Tuesday Tickle

Weekly writings from the desk of Pastor Mark

Thursday
Jan222015

Tickle-January 20, 2015

We had a great launch to our spring Wednesday Night Nurture (Dinner and programs) last Wednesday. I hope everyone comes back this week to help out with a very important fundraiser this Wednesday. The Friendship Sunday School Class is providing the meal (goulash, green beans, salad, and dessert) as one of our early Relay for Life fundraising opportunities. If you are able, simply leave a donation in the basket as you go through the line. If you are not able to make a donation, come through the line anyway – there is plenty of food to share in God’s house. We will continue the Children’s Bible Study in the fundamentals room from 6-7 pm. Pastor Mark will be teaching our new Holy Communion “Safe Serve” class from 6:15 –7 pm in the main Sanctuary. Everyone is invited to this – and especially anyone who thinks they might want to help out serving Holy Communion in the service you attend at anytime during 2015. The workshop speaks to both the “why we do what we do” and the “how we do it.” And just because you come, you are not automatically a communion server. I will have a clipboard for anyone to sigh up for that if you are interested at the end of the workshop. I have found that the more we understand what and why we do what we do – they more powerful and meaningful it becomes. Come enhance your experience of the Holy during Holy Communion.


Pastor Mark Traveling

I will be traveling to a Conference event in Atlanta all day Saturday, coming back into town late Saturday night just long enough to worship on Sunday morning and then out Sunday afternoon through Wed afternoon at another Conference work shop in Atlanta before coming back into town late Wed for our Church Council Meeting at 6 pm in the Sanctuary. Let grace “abound” in the week ahead!


Wednesday Night Teaching Schedule from Our Pastor

  • January 21: Teaching “Holy Communion” Workshop for everyone from 6:15 pm – 7 pm
  • January 28: Church Council Meeting that night from 6 – 7 pm in the Sanctuary (all members are invited to come)
  • February 4: Teaching Prayer Workshop 6-7 pm in the Friendship Sunday School Room
  • February 11: Pastor Mark will be preaching at Young Harris College Chapel service – no Pastor event at FUMC
  • February 18: Ash Wednesday Service from 6:15 to 7 pm in the main Sanctuary
  • February 25: Bible Study begins again 6-7 pm in the Friendship Sunday School room.

Confirmation Planning

In the UMC tradition, we offer an annual confirmation experience to all 5th graders (and older) children and youth. We will begin with an initial retreat on our Church campus led by Melinda Weldon and Pastor Mark and other helpers on February 27-28 (Friday evening and Saturday day.) Confirmation Sunday will happen on Pentecost Sunday, May 24. In between those two dates will be eight spiritual encounters led by pastor Mark and Ms. Melinda. You do not need to be a member of our church to go through our confirmation experiences. Help us cast a VERY WIDE NET by inviting anyone and everyone you know who might benefit from repeated quality time with the staff team of this church (Children’s Director, Senior pastor, and others) as we encounter the Bible, our faith, our traditions, and our journey to God’s heart together in a safe, comfortable, and fun environment. Let Melinda know if you have a child or youth who might be interested in this experience. We use supervised youth as our helpers during confirmation (and of course, they are part of the entire experience with everyone else.) Begin praying for what God might do with our 2015 Confirmation Class opportunity. Help us grow an amazing class together. The Holy Wind wants to rush among us on Pentecost, May 24 – I can feel it in my soul.


Youth Ski Trip Planning

We need to firm up our numbers so Camden can get a firm price from TVR in Plumtree North Carolina. The trip is tentatively planned for February 13-16 (if all the snow days hold up for Union County Schools. If your youth thinks they may be going, Camden needs to know by Sunday, Jan 25 so he can negotiate a price. Please email Camden at generationnowfumc@gmail.com


Upcoming Premier Jewelry “Relay for Life Fundraiser 

Alisia Hargus will once again have her Premier jewelry designs on display in the fellowship hall thiscoming Sunday from the end of the 8:30 am Worship service until 2 pm. Come purchase a gift for yourself or others and help us fight cancer through our FUMC Relay for Life team who will receive part of the proceeds from this show. Thanks again Alysia!


