| January 2020 Emmanuel United Methodist Church Newsletter |
A Prayer for Epiphany “You Are the Light”
You are the Light we see. You are the Truth we know.
You are the Life we live. You are the Hope,
You are the Joy, You are the Song we sing.
Living God, Loving God we glorify your name.
High and Holy One come down, we lift our hearts in praise
Prince of Peace, Emmanuel
Jesus Lord of love.
Within our hearts Your light. Within our minds Your truth.
Within our lives Your love. Living Your hope,
Spreading Your joy, Singing Your beautiful Song. ~ Tom Fettke
Blessing of Church Leaders: On Sunday, January 26 during morning worship, we will show our gratitude to the church leaders who have served us in 2019, and offer a blessing for the 2020 Lay Leadership of our congregation. We give thanks for God’s work in and through our membership and for the countless ways God calls each of us to serve. Without your faithfulness, the work of Christ through our church would not be possible.
2020 Offering Envelopes: New offering envelopes for 2020 have arrived and are available to pick up in the back of the Sanctuary. Envelopes are organized in alphabetical order. If you can deliver envelopes to anyone who is unable to worship with us very often, that would be most appreciated. Offering envelopes with an assigned number are available to anyone who contributes to our church. This enables us to record your contributions and provide you a report for tax purposes. If you would like to receive a record of your gifts to the church, please see Mike Stinnett to be assigned an envelope number and receive envelopes.
The Worship Team plans to “un-deck the halls” of our church and Sanctuary on Sunday, January 5 at 3:00 p.m. We appreciate the help of anyone who can come to assist.
Committee Meetings for January
|Board of Trustees||Tuesday, January 28 at 6:00 p.m.||TBA|
|Council & Finance||Tuesday, Jan. 14 at 6:30 PM||Tuesday, March 10 at 6:30 PM|
Regular Second Tuesday Church Meetings in January
Beginning with the first meeting on Tuesday, January 14, the Church Council is implementing a new structure and schedule for our meetings. Prior to charge conference in the fall, the Council approved making the Finance Team a subcommittee of the Church Council so that the two groups will meet together at the same time during the same meeting in order to streamline our work and make the best use of our time. Both teams agreed that we had redundancy in our committee agendas, with the same reports and items being shared at both meetings.
Mike Stinnett will continue to serve as Chair of the Finance Subcommittee and the members of the Finance Team will attend the Church Council meetings as a subcommittee of the Council. At the discretion of the Chair, the Finance Committee will meet as needed following the regular council meetings. This will allow the members serving on both teams avoid the current time lag that we have experienced between the regular second Tuesday meetings.
Beginning with our first meeting on Tuesday, January 14, the Church Council will meet at 6:30 p.m. with both Council Members and Finance Committee members in attendance. At the chair’s discretion, the Finance Team may remain as needed after the adjournment of the Council meeting to conduct any further business.
We appreciate all our leaders and the many ways each of you serves Christ through your leadership at EUMC.
An Important Reminder for all Groups Using the Church Kitchen or
Serving Food in the Church
If you or your group use the church kitchen, please make every effort to observe the guidelines posted in the kitchen and leave it better than you found it. Our pest control representative has encouraged us NOT to leave any food trash (including food wrappers, containers, disposable tableware, etc.) in any of the indoor trash cans inside the church building, but to remove it to the outside cans to avoid pest problems. Extra trash bags are available in the custodian’s closet in the social hall. It is also important to remove crumbs from tables, chairs, counters and floors in the kitchen and fellowship hall. Our custodians are not available to empty the trash every day, so if your group eats food anywhere in the building, please be responsible to remove your trash from the building and clean up after yourselves.
Thanks for your cooperation.
Let’s Share the Warmth again in January. Blankets are needed at the Amherst Humane Society. You can purchase a blanket (usually rolled and in a bin at Walmart for $2 – $2.50) or from Dollar General, etc. Please leave blankets in the Narthex tub – deadline is Sunday, January 26. Thanks so much, Jeanie Combs
*Share your prayer requests with the prayer chain: The prayer chain exists to offer prayer support whenever it is requested. If you have a prayer concern for the prayer chain, please call or email Pearl Clark(email@example.com) with your request. Anyone who wishes to join the prayer chain may also contact Pearl who coordinates this ministry.
January is just around the corner and the worship team needs your help to serve as an Usher or a Lay Reader in worship. The 2020 sign-up sheet is posted on the bulletin board at church. If you have questions about the ministry of ushering, please contact Mike Mozingo. If you would like to know more about serving as a Lay Reader, please contact Pastor Nancy.
The New Year is a Great Time to Join a Bible Study!
