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January 2024 Newsletter

Contents

Pastor's Note

We currently are without a pastor due to the transition from the UMC to the GMC, so there will be no articles here until further notice.

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Meetings, Events

Prayer Group Meeting

The prayer group has been suspended until further notice.

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, January 15th. 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, January 16th at 11:00 a.m. No details available at this time.

Church Council Meeting

The Council meet next on Sunday, January 21st at 4:00 p.m.

Ebenezer's Methodist Women

Ebenezer's Methodist Women will meet on Sunday, January 21st at 6:00 p.m. All women of the church are invited to participate.

 

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Something to Pray About

Accent verse: "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" --Isaiah 5:20 KJV

John 18:22-23; Interpreter’s Bible, Vol. 8, pp. 766-767

When Jesus said this, one of the officials nearby struck him in the face. “Is this the way you answer the high priest?” he demanded. “If I said something wrong,” Jesus replied, “Testify as to what is wrong. But if I spoke the truth, why did you strike me?”

In these passages, Jesus has been arrested and brought before the High Priest, Annas, for questioning. Jesus remains calm even in the face of blatant abuse of power to suppress him and his followers. Even when struck by one of the people, he does not lash out at his tormentors, but only asks why they oppose the truth.

Christ did not always forgive or withhold his anger as he does in this instance. He showed great anger when he drove the moneychangers, etc. from the Temple area (John 2:13-17). In Matthew chapter 23, Jesus spews angry words aimed at the self-righteous and hypocritical Pharisees and rabbis calling them snakes and a brood of vipers! So, Jesus is not always “meek and mild” as he is often portrayed by some. If we are to be his disciples, how do we know when to forgive and when to let our righteous indignation shine forth against evil?

"What then, are we to do? What in this matter does he claim from us and insist upon having? Taking Christ as our standard, the real Christ, and not a man-made caricature of him, the whole Christ as he stands before us in the Gospels, does it not come to this of it—that the usual working rule required of us in practice and in the living of our daily life, when under provocation, is to be patient and forbearing and forgiving; but that there are occasions when, if we are to follow in his footsteps, it becomes us to be angry, with an anger that is clean and wholesome and Christlike anger, and to refuse to make peace with the evildoer until he has desisted from the evil thing. There are times, said Hugh Mackintosh, when not to be angry ‘is a sign… of positive unlikeness to Jesus Christ.’ (see whole passage in The Christian Experience of Forgiveness, p. 162)(I.B. p. 766)."

Jesus hasn’t given us a whole bunch of rules, but general principles to live by "which we must apply for ourselves in differing ways in differing circumstances…That is a risk indeed for bunglers, such as we are. Yet even Christ cannot spare us the responsibility (I.B. p. 766-7)." God has bestowed his Holy Spirit upon us to guide us and keep us righteous even in our anger and disgust at evil.

Plato opined that "The unrighteous and vicious are always to be pitied in any case; and one can afford to forgive as well as pity him who is curable, and refrain and calm one’s anger, not getting into a passion like a woman, and nursing ill-feeling. But upon him who is incapable of reformation and wholly evil, the vials of our wrath should be poured out; wherefore I say that good men ought, when occasion demands, to be both gentle and passionate (Laws V, p. 731)."

We are seeing Old Testament instances of great evil in our world now (October 7, 2023, in Israel), and, if we open our minds and hearts to it, we can begin to understand why God ordered the early Israelites to completely wipe out certain people groups in the Promised Land. The evil of some societies is so deep, so ingrained that even the children are unredeemable because of the way they are being or have been raised. We see this in "Palestine" Gaza and the Hamas terror group today.

Is it possible that the younger children killed in this conflict will be "redeemed" or "re-claimed" by God somehow after their deaths? We don’t know, and not being God, we cannot know. Neither can we be certain of who is redeemable or not but can only do what must be done to stop such vile, malicious evil in its tracks. May God have mercy on their souls because we, and the Israelis cannot afford to.