A “World View” from Blairsville

 Our Joe and Kim Tatman have arrived safely back home from Honduras. Many of you experienced a “touch” from Honduras as our Youth Director (Camden Goddard) did a very good job telling the story of his recent trip to the Honduras orphanage this last Sunday at all three services. Jack Dugger was commissioned this last Sunday for his two week Gideon’s International trip to Tanzania Africa. Our cross came back from Honduras only to be sent to Tanzania 6 days later! Jack leaves on Friday.


Concerns/Praises: PRAY WITHOUT CEASING

 This is not a complete list – just immediate prayer needs for the immediate faith family in the week ahead

  • Kathy Heyer and family in the recent loss of Kathy’s brother
  • Ellie Dobson’s in the recent loss of her grandson
  • Shirley Walker in the recent loss of her husband
  • Rick Siefken in the recent loss of a beloved family member in the Midwest
  • H.R. Warden – general health
  • Richard Hoibraten’s brother James in California – late stage cancer
  • Hazel Douglass – mobility now limited – moved to UCNH Blue 248
  • Phil Meeks – eye problem
  • JoAnn Mayhew – at UGNH room pink 146 doing rehab for her armGail McGuire – having cataract procedures in Florida Jan 20 (today) and Jan 27
  • Helen Owensby – at home recovering from foot surgery
  • Bill & Barbara Gleasure’s daughter-in-law (Harley Gleasure) – diagnosed with Breast cancer – chemo
  • Steve Redstone – has biopsy and PET scan scheduled Jan 20 (today) and Jan 23
  • Margie Bowron – bronchial / pulmonary chronic difficulty – on IV antibiotics
  • Myrtle von Staden nephew in Baltimore (life threatening virus) – doing better – survived multiple surgeries
  • Jane Driskell/Shirley Cobb/Bob Head/Eva Breedlove/Carol Warren – chronic back/pain issuesThose fighting cancer from our faith family:
  • Avis Shaw sister Mildred (lymphoma returned)
  • Valerie MetcalfJoyce Kible, Donna Morningstar and several others (in various stages of testing and treatment)
  • Everyone struggling with the seasonal illness

A Note from Your Finance Team

 Just a gentle reminder (but it appears as though most of you have already made the transition) – we are now in the 2015 Estimate of Giving Cards giving cycle – the ones most of you provided in November during our 2014 Stewardship journey. Giving for the month of January has been: January 4, $45,595, January 11, $16,965. Given the holiday on MLK Day impacting our counting team, we will have to catch back up on reported giving in next week’s tickle. Thank you ALL so very much for your heaven sent generosity! You are an amazing faith family! 

God’s Boundless Joy,         

                                           

Senior Pastor

firstumcpastor@windstream.net    

Tuesday
Jan132015

Tickle - January 13

We had a great Sunday celebration of “Baptism of the Lord” Sunday. Several folks have indicated a desire to meet with me in the days ahead and I am thankful. We have one baptism planned the end of January. God is so good! If you (or your children) have not been baptized in any Christian setting at any time in your life, please set up a meeting to talk with me so that I can answer your specific questions that perhaps I didn’t answer (or just raised) on Sunday.

Welcome new Tuesday Tickle family! We got a good response this last Sunday – many new emails. I thank God, Melinda, you, and “Elmo” for this response. We saved that Tuesday Tickle Mission moment for “Baptism of the Lord” Sunday intentionally. While Baptism connects us spiritually, this tickle connects us logistically in the week ahead. It is GOOD to be connected.

It is soooo GOOD to have our Youth Director Camden Goddard back from his week trip to the Honduras Orphanage. Joe and Kim Tatman will be coming back home as well during the weekend ahead (along with the other team members from Gainesville FUMC.) So many are asking Camden – what was it like? Well, come to worship this next Sunday and hear the story. We also will be commissioning another one of our members into the Mission field at the 11 am service this Sunday – Jack Dugger. Jack will be going to serve at a Gideon’s evangelism event in Africa. Come be present to send him off into a far, far away mission field.


Women’s Wednesday Bible Study

The spring study begins tomorrow from 10 am to 11:30 am in the downstairs Youth Common area in the MAC. This is the next phase of the Covenant Bible Series “Living the Covenant.” While this is episode 9 in the overall series, it is the beginning of a new section. If you are curious about this study, just come sit in for one day. It is a good day to come along side. The ladies will answer all your questions. We have several people joining us for the first time tomorrow.


