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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1-12-22 FUMC Updates … Kids Beach Club is starting 2/1!

I hope you have all been thinking about your ONE WORD for 2022! As I told you on Sunday, after finding myself in a FUNK when some much anticipated and exciting plans completely collapsed when I was the Pastor in Caddo Mills, I dove into a book called ONE WORD THAT CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE. From a Christian perspective, I was looking for ONE WORD that would help me get refocused and back on a new track where God would open doors instead of closing them. But finding ONE word was exceptionally hard for me because there were so MANY words that could have applied to what I thought I needed … thought is the keyword … God had other plans!

Don’t get ahead of GOD on this journey!  If you missed the sermon on Sunday, you might want to scroll back and watch it on FACEBOOK because it will help you with the spiritual formation work we’re doing. (See the attached devotional worksheet from last week.)  I also learned that the secular of the 2 books I talked about, ONE WORD THAT CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE is available FREE on Hoopla at the library … you can get it as an audio or e-book so dust off your library card today!  https://www.hoopladigital.com/title/12011595

KIDS BEACH CLUB STARTS FEBRUARY 1st, 3:30-5 PM at the WISD Intermediate School for 3rd-5th grade … what IS Kids Beach Club?  Go to our website and watch the video … it’s SUCH an amazing ministry and I’m sure there is SOMETHING you can do to be part of this opportunity to reach new families in our neighborhoods!  This is our MAIN ministry focus for the next 3 months so I hope you will all get engaged!

I want to thank Carla Chitsey for the delicious TACO SOUP she made for the KBC meeting we had after church!  Thanks to all of you who came and have signed up to pray and write notes or be greeters … we really need some more small group leaders, please!  I have attached the sample curriculum for our FIRST day so you can see how EASY it is … also, CHECK OUT our website where kids can register.  

You will also start seeing lots of posts on Facebook and Instagram – please share our posts on YOUR pages … this is modern-day evangelism, and we want as MANY people to be excited about this as possible!

IT’S TIME TO GET EXCITED!  We are sending 315 flyers home with EVERY child at the Intermediate school this Friday … please don’t put off saying, “This is MY church … I’ll do it!”  There is a LOT of planning that must happen so please don’t miss out – let me know how YOU want to be involved!

AS COVID CASES & HOSPITALIZATIONS INCREASE …

We all love each other, and we all want to keep each other safe so please be mindful of your distance when greeting/talking with people and keep plenty of distance in the sanctuary or meeting spaces when you’re seated!  If you are sniffly, congested, have a sore throat, fever, flu-like symptoms, or are just, plain sick, please stay home. (You can join us in WORSHIP on Facebook LIVE). If you are not vaccinated, please make healthy choices for yourself and others around you.  Masks are welcome!

UMW MEETING TOMORROW, Thursday, 1/13, 10 am, Asbury Hall … there’s plenty of room to spread out so please come and be part of other mission-minded women committed to serving God!

COME HANGOUT WITH HEATHER, this Friday, 1/14, NOON – 2 pm … drop by and meet and get to know our new Communications Coordinator!  We’ll have light snacks and drinks, and you’ll have time to get to know Heather, and more importantly, SHE is excited to have time to get to know YOU!

UMCOR DISASTER RELIEF TRAINING, this Saturday, 1/15, 8:30 – 4 PM in our WESLEY HALL … thanks to SUE GROSS for coordinating this effort for our Conference … get details and/or HERE.

BROTHER HENRY’S MONTHLY BIBLE STUDY: Tuesday, January 18, 10-11 am, Wesley Hall, Family Ties … THE WORD OF GOD … come get to know others and dig into scripture!

ENDOWMENT FUND 2021 … many thanks to our Endowment Team who oversees our investments!  Beginning from a total of $207,580 at the start of 2021, our end-of-year balance in the account was $243,409 which doesn’t count contributions received in December that have not yet been sent out, an annual return of 16.7%.  Our stock holdings were up 23.5% on the year and bonds up only 0.45%.

