February 2024 Newsletter
- Pastor's Note
- Meetings, Events, etc.
- Something to Pray About
- Council Minutes
- Special Events and Fundraisers
- Special Giving
- Hid In My Heart
- Military Prayer List
- Other and Miscellaneous
- John Wesley Said
Wesley Class Meeting
The next Lord's Supper Ministry meal will be delivered on Monday, February 19th.. 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, February 20th at 11:00 a.m. No details available at this time.
Church Council Meeting
The Council meet next on Sunday, February 25th at 4:00 p.m.
Ebenezer's Methodist Women
Ebenezer's Methodist Women will meet on Sunday, February 25th at 6:00 p.m. All women of the church are invited to participate. This is their annual membership drive, and the current members will be providing a pot-luck meal for everyone who attends.
The Kingdom of Truth
The law of the LORD is perfect; it gives new strength. The commands of the LORD are trustworthy, giving wisdom to those who lack it. The laws of the LORD are right, and those who obey them are happy. The commands of the LORD are just and give understanding to the mind. --Psalm 19:7-8 GNT
References: John 18:33-40; Interpreter’s Bible, Vol. 8, pp. 768.
So Pilate asked him, "Are you a king, then?" Jesus answered, "You say that I am a king. I was born and came into the world for this one purpose, to speak about the truth. Whoever belongs to the truth listens to me."
"And what is truth?" Pilate asked. --John 18:37-38
Jesus is brought before Pilate because the Jews who oppose him want him to be executed. During the interview recorded here, it is clear that Pilate does not believe that Jesus has done anything wrong according to Roman law. When he asks Jesus if he claims to be King of the Jews, Jesus answers him with “My Kingship is not of this world (vs 36).” He then goes on to say, “…and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears my voice (v.37b).”
For we humans, truth can be a slippery thing to hold onto. We can get ourselves to believe almost anything to be true even when it is an obvious lie. Consider some of the deceptions currently running rampant through our culture: a man can be born in a woman’s body and vice versa; a man can marry a man; a woman can marry a woman; mankind can control the whole earth’s climate; men can measure and determine the best temperature for the whole planet; a baby in the womb is just a fetus or a clump of cells and can be destroyed with impunity for any reason; marijuana is not a gateway drug and is not harmful in itself; skin color determines character (white supremacy anyone?); being obese can be healthy and beautiful, and so on.
Jesus came to point us to Truth, to the true knowledge of who God is and what he wants from us. We find this knowledge recorded in the stories of Jesus’ life on earth, and in the older stories of God’s dealings with mankind throughout the Bible. Added to this are writings of the Apostles that flesh out doctrinal truths—who God is, what Jesus did for us, and so on.
When we refuse to abide by God's recorded Word, we fall into error, begin to believe false things, and eventually become insane. (See Romans 1:18-32; and "Fools say to themselves, 'There is no God!'" Psalm 14:1a.) To be grounded in Truth requires constant diligence and study of God’s written word and an openness to God’s revealed word in his creation and in Jesus. ("Keep on working with fear and trembling to complete your salvation." Philippians 2:12b GNT.) We cannot remain in Jesus' kingdom of Truth if we neglect the reading and study of his Word (the whole Bible), daily prayer, worship with other believers, and service in his kingdom and support of his kingdom's work here on earth. How many Christians have been persuaded to accept Satan’s lies in our culture because they refuse to be diligent in working on their sanctification (in the Holy Spirit’s power), and instead putter away their valuable life’s time on useless or harmful activities? God expects us to enjoy this life we have been blessed with by him, but not at the expense of our soul’s health or that of other people’s souls. We are to be soldiers of the Cross, doers and not just hearers of his Word.
Do you want to be like Pilate who cynically replied to Jesus, "What is truth?" And then handed Jesus over to be executed though he found no crime in him worthy of such a punishment? Do we want to continue deceiving ourselves in small and large matters? Do we not care that our culture is becoming utterly corrupt and insane? The tide turned when the church refused to speak God’s truth to the world and to its own members. It will not turn back until the Church begins anew to speak God’s truth to its own members and into the world—no matter what the costs of such action. The Truth will set us free—and only the Truth of God can do that. (See John 8:32.)
- 4th--Ashly Pitts
- 12th--Chris Ellis
- 14th--Brian Knepp
- 19th--Judy Smith
- 20th--Dylan Baker
- 20th--Lucas Teague
- 22nd--Jesse Barber
- 26th--Robert Mullinax
- 29th--Jacob Jenkins
Attendees: Ed and Kay Stephenson, Marsha McRary, Tammy Adams, Irene Austin, Rosanna Bachman, Ricky Baker, Ted and Gerry Daniel, Kim Ellis, Barbara Ferguson, Monte and Bleaka Hollar, Peggy Jenkins, JoAnn Knepp, Kim Knepp, Judy McCrary, Linda Moretz, Cindy Sears, Kenny, and Becky Silver.
