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August 2022 Newsletter

Contents

Pastor's Note

I started this year by sharing with you from “The Character of a Methodist” by John Wesley the things that he said made Methodist’s unique. I then got distracted for the last 2 months. This month, I will simply share with you the 16 things Father John said make us Methodists.

  1. It is not in our opinions. To anything that doesn’t strike at the root of Christianity “we think and let think.”
  2. We have no special or peculiar words.
  3. We have no special or peculiar actions.
  4. We don’t stress one part of Christianity over another.
  5. The “love of God is shed abroad in our hearts.”
  6. We are happy in God.
  7. We are content.
  8. We “pray without ceasing.”
  9. We love our neighbors.
  10. We are pure in heart.
  11. We desire to do the will of God.
  12. We do good works, not to earn God’s favor, but because God commands it.
  13. We keep all of God’s commandments.
  14. We do all to the glory of God.
  15. We don’t keep to the world’s customs.
  16. We do good to all.

As Father John states “these are only the common fundamental principles of Christianity.” Our faith is therefore neither liberal nor conservative, progressive nor traditional, left nor right. These marks, which we are seeking always to do better and better, simply help to distinguish us from the unbelieving world. That world is our mission field. Or as Father John said, “The world is my parish.”

Whatever the future may hold may we hold on to the things of God and the things that make us God’s people in this world.

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Meetings, Events

Prayer Group Meeting

Tuesdays at 6:00 p.m., we meet to pray over concerns of our members and friends. You may call the office or pastor, or email us with prayer concerns at ebenezerumc@yahoo.com

Wesley Class Meeting

Class meets on Tuesdays at 7:00 p.m.

Food Ministry

The next Lord's Supper Ministry meal will be delivered on Monday, August 22. Please contact Ricky Baker if you would like to help with the cooking, etc. Delivery people need to arrive by 5:00 p.m.

Senior Citizens Gathering

Our Senior Citizens next monthly meeting will be on Tuesday, August 23 at 11:00 a.m. A free meal will be served. Plans are still being fianlized for the meeting.

Church Council Meeting

The Council will meet on Sunday, August 28 at 4:00 p.m.

United Methodist Women

Ebenezer's United Methodist Women will meet on Sunday, August 28 at 6:00 p.m. All women of the church are invited to attend.

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Something to Pray About

References: John 9:1-3, Interpreter’s Bible, Vol. 8, pp. 610-612

As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man who had been born blind. His disciples asked him, “Teacher, whose sin caused him to be born blind? Was it his own or his parents’ sin.” Jesus answered, “His blindness has nothing to do with his sins or his parents’ sins. He is blind so that God’s power might be seen at work in him.” –John 9:1-3

The one profound question of mankind is “why do we suffer?” One philosophy’s answer to that question is that all suffering is the result of past sins in this life or in a previous existence. This is the concept of karma and transmigration of the soul. The belief that each person has lived multiple lives and will be reincarnated at the end of this life, and thus, pay for his sins or reap the rewards of his goodness in the next life he lives. Therefore, “we have no possible grievance against anyone or anything. It is all self-inflicted. Sin a sin and there is no possible evasion even thinkable of the inescapable results. (I.B. Vol. 8, p. 611)

Although this belief permits for justice eventually occurring in all circumstances—either in this life or one’s subsequent lives—it leaves no room for forgiveness or mercy. It also leads to a fatalistic view of life in which there is no mercy available; and it stops charity in its tracks because the poor, the sick, the downtrodden deserve their fate, and there is no way and no reason to attempt to alleviate bad karma.

In these verses, Christ points out another more hopeful view of suffering. Some people may assume that Jesus is saying here that the man’s blindness was a deliberate act of God, but I don’t see it that way. I believe Jesus is saying that God can take any person’s suffering, and bring goodness from it—especially to God’s glory. An individual’s suffering may be because of sin, but it may also be only the “luck of the draw” (because we live in a fallen world), or the result of someone else’s sin. Yet, no matter the cause, God can use it for his glory. Our work as the disciples of Christ is to show God’s mercy and love and forgiveness to all who suffer, whether they deserve it or not, which abounds to God’s glory, and can lead to the saving of a soul for eternity.

