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December 2022 Newsletter


Pastor's Note

Recently Barbara Ferguson passed out pins that say, “God’s got this!” As we enter the Advent/Christmas seasons and the end of the year this phrase is a good reminder of the good God we serve.

In the Christmas letter I made note of all the things we were able to accomplish in 2022 thanks to the blessings of God. I did not have space to mention all of them. The one’s I left out include:

  • moving back to the sanctuary for worship and staying in the sanctuary.
  • We received new members and baptized 2 of them.
  • We lost some beloved members of our congregation and yet in your grief you supported the families with words, prayers, presence and food.
  • The Easter service and breakfast were blessings to those who came.
  • We still show the service on Facebook and have people joining us through this format who may not otherwise be able to attend.
  • While paying down the roof loan other repairs at the parsonage and buildings have been attended to.
  • Sunday School still meets, as does choir, prayer group, class meeting and women’s group.

We will have some decisions upcoming that will affect the future of Ebenezer. We still have 2 more presentations to go. These decisions about the future are scary and there are a lot of unknowns. Yet, look at what God has done through Ebenezer this year. That ministry WILL continue in 2023! This is the season of remembering that “God’s got this!” All we need to do is follow.

May you have a blessed and merry Christmas along with a happy New Year!

In God’s grace,
Pastor Alan

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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 The Prayer group will not meet on December 27th and January 3rd.

Wesley Class Meeting

Class meets on Tuesdays at 7:00 p.m. The Wesley Class will not meet on December 27th and January 3rd.

Senior Citizens Gathering

Our Senior Citizens next monthly meeting will be on Tuesday,December 20th at 11:00 a.m. A free meal will be served. Please bring a dessert to share if you can. Plans are still being finalized for the gathering.

Church Council

The Council will meet on Sunday, December 18th at 3:00 p.m. We will be discussing the presentations brought to us by various Methodist organizations in November and December; and decide where to go from here.

Food Ministry

No meal will be served in December.

United Methodist Women

The women will have their holiday meeting in January.

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Something to Pray About

Don't Wait Too Long

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. --John 3:16 NIV

References: John 12:35-41; Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee, Vol. IV, pp. 449

Then Jesus told them, “You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you.” --John 12:35 NIV

Jesus is closing out his public ministry at this point, and John, the Apostle, quotes some scriptures form the Old Testament prophet, Isaiah. This comes immediately after Jesus himself has given a warning to his listeners and followers. “While you have the light, believe in the light; that you may be the children of light (v. 36a KJV).”

As Isaiah said, there comes a time when God will blind their eyes, and harden their hearts…and they will no longer be able to be converted. (see Isaiah 6:10 and John 12:40) It is this way with Jesus and the Good News. There will come a day when the door to salvation is no longer open. As McGee says, “Jesus had presented Himself to them as the Messiah and as their King. They have rejected Jesus personally. Now He rejects them! Listen to me carefully. Because they would not accept Him, there came a day when they could not accept Him. My friend, the most dangerous thing in the world is to hear the gospel and then turn your back on it. If you just go on listening and listening and do not accept it and act upon it, there comes a time when you cannot hear and you cannot see. God is God, and it is He who has the final word.”

Don’t wait. Respond before your eyes and ears are so dulled with the presentation of the gospel that you can no longer hear it or see it as truth and salvation, but only as a clanging of pointless noise. Then you will truly walk in darkness forever. Today is the day of salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2). Don’t wait too long.

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December Celebrations


  • 4th--Shane Kelley
  • 5th--Teresa Simmons
  • 7th--Jim Farr
  • 10th--Abigail Mullinax
  • 11th--Jeanette Eby
  • 12th--Barbara Frye
  • 14th--Carla Yoder
  • 20th--Peggy Jenkins
  • 23rd--John McCrary
  • 26th--Lyle Miller
  • 26th--Sarah Teague
  • 27th--Cheryl Vosdingh
  • 28th--JoAnn Knepp
  • 29th--Tina Williams
  • Anniversaries

  • 5th--Kevin and Pat Sears
  • 13th--Shawn and Heather Wallace
  • 29th--Dylan and Vicky Baker


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Council Minutes - November 20

Attendance: Rev. Alan Gaylord, Irene Austin, Becky Clark, Roy Hamby, Bleaka Hollar, Monte Hollar, JoAnn Knepp, John McCrary, Marsha McRary, Linda Moretz, Cindy Sears, Marilyn Kohnle, and Kenny Silver.

Marsha opened the meeting. She thanked everyone on the board this year for their service and dedication. She asked us to pray for those who will be joining the Council next year or serve on committees; and please keep Roy Hamby in our prayers as he continues his journey to become a local pastor.

Financial Report

Irene Austin brought us a brief financial report, thanking the church first for helping her to grow in her Christian walk. She explained that we have gone over the budget is some categories, because of rising prices and greater usage. We still owe $8,704 on our 2022 apportionments due to lower contribution levels this year. We continue to pay on the roof loan. We still owe around $4,000 on that. The budget report was accepted by vote. Irene then presented the 2023 Proposed Budget. Motion was made to accept. Motion carried.

