5-12-21 FUMC Updates with exciting info for KIDS

This Sunday is PENTECOST Sunday, the day the Holy Spirit descended to be with us, just as Jesus promised!  Within Christianity, The Holy Spirit is one of the theological concepts that is most difficult to understand, maybe because we like facts, tangible things, evidence of existence. I truly enjoyed the description of the Holy Spirit in the popular book, The Shack where early in the story, the main character describes the Holy Spirit by saying: “My eyes had to work to see her at all… I knew all of this as more an impression of her than from actually seeing her, as she seemed to phase in and out of his vision.”

I’ve got to admit, that’s often how I feel about the Holy Spirit … a little like hands trying to grasp hold of water as it comes out of the faucet, I feel the Holy Spirit slips through my fingers if I’m not INTENTIONAL! I am MESMERIZED by the fact that this Spirit is one and the same as God, is one and the same as Jesus and it’s baffling! So, for the next few weeks, we’ll be talking about the Holy Spirit … what the Spirit does, and how we can be INTENTIONAL about our earthly relationship with Him (or Her?!)

If you have not taken the Spiritual Gifts analysis on our website, we’ll be talking about our Spirit-given gifts in 2 weeks but I think it will help you now … CLICK HERE … it’s a short questionnaire that you should answer without analyzing, but answering honestly, as if you’re all alone with God and only HE sees you!

SOME EXCITING THINGS HAPPENING FOR KIDS: I am trusting that the Holy Spirit will empower US so we will empower OTHERS to know the love of Christ and those OTHERS must start with our kids!  PLEASE START PRAYING NOW as we begin our summer program!

          THIS SUNDAY, 5/16, AFTER CHURCH in WESLEY HALL … I’m inviting everyone who wants to know more to stay for a quick 30-minute gathering in WESLEY HALL after church on Sunday … we’ll provide snacks to tide you over before lunch, and we’ll give more information and will answer all your questions!  Coming to the meeting does not commit you to anything other than to PRAY that God will empower us to BLESS OUR CHILDREN so please come!

          Children’s Church starts back Sunday, June 13th, 10:50 am … Paige will be back to restart the learning hour for kids K-6 until we find a new Children’s Director (20 hours week), but we need your help please!  We need adults to be a PLUS-ONE presence to support Paige in her teaching and crafts. We will send you a Ministry Safe training link so you will be part of our safe sanctuary policies (you’ll watch 4 short videos) and, we need 3-4 people to volunteer 1 Sunday a month.  Just say, “I’ll do it!  This is my church!” and reply to this email today!

          SUMMER PARENTS NIGHT OUT, Fridays, June 4, July 9 & August 6, 6 – 9 PM … in order to meet some new families in our community, I am thrilled we’ll be offering a series of 3 Parent Night Outs this summer, a BLAST for the kids and a BREAK for the parents!  Working alongside Joe & Crystal Chandler and Joey & Rita Newton, we are planning a light dinner, games, maybe a craft, a movie … and yes, this will require lots of people to help!  IT’S JUST ONE NIGHT A MONTH and you might be interested in:

  • researching costs of bounce houses
  • shopping for snacks and food
  • cooking hot dogs and getting food ready (we’ll serve hot dogs, chips & cookies – simple!)
  • getting a craft ready and helping the kids make something
  • overseeing a game
  • being a chaperone

COME SUNDAY and find out more or reply to this email and let me know you can be part of this movement FORWARD!

          PRAY THAT GOD LEADS US TO A NEW CHILDREN’S DIRECTOR, 20 HOURS/WEEK … we are looking for an energetic, creative Children’s Director who will teach our kids, attend their games or special events & get to know the parents, and organize fun events!  If you know anyone, please have them contact me as we’ll be starting our search very soon!

BIBLE TALK, Wednesday, 5/12, 10 am – 11:15 am, Wesley Hall … this week we’ll unpack JAMES 1 and explore why faith matters, especially in difficult circumstances.

UNITED METHODIST WOMEN QUIET DAY: Thursday, May 13th, 11:00 am, Asbury Hall … bring your Bible and a sack lunch for this special day of prayer and reflection.  All are welcome!