Wed Night Dinner / Activities

Dinner is on from Ro & the Robinettes with our Stuffed Cabbage, green beans, mashed potatoes and dessert – begins at 5 pm. Fundamentals for Children and Youth from after school pickup to dinner also begins. The Children’s Spark Bible study in the Fundamentals room  from 6-7 pm also begins this Wednesday.


Pastor Mark Wednesday Night Schedule 

  • January 14: Teaching “How is the UMC Church Organized to Work?” Workshop in the main Sanctuary from6:15 pm -7 pm
  • January 21: Teaching “Holy Communion” Workshop for anyone who wishes to serve Holy Communion from6:15 pm – 7 pm
  • January 28: Church Council Meeting that night from 6 – 7 pm in the Sanctuary (all members are invited to come)
  • February 4: Teaching Prayer Workshop 6-7 pm in the Friendship Sunday School Room
  • February 11: Pastor Mark will be preaching at Young Harris College Chapel service – no event at FUMC
  • February 18: Ash Wednesday Service from 6:15 to 7 pm in the main Sanctuary
  • February 25: Pastor Bible Study begins again 6-7 pm in the Friendship Sunday School room.

New Year Resolutions

Those of you in worship this two Sunday’s ago know that part of the response to the sermon on Matthew 2:1-12 included all of us sharing five resolutions for the new year ahead. A few of you asked for those in print. Here they are:

We the faith family of First United Methodist Church of Union County resolve 

  • 1. to be messengers of the good news of Jesus Christ rather than the bad news that is so common in our world today. God is with us!
  • 2. to consistently watch for the movement of God in our lives like the wise men did so long ago and be willing to journey where His light leads us.
  • 3. to start the new year leaving the past in the past and looking forward to the future God has ordained with joy.
  • 4. to see the new year as an opportunity to boldly embrace new places of service in our shared Kingdom work.
  • 5. to pray without ceasing – our 2015 focus for FUMC

Call for a New 9:45 am Sunday School Class

 We have now had several families throw their name into this hat – would you join them? 

Please consider this if you are looking for a Sunday School class at 9:45 am. 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 or 8:30 Traditional worship. If that is your desire and you are interested in forming a new Life Group of parents, simply respond to this email indicating a desire to know more as this group takes shape. Stan Wallace stanwallace@windstream.net will be collecting responses for several weeks to see if we have enough interest to start that class in early 2015.


Upcoming Premier Jewelry “Relay for Life Fundraiser

The event will be Sunday, January 25th in the fellowship hall after each worship service.


Concerns/Praises    PRAY WITHOUT CEASING

 This is not a complete list – just immediate prayer needs for the immediate faith family in the week ahead

  • Ellie Dobson’s grandson Matthew passed away – funeral in Atlanta
  • Kathy Heyer’s brother (Rick) – sent to Hospital at Elijay to get pain under control
  • H.R. Warden – general health
  • Richard Hoibraten’s brother James in California – late stage cancer
  • Hazel Douglass – x-rays confirmed several stress fractures in her vertebrae – mobility now limited
  • JoAnn Mayhew – at UGNH room pink 146Lee Dunham – diverticulitis
  • Emily Cobb – several kidney stones
  • Gail McGuire – having cataract procedures in Florida Jan 20 and Jan 27
  • Bill & Barbara Gleasure’s daughter-in-law (Harley Gleasure) – diagnosed with Breast cancer – chemo starts this week
  • Steve Redstone – has biopsy and PET scan scheduled Jan 20 and Jan 23
  • Margie Bowron – bronchial / pulmonary chronic difficulty including MRSA in both lungs. Per medical input, Margie is not contagious to others except through direct bodily fluids contact – visitors are truly welcome – she wears a mask
  • .Myrtle von Staden nephew in Baltimore (life threatening virus)
  • Jane Driskell/Shirley Cobb/Bob Head/Eva Breedlove/Carol Warren – chronic back/pain issuesThose fighting cancer from our faith family:
  • Valerie MetcalfJoyce Kible, Donna Morningstar and several others (in various stages of testing and treatment)
  • Our Honduras Mission Team (Joe and Kim Tatman and the rest of the team from Gainesville FUMC)
  • Everyone struggling with the seasonal illness

A Note from Your Finance Team

Just a gentle reminder (but it appears as though most of you have already made the transition) – we are now in the 2015 Estimate of Giving Cards giving cycle – the ones most of you provided in November during our 2014 Stewardship journey. Giving for the month of January has been: January 4, $45,595, January 11, $16,965. Thank you ALL so very much for your heaven sent generosity! You are an amazing faith family!