22nd Annual MLK Celebration, Monday, 1/17, parade starts at 10 m in front of First Baptist Church. The Winnsboro Rodeo will lead the parade and the Red Raider band will participate and it will end in MLK Park located at the corner of Connie Mae and Elm St. LET’S BE VISIBLE IN OUR COMMUNITY!

WOMEN’S COMMUNITY BIBLE STUDY is moving to the Presbyterian Church. After many years of meeting here, they needed a little more room with acoustics that were more conducive to their teaching needs and wanted to share the joy of serving the community.  They have also POSTPONED the start of their ELIJAH STUDY to February … please be in touch with LINDA SUCHE for details.  hal1@suddenlink.net

WEDNESDAY NIGHT DINNERS POSTPONED UNTIL FEBRUARY … stay tuned … we’ll be BACK!!

YEAR-END FINANCIAL LETTERS … will be available in the sanctuary on Sundays sometimes before the end of January! If you need a copy mailed, please let us know.

SEE YOU ALL SUNDAY, on Facebook or in-person!
 
Pastor Debbie

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1-5-22 FUMC updates … there’s a lot going on!

It’s a new year, the Christmas season is over, most of us have taken down our decorations (thanks to all of YOU who helped in the church last Sunday!), and we’re ready to move into a NEW season! This is why I’m so excited about our next worship series that we’ll be starting this Sunday … we’re going to focus on ONE WORD God will give us for 2022!  Yes, ONE WORD!  You might be wondering, how is God going to DO this? And what’s the purpose of having ONE WORD? 

Please don’t miss being in church or watching online with us this month!  Through spiritual formation, we’re going to work together to explore who God wants us to be this year and we’ll create avenues for God to guide us and direct us to a unique word JUST for us! The purpose of this work will be to have a simple word that we most hope God will change in us in order to form our character at a deep, sustainable level. As our relationship with Him grows, WE will grow as His children!

After each Sunday message, you’ll get an email with a worksheet to help you explore your personal relationship with God. I would encourage you to take your time and truly reflect on the scriptures and questions because the goal is to help you grow in your faith!

I also want to caution you – PLEASE DON’T JUMP TO THE FIRST WORD THAT COMES TO YOUR MIND! That word may end up being God’s word for you, but in the end, it probably won’t be! Remember, there are thousands of words God has access to so hold on tight and let God be God!

STAY FOR A LIGHT LUNCH AFTER CHURCH THIS SUNDAY – and find out more about how you can be part of KiDs Beach Club! If you can smile at a child and give them a snack and a nametag, we need you! If you can read instructions on how to play a game that’s already been designed, we need you! If you can sit down with a maximum of 8-10 kids and ask them questions (the questions are provided!) about a Bible story they just hear, we need you! If you’re good at data management, we need you! If you can make a treasure chest to hold all kinds of little treats for the kids, we need you!  

Kids Beach Club provides a wonderful DETAILED curriculum with everything we need to have an AWESOME ministry at the intermediate school!  All we need is loving adults to help! This IS our church focus for the first quarter of this year and yes, it’s labor-intensive, but I am praying God stirs your heart to do what we SAY we want to do – and that is … attract new, young families to our church and connect with people who don’t know the love of Christ! I hope we have enough volunteers that we can do this program on our own, but I will also reach out to other churches in the Ministerial Alliance and ask them for volunteers if we must! Please let’s do this together – please come on Sunday and learn more! A list of some of the places to get involved is attached – and if you’re interested in seeing the layout of lessons in a full-year program, I’ve attached that too!

COME PRAY WITH US, Thursday mornings, 9 am, Wesley Hall … we are going to be intentionally focused on praying for Kids Beach Club but, as always, we will pray for all those on the pray chain as well as other things going on. God commands us to pray so let’s be obedient to His word:

  • “Pray continually” -1 Thessalonians 5:17
  • “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession, and thanksgiving be made for everyone …” -1 Timothy 2:1
  • “And when you pray …” -Matthew 6:5
  • “This, then, is how you should pray …” -Matthew 6:9
  • “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” -Romans 12:12
  • “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.” -Ephesians 6:18
  • “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” -Philippians 4:6
  • “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” -Colossians 4:2

United Methodist Women are starting back, Thursday, January 13th, 10 AM, Asbury Hall (Potluck Class) … all women are invited and encouraged to attend, especially if you’ve never come before! It’s a fantastic way to get to know other women with a wonderful mission-driven purpose in mind. CLICK HERE to find out more about UMW.

