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 WELCOME TO FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH WINNSBORO!
 
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! 
 
Sunday Morning Worship
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10:50 a.m.

Worship on FACEBOOK LIVE or In-Person
 
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watch past Sunday services and/or devotionals.
 
Looking for a Sunday Small Group?
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We’re easy to find in Winnsboro!

 

9-7-21 Our buildings remain closed thru 9/18 but we’re still doing God’s work!

“ … the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” (James 1:3-4).

Thanks so much to all of you who engaged with your church family this past Sunday as we worshipped God TOGETHER, on Facebook, in a most challenging way! Our buildings will remain closed, and our activities will be paused through Saturday, SEPTEMBER 18th  and we’ll reevaluate at the end of next week in hopes of having in-person worship again by 9/19.  How blessed we are that we were still able to worship God as a church family!   

If you don’t have Facebook you can listen to this sermon on the website … CLICK HERE. You can listen to all the messages on the website at any time HERE.

Making the decision to close our buildings and pause our activities was done out of an abundance of caution to help our community stop the “uncontrollable spread” of the Coronavirus. (See email from 9/4) Yes, it is a test of our faith because it’s NOT what anyone wants and it means we have to adapt in order to remain steadfast in our worship.  Fortunately, we have had a wonderful online worship experience in place and ready to go ……. until Sunday.

As we began to prepare for our live broadcast, Ken discovered our cable that connects our sanctuary equipment to the Wi-Fi “brain” in Asbury was completely dead! After doing everything possible to fix what was unfixable in the 30 minutes he had, Ken was somehow prepared for this unforeseen situation and happened to have an extremely long sound cable that he could throw over the balcony all the way down to ONE cell phone at the front of the sanctuary that we could broadcast using his personal Wi-Fi. If you only KNEW how hard he worked running up and down and all around the sanctuary so one camera could bring our video worship to you – well, all I can say is …. KEN, YOU ARE A ROCK STAR AND THANK YOU FOR NOT GIVING UP!  It wasn’t perfect but wow, you made it happen!

Jill and Johnny Hobbs– the songs were beautiful on Sunday, and I can’t thank you enough for blessing us!  I am excited you’ll be back this Sunday and we’ll be doing our best to be sure we’re back to “virtually normal” with full sound for everyone!

NEW WORSHIP SERIES BEGINS THIS SUNDAY, September 12th, 10:50 AM on FACEBOOK LIVE:  Unwavering Joy in a Complicated World, The Book of James … Yes, our faith is often tested by circumstances beyond our control or by the choices we make, but among the disappointments and struggles God is working hard, and our character is being strengthened! This Sunday, we’ll start a 6-week series on the Book of James, one of the most quoted books in the Bible! Author Max Lucado wrote about James: “His message is bare-knuckled. His style is bare-boned. Talk is cheap, he argues. Service is invaluable. It’s not that works save the Christian, but that works mark the Christian.”

James has been called “the Proverbs of the New Testament” so get out your study Bibles and we’ll use the Word of God to get through this season together! On our own, we cannot stand in the face of adversity, without faith we will never be able to see above the trials we meet so let’s keep our eyes focused on the King while counting our trials as JOY!

THIS FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 10th, 9:30 AM, A ZOOM CONVERSATION, Reflections on 9-11 … 20 years later we still feel the impact of one of the most devastating terrorist attacks on our country … let’s have a conversation and talk about how it challenged our faith and how we have grown from those feelings over the years.  Never tried ZOOM?  It’s easy!  Learn on this video, or these instructions from ZOOM.

To Join Our Zoom Meeting, 9/10, 9:30 AM:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88202913940?pwd=eGVGTjRqVWhqTndsMmRrRlgvTFV6Zz09

Meeting ID: 882 0291 3940     Passcode: 900735

PRAY, PRAY, PRAY … if you are not on our prayer chain and receiving our prayer TEXT requests, or you’re not in the courtyard with us on Tuesday mornings from 8-9 AM, please find intentional time to pray … PRAYER MATTERS! 