God’s Boundless Joy,         

                                          

Senior Pastor

 firstumcpastor@windstream.net          

Thursday
Jan082015

Tickle - January 6, 2015

Happy New Year everyone. I know many are going into “hunker down mode” over the next 24 hours as this extremely cold air invades from the north. Given the single digit temperature projections, we are doing some fairly extreme things around the church campus to prepare. Bathroom doors will be propped open, cabinet doors will be propped open, thermostats will be set appropriately, etc... If you are here late one of these nights, try not to undo the freeze protection preparations we are intentionally leaving in place until fridaymorning. And STAY WARM OUT THERE!


New Leadership

On Sunday, we said a resounding “THANK YOU” to all the dear servant hearts who wonderfully completed their rolls at the end of 2014. It’s good to hear that so many of your “Woo! Hoos! are in good shape! We used them Sunday as we joyfully acknowledged our appreciation for the service hours given this year for all those standing in our midst. We also asked everyone who is moving into new service roles to stand and allow us to pray a consecration prayer as you begin your new ministries to the glory of God. Ok, we have launched into the New Year! Keep these new folks in your prayers as they gracefully and lovingly find their way in these new roles over the next several months. Per the Book of Discipline, the Trustees are one of those groups who get together in the new year to pick their new leader. Our new Trustee Chair is Tom Heuker for 2015. To God be the glory.


Wed Night Dinner / Activities

Still on holiday leave this week. Our first Wednesday night dinner of 2015 is next Wednesday.


New Year Resolutions

Those of you in worship this last Sunday know that part of the response to the sermon on Matthew 2:1-12 included all of us sharing five resolutions for the new year ahead. A few of you asked for those in print. Here they are:

We the faith family of First United Methodist Church of Union County resolve:

  • 1. to be messengers of the good news of Jesus Christ rather than the bad news that is so common in our world today. God is with us!
  • 2. to consistently watch for the movement of God in our lives like the wise men did so long ago and be willing to journey where His light leads us.
  • 3. to start the new year leaving the past in the past and looking forward to the future God has ordained with joy.
  • 4. to see the new year as an opportunity to boldly embrace new places of service in our shared Kingdom work.
  • 5. to pray without ceasing – our 2015 focus for FUMC

CEC is back in Session

Drive careful out there – all our beloved 2, 3, and 4 yr olds are back on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Welcome back teachers, children, and parents!


OASIS Winter Session

Boy did we pick the correct day to crank up the winter session! We will have God’s house as warm as possible to receive 300 “outstanding” adults sharing iservice this Thursday!


Youth Director Update

Latest updates from Camden indicate he is having an incredible experience in Honduras serving at the orphanage. He will do his return trip to Blairsville this coming Saturday.


Baptism of the Lord Sunday

This coming Sunday is “Baptism of the Lord Sunday.” If you have never been baptized at any time in your life, or have children who have yet to be baptized, perhaps you might consider a conversation with our pastor leading up to this Sunday. To start such a conversation, simply respond to this invitational email. It goes directly to pastor mark.


Leadership Team Workshop Moved from this Wed Night to this Sunday Afternoon

The Leadership Team workshop that pastor mark scheduled for all members of Church Council, SPR, Finance, Trustees, Nominations and Finance has been moved from Wednesday night to Sunday afternoon at 3 pm in the Sanctuary. Nursery will be provided for this meeting on Sunday afternoon as well. If you are one of those servants (new or not new) – please come to this very important workshop lead by our pastor.


Call for a New 9:45 am Sunday School Class

 We have now had several families throw their name into this hat. Please consider this if you are looking for aSunday School class at 9:45 am. 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 or 8:30Traditional worship. If that is your desire and you are interested in forming a new Life Group of parents, simply respond to this email indicating a desire to know more as this group takes shape. I will be collecting responses for several weeks to see if we have enough interest to start that class in early 2015.


