5-18-21 FUMC Updates … lots of important information!

How exciting to see more and more people coming back to church and worshipping on Sunday with Adler and Hearne was wonderful!  We talked about Pentecost this past Sunday and we’ll continue to talk about the Holy Spirit in the next few weeks, so THANK YOU Pastor Sue Gross, who sits on our Church Leadership Council, for writing this devotional for us based on Acts 1:4-8.


Have you ever felt inadequate to live the Christian life? If so, then you are exactly where God wants you to be because you have discovered a vital truth: No one has the power in him- or herself to live a holy life. We are all in the same boat, but there is someone else with us who has the power we need—the Holy Spirit.

When Jesus gave His disciples the task of preaching the gospel to the entire world, they had absolutely no ability to carry it out. That’s why He told them to wait until the Holy Spirit came. In the same way, if we hope to accomplish what God desires in our life, we need to live with full dependence on the Third Person of the Godhead.

The power of the Spirit is God’s divine energy and authority released in believers’ lives for the purpose of righteous living and fruitful service. When we walk in the Spirit, we’re relying on His strength to accomplish God’s will. As a result, we experience the following benefits:

  • We may get tired, but we won’t burn out.
  • We’ll trust God instead of trying to manipulate our circumstances.
  • We may experience distress, but we won’t become desperate.
  • We won’t become overwhelmed with discouragement or obstacles, knowing the Spirit within us will enable us to do what He’s called us to accomplish.
When we do God’s work by His strength, in His way, and with His wisdom, we’ll be blessed no matter what goes on around us. Walking in the Spirit doesn’t mean life will be easy—but we never have to walk through it alone, because our Helper is always with us.

THANKS TO YOU ALL who have said, “I’ll do it!  This is my church!”

–         I was so proud of SO MANY from our church last night!  Our church hosted the Lady Raiders GIRL’S SOFTBALL banquet in the FLC, and everyone worked so hard to be excellent organizers, media consultants, hosts, cooks, and bakers!  This Friday night, the BOYS BASEBALL team will be celebrating with us and if you could come after 7 to help us clean up and rearrange the tables, that would be a big help!

–         I also want to thank our VACCINE CLINIC volunteers … those of you who brought snacks and water, those of you who greeted people as they arrived!  I heard Bettye Gilbert say she saw LOTS of people come that she had never seen before and that’s exactly why we do these kinds of things … to let people know we’re here and our hearts for our community! Our last clinic on the calendar is tomorrow so thanks again to those of you who helped!

CHILDREN’S MINISTRY UPDATES:  Thanks to everyone who stayed for our brief CHILDREN’S MINISTRY updates after church on Sunday!  I always know when we’re on the right track because the Holy Spirit blesses us with enthusiasm, willingness, and resources to achieve our most important mission of MAKING DISCIPLESand our children are WORTH our efforts!!

  1. We are a MINISTRY SAFE church … this means that we take VERY seriously the safety of our children and our volunteers who work with them! ANY adult who will supervise or be engaged in ANY way with our kids will be trained and have a background check so parents will know we are diligent in our ministry to children. We always, for example, want to have 2 adults working together when serving our kids, and sometimes, that means all you have to do is be present and show you care! Being a Ministry Safe Church is so important to us that the North Texas Conference pays for the Ministry Safe Training (a series of 4 short videos, done online in your home) and we pay for the background checks. This also protects you, our volunteers!  Please get certified to serve our children – there will be lots of ways to serve and ALL tasks are important! (CLICK HERE) PLEASE REPLY TO THIS IF YOU’D LIKE TO GET PLUGGED INTO THIS EXCITING NEW MINISTRY!
  1. Searching for a Children’s Leader: Job Description (CLICK HERE) … this is a position we approved and had budgeted for the beginning of 2021 but are just now far enough out of COVID that we feel we can safely move forward, full steam ahead!  Who do you know that loves Jesus, loves kids, is creative, and can give 20 hours a week to this especially important position?  The job description is on the website if you want to refer people to our KIDS page
  1. Children’s Church, those finished 2 – 6 grades is starting back Sundays, June 13th, 10:45 – NOON … we are moving toward including younger grades but for now, the children will be back in Wesley Hall for time to learn age-appropriate Bible study for their age group.  Again, we need your help to support Paige in the supervision and maybe even taking part of the group to make the lesson more directed to older/younger ages.
  1. Parents’ Night Out, Friday, June 4th, 6 – 9 pm … see the flyer (CLICK HERE) that will be sent home to ALL WISD kids who have COMPLETED grades K through 6.  We are all going to work with the parents in our church to serve OTHERS this summer .. THIS IS AN OUTREACH EFFORT to meet new families who do not have a church home!  Yes, we hope LOTS of kids will come but we are not trying to take kids away from their home church, we are trying to SERVE! We will serve hot dogs, provide a craft, games, and even have a bounce house and there will be LOTS of ways you can do a LITTLE something (CLICK HERE).


