5-3-21 FUMC Updates

This past Sunday Mary White said, “I’ll do it! This is my church!” and she played beautiful music for us in worship with Shannon Monk and Geoff Sharp!  This response to things that need to be done in the church has been resonating with me for a few weeks now and as I look around at all our beautiful buildings, and all the exciting opportunities we will have to make disciples for Jesus Christ, I know we will all need to claim something that we can do for God’s church!

I want to thank the generous people who have volunteered to take care of the fluorescent bulbs AND who will be power washing the buildings in the next few weeks … WE ARE GRATEFUL TO YOU!  It doesn’t take much to do SOMETHING, for example …

… if you park in the grass lot in front of the Baptist church, bring a few wet paper towels this Sunday and wash down the signs that say First UMC Parking that are so dirty you can’t read them.

… if you see weeds n the flower beds, or between the concrete, pull them!

… can you do simple work with Excel?  We have a license to play music online, but we need to report the songs that are not part of the public domain … can you help me?

Sometimes what seem like insignificant tasks have impact on people you would never imagine!  And this is what drew me to a recent article about a woman named Frances Angermayer.  One hot June night in 1943, worried about the war, Frances couldn’t sleep because she was praying for her stepbrother Glenn who was stationed in the South Pacific. After tossing & turning, she got out of bed and sat down in front of her typewriter thinking about how soldiers facing death would feel, especially if they didn’t know God. 

She said: “I placed myself in such a situation, and the words of ‘Conversion’ came to me” and 20 minutes later, the first draft of “A Soldier’s Conversion” was on paper. It was about a soldier’s encounter with God on the eve of battle, and here is a portion of what she wrote …

Look, God, I have never spoken to You —
But now — I want to say, “How do You do.”
You see, God, they told me You didn’t exist —
And like a fool — I believed all of this.
Last night from a shell hole I saw Your sky —
I figured right then they had told me a lie. …
Funny — I had to come to this hellish place,
Before I had the time to see Your face. … 
I guess the “zero hour” will soon be here,
But I’m not afraid since I know You’re near. … 
Well, I will have to go now, God — good-by!
Strange — since I met You — I’m not afraid to die.


WE’RE MAKING FEWER ANNOUNCEMENTS IN CHURCH: As you know, we have lots of ways to communicate and we are going to use LESS time in the few sacred moments we have in worship for announcements because you can find information in LOTS of places!  The ongoing weekly events you can find on the calendar but we will announce new or SPECIAL events.  Please like, share, and comment on our posts so YOUR friends see what’s going on here … we want to meet LOTS of new people and your posts can help spread the word!  All of our social media accounts are easy to find!

–          Weekly Email (also on the home page of the website … https://www.fumcwinnsboro.com/)

–           Calendar …https://www.fumcwinnsboro.com/calendar-of-events/

–           Facebook …https://www.facebook.com/FUMCWinnsboro

–          Instagram … https://www.instagram.com/firstmethodistwinnsboro/

–          Twitter … https://twitter.com/FumcWinnsboro

BIBLE TALK, Wednesday, May 5th, 10 am – 11:30, Wesley Hall or on ZOOM … this week we’re digging into the Spirit-filled text of Galatians 5 and asking the question, Can God Change Our Character?  If you’re watching on ZOOM you can get the link on the website calendar

WEDNESDAY NIGHT FELLOWSHIP MEALS RESUME THIS WEEK, May 6, 6 PM … we hope to see everyone out for a fabulous homemade dinner of smothered pork chops, beans and rice!  Thanks to our kitchen crew, our dessert makers, and to all of YOU for your love offerings!

NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER, THURSDAY, May 6th, NOON – 1 pm at the Civic Center Auditorium … please come join me for one hour of prayer as the Pastors in the Ministerial Alliance gather to lead the community through individual prayer stations as well as communal prayer together.  (PRAYER GUIDE CLICK HERE)

THE KNITTERS, CROCHETERS & STITCHERS ARE BACK!  Every Monday, 1-3 PM, Family Life Center … looking for a place to knit, stitch and talk at the same time?  Come be part of the fellowship and bring your projects with you! Contact Sarah Hays if you have questions!

CRAFTERS meet Every Tuesday, 9 am, Asbury Hall … Christmas in the Park comes in November so start working on your crafts at home or come for the fellowship!  Contact Carla Chitsey if you have questions.