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

GOD BLESS YOU!  Stay safe!

Pastor Debbie


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8-31-21 FUMC Updates …My Grace is Sufficient

As I write this morning devotional I have a mix of emotions. This Sunday, we had a joyful day in worship as we welcomed 5 new members into our congregation: AJ Chilson, Pauline Phillips, Kaylee and William Rush, and Carolyn Stewart. God has called them to make a commitment to His Church with their prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness and we were all so happy to see their excitement!  

After such a joyful Sunday my emotions shifted this week as I watched the flag-draped coffins of our 13 military heroes being returned home. I saw the faces of our remaining Americans and Afghan supporters desperate to get on one of the last planes. I saw the terror on the face of women left to live in a country of oppression and abuse, and the children who will now have to live in a country torn apart by factions of terrorist groups fighting each other for power.

It is too soon to know how history will view the decision of the United States to pull out of Afghanistan. It is also too soon to know the full consequences of that decision for the people of Afghanistan who are not part of the Taliban, or what will happen with our future war on terrorism. While the Taliban has promised peace, order, and amnesty, few people have any confidence in their promises.

I have been thinking about the word GRACE, the one word that I shared with our new members on Sunday that best reflects our Methodist beliefs. At a time when the Apostle Paul found himself struggling with spiritual pride, I think he helps us understand the full context of grace when he wrote:

So, to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9

God’s point, of course, is that His unconditional love for us never changes, and His will can always be accomplished through our weaknesses, failures, shortcomings, and imperfections!  God is ALWAYS working for good in all things for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose! (Romans 8:28)

Think, for example, about a time you did not get what you wanted, but ultimately you got what you needed!  In what ways was God with you while you experienced disappointment, and in what ways was God with you when something different/unexpected was the better outcome?

This is an important time to pray for the safety of those left in Afghanistan and still under threat from the Taliban, especially those who have worked for the U.S. and women who have been enjoying their education, freedom, and civil liberties. Let us pray for our U.S. leaders who will still be making decisions that will affect our country and let us pray also that members of the Taliban, and any other terrorist groups that emerge, be guided by their most humane instincts. Finally, let us thank God for the work and sacrifices of all the servicemen and women who served in that country … may they know their service was important, valued, and necessary in trying to do the right things!

CHECK OUT THE WEBSITE CALENDAR FOR ONGOING EVENTS

MONDAYS:

8-9 am, Men’s Breakfast with Brother Henry, at Richie’s

1 -3 pm, Knitters and Stitchers in FLC

TUESDAYS:

8-9 am, Prayer in the Courtyard

9-11 am, Crafters in Asbury

THURSDAYS: starting September 9th

9:30-11 am, Book of Revelation Bible Study, FLC Classroom

THE BOOK OF REVELATION BIBLE STUDY, Thursday Mornings, 9:30 – 11 am starting September 9th, FLC Classroom … over the last year, you’ve probably wondered “What is the world coming to?” Well, wonder no more!  Jesus revealed to John the marvelous words of extravagant HOPE that come when Jesus comes again, and as promised … the LAMB WINS!  Thanks to all of you who responded to my request for a time that would work best for you to come – since 13 people said Thursday morning was better than the 4 who said Wednesday night, we’ll meet on Thursday mornings for 10 weeks starting SEPTEMBER 9th!  Fasten your seat belts, everyone!

THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO BROUGHT UNDIES AND GIFT CARDS! We have delivered $455 worth of gift cards and lots of undies to Nurse Erika at the school! What a great feeling we have when generosity gets hold of us and we get to do something special!

CHRISTMAS IN THE PARK QUILT RAFFLE:  Don’t forget, the CHRISTMAS IN THE PARK QUILT can be YOURS if you’re the lucky winner of the raffle! Tickets will be available in the sanctuary on Sundays, $1 each or 6 for $5 or you can buy them directly. We would also love your help selling raffle tickets to YOUR friends, co-workers, neighbors, etc. Talk to AMY MOSS or ELLIE PAGE for details.