Hang Out with Heather! Friday, January 14th, NOON – 2 PM, Wesley Hall … come meet the newest addition to our staff, Heather Warren, who is going to be an INCREDIBLE asset to our church! Heather has worked for a dear friend of mine at FUMC Melissa for the last 5 years and she brings energy, knowledge, ideas and so much TALENT! She is only working a few hours a week this month but will be transitioning to 25 hours a month, hopefully by mid-February. REACH OUT AND WELCOME HEATHER … communications@fumcwinnboro.com

THE CRAFTERS START BACK ON TUESDAY, January 17th, 8:30 AM, Asbury Hall!  The crafters meet once a week on Tuesday mornings for fun and fellowship and a little bit of crafting. They will be trying some new things this year and have different people coming to teach new craft ideas so please join in! If you need more info, please call Carla Chitsey, 903-347-6012.

BROTHER HENRY’S MONTHLY BIBLE STUDY: Tuesday, January 18, 10-11 am, Wesley Hall, Family Ties … THE WORD OF GOD … come get to know others and dig into scripture!

WOMEN’S COMMUNITY BIBLE STUDY STARTS BACK, Wednesday, January 19th, 10 AM … Join Linda Suche & others for this 7-session study on the Prophet Elijah from best-selling author Priscilla Shirer. “Journey through the life and times of the prophet Elijah to discover how the fire on Mount Carmel was forged in the valley of famine, and how the emboldened, fiery faith you desire is being fashioned by God in your life right now.” CLICK HERE to read more about the study.

ONGOING EVERY WEEK:

Monday Men’s Gathering at Hope Café (Richie’s) … 8 am

Wednesday Fellowship Meal, Family Life Center … 6 pm

MONITORING COVID CASES LOCALLY: While we are being very mindful of COVID cases increasing and most of our 7 counties are back in the RED ZONE (SEE NET HEALTH website HERE, they update every several days) we are doing our best to move forward as safely as we can.  If you are sick, please stay home! If you have been exposed, please stay home! HERE are the CDC guidelines published 24 hours ago. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, which helps guide the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s decisions on vaccines, said “there appear to be prominent symptoms from omicron: cough, fatigue or tiredness, congestion, and runny nose. Unlike in previous variants, the loss of taste and smell seems to be uncommon, she said.”  You may think you have allergies but please be mindful that this new variant is similar to allergies and bad colds.  Hospitalizations ARE ticking up, more slowly than the rate of infections, so let’s try to keep each other safe!

SEE YOU SUNDAY!  I hope you’ll stay for a light lunch afterward!

Pastor Debbie


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12-29-21 FUMC Updates … KiDs Beach Club is coming!

Last Sunday’s worship was so much fun, and I want to thank those of you who were there for embracing the message of Handel’s Messiah! I have wanted to preach a message about the Biblical foundation of that magnificent oratorio for a long time and it was fun singing a few minutes of the HALLELUIAH CHORUS with you at the end! (Watch the service on FACEBOOK here.)

STARTING FEBRUARY 1st KiDs BEACH CLUBPlease join us for a light lunch after church on Sunday, January 9th, and start praying now! For 2 years we have been hoping to get this exciting ministry started in our Intermediate school and finally, it’s time!  I have seen how this ministry changes the lives of kids, especially those who do not have a church home, and this is an ALL HANDS ON DECK ministry with lots of opportunities to serve! I’ve attached some very basic information on WHAT KiDs Beach Club is and where we need your help!  Please plan to stay for lunch after church on January 9th so you can hear what our church focus is going to be about in the 1st few months of the new year!