Invitation: A Study to Begin With by Brian Russell
The Adult Sunday School class facilitated by Bessie Kirkwood meets each Sunday at 9:30 a.m. in the Mattie Ware classroom upstairs. The group has started a new study entitled Invitation, which gives participants a helpful foundation for how to read, study, and understand Scripture. Now would be a great time to join the class! When the Wednesday Bible Study Group resumes meeting on January 14, they will be using the same study and invite any other interested persons to join in. Books for this study are $20 and may be ordered by using the back of your connection card, or by contacting Pastor Nancy. The deadline for ordering a book has been extended to Sunday, January 5. We encourage everyone to consider participating in a small group study. The book can also be used individually for personal, devotional study.
The Women’s Bible Study and Prayer group usually meets on the second Tuesday each month and we welcome other women in our church and community to join us. We are working our way through the New Testament and are currently in the Book of Mark. No advanced preparation or materials are necessary to attend the group. Our first meeting for 2020 will be on Tuesday, January 14 at 9:30 a.m. in the Mattie Ware Classroom. Join us!
Thank You for Your Continued Faithfulness in Giving
We are so very thankful for the continued faithfulness of the congregation in giving through our regular tithes and offerings each week. Your generosity enables us to meet our regular operating and ministry expenses, support numerous mission endeavors, and make every effort to pay our District and Conference apportionments. We are grateful to have met all our apportionment obligations to the Lynchburg District UMC. Our end of the year Virginia Conference Apportionment balance is due to the conference office by January 17. As this deadline approaches, we remain significantly behind in meeting 100% of our Conference Apportionments. It is our sincere hope that we will be able to meet this obligation by the deadline. We are asking the congregation to be mindful of this in your weekly giving and that you make gifts to the General Fund a priority. Thank you for your generosity. ~ EUMC Finance Team
*Looking Ahead: The Lynchburg District has scheduled District Training for Sunday, February 9 from 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Watch for further details.
Words of Thanks
The Worship Team thanks everyone that made Christmas poinsettia donations in honor and in memory of loved ones. If you were not able to be in worship on December 22, extra copies of the worship bulletin insert listing all those that were honored or remembered are available in the church office and in the Narthex. Thanks to everyone for your generous gifts.
Sincere THANKS to all who contributed anything to help fill Christmas Baskets for shut-ins of our church family and friends. It was a joy for our Visitation Team to be able to visit and deliver these baskets to all our dear loved ones. Blessings, Faye Garrette
Thank you all for the beautiful cards, phone calls and delicious food after my shoulder surgery; and a “special thank you” to Don Clark for the use of his ice machine! Blessings to all for 2020. Elbert Maddox
Hello Ms. Gamble, I would like to thank your church for providing the food basket for a family in need. It is greatly appreciated. Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Kim Thomas, M. Ed. School Counselor
(Ru- Z) Amherst County High School
Members and Friends, Thank you so much for the Thanksgiving boxes for our families. We truly appreciate your compassion and kindness. Regina Phillips & Kim Gans, Monelison Middle School
We wanted to express our thankfulness towards Emmanuel United Methodist Church! We greatly appreciate the Thanksgiving food boxes. It was such a blessing towards our families here at the school in need. Thank you and may God bless! Sincerely, Madison Heights Elementary School
Dear Knitting Ministry Members, Thank you so much for your generous donation of beautifully made scarves and hats for the people we serve through Miriam’s House! This gift is such a blessing to those coming out of homelessness! Your Friends at Miriam’s House
I recently had the pleasure of having the Visitation Team stop by for a visit, bearing a wonderful gift basket of useful items as well as homemade cookies. It’s hard to express my gratitude for over seven years of ongoing visits. From the bottom of my heart, thank you so very much for the loving thoughts I receive throughout the year! Esther Markert
A Word from the UMC Council of Bishops
On December 17, the following Christmas letter was sent out to the United Methodist Church from the Council of Bishops. Along with our denominational leaders, we continue to pray for the church of Jesus Christ around the world and the future of our United Methodist Church.
A 2019 Christmas Letter to the People of the United Methodist Church
As we journey through Advent on the way to Christmas, we read and sing Israel’s promises and prophecies. We hear the prophet Isaiah’s invitation: “Come, let us walk in the light of the Lord” (Isaiah 2:5). And for many of us, all of this culminates as we stand in the darkness of a sanctuary on Christmas Eve, holding a candle, and sharing the light of Christ. “The light shines in the darkness”, we proclaim, “and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:5).