WHAT’S COMING UP:

9/21, 3rd TUESDAY BIBLE STUDY with Brother Henry, 10-11 am

9/22, CHOIR GATHERING, 6:30 PM in the sanctuary, while the choir is not meeting now due to the small choir loft space on the chancel, anyone who wants to be part of the choir please SAVE THIS DATE! We’ll gather in the sanctuary with Lynn Adler and Lindy Hearne to start planning for the future and I hope all you who SING will be there!

DON’T FORGET – the directory is attached, if you want a printed copy please call me!  Check-in with someone who hasn’t been here in a while!

This Sunday is the LAST sermon in our worship series, THE BEST IS YET TO COME … you can always go back and listen to the only the messages on the website, or for Facebook users, you can go back and watch the FULL services anytime.

Praying, praying, praying,

Pastor Debbie

 


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8-18-21 FUMC Updates … important information about COVID

WHAT’S GOING ON WITH COVID? I sure wish I had answers! I know there is a fine line between sharing important information and fear-mongering but right now, I am going to ere on the side of our Methodist Three SIMPLE RULES:

First: Do no harm.

Second: Do good.

Third: Stay in love with God.

In this new burst of Coronavirus spreading rapidly, some things are very clear and very real … the virus is rearing its ugly new head and hospitals beds are not available, cases are skyrocketing, Moderna and Pfizer current vaccines wane in effectiveness and will require booster shots after 8 months, young people are getting sick and cases in our schools are increasing. Just when we felt we were taking one step forward, I do NOT want to take ANY steps back, so we need to work together to keep each other safe. Please allow the ushers to sanitize your hands or squirt your own hands when in the buildings, and please try to maintain distance from each other, especially on Sundays. And please, let’s PRAY this virus is eradicated!

The attached images are from our local public health agency, NET Heath and look at the hospitalization report … we are almost as high as we were at the HIGHEST peak last year. Also, look at the attached infection rates within our 7-county area … just in 2 weeks, 8/1-8/16 we have had 5,235 REPORTED positives … last February we only had 2,858! You can watch the reports on their website here, you can even click on Wood County and you will see new case reports like this one:

We also want to remind you to get your health advice from your doctors and/or medical professionals. Erika Martin, WISD campus nurse, is directly in touch with Texas Education Association health professionals and she shared this:

“As Covid cases begin to increase, the church would like to remind you of some guidelines we all need to be aware of. If you have Covid-19 or Covid-like symptoms (fever or chills, cough, nasal congestion or runny nose, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, diarrhea or vomiting, stomachache, tiredness, headache, or muscle or body aches), please stay home.

If an individual has tested positive for Covid, they should isolate for at least 10 days from symptom onset, be 24-hours fever free, and all other major symptoms have improved as well. If you test positive and are asymptomatic, you should isolate for 10 days as well. If symptomatic, we highly recommend you isolate for 10 days before coming back to church and seeing your physician.

You may be contagious if you have had close contact with someone who has Covid. Close contact means being within 6 feet of someone who has tested positive for 15 minutes cumulatively over a 24-hour period. An individual is also contagious 2 days before symptoms start so be mindful of this as well. If you feel as if you are a close contact, it is recommended to quarantine for 10 days since the last exposure.

If you are vaccinated, you are technically still susceptible to Covid-19……unfortunately. If you are vaccinated and in close contact with someone who has Covid, please be cautious about returning to church too quickly as well. I would still recommend the 10-day quarantine to be safe.

Erika Martin, WISD Nurse”

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While we had hoped to start our choir back this week, Judy Beaty and I spoke at length about this and have agreed that until the infection rates so down, it is not smart to have people sitting side by side singing. She and some of the other choir members will lead us in singing and we’ll remain seated in worship when we sing. THIS IS TEMPORARY… please, let’s PRAY this virus is eradicated!