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Celebrations

Birthdays

  • 1st--Mary Teague
  • 1st--Barbara Shelton
  • 3rd--Libby McRary
  • 4th--Rhyan Stone
  • 5th--Jason Collins
  • 10th--Cole McCrary
  • 14th--Garry Minton
  • 14th--Neal Haas
  • 16th--Rosalind Kelley
  • 18th--Chuck Adams
  • 20th--Barbara Ferguson
  • 21st--Kennedy Behmer
  • 23rd--Tyler Ellis
  • 27th--Amanda Holder
  • 28th--Dwight Kelley
  • 31st--Kevin Sears

 

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Council Minutes - Called Meeting, Dec. 10, 2023

Attendees: Pastor Alan Gaylord, Tammy Adams, Irene Austin, Rosanna Bachman, Ted & Gerry Daniel, Kim Ellis, Barbara Ferguson, Jerry Helton, Bleaka Hollar, Peggy Jenkins, JoAnn Knepp, Kim Knepp, Billy Long, John McCrary, Judy McCrary, Marsha & Randy McRary, Linda Moretz, Kenny & Becky Silver.

Marsha called a special council meeting after the worship service to bring forth a proposal for a loan to complete our disaffiliation from the United Methodist Church. Irene Austin told us that People’s Bank has offered a $60,000 loan at 8.75 % interest rate. The payment will be $531 a month (20-year term) and will need to be renewed every 5 years. We must maintain a deposit at their bank. We will also be responsible for a $700 process fee, plus lawyer costs and closing costs. Our collateral for the loan will be the deed to the parsonage. Irene said that she plans to maintain the credit card and deposit box at our current bank, First Citizens, and only move our main deposit account to People’s Bank.

After some discussion, Kim Ellis made a motion to accept the loan, with a second by Rosanna Bachman. Motion carried. Meeting adjourned.
Minutes by Cindy Sears.

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Worship Information

Marsha McRary will be our speaker on Sunday, January 7th. Her scripture comes from Genesis 12:1-9 and Matthew 2:1-12. The title of her sermon is: The Journey.

Bleaka Hollar, our Lay Leader, is scheduled to preach the next three Sundays in January.

We will have a special guest on January 7th. Retired pastor Rev. Ed Stevenson will join us for our service. He has volunteered to serve as our pastor through June or until we acquire a new full-time minister. Please help him to feel welcome.

Let us begin our journey with the Global Methodist Church with passion and optimism. We ask for your financial and active service support as we move forward, and continue with our efforts to show the love of Christ to our community and spread the Good News about salvation through Jesus Christ to our local community and the world.

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Events and Fundraisers

Poor Man's Supper Fundraiser

Join us for a delicious traditional Poor Man's Supper meal on Saturday, January 27 from 4-7:00 p.m. Plates include pinto beans, slaw, potatoes and onions, and cornbread. Desserts and drinks will be included. We are requesting donations that will help us pay down the loan we acquired to complete our disaffiliation from the Western North Carolina Conference of the UMC.

We requests that our members help with this fundraisers by preparing some of your usual great baked goods for dessert.

We thank you for your support.

 

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Monthly Prayer Focus

Let us pray for blessings on Rev. Alan Gaylord as he continues to serve in the UMC. Also pray that we will soon have a full-time pastor that will move us forward on our journey as a member congregation of the Global Methodist Church.

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Special Giving

We gratefully acknowledge the following special gifts in December 2023:

In memory of Kelly Minton McCrary by Garry and Phyllis Minton.

In memory of Larry Hill by Alice Hill.

In honor of Bleaka and Monte Hollar by Alice Hill.

In honor of Monte Hollar, John McCrary, and Trey Hefner by Alice Hill.

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Hid In My Heart

How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word.
I seek you with all my heart: do not let me stray from your commands.
I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.
Praise be to you, O LORD; teach me your decrees.

Psalm 119:9-12 NIV

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Military Prayer List

Please pray for the men and women who protect our freedoms.

  • Ricky Garland
  • Shane McRary
  • Jamie Mullinax
  • Hunter Tolbert
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Other and Miscellaneous

John Wesley Said

"Condemn no man for not thinking as you think. Let every one enjoy the full and free liberty of thinking for himself. Let every man use his own judgment, since every man must give an account of himself to God. Abhor every approach, in any kind or degree, to the spirit of persecution, if you cannot reason nor persuade a man into the truth, never attempt to force a man into it. If love will not compel him to come, leave him to God, the judge of all."

Fillers

"While I was in London, prominent British broadcaster Piers Morgan invited me on his television show Uncensored. In our conversation, he said, 'Times are changing. People are changing.' and I, too, should reconsider my stance on important social and Biblical issues. I simply replied, "God doesn't change. He's the same yesterday, today, and forever." --Franklin Graham

"That which marshals the forces of life against the forces of death is Good; and that which marshals the forces of death against the forces of life is Evil." --anonymous

 

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