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3-8-21 FUMC Updates

My family had a silly rhyme when I was growing up …

“Spring has sprung, the grass has ris’,
where then are the flowers is?”

After our severe ice storms a few weeks ago, I was wondering if our flowers would bloom this year, but God’s creation is resilient! I have already seen wild daffodils blooming all over the sides of our country roads, and how is it that dandelions have no trouble coming up?  To everything there is a season, and can you feel the spring fever in the air?

As people began coming into the church on Sunday, I looked at the few socially distanced choir folks and exclaimed that I could FEEL the energy growing! It was so darn GREAT to see so many of you again!  As I mentioned, before we release COVID restrictions, we were waiting for the CDC guidelines to come out with safety protocols for those who have been fully vaccinated, and we now have them … CLICK HERE. You will see some changes, slowly over the next few weeks, but again, please be patient as it appears most of our safety measures will still be necessary for a little while longer.

HAVE YOU WATCHED AN ONLINE SERVICE LATELY? Yes, we can’t wait for people to come back but there will always be people, especially VISITORS, who want to “check us out” before they come and/or they live too far away to come in-person! Ken and Kade have worked hard on the broadcast so please watch it … listen to the sound quality and the music … let us know what is working and what isn’t! CLICK HERE for this past Sunday’s message.

SPRING FORWARD/FALL BACK: don’t forget to set your clocks FORWARD on Saturday night before you go to bed … the days are getting longer!

CHURCH COUNCIL MEMBERS WILL BE COMMISSIONED SUNDAY: I want you to know what an amazing group of leaders we have in our church!  On Saturday we had an exciting KICK-OFF to start planning what church will look like in a post-pandemic world.  We all understand 2 things:  Jesus is the “Captain of our ship”, and our mission is clear: TO MAKE DISCIPLES FOR JESUS CHRIST.  This Sunday we will officially commission these amazing, faithful servants into their roles on the Church Council … please pray for us all as we work to do the exciting work of sharing God’s love with those who do not know His love!

Joanna Horton, Chair
Danny Moss, Trustee Chair
JaneAnne Newton, Finance Co-Chair
Mary Tom McLemore, Finance Co-Chair
Cyndie Ewert, Staff Parish Relations Chair
Ted Haynes, Lay Leader
Ken Ragsdale
Sandra Strickland
Clint Cooper*
Sue Gross*
Joe Chandler*
Kade Martin*
Judy Beaty*

                      *Starting new terms

THANKS TO THOSE WHO TOOK THE CORE VALUES SURVEY: attached results CLICK HERE, although I was disappointed that only 9 congregation members shared their thoughts, the Church Council was well represented (in blue).  We will be focusing to grow our top 6 ASPIRATIONAL categories which just happen to line-up beautifully with our mission, to MAKE DISCIPLES! (I love it when He affirms that we’re on the right track!) Please call if you have questions!

CRAFTERS MEET THIS TUESDAY, 9 am, Asbury … CRAFTERS are excited about starting to gather again on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays at 9 am. We’re getting ready for Christmas in the Park, a great fundraiser for the church so won’t YOU please consider joining them?  Or, you could start making some good quality, affordable, “Etsy” saleable crafts (you crafters know all about Etsy, right?) at home! Remember …what we put out to sell reflects who we are so let’s be thoughtful and creative! 

UNITED METHODIST WOMEN: Thursday, March 11, 10 am, Asbury Hall … if you’re looking for fellowship with a heart for mission, join UMW this week! Sandra Patrick will give a presentation on women who have been influential in the UMW.  All are welcome!

PLEASE CONSIDER GIVING BLOOD: Thursday, April 8, 10 am -3 pm, we’re partnering again with First Baptist to bring TWO bloodmobiles to Winnsboro … they do FREE Covid-Antigen testing when you give blood so make an appointment today!

PLANNING AHEAD FOR EASTER?

  • 3/28 PALM SUNDAY, 10:50 am … children will meet in the lobby at 10:45 to carry the palm branches through the church.
  •  4/1 HOLY THURSDAY, 6:30 pm … join us in the sanctuary to remember the Last Supper.
  • 4/4 EASTER SUNRISE SERVICE, 6:50 am … at the Ragsdale’s, 270 CR 4228
      • TRADITIONAL SERVICE, 10:50 am … in the sanctuary, Adler & Hearn will help us celebrate.