Last week I asked everyone to be aware of things that need to be done for our church and if you SEE SOMETHING – DO SOMETHING … many thanks to the person who washed the parking signs in at our grass parking lot in front of the Baptist Church and to the person who is now keeping track of all our songs and music for our licensing!  GOD IS SMILING!!  Here are some other opportunities for YOU to be the church:

         2nd DOSE VACCINE CLINICS FINISHING UP: May 14th and May 19th, Family Life Center … anyone that had a MODERNA vaccine a few weeks ago will be returning for their 2nd shot this Friday or next Wednesday and we’d like YOUR help!  Many thanks to those who have already signed up … we need one greeter from 1-2:30 PM this Friday and there are lots of spots on Wednesday, May 19th. We also need some people to bring snacks, i.e., small packs of cookies, nuts, mini-candy bars, crackers, etc. for 12-15 people … nothing fancy! You can drop them in the red bin by the office anytime before Friday.  SIGN UP HERE.

         WISD GRADUATION PROJECT: Saturday, May 29th at the Stadium, handing out water bottles to the families as they arrive … this is a GREAT project for the young kids too!  Contact Ken Ragsdale HERE and say, “I’ll do it!”

I hope to see you all this Sunday … ADLER AND HEARNE will be back with their incredibly special worship to help us celebrate the HOLY SPIRIT!

In Christ Alone,
Pastor Debbie


4-5-21 FUMC Updates

As I write this update, I can’t help but reflect on our 2021 Holy Week… 1 week ago we celebrated Palm Sunday and so many children helped us remember that Jesus rode into Jerusalem triumphantly and they actually recognized Him as a KING for the first time!

On Holy Thursday we had a moving and somber reflection of the last supper and experienced the emotion of the disciples as our readers reenacted their memories of their time with Jesus.   

Just yesterday morning, many of us were celebrating the risen Christ as the morning light came over the horizon at the Ragsdale’s beautiful home for our sunrise service… I couldn’t bring myself to even start on time because to see everyone gathering and the time of fellowship was so heart-warming and necessary!

And then, when Adler and Hearne arrived in the sanctuary to start tuning their guitars in preparation for our 10:50 service, Ken, and I both had tears of joy in our hearts as they began to practice CHRIST THE LORD IS RISEN TODAY! When the traditional service began, it was joyful and full of singing and worship, and there a spirit of energy and excitement that was truly overwhelming!

There are so many people to thank for making this beautiful week possible, many of you were behind the scenes and I don’t even know how you helped … but God knows, and He is smiling! To all the readers who played the roles of disciples on Thursday night, especially our kids, JACK CHANDLER, and LANE NEWTON, you were amazing!!  Clint Cooper, you were AWESOME narrating such a deeply moving and dramatic reading, and Danny Moss, Tommy Teague, Sue Gross, Bettye Gilbert, Brad Scharf, Carla Chitsey, and Dan Strickland … you were wonderful!

There are no words that can possibly do justice to the gratitude I have for Ken and Elaina who made our sunrise service so incredible!  Not just sharing their beautiful home but their giving spirit of joyful hospitality! Matthew and John Noe rebuilt the magnificent cross on the property, many people moved chairs and tables back and forth, others picked up donuts and made the coffee before 6 am!

So many of you also brought the beautiful Easter lilies that made our church so beautiful on Sunday! Julie and Elaina have designed our altarscapes all through Lent setting a tone for worship that is amazing! Shiela Haynes has coordinated all the “extras” for our worship services and along with ALL the ushers have made people feel welcome and safe at our church!

But most of all, my true rock star is KEN RAGSDALE!  As your Pastor, Ken is truly my partner in your worship experience!  I KNOW how much work goes into making our visual worship experience what it is – I know all the extra hours that go into preparing for special events – I know the anxiety that happens when technology problems pop up at the last minute – I know what goes on behind the scenes to make the Word of God come alive in a fast-paced and ever-changing world and Ken Ragsdale – I’ll say it again, you are my rock-star every single Sunday! 

