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June 2022 Newsletter 

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Pastor's Note

I write these words in the shadow of the shootings at a grocery store in Buffalo and an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. I have been talking to you these past months about the marks of a Methodist. I will take a break from that this month.

I know the talking points already from folks on the debate about gun control and mental health. Like others I believe that within our political system nothing will happen regarding these issues. Then there will be another mass shooting and the process will start all over again. This is cynical, I know, but it is where I am in my heart at this moment.

While I doubt that our elected officials will do anything at this time, I do believe that the church has a role to perform in our culture and community. I hear the reports that many of the people who commit these horrible acts are isolated from their communities. They have had their minds and souls subverted by people and groups online to hate. They have anger, and do not know what to do with it. These people are our neighbors, may be our friends or family members.

This is where we, the church of Jesus Christ, come in. We have a message of hope. We have a message of grace. We have a message of forgiveness. We have so much to offer our community through Jesus Christ. We can help change hearts and lives. It is in our job description when Jesus told his disciples to “Go!” We can wait for them to come to us, but that is not working. We need to go to them. Let us work together to discover how we can do this.

This is a special word for those who are part of Ebenezer, but have stopped attending and participating. If you are ill, I understand. However, if you can be here, but are not, I would encourage you to return. You need the church, and the church needs you. And the world needs Jesus. And God, in his wisdom, has created and ordained the church to be how that message is carried into the world.

One life changed might stop a massacre tomorrow!

In God’s grace,
Pastor Alan

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Meetings, Regular 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, June 20th. 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, June 21st 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 meet on Sunday, June 26th at 4:00 p.m. Members of the congregation may also attend and participate, but cannot vote.

United Methodist Women

Ebenezer's United Methodist Women will meet on Sunday, June 26th at 6:00 p.m. All women of the church are invited to attend.

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Something to Pray About

Thank you to Daniel Hixon on YouTube.

Calvinists, who believe that God pre-chooses those who will be saved, leaving everyone else out-of-luck and no way to avoid damnation, express their reasoning/beliefs in the Tulip or five points of Calvinism. T = total depravity, U = unconditional election, L = limited atonement, I = irresistible grace, and P = perseverance of the saints. Although Methodists accept the total depravity of this system, we do not believe that only certain people can be saved.

One way to express the Methodist’s beliefs about salvation is called the Four Alls:

  • All need to be saved. This coincides with the “total depravity” unit of Calvinism. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” See Romans 3:23.
  • All can be saved. To Methodists, salvation is open to everyone, because Christ died for everybody; not just a privileged few. “[Jesus Christ] is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:2 NIV). See also John 3:16.
  • All can know they are saved. The Spirit begins working in us and gives us assurance of our salvation. “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children” (Romans 8:16 NIV). See also 1 John 5:2-13.
  • All can be saved to the uttermost. This means “perfection in love” is possible. The Spirit of God empowers us to love and live into his commandment to love and obey. We don’t do it. God does it in us. You can experience this in this life. “May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul, and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it” (1Thessalonians 5:23-24 NIV). See also Philippians 1:6.

The Methodists believe in the prevenient grace of God. In other words, God’s Spirit is calling to everyone to believe in his Son. Basically, salvation involves a surrender to that call or urge within us. Our Sovereign God gave up some of his sovereignty to allow us the freedom to resist that call. As the ruler of all that is, God and only God can set boundaries upon his will. If a person refuses to accept Christ as Lord and Savior, God lets him. But the price of that refusal must be paid, because the blood of Jesus, God’s One and Only Son, was spilt for him, too. How can a person ever pay that debt in full? He cannot; therefore, there is hell that was originally set aside for the rebellious angels (for whom God does not provide a way of redemption). Because of our sinful nature that we all are born with, we are condemned already. “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son” (John 3:17-18 NIV).

Our God is a God of mercy to all. He sends rain upon the wicked and the righteous. He makes a way of salvation for ALL. Accept his grace offered through his Son today for you can never pay that debt on your own. Praise be to God who makes the way where there is no way!