THIS SUNDAY IS MOTHER’S DAY – I look forward to seeing lots of our families together and if you’re traveling, I wish you safe and joyful travels!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Pastor Debbie


Over the years, the poem found its way into magazines, sermon illustrations, radio broadcasts, newspaper columns, including The New York Times and the Hebrew Chronicle, and even the Congress of the United States, often without attribution or remuneration, under various titles, such as “Poem Echo in Foxhole.” The poem made its way into the hands and hearts, pockets, barracks, and foxholes of an estimated 6 million soldiers in Africa, Asia, the South Pacific, the Aleutian Islands, and Europe. It was translated into several languages and became known as “the poem heard ’round the world.” 

On D-Day, June 6, 1944, a Catholic chaplain found 30 copies on the bodies of the injured and the dead on the beaches of Normandy. It was even found in Buchenwald, the Nazi concentration camp, and on the body of a dead Nazi soldier in northeastern France. One soldier at the Battle of the Bulge wrote: “I came across your poem just today. By tonight it had found its way to every man within the company — and left its mark. Men have died near me, men will die in the future, perhaps myself — but I know this, the thought you have left with us will last beyond whatever may come in the future.”

“Even now,” the poet reflected 13 years later, “it is impossible for me to believe I wrote a poem that meant so much to so many.”

Have you considered how it’s sometimes such LITTLE things that you can do that make a difference?

Consider the seven men who were appointed to assist with fair distribution of food in the early church. The 12 apostles were spending their time praying and preaching the word of God, but they knew how important it was to Jesus to care for the needs of those around them. After all, they had served the hungry before (5,000 in one case and 4,000 in another, plus women and children, (MT 14:13-21,15:32-38). So, they encouraged others to get involved:

What [the Twelve] said pleased the whole community, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, together with Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch. They had these men stand before the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them. The word of God continued to spread; the number of the disciples increased greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith. Acts 6:5-7.

Guess what happened? The seven chosen for this ministry proved to be more than fillers of food boxes and organizers of soup kitchens, by getting involved in serving, their service was CONTAGIOUS, and others began to serve also!  Guess what happened? The seven chosen for this ministry proved to be more than fillers of food boxes and organizers of soup kitchens, by getting involved in serving, their service was CONTAGIOUS, and others began to serve also! 

Frances Angermayer was a shy secretary in a physician’s office her entire working career and while she did her job faithfully, she would NEVER have become a public speaker for the Lord like Stephen or Phillip! Yet God used her simple writing to do amazing things!

Whatever little thing you can do please don’t underestimate the impact it can have on someone else! Someone new to our church who drives around looking for a place to park and then SEES the sign that says there’s parking right across from the front door of the church may find a home here at FUMC!  Someone else might see how beautiful our grounds are cared for and think, “Hmm, this is a church that takes care of their property!”, and helping your Pastor with something she’s not very good at like spreadsheets?  Well, let’s just say I know my gratitude in ALL these things will be contagious!

In his book, Buck Naked Faith: A Brutally Honest Look at Stunted Christianity, Eric Sandras suggests: “There’s a big difference between asking God to be a part of our story and our becoming a part of his. Ask Jesus to give you eyes to see something he is doing this week that you can be a part of. No matter how large or small it appears, commit to be obedient. You may have to step out of your routine.”


4-27-21 FUMC Updates … I’ll do it! This is MY church!

“I’ll DO IT!  This is my church!”

If you missed church on Sunday or had trouble watching on Facebook because the Friday night storm took out our Suddenlink connection, I want to repeat the story Clint told because it inspired me to inspire others to get plugged in.. Why? Because serving God brings us a wonderful kind of joy and reward:

Whatever you do, do it from the heart for the Lord and not for people. You know that you will receive an inheritance as a reward. You serve the Lord Christ. Colossians 3:23-24

Last week, when Bettye Gilbert was on her way to Bible Study she saw some people wandering around looking for the vaccine clinic … she immediately welcomed them, and rather than just pointing to where they should go, she said, “I’ll take you!”  Since Christus was only giving a few shots, we hadn’t scheduled volunteers so when Bettye got there she decided to stay and BE THE CHURCH.  I saw her when Bible study was over and thanked her, but she smiled and said, “Of course I was going to do this!  THIS IS MY CHURCH!  What a GREAT attitude – AND IT WAS TRUE! 

I have been praying and praying that God is going to REVIVE His post-pandemic church so we must be preparing to welcome new people and connect them to the ministries where they can feel they belong!  On Sunday, I introduced a new focus so YOU can feel the joy of saying, “I’LL DO IT!  This is my church!”

