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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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3-16-22 FUMC Updates … winter leads to spring!

Lent is in full swing and now that spring break is winding down, the clocks have moved forward and the wild daffodils are blooming everywhere, we crave the seasonal change that the calendar promises. But theologically?  It’s not time yet!

The liturgical color for Lent is purple, an appropriately dark and somber color designed to help us focus on the difficult journey Jesus made when He turned His face to Jerusalem for His crucifixion.   Lent also includes more somber, winter shades: black drapes over the altar, leafless branches in vases and empty baskets and pitchers reminding us of the cloudy winter skies and cool temperatures of the first few months of the year.

But this is interesting: the word “Lent” has nothing to do with winter! And believe it or not, it has nothing to do with fasting or penance, either! “Lent” derives from the Middle English word “Lenten” and the Old English word “lencten” and is related to the Old High German “lenzin” … ALL of these words mean … SPRING!

It’s appropriate that these 40 days of preparation for Easter are focused on self-examination, prayer, almsgiving. and fasting but this is what provides the backdrop for an incredible message of HOPE! “Lent” means spring, the green season, a time of growth! Lent provides the opportunity for us to plow up the unproductive, hard ground of our winter hearts and let God allow the wind of the Holy Spirit to blow, and the living water of life to flow into us! Lent is the time for the Spirit to prune away our dead branches so that we are ready to bear fruit, and it’s the season of new life—a coming springtime for our souls!

This Sunday we will reach the halfway point of Lent, week three of our six-week journey. As difficult as boot camp preparation is, the blacks and purples WILL be replaced by whites and gold … the sore muscles and sacrifices WILL be replaced with great JOY, and when it’s over we WILL see the remarkable progress we have made in our spiritual growth! And get ready, because the celebration will be worth it!

For behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land. 

Song of Solomon 2:11-12

 LOOKING FOR A SIMPLE, FULFILLING SUNDAY PLACE TO SERVE? We’re adding ushers to our Sunday morning service team and we’d love your help! As Shiela Haynes has taken the job as Editor of our Winnsboro News, Carolyn Stewart will be stepping in to head up our worship team and she’d love to work with you! We need friendly people who will arrive at 10:30 am to open doors and greet people, and you can rotate Sundays with others or come every week!  Please email Carolyn HERE and say, “I’ll do it!  This is MY church!”   

 NOW COLLECTING FILLED EASTER EGGS: we’re excited to be planning an EGG HUNT for our kids and the Beach Club kids on April 6th so help us plan for a super fun night and bring us your eggs now!  There will be boxes in the church lobbies, and also by the office door so let’s gather LOTS of eggs together!!


you can always find it on our website, HERE.

 MONTHLY SEW DAY, Prayer Quilt Ministry, Thursday, March 24, 9 am – 3 pm … come get involved in this great ministry! There is cutting, sewing, ironing, and lots of creativity needed!

UPDATE on the CHALK CLASS: THURSDAY, MARCH 31, 6-7 PM, $10   you’ll be blown away by Stephanie Bright’s creativity (https://www.facebook.com/vintagechalkdiy) and she will be offering a Chalk Paint class, using stencils, so you can create your own project. All supplies will be furnished. Call Carla Chitsey, 903-975-2643, or email the church office FUMCwinnsboro@gmail.com to save your seat.


WEDNESDAY NIGHT MEAL AND EGG HUNT, April 6th, 6 PM …we are inviting our Kids Beach Club families to join us for fun, food, and fellowship and we need YOUR help, please!  The kitchen crew will be making TACOS but they need to know how much food to prepare so PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE click here to make a reservation! Food costs are going up and we want to be good stewards of our work so please respect those doing the shopping, preparation, and cooking for us and take 1 minute to let us know you’re coming. We are, of course, asking our KBC families to RSVP also but I hope we can count on YOU!



