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November 2022 Newsletter


Pastor's Note

During the month of November we have 2 presentations scheduled related to the future direction of Ebenezer.

On Sunday, November 13th at 3 p.m. we will have the Rev. Jim Church give a presentation regarding the Global Methodist Church.

On Thursday, November 17th at 7 p.m. we will have the Rev. Lory Beth Huffman, the Appalachian District Superintendent, give a presentation regarding the United Methodist Church.

I am setting up presentations from the Free Methodist Church and the Association of Independent Methodists. As of the writing of this article nothing has been set. Once those presentations are set you will be informed.

We are asking our presenters to keep their presentations positive. We want to hear why we should go with them. We do not want to hear what is wrong with the other groups.

All are invited to these presentations. They are for your education so an informed decision can be made about Ebenezer’s future. I ask that if you attend one that you attend all (or as many as possible).

I want to make it very clear that we are NOT voting at this time about staying with the United Methodist Church or going with another group. There is a process laid out for this and our Church Council will work within this process. You will be kept informed about things as they arise. I will be happy to share with you this process if you wish to read about it.

If you have a question please feel free to talk with me or email me. My singular goal is that Ebenezer follows God’s leading so that you may find the best path for you to continue your ministry to Dudley Shoals and the world.

We still serve a crucified and risen Savior and will do so today and always!

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

Wesley Class Meeting

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

Staff Pastor Parish Relations Committee

The SPPR Committee will meet on Sunday, November 6 at 4:00 p.m.

Senior Citizens Gathering

Our Senior Citizens next monthly meeting will be on Tuesday, November 15th at 11:00 a.m. A free meal will be served. Plans are still being fianlized for the meeting.

Annual Charge Conference

Our annual Charge Conference will be held on Sunday, November 20th at 3:00 p.m. We will be voting on next year's budget and committee members, and approving paperwork going to the Conference.

Food Ministry

The next Lord's Supper Ministry meal will be delivered on Tuesday, November 22nd at 5:00 p.m. Please contact Ricky Baker if you would like to help with the cooking, etc. Cook's helpers should arrive around noon. Delivery people need to arrive by 5:00 p.m.

United Methodist Women

Ebenezer's United Methodist Women will meet on Sunday, November 27th at 6:00 p.m. All women of the church are invited to attend.

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Something to Pray About

A Humble King

References: John 12:12-19; Interpreter’s Bible, Vol. 8, pp.657-660

Jesus found a young donkey and sat upon it, as it is written, “Do not be afraid, O Daughter of Zion; see, your king is coming, seated on a donkey’s colt.” (vv. 14-15 NIV)

Jesus rides into Jerusalem among a crowd of enthusiastic people who witnessed or were witnessed to about the raising of Lazarus from the dead. But, they really do not understand yet what kind of king Jesus is to be to them. He searches for and borrows an ass to ride into the city—an ass! Not a large and strong white horse ridden by the Roman conquerors when they returned in triumph from a war. A lowly ass. One Jesus did not need for what would have been a short walk into the city. Jesus is giving another sign here of who he is, and what his kingdom and rule will be like.

He is the King of kings, and Lord of lords. Yet, he has not come to fight a physical war, which would claim many lives. He has come to give his one life for the many for a prize more valuable and precious than lands and wealth and power. He is here to save souls for eternity. These people in the crowd and his disciples do not understand. If they did, they would not be so enthusiastic about his entry into their lives—as many who profess to believe think they are—until he calls on them to pick up their cross and follow him.

Jesus will die soon. He asks us each day to die also—to let him have more and more control over our lives; to give up that hidden sin; to give up that desire or plan for our lives; to give our all to him and his kingdom’s work. Are we ready for a King who completely owns us? Or do we want one that is simply nice to us, and lets us go about our own affairs with little or no sacrifice or change involved?

Jesus is a humble king, because he rules it all, and has no fear of being conquered—even by death. If we want the assurance belief in Christ can provide, we must humble ourselves completely into his will and let go of our own. Are you willing to do that? Are you willing to go to the cross with Jesus? Or do you only want the pomp and circumstance parade, but will turn away when the going gets tough or when Jesus ask you to give up something for him? Go to the cross with Jesus; let your old sinful self die there and be buried. Christ rose again, and he will raise you up into new life also—if you are willing. Be willing!

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November Celebrations


  • 1st--Vicky Baker
  • 1st--Gerry Daniel
  • 1st--Jacob Vosdingh
  • 4th--Steven Vosdingh
  • 4th--Jeanette Teague
  • 6th--Linda Moretz
  • 12th--Lilly Teague
  • 12th--Michael Knepp
  • 15th--Paul Burson, IV
  • 21st--Amy Fowler
  • 21st--Hunter Tolbert
  • 24th--Jo Nell Harrison
  • 24th--Kathryn Behmer
  • 27th--Abby Haas
  • Anniversaries

  • 3rd--Thomas and Rosanna Bachman
  • 17th--Leonard and Jeanette Teague
  • 30th--Darren and Sarah McCrary
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Council Minutes

Attendees: Pastor Alan, Irene Austin, Ricky Baker, Becky Clark, Kim Ellis Barbara Ferguson, Bleaka Hollar, Monte Hollar, JoAnn Knepp, John McCrary, Judy McCrary, Marsha McRary, Linda Moretz, Cindy Sears, and Ted & Gerry Daniel, Kim Knepp, Chuck Adams, Kenny Silver.

