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July 2022 Newsletter

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Pastor's Note

I have shared statistics with you from Mission Insite that show that within a 5-mile circle from Ebenezer that there are 11,000 unchurched people. That is our mission field. However, 11,000 is a large number and it is hard to see how we can reach all these people with the gospel message. It reminds me of the scripture from Luke 10:2: Jesus told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

When I reflect on that scripture I am reminded of a statement I heard many years ago. It says, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” What is the first bite that we can take in order to reach those 11,000 with the gospel?

I am working on what I am calling the “Burns Road Initiative.” On Burns Road, from Dudley Shoals Road to Deal Mill Road, there are over 80 addresses. Some of those addresses are where church members live. Using the internet, I am identifying who lives at the other addresses. A letter will be sent to them introducing us, asking for prayer needs, inviting them to the Community Day on August 6th, and inviting them to worship with us in person or online if they do not already have a church home. I am certain that some of the letters will be returned. The internet isn’t always right. There may be some negative responses. There will be no responses. However, there will be some positive responses as well.

This will not be a one-time effort. We will keep contacting and inviting. Then we will move on to other roads and start the process over. Please keep these efforts in your prayers. If you know someone on Burns Road ask them later in the month if they got the letter. Pray that God blesses this effort and that we have the laborers needed for the harvest that is around us.

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 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, July 18. 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, July 19 at 11:00 a.m. A free meal will be served. Bring a dessert to share if you can.

Church Council Meeting

The Council will not meet in July unless there is an emergency. The next meeting will be Sunday, August 28 at 4:00 p.m.

United Methodist Women

Ebenezer's United Methodist Women will meet on Sunday, June 24 at 6:00 p.m. All women of the church are invited to attend.

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Something to Pray About - Death Cult Pushed Back

The word of the LORD came to me, saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” –Jeremiah 1:4-5a (NIV)

“God struck a blow against the pride of man, and he did it during pride month.” —Doug Wilson, “Thanks, Mitch McConnell?, Canon Press, YouTube

In reference to the above verse from Jeremiah: how can we ever see into the mind of God and know what a baby in the womb is destined to accomplish?

Praise be to God Almighty, to President Donald J. Trump (the most life affirming president in decades), and to the constitutionally oriented Supreme Court justices Roe v. Wade has finally been overturned. The land has cried out for decades over the slaughter of the most innocent and vulnerable humans among us. What was meant by God to be the safest place on earth—the womb of the mother—has been turned into one of the most dangerous. But God has heard their cries, and led us to this moment. The work is only just begun, yet some babies’ lives will now be safer—especially in some states.

The advances of science and medicine have opened up many people’s eyes to the humanity of the babies in the womb; and premature babies are being saved every day. These lives are precious, and according to God, a blessing. The work must continue to help save more of the children. Decrying the killing of school age children, but ignoring the daily killing of the not-yet-born is hypocritical. Refusing to accept responsibility for one’s actions that lead to pregnancy does not give a person the right to declare that life disposable. With contraceptives available to all, often paid for by our taxes, there is no excuse for so many children being killed yearly, because of “inconvenience,” which is often just selfishness in disguise. Cases of incest, rape, and the life of the mother being in actual jeopardy from a pregnancy are rare, and can be dealt with case by case. Some women will be able to carry the child to birth, and then give the child up for adoption in the cases of rape and incest. This is a strength that comes from God; and the sacrifice will be blessed by him.

The Church has been too silent for too long about this, and about the “free sex” attitude that now permeates the church, as well as, much of secular society. There are many good reasons to reserve sexual relations for within marriage only. Married people and those who wait to have children until they are married statistically are happier, wealthier, more productive members of society, and more sexually satisfied. Yet for a Christian, none of that should be the basis of their decision to obey God in this matter. Our God has given us the blueprint for the basic unit of society—one man and one woman, leaving their father and mother, and becoming one; and in that bond raising children to carry on the human race, and to pass on the faith of their parents.

Yes, there will be failed marriages; but divorce should always be the last resort, not the first to be considered. Yes, a person can choose the wrong person to marry. Sometimes that happens because they indulged in sexual relations before really getting to know one another; and they let their physical passions overrule their intellectual and spiritual discernment. How many Christians get down on their knees and plead with God to reveal to them if that person they are involved with is a good choice? (By the way, “soul mates” don’t exist. We are made to be able to mate with anyone of the opposite sex. That person can become your “soul mate” within the marriage, but there are probably other persons who could have also. That is why a married person must remain on guard at all times to avoid adulterous thoughts and actions.)