–       Sunday, April 10, 10:50 am … Palm Sunday

–       Thursday, April 14th, 6 pm … Holy Thursday, the Last Supper

–       Friday, April 15th, 4 – 6 pm … Good Friday, come and go personal meditation

–       Sunday, April 17th …

… 6:45 am Sunrise Service at Ragsdale’s

… 10:50 am Traditional Service in the sanctuary


THIS SUNDAY: our Lent worship series continues with a message to RESET. We’ll revisit the classic story of Nicodemus and what it means to be “born again”.


See you Sunday!

Pastor Debbie 


3-8-22 FUMC updates … UMCOR on the Move

One of the blessings of being part of a connectional denomination is that all Methodist churches across the world work together for the good of God’s Kingdom across the globe. We see this work so beautifully when disasters strike because we can react quickly to offer aid and support through our agencies like UMCOR, the United Methodist Committee on Relief. And here’s the best part: United Methodist Churches in Ukraine are already helping each other survive!  But make no mistake – this is a story of “A Church Under Siege”.


Sacrificial giving is a natural part of our Lenten disciplines and with inflation increasing and our costs for everything going up, we’ll all have to be exceptionally intentional to be able to give beyond our regular tithing. I truly believe that God is faithful:

Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. Hebrews 13:16

On Sunday mornings we will have buckets in the sanctuary where you can toss in your loose change, loose bills, or even your checks!  Please make checks payable to FUMC so we can write one large check at the end of Easter. Here’s more good news: 100% of your donation reaches your chosen mission project or ministry.

Want to see current updates on what UMC churches in Eastern Europe are doing on the ground to help? CLICK here for the UMCOR Facebook page. “UMCOR has engaged in direct conversation with Methodist leadership in Ukraine, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia. United Methodist churches in these countries are already assisting internally displaced people (IDP) and refugees from Ukraine with food, water, shelter, and other needs. UMCOR has approved grants that will immediately strengthen these efforts.”

Want to know how the UMC is working in Ukraine? CLICK HERE

ANOTHER PART OF BEING A CONNECTIONAL CHURCH:  churches from around the world typically meet every 4 years to do the business of the global church but during these years of pandemic, the 2000 Conference was postponed and now it has been postponed yet again.  There will be NO GENERAL CONFERENCE in 2022. Instead, it will be held in the normal “4-year rotation” in 2024. CLICK HERE to read more.


See the calendar for ongoing events HERE.

UNITED METHODIST WOMEN, THURSDAY, MARCH 10, 10 AM, Asbury Hall … all women with mission-minded hearts and hearts for mission are welcome to attend!

BRO. HENRY’S MONTHLY BIBLE STUDY, TUESDAY, MARCH 15th, 10 am, Wesley Hall … attached are the class question and everyone is welcome.

CHALK CLASS: THURSDAY, MARCH 31, 6-7 PM   you’ll be blown away by Stephanie Bright’s creativity (https://www.facebook.com/vintagechalkdiy) and she will be offering a Chalk Paint class so you can create your own project. (Picture & details will be coming!) All supplies will be furnished. RSVP by Friday, March 11 as limited seating is available – call Carla Chitsey, 903-975-2643, or email the church office FUMCwinnsboro@gmail.com to save your seat.


During Lent, everything slows down … the tone of worship is more reflective, the music more somber and our messages and prayers are about DISCIPLINE. There’s not a better metaphor for hard work than BOOT CAMP and our spiritual souls need an extra workout occasionally – and now is the time.

Last week we talked about how any commitment to CHANGE requires some additional work.  When Jesus knew it was time for His ministry to begin, He went into the desert to fast and pray for 40 days to prepare for His change of direction – His 3-year journey to the cross.  He was tempted beyond what most of us could resist but he depended on the Holy Spirit for strength, and He was able to say, NO, NO, NO. We all have an Achilles heel that is vulnerable to attack so be mindful to lean on the Lord when temptation comes.

This week we’ll be looking at why it’s important to HYDRATE when hard work begins.  We’ll be looking at the LIVING WATER poured out on the Woman at the Well and how we, too, can drink from that glorious cup!


