Traces of Grace
Thoughts from Pastor Scott
Merry Christmas everyone! I don't know about you, but I can hardly believe that tomorrow is Christmas Eve. I'm not sure if it's because of my shoulder surgery and recovery or something else, but Christmas seems to have snuck up on me a bit this year.
This year both Christmas and New Year's Day fall on Sundays, but that won't keep us from gathering in worship. On both December 25th and January 1st we will come together for special, combined worship services at 10:00am. On Christmas, our focus will be on worshipping through song as we sing some of our church leaders' favorite Christmas carols. Then, on New Year's, we will participate in John Wesley's Covenant Renewal Service and reaffirm our commitment to follow Jesus together in 2023.
Saturday evening, December 24th at 7:00pm, we will hold our traditional Christmas Eve Service. This service will be full of Christmas carols and sacred music, Scripture readings of the Nativity story, reflections on Jesus' coming, and Silent Night by candlelight.
You are all invited to attend any and all of these worship services and we encourage you to invite others to join you. If you would like to participate but are unable to join us in person, these services will also be live-streamed on our website.
Stay safe and warm as winter descends on us in earnest this weekend. I look forward to celebrating the incarnation of our Lord Jesus with you.
Grace & Peace,
P.S. When our worship services on December 25 and January 1 are held at 10am, these services will be the only activities at the church those mornings (no Sunday school or Coffee time).
The church office will be closed the week between Christmas and New Year's Day. The office will reopen on Tuesday, January 3rd. We wish you a blessed Christmas and a happy, healthy, and safe 2023! God Bless all of you in the new year.
"Thank You" from the Staff
Dear First Methodist Family,
Thank you so much for the generous love gift you gave us for Christmas this past Sunday and for all the cards and gifts you left on our desks and in our mailboxes. We feel so very loved and valued by this congregation.
We are so grateful to God for you and for the opportunity we have to serve you and minister with you. It is with great anticipation that we look forward to all that God has for us together in the coming new year. Serving here is more than a job, it is being part of a family. Thank you for showing us your love this Christmas season.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Your First Methodist Staff & our families
Scott & Meg, Jeremy & Rebecca, Pat, Will & Christine, Ken & Margie, Frank & Marie, Aaron & Heather, Aria, Alden, & Asher, Tim, Ben, Josiah, & Eli, and Theo
Thank you from the Neighborhood Ctr.
A huge thank you to all who donated toys and gift cards to bless the families in Camden through the Neighborhood Center. It was a beautiful day with Christmas music playing as families arrived to choose appropriate toys for their children. Each child received toys, stuffed animals, stocking stuffers, books, and new coats as well as other clothing items as needed. Many great conversations with parents and other volunteers further blessed the day. Everyone was especially thankful to receive this help at a time when prices are so high. It couldn’t have happened without your help! Merry Christmas!
College Students traveling to Atlanta
During the first week of January, five of our college kids will be traveling to Atlanta for a conference with thousands of other college kids. We ask that you keep them all in your prayers. Pray not only for safe travels, but also that God would speak to them during this time and re-ignite a passion in their relationships with Him. If you would like to help offset the cost for our college students, please contact Pastor Jeremy.
Informational Meeting - Mission Team
This summer, our church is taking a mission team to La Pamilla, Mexico. Pastor Jeremy has had a long-term connection with this village and has helped lead teams down to build the Sanctuary at the local Methodist church.
We will hold an informational meeting after the 10:30am service on Sunday, January 15, to talk about the details of the trip, provide a tentative timeline, and discuss the team expectations. If you are interested in joining this team for a ~ 10-day trip at the end of July/early August, please join us; attendance at the meeting is not a commitment to go on the trip. No construction skills needed.
Women's Winter Walks in the Woods
Women’s Winter Walks in the Woods - Second Saturday Series
Gather for fellowship and exercise while enjoying God’s glorious nature! Meet @ 9:15, hike 9:30-11:00 - routes will be determined by pace and time available.
January 14 – Smith’s Woods – 39 E. Railroad Ave., Eastampton, NJ - 2nd Parking Lot
February 11 – Long Bridge Park – 895 Deacon Rd., Hainesport, NJ
March 11 – Amico Island - 81 Norman Ave., Delran, NJ 08075
hiking is weather permitting - we will hike in drizzle/mist and cold
Please contact Nicole Meyers for more information:
609-519-1283 or email@example.com. This event is for
women ages 18 and up, it is time set aside for women’s fellowship.
