Announcements Plus Devotional Aids
Barbecue coming Feb. 4th! See note in Announcements.
Access February newsletter pdf file here.
Let's Learn a Bible Verse!
For the message about Christ's death on the cross is nonsense to those who are being lost; but for us who are being saved it is God's power.
1 Corinthians 1:18 GNT
Click on above icon to link to Ebenezer's Google calendar.
- Quote to Ponder Jan 10
- For Meditation Jan 11
- Mini-Bible Lesson #58 Jan 11
- Special Resources
- Collections for Ministries - Update Nov 11
Transitioning to New Computer
We are setting up a new computer and moving to it this week and next, so updates to our website will be sporadic or delayed until the transition is complete. We thank you for your patience.
Barbecue Fundraiser, Feb. 4
Come and enjoy some delicious pork barbecue with us on Saturday, February 4th, 4-7:00 p.m. Adult plates are $10; children under 12 plates are $4. Eat-in or take-out. Your choice of homemade dessert and beverage is included (no drinks for take-out).
Proceeds will go toward paying off the last part of the roof loan. We thank you for your support.
Red Cross Winter Blood Drive - Canceled
The Red Cross has canceled our blood drive, because not enough people signed up online for it. We hope to reschedule, maybe in February.
Our annual winter Red Cross blood drive will be on Monday, January 23, 2:30-7:00 p.m. Soup and sandwiches will be served to our donors, workers, and volunteers for free. Snacks, sweets, and beverages will be provided, too.
Please visit RedCrossBlood.org and enter : Ebenezer UMC to schedule an appointment.
You can streamline your donation experience and save up to 15 minutes by visiting RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass to complete your pre-donation reading and health history questions on the day of your appointment.
If you give blood between Jan. 1-31, you will be automatically entered for a chance to win a trip for two to Super Bowl LVII in Phoenix! Includes travel, hotel, $500 gift card, pre-game activities and more. Visit RedCrossBlood.org/SuperBowl for more information.
Methodist Presentation Reports
You can find all previous reports on the Methodist organizations presentations to our church by going to the About Us tab, and choosing History_2022.
The final presentation will be by AIM, Association of Independent Methodist, by ZOOM on Sunday, December 11th at 3:00 p.m. The Church Council will meet on Sunday, December 18th for consultation and consideration of our options for or against disaffiliation from the UMC. Any church member can attend this meeting and offer input, but only the Council members can vote on any items on the agenda. (NOTE: concerning disaffiliation, etc. there will be a full church membership vote taken later at a church conference.)
Quote to Ponder
Danish theologian Soren Kierkegaard wrote, “There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn't true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true."
In response to those people who want to turn Jesus into just a wise sage, and not the incarnation of God into our world: “Flannery O’Connor once said of the resurrection of Christ, ‘If it’s just a symbol, to hell with it.’ I would say the same thing of the incarnation. If it’s just a symbol, metaphor, or myth, then so was my baptism. A wise sage cannot save us from sin and death. Only the incarnate God can do that. The real Jesus does not simply want to make us wise, but holy. The real Jesus will not simply reform society, but renew all of creation. The real Jesus offers us not just a better life, but new life.”
David F. Watson in Good News magazine, Nov/Dec 2022, p. 18
Mini-Bible Lesson #58: Best Judge
References: Judges 3:7-11; The NIV Application Commentary: Judges/Ruth by K. Lawson Younger, Jr. pp. 100-110.
The anger of the LORD burned against Israel so that he sold them into the hands of Cushan-Rishthaim king of Aram Naharaim, to whom the Israelites were subject for eight years. –Judges 3:8 NIV
There is a series of cycles of “judges” in the book of Judges with each judge moving from the best to the worst. Othniel, the best one, appears in only a few spare verses; while the worst, Samson, has a long story arc. Othniel was the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother. When the faithless Israelites turned away from the LORD and began to worship the Baals and the Asherahs, God “sold them into the hands of Cushan-Rishathaim” whom they had to serve for eight years. Then “the Spirit of the LORD came upon him.” Othniel became a judge aka deliverer, and warred against Cushan-Rishathaim. The land then had peace for 40 years—until Othniel died.