Opening devotional from John 10:25-29, “Following the Call.” In these verses, Jesus says that his sheep hear his voice and follow him. The devotional story told about how wood duck chicks will leap out of the nest before they have learned to fly when their mother calls for them. In like manner, we ought to trust God enough to leap into the unknown when Jesus calls us. We should not live in fear, but trust in the Lord, and leap forward even before we learn to fly. Marsha said the opening prayer.

Reading of the Minutes of the September meeting. Monte moved to accept as written. Second by Kenny Silver.

Finance Report - Irene Austin

Our roof loan is now down to $4,556.70. After the good Homecoming contributions amount, we were able to pay $6,000 to our apportionments. We now owe $8,704 for the remainder of the year. In the discussion, it was explained that if we disaffiliate from the UMC, we will need to have this year paid in full, plus possibly pay another year of apportionment amounts; so we need to keep these payments up to date as much as possible.

Trustees Report – Monte Hollar

Clean-up day had more women than men present, so the women ended up helping with the brush cut-backs and removal. We cleaned up around the cemetery edges and trimmed the trees beside the ramp into the graveyard area. Monte reported the replacement of a circuit in the kitchen for the mixer, and putting in a new outlet. He sprayed the mulched areas to kill off the weeds. It is supposed to be effective for one year.

Old Business

Breast Cancer Awareness Sunday went well. Several people complemented the presentation and display. Marsha’s walking group began last week with ONE person (Marsha). She is hoping for greater participation in the future. All are welcome to join her on Mondays at 9:00 a.m.

Kim Ellis

Kim is asking that the helpers be hear around 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 29th for our annual Trunk R Treat event; so, we can prepare the hot dogs and get everything set up nicely. We will hold this event rain or shine. Kim’s Belize trip is set for January 9-19th. She hopes to get more people to go with her. If you are interested in this mission trip, please see Kim.

We talked about the annual Granite Falls Festival on the Square and tree-lighting, which will be held on Monday, November 21st. Motion was made to participate this year by Monte. Bleaka seconded. Motion carried.  We will prepare 500 biscuits to give away for free. The Lord’s Supper Ministry meal will be moved to Tuesday, November 22nd for Thanksgiving week. Kitchen helpers should arrive around noon. The Senior Citizen’s gathering will be held on Tuesday, November 15th.

Pastor’s Report

The Pastor reported that we added two members bringing our current membership to 207. We will be reading 32 names into the record at Charge Conference for their second reading, after which they will be removed from the roll. We have not received letters back from them about their membership, or we have no way to contact them. The address unknown list will be run one more time this year in the newsletter. We will read 46 names into the record at Charge Conference for their first reading this year.

The Pastor asked us to continue to think about our values and vision for how we want to apply the Great Commission to our specific community. We will discuss this further in January, and get some goals and statements written down.

In the Discovery Team Report, Pastor Alan gave us the dates for two presentations: (1) The UMC District Superintendent will speak to our church on Thursday, November 17th at 7:00 p.m. (All members and associates of Ebenezer are encouraged to attend.) The Global Methodist (GMC) presentation will be on Sunday, November 13th at 3:00 p.m. Pastor Alan also gave us some materials to review from the Free Methodist Church (FMC). We voted to set up a Zoom meeting with a representative in the near future (motion by Bleaka; second by Kim Ellis; carried). The Association of Independent Methodists (AIM) has not yet responded to a request for a presentation. The FMC has a Trust Clause relating to church properties, but it will only affect properties acquired after our church joins their group (if we choose to do so); the GMC has no trust clause; the AIM has no Trust Clause. Kim Ellis brought up the possibility of just being an independent church, and not joining any other organization as another option. Please be in prayer for this momentous decision for our church.

Another set of letters will be sent to our neighbors on Burns Road this coming week with invitations to Trunk R Treat, UMW Country Store, and our Christmas activities.

A question has been brought up about how to reverently dispose of worn Bibles. After researching, Pastor Alan said he could not find a sanctioned or preferred way. A reverent, formal burial ceremony was proposed. We ask our members, etc. to let us know if they have a worn-out Bible that they would like to dispose of to please contact the Pastor or Cindy in the office. We will then decide on a time and a ceremony for retiring these Bibles from service.

We will schedule a Safe Sanctuaries Training on a Saturday in February, 2023. Alan is checking into an Appalachian Service Project (mission trip) for this summer.