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Celebrations

Birthdays

  • 1st--Joan Pennell
  • 2nd--Carson Teague
  • 4th--Marley Smith
  • 7th--Will McRary
  • 8th--Eathan Morrow
  • 8th--Becky Yount
  • 10th--Mary Lynn Pennell
  • 11th--Ezma Austin
  • 13th--Kim Ellis
  • 16th--Casey Knepp
  • 22nd--Nathan Adams
  • 23rd--Theia M. Wheeler
  • 26th--Delores Campbell
  • 28th--Ragan Knepp

Anniversaries

  • 20th--Jimmy & Heather Stone
  • 21st--Kirk & Irene Austin
  • 22nd--Dwight & Rosalind Kelley
  • 22nd--Rex & Gwen Teague
  • 24th--Ted & Gerry Daniel
  • 28th--James & Freida Farr
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Council Minutes

Attendees: Pastor Alan Gaylord, Irene Austin, Becky Clark, Kim Ellis, Roy Hamby, Bleaka Hollar, Monte Hollar, JoAnn Knepp, Judy McCrary, Marsha McRary, Linda Moretz, Cindy Satterwhite, Cindy Sears, Kenny Silver, Ted Daniel, and Rosalind Kelley.

Marsha called the meeting to order, and opened the meeting with prayer. She read from Ezekiel 34:15-16, 22, 31, and through the verses reminded us that God is our Shepherd and we are the sheep of his pasture. Only God can help us through whatever is going on, and he watches over us always. March Council meeting minutes were read and approved as written.

Financial Report

Irene Austin gave the report with graphs to show how much our contributions have fallen since last year, and how much more we have spent on maintenance of the church this year. Our reserve funds are beginning to disappear. We need more of our members and attendees to step up and give. If each of us gives just a little more, even in these inflationary times, we can continue to be a vibrant witness for Christ in our community. There was general discussion of the situation, and how to encourage people to give more.

Trustees Report

Monte Hollar reported on some repairs that have been taken care of recently, though there is a toilet leak waiting to be fixed, a hole in the sidewalk filled in, and weather-stripping put on several doors. He mentioned that several chairs and tables have had to be repaired. We need to be much more careful with our furniture.

He then brought up changes in the rental of church facilities guidelines. After some discussion, it was decided to change the charge for use of the facilities from $100 to $200 for non-members. With further discussion, it was also decided to charge members $100 to help cover the cost of lights, heat or cooling, etc. Motion for both these measures with a first and second from Irene Austin and Kim Ellis passed.

Kim Ellis asked the council’s members who are fathers if they wanted anything special done for Father’s Day. It was determined that we will verbally recognize and thank our fathers, but not do anything else this year.

Community Day is set for August 6, and Irene has reserved a water slide and other items for this event. We will need lots of volunteers to help us that day. Everyone in the community is invited. Get the word out.

Pastor’s Report

Pastor Alan presented the first list of names of members who will be sent another letter about their membership, and whether or not they wish to remain on our roll. If we receive no answer, these names will be presented to the conference this fall, and their memberships will be terminated.

The Global Methodist Church was inaugurated on May 1 of this year. Our Discovery Team’s first meeting to look over the proposals from this entity and how it will be structured and governed is on Monday, May 23. The team consists of Pastor Alan, Irene Austin, Ricky Baker, and Cindy Sears. The team will make a presentation to the Church Council about their findings in the near future.

Pastor Alan brought up two new offerings set up by the Annual Conference this year. Passing the Torch will be used for a scholarship fund for seminary students in honor of a church’s retired (former) pastor. The second fun will help pay for improvements and repairs to Stuart Auditorium for technology upgrades. The Council decided to use the Thank Bank offerings of June 5 and June 12 for these offerings and divide the funds between the two.

The Pastor mentioned the Youth Summer program, and said that he seems to be getting more adult volunteers than youth participants. Come on kids! Join the pastor for some fun, and be a working part of our community and ministries. You won’t be bored, and you can feel good about doing some good things this summer.

Pastor Alan reminded us that we will need to update our Safe Sanctuaries policies, and make sure everyone working with the children and youth have had a background check completed. Please see the Pastor or Cindy Sears to get a form.