Pastor’s Report

Regarding the question of disaffiliation, the Pastor presented 2 more presentations from other Methodist’s groups: December 4th a Free Methodist Church Zoom meeting at 3:00 p.m. in our sanctuary, and December 11th an Association of Independent Methodists Zoom meeting at 3:00 p.m. in the sanctuary.

On December 18th our Council will meet to discuss the presentations and what to do next. Meeting will begin at 3:00 p.m.

Pastor Alan also presented copies to us of the Disaffiliation Process guidelines required by our Western North Carolina Conference.

A proposed Christmas letter to go out to our membership and attendees was presented for approval. We hope to encourage more of our members to give to our church during the Advent season. The letter was approved by the Council.

December Worship information was presented. See the Dec. Newsletter for details. Marsha called for us to be in deep prayer for the next few months and for our Pastor, too. We have had a wonderful pastor over the last two years, who has been helpful and proactive in cleaning off the church rolls of people who no longer attend or support Ebenezer; and he has actively worked to help us in our decision of whether or not to disaffiliate from the UMC. Seek God’s guidance for our decision. God may take us where we do not want to go, but he will always be with us.

Marsha closed the meeting with prayer.

Minutes by Cindy Sears.

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December Worship Information

  • December 4: Luke 2.1-7; Communion;
  • December 11: Luke 2.8-21;
  • December 18: Luke 2.22-38;
  • December 24: Service of Lessons and Carols at 5 p.m. in the Sanctuary. We need people to read scripture for this service (See Pastor to volunteer). After the service we will have fellowship time at the Barbecue shed;
  • December 25: John 1.1-14; Communion; Service will be at 10 a.m. No Sunday School this day;
  • January 1: Roy Hamby preaches; Service will be at 10 a.m. No Sunday School this day.

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Events and Fundraisers

Gifts for Christ and Memory Tree

We will set up a Memory Tree again this year and accept designated Gifts for Christ. For your gift, we will hang an ornament on the Memory Tree in honor of or in memory of a loved one. Please turn in your forms by Sunday, December 11th. You may hold your gift until Sunday, December 18th when we will take up the special Gifts for Christ offering.

Forms are available in the narthex and lobby areas.

Special Methodist Presentations in December

There will be two ZOOM presentations in December from Methodist organizations that are options to consider if we disaffiliate from the UMC.

The Free Methodist Church will speak to us on Sunday, December 4 at 3:00 p.m. The Association of Independent Methodist (AIM) will talk to us on Sunday, December 11 at 3:00 p.m. Both presentations will be online and on the screens in the sanctuary. No vote will be taken at this time.

Please continue to pray as we gather information and decide what to do.

Christmas Eve Service

We invite you to join us for a Christmas Service of anticipation and celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The main service will be held in the sanctuary. NOTE: We will need people to read scripture for this service. See Pastor Alan to volunteer.

After the service (weather permitting), we will move to the barbecue shed across the street, light a bonfire, and sing carols. Please bring a chair for that part.






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Monthly Prayer Focus

Please pray for our church and the Church Council as we continue to meet with other Methodist Church organizations. The Council will be discussing the merits of each group, and whether or not to recommend disaffiliation from the UMC on December 18th.

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Special Giving

We gratefully acknowledge the following special gifts received in November:

In Memory of Bob Jenkins by Peggy Jenkins.
In Loving Memory of Hoke Clark by Becky Clark.
In Honor of Bleaka and Monte Hollar by Judy McCrary.
In Honor of Libby Long, Marsha McRary, Bleaka Hollar, and all the UM Women who worked hard at the Country Store Event by Delores and Gary Paul Campbell.

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Hid In My Heart

How do I hide God's Word in my heart? Memorize it!

God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have friendship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. --1 John 1:5b-7 NIV

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Military Prayer List

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

  • Ricky Garland
  • Shane McRary
  • Jamie Mullinax
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Other and Miscellaneous

Church Office Closure

The Church office will be closed Thursday, December 22nd through Monday, December 26th, and reopen at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, December 27th.

Card Distribution

We will set up a table where you can bring Christmas cards to give to our regularly attending members and associates. PLEASE CONFIRM that the person is coming to church before leaving envelopes here. See Bleak Hollar, Cindy Sears, or Pastor Alan to confirm. Thank you.

Recyle Your Cards

After the holidays, we will be collecting used Christmas cards and other types of greeting cards to send to a charity. Please hold the cards until after January 1st. A box will be placed in the old fellowship hall for you to place the cards in. Thank you.

John Wesley Said:

"In all cases, the Church is to be judged by the Scripture, not the Scripture by the Church."


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Contact Information: 828-396-2214;; 4948 Burns Rd, Granite Falls, NC 28630