THIRD VACCINE CLINIC COMING TO THE FLC THIS TUESDAY, 4/6, 3 – 5 PM … Christus Mother Francis Winnsboro is coming back to our FLC this Tuesday to vaccinate another 100 people and YOU have stepped up to show our neighbors our hospitality!  Thanks to the following who will help make this possible: Barbara Selvidge, Cyndie Ewert, Glynda Willis, Joan Willis, Erika Martin, Sandra Thompson, Chuck & Nancy Roy, Bettye Gilbert, and Clint Cooper! MANY THANKS!

UNITED METHODIST WOMEN, Thursday, April 8th, 10 AM, Asbury Hall … looking for a place to meet other Christian women who focus on faith, fellowship, and mission? Come join them back in their favorite room! 

DONATE BLOOD IN WINNSBORO THIS THURSDAY, 4/8, 10 am – 3 pm … once again we’re happy to work with First Baptist to support the Carter Bloodmobile coming to Winnsboro!  Make an appointment today by CLICKING HERE  – your gift DOES save lives!

BIBLE TALK WILL START BACK, IN-PERSON and on ZOOM WEDNESDAYS, APRIL 21st, 10 am – 11:30 am … now that COVID cases are down so drastically and most everyone who has wanted to be vaccinated is now safe to get out, we will meet IN-PERSON for a 5-week spring study, GOD’S MESSAGE TO YOU. We’ll be looking at 5 New Testament chapters, verse by verse, as the church began to grow after the resurrection of Christ.  IT WOULD HELP ME KNOW WHAT ROOM WE SHOULD MEET IN so please let me know if you plan to join us … we will either meet in ASBURY or in WESLEY. We will also welcome those who wish to join us on ZOOM and as always, you can find the sign-in link on the church calendar.

WINNSBORO CANDIDATE FORUM: Thursday, April 22, 6 pm, Civic Auditorium … I was honored to be invited to moderate the 2021 City of Winnsboro Candidate Forum!  The Winnsboro News is sponsoring this NON-PARTISAN event and I encourage everyone to exercise their civic duty to learn more about the City Council candidates (4 running for 2 positions) and Mayoral candidates (2 are running).  You can submit questions for… wnewseditor@outlook.com. The forum will also be LIVE STREAMED on the City of Winnsboro Facebook page.

EARLY RESPONSE TRAINING, Saturday, April 24 at First UMC Henrietta: do you feel called to be someone first on the scene when disaster strikes? After tornados, fires, floods, etc.? The United Methodist Church is ALWAYS ready to respond to emergencies and we provide the training!  Find out more about ERT here, or talk with our very own, Pastor Sue Gross who will be one of the trainers! If you’re interested, take part in socially distanced, in-person certification for Early Response Teams on Saturday, April 24 at First UMC Henrietta. Opportunities are available for new attendees and those looking to recertify. The cost is $15, which includes lunch. CLICK HERE for details.

I’LL BE ON VACATION FOR A FEW DAYS: I will be in town this week working on our next sermon series but on Friday I’ll be going to see my kids and Arkansas and then taking the next week off.  I’m excited to tell you that Sarah Doke from Tinney Chapel will be preaching this Sunday!  Sarah just completed her LAY SERVANT MINISTER coursework and will be officially commissioned at the Annual Conference in June!  We will postpone COMMUNION until I get back on April 18th and I’ll look forward to being back with you then!

For Pastoral Care needs while I am gone, 4/9-4/17, please call Pastor Sue Gross, 903-767-6339, or for general needs, contact our Lay Leader, Ted Haynes, at 972-533-9383.

WE WILL SOON FINISH THE GOSPEL OF MARK:  I have truly enjoyed studying the Gospel of Mark with you these last 12 weeks … to be able to closely follow one consistent story from beginning to end has been invigorating for me and I hope it has been for YOU!  When I get back, we’ll look at what the disciples experienced after Jesus’ resurrection and we’ll end in April with the ASCENSION!

In Christ Alone,
Pastor Debbie