St. Paul's Food Pantry
The St. Paul's Food Pantry assists individuals in Collingswood and surrounding communities who face food insecurity, as well as those who occasionally need help when faced with illness or loss of income. The food items needed are:
- Coffee - Regular
- Vegetable Oil
- Dish and Laundry Detergent
- Small 2-3 pound bags of sugar
- Body soap and Shampoo
- Household Cleaners (like "Lysol")
- Mayonnaise and Ketchup
Any questions, you can contact Connie Cline @ 609-230-3084.
Donations for the Collingswood food pantry should be put in the usual collection bins. Thank you for your generosity!
The FUMC office will be closed so that staff can spend the holiday time with their families and loved ones. If there is a pastoral emergency, please reach out to Pastor Scott via the number printed in the directory or by email, firstname.lastname@example.org
Verse of the Month
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.
Prayers in the Parlor now in the Library
Prayers in the Parlor is now being held in the Library (Great Room). This is a time to gather and pray over the requests of our congregation and happens every Monday at 8:30am and Tuesday through Thursday 9am.
"Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours."
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 grace to trust God and lead our congregation faithfully and well. Full recovery from shoulder surgery for Pastor Scott.
- Pastor Jeremy & Rebecca - as they navigate the loss of Jeremy's mom, Jennifer.
- Linda Adam's - daughter-in-law's brother Ed passed away - prayers for the family
- Steve Bottiglieri's father Vincent - heart
- The Berryhill's friend Melinda Johnson diagnosed with brain cancer
- Kathy & Phil Boswell (Phil - recovery from surgery) health problems & medical concerns
- Dave Cahilly - health issues
- Mary Emily Cameron - total hearing loss in 1 ear
- Connie Cline's longtime friend has cancer/is steps from eternity and needs to get into a relationship with God.
- The Cluelow's friend Liz's house having to be sold. Jenn for operation on 12/11. Bri's family medical health not good.
- Shauna Coffey - beginning another series of cancer treatments for cancer no longer in remission. Any prayers are appreciated.
- College Students attending Passion Conference- that God would prepare their hearts for what He has in store for them in January at the conference in Atlanta.
- Jim Craig - broken collarbone and Parkinson complications
- Kristie Crozier's daughter Grace - safe travels as she moves to Colorado
- Susan Dallegro - friend Jennifer sick on ventilator and her mother Maryann
- The Edwards Family
- Marilyn Ellis's friends Julie and Dorothy both have cancer
- Harry Ellis - Blood Pressure
- The Imm's Family, friends of Dotti Escuti
- Dick, Peggy and Janel Esher
- The Family of Charlie Ferrara who passed away
- Ken Franck's cousin Regina Gebka - ovarian cancer - recovery from surgery 9/1 and chemo treatments
- Pat Gunning's niece Marsha - Leukemia
- Jeremy F. Hagan - for the salvation of Uncle Charles [Hagan] and Brian Byus.
- Carol Harding - home from the hospital
- Tina Hemphill & family - in the passing of her birth mother
- James Jungclaus (& family) in the passing of his wife Donna
- Klimczak's daughter Kim - hit by a car at high speed - suffered many injuries
- Dick McCloy - permanent remission from 6 months of chemo treatments
- Mary Ann McCloy - shortness of breath and fatigue, recovery from heart procedure on Nov 4th
- Nicole Meyers - her parents' medical concerns
- Dawn Molloy's lifelong friend Ellen - has finally left the hospital/rehab. She is still recovering, and we are requesting your continued prayers. Thank you for your support as we travel this unfamiliar road. Each day is a new day. God is good!
- Mondatsos' daughter Anna
- Ella Patterson's brother - seizures
- Jaime Frost, daughter of Harry & Linda Rameriz - serious health issues
- Rameriz's - as they settle into their home in SC
- Sherry Rappe's granddaughters' best friend Francesca - (brain bleed/blood clot) - Hoping to be released from rehab 12/17.
- Kay Shannon's husband's cousin Lynne - in the hospital with cancer and pneumonia
- Mark Skrobanek's mom, Carol - May God give her clarity for treatment after medical testing
- Joan Stecher's friends Denise Young and Danielle Catling
- Joan and Ken Steward's granddaughter Katelyn - continued healing.
- Ruthmarie Weinberg - Medical tests
- Michael Zee
- Our Missionaries
Remember, you are loved!
In His Grace,
The FUMC Staff