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October 2022 Newsletter


Pastor's Note

You will notice that the pace of life for us as a congregation is speeding up this month. It will remain this way through the end of the year as we go through the Advent/Christmas season. I will leave to your reading the various events that are a part of October. I simply encourage you to participate and help as you can. Also, pray for these events that God will use them to encourage us as disciples, and to draw new people towards the love and grace of Christ.

Let us never let being busy cause us to forget the purpose of the church, which is the making of disciples. Jesus states this in the Great Commission (Matthew 28.16-20). John Wesley reminds us in his quote, “You have one business on earth – to save souls.” I have to remind myself of this as well. This is especially true as I go about preparing for Charge Conference (November 20th), and plan for Advent/Christmas. I can get so busy, or become so goal oriented, that I lose the joy of the season and the purpose for all of this.

So, here is what I encourage you to do (and me as well):

  1. Remember our purpose!
  2. Remember what God has done for us through Jesus Christ!
  3. Keep in prayer all of these events!
  4. Participate as you can!
  5. Help as you can!
  6. Give as you can!
  7. Love God with all your heart!
  8. And love your neighbor as yourself!

May we all have a blessed fall in Christ Jesus!
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.

Food Ministry

The next Lord's Supper Ministry meal will be delivered on Monday, October 17 at 5:00 p.m. 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, October 18 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, October 23 at 4:00 p.m.

United Methodist Women

Ebenezer's United Methodist Women will meet on Sunday, October 23 at 6:00 p.m. All women of the church are invited to attend.


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Something to Pray About

Exuberant Gratitude

For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have.
2 Corinthians 8:12 NIV

References: John 12:1-8; Interpreter’s Bible, Vol. 8, pp. 653-656.

Mary took a pound of costly ointment of pure nard and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the ointment. (v. 3 RSV)

This small scene reveals a great deal about Jesus. In the society of the day, what Mary did would have not only been shocking, but scandalous. Only a harlot would let down her hair in a public situation such as this. Yet, Mary threw away all her dignity to shower Jesus with her love and gratitude for all he meant to her and her family. And Jesus accepted it openly and freely—as he accepts our gratitude, love, and devotion no matter how awkwardly we express it. When we sing his praises, we do not need to sing like a nightingale—no matter how hoarse or off key or off tune, he will joyfully accept our praise. When we give our tiny amounts of money, he accepts it all with gratitude for helping even a little bit with his Kingdom’s work. When we give our sometimes-pitiful efforts to witness for him or to do any other work for the Kingdom here on earth, he never says “not good enough” or “you should have done something else”—he blesses us for the effort and the love in which it is given. Jesus is a gracious receiver.

People outside the church look upon it as a waste of time and valuable resources; but those of us inside the church see it as our wellspring of hope, encouragement, and wisdom that makes our lives better here, and promises an eternal future beyond imagining that will be even better. “It is so easy in time to forget the wonder of Christ’s gifts and benefits, to take them casually and for granted, to accept them without thought as his way, and leave it at that. Well for us if Mary’s gratitude infects us, and saves us from such callousness (p. 656).”

“What can I give Him, Poor as I am? If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb, If I were a wise man, I would do my part; Yet what I can I give Him, I give my heart.” (from, “A Christmas Carol” by Christina Rosetti.)

The fragrance of Mary’s loving act filled the whole house. May our acts of praise and gratitude fill our church and our community with the fragrance of God’s love.

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  • 3rd--Kevin Simmons
  • 4th--Bleaka Hollar
  • 5th--Gwen Teague
  • 8th--Jackson Behmer
  • 12th--Skylar Helton
  • 12th-Michael Knepp
  • 19th--Katelyn L. Mareece
  • 21st--Loretta Helton
  • 22nd--Colby Collins
  • 26th-Victoria Coffey
  • 27th--Aimie Gaylord
  • 28th--Randy McRary
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Council Minutes

Attendees: Pastor Alan, Irene Austin, Kim Ellis, Roy Hamby, Bleaka Hollar, Monte Hollar, JoAnn Knepp, Judy McCrary, Marsha McRary, and Cindy Sears.