In these spare verses, we see a man who was a believer who followed God’s will. In chapter one, verse 13, we are told that he married a godly woman (Acsah), not a Caananite as many of the Israelites ended up doing, who then led their husbands and families astray. As Christians, we should take this prohibition to heart, not only when choosing our marriage partner, but our business associates also (NIV Applcation, p. 108). “Be ye not unequally yoked with unbelievers.”
We learn hear also that Othniel is a Kenizzite—not a true blood Israelite; yet, God found him to be the best choice for judge. It is not unusual for a person from outside the church who becomes a Christian to be more passionate and devoted to the Lord than people who have gone to church all their lives. Do too many church goers get bored and complacent about their salvation, because they spend so little time reading and studying God’s word or praying or serving or sacrificially giving to have this kind of passion and fervor? If the fire isn’t punched and raked once in a while, it will smolder and can go out completely.
Othniel overcomes the worst of the oppressors, going by his name, which means “dark, doubly wicked” (ibid p. 104). Othniel does not act until God calls him, though he was a proven warrior (See Judges 1:11-13 where his prowess won him his wife). He walks with God. We are called to walk in the Light of Jesus, too (1 John 1:7), then we also will be able to overcome the world (1 John 5:4-5). Notice also that as long as Othniel was alive, the Israelites behaved themselves enough that the land had peace until Othniel’s death. A good witness for God can influence a whole family or community for the better. Be that good witness and influence; and pray that it will stick long after you are gone.
In the slide show above (not seen in the mobile phone version of our website) there are pictures showing some current bulletin boards at Ebenezer put up by the Haas Family, Tasha, Emily, and Abby, and of our new Resource Room.
The picture below is our new Resource Room with books, dvds, videos, and a TV screen (not shown in photo). Individuals are encouraged to take resources home for Bible study or reading; and classes can use the room to show videos related to their studies. We would appreciate donations of books or dvds, especially for young children for this collection.
Ongoing Collections - Updated - 11/11/22
Oakhill Backpack Ministry
We are beginning to collect single serve, easy to microwave or use food items to send home with needy children, such as, fruit cups, mac and cheese, snacks, noodles, etc. The children will receive a backpack of these items to take home on the weekends, and use for themselves and their families. Put the items in the old fellowship hall. We thank you for helping.
Teacher's Closet Collection
We are collecting some items for our local teachers by helping fill up the Teacher's Closet. This ministry provides items for teachers and their students that they cannot obtain through the regular budget.
They include the following: Clorox wipes, hand sanitizer, hand soap, paper towels, facial tissues, sharpies, dry board markers highlighters, black/blue/red ink pens. colored pencils, glue sticks, composition books and notebook paper (wide and college ruled), crayons, scissors (children's type), index cards, construction paper, pencil sharpeners, sheet protectors, file folders, large and small legal pads, white out, paper clips, staples, pencil pouches, markers, rulers, ring binders, card stock white/assorted, 3 ring note books, large and small pencil top erasers, and post it notes.
(NOTE: they have plenty of regular pencils at this time.)
South Caldwell Christian Ministries - Update 9/29
NOTE: We received a thank you note from SCCM this week thanking us for 49.5 pounds of food for their ministry. We continue to collect until the end of August. Thank you members and friends for your generous support.
We are collecting non-perishable food and clean used clothing in good condition that will be taken to South Caldwell Christian Ministries. You may leave the items at the church on Sundays or during normal office hours (8:30 to 1:00 p.m., Monday-Friday).
We thank you for helping us to minister to the needs of our community.
"In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven." (Matthew 5: 16)
Our vision is to let our light shine into the dark world so that the world may come to know The Light, which is Jesus Christ our Lord.