Concerns/Praises: PRAY WITHOUT CEASING

 This is not a complete list – just immediate prayer needs for the immediate faith family in the week ahead

  • Ria Ledbetter – recent loss across the holidays in Ria’s extended family
  • Kathy Heyer’s brother (Rick) – under home hospice care now here in David and Kathy’s home in Blairsville
  • H.R. Warden – general health
  • Richard Hoibraten’s brother James in California – late stage cancer
  • JoAnn Mayhew – should be transferred today from Dahlonega Hospital to UGNH for arm rehab
  • Lloyd and Lee Dunham’s son (Shawn) – ankle surgery went well Sunday – now need prayers for infection to go away
  • Barry Lewis – gall bladder surgery went well today – should be heading home right now.
  • Bill Kolb – gall bladder surgery today went well – heading home right now.
  • Mike & Kim Lewis’ daughter Kiera – in ICU at Murphy hospital – severe diabetic having problem controlling blood sugar
  • Steve Redstone – general health issues – seeing specialist tomorrow
  • Margie Bowron – bronchial / pulmonary chronic difficulty
  • Rick Siefken – left eye issues
  • Myrtle von Staden nephew in Baltimore (life threatening virus)
  • Jane Driskell/Shirley Cobb/Bob Head/Eva Breedlove– chronic back/pain issuesThose fighting cancer from our faith family:
  • Valerie MetcalfJoyce Kible, Donna Morningstar and several others (in various stages of testing and treatment)
  • Our Honduras Mission Team (Camden Goddard, Joe and Kim Tatman and the rest of the team from Gainesville FUMC)
  • Everyone struggling with the seasonal illness

A Note from Your Finance Team

 Just a gentle reminder (but it appears as though most of you have already made the transition) – we are now in the 2015 Estimate of Giving Cards giving cycle – the ones most of you provided in November during our 2014 Stewardship journey. Giving for the month of January has been: January 4, $45,595. Included in that number is a $22,600 estate legacy gift given from a past beloved member who directed those funds be used to pay for MAC principal. Thank you ALL so very much for your heaven sent generosity! You are an amazing faith family! 

God’s Boundless Joy,         

 Senior Pastor 

 firstumcpastor@windstream.net   

Wednesday
Dec312014

Tickle - December 30, 2014

Whew! What a week! I pray you have experienced a wonderful Christmas where somewhere in all the hustle and bustle – you got a chance to marvel at that miraculous birth – your ultimate and eternal Christmas present named Jesus. We have the MAC and the Church Office shut down this week (can’t you tell?) I am trying to get this amazing staff team the rest they need (and me too) so we can all be ready to move closer to the heart of God in 2015. Have a safe New Year! An abbreviated January Newsletter is also enclosed.

Next Sunday Worship – January 4: Please come!

One of the great transitions that happens as we take down the 2014 calendar and put up the 2015 calendar is the transition in Church leadership roles. Many will be rotating off leadership teams. Some will be changing leadership positions. Others will begin their time of service in new leadership roles. I like to lift that occasion up at all three worship services during the mission moment on the first Sunday of the year. If you are rotating off a leadership or ministry team this year please come and give us the opportunity to say thank you for all you have done. If you are rotating into a new role on Church Council, SPR, Finance, Nominations, Trustees, or any of our many ministry teams, please come to one of the worship services so we can properly commission you. No one will be asked to come forward, we simply will invite you all to stand for just a moment as a group where-ever you are seated. Please come and let us acknowledge God’s ministry through you. This is extremely important. I would also invite EVERYONE to please be present to affirm the servant hearts who have made this Church go and embrace the servant hearts who are stepping forward to carry the servant leader batons so that this Church may continue to grow the Kingdom of Heaven on earth to the Glory of Jesus Christ. This is a big day in the life of First Methodist!

