We finished the sermon series on prayer this last week. I probably have received more positive comments on these sermons than any offered in recent memory. It is good to know that there is a lot of interest in prayer among the children of God. Two weeks ago, I had the precious opportunity to do the Children’s moment. I taught the little ones a version of the Lord’s Prayer that I translated into “a small child’s” words. Many of you have asked for a copy of that prayer. Here it is. Use it. Share it. Send it. It flowed out of my prayer life while preparing for that Sunday service – give it wings:
God, You are our Heavenly Daddy. You are so special – even Your Name is Special. Please bring Your heaven to our earth so that everything here makes You smile. Until then, please give us what we really need to get through today. First, by forgiving our sins (all those things we do that makes You sad.) Second, by helping us forgive other’s sins (all those things people have done to us that make us sad.) Third, keep us away from things that separate us from you. Fourth, keep us safe from things that want to hurt us. Because we want to live with You, in Your House, protected by Your Power, surrounded by Your Goodness, all the days of our lives. God, let it be.
Welcome Back Floridians! We have missed you!
Given this is my second time through the spring cycle, I think I am beginning to come to terms with some of the normal migration patterns that occur in these parts. As the weather continues to warm, I am beginning to see more and more of our faith family who we have not seen since fall. It is good to see you again. Welcome home! And to those of you who have yet to return, it’s getting pretty pretty up here in these mountains! Just saying...
Pampered Chef Relay for Life Fundraiser
Thank you all for getting me out of the dog house! We had a great turn out and folks where in a “buying” state of mind. While I really love our doggie “Grace” – her house is really only big enough for her (grin!) Even if you did not get to come to the show, you can still order items if you wish – contact Shannon Burgess firstname.lastname@example.org Again, 100% of proceeds will go towards our FUMC Relay for Life team efforts to defeat cancer.
What is all the New Construction Activity on our Church Main Entrance Road?
Your Trustees have been working a project since the end of last year to install two new lights (parking lot quality pole lights) on that entrance road to provide light after sunset. The work should be complete soon. Drive carefully around the construction trucks while they have one of those two lanes blocked for their work. That “S” curve is already challenging enough. Please go in and out slowly until this project is complete.
Wednesday Night Nurture
Dinner is Pancake bar, sausage, and eggs – it’s a fundraiser for your Children’s Ministry VBS - dinner begins at5 pm in the MAC.
Adult Bible Study by Pastor Mark will happen in the Friendship Sunday School Classroom (MAC Lower level) from 6:00-6:50 pm.
We are in Week 28 – Guideword “Contagious Life.” Everyone is welcome – just come and “listen in” on the conversation.
United Methodist Men (UMM) Chainsaw Ministry
David Kuykendall is heading up the UMM chainsaw ministry. We had a good launch after the UMM meeting Saturday – 8 souls took down trees at the parsonage as our opening efforts to raise a team. We focus on back safety, forest safety, and chainsaw safety. If you would like to talk to David about this, just email him email@example.com At the same time, we had another group of men building the outdoor stage for the Youth sunrise service on Saturday as well – thanks fellas! If you just want to learn more about UMM and what all we do, contact Buck Williams firstname.lastname@example.org We had three new folks come along side us last Saturday!
We are enhancing all the new stuff we did last year with a few additions. I believe Holy week – the week that celebrates our Lord and Savior’s passion - is meant to be Holy and set apart. I encourage all of you to embrace the entire Holy Week worship cycle in 2015. Lay aside everything that you possibly can and give that week to God. You will be uniquely blessed. Here is how:
Palm Sunday – March 29:
We celebrate the arrival of Jesus for the last time into Jerusalem.
We will have all three worship services and Sunday School classes like normal – but the services will not be the same:
We will offer a traditional Palm Sunday service at 8:30 am (Mark providing sermon), a non-traditional PalmSunday Service at 9:45 am (Mark providing sermon), and an Easter Cantata at 11 am (no sermon) with this one service “ending” with a very special procession of palms by our Children’s ministry. I know this is asking for a sacrifice from many of our families with children, but we so rarely get to see our entire children’s ministry in one place with the three services – come to the 11 am service if you can to help your children participate in this one time very special procession of palms.
Wednesday, April 1:
Stay home and get caught up on your Lenten Season Prayer book! No activities at the church. No, it’s not an April fools joke!
Holy Thursday – April 2:
Fundamental pickup for the children will happen at 3 pm on Thursday so they and they families who can be present can participate in a dramatized Seder Meal at 4:30 pm. The Holy Thursday worship service will begin at 6:15 pm in the Sanctuary. We will encounter the Last Supper and then follow Jesus out into the Garden of Gethsemane. I know this is asking for a sacrifice from the Choir and all who will come. Come dressed casual. Nursery is provided. Anticipated length is 45 minutes.
Good Friday – April 3:
Service will begin at 6:15 pm in the main Sanctuary. We will creatively encounter the crucifixion of Christ in a family appropriate way. I know this is asking a sacrifice from all who will lead and attend this service. Come dressed casual. Nursery is provided. Anticipated length is 45 minutes.
Easter Sunday – April 5:
Our second annual Youth-led sunrise service on the hill by the Men’s workshop at 7:30 am (if rained out in MAC)
I know this is asking a sacrifice from our Youth and their families – but this service is deeply profound – they do it.
