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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8-28-20 FUMC Updates

MAKING DISCIPLES … AND WHY IT MATTERS ~ Now that both the Democrat and Republican Conventions are over and the campaign season kicks into full gear, I was struck by the same message from BOTH parties ~ we must act or our country will never be the same. In a way, this is the same sense of urgency I feel about our faith communities. We must act or our faith communities will never be the same! We are extremely blessed as CHRISTIANS that we don’t have to choose a politician to lead us ~ we don’t have to choose a slogan we like better than another ~ we don’t have to choose the actions necessary to accomplish our purpose. We choose JESUS CHRIST and He has made our mission simple ~ GO, MAKE DISCIPLES.
I have seen how most of you have powered up your commitment to remain STRONG in your faith through this time. And for those of you who have been intentional about this, I am blown away with the stories you share with me about how God is working in your lives! I know how hard this has been, but I see and hear about the rewards you are experiencing every day! I hear how participating in worship (online and/or in-person), participating in continued learning and study (online, in person or because your leaders continue to share devotionals and lessons), engaging in authentic prayer, staying connected and maintaining relationships within the church (through outdoor prayer gatherings, drive-throughs, phone calls to one another, notes to people you miss). I hear the peace, patience, and joy that you feel from being closer to the God who IS working for good even in this difficult time and I want everyone to have this!
And everyone CAN have this! Our mission matters because there are people who do not know the love of Jesus Christ. There are people who have drifted away from the rich relationships with other Christians who helped strengthen each other. There are also LOTS of people who can inspire us and bring us new energy that we haven’t even met yet and our faith community will be BETTER and STRONGER as new people find a home at First United Methodist Church of Winnsboro!
I’ve noticed we have had a few new people beginning to attend worship again, and while it’s much harder to be warm and welcoming from a 6-foot distance, let’s try! If you can’t tell whether you’ve met them (after all, as people arrive in masks it’s hard to tell!), it’s OK to admit you’re not sure if you’ve met them yet! Ask them their name and remember it so you can greet them when they return. Tell them your name, invite them to come back, ask them if they live in the area, give them my card (it’s in every pew), and tell them I like to get to know everyone. Let them know they’re only a visitor once and we consider them part of the family! And let’s pray, together, that God blesses His church with people who need His love. And pray we will continue to reflect His love to all who come!
DRIVE THROUGH ENDS MONDAY ~ Our last day in the drive-thru will be this Monday, August 31, from 9-11 am. I have LOVED spending time with so many of you who have not been ready to come back to church or, who are out and about and want to visit! Our relationships are important so please, if you ever want to come by the office and visit, please call me! 
SANCTUARY CHANGES ~ Some of you are just now coming back to the sanctuary and I want to remind you that only the front door is open and you can take your masks OFF as you are seated. You’ll also notice we don’t have hymnals, Bibles, or registration pads in the pews. And we’re not passing our offering plates to avoid multiple people touching things, they will be at the door as you leave. We will sing, softly, and as I have mentioned, my card will be on every pew so please take my card home with you and call or text anytime, and share it with our visitors! I can’t wait for the day that we can all be TOGETHER but if you’re on Facebook with us, please let us know you’re with us!
FACEBOOK ~ MODERN DAY EVANGELISM ~ Spreading the love of Christ is sure different these days, isn’t it? The days of knocking on doors or standing on the town square handing out tracts have faded. But Facebook is pretty amazing because it’s a MULTIPLIER! And you don’t have to do very much to help multiply other than SHARE what matters to you! If you haven’t done so yet, please start by LIKING and FOLLOWING our page. When you LIKE a page we can see that you’re a fan. When you FOLLOW a page, you receive our updates in your news feed. If this is all new to YOU, Clint explained it this way on Sunday
UPDATES ~ Always on the website and calendar!  
ONLINE BIBLE STUDY ~ Wednesdays at 10 am, next week, Matthew 6 … CLICK HERE for sign-in details.

LADIES ~ I’m excited to tell you that if YOU’RE looking for a place to connect, the United Methodist Women will start meeting again, in ASBURY at 11 am on Thursday, September 10!   

THIS SUNDAY ~ This month was the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment being signed giving women the right to vote. If you’ve ever wondered why women being in the PULPIT is still controversial, you won’t want to miss this message on August 30!