I have also spoken to Don Beaty and while the Wednesday night cooking team is ready to roll on a weekly basis, we will take extra precautions and ask that you spread out for the FIRST WEDNESDAY of SEPTEMBER meal on 9/1, and then we’ll reevaluate in October. In the meantime – check in on our homebound friends, your neighbors, and those on the prayer chain, and consider sharing a meal with them! THIS IS TEMPORARY… please, let’s PRAY this virus is eradicated!

I am also extremely disappointed that KIDS BEACH CLUB, which we finally got approval to have at the Intermediate School is being put on hold … again THIS IS TEMPORARY! We were ready to go with a 12-week high, energy, JESUS FILLED in-school Tuesday afternoon program, but we just don’t feel this is a good time to start something that deserves LOTS of attention. Our hope is to try again in January and let’s PRAY this virus is eradicated!

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ALL OF THAT BEING SAID … I want to look ahead and say WELCOME TO THE CHOIRWednesday, September 22, 6:30 PM in the sanctuary … Yes, all of you who have been part of the choir or love to sing and might consider singing in the choir, SAVE THIS DATE! While me may not actually have choir return to the choir loft by then, we want to start getting ready and Lynn and Lindy will be returning in September to help us discover the possibilities!!  As many of you know, Lindy was the Worship leader at a Fort Worth church for many years and like Lynn, they both grew up with fathers who were church music directors!  They love Jesus, love this church, and are excited to be part of the music ministry through the end of this year. Lindy and Lynn are ready and looking forward to helping us get choir started again, but until then, we can spread out in the sanctuary for this gathering and start to get ready! SAVE THE DATE!

A SPECIAL WELCOME to the WILCOX FAMILY who joined the church on Sunday … what a joy to see Dave, Ashley, Mary Claire (MC) and, Will profess their faith together and express their commitment to God and His church!

JOINING SUNDAY, Sunday, 8/29, 10:50 AM … I hope that EVERYONE who comes to our church the very first time feels they belong here! Hospitality is important to us ALL and making people feel welcome is the first step in making someone feel part of this church family. When visitors, however, feel God calling them to make a commitment to Him by joining the church, it’s a special, special thing! Anyone can join the church anytime, but some people prefer to join with others rather than coming forward alone! If you have been visiting with us and have considered joining FUMC please let me know before the 29th … our website explains our joining process but I’d love to talk with you if you have questions!

MONDAY MORNING BREAKFAST with BROTHER HENRY, 8 AM at Richie’s:  you’re invited to “hang out” with the guys on Monday mornings! This informal time of fellowship is for anyone looking for great conversation and some faith-filled time with other Christian men!

SEW DAY, THURS 8/26, 9 am-3 pm  the Prayer Quilt Ministry will be hosting another sew day in the quilting room so bring your lunch and join in! You can (1) sew on your own project or (2) they will help you get started learning how to piece a quilt top. If you are interested in piecing a prayer quilt, we will provide the fabric and teach you how! We also have a cutting table and an ironing station. You will need to bring your own sewing machine. Beginners and seasoned sewists are all welcome! Contact Amy Moss for more information.

LAST DAY FOR SCHOOL GIFT CARDS AND UNDIES, Sunday August 29th … school is already back and our gifts will be MOST appreciated!

WHAT’S GOING ON WITH THE SUNDAY BROADCAST ON FACEBOOK? We’re trying to figure it out! I noticed that some of you faithful worshippers were having trouble getting a smooth signal and while we have good, solid upload and download speeds, we are looking at all the other components that make up a worship-filled live stream! Kade Martin and Ken Ragsdale have found a “bug” that may have been the cause of the problem so please try back again this Sunday – they are working VERY hard to make sure it’s all working as best as it can!

COACHES CORNER:  thanks to Shiela Haynes and Kade Martin who have joined the team of volunteers in our community who support our coaches, AND through them, support our kids, The coaches know the financial and emotional struggles going on with these kids and we’re blessed to be a blessing where we can!

