A journey through five weeks of prayer, daily devotions, Scripture reading, introspection, and challenges as we as a congregation, together, rediscover our purpose and mission as disciples of Christ in the world. During these five weeks, we will have a church wide focus on exploring practices of fruitful congregations.
It will be an exciting time and you don’t want to miss it. So stayed tuned - more information to follow.
By the time you read this, it may well be Thanksgiving. Besides the Fourth of July, it is a remarkably unique day in our nation. It is a day to simply remember to be ever thankful for all that we have and all we have been given by God.
We all know some version of the first Thanksgiving. I am not really going over the story again but to remind you of it. Why I am going to do is list some things to be thankful for this year.
Despite the economy, most of us should be thankful for the homes we have, the food we enjoy and the life we live. Many in our nation and most in the world would give anything to enjoy what we have.
Be thankful for our nation. We have these wonderful freedoms and can celebrate as we choose on Thursday. We may do so in a small gathering or a large feast but we all can pray as we choose and talk freely about whatever we so choose.
Thank God for life. Remember if you can celebrate, you are alive and given a wonderful present called today. Rejoice and be glad in it.
Be thankful for your family. Yes, they may seem an odd lot and may even drive you up the wall a little but at least they are willing to live you as you drive them up the same wall. (It is always a matter of perspective.)
Finally, thank our ancestors who paid a dear price for all we have and all we celebrate. Without the pilgrims, we might not be here or have this nation as she exists. Without the sacrifice of our fore fathers, we might not be the United States. We might be a collection of “states” under different flags. Without those who sacrificed, we mght have lost any number of wars and be a conquered people. Without those who serve us today, me might live in mortal fear from those who seek to destroy us.
So with that, not just peace and grace but God bless you on Thanksgiving day. Reed
The Junior High Youth Group/Sunday School Class will host “A Birthday Party for Jesus” on Sunday, December 21 during the Sunday School Class (10 a.m.). This event will celebrate God’s Christmas gift to us: Jesus, His Son.
Children of all ages are invited for the games, snacks and especially the Bible story of Jesus’ birth. Each person is asked to bring an unwrapped gift valued at $5 to $10. These will be donated to “Christmas for Kids” for needy children.
Please contact David Ray (254-784-3102) or Carolyn Gray (254-580-2095) for further information.
What a wonderful Sunday we had with our commitments this week. Here is an update. SO far we have had 4 new pledges and 30 increased pledges amounting to$38,862 in new expected income!! That is great. As of this posting, we can expect $329,981 for income to the church the largest amount ever. With our un-pledged giving and other income sources to the church, we should see 94.5% of our budget underwritten before we begin the year.
Plus we still are hearing from our members and their plans for next year. We feel that we will only go up from here. Great job and watch for more details as they come out. Special thanks to Lee Auvenshine for his efforts on the campaign and to Rev. Bruce Carpenter for helping to lead us.
A number of special activities are planned as we prepare our hearts for this special season. You and your children can enjoy Breakfast with Santa on Saturday, December 6, from 8:30 to 10 a.m. All-you-can-eat pancakes and a visit with Santa for only $6 (no charge for children age 2 and under), what a deal! Bring your camera and take pictures for free with the visitor from the North Pole.
December Terrific Nights Together include the following menus:
December 3–Lasagna, salad, bread, desserts, beverage
December 10–Taco soup, cornbread, desserts, beverage
December 17–Ham, potato casserole, green beans, Christmas salad, bread, dessert, beverage. This is the last TNT for December. Meals resume in January.
Cookie Wonderland will be held on Saturday, December 13. Beautifully decorated cookies and other desserts will be for sale in the Family Life Center. Church members are asked to donate cookies and help with the set up (Friday) and sale (Saturday). Watch for specifics in the church newsletter or call Sandra Gage at 254-582-8118.
Information on other special programs and musical events will be posted soon. A children’s program, Christmas cantata, and Christmas eve service continue our varied activities for this month.
Due to a variety of factors, the parent’s night out scheduled for Saturday 11/22 has had to be canceled. I sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this causes.
Sunday, December 7
Youth trip to the Metroplex. This will be a big day, we’ll visit a church in the morning (so we’ll be leaving around 9:30), and then we’ll take a trip to the mall and buy presents for angels off an angel tree, and then possibly see a movie…who knows where the wind might blow us.
Wednesday, December 17
Christmas Party at David and Mandi’s house. If you’re a youth you’re invited to come! We’ll start at 5:30 and go till 7:30. Bring a present ($10-$15) to exchange and we’ll have a good time together while celebrating the coming of Christmas!
Many years ago my first job was selling newspapers on a street corner. Back then, the paper cost a dime (now that dates me) and we got 3 cents a copy. I did it everyday after school. When I started my friends were doing it as well. Being the newest kid on the block, I had the fourth and worse corner.
Anyway, after a month or so, one of the guys quit. I moved up to corner #3. As the summer got hotter and eventually the fall come upon us, another quit. I now had corner #2. When it got colder (now remember this was southern California but still it can get colder) and finally the last guy quit and I had the entire franchise to my self. I worked all four corners and especially the best one.
That Christmas eve I had to sell papers. I stood out there with my stack and cleaned up. People bought papers for $1 instead of a dime. I got tips. I got presents. I made a killing.
This Sunday as you make your commitment consider the following. You are the recipiants of God’s gifts to you. You get it all: forgiveness, the Kingdom, blessings upon blessings and so much more. When you pledge, do so out of thanksgiving and the need to share with others. You see, by doing my job even on Christmas Eve, I cleaned up. By doing what God wants you to do so will you.
Somewhere along the way, Commitment Sunday was Shanghaied away from being about money and became all about faith. Let me share a story with you.
Matthew 6:19 – 21; 2 Corinthians 9:6 – 10; 1 Peter 4:10
One nation experienced rapid urbanization and industrialization. This caused the collapse of rural economies and problems in city centers, such as overcrowding, disease, crime, unemployment, debt, substance abuse, and even insanity. Sound familiar?
Meanwhile a small upper class spent large sums to distance itself, literally and figuratively, from the growing problems. This top 5 percent of the population controlled nearly one-third of the national income.
A certain preacher, part of the lower-middle class, interacted mostly with people who worked hard, owned little, and could never be certain of their financial future. But he eventually became so well known as a preacher that he earned 1,400 pounds per year — equivalent to more than $160,000 today. Still, he chose to live simply but comfortably on just 30 pounds, $3,450 dollars U.S. in today’s amounts, while giving the rest away. He donated nearly all of the 30,000 (3,450,000) pounds he earned in his lifetime. “If I leave behind me 10 ($1,500)pounds . . . , you and all mankind [can] bear witness against me that I have lived and died a thief and a robber,” he said.
— Elesha Coffman, ed., Christian History Newsletter (November 30, 2001)
With some editorial changes to the original article, I will now reveal to you that the preacher was John Wesley, our founding father. Sometime between now and Sunday, I encourage you to look at your life and decide how to commit yourself to the ministry of the Gospel. Reed Justus, Senior Pastor.
One of our favorite Christmas activities at FUMC is the Cookie Wonderland. Members bake and decorate special cookies. On the 2nd Saturday in December, this year December 13, the doors of the Fellowship Hall will open to a wonderland of beautiful cookies to enhance your holiday experience. Purchase them for yourself, for gifts, for special people on your holiday list. This year we hope to add such items as nut and fruit breads and candy. Mark this date on your calendar and begin planning your baking and buying!