Each week we’ll outline opportunities for you to do something that needs to be done in God’s House to demonstrate our commitment to stewardship and aesthetic evangelism because, after all, people DO judge the book by the cover! What new people see when they come to our buildings matters so we hope EVERYONE will jump in and do something!

As we are beginning to open our building for outside groups like the WISD Softball & Baseball Banquets, it’s time for spring cleaning and some “hands-on” help. Here are 3 important projects we mentioned on Sunday and we’re inviting you to be part of a third:

  1. POWERWASH OUR BUILDINGS … the mossy looking green “stuff” on the brick is actually a salty formation that can damage the brick over time, not to mention looks very unkept, so just bring your own power washer or lend us one for someone else to use!
  2. POST OUR USED FLOURESCENT BULBS ON CRAIGSLIST OR FACEBOOK MARKET: we went to energy-efficient fluorescent lights in our buildings so we have 65 used bulbs that we want to sell for a MINIMAL amount. If you sell things online, this is a job for you!

Please contact Danny Moss and he’ll get you started on either of these projects!

  1. WE’RE COOKING AGAIN!  Our Wednesday night meals are starting back on the FIRST WEDNESDAYS of the MONTH this summer (the first one is May 5th, 6 PM) AND we’ve invited the Girls Softball Banquet (Monday, May 17, 6 PM) and the Boys Baseball Banquet (Saturday, May 22, 7 PM) to have their year-end banquets at our church too! Soooooo … would you like to help do some cooking? 

Contact Don Beaty to help with cooking on any of those 3 nights, or contact Bettye Gilbert to make a dessert for our 1st Wednesday night meals.

BIBLE TALK, Wednesdays, 10 am – 11:30 am, Wesley Hall: God’s Message For You … this week we’re unpacking one of the GREATEST chapters in the Bible, 1 Corinthians 13.  We’ll be together in person, and we will also be on ZOOM. (Get a sign-in link on our website calendar)

BOOK FAIR AND KATE’S PARK DEDICATION THIS SATURDAY, May 1: Katie Park, Michael and Judy’s daughter, went to heaven last July but her legacy is alive and well in Winnsboro! This Saturday the Winnsboro Center for the Arts is dedicating the BOOK FAIR to Katie who helped start the 1st book fair 3 years ago. Check out the schedule here. I am also honored to be doing the dedication for KATE’S PARK at 3:15 this Saturday and so many of you in this church have donated or will donate, to making this park happen … please come and support this family and see what your generosity has helped create! If you haven’t seen what a wonderful project this is, please check it out here.

WE NOW HAVE A TWITTER ACCOUNT:  Sarah has worked with Clint Cooper to get our newest social media account set up and it’s up and running here: https://twitter.com/FumcWinnsboro!  What is TWITTER? “Twitter is a service for friends, family, and coworkers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent messages. People post Tweets, which may contain photos, videos, links, and text. These messages are posted to your profile, sent to your followers, and are searchable on Twitter search. Learn more about how to use Twitter here.”  Please FOLLOW us just as you would follow us on Facebook for quick updates.

CRAFTERS ARE MEETING WEEKLY NOW:  Tuesdays, 9 AM … come for fellowship or start making your crafts at home for Christmas in the Park in November!

HIGH SCHOOL LOOKING FOR CHAPERONES to the PEROT MUSEUM: they are taking Freshmen on Thursday and Sophomores on Friday, May 6th and Friday, May 7th, and they are looking for some chaperones to ride with some teachers. They need about 20-25 volunteers EACH DAY with their new chaperone policy so each chaperone will be in charge of 5 kids!  Anyone interested in “being the church” can email: debbie.may@winnsboroisd.org

MARK YOUR CALENDARS: National Day of Prayer at the City Civic Center Thursday, May 6th, lunchtime … I’m excited to partner with other local pastors to bring a focus to the GREAT need for prayer in our nation, community, churches, and families and the theme this year is so very important … 2 Corinthians 3:17, Love, Life and Liberty!  Details will follow but I have attached the promotional poster (CLICK HERE) AND the prayer guide (CLICK HERE) … LET’S START PRAYING NOW!

I’d love to see you at BIBLE TALK tomorrow or this Sunday as we celebrate the ASCENSION!  Shannon Monk and our very own Mary White will be here to inspire our worship with music (just WAIT until you hear the anthem Mary will play for us!) … invite your friends!

Grace and peace,
Pastor Debbie