WE NEED YOUR OLD SHIRTS: the 1st craft we’ll be making is SLIME so we’re collecting old shirts to use for any messy craft or science experiments!

SOCIAL MEDIA: please post on your pages to share with your friends! Please start watching our social media accounts (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter all at FUMCwinnsboro) for all the exciting updates we are planning! This is a modern-day form of EVANGELISM because when you share what’s going on at your church, other people see it!  This is the beauty of multiplication on social media so please share!

LAST BIBLE TALK THIS WEDNESDAY, 5/19, 10 am, Wesley Hall … 2 years ago I started BIBLE TALK, an in-depth Bible study to dig deep into what I felt were the most influential, interconnectional chapters of the Bible. We worked through all 4 sections of the Bible, what I call the 4 Cs: Creation, Covenant, Old Testament, and Christ and the Church, New Testament (almost ALL on ZOOM!) and in these 48 stand-alone chapters, I personally learned so much!  This Wednesday we’ll end our study with 1 JOHN 3: WE’RE PART OF THE FAMILY! 

The Prayer Quilt Ministry SEW DAY, Wed. 5/26, 9 am – 3 pm … join the prayer quilt ministry to either (1) sew on your own project or (2) or get help to get started learning how to piece a quilt top and we will provide the fabric and teach you how!  We also have a cutting table and an ironing station, but you will need to bring your own sewing machine.  Beginners and seasoned “sewists” are all welcome!  Contact Amy Moss if you would like to come and coffee, donuts, and a light lunch will be provided.  If you would like to be a part of a similar group, but can’t meet on a weekday, contact Amy about the possibility of an evening get-together or a Saturday sew day.

SUNDAY, MAY 23, 3 PM, East District UMC Annual Meeting, LIVE on Facebook … while Ted Haynes, Lay Leader, and I will be on a ZOOM meeting for voting purpose, if you’d like to see the plans that go into getting ready for the North Texas annual conference, (June 14-16), you are welcome to watch!  https://www.facebook.com/NTCEastDistrict

FRIDAY NIGHT, MAY 28th, WISD HIS GRADUATION, 6 – 8 pm … come hand out water bottles with us!  We especially want our kids to help and all you have to do is show up!!  Contact KEN RAGSDALE if you have questions.

Once again, thanks to ALL of you who said, “I’ll do it! This is my church” …

So don’t hide your light! Let it shine brightly before others, so that the commendable things you do will shine as light upon them, and then they will give their praise to your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16

Pastor Debbie


12-01-20 FUMC Updates

It’s ADVENT!!  ‘Tis the season of preparation for the birth of Christ which comes no matter what’s going on in our lives or what’s going on in our communities!  Jesus is the HOPE in uncertain times, and He is the peace that gives us comfort when life is painful and difficult!  We need Christmas now more than ever and because it is a season of the HEART!

We are all watching the State of Texas and Northeast Texas Department of Health reports on COVID cases in our hospitals and communities and the leadership team will be deciding tomorrow, Wednesday 12/2, as to what our reopening plans are.  I’m sure you’re watching the NetHealth positives and the hospitalizations, as well as the State Department of Health numbers, so LET US ALL PRAY the numbers go down as we wait for the vaccines!

In the meantime, we are planning with anticipation and many thanks to Julie Lewis and Elaina Ragsdale for the beautiful Advent altarscape – it’s just wonderful!  We also have a small team of volunteers who will be completing the decorations in the church tomorrow, Wednesday morning at 9 am.  If you want to be part of that, contact SHIELA HAYNES.

