Traces of Grace
Thoughts from Pastor Scott
Dear First Methodist,
In addition to being the Sunday before Thanksgiving, this Sunday is the last Sunday of the liturgical year. The liturgical (worship) calendar begins with the first Sunday in Advent and concludes this week with "Christ the King Sunday." Christ the King Sunday is set aside to remember that Jesus has been exalted, Jesus is reigning, and one day Jesus will come again to bring His Kingdom in all its fullness and reign forever.
It is so important, in the midst of all that is going on in the world, to remember that Jesus is "So Big" and He is ruling over all.
Even when it is hard.
Even when things are going wrong.
Even when we aren't feeling it.
God is still working. He is still sovereign overall. We can trust Him, because He is the same yesterday, today, & forever.
As we prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving, Advent, and Christmas, let's not rush past Christ the King Sunday. We need to be reminded of what we are moving toward; which is actually not a" what," but a "who." We more toward Jesus; who is not only the babe of Bethlehem but also the reigning and coming King.
Grace and Peace,
There are a lot of things people are afraid of; spiders, the dark, heights, being alone. You get the picture. You may even have some things you are afraid of. Fear isn't wrong, in and of itself. It's a response to a perceived danger we encounter. The problem comes when we let our fears control us. We can feel powerless in the face of our fears, but the reality is we have a choice of how we're going to respond.
Four times in the Christmas stories recorded in the Gospels, an angel appears to someone and some of the first words they speak are, "Do not be afraid." Which tells me that these people were afraid. We are going to spend the four weeks of Advent (11/28-12/19) looking at the choices those individuals made in the face of their fears and what we can learn about facing our own fears.
Sunday Morning Schedule
- The Together in Christ Adult class led by Carol Doron, Pat Sheaffer, and Ruth Anne Detwiler meets in the Parlor at 9:00am.
- An Adult Class led by Meg Rambo meets in the Conference Room at 9:00am.
- Students in grades 6-12 meets in the Youth Room upstairs at 9:00am.
- Students in Pre-K - Grade 5 meets on the 4th floor of the Education Wing at 9:00am.
- God's Special Children meets downstairs (off the gym) at 9:15am.
- Coffee, tea, and water will be available in the parlor/lobby area during the Fellowship Time
- The Berean Forum Adult Class led by Karry Corbitt meets in the Parlor at 10:30am.
- A kids program for children Pre-K - grade 2 is held upstairs at 10:30am.
- A Nursery is available upstairs at 10:30am.
Movie - "God's Not Dead"
The movie "God's Not Dead" will be shown in the Youth room on Friday, November 19th at 7:30, as part of the women's ministry.
All ladies are welcomed to attend. See you there! Any questions, please contact Karen Alexander.
Young Adult Group
We are kicking off a new young adult ministry with a night of bowling! So, if you'd consider yourself a young adult (out of high school; working, in college, single, married, etc) we would love to have you join us. We're still shaping this into what it will be and your thoughts are welcome. Feel free to invite your friends!
If you have any questions, you can reply to this email or text the number in the graphic above.
Thanksgiving Food at Neighborhood Ctr
As we prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving, remembering all the many blessings which God has bestowed upon us, we also pause to remember those less fortunate who face food insecurity every day. The Neighborhood Center in Camden, which is the only national mission of the UMC in New Jersey, serves these families in Camden throughout the year. It has long been a tradition to provide an abundance of food, not only for their Thanksgiving meal, but to sustain them for the weeks ahead. Several years ago we changed the procedure from giving pre-boxed food items to allowing families to choose items nicely displayed in the gym. Amounts of food chosen are in proportion to the number of family members. Each family gets a turkey as well. Last year, due to Covid, we made the difficult decision to give Super market gift cards instead of food items. We are thankful to be able to resume The community grocery store, as we have come to call it.
We are expecting a large turnout this year as many families have already begun signing up. We are estimating close to 600 families taking part. All are screened for financial need. Many of these are families whose children take part in our childcare and after school programs as well as our senior citizen Bible study.
We depend on individual churches and organizations to provide this food.