Pastor Debbie


3-5-22 FUMC Updates – Lent begins

I continue to find myself in awe at what is happening in Ukraine … there are just no words! But a friend of mine sent me an article from the JIM DENISON MINISTRIES yesterday that I found very profound and explores the question: why does God allow this? While we continue to PRAY, I think you’ll find some comfort in the article HERE.

Tomorrow we continue the season of LENT and during this season we’ll try to keep announcements during the service to a minimum and the worship focus to a maximum. I will try to get our emails out by MONDAYS but you can also use our website calendar and Facebook for updates. 

If you missed the ASH WEDNESDAY SERVICE you can watch it online anytime, HERE.

2022 LENTEN OFFERING: Every year during LENT we ask people to prayerfully consider giving above and beyond the regular tithe as Lenten ALMSGIVING. Almsgiving is the Christian practice of giving money, food, or other material goods to people living in poverty. Providing alms is often considered an act of virtue or charity and John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist Church, preached of this often. 

This year we are committing to serve the Ukrainian refugees thru the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR). UMC churches around the world contribute to the admin costs so YOUR donations go directly to the people who need it. The humanitarian crisis is HUGE but WE CAN HELP!  In these next 6 weeks there will be metal buckets by the doors of the sanctuary – drop your loose change, your dollar bills, or write a check to THIS church and we will send one large gift to UMCOR so OUR Voice is heard!


–       MONDAYS: Brother Henry’s men’s gathering, Hope Café

–       MONDAYS: Knitters & stitchers, 1 PM, FLC

–       TUESDAYS: Kids Beach Club, 3:30-5 PM at WISD Memorial

–       WEDNESDAYS: Crafters, 3 pm, Asbury

BROTHER HENRY’S BIBLE STUDY: 3rd Tuesday, 3/15, 10 AM … everyone is welcome.

KIDS BEACH CLUB UPDATE: about 60 kids got NEW Bibles this week and if you want to see JOY … see this week’s video HERE.

Blessings to you all!

Pastor Debbie


2-25-22 FUMC Updates … pray for PEACE

Like you, I am watching in shock at what’s happening to the sovereign nation and innocent people of Ukraine.  I find myself wondering how it’s possible that one mortal man from Russia, a country whose economy (GDP) is 1/10th the size of the United States, ½ the size of Germany, England, and France can be allowed to cause so much havoc and disaster in our world? Then I remember that we have asked this question in our recent past as other dictators, like Russia’s Lenin, followed by Stalin, Italy’s Mussolini, Uganda’s Idi Amin, and of course, Germany’s Hitler instigated unjust ways, killing so many people and destroying so many people’s homes and livelihoods.

One thing I know is this: when we don’t know what to DO we do know what we BELIEVE …God is our refuge and our strength! It is in God in whom we trust! (Psalm 91:2) Of all the Biblical wars in history, the story of King Jehoshaphat in 2nd Chronicles has ALWAYS stuck with me and some of the texts have been burned into my memory.  AT that time, the people of Judah cried out to the Lord because they were terrified, being threatened by warring enemies on all sides who wanted to crush them with their much larger armies and more powerful weapons.  They begged God to intervene, “Our God, won’t you punish them? We are powerless against this mighty army that is about to attack us. We don’t know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” 2 Chron. 20:12.  Jehoshaphat gathered the people together to PRAY – they PRAYED! And God responded: Don’t be afraid or discouraged by this great army because the battle isn’t yours. It belongs to God! 2 Chron. 20:15

Whatever battles and fears we face, let’s ALWAYS seek God first! We may not know what to do, but you can be faithful and pray and BELIEVE that the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard hearts and minds in Christ Jesus! 

BISHOP McKEE shared A pastoral letter from Bishop Christian Alsted of the Nordic and Baltic Area, chair of the Connectional Table.  Bishop McKee asks that we “continue to pray for peace, for reconciliation and for an end to all war.” If you would like to follow Bishop Alsted on his Facebook page go here … https://www.facebook.com/christian.alsted.5


UPDATE ON KIDS BEACH CLUB … click here to see a 3 MIN video of week 3.  Please PRAY for our amazing volunteers as they prepare to give the kids their OWN, brand new Bible on Tuesday.  Many thanks to everyone who helped cut, laminate, and punch, who contributed to snacks and who bought Bibles, and who show up every Tuesday to make JESUS COOL AT SCHOOL! I have attached the prayer for our TEACHERS that I send to all the parents every week… it has the Administrator and teachers’ names we pray for on it.