PLEASE HELP ME WELCOME HEATHER WARREN as our NEW COMMUNICATIONS AND CARE COORDINATOR!  After many interviews and a long search, God has sent Heather to Winnsboro and to FUMC Winnsboro!  Heather has held this position for the last 5 years at Melissa FUMC but she and her husband have just bought land and a house here in Winnsboro!  She will be transitioning into a 25 hour/week role and I can’t wait for you to get to know her.  Check out her brief bio on our website.

WEDNESDAY NIGHT MEALS CONTINUE … 12/29, 6 PM … homemade stew!

THE CRAFTERS NEED YOUR HELP! You do not have to be an artist to be a crafter! If you can slap paint on a board, squeeze the trigger on a glue gun or tie a bow they can use your help. The crafters meet once a week on Tuesday mornings for fun and fellowship and a little bit of crafting. They will be trying some new things this year and have different people coming to teach new craft ideas so please join in! If you need more info, please call Carla Chitsey, 903-347-012.

BROTHER HENRY’S MONTHLY BIBLE STUDY: Tuesday, January 18, 10-11 am, Wesley Hall, Family Ties … THE WORD OF GOD … see attached questions.

WOMEN’S BIBLE STUDY: Wednesday mornings starting January 19, 9 – 11 a.m., Asbury Hall.   Join Linda Suche & others for this 7-session study on the Prophet Elijah from best-selling author Priscilla Shirer. “Journey through the life and times of the prophet Elijah to discover how the fire on Mount Carmel was forged in the valley of famine, and how the emboldened, fiery faith you desire is being fashioned by God in your life right now.”
 

This Sunday we end our worship series on the SONGS OF CHRISTMAS when Mary & Joseph bring baby Jesus to the temple and experience a marvelous encounter with SIMEON!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Pastor Debbie


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12-13-21 FUMC Update – UMCOR Disaster Relief

One year ago, we were cautiously opening the church again after having been closed for the third time because of spiking COVID cases in our community. Thanks to our online ability to broadcast worship LIVE, we never missed a Sunday of worshipping “together” last year, but as cases slowly began to drop​ in 2020 I felt tremendous ​JOY​ ​knowing that at least some of us could gather for part of the Advent season!

I feel that ​same ​joy knowing so many more will be venturing out for Christmas Eve services this year! I still do watch the NetHealth Covid numbers, and I’m very happy to see that our cases in East Texas are extremely low! But, there are so many other things that can inhibit our joy IF we take our eyes off Jesus Christ. Who can watch the devastation caused by destructive tornadoes, or hear coverage about inflation, or read about people we love suffering in hospitals or families planning funerals, and not remember that life doesn’t stop in December?

But as Christians, we keep focused on the message of Christmas … hope, joy, love, and peace! Our world NEEDS Christmas!  WE need Christmas!  So, as we get closer and closer to that special night when we celebrate the birth of Christ, remember how many people you know who need Christmas too!  Invite someone to join us, share our Christmas Eve posts on your Facebook and Instagram pages, pray that those who do not know the joy that comes through a relationship with a church family will find that joy this Christmas!​  Friday, December 24th is right around the corner … halleluiah for Christmas!​

UMCOR DISASTER RELIEF TRAINING, Saturday, January 15, 8:30 AM – 4 PM, our Family Life Center … if you find yourself looking at the heartland of our country ​that was ​devastated by the killer tornadoes and wonder, “What can I do?”, how about stepping right into the rubble and getting involved?  Our United Methodist Committee on Relief, UMCOR, is already establishing work teams to help and our very own Pastor Sue Gross is on the front lines.  As our East District UMCOR coordinator, Sue is organizing a training/certification for anyone willing to help with tornado clean-up. This will include moving debris from inside and outside homes, ​and ​possibly some tarping of rooves and/or windows/doors​.​ There will be PLENTY to do for a very long time and more details will follow, but please give prayerful consideration to getting involved. For more information please contact Sue Gross      (903) 473-1334 (home), (903) 767-6339 (cell).