Grace and peace,
Pastor Debbie


8-17-20 FUMC Update

It has been so great seeing more and more of you in the sanctuary on Sundays, and I always look forward to getting home after church and seeing all of you who have been online with us too! With Clint back to help with announcements, it seemed like one more step toward “normal,” so let’s continue to worship TOGETHER, in whatever way we can, until we are all together again! (And as always, if you don’t have Facebook and you’re not coming to church, the audio of the sermon AND the devotionals are on the website!)
THANKS FOR ALL THE SOCKS AND UNDIES!  What a joy it was to see our chancel rail covered with brand new and oh, so important basic GIFTS of socks, undies, and gift cards for the kids at our schools! This picture Tina Satterwhite took does not do it JUSTICE but thank you, thank you, thank you!!
WANT A HOME COOKED MEAL? In the last week, I’ve heard several people make comments like “I can’t wait to go out to restaurants again!” “I’m so sick of cooking the same old things!” or “I’m sick of drive-through meals!” So, when Carla Chitsey mentioned that she had been making freezer ready, HOMEMADE meals for some of her clients, I thought, WOW … what perfect timing! If you’re interested in ordering small (serves 4) King Ranch casseroles for $8, DELIVERED, she will deliver in town or up to 5 miles out between 3-6 pm, Wednesday afternoon. CONTACT CARLA DIRECTLY BY TUESDAY at 903-347-6012  or message her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cchitsey
PLEASE DROP A NOTE OR CALL OUR FRIENDS IN NURSING HOMES ~   I’m sure you miss our nursing home and homebound people as much as I do! Imagine not being able to see family and friends since the middle of MARCH!
THE SEARCH CONTINUES ~ I’ve attached the job descriptions again so you can see the two positions we’re hoping to fill, and you can find details on the website. Realizing these are only 10 hour/week positions, we know these will not be easy to fill but we also believe God is hard at work as WE work hard to make disciples! Please pray the right candidates come forward and feel free to pass the information on!
WHAT’S HAPPENING? You can find info on Facebook or on the website calendar anytime!
THIS SUNDAY, we’ll continue with a look at lessons we learned in school ~“What do you MEAN I have to forgive them? NOT FAIR!”
Pastor Debbie


8-13-20 FUMC Update

Thanks to all of you who came last night to pray for everyone going back to school today! We met and prayed with Dr. Pam Gambrel at the Elementary School, then we drove to the High School, Intermediary School, Middle School and Administration offices. Let us continue to pray without ceasing!
This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.  1 John 5:14 
I hope those of you who were able to come to worship in the sanctuary this past Sunday were as excited to see so many people worshipping in the same space as I was. In addition to the 58 people in the sanctuary there were six in Wesley Hall together and what a JOY to see your faces! I want to THANK YOU for maintaining six feet apart from everyone, sitting in places that might only be close to your regular spot, and wearing your face coverings in and out. You are amazingly respectful! But I also want to remind everyone that BECAUSE of social distancing, we cannot have the same number of people together as we did before. In fact, Danny and Amy Moss walked with me through every space in our building to help determine safe occupancies, and when we meet those numbers, we’ll go to options. And don’t worry, we have options!
~ If you sit in the balcony, the pulpit-side stairwell will be closed so everyone can go up one set of stairs on the choir side.  The balcony, like the main floor, has every other pew blocked off. But depending on the number of families that sit together, the most we can have upstairs is 16-20. But depending on how families are seated, maybe less. Please help each other stay safe up there! OPTION: if the balcony is closed, you can sit on the main floor. There’s usually room up front with me and I’d LOVE to have you in MY pew neighborhood!
~ As you know, only the main door to the sanctuary is open, but if we reach capacity, again depending on family numbers (50-60), we’ll direct people to Wesley Hall where you can watch LIVE on Facebook with others, although in a smaller group. 
~ ONLY THE COURTYARD DOOR TO WESLEY HALL WILL BE OPEN after 10:30 and all the same safety protocols will be in place ~ masks in and out, hand disinfecting and 6-feet family distancing.  Amy and Danny Moss have been acting as gracious hosts for some in their Sunday school class and I know they’ll be gracious hosts to you too!
Please come a few minutes earlier than you might normally so you can get situated where you want or have time to head through the courtyard to Wesley Hall!  And don’t worry. As more and more people start to return, we have more and more options. There will ALWAYS be a place for you to worship God with YOUR church family!
PARENTS:  we are making plans to get our kids reconnected so stay tuned!
Grace, peace and patience,
Pastor Debbie