Marsha called the meeting to order at 4:00 p.m., then read from Psalm 13. She explained that she tends to pray for God’s answer—NOW! But God may take a long time to answer. Yet, God is always good to us and chooses the best time, not necessarily our timing.

Reading of the minutes: accepted as written with 1st and 2nd motions by Kim Ellis and Monte Hollar.

Financial Report – Irene Austin

Our balance compared to last month is slightly better, but still a little too close for comfort. Irene has only made one apportionment payment, because of the lower funds being received. We owe over $14,000 on that. We continue the pray for God’s provision.

Trustees Report – Monte Hollar

The parsonage washing machine has been replaced with a more mechanical one (fewer electronics that can be very expensive to maintain). The new washer has a 5 yr. parts and labor warranty. Monte has bush-hogged the field; and sprayed around the parsonage. He needs to finish some more work around the barbecue pit area; and plans to trim the trees that overhang the entrance ramp to the cemetery.


Pastor Alan asked for more information about Homecoming on October 9th. He announced that Anna Boone and Rosanna Bachman will be baptized that Sunday; and Rev. Eric Lane will be the guest preacher. Service will be held in the sanctuary at 10:30 a.m. with a covered dish dinner to be shared afterwards. Sunday school classes will not meet.

Kim Ellis told us that her mission trip has been pushed to late January or early February. She has the funds to go, but may have a fundraiser to help purchase the building materials the team will need once they arrive in Belize.


Monte suggested that the basketballs, etc. be locked up whenever the CLC is rented. Some damage occurred from a person throwing the basketball around.

Kim Ellis is planning a breast cancer awareness display in October. The Council gave permission to designate October 16th as the “Wear Pink to Church” day to promote the same theme.

Marsha announced that she goes to part-time on her job October 2nd. She is planning to start a walking day at the church one or two mornings per week, to be held outdoors. She asked for permission to move inside to the gym area in case of inclement weather. The Council vote to give that permission with 1st by Cindy Sears; 2nd by Irene Austin.

A work day has been set aside to help spruce up the church and grounds for Homecoming and set-up the tables on Saturday, October 8th, starting at 9:00 a.m. All volunteers are welcome. This will involve some tree trimming outside, too.

Pastor’s Report

More membership removals were presented bringing our current membership total to 205. The unknown address list remains the same.

The Pastor wants us to continue to think about what the mission vision for Ebenezer is within Dudley Shoals. What are our core values? This will help us with the disaffiliation or not decision we must make in the near future.

The Discovery Team will be looking at the Free Methodist Church on the 16th. Pastor Alan says that we should begin inviting representatives of the organizations that we are researching to make presentations to the church body. Council agreed to this by unanimous vote.

He also presented two guidelines for doing the above: (1) He will inform the District Superintendent about the groups coming and invite her to made the UMC presentation; (2) Pastor Alan will be present at all presentations. The Council agreed to both suggestions by unanimous vote. Irene Austin and the rest of the council expressed their appreciation for his work and openness about this process.

Pastor Alan plans to promote attendance at Johnny Wilson’s Pumpkin Patch on October 16, from 1-6:00 p.m. ($10 per person; 2 and under free); especially for our youth, but the whole church is invited. There will be a corn maze and other fun things to do in celebration of Autumn.

There will be another Burns Road Initiative letter sent out in late October with an invitation to our Trunk R Treat, the UMW Country Store, and our Christmas activities and services. Where names are not know, we ill address them “To Our Neighbor at …”

Upcoming Events and Special Dates: District Dialogue, October 2nd; 5 people attending; Debbie Gaylord’s foot surgery (other foot this time), October 21st; Charge Conference, November 20th. Marsha closed the meeting with prayer. Minutes by Cindy Sears.

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Worship Information

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Events and Fundraisers

Work and Set-Up Day

Saturday, October 8, 9:00 a.m. 'til done!'

We are asking our members to help us spruce up the church and grounds on the day before Homecoming. We will be doing some tree trimming outside, as well as, extra cleaning and organizing on the inside. Tables will be set-up in the CLC for Sunday's pot-luck meal.

