Montgomery from the Texas Methodist Foundation is coming all the way from Dallas to help us kick-off this wonderful opportunity so please plan to stay!
OUR STUDY OF EPHESIANS CONTINUES … this Sunday we’ll be “fast forwarding” through Ephesians Chapter 3 and I’ll be reading from THE MESSAGE, a causal translation that, while not as accurate a Greek translation as the New Revised Standard , for example, (which we have in our pews), it is a beautiful, simple, every day language that puts the message into lovely, easy to understand language. 
WHICH BIBLE SHOULD I READ? ... People sometimes ask me which is the best Bible translation to read and I always answer … “the best Bible is the one you will READ!” Translations vary from accuracy to readability so unless you’re reading for exegetical value (deep theological understanding of Hebrew and Greek foundational meanings and expository understanding), then choose a Bible that is comfortable for YOU! 
I love spreading out ALL kinds of Bibles out on the table and talking about the differences between study bibles (life application, theme study, chronological, cultural, historical, or archaeological information, etc.) and then comparing the difference between translations!  If you’d be interested in talking about this, let me know!! 
God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us. Eph. 3:21 MESSAGE


2-5-19 FUMC Updates

I have been extremely humbled this week … I came home late last Wednesday night after an intense 3 1/2 day Board of Ministry meeting where we interviewed 18 potential new candidates to become ordained pastors in the United Methodist Church. It’s quite amazing to see how the Holy Spirit works in this important discernment process – I can’t explain it, but it’s powerful and it’s truly based on holy conferencing among the lay leaders and clergy on the Board. It’s painful to tell candidates they aren’t quite ready … this year we had 6 who we hope will come back next year. But I am so excited to tell you that the 12 people we referred for commissioning are AMAZING!! They have incredible VISION for the future of what the Church will look like in this changing world and they understand that making disciples for Jesus Christ requires some innovating ideas. Please say a prayer for all 18 of these people who are called to serve Christ in the years to come!

I did, however, come home exhausted and … SICK!  Oh, I may have had a slight cold in years gone by … I remember having strep throat when I was 16, but I don’t even have a thermometer in my house because I’m fortunate to have a good immune system! But when I got up with a fever on Monday, I broke down and went to the doctor and learned I had a viral lung infection … wow, this has knocked me off my feet!!  I say I feel humbled because I know I’m going to feel miserable for another day or so, but there are people who struggle every, single day with health challenges that are MUCH more difficult than this! Please, please, please … call people you have not seen in church, write a note to someone you know is struggling, or drop by and see someone from your Sunday school class or choir who might not be feeling that great.


We have 3 adult Sunday school groups that meet on Sunday mornings where relationships grow deeper and people study together to strengthen their faith. They all welcome visitors ANYTIME so why not visit them and see if one of them might be right for you? If you haven’t found a small group to plug into yet, please consider being part of a new class that Amy Moss will be starting at the end of this month. What might that look like? What would inspire YOU to belong? Let’s talk about it on Sunday, February 17th at 10 AM … come meet new people and share your thoughts about what this new class might look like.


We’re very excited to roll out the details on our NEW Endowment Fund!  As approved by the church membership last October, the $200,000 gift from the Milner Estate has been used to start a NEW Endowment Fund to enable people to give to the church in a way that is socially faithful to further our mission: TO MAKE DISCIPLES OF JESUS CHRIST. What is it? How does it work? Why have we done this? After dinner on, Wednesday, February 20th, come meet Rev. Carol Montgomery from the Texas Methodist Foundation and she’ll explain it all with our new Endowment Committee.


God has answered our prayers by sending us 2 excellent candidates for our position of MUSIC MINISTER. Representatives from our Staff Parish Relation team are finishing interviews this week and we hope to be making an offer soon. Won’t you please pray with me that God’s hand continues to guide our decision making process and that our new Music Minister will be a wonderful addition to our worship experience.

We have time to thank Judy Beaty appropriately for all she has done over the last 2 years to lead and guide our choir but let me begin now … JUDY BEATY YOU ARE AMAZING!!  Judy’s selfless gift to help the church through this time has been absolutely incredible and while I know she is looking forward to turning over the reigns, I will always rely on her for her knowledge and ideas … she truly IS amazing!!


