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March 2022 Newsletter

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Pastor's Note

In “The Character of a Methodist”, John Wesley states that the 5th mark of “a Methodist is one who has the love of God shed abroad in his heart by the Holy Ghost given unto him, one who loves the Lord his God with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his mind, and with all his strength. God is the joy of his heart, and the desire of his soul.”

This sounds basic to the Christian faith. We are called to love God. We know that, yet how difficult to actually do that. As we seek to love God, Father John would remind us of three things about that love:

  1. Love is a gift. Of all the spiritual gifts it is the greatest. Paul writes about that in 1 Corinthians 13. We can not love like God until we accept the gift of God’s love towards us as found in Jesus.
  2. This love is all consuming, all encompassing. It involves our heart, soul, mind, and strength. It is not a partial love where we get to hold something back. The words Father John shares are Jesus’ words which are found in the Old Testament (Deuteronomy 6:4-7).
  3. This love leads us to love one another. 1 John 4:19 tells us we are called to this. Yet, we are not able to do this until we have the love of God coursing through us.

So far, John Wesley, has not said anything that sounds radical. A Methodist is a Christian. That is our character. This is who we are called to be.

In God’s grace,
Pastor Alan

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March Worship Information

Ash Wednesday service   March 2nd @ 7 p.m.
We will explore the 23rd Psalm in Lent.

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Weekly Prayer Focus

  
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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 ebenezerumc@yahoo.com

Wesley Class Meeting

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

Safe Sanctuary Training

If you work with our children or youth, there will be a training/review related to our Safe Sanctuary's policy on March 19th at 9 a.m.

Food Ministry

The next Lord's Supper Ministry meal will be delivered on Monday, March 21. 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, March 22nd 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, March 27th 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, March 27th at 6:00 p.m. All women of the church are invited to attend.

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Something to Pray About

Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. –Hebrews 10:25 NIV

What is church all about? Why do we do it? There are many answers that can be given to those two questions. But what does God say about it in his Word? As seen above, God says through the writer of Hebrews that we should “not give up meeting together.” The reason given for why is so that we can “encourage one another.” Doesn’t everyone need encouragement?

What do you think God’s attitude is toward those who do not attend? The church is described as being the bride of Christ. Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 11:2, “I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him.” Doesn’t the neglect of the church signify that your love for Christ is cold or cooling? If you love Christ, why would you not love to be with his people, your brothers and sisters in Christ? Even if some of them are hard to take, they are family, and we are called to “love one another.” (A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35 NIV)

Another reason to attend church is that a whole body can do more than one part of the body. How much can you contribute to the work of the kingdom by yourself? “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” (1 Corinthians 12:27 NIV) Banded together, we can reach more people with the gospel message; we can pool our money and other resources, and do much more than an individual can, no matter how well off, resourceful, or strong that person may be.

If you say that you follow Jesus, remember that he modeled corporate worship. In Luke 4:16, we read, “[Jesus] went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read.” (emphasis added) This is something that he did regularly. Are you attending regularly? Is it your custom to come to church?

Those are some of the ways God has pointed to church attendance (Christianity’s replacement for the synagogue) in his Word. There appears to be an obligation to attend and serve within a local body of Christ. Now let’s look at the benefits to us of doing so.

There are spiritual benefits for you and your family when you attend church on a regular basis. You have a chance to sit and be quiet, to let the world alone, and make the troubles you may have take a back seat for a few minutes while you concentrate on your Lord. This helps to remind you of who is truly in charge of the world. It helps you to remember the times when God helped you. It helps you know that God is by your side, and that you are not alone. It gives you a feeling of gratitude; and that attitude can make all the difference in the world as you live in this crazy, mixed up world. And there are physical benefits, too. From a greater calm in crises, to a more hopeful and joyful attitude (after all we are bound for heaven and know that God wins in the end). And the church is here to help—with encouragement, with pooled resources, with prayer and supplication. The church is hampered in helping people that it does not know. Attending church services and classes on a regular basis helps the church body to get to know you, and you to know your fellow believers; so that when a need arises the church can help, and you can know that they are willing to help.