THE BEST IS YET TO COME! There is difficult news swirling all around us but as we talked about last Sunday, God is with us IN the valleys, and He walks us THROUGH the valleys to beautiful tables of abundance! This Sunday we’ll dive into the RESSURECTION CHAPTER, 1 Corinthians15 … until then, let’s PRAY!

Grace and peace,

Pastor Debbie

 


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8-9-21 FUMC Updates

The 2020 (held in 2021) OLYMPICS had their closing ceremonies last night and I’ll admit, I haven’t watched much of the Olympics this year … I’ve kept up with the highlights but never actually sat down and watched an entire live event. I did, however, go back and watch some recorded events that touched my heart. Did you see, for example, the dramatic end to the Olympic high jump final? Qatar’s Mutaz Barshim and Italy’s Gianmarco Tamberi had earlier cleared 2.37m, but with the bar raised to the Olympic record of 2.39m, neither of them was able to complete a successful jump. (By the way, the difference between .37m and .39 m is about 2.75 inches!) So, rather than move into a proposed “jump-off”, Barshim asked an official, ‘Can we have two golds?’. The official agreed, and Tamberi leapt into the arms of Barshim in pure joy as the knowledge that he and his good friend were joint gold medal winners!

As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17 

 

At first glance, the Olympic games appear to focus on individual skill and accomplishment, but ALL these athletes had coaches to train them, teammates to encourage them, families to support them, and competition to keep them driven. The same rules apply to Christians. We need each other for leadership, fellowship, and inspiration and we look to other churches that are growing and thriving to learn from them! Alone we can do very little, but together, we can become so much more!

We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us. 2 Corinthians 5:20

Olympian athletes serve as ambassadors for their country, or I believe they should. They know that the things they say or do bring glory or shame to their home countries and that should matter! Likewise, Christians are ambassadors for Christ! We represent the Kingdom of God because Jesus asked us to be the light of the world every single day! How exciting to know that we play a role in the GOODNESS that happens in the world!

 

 The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again. But one disaster is enough to overthrow the wicked. Proverbs 24:16

 

If the Olympics teach us anything, it’s that even the best athletes don’t always win a medal. A gymnast who won a gold medal one night can stumble and fall the next. The fastest man alive can be beaten by a nameless competitor. No matter how good you are, nobody wins every time. It’s a hard lesson many Christians still struggle to accept. There’s an old saying, “God expects more failure from you than you expect from yourself.” What’s important is that we accept our mistakes and learn from them – true Olympic winners remember their faults and use them to get better. Christians should do likewise.

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SING, SING, SING … the choir is back! The choir was excited to be back yesterday, Lola was excited to be back yesterday, and I am committed to making the ONE hour we have together in worship on Sundays an AMAZING hour for us to praise and honor God! And if you want to be in the choir – get ready! We don’t have definite plans yet, and we have made commitments with Adler and Hearne for two more dates, BUT our Staff Parish Relations Chair, is searching now for a Music Leader so pray, pray, pray!

Until then, our very own wonderful, Judy Beaty has offered to work with some of the choir members to lead us in singing until we find someone, so THANK YOU, JUDY!  Anyone who wants to sing in the choir should plan to start meeting in the choir room at 10:30 am on Sundays starting August 22nd. I will keep you informed as to what will be happening so stay tuned! 

WHILE OUR GOALS HAVEN’T CHANGED WE’LL FIND A NEW PATH: As you know, as we began to come back from COVID and people started to return to church this spring, we only had a handful of choir members coming and we were still socially distancing. On Easter, we removed all the restriction protocols, and we began thinking about music again but since we still only had a few choir members back. In May, I decided to try something different.

I told you then that since summer was usually the time the choir got a break from their Wednesday/Sunday commitment anyway, it would be a good time to try to find a worship leader who we could “click” with … someone who knew Methodist hymns, could teach us some contemporary songs and eventually, lead the choir when summer was over. As hard as I tried, I never did find a person who met those criteria and/or was willing to join us sooooooo … we are searching again!

