(There is a lot of good stuff in this tickle – go ahead and take time to be tickled! Made you grin!)
I hope you and your family can come join us for our Community Thanksgiving Feast tomorrow night in the MAC beginning at 5 pm. Ro and the Robinettes have the turkey(s) and dressing(s) covered. Everyone is invited to bring a side dish or a dessert to share. For those of you who participated last year, you know this is truly a feast for the ages! Anyone and everyone can come. We have been inviting our community to come as well.
There will be no basket out this Wednesday. This meal is a gift. This is our faith family Celebration meal for all that God has done through us in 2014. Come be thankful! There will be no Youth program or Children’s program or adult program after dinner – the only activity still happening after dinner (in this Cantata season) is the regular music ministry practices. Come and enjoy each other.
Dig out those name tags, wear them, and intentionally meet a few new people. We have three services and more than 70 new members this year – it is critically important that we take time to get to know each other in this place of grace. Come on, you’ve been cold too much during this week of frigid temps – come feel the warmth of family and God woven together! We have more infant high chairs now...and more coming.
Welcome New Members Joining this Weekend
Brian Thomas 176 Forest Circle, Blairsville, GA 30512
Matthew, Katie, Chloe, & Max Mashburn 374 Lower Fox Tr, Blairsville, GA 30512
Season of Celebration and Thanksgiving TO GOD
Our Finance Chair and member of the 2015 Stewardship Team (Doug McGinnnis) presented the following results of our 2015 Stewardship journey. We had 177 families turn in a 2015 Estimate of Giving Card! THANK YOU so much for continuing your Christian witness to your faith. I think when people see 177 families respond, it just warms all our hearts in a powerful way. What a movement of God! Many answered the anonymous four yes/no questions on the back of the small section of the EOG cards. We learned some amazing things about this amazing faith family this year. We learned that 66 families indicated their 2015 EOG was a full 10% (or greater) Tithe! We know how truly sacrificial that journey is and we lift up these families who show us all that it is possible to grow into or beyond that level of giving. Well done! We learned that 64 families checked that what their were estimating to give in 2015 is more than what they gave in 2014. Again, that is truly nothing short of a miracle of God and God’s transforming Spirit moving among us. Thank you for the step (and in some cases leap) of faith.
It appears that over 80% of our congregation currently have wills! As we move further into developing our Legacy Giving culture, we needed to have an idea how many of our families even have a will. You guys are ahead of most. Again, well done! But we must admit that it was the smallest number this year that has touched us the most. We had 12 families indicate that this 2015 giving level will be the first time they have reached the 10% Biblical Tithe. Well done! Our total EOG number was $615, 479! Since our giving level far out paces the EOG number, we know there are many who give faithfully to God’s movement through the body of First Methodist without using the anonymous EOG cards. We thank you too for your continued generosity that helps propel this mission outpost on the frontier of life forward into future ministry and mission. Together, we can change the world!We thank you all!!!
Act of Community Ministry at Vogel State Park on THURSDAY
If you would like to join with volunteers from several community churches at Vogel State Park (Hwy 129 S), you would be welcome to come this Thursday at 1 pm to begin the preparations for the December 13 Christmas program in the park. Your FUMC Missions Committee is inviting more of our Church to be part of this wonderful seasonal event in the park. If you have any questions, contact Tom or Pat Maryscuk email@example.com
As we turned our planning attention towards December, we came up with a plan for Cantata Sunday and our new 3 service configuration. This will be a first. That Sunday is December 14.
Our Music Ministry will be performing the Christmas Cantata within the worship services at both 8:30 am and 11 am in the Sanctuary. For this one day, we are cancelling our 9:45 am service to allow everyone a chance to attend one of those two Cantata services.