So how can we as a church help in this effort? Non-perishable food items can be placed in the collection boxes in front of the sanctuary or in the Narthex anytime between now and Sunday, November 21. These items include soup, cereal, rice, potatoes, cake and Muffin mixes, flour, sugar, cooking oil etc. We usually have an over abundance of cranberry sauce. Turkeys are also much-needed, any size turkey or turkey breast. Volunteers are also needed Monday and Tuesday of Thanksgiving week. Monday the food is received and put on tables for display. Tuesday the families come by appointment to make their selection. Help is needed to restock and assist families in selecting their items. Strong men are needed to carry turkeys and heavy food items. Monetary donations can be made as well with checks made out to Neighborhood Center. Please contact me, Sharyn Bailey, with any questions or to arrange the pick up of a turkey. Thank you so much for your generosity!
This year, we will once again decorate our Sanctuary with poinsettias placed by members and friends. The cost is $9.00 per poinsettia. Checks would be preferred. Please turn in by Sunday, December 12th. Please fill out the envelopes placed around the church in honor or memory of loved ones! Thanks so much.
Upcoming needs for Christmas
We are looking for a Christmas tree for the parlor hallway.
Also needed are clear or frosted votive candle holders for our upcoming "Longest Night" Christmas service on December 21st. If you can help, please see Margie Underwood. Thanks so much.
Operation Christmas Child- Shoe Boxes
A warm thank you to all who contributed to the Christmas Child Shoeboxes this year. We have 129 shoe boxes to give to the children. Thank you so much for your generosity.
Bus Trip - "Sight and Sound"
The show "David" will be at Sight and Sound on Tuesday, May 10, 2022, in Lancaster, PA. Also included is a meal at Shady Maple. The cost of the show and the meal is $122.00. The bus has a limited capacity and seats are being filled. A deposit of $22.00 must be paid to hold your spot. If you have any questions, please contact Pat Gunning.
We praise God and thank Him for all the prayers that have been answered throughout this challenging time and also:
- For all God is doing, even in the smallest of details!
- For our freedom to worship together in person.
- For members of our church family who have recovered from surgeries, treatments and illnesses.
Verse of the Month - November
Pray for the Zooks!
Please pray for us throughout this transition and beyond, and would you also consider joining our support team in the following ways?
To contact us, or join our prayer team:
Shawn - email@example.com
Nicole - firstname.lastname@example.org
To join our financial support team:
(Monthly support & one-time gifts are tax-deductible)
(Choose “Shawn and Nicole Zook” for your designation)
Checks payable to "Amoveo Group;" add “Shawn and Nicole Zook” in the memo line. Mail to: PO Box 464, Media, PA 19063
Thank you for all your prayers and support!!
"Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have
received it, and it will be yours."
"Prayers in the Garden" has now been changed to "Prayers in the Parlor" during the colder months. It is a time to gather and pray over the requests of our congregation and happens every Monday through Thursday, beginning at 9:00am. Feel free to come and join us!
Please continue to pray for...our homebound members; our church members who are in need of spiritual, emotional and financial care; any families and relationships that have been strained during this time, our Troops and our Missionaries. The list is long, but God is BIG!
Please pray for the following:
- Pastor Scott & Meg - for the Lord's guidance & direction in all matters and decisions.
- The Zook Family as they look for a home and prepare for their new ministry.
- The Ollis family in the passing of Nancy Ollis
- Brian and Shauna Coffey
- Ryan Chetty - Age 20 - In ICU with COVID
- Carol Harding - fell and suffering sprained ankle.
- Mary Emily Cameron - home from hospital - continued healing for leg infection.
- Dick McCloy - Classic Hodgkins Lymphoma having chemo every other week and leaky heart valves that need repaired
- Mary Ann McCloy - double vision and extreme dizziness
- Sherry Rappe's sister, Jana - doctor's prognosis very positive in her cancer battle.
- Linda Adams' son-in-law - received a kidney transplant and is doing well.
- Linda Hamrick -continues to recover .
- Carol & Bud Shropshire - health issues; son David's cancer; grandson Brian's cancer.
- Karen Kline, her son Craig, & his family - as he continues his cancer treatments.
- Nicholas Ferrara(Grandson of Charles & Joan)- presently serving in Saudi Arabia.
- Charles Ferrara
- Arnie Arnold - continued serious medical issues.
- Gus Mondatsos - pain management for his back was unsuccessful; visit with Orthopedic dr. set for end of Oct.
- Joel & Kay Shannon- grandson Andrew Sperry, helicopter pilot, has been recently deployed.
- SPRC - as they determine our staffing needs for the future.
- Our Missionaries
- God’s hand upon our towns, state and country and our elected leaders.
If you have any other prayer concerns or ways we can serve you please let us know. We desire to journey with you.
Remember, you are loved!
In His Grace,
The FUMC Staff