In these days many of us realize that, even as we walk this road, we have not arrived at our destination. Every year we light the candles of hope and peace, joy, love and light. And yet every year we confess our desire for a greater sense of hope and not despair, peace and not separation, joy and not sadness, love and not resentment, light and not darkness. But, to be honest, we are a mixture of all of these qualities, and so we depend upon God, our refuge and strength (Psalm 46:1).
And perhaps we listen more closely to the invitation —“Come, let us walk in the light of the Lord.” What does it mean for us, followers of Jesus in The United Methodist Church, to walk together, in the light of the Lord? In this season, it might mean a greater focus on the light that we share in common:
• the voice of the Creator saying, “Let there be light;”
• the appearance of the rainbow after the devastating flood in the time of Noah;
• the burning bush that caught the attention of Moses and led him to walk in a new path that would deliver his
people from slavery;
• the cloud by day and fire by night as the people journeyed together;
• a star that shines upon a village in Bethlehem;
• the opening of the heavens as Jesus is baptized in the Jordan River and the light that falls upon him;
• the transfiguration of Jesus, along with Moses and Elijah, who embody the law and the prophets;
• the words that Jesus speaks of himself, “I am the light of the world”;
• and the words he speaks to each of us, “you are the light of the world.”
The light is the Torah, the sacred story of Israel, and by the grace of God it shines upon us. We have the opportunity to say thank you in this season to our Jewish brothers and sisters. They are our root systems, our DNA, and we live and flourish because of them. We remember that each character we will focus on in the season of Advent – Elizabeth and Zechariah, Mary and Joseph, Simeon and Anna, John the Baptist and Jesus himself – was a devout Jew who worshipped in a synagogue and waited for the promises to be fulfilled. We continue to pray for the fulfillment of the scriptures, that God would be with us (Matthew 1:23), that the word would become flesh and live among us (John 1:14). We seek to be faithful as disciples of Jesus Christ, living out our convictions in such a manner that others will be drawn to the light and life and love of Jesus, who is the prince of peace and the world’s light.
Gil Rendle has shared the story of a woman who asks her son to go out into the darkness of night to ensure that the door to their family’s barn is locked. The son steps out the house, but quickly returns to say that it is so dark that he cannot see the barn. She hands him a flashlight and directs him again to his task, only to have him return again to say that the flashlight is weak, and he still cannot see the barn. Finally, the mother sends her son out a third time, with the instruction, “You don’t need to see the barn. Just walk to the end of the light.” Rendle notes that when we walk to the end of our light, the next portion of the path is revealed. We take the next faithful step.
I love the words of the hymn of John Henry Newman:
“Lead, kindly light, amidst the encircling gloom, Lead thou me on!
The night is dark and I am far from home. Lead thou me on.
Keep thou my feet. I do not ask to see the distant scene;
one step enough for me.”
To walk to the end of our light is to walk in the light of the Lord. It is not our ultimate aspiration. It is the next faithful step. To take that next faithful step is to say and live, again and again, the words of the Canticle of Zechariah from Luke 1:78-79, which serves as a morning prayer in the liturgy of the church:
By the tender mercy of our God,
the dawn from high will break upon us,
to give light to those who sit in darkness
and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.
Because “all of the promises of God find their yes in Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 1:20), we await the birth of the Savior, and we trust in the assurance that we will walk together, into 2020, in the light of the Lord.
The Peace of Jesus Christ our Savior,
Kenneth H. Carter, Jr. , President, Council of Bishops
The United Methodist Church
Sources: Gil Rendle, Doing The Math of Mission;
John Henry Newman, “Lead Kindly Light
Sources: Gil Rendle, Doing the Math of Mission;
John Henry Newman, “Lead Kindly Light
| Lay Leadership for January |
Lay Reader: Ushers: Beth & Mike Gamble Altar Flowers
January 5 Communion
January 12 Jeanie Combs
January 19 Jeanie Combs
January 26 Jeanie Combs
|Sunday||Worship||General Fund||All Other*|
|November 24||64||$1,984.00||$ 304.00|
|December 1||51||$5,882.00||$ 270.00|
|December 15||72||$3,777.00||$ 278.00|
All Other Excludes Amherst Cares,
Society of St. Andrew, Relay for Life
01/01 Pembrooke Apperson
01/05 Phil Lamm
01/07 Bo Combs
01/10 Virginia Brockman
01/13 Lindy White
01/14 Tangie Motley
01/17 Shannan Carter
01/19 Libby Howell-Jennings
01/19 Mike Stinnett
01/22 Tom Hall
Newsletter Editor: Cat Brandell, Phone: 946-9102, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadline to submit newsletter articles: 20th of the month. If you can send your information by email, it would be appreciated. If you do not have email, your article may be left at the church office in the newsletter basket.