Welcome New Members:

Mary McCann     172B Pleasant Hill Rd, Blairsville, GA 30512

Kaye McCann, Tara McCann     120 Wattaview Lane, Blairsville, GA 30512

Mission Team Commissioning:One of the extra-special blessings of this last Sunday was the commissioning of three of our members who will be traveling with a larger mission team from Gainesville First UMC to work/serve/and build relationships with a children’s orphanage in Honduras. Our members/staff who are going are:Joe and Kim TatmanCamden Goddard (our youth Director)They will be leaving this Saturday, January 3. Camden will return after one week on January 10. Joe and Kim will be staying longer. Please pray for safe, effective, kingdom building ministry everyday while they are in the mission field. And anticipate the stories you will hear when they get back. To God be the Glory!

Hope for the Hope House

The Christmas Eve offering for the Hope House was $3,368. Thank you to everyone who brought Jesus this Birthday gift.

A Thank You from Your Staff Team:

First United Methodist of Union County – you continue to absolutely floor us at Christmas with that love offering from our beloved Congregation. Thank you SPR for managing the process and thank you Church family for your amazing generosity. You have touched our hearts. THANK YOU.

Call for a New 9:45 am Sunday School Class:

 We have now had several families throw their name into this hat. Please consider this if you are looking for aSunday School class at 9:45 am. 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 or 8:30Traditional worship. If that is your desire and you are interested in forming a new Life Group of parents, simply respond to this email indicating a desire to know more as this group takes shape. I will be collecting responses for several weeks to see if we have enough interest to start that class in early 2015.

Concerns/Praises: PRAY WITHOUT CEASING

 This is not a complete list – just immediate prayer needs for the immediate faith family in the week ahead

 

  • Grady Garner’s Family – recent loses in their family – grandmother and great aunt both passed on Christmas Day
  • Mary Neil Edge – father-in-law passed away yesterday
  • Richard Hoibraten’s sister (Linda) passed away in California today
  • Kathy Heyer’s brother (Rick) – under home hospice care now here in David and Kathy’s home in BlairsvilleH.R. Warden – general health
  • Richard Hoibraten’s brother James in California – late stage cancerBill Kolb – Gall bladder surgery anticipated soon
  • Judy Cloyd – kidney infection
  • Henry von Staden – further testing
  • Myrtle von Staden nephew in Baltimore (life threatening illness)
  • Jane Driskell/Shirley Cobb/Bob Head/Eva Breedlove– chronic back/pain issues
  • Those fighting active cancer from our faith family:
  • Valerie MetcalfJoyce Kible, Donna Morningstar and several others (in various stages of testing and treatment)
  • Honduras Mission Team
  • Everyone struggling with the seasonal illness

 

.A Note from Your Finance Team

Giving in the weeks of December has been as follows: December 7, $22,587, December 14, $32,230, December 21, $15,349 December 25, $3,368 (designated for Hope House) December 28 $14,898 for a total giving of $88,432. Thank you so very much for your heaven sent generosity!

 God’s Boundless Joy

Wednesday
Dec172014

Tickle - December 17, 2014

What an amazing weekend of ministry! The Cantata was just heavenly at 8:30 am and 11 am! The church-wide breakfast brunch concept in the middle hour coordinated by Ro Robins and the Robinettes (and others) was just heavenly! Thank you for bringing so much food! The Children’s Christmas program later that evening was just heavenly – forty “Pre-K through 6th graders” can rock the world when they sing out like that! All the extra special things that so many of you did to make this weekend truly “something special” was just heavenly. And the way groups of people jumped in and helped out was breath-taking.  Thank you Circle of Love for circling all 185 of us at the Children’s program Sunday evening with a dessert fellowship that was – you guessed it – just heavenly!   And in the midst of this weekend, many of us extended our loving care and ministry to two beloved families of our church (the Steeds and the Heads) who suffered great loss. And we added our participation more formally at the Vogel State Park Christmas program for our community. I am very, very, very proud of every one of you! Now rest, Christmas is coming…

Welcome New Member

Judy Hair: PO Box 488, Young Harris, GA  30582

Tuesday Night CEC Fundraiser at Zaxby’s

 Rumor has it there will be some really nice servants working an extra special shift at Zaxby’s on TONIGHT from 5-8 pm. Make certain you eat dinner their that night and harass encourage them! A percentage of the sales that night will be given to our CEC preschool. The CEC team will be there!