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Celebrations

August Birthdays

  • 6th--Tyler Baker
  • 10th--Alan Gaylord
  • 11th--Becky Clark
  • 11th--Ariel Carlisle
  • 18th--Kinley Starbuck
  • 23rd--Braylen Helton
  • 23rd--Monte Hollar
  • 24th--Candace Collins
  • 24th--Casey Collins
  • 24th--Cooper Behmer

Anniversaries

  • 4th--Lyle and Angie Miller
  • 18th--Ricky and Shawn Baker
  • 25th--Brian and Kim Knepp
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Council Minutes

There was no council meeting scheduled in July, but we did have a brief emergency meeting. The minutes to that meeting are below:

Attendees: Pastor Alan Gaylord, Cindy Sears, Marsha McRary, Judy McCrary, Monte Hollar, Bleaks Hollar, Kim Ellis, JoAnn Knepp, Kenny Silver, Becky Clark, Roy Hamby, John McCrary, and Ted Daniel.

Chairperson of the Council, Marsha McRary, acknowledge Chair of the Trustees, Monte Hollar, who brought to the Council proposed changes to Ebenezer’s Insurance coverage.

As Monte explained, the cost of replacing the parsonage and the church in case of damage or loss has increased, and, therefore, our insurance company, Southern Mutual, will need to increase our yearly payment for coverage from $5470 to $6358. We may need to make another payment this year to cover the difference, since we have paid the yearly fee already for 2022.

After discussion, Bleaka Hollar made a motion to make the changes to our policy and accept the new charges. Motion was seconded. Motion passed. Meeting was adjorned.

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August Worship Information

Note: Pastor Alan will be on vacation August 10-17.

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Events and Fundraisers

Community Fun Day

Saturday, August 6, 10 AM - 1 PM

You are invited!

Everything is FREE, and open to the public.

We will have a water slide, bounce house, reptile zoo, and dunking booth. Grace Chaple Fire Department will bring their fire truck to show off, too.

Food includes hot dogs, popcorn, and cotton candy with beverages.

There will be music and other surprise activities.

Special Note: Children who want to play on the water slide need to wear appropriate swimming arrire and bring a towel. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

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Monthly Prayer Focus

Please lift up our Community Fun Day in prayer, and the teachers and children as they return to school near the end of August.

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Special Giving

We had no special giving in July.

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Hid In My Heart

God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground." --Genesis 1:27-28 (NIV)

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Military Prayer List

Please pray for the men and women who protect our freedoms. 

  • Ricky Garland
  • Trey Hefner
  • Shane McRary
  • Jamie Mullinax
  • Michael Potts
  • Hunter Tolbert
  • Devon Watkins
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Other and Miscellaneous

Back to School Collection

In August, we are collecting school supplies for our local teachers to hand out to needy children, and for South Caldwell Christian Ministries to make backpacks to give out to students, too.

Here is a list of items needed for the backpacks and to give out to students:
Pencils, pens, glue, glue sticks, crayons, colored pencils, erasers, highlighters, notebooks, notebook paper, folders, rounded scissors, pencil boxes, headphones/ear buds, writing tablets, facial tissues, antibacterial wipes.

For the older kids:
Dividers with tabs, folders with pockets, spiral notebooks, 3-ring binders (1-2 inches), pencil pouches, black, blue and red ink pens.

We thank you for your generosity. Please place the items on the benches in the old fellowship hall.

July Blood Drive Report

Total number of products collected was 26, including 6 Power Red products. Thank you to everyone who gave, and helped with this drive. May God bless you for your generosity.

Wesley Quote

"Condemn no man for not thinking as you think. Let every one enjoy the full and free liberty of thinking for himself. Let every man use his own judgment, since every man must give an account of himself to God. Abhor every approach, in any kind or degree, to the spirit of persecution, if you cannot reason nor persuade a man into the truth, never attempt to force a man into it. If love will not compel him to come, leave him to God, the judge of all." --John Wesley

St. Augustine Quote

"Let us never assume that if we live good lives we will be without sin; our lives should be praised only when we continue to beg for pardon. But men are hopeless creatures, and the less they concentrate on their own sins, the more interested they become in the sins of others. They seek to criticize, not to correct. Unable to excuse themselves, they are ready to accuse others." --St. Augustine

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Contact Information: 828-396-2214; ebenezerumc@yahoo.com; 4948 Burns Rd, Granite Falls, NC 28630