If you miss a week of our Sunday study on the Book of Ephesians you can listen on the website (CLICK HERE) or watch the VIDEO on your Facebook (just scroll to ANY Sunday and you’ll find them!) This Sunday we’re continuing Ephesians Chapter 2 … our focus will be on verses 11-22 so you might want to read the whole chapter. (HERE)

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


1-14-19 FUMC Updates

What an exciting worship we had yesterday!! The Spirit was hard at work and it was so wonderful to see so many people there and quite a few NEW faces! (104 people there!) It makes a BIG difference when the “whole family is at the table” so don’t miss the movement that Jesus is orchestrating!

We are full steam ahead into the new year and with the installation of our new CHURCH COUNCIL, I have been overseeing the “passing of the baton” from former leaders to new leaders! This leadership team is the group of people, elected at the all church CHARGE CONFERENCE in the fall, to provide for planning and implementation of a program for nurturing, outreach, witness, and management of resources in the church. They also vision and plan for the future, implement strategies and annually evaluating the mission and ministry of the church: to MAKE DISCIPLES of JESUS CHRIST for the transformation of the world.  I am excited to work with them all and I’m excited to work toward our 2019 goals!

This year, I’m very excited to be diving into ways to attract people to the love of Christ.  Ken Ragsdale recently sent me a few short articles on this very topic and they DO make me think … what does it take to help someone see the VALUE of being a “church person“?  This article, 6 REASONS PEOPLE WALK AWAY FROM CHURCH was excellent (and short!) and the last one, “7 Ways to REACH the Nones” was also terrific. (And short!) I hope these make you think too because THIS is our task – to feel so inspired by what’s going on at FUMC that we want to share it with the world!

MUSIC MINISTER SEARCH IS ON!  I want to thank John Massey, Mary White, Danny McMahon, Judy Beaty, JaneAnne Newton and Amy Moss (Worship Chair) for their hard work and exceptional input to our discussions on music in worship at FUMC. We have met over the last 3 months and have now focused our efforts on a search for a new MUSIC MINISTER. (Job description attached.)  This is a 10 hour/week position and Judy is excited to help this new person, (and I believe God knows who it will be!)  If you know anyone who “knows anyone”, or you know anyone who might be interested, send them to our website/WORSHIP.  Thanks to Cyndie Ewert,

DO YOU HAVE VERIZON?  As you know, we use a FREE text service for all the prayer requests (60 have committed to PRAY when there is a need), and we also use it to connect groups i.e. Church Council, Youth, Care Team, Choir, etc. Sadly, VERIZON will be charging Remind a new fee that makes it impossible for them to continue supporting free text messaging for anyone who has Verizon Wireless as your phone carrier. Beginning January 28, 2019, the people in our groups who normally get your Remind messages as texts will no longer receive these messages if you have Verizon Wireless as your phone carrier. HOWEVER, to continue receiving your messages,  download the mobile app HERE or enable email notifications HERE (scroll down the page to “Get Email Notifications”—both of which are free of charge.)

WOMEN’S COMMUNITY BIBLE STUDY STARTS THIS WEDNESDAY: 9 AM  The Community Women’s Bible study led my Linda Suche starts back up this Wednesday and Linda has extra books so just come! There are also some other places for women to plug in … knitters, hand quilters, prayer quilters and crafters. (Crafters will start back in February).

PLEASE CONSIDER A WALK TO EMMAUS IF YOU WANT TO DEEPEN YOUR FAITH:  If you are looking for a way to grow in your faith, please pray about attending a 3 day Walk to Emmaus! (There is very LITTLE walking involved … WALK just reminds us of the people walking back home after the death/resurrection of Christ and not recognizing Him.) This incredible discipleship ministry is designed to deepen personal faith and build church leaders and as Pastor Debbie would say, during this time of spiritual renewal, prepare to be amazed by God!  Men, your Walk is first …. details are on our website or talk to Pastor Debbie or those who have experienced this remarkable event: Amy & Danny Moss, Jane Anne and J.A. Newton, Carla Chitsey, Penny Boice, Michael Park, Suzie Hamm, Sara Hays, or Laura Morrison. (If I missed you, please let me know!)

SAFER DOORS/NEW LOCK:  I want to thank Danny Moss, Ed Page and Jim Dyson for helping re-key the locks in Wesley Hall!  The VOLUNTEER Safety Team is continuing their work on making ALL of our doors safe – now, in the event of a fire,  doors in Wesley and the sanctuary have PUSH BARS making exit immediate, which has led to the need to re-key, and Asbury Hall and FLC will be done in the near future. The TRUSTEES will release keys to those who need access to buildings.    