THIS SUNDAY we move into a critical turning point in Mark’s Gospel as we now begin the journey from Galilee to Jerusalem.  Chapters 8, 9 and 10 make up the structural center of this gospel and as we begin the journey to Jerusalem, Jesus predicts His death.

And just a reminder, we’re so excited to see people coming back but please be flexible where you sit because half of the pews are still closed so you may not be able to sit where you used to sit.  But I’d love to see more of you upfront with me!  KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN FOR GUESTS, TOO! 

If I don’t “see” you on ZOOM this Wednesday, I’ll see (or “see”) you Sunday!

In Christ Alone,
Pastor Debbie


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1-9-21 FUMC Updates

Both in Matthew and Mark Jesus told the disciples that it would soon be time for Him to go to Jerusalem where He would suffer and die. Even though the disciples had traveled with Jesus and followed Him for more than 2 years, and even though Jesus tried to prepare them by teaching that He had not come to establish an earthly kingdom but an eternal kingdom, their expectations of Him were still confusing! At one point, Peter, one of Jesus’ most devout disciples, began to rebuke Jesus for having such a fatalistic mindset! But Jesus quickly snapped back saying firmly: “GET BEHIND ME SATAN”. 

Sometimes, when it comes to technology I want to say … GET BEHIND ME SATAN!  As you know, a week ago, we were able to upgrade some of our broadcast equipment, and that very 1st week, everything went great!  Last week, well … let’s just say we had human error (on my part!) AND technology malfunction on the part of Suddenlink not having available the bandwidth to broadcast our HD worship slides. ***SIGH***  We were eventually able to reconnect and broadcast at a lower quality level (you can watch all but the 1st minutes of the sermon here or listen to it all here) but needless to say, Ken and I have both been praying about not turning into “Peters”! God’s kingdom cannot be stopped and we are committed to working harder to make our worship special for those who DO worship online .. we hope our learning curve will get MUCH smaller and we continue to pray that Suddenlink provides the service we need so hang in there with us!

PRAYER QUILT MINISTRY PROJECT:  because we had some connectivity issues on Sunday many of you missed the introduction to a wonderful prayer ministry project that was launched this past Sunday and will be completely revealed this coming Sunday. CLICK HERE to help us pray over the 6 prayer quilts being delivered to 6 special people this week, then tune in THIS Sunday, February 14th to get the rest of the story.

BIBLE TALK ENDS AND LENT BEGINS: Wednesday mornings at 10 am … our last winter Bible Talk ZOOM is tomorrow, Wed. 2/10, at 10 am and we’ll be getting ready for the beginning of LENT with a look at Revelation 22: Heaven, I Can Only Imagine.  Then starting Wednesdays, 2/17, I will be leading a more conversational Lenten study, an exploration of the Prophets and their role in the Easter story.   CLICK HERE for sign-in info and details.

UNITED METHODIST WOMEN: Thursday, 2/11, 10 am, Asbury Hall .. come be part of a great group of women building relationships with one another and growing in their faith!  Their purpose is:  “to know God and to experience freedom as whole persons through Jesus Christ; to develop a creative, supportive fellowship; and to expand concepts of mission through participation in the global ministries of the church.”  Come join us, masks please.

ASH WEDNESDAY: February 17th, 6:30 PM … believe it or not, it’s time to start thinking ahead to the death and resurrection of Christ! Easter is MORE than a day, it’s a lifestyle because once we accept that Jesus died for us, our lives change! ASH WEDNESDAY kicks off the 6-week season of preparation for Easter … it is a special, sacred service where palm branch ashes are imposed on our foreheads to remind us that God created us from the dust of the earth and we will someday return to dust. But we also know this … God makes BEAUTY from the ashes! If you will be watching from home, please pick up your ashes from the red tub by the office door between Feb. 14 and Feb. 17th, or if you cannot get out, I will mail them to you but please let me know right away.

SUNDAY, MARCH 14th, 10:50 am, DEMONS & DESTINIES … this past Sunday we talked about PARADOX and PARABLES (I attached the chapter 4 reflection questions again CLICK HERE), and this Sunday you will EXPERIENCE a paradox … the message, from Mark 5 is about DEMONS and DESTINIES, but it’s VALENTINE’S DAY so .. we’ll figure out how LOVE leads the way!

Many blessings for a HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!
Pastor Debbie


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