A MODEST MEAL (6 pm) & ASH WEDNESDAY SERVICE (6:45 pm), 3/2 …our first Wednesday of the month fellowship meal will be a wonderful opportunity to gather together and begin the mindset of Lenten fasting. The meal will be appropriately modest, and the special service afterwards will be a powerful introduction to the most sacred season of the year. Ashes will be imposed on your forehead as we come forward, as a church family, to hear these words: “Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return. Turn away from sin and be faithful to Christ.” I hope you’ll all make an effort to attend this special service begin to consider how YOU will invest in your spiritual soul this Lent.

PRAYER QUILT MINISTRY SEW DAY, 3/3, 9 am – 3 pm, Asbury: this has been rescheduled for this Thursday so bring a lunch and come get involved with this awesome ministry.

SANCTUARY REFRESHENING, 3/3, 5 PM, Asbury … we’re going to have an informal conversation about how to freshen up our sanctuary using the generous gifts that people have designated to do this. We’ll pray for guidance on how to best use this love offering to glorify God and enhance the worship experience, and we’ll start by looking at how other churches have done small things to make a big difference.


Pastor Debbie 


2/21 FUMC Updates … Lent is around the corner

It’s so exciting to see our COVID hospitalizations and cases decrease and our in-person worship attendance INCREASE again! There was so much energy and joy in church yesterday, and I am so thankful that we can enjoy what I HOPE will be more than just a lull in the infection rates.

KIDS BEACH CLUB: as Clint told you on Sunday, we will not be super-focused on KBC every week but in WEEK 3 of KBC we’re starting to get in the swing of things as more and more volunteers have stepped in the help make this such a great experience for kids. CLICK HERE to see the 1 ½ min. recap of KBC last week … this ministry can NOT happen without you ALL!  I am also still amazed at how GREAT the messaging is in the curriculum AND how polite and respectful the kids are!! 

Thanks to everyone who donated money for SNACKS in Kids Beach Club! The kids will be having bottles of grape or strawberry water and packs of Cheez-Its, Pop-Tarts, Peanut Butter Crackers, and MORE yummy treats after their long day of school thanks to YOU!!  AND PLEASE CONTINUE TO PRAY!

LENT STARTS WEDNESDAY, MARCH 2nd, ASH WEDNESDAY, 6 pm dinner, worship at 6:45 pm: our next FIRST WEDNESDAY meal will be the 1st day of Lent and we’ll gather for a modest meal and a very special worship service.  Lent, the 6 weeks/40 days of preparation for the suffering, crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, is a somber, reflective season focused on prayer, fasting, and almsgiving (giving to others.)  I am anticipating a very powerful service that night so please mark your calendars to be with us.

PRAYER QUILT “SEW DAY”: Thursday, 2/24, 9 am – 3 pm … bring a lunch and come be part of the fellowship and help with the cutting, piecing, and sewing for this incredible ministry that touches so many lives!

CHURCH CALENDAR: keep on top of ongoing and upcoming events on the church calendar here.

FRESHENING UP THE SANCTUARY: Thursday, 3/3, 5 pm, ASBURY HALL: we have received generous donations of $22,000 to freshen up our sanctuary but what might that look like? We’re going to meet together and PRAY how to best use this love offering to glorify God and enhance the worship experience. This conversation will be casual and VERY preliminary but we’re excited to start looking at how other churches have done small things to make a big difference.

We will end our worship series on FOOD THAT LASTS FOREVER this Sunday with a look at The Best Seat in the House (Luke 14:1-11) and the story of Zacchaeus, Invite Yourself Over (Luke 19:1-10).  If you missed any of the earlier messages, you can always go back and watch on FACEBOOK.

Blessings to you all,

Pastor Debbie