LOOKING AHEAD:  New small group “studies” starting on Wednesday nights, February 6th 

… ALPHA: I am excited that we’ll be having another ALPHA group for anyone that missed the experience in the fall, or for anyone YOU know who does not have a church home and is interested in talking about “not so basic” faith issues. These 10 weeks are CONVERSATIONAL based discussions on topics that appear to be simple but are anything BUT simple! 

… A LIFE WORTH LIVING: another study that is going to be terrific is a conversational course based on Paul’s letter to the Philippians. This small group will  look at some of the things Jesus Christ does for us TODAY … the things that make Life Worth Living!

THIS SUNDAY is BAPTISM SUNDAY: This special event in the life of the church not only remembers the baptism of JESUS but it also helps us remember OUR baptisms, and the significance of what it means to be included in the family of faith. Baptism reminds us we are ALL dependent upon the grace of our loving God and in baptism, it’s not about the what the person being baptized does – it’s ALL about what GOD does!  If you or your children would like to be baptized on Sunday, let’s talk! 

Peter said to them, “Each one of you must turn away from your sins and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, so that your sins will be forgiven; and you will receive God’s gift, the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:38)  

Debbie Lyons, Pastor

First United Methodist Church Winnsboro

301 Church Street, Winnsboro, TX. 75494

CLICK HERE for our Facebook


1-3-18 FUMC Updates

2019 … can you believe it? I must admit I’ve never been one to make resolutions although I DO admit that all of the top 3 resolutions for 2019 I could use … getting fit, losing weight and saving more money. I DO however, like to set goals because goals are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely. I don’t know why I’m better at this in my calling than in my personal life, but THAT is something I WILL work on this year!
I am always amazed, however, at how SPIRITUAL goals are never, ever in the top 10 lists of New Year goals … I mean, really?  Our earthly goals are good for a short term, but our FAITH goals have ETERNAL REWARDS … not only that, faith goals can have a HUGE impact on our earthly goals if we make a commitment to really put God first!
This Sunday is the first Sunday of the New Year and I hope to see you ALL there so we can kick-off the new year together! Until then, if you’re still thinking about what YOUR faith resolutions might be, consider these:
– My favorite: SURRENDER to GOD!  As humans, we want to control everything in our lives and as a result, many of us struggle with giving our problems and issues over to Him. Doing this frees us from guilt, stress, worry, or whatever we’re struggling with, and puts everything in His loving and capable hands to take care of. This is easier said than done, however, so you need some of the following to help …
– Commit to spending intentional time with Him every day in prayer, journaling or devotional reading 
– Read the bible every day (CLICK here for our online daily reading plan) 
– Lean into your SPIRITUAL GIFTS … start with the simple online gifts test and see where it takes you! God needs you to use the gifts He has given you for His kingdom and I’d love to hear from you after you discover YOUR gifts!
– Read one spiritual book a quarter (The UMC website recommends a few here.)
– Give just 10% more to the church than you did in 2018 or give every single week whether you’re in church or not and see how God fulfills His promise to BLESS YOU! (Setting up your gifts to God is as easy as scheduling your gas or electric bill … see our GIVING page)
– Consider the discipline of FASTING … Methodists have LONG been believers of healthy fasting … check it out here.
– LOOK for opportunities to spread JOY and KINDNESS and avoid “bashing” others
WOMEN: Get plugged in this year!
– United Methodist Women: Thursday, 1/10, 10 AM … they meet the 2nd Thursday of every month
-The Community Women’s Bible study led my Linda Suche starts back up on Wednesday, January 16th and Linda has extra books so just come!
– Knitters hang out together every Monday afternoon from 1-3 PM for fellowship and encouragement and support
– Hand quilters meet every Tuesday morning at 8 AM (Crafters will be starting back soon on Tuesdays at 9 AM)
– Our prayer quilt ministry meets the 2nd and 4th MONDAYS at 9 am
MEN: is God calling you to be part of something more?
As you can see, we have a LOT of opportunities for women to get involved but we don’t have anything for our men! What do YOU think we can do to provide some time for fellowship, outings, learning, etc.? If you’d like to be a part of the conversation, please contact me!
WEDNESDAY NIGHT MEALS will be back next Wednesday night at 5:45!  How about inviting a friend to our 1st night back??
See you Sunday!
Debbie Lyons, Pastor
First United Methodist Church Winnsboro
301 Church Street, Winnsboro, TX. 75494
CLICK HERE for our Facebook