The anticipated length of the Sunrise service is 30 minutes – then join us for a simple brunch in the fellowship hall immediately following the sunrise service (the brunch ends when the 8:30 am worship service begins.) The flow is ideally one so you can go from the Sunrise service to Brunch and then directly to the 8:30 service if you wish. I know this will take sacrifice from many to make this unique flow happen.
We will have all three services and Sunday school classes like any other Sunday.
Our 8:30 worship service will be with a full choir, brass band and bells – pastor Mark preaching
Our 9:45 worship service will be just like normal in the MAC
Our 11 am worship service will be with a full choir, brass band and bells – pastor Mark preaching
(and I thank the servant hearts who will be providing a lite brunch in the fellowship hall for the choir, band and bells in between the two traditional services – we feed them so they can feed us!!! I know it is a sacrifice.)
I know. It sounds like a lot of sacrificing – but it is nothing compared to...
Missions Opportunities: Blairsville Women’s Enrichment Center (WEC)
Let’s focus on another LOL local ministry opportunity for all of us to invest some sweat equity for Jesus out in our community. The mission moment last Sunday explained another LOL (FUMC Labor of Love) ministry opportunity on Monday, March 30. Wear your green LOL shirts and come or sign up and we will get you your green LOL shirt that we wear when we are out in our community doing mission work. There is limited parking at the WEC so we would like to caravan from the church – there will be people who can give you a ride back to the church whenever you need to leave. Meet with us at the MAC desk entrance on Monday, March 30 at 8:45 am. We will travel the less than one mile to the WEC to spend some time sorting and organizing their stuff to help them prepare for their largest fundraiser of the year (this is huge for them and it has outgrown their ability to do all the prep work for it with just their ministry volunteers – the WEC Garage Sale doesn’t happen until May. Come get your green shirt and lets “go green” together!
Relay for Life
We have two events for you to participate in our efforts to raise funds for our ongoing efforts to end Cancer. First, on April 11 from 8 am to 10 am, our Blairsville FATZ restaurant is holding it’s annual pancake breakfast fundraiser. You can purchase a $7 ticket for the breakfast from any Relay for Life Team member (Glenda Taylor and Shirley Rogers are a good place to start.) The second event is our “Hoedown for Hope” Dinner (Cowboy themed) in the MAC on April 18. We are only selling 250 tickets this year. Each ticket will cost $20. Tickets can be purchased in the Narthex and at the MAC desk between services each Sunday between now and the events.
FUMC Gospel Concert
We will be hosting another traveling professional Gospel singing group (The Talleys) on Friday, April 24. The concert will be free but we will receive a love offering for them so we can keep attracting major headliners like this during their touring trips. Tell your friends about this one and get it on your calendar now! Google them – this is going to be an impressive concert!
CEC (our preschool for 2 yrs olds, 3 yr olds, and 4 yr olds) Registration Time
Beginning yesterday, we began taking registrations from the public until we are full. We appreciate all of you so very much! If you have any questions, please call our CEC Director (Martha Cone) at 706-835-7448.
Concerns/Praises: PRAY WITHOUT CEASING
This is not a complete list – just immediate prayer needs for the immediate faith family in the week ahead
- Jim and Sally Wiley’s daughter-in-law (Kathi Wiley in Birmingham) passed away yesterday.
- Rev. Robert (Bob) Darby – a past pastor of this church - passed away Friday.The Funeral service will be next Saturday, March 28, at 11 AM at Bremen First UMC, Bremen, Georgia.Bob’s wife (Elaine) can be reached at: P.O. Box 352 Tallapoosa, GA 30176
- Our 2015 Confirmation Class – 8 youth, 3 adults
- Lee Dunham is back home from time in hospital for dehydration from illnesses
- Britt McAfeeCharles Smith – testing through multiple doctors this week – general health concerns including thyroid function
- David and Benetta Cook – 13 yr old grand daughter (Sophie) – with severe scoliosis (back)
- Penny Hebble – stroke recovery in North Carolina – now in a new rehab facility – White Oak Rehab
- Jane Driskell – Parkinson’s
- H.R. Warden – moved back home under care of Pat and a little help from Home Health Care.
- Richard Hoibraten’s brother James in California – late stage cancerCharles Smith -
- Shirley Cobb/Bob Head/Eva Breedlove/Carol Warren – chronic back/pain issue
- sBill & Barbara Gleasure’s daughter-in-law (Harley Gleasure) – undergoing chemo
- Kathy Zimmerman – sister struggling with cancer in Indiana
- Those fighting cancer from our faith family:
- Donna HowellAvis Shaw’s sister Mildred (lymphoma chemo treatment)
- Kitty Jones – visit with Doctor and potential biopsy today
- Kim Tatman – lumpectomy procedure this Thursday afternoon at Northside Hospital
- Valerie Metcalf, Joyce Kible, Steve Redstone, Kim Tatman and several others (in various stages of testing and treatment)
A Note from Your Finance Team
We are off to a good start financially thanks to your incredible generosity. Your giving has allowed us to operate directly on our 2015 ministry plan so far this year (often times those winter months are very difficult) – thank you for your FAITHFUL giving. Giving so far in March is as follows:Mar 1 $20,344,Mar 8 $15,643,Mar 15 $17,201Mar 22 $12,619.
God’s Boundless Joy,