Wednesday Night

Last Fundamental’s for children and youth in the fall cycle is this week – no adult Bible study

Thursday Worship Service: 4 pm

The truth is everyone of us has some aspect of our lives that is not really the way we want it to be. Sometimes, the Christmas season magnifies those feelings as we watch “the rest of the world” walk seemingly hip deep in the joy of the season. And outwardly, we too may be full of joy, but there is still something tugging at our heart strings that keeps us from being fully engaged by the spirit of Christmas. Maybe you are struggling with a physical illness. Maybe this is the first Christmas without a loved one. Maybe you experienced a loss in your family years ago at Christmas. Maybe you’re just wanting to sit in an “OASIS with God” to get away from the pace of the season. There are 1000 reasons for a part of all of us not being ready to sing the Christmas Carols of the season.  We will simply be sharing some words of comfort and hope, we will pray, and we will be in Communion with God and each other through this service. And you do not need to “do anything” in this service other than come be in God’s presence. There will be no Christmas Carols and no offering – we are just making ourselves present for God and for you. Please come if that would be helpful for you – I AM will be here. Come breathe deep the grace of GOD.

Friday

Last Day of our CEC (preschool) and Union County Schools - Christmas Break begins on Friday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Next Week

Christmas Eve Services: 5:30 pm, 7 pm and 11 pm – find a friend to bring – or 10! The special offering this year is once again for The Hope House. Remember to bring your empty and clean gallon milk jugs this week to the bin at the MAC desk – our “luminary team” will put them to good use on Christmas Eve lighting the way to the Sanctuary.

MAC Closed for the Holidays

The MAC will be closed Dec 24, 25, 26, 29,30,31, Jan 1Jan 2

Christmas Card Table is Up

If you would like to give a Christmas card to another person in the church, simply place it on the table in the the Narthex under the appropriate alphabetical heading. Check the table often to pick up any cards left for you!

OASIS CD’s for Sale (Great Christmas Present!)

The musical Cd recorded by our OASIS students this fall is available to purchase in the Church Office – $10 each. See Evelyn!Parish Nurse Ministry Events:Here are two activities of the Parish Nurses that we want everyone to know about. First, our Parish Nurses are taking blood pressures near the MAC desk on the first Sunday’s of the month from 9:30 am to 10 am.  It’s free, just come sit and be checked. Also, they are coordinating our December Blood Drive. The blood drive will occur December 28th in the Fellowship Hall from 9:30 am to 2 pm. On that Sunday, plan to give the gift of life in this season of giving.

Call for a New 9:45 am Sunday School Class

We have now had several families throw their name into this hat. Please consider this if you are looking for a Sunday School class at 9:45 am. 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 or 8:30Traditional worship. If that is your desire and you are interested in forming a new Life Group of parents, simply respond to this email indicating a desire to know more as this group takes shape. I will be collecting responses for several weeks to see if we have enough interest to start that class in early 2015.

Concerns/Praises: PRAY WITHOUT CEASING

This is not a complete list – just immediate prayer needs for the immediate faith family in the week ahead

  • Steed Family/Head & Allen Family – recent loses in their family
  • Kathy Heyer’s brother (Rick) – under home hospice care now here in David and Kathy’s home in Blairsville
  • Grady Garner’s grandmother under hospice care
  • H.R. Warden – moved from hospital to Union County Nursing Home (pink 109)
  • Richard Hoibraten’s brother James in California – late stage cancer
  • Jim DeRevere– home recovering from another detached retina surgery
  • Sue Chumley – at home recovering after back procedure today in Gainesville
  • Bill Kolb – Gall bladder surgery anticipated after Christmas
  • Henry von Staden – further testingMyrtle von Staden nephew in Baltimore (life threatening illness)
  • Donna Morningstar – cautiously reinitiating food.
  • Valerie Metcalf – undergoing chemo treatments
  • Jane Driskell/Shirley Cobb/Bob Head/Eva Breedlove– chronic back/pain issuesThose fighting active cancer from our faith family:
  • Valerie MetcalfJoyce Kible, Donna Morningstar and several others (in various stages of testing and treatment)

A Note from Your Finance Team

 Giving in the weeks of December has been as follows: December 7, $22,587, December 14, $32,230. Thank you so very much for your heaven sent generosity! 

God’s Boundless Joy,      

Senior Pastor