Thank you for helping!

Homecoming and $10,000 Sunday!

We invite all our previous and current members and friends to join us for our annual Homecoming and covered-dish lunch on October 9th at 10:30 a.m. Our guest speaker this year is our former pastor Rev. Eric Lane, who faithfully served Ebenezer for so many years. Come and say "Hello, again!" to Eric and his family.

We encourage you to give generously on this Sunday in honor of Eric, our Pastor Alan, and your Ebenezer family to help us raise $10,000 above our regular offering. God will bless you! And we and our community will be blessed by your gifts, too.

Note: Sunday school classes will not meet this Sunday.

A Special Sunday

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and we will have a special display set up as a reminder on Sunday, October 16th. We ask our worship attendees to wear pink on this Sunday as we remember those who have succumbed to this disease or have had to deal with it themselves or in their family.

Pumpkin Patch Fun!

Hey, Youth (and kids of all ages)! Let's go to Johnny Wilson's Pumpkin Patch on Sunday, October 16th, 1-6:00 p.m. Meet at Ebenezer at 1:00 p.m. to go together or you can meet us there (address: 5163 Precious Memories Lane, Granite Falls). Cost is $10 cash per person (2 and under free). Let Pastor Alan know if you plan to attend. Parents and grandparents are welcome as well. Lots of fun for everyone. Includes a corn maze!

Trunk R Treat

We can help your kids have a safe and fun Halloween. Join us for our annual Trunk R Treat event on Saturday, October 29th, 5-7:00 p.m. We offer safe sweet treats, lots of fun, and hot dogs and cookies or brownies for all those who come by. Everything is FREE! Everyone is invited!

Our members are encouraged to decorate their trunks or truck beds (and themselves, too), and help us give out the candy to all the little spooks who come by. Let's make it a fun time and safe for all. We are collecting candy now for this event. Thank you for your support!

Barbecue Fundraiser

It's back! Delicious and home (church) prepared pork barbecue. Come and enjoy a good, solid meal, and help support Ebenezer and its many ministries. We will be serving on Friday and Saturdy, October 21 and 22 from 4-7:00 p.m.

Plates include a hefty portion of barbecue with sauce, slaw, baked beans, choice of homemade dessert, and drink. Cost is $10 per adult plate, child's plate (12 and under) is $6. Take-out will be available (no drink).

We request that our members provide baked goods, etc. for desserts to be served at this event (store bought okay). We will need lots of physical help, also. Let Bleaka Hollar or Kim Ellis know when you will be available to work.

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Special Giving

We gratefully acknowledge the following special gifts received in September:

On Grandparents Day, In Memory of Paul and Inez Spencer, James F. and Nell Campbell, and Seth and Hester Stafford by:
Delores Campbell and Gary Paul

In Appreciation for all you have done for us this year to Bleaka Hollar, Freida Farr, Peggy Jenkins, and our church family at Ebenezer. Thank you all! by:
Delores Campbell and Gary Paul

In Memory of Bob Jenkins by:

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Hid In My Heart

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. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
2 Corinthians 9:6-8 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

More Help Needed

We are asking our members to provide cookies and brownies to go with the hot dongs for Trunk R Treat on October 29th (store bought okay).

The UMW Country Store will be held on Saturday, November 5. The ladies are asking for baked goods (homemade only; no store-bought) to be sold along with gently used items at this event. (Please do not donate used clothing. We cannot sell it.)

We thank you for all your help in makign these events successful!

John Wesley Quote

"Lord, I am no longer my own, but Yours. Put me to what You will, rank me with whom You will. Let me be employed by You or laid aside for You, exalted for You or brought low by You. Let me have all things, let me have nothing. I freely and heartily yield all things to Your pleasure and disposal. And now, O glorious and blessed God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, You are mine and I am Yours. So be it. Amen."

Missing Members

If you have contact information for any of these people, 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
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Contact Information: 828-396-2214;; 4948 Burns Rd, Granite Falls, NC 28630