During a discussion of the Thank Bank, the Council voted to donate $250 to Robin’s Nest, a ministry to sexually and physically abused children in our area. We will also be accepting toys, books, crayons, coloring books, etc. for young children to donate to Robin’s Nest. Boxes are in the old fellowship hall. We will collect in June and July.

Pastor’s away times for June: Anti-Racism Training (Mandatory), June 3-4, 2022; and Annual Conference, June 16-19, 2022.

Irene Austin closed the meeting with prayer. (Minutes by Cindy Sears.)

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Worship Information

Pentecost Sunday is June 5th. Please wear red to worship that day.

Pastor Alan will be involved in the following special events:

  • Anti-Racism Training (Mandatory): June 3-4, 2022
  • Annual Conference: June 16-19, 2022
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    Events and Fundraisers

    Youth Summer Fun & Service

    During the summer the youth will have the opportunity to get together on Thursdays in the months of June and July to do service projects in this area and for FUN! The following is a tentative schedule. Some events may be switched around and times are not set for all events

    Parents, please note that each youth will need a permission slip filled out to participate. This form is good for one year. Also, South Caldwell Christian Ministries has its own form.

    • June 9--Work day at church with lunch; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
    • June 16--Pool Party @ Haas'11-3 p.m.
    • June 23--South Caldwell Christian Ministries, 9:30-1 p.m.
    • June 30--Lakeside Park Hike and Cookout, 10-2 p.m.
    • July 7--Finding Hope Ministries Thrift Shop
    • July 14--Sunrise on the Parkway
    • July 21--Yard Work @ church or home of a member
    • July 28--Hickory Crawdads Game

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

    Community Yard Sale

    Our UMW is sponsoring a Community Yard Sale day at the church on Saturday, July 25 from 7:00 a.m. to about 11:00 a.m. For $10, you can set up a table and sell your used items (all proceeds from the sale are yours).

    The UMW will be selling sausage and liver mush biscuits for breakfast with beverage.

    Come and find that special item at a low price, and have a good hot breakfast, too. UMW's proceeds will be put toward the roof loan.

    We thank you for your support.

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    Coming Soon!

    Summer Blood Drive: Mark your calendars for July 25, the date of our summer blood drive for the American Red Cross.

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

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    Special Giving

    We gratefully acknowledge the following special gifts received in May:

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

    In Memory of Bob Jenkins' Birthday by:
    Peggy Jenkins

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

    In Memory of Larry Hill by:
    Alice Hill (from April)

    In Memory of Kat Teague by:
    Cindy Satterwhite

    In Honor of All the Mothers of EUMC past and present by:
    Delores, and Gary Paul Campbell

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    Hid In My Heart

    For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say No to ungodliness and wordly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope--the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.
    Titus 2:11-13 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

    Special Offerings

    Thank Bank

    During worship on June 5th and 12th the Thank Bank offering will go towards to offerings requested by our Annual Conference. One request is “Passing the Mantle” which provides financial help for education to persons seeking to become pastors. The second request is the Annual Conference offering. This offering will be split between renovations to the Stuart Auditorium at Lake Junaluska and Both/And grants towards small membership churches. These grants help improve a church’s online presence.

    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.

    Our Finances

    Our giving has fallen behind where we were last year. We know that everything has become more expensive and that has affected your budgets. We are working to keep our expenses down as we go into the summer. Prayerfully consider your giving this summer so that we can continue in our ministries to the community. Thank you!

    Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. --2 Corinthians 9:6-7; see also the rest of the chapter.

    Rotting Civilization

    "Speaking broadly, fatherlessness leads to civilizational rot. Intact households with mothers and fathers yield more productive and healthier citizens. Once you understand that, you should not be surprised to learn that household income levels in America among racial demographics fall precisely in alignment with rates of marriage in those groups.

    South Asians and East Asians households all earn more than white households, which earn more than Hispanic households, which earn more than black households. Not coincidentally, Asian Americans have substantially higher rates of marriage and lower rates of divorce than white Americans, who have a higher rate of marriage than Hispanic Americans, who have a higher rate of marriage than black Americans. Fewer than one-third of black Americans marry, leading to more widespread fatherlessness, incarceration, and poverty than other racial demographics."

    https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2022/04/ what_disproves_the_white_supremacy_narrative.html

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