And since we are looking for creative ways to bring our entire faith family (that worships at three different services) together, Ro and the Robinettes are leading us into a church-wide breakfast brunch at 9:45 am in the MAC on that day (Dec 14.) If you can help by bringing a breakfast casserole or brunch “finger food”, please do so (the Robinettes have the drinks and main foods for that brunch already planned.) Nothing else will happen in the MAC that Sunday morning besides this brunch. We are inviting every Sunday School to have a conversation about what they would like to do onDecember 14. It sure would be wonderful, if for this one day, we all chose to spend time with each other in the MAC rather than have Sunday School – but as always - that choice is up to each Sunday School. MY prayer is that you dig out those name tags, wear than on December 14, and either worship via the early Cantata service and then brunch or brunch and then worship via the 11 am Cantata service. Given the Children’s Christmas play is later that evening and the Youth Christmas party is also later that evening, we are canceling Children’s Sunday School and Youth Ministry that day. Nursery will still be available throughout Sunday morning as normal.
Christmas Eve Plans
We will be able to experience the thrill of Christmas Eve candlelight in the entire Sanctuary this year (including the balcony!) We will offer three Christmas Eve services, 5:30 pm, 7 pm, and 11 pm. Nursery will be provided at 5:30 pm and 7 pm. Tell your friends and family. The three service configuration makes it much more comfortable and manageable for everyone. Come experience the Christmas Eve thrill of Bells and Candlelight as we celebrate “Hope for the Holidays” through the birth of Jesus Christ. The entire offering received that night (100%) will go to the Hope House – our local community, ecumenical, benevolence ministry. We think Jesus will appreciate that as our Birthday present to Him.
Angel Tree Ministry
The first group to respond to the invitation and therefore take ownership of this year’s Angel Tree ministry is the Women’s Bible Study group that meets on Wednesday mornings. Thank you Ladies!
CEC Yard Sale Results
Thank you for helping with our yard sale by donating goods – we made over $1,500 that will help support our preschool ministry – your CEC (Child Enrichment Center.)
Operation Christmas Child is Underway!
Bring your boxes in by Thursday noon of this week – it is now the shipping deadline this week. Place your completed box(es) on the Operation Christmas Child table where you originally picked up the materials for this ministry. We will collect and ship them in one trip. It is important that you get your boxes to us by noon Thursday – THIS THURSDAY!
Early Relay for Life Fundraiser
Alysia Hargus is hosting a Premier Designs Jewelry show in the Fellowship Hall on December 7 from 12:30 to 2:30 pm. The free jewelry earned from the event will be donated to the Relay for Life silent auction and 50% of the profits from the show will be donated to Relay for Life. Evelyn had send out a FACEBOOK notice about this and we know people are having a hard time making the link work. It is the correct link – simply copy and paste the link into your web browser and you will get there.
Scout Hut Cast Iron Wood Burning Stove
We are renovating the Scout hut. We will be removing things from that residence that do not need to be part of the Scout Hut function. There is a free standing cast iron wood burning stove in the main meeting room. We will be removing that stove to free up the meeting space. We are entertaining any and all offers for that stove. If you would like to see it, come by Evelyn’s office and you can get the key to the Scout hut and go look it over. Send any offer you might make to Evelyn directly. Highest offer gets the stove. If the physical move is a barrier, we might be able to help you get it from where it is to where you want it to go for the right offer!
Call for a New 9:45 Sunday School Class
Due to recent growth, there is a need rising for a new Sunday School class of parents of children were the parents wish to worship in the 11 am Traditional worship service. If that is your desire and you are interested in forming a new Life Group of parents, simply respond to this email. I will be collecting responses for a few weeks to see if we have enough interest to start that class.
Exciting United Methodist New
As many of you know, we United Methodists are organized into conferences. There is no central home office. The College of Bishops provides Episcopal leadership across the globe for our Denomination. We do have a handful of General Boards and Agencies that oversee certain specific centralized efforts supported through our apportioned giving that every UMC shares. One of our Boards is called the General Board of Global Ministries (GBGM for short.) They are our global missionary training/sending/oversight agency. THE GBGM has moved their world headquarters to Atlanta (that is exciting) – moving into a property that is currently Grace United Methodist Church in downtown Atlanta on Ponce de Leon Ave. Yesterday, they commissioned seven new global missionaries (a testimony to the power of all of us paying 100% of our apportionment giving!) Now that is really exciting! Thank you for being giving United Methodists who share their resources through our connectional system to quite literally change the world. There is a celebration planned at the new GBGM facilities in downtown Atlanta on Jan 11 at 6 pm – come help us welcome them into their new home. Shannon and I are planning on going. If you would like to carpool with us, let us know. We can work details down the road.