We next discussed our missional and collections projects for the Christmas season. The UMW will give poinsettias to our older adults again this year. A memory tree will be set up for Gifts for Christ (Sunday, December 18th) donations. The Women’s Bible Study group will be choosing Angel Tree children/families to support this year. We have been asked by Oakhill Charter School to return to helping with the Backpack Food program. We will participate in that again.

Our Charge Conference is set for Sunday, November 20th at 3:00 p.m.

Ricky Baker closed the meeting with prayer. Minutes by Cindy Sears.

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Worship Information

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Events and Fundraisers

UMW Country Store and Bake Sale

Saturday, November 5, 7 AM to 2 PM

With inflation still rising, it's time to come visit the United Methodist Women's Country Store for bargains and holiday gifts. Enjoy some good food, too!

Breakfast biscuits will be on sale in the morning; hamburgers and hot dogs from 11:00 a. m. to the end. Home made cakes and pies will be on sale, along with gently used items.

Proceeds will help fund the Women's ministries in the coming year.

We have 2 overflowing rooms of treasure to look through!

We thank you for your support!


Special Sundays

All Saints Sunday

During our 9:00 a.m. Worship Service on Sunday, November 6, we will honor our Christian brothers and sisters who have gone on to be with the Lord in the past year.

Advent and Hanging of the Greens

picture of 2021's Chrismon TreeOn Sunday, November 27 we will mark the beginning of the Advent Season by hanging up our Christmas decorations and deck out the Chrismon Tree with Christian symbols. Come and help us as we prepare our church for the celebration of the First Advent of Christ as we conintue to look forward to the next Advent of our Lord.

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 up an ornament on the Memory Tree in honor or in memory of a loved one. Please turn in your forms by Sunday, December 11th. You may hold the gift until Sunday, December 18th when we take up the special Gifts for Christ offering. Forms are available now in the narthex and lobby areas of the church.

Festival on the Square

Monday, November 21, 6-7:30 PM

Our church will be participating in the annual town of Granite Falls Festival on the Square and Christmas Tree Lighting event. We will be distributing breakfast style biscuits for free. We need lots of help with preparing the biscuits and manning of the booth to give them out.

Please see Kim Ellis or Ricky Baker for more information. Preparations will begin around 11:00 a.m. or 12:00 p.m. that Monday. We will leave to go to the festival and set up around 5:30 p.m.

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Monthly Prayer Focus

We ask you to pray for our church and all Christian churches during the Advent season, and for our nation in November as we have another election. We request that God help us to vote according to his will, and that our elections in all states and counties be fair, and above board.

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Special Giving

We gratefully acknowledge the following special gifts received in October:

In Memory of Ullysses and Maudia Sears Spencer, and in Honor of the Spencer Family Reunion of 2022: by Delores and Gary Paul Campbell.

In Memory of Cleo Clark: by Becky Clark.

In Memory of Alice Deal: by Natasha Haas.

In Memory of Blanche Kohnle: by Tom Kohnle.

In Memory of Bonnie and Edward Roberts: by Darrell and Harolyn Roberts.

In Honor of Monte Hollar, Billy Long, Roy Hamby, John McCrary, and all the UM Men: by Delores and Gary Paul Campbell; and Cindy Sears.

In Honor of Rev. Alan Gaylord and Rev. Eric Lane: by Delores and Gary Paul Campbell; and Cindy Sears.

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Hid In My Heart

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set you minds on things above, not on earthly things.
Colossians 3:1-2 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

Church Office Closure

The Church Office will be closed Thursday and Friday, November 24 and 25 for Thanksgiving Holiday. Happy Thanksgiving!

Fundraising Reports

Homecoming/$10,000 Sunday

Thank you to our generous members and associates. We raised over $13,500 on this special Sunday. We also enjoyed the company of 130 members, friends, and visitors for worship with a great sermon from our former pastor, Rev. Eric Lane. And great food afterwards!

Barbecue Fundraiser

At last count, we raised over $4,800. More money is coming in from left over barbecue sales. Thank you to our workers and everyone else who bought the food!

We praise God from whom all blessings flow!

Missing Members

This is the final time that we will be running this list. These peoples names will be removed from our membership roll in 2023 if we cannot located them or hear from them before the Charge Conference that year. If you have contact information, please let Pastor Alan or Cindy Sears know. Thank you.

  • Cara Benge
  • Susan Chester
  • Michael Crouse
  • Sharon Hodges
  • Beverly Laws
  • Amber McRary
  • William McRary, Jr.
  • Erin Mejia
  • Ellen Minton
  • Michael Potts
  • Sydney Richardson
  • Allison Thompson
  • Cody Thompson
  • R. J. Thompson
  • Lance Wease

John Wesley Said:

Whosoever will reign with Christ in heaven, must have Christ reigning in him on earth.

Misc. Quote

Pray or be a prey--a prey to fears, to futilities, to ineffectiveness.
from Apples of Gold, p. 40.

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