8-09-20 FUMC Update

Selfishly, I admit that having even some of you back in the sanctuary today was exceptionally refreshing, especially as we recognized our kids and adults going back to school! There was lots of energy and excitement, and we will be praying for ALL of our students and school employees as they navigate new procedures this year! If you missed the video tribute to our adults and kids, you can watch the updated version on Facebook or CLICK here to watch it on YouTube.
As wonderful as it was to have so many of you in the sanctuary this morning,  it’s just not the same without EVERYONE in our church family being together! Let’s all continue to pray hard, every single day, that as safe vaccine development continues at “warp speed,” it will be sooner than we hope! 
As always you can watch the Sunday services on Facebook. Even if you don’t plan to use Facebook for anything OTHER than worshipping with your church family, all you need is an email address! You can also watch the weekly devotional on Facebook (I’ll post one tomorrow) but it will always be up by Tuesday mornings. If you don’t want to use Facebook, you can listen to the sermon and the devotional on the website . Just choose what you want and push play and you can listen.
EXCITING STAFF CHANGES ~ As you heard me mention yesterday in church, we have decided to repurpose the budgeted position of Office Manager, (which was a 20 hour/week position), and create two part-time positions that will be much more focused on our mission, to GO AND MAKE DISCIPLES. Much of the Office Managers position was doing bookkeeping, and we will now contract that out for a fraction of what a paid position was. Instead, we will be looking to the future and hiring a 10-hour/week SOCIAL MEDIA-COMMUNICATIONS Coordinator and a 10-hour/week CHILDREN’S MINISTRY COORDINATOR. This information is now on our website under HIRING so if you know anyone you think is qualified and interested, they will contact Cyndie Ewert, Chair of the Staff/Parish Relations Committee. 
EVENTS THIS WEEK ~ See details on the CALENDAR 
~ Socks, undies and gift cards for SCHOOL due by the August 16.
~ Mondays in August, 9 am-11 am, drive by and say hello!
~ Monday, August 10, 5:30-6:15 pm, Rally 4 Winnsboro, community prayer at the Civic Center
~ Wednesdays ongoing, 10 am, ZOOM Bible Study, Matthew 5-6
~ Wednesday night, 6:30 pm, Prayers for Our Schools, we’ll meet at the Elementary school and caravan to the other schools
New Sermon Series Begins Sunday, August 16 ~ We’ll finish out the month of August with a three-week worship series on lessons we learned in school and one thing we learn quickly is… sometimes life isn’t FAIR.
Blessings to you this week,
Pastor Debbie


8-03-20 FUMC Update

The Church Council met tonight, and after careful consideration of the Net Health seven-county numbers dropping and our strong protocols to keep everyone safe, we’re excited to reopen our sanctuary this Sunday, August 9, at 10:50 a.m.! I’M SO EXCITED! And the good news is, like before, you only have to wear your mask in and out. But once you’re seated and 6 feet apart from everyone, you can take it off!  Of course, for those in vulnerable health situations or who live outside of the area, we’ll be continuing to have Facebook LIVE, and as always, the AUDIOS of the weekly devotional and sermons are on the website. 
BLESSING OF THE BACKPACKS ~ This Sunday, August 9 ~ Teachers, School Employees and Kids, please sit as close to the front of the church as you can get so we can recognize and PRAY for you! Kids, bring your backpacks to church this Sunday and we’ll bless you AND your backpack as you prepare to return to school! PARENTS/GRANDPARENTS: Don’t forget to send me your pictures by this Thursday!
CORONAVIRUS FREE TESTING IN LONGVIEW ~ Because we know the virus can be spread by asymptomatic people, the Texas Department of Emergency Management is providing free testing, whether you have symptoms or not, every Monday through Saturday, 8 am – 2 pm.  (See below for details.)
THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO CAME THROUGH THE DRIVE THROUGH!  Mondays in August, 9-11 am ~ I loved being able to talk to so many of you, and I’ll be at the Church Street door every Monday morning in August!
LAST DAY TO BRING SOCKS AND UNDIES or Gift Cards; ~ Sunday, August 16 ~ School starts back on August 13, and we don’t want ANY child to be without such basic necessities!
ZOOM BIBLE TALK is on MATTHEW 5 on WEDNESDAY, August 5, at 10 am ~ 
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 451 285 222 Passcode: 486447
OR … dial in by PHONE so you can listen and participate:
346 248 7799 Meeting ID: 451 285 222 Passcode: 486447  
This Sunday, we’ll finish our GOD in the MOVIES summer series with a look at “God’s Not Dead: Where is God When Life Falls Apart?” Can’t wait to see everyone!
GRATEFUL to be in MINISTRY with you all!
Pastor Debbie