FUMC Winter Weather Policy
Monday—Friday: if UC Schools are out OR are cancelled mid-day, we are closed or shut down. Sundays: If roads are iffy with snow in some parts, only the 11:00 service will take place. You are encouraged to exercise good judgment on driving conditions in your area. If it’s a good snow in the entire county, ALL services will be closed. We do our best to post on facebook and our website if this is the case.
United Methodist Men News
In our meeting last Saturday, the United Methodist Men elected the following leaders for 2015 – welcome them:
- Buck Williams – President
- Larry Culpepper – Vice President
- James Jordan – Treasurer
Children & Youth Events
Thanks to everyone who made last Sunday’s progressive meal adventure such a treat! This coming weekend, the Children’s Ministry is hosting a pajama party movie and popcorn night in the MAC in honor of National Pajama Day – contact Melinda Weldon for details firstname.lastname@example.org and Camden Goddard is planning on leading the youth (if enough respond) to SKYZONE this weekend – contact Camden for details email@example.com
KEY UPCOMING DATES
- Community Thanksgiving Feast at FUMC – Wednesday, November 19
- Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes deadline – Tuesday, November 20
- Thanksgiving (Turkey Day) – Thursday, November 27 (MAC closed Nov 26-28)
- First Sunday of Advent – Sunday, November 30
PRAY WITHOUT CEASINGThis is not a complete list – just immediate prayer needs for the immediate faith family in the week ahead
- Gray William’s mother (out of state) leapt into the outstretched arms of Jesus this weekend
- Doc Moran (recent visitor) – leapt into the arms of Jesus yesterday.
- Tim Derflinger – keep the Derflinger family in your prayers over the recent loss of Tim’s father
- Burma Brown – keep the Brown family in your prayers over the recent loss of Cecil
- Kathy Heyer’s brother (Rick) – come under hospice care in Florida
- Doris Bishop (Debbie Steed’s Mother) – under home hospice care at David and Debbie’s home
- Grady Garner’s grandmother came under hospice care
- Richard Hoibraten’s brother James in California – late stage cancer
- Mitzi Gasaway’s Mother will have gall bladder surgery, Tuesday, Nov 25 at UGH
- Henry von Staden – heart cath this Friday at NE GA Medical (Gainesville)
- Donna Morningstar – surgery taken off the table for now – trying to cautiously reinitiate food.
- Lois Sweet – recovering nicely from surgery – resting at home.
- Ellie Dobson – daughter (Debbie) suffered a severe fall / hospitalization – at home now
- John & Fran Browning’s daughter Molly continues to improve from her cranial surgery – slow going
- Jane Driskell – Parkinson’s diagnosis
- Valerie Metcalf – undergoing chemo treatments (4 more months)
- Jane Driskell/Shirley Cobb/Bob Head/Charlie Wooten/Eva Breedlove– chronic back/pain issues
- Bob Head’s sister is back home – but still struggling.
- Shannon Burgess on another new antibiotic – second different kidney infection
- Those fighting active cancer from our faith family: Valerie Metcalf, Joyce Kible, Donna Morningstar and several others (in various stages of testing and treatment)
- The United Methodist Surgeon (Dr. Martin Salia) Pastor Mark lifted up on Sunday died from Ebola yesterday in Nebraska hospital.
- Please pray for PEACE in Jerusalem.
A Note from Your Finance Team
Giving in the weeks of November has been as follows: November 2, $50,334, November 9, $130,983, November 16, $16,766. THANK YOU for your divine generosity!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
God’s Boundless Joy,