I am also grateful to Pastor Sue for stepping into the drive-through yesterday!  While I am still in quarantine and feeling fine with no symptoms of coronavirus, I know that the virus can be present asymptomatically, so I am being faithful to the CDC guidelines to remain away from people until Saturday.  Thanks to all of you who came by and got your M&M tubes and/or brought them back, filled with quarters (or cash or checks!) for the Backpack Food Ministry.

UPCOMING LIFE CELEBRATIONS:  We continue to be flexible in the ways we serve these families and in the arrangements being made to honor the people we loved and will miss!  Memorial funds have been set-up for WAYNE HORTON and DANIEL DAVIS at the request of their families.  CLICK HERE and choose which FUND you’re giving to – we will thank the family on your behalf.

Wayne Horton:  Saturday, 12/5, NOON, Graveside service at Old City Cemetery (by the Church), then following the service, (pending the church re-opening, we’ll inform everyone tomorrow), a Celebration of Life will follow at the Church at about 12:30.

Daniel Davis:  Sunday, 12/13, 2:00 pm, Beaty Funeral Home. CLICK HERE for details.

ADVENT ZOOM BIBLE STUDY STARTS TOMORROW, WEDNESDAYS 12/2,9 and 16, 10 am or 6:30 PM … I’m very excited about our 3 week Advent Study, THE PURPOSE OF CHRISTMAS, that will be on ZOOM on Wednesdays at 10 am and 6:30 pm … no reservations necessary and your friends are welcome – you can find the sign-in on the posts on our homepage OR the calendar on the website … you just need a phone, tablet, laptop or desktop preferably with a camera and you can join us!  A daily Advent prayer journal is available on the Christmas webpage also … there is one for each week for the next 3 weeks.  Here is the link for ALL these ZOOM studies … CLICK HERE.  NEW TO ZOOM?  Give it a try!  Go to their website here.

M&M’s FOR OUR BACKPACK FOOD MINISTRY:  this wonderful ministry, part of the Community Resource Center (Food Pantry), sends food home with students who may not have enough to eat while the schools are closed for Christmas … we’d love to have all donations back by December 13th please so if you didn’t get to the drive-through the last 2 weeks, you can decide what to do … 1st, we DO have MINI M&M tubes for you!  I will put some in the red tub by the office door if you’d like to pick one up but the whole point is this … we’re collecting money for the Backpack Food Ministry so after you eat your M&M’s you can fill the tubes with $12-$13 worth of quarters!  You can drop off your filled tubes at the mail slot or bring them when the church reopens (cash or checks fit too!) OR you can give online HERE.

MEET SARAH SPARKS OUR NEW SOCIAL MEDIA COORDINATOR:  Sarah was raised here in Winnsboro, (she graduated with Ken Ragsdale!) and has a regular full-time job but she has done website and social media work for several churches and non-profits and she is passionate about using her skills for Christ!  Sarah will be working only 10 hours a week and will help me keep Facebook and the website updated, help me with the slide presentations in worship and she has even already started posting the message on YouTube for those who do not have Facebook!  She has also connected our Instagram account so if you prefer that.  Let your non-FB friends know they can watch the sermon on our YouTube channel which should be posted by Tuesdays.  If you have suggestions, thoughts, or comments you can email Sarah HERE.  (Remember she only works 10 hours a week, evenings, and weekends so you may not hear back instantly!)

Sermons and Devotionals will now be available on YouTube:  Sarah will now be downloading sermons and devotionals from Facebook and uploading them to YouTube … this is predominantly for the few of you who do not have Facebook.  When you open the page, save it as a favorite so you can find it.  CLICK HERE for YouTube main page or the most recent devotional and sermon here:

YouTube or Facebook Devotional

YouTube or Facebook Sunday Message

Audio sermons are on the website, HERE

THIS SUNDAY our Advent worship series, UNDER WRAPS continues with a look at Great Expectations! Luke 1:39-45.  It is Communion Sunday so if we are not open (check tomorrow!) or you are watching from home, please have your sacred space and simple elements ready so we can be “together” no matter what!

Grace and peace!
Pastor Debbie