​ANOTHER WAY TO HELP is to make donations to UMCOR where 100% of your giving goes directly to the mission. UMC churches around the world share the administrative costs so that all donations go directly to the need. CLICK HERE to go to the website. ​

BROTHER HENRY’S MONTHLY STUDY, Tuesday, 12/14, 10 AM, Wesley Hall, Family Ties Classroom … Prophecies, The Right Time, Bethlehem, MA.1:18-2:23

LAST WEDNESDAY DINNER, 6 pm & ADVENT BIBLE STUDY OF THE YEAR, 6:45 pm: Wednesday, December 15 … after dinner we’ll be looking at “fingerprint” evidence that affirms our belief in the birth of Christ!

GIVING TREES FOR THE BACKPACK FOOD MINISTRY … in the choir hall or front lobby through the end of December.

ORDER FROM RADA AND SUPPORT UMW and LOCAL MISSIONS! Try RADA here! Rada has amazing knives and kitchen tools and you can browse the catalog and ship anywhere in the country HERE on the UMW website page! Janat Erwin may have, ON HAND, the perfect gift you need so contact her too … 2erwins@suddenlink.net

SONGS OF CHRISTMAS continue this Sunday and we’ll be days away from Christmas when we talk about Mary, the Mother of our Lord, Jesus.  

Advent Grace and Peace!

Pastor Debbie–


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12-9-21 FUMC Updates – Christmas Eve, Friday, December 24th, 5 PM

How is it possible that Christmas is only 15 days away?  Two weeks of Advent have gone by and we only have two Sundays left before Christmas!  I suppose this is what’s so very exciting about the ANTICIPATION of the birth of Christ and I hope you are finding some time to BE STILL, and know that God is God!  If you’ll recall, last year our church was closed up until 1 week before Christmas so we had more people worshipping on Facebook than we had in the sanctuary!  This year, it will be so great to have more and more people together again so start thinking about who God be putting in YOUR path who might be looking for a place to belong this season. Invite them!  Tell them you’ll meet them and sit with them!  We’ll have PLENTY of candles for everyone so bring your family and friends!

As you know, we have planned our CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICE for Friday, December 24th, at 5 PM because all studies show that the BEST attended services are between 1:00 and 5:00 PM on Christmas Eve.  But do you think people in the community would be interested in attending an 11 PM service if it were available?  Would your family and friends prefer a late service?  It might not be too late – please let me know your thoughts!

ORDER FROM RADA AND SUPPORT UMW and LOCAL MISSIONS! Try RADA here! Rada has amazing knives and kitchen tools and you can browse the catalog and ship anywhere in the country HERE on the UMW website page! Janat Erwin may have, ON HAND the perfect gift you need to contact her too … 2erwins@suddenlink.net

BROTHER HENRY’S MONTHLY STUDY, Tuesday, 12/14, 10 AM, Wesley Hall, Family Ties Classroom … Prophecies, The Right Time, Bethlehem, MA.1:18-2:23 … attached are the questions and everyone is welcome!      

ONE MORE ADVENT BIBLE STUDY: Wednesday, December 15,  6:45 pm after dinner … we’re looking at “fingerprint” evidence that affirms our belief in the birth of Christ!

GIVING TREES FOR THE BACKPACK FOOD MINISTRY … clip a check or a few dollars onto the trees in the lobbies or designate a special offering … you CAN make a difference!

YEAR-END GIVING TO GOD or to the GOVERNMENT? Please talk to your accountant (or IRS.gov) about year-end tax savings that come from your generosity through non-profit giving. The COVID 2020 relief plan on paying your Required Minimum Distribution last year does NOT apply this year so if you have investments that require you to make an RMD, would you rather give that money to GOD or back to the GOVERNMENT?  

SONGS OF CHRISTMAS continue on Sundays this Advent … last week we talked about the father of John the Baptist, ZECHARIAH, and how his unbelief made him MUTE, and by God’s grace his speech was restored and he sang a song of JOY! This week his wife, Elizabeth, sings a song of JOY when she recognizes that her cousin Mary is carrying not just an ordinary baby in her womb, but the long-awaited Messiah!  It’s a story that brings plenty of WONDERS!!

Happy Advent!

Pastor Debbie


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