God’s way leads to a more stable relationship and a more stable society. Let the Church promote what is right and good; the ways of Satan get plenty of promotion in the world already.

Thank you, Lord, again for this small step away from this death cult called abortion. Please strengthen and encouraged all those who continue to promote life over death in our nation and around the world. Amen.

If I have denied justice to my menservants or maidservants…What will I do when God confronts me...Did not he who made me in the womb make them? Did not the same one form us both within our mothers?  Job 31:13a, 14a, 15 (NIV)

Who are we to choose who is allowed to live or die for our convenience? We are all equal in the eyes of God, and all precious—even if we haven’t been born yet.

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Celebrations

  • 3rd--Freida Farr
  • 10th--Arlene McRaryl
  • 10th--Cameron Collins
  • 13th--Alice Hill
  • 13th--Phyllis Minton
  • 14th--Marilyn Kohnle
  • 14th--Matt Shook
  • 19th--Thomas Johnson
  • 20th--Casey M. Chapman
  • 22nd--Kay Gilbert
  • 30th--Rebecca Hirt
  • 31st--Jerry Parson, Jr.

Anniversaries

  • 1st--Matthew & Amanda Coffey
  • 3rd--Randy & Marsha McRary
  • 13th--Steve & Cheryl Vosdingh
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Council Minutes

Attendees: Pastor Alan Gaylord, Irene Austin, Becky Clark, Bleaka Hollar, Monte Hollar, Judy McCrary, Marsha McRary, Linda Moretz, Cindy Sears, Kenny Silver, and Ted Daniel.

Marsha McRary opened the meeting with a reading from Philippians 2:3-11, building on the theme of pride and humility. Jesus came to serve, not to be served. He humbled himself to save us. We, as his followers, should follow in his footsteps and serve with humility, giving all the glory to God. “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (vv.3-4 NIV)

After the opening prayer, the minutes of the May meeting were read and approved.

Financial Report

Irene Austin passed around a paper showing our payments on the roof repair loan. We have whittled it down to around half of what we borrowed. Keep it up. We want to pay this off as quickly as possible to help save on interest costs.

She announced that she will be paying $2,940 a month for the next six months for our UMC apportionment amount for 2022. She also said that we remain solvent, and getting by financially; but our money cushion is smaller than she would prefer us to have. Report was approved (Bleaka motion to approve, Linda second; unanimous).

Trustees Report

Monte Hollar reported that he had sprayed the parking lot and mulch with weed killer; and the leaking toilet had been repaired; though it may need to be replaced later.

New copies of the facilities rental form were handed out showing the addition of a $100 fee for use of the CLC, etc. for members; and $200 rental fee for non-members; and a few other changes.

Pastor’s Report

Pastor Alan reported two membership changes; one member asked to be removed from the roll, and Alan’s wife, Debbie, moved her membership to Ebenezer by transfer from Crawfordville UMC, Florida. This brings our membership total to 213.

The Pastor also gave us a list of 15 names of members that we need contact information for. See p. 3 for the list. If you know where we can find these people, please let us know. They will be named during this year’s charge conference, and be removed from the roll if we cannot find a way to contact them.

Pastor Alan then gave a short report of what the Discovery Team had found out about the new Global Methodist Church. There were pros: such as, more accountability for bishops and pastors, etc.; and there is the “excitement” of getting in on the ground floor to a new denomination. The team also expressed some concerns, such as: the potential cost of disaffiliation at this time; and the GMC has many things not yet settled for the new association. The team expressed their desire to continue meeting as they explore other options, other denominations in the Wesleyan tradition that our church may choose to join if we leave the UMC. Cindy Sears told us that there are some good YouTube videos on the following denominations we are exploring: Free Methodists, Aldersgate Mission Society (offshoot of the Anglican Church of America), Wesleyan Church, and the Nazarene Church; and suggested that the council members and anyone else interested in learning more about these organizations check out the videos online. They also have websites you can peruse, too.

The Youth Summer Fun and Service has had three events so far. Pastor Alan said he had one participant at the first event, five at the next event (a pool party), and four youth who came to help at South Caldwell Christian Ministries. See the list on p. 3 for the July events schedule.