Scripture reading: Psalm 111:1-5 “With all my heart I will thank the LORD in the assembly of his people. How wonderful are the things the LORD does!” (1-2 GNT).
We need to offer public thanksgiving for God’s miracles—especially in regards to year 2023. Marsha expressed how difficult the year had been for her, and how God, and the rest of her church family, and many others had helped her to deal with the whole process of disaffiliation. She experienced miracles, and she expects more to come in this year and beyond as we move forward with our decision, and do what God calls us to do.
Reading of Minutes: Accept as written. 1st by Judy M., 2nd by JoAnn K. Passed.
Financial Report – Irene Austin
We are keeping our First Citizen’s bank account open, and the credit card we got through them. We also retain a safe deposit box in their bank. People’s Bank will be are main account, and where our regular deposits go.
Irene announced that she would us the full amount of the Poor Man’s Supper Fundraiser proceeds to pay on the Disaffiliation Loan. Whatever is over the regular payment amount of $531 will be used to pay down on the principal of the loan.
Irene will begin making Connectional Funding (previously Apportionments) payments to the Global Methodist Church this month and each month that we can. It will consist of 3% of our operating expenses (going by last year’s total) divided by 12 for each payment.
Trustees Report – Ricky Baker
Ricky read a list of items that the Trustee took care of in 2023, including parsonage repairs and replacements, and our main building repairs and replacements. There are some other items to take care of. The Trustees will keep working on them.
Ricky has volunteered to put signage up on the crossroad sign. Drop by and take a look when you can.
Kim Ellis talked a little about her work in Belize, including how poorly the parsonage there had been kept up. She suggested that we have regular walkthroughs of our parsonage to check for damage or things that need to be dealt with. The Trustees are in charge of this. There was some discussion of whether or not to allow pets, and having a set of written rules to provide pastors and prospective pastors.
Kim would like for us to sponsor a breakfast for Gateway School again this year. Maybe in April? We will discuss this further at a later meeting.
The Poor Man’s Supper Fundraiser was a great success! We raised over $3,900. Thank you to everyone who helped with the meal, and gave so generously to the cause. There followed some general discussion of other ways and events for raising the money to pay our Disaffiliation Loan off early. We set Saturday, February 24th, 4-7:00 p.m. for a Chicken and Dumpling meal for that purpose.
Pastor Ed agreed to have Communion Services on the first Sunday of each month. He also suggested a singing only service on each 5th Sunday of a month. (Not to include Easter Sunday this year, which falls on the 5th Sunday of March.)
We hope to have an Ash Wednesday service this year at 7:00 p.m. Pastor Ed would like to conduct a foot washing (you are not required to participate in that part.) More information will be provided later.
We agreed to do another Veteran’s Day for the veterans in our area again this year. It will be on Saturday, November 9th.
Cindy introduced a letter she had received about plans for a Faith Fair at the Caldwell County Fair Grounds this year in May. The Council agreed to let her find out more about it and report at the next meeting.
Marsha adjourned the meeting. Irene Austin said the closing prayer. Minutes recorded by Cindy Sears.
Ash Wednesday Service
Join us for our annual Ash Wednesday Service as we enter the season of Lent. This is a time for deep reflection upon our relationship with our Lord, and the direction of our lives. Open yourself to God’s guidance and be encouraged that the Good News of
Jesus is the only Door to true Freedom in the Truth and Light of Jesus by what he has done for us on the Cross.His love for us is greater than any other love we find on this earth.
(Happy Valentine’s Day, too.)
Chicken and Dumplings Fundraiser
Join us for Chicken and Dumplings! Fixin’s will include slaw, green beans, roll, and homemade dessert. Beverages include tea, coffee, and water.
Help us continue to pay down our Disaffiliation Loan by making a donation and enjoying some of Ricky Baker’s award-winning dumplings.
We thank you for your support.
We gratefully acknowledge the following special gifts in January 2024:
In memory of Edward and Bonnie Roberts by Darrell and Harolyn Roberts.
In memory of Joan Pennell by Delores and Gary Paul Campbell.
In memory of Bob Jenkins by Peggy Jenkins.
In honor of the Lord's Supper Ministry Workers by Delores and Gary Paul Campbell.
In honor of the Poor Man's Supper workers by Delores Campbell.
How do I hide God's word in my heart? Memorize it!
The law of the LORD is perfect; it gives new strength.
The commands of the LORD are trustworthy, giving wisdom to those who lack it.
The laws of the LORD are right, and those who obey them are happy.
The commands of the LORD are just and give understanding to the mind.
Psalm 19:7-8 GNT
Please pray for the men and women who protect our freedoms.
- Ricky Garland
- Shane McRary
- Jamie Mullinax
- Hunter Tolbert
John Wesley Said
"Give me one hundred preachers who fear nothing but sin and desire nothing but God, and I care not whether they be clergymen or laymen, they alone will shake the gates of Hell and set up the kingdom of Heaven upon Earth."
"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