Our goal is still to find someone who can be part of our plan to support the 2021 CORE VALUES you voted on in January:

         Evangelism, reaching the unchurched

         Making disciples, creating followers of Jesus

         Children and youth, young families 

The Church Council zeroed in on your desires to focus even more directly on CHILDREN/YOUNG FAMILIES and worship, and music, is certainly a part of this larger plan. I had hoped we could “try-out” musicians to find 1) someone who would be a good fit for us and 2) could help us attract new people but I also told you that I would accept all responsibility if that did NOT work! And sadly, we did NOT find that person and I take full responsibility for that!

As iron sharpens iron, we will continue to work together to grow our church! We are all Christ’s ambassadors on this earth and what we do shows others the love of Christ, and our children MATTER! And I may trip MORE than seven times but with your help, I will get up again and we’ll keep striving toward our mission – to make disciples for Jesus Christ!

PRAYERS FOR OUR SCHOOLS:  tonight, Monday, 8/9, 5:30 PM at the Winnsboro Civic Center .. all the churches are gathering to pray for our students, administrators, staff, teachers, and parents so I hope to see you there!!

UNDIES AND GIFT CARDS FOR OUR SCHOOLS: we’ve been asked to bring gift cards (Dollar stores, Walmart, etc.) and children’s underwear, sizes 3T – 8 … we’ll be collecting them throughout August.

WHY DOES THE 23rd PSALM SPEAK TO YOU?  We’ll talk about it on Sunday!  See you then!

 

Grace and peace,

 

Pastor Debbie


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8-4-21 FUMC Updates

My heart is filled with gratitude today thinking about the generosity of people in our congregation! Thanks to all of you who supported the WOOD COUNTY Foster Children’s Tips4Tots – Carolyn and I had a great time and more than $30,000 was raised!!

Tonight at 6 pm, we’ll be having our Wednesday Night Fellowship Meal, and our kitchen team selflessly shops, cooks, bakes, and serves wonderful food so we can visit with each other! Then, this Friday night, we have 19, yes 19, people signed up to serve our kids on PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT: serving dinner, overseeing the bounce house, shepherding our kids to activities, making ice-cream sundaes, supervising games, and crafts, etc. I have also seen Danny Moss at the church a lot this week preparing the ceilings in Asbury to be replaced, and our crafters will be moving their things out so the work can be done. There is a remarkable feeling of JOY that comes when we serve others, and I am thankful to you all who do so much!

LET’s PRAY with our community FOR OUR SCHOOL, TEACHERS, KIDS, AND PARENTS: Monday, 8/9, Winnsboro Civic Center, 5:30-6:30
OUR SCHOOLS NEED OUR HELP: we’re collecting underwear, sizes 3T – 8 and GIFT CARDS from Walmart or our Dollar Stores … many organizations collect school supplies and backpacks but it’s hard to imagine that some of our youngest children don’t have clean underwear or have accidents in school and Nurse Erika say this is a REAL need. We’ll be collecting underwear and gift cards through AUGUST, and I thank you in advance for what you can do!
TONIGHT, 8/4, 6 PM … Wednesday Night Fellowship Meal: come for CHICKEN SPAGHETTI and stay and spend time with friends! Thanks for your love offerings!
FRIDAY, 8/6, 6-9 PM … Parents’ Night Out: please share our Facebook and Instagram posts with your friends! We realize this is back to school weekend, so families are busy, but we’re going to host the BEST event ever!
THE BEST IS YET TO COME: this Sunday, 8/8, we’re embarking on a new worship series reviewing the liturgical words used at end-of-life celebrations and celebrate we WILL! We’ll explore the beautiful words of resurrection and what NEW LIFE really looks like when we think about HEAVEN!
Grace and peace,
Pastor Debbie

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