Pastor Alan then brought forth a proposal for us to consider and pray about. He would like to begin reaching out to the people in our community by sending letters of introduction and invitation to visit our church to families residing on Burns Road (that are not attending Ebenezer at this time). He would like to have the names and addresses of people on this road that our members already know, so that we can avoid sending the letters to those who may currently attend a church other than Ebenezer.

See p. 3 for the July Worship information. Alan reminded us that school begins on August 29th in Caldwell County. He also informed us that the Boy Scout situation appears to be settled for the UMC, and thus our church. So, we are not in danger from any of the ongoing lawsuits over sexual improprieties.

Marsha McRary announced that there would be no July meeting, except in an emergency. Our next meeting is scheduled for August 28th at 4:00 p.m. Bleaka Hollar closed the meeting with prayer. Minutes recorded by Cindy Sears.

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Worship Information

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Events and Fundraisers

Youth Summer Fun and Service Continues

Our youth are continuing their summer of fun and service on Thursdays July. The July schedule is below.

Parents, please note that each youth will need a permission slip filled out to participate. This form is good for one year.

  • July 7--Work Day at the Church with Lunch and Fun
  • July 14--Finding Hope Ministries Thrift Shop, 10-2 PM & Pizza!
  • July 21--Sunrise on the Parkway. Breakfast at Cracker Barrell in Boone; and a rip to the Mast Store. Bring money to spend. Must leave the church by 5:30 a.m.
  • July 28--Hickory Crawdads Game; tickets $10 each person; leave the church at 6:30 p.m.

Contact the church office for a permission form.
Adult help with these events is needed. Contact Pastor Alan to volunteer.

Summer Red Cross Blood Drive

Join Camp Do Good. Donate blood. Help save lives.

Our summer Red Cross Blood Drive will be on Monday, July 25 from 2:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. A free spaghetti meal, and/or snacks will be available for the donors and workers.

Please visit RedCrossBlood.org and enter: Ebenezer UMC to schedule an appointment. On the day of the blood drive, you can go back online at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass to complete your pre-donation reading and health history questions, and save up to 15 minutes.

Donors will be automatically entered for a chance to win an exclusive Shark Week merchandise package thats to Discovery! See rcblood.org/sharkweek for more information.

We thank you for your generosity.

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Weekly Prayer Focus

Please pray for our Discovery Team as we continue to explore options for other church organizations to join should we decide to leave the UMC.

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Special Giving

We gratefully acknowledge the following special gifts received in June:

In Memory of Wayne Reid by:
Gail Reid

In Memory of Bill Campbell by:
Freida Matthews
Delores Campbell & Gary Paul
Billy Wayne Campbell

In Memory of Paul Spencer by:
Delores, Billy Wayne, Gary Paul Campbell

In Memory of Gerald Frye by:
Freida Matthews

In Memory of Mildred Tolbert by:
Freida Matthews

In Memory of Lowell Spencer by:
Delores Campbell, and Gary Paul

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Hid In My Heart

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

People were also bringing babies to Jesus to have him touch them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. But Jesus called the children to him and said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it."
Luke 18:15-17 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

CLC/Church Rental Fee Changes

The Trustees brought forward a proposal to make changes to our rental guidelines and fees for use of the Christian Life Center and/or Sanctuary or Old Fellowship Hall for private parties/events due to higher costs for electricity, etc., and lower contributions to our General Fund. 

The rental fee for non-members was raised to $200. Members will now be required to pay $100 for use of our facilities. These fees must be paid at least 7 days before the event. Other fees may be charged for technical assistance with our electronic devices, or because of damage or extra cleaning (if users do not clean up after their events).

We thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

John Wesley Quote

What is it to be sanctified?
"To be renewed in the image of God, in righteousness and true Holiness." It is the process by which "we are saved from the power and root of sin, and restored to the image of God."

Community Day Coming!

Mark your calendars for our 2nd Annual Community Day on Saturday, August 6th from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. Come and help, as well as, enjoy the day of fun, food, and fellowship!

Robin's Nest Collection

Throughout June and July, we are collecting small toys, stuffed animals, coloring books, crayons, books, etc. for preschoolers and young children for Robin's Nest ministry, which shelters children who have been abused. Please place the new or in good condition items in the boxes in the old fellowship hall. We thank you for your generosity.

Bible Verses to Ponder

His wife said to him, "Are you still holding on to your integrity? Curse God and die!"
He replied, "You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?"
In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.
Job 2:9-10 NIV

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