And the greatest benefit of all is knowing that you are contributing to the preaching and teaching of God’s Word; the spreading of the gospel message to a lost and dying world, that helps lift people up, and helps save them from eternal judgment; and to the sharing of God’s love to those looking for love in all the wrong places. As the hymn says:

“Christ needs the church, to live and tell his story, to praise his love and marvel at his trust, till, bathed in light, awakened from the dust, we walk with God, alive in grace and glory.” (UM Hymnal, #590, Christ Loves the Church) Come and worship with us. The door is open. Come.

(Thanks to Allan Paar, you-tuber, for references and subject matter.)

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Events and Fundraisers

Ash Wednesday Service

We will have a service on Ash Wednesday to begin the Season of Lent. Below is an Invitation to the Observance of Lenten Discipline:

Dear bothers and sisters in Christ: the early Christians observed with great devotion the days of our Lord’s passion and resurrection, and it became the custom of the Church that before the Easter celebration there should be a forty-day season of spiritual preparation. During this season converts to the faith were prepared for Holy Baptism. It was also a time when persons who had committed serious sins and had separated themselves from the community of faith were reconciled by penitence and forgiveness and restored to participation in the life of the Church. In this way the whole congregation was reminded of the mercy and forgiveness proclaimed in the gospel of Jesus Christ and the need we all have to renew our faith. I invite you, therefore, in the name of the Church, to observe a holy Lent: by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s Holy Word.

Wednesday Night Bible Studies Resume

We will resume our regular Wednesday evening Bible study meeting for adults and children on March 16th at 7:00 p.m. Anyone may attend these sessions. We invite you to come and study the Word of God with us.

Art and Crafts Show Coming in April

Our United Methodist Women's group is sponsoring another Art and Crafts Show on Saturday, April 9th from 4-7:00 p.m. They will cook up a Poor Man's Supper for donations, which will be used to help pay off the loan we obtained to fix our leaky roof last year.

You can bring your art and crafts to show and sell, and keep the money or give a donation to the church or part of your earnings (not required to participate).

We are asking our members to help by providing some desserts for this event.

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March Celebrations

Birthdays

  • 01_Charlie Mullinax
  • 06_Gary Paul Campbell
  • 07_Trena Wilson
  • 07_Kim Knepp
  • 08_Judy McCrary
  • 10_Bryan Turner
  • 13_Clair Gilbert
  • 14_Wayne Ellis
  • 14_Jerry Helton
  • 16_Rachel Kersey
  • 16_Sarah Christas
  • 17_Jimmy Stone
  • 20_Tracy McRary
  • 25_Jordan Ellis
  • 28_Amanda Coffey
  • 29_Cindy Sears
  • 30_Shawn Baker

Anniversaries

  • 02_Kyle & Patty Toliver
  • 24_Dylan & Vicky Baker
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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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February 27, 2022 Council Minutes

Attendees: Rev. Alan I. Gaylord, Marsha McRary (Council Chair), Irene Austin (Financial Secretary), Becky Clark, Kim Ellis, Roy Hamby (SPPRC Chair), Bleaka Hollar (Lay Leader), JoAnn Knepp, Judy McCrary, Linda Moretz, Cindy Satterwhite, Cindy Sears, and Kenny Silver.

Marsh McRary, called the meeting to order, and read from Mark 12:25-27, 16:15-16. She reminded us that we believe in the Resurrection of Jesus and look forward to our own resurrection. Opening prayer was given by Marsha.

The minutes from the January Council meeting were read and approved.

 Finance Report by Irene Austin

 We are spending more than we are receiving, but still remain okay.

There was some discussion about being more proactive in finding and helping people in financial need in our church and community with the Thank Bank money, and the barbecue monies. If you know of someone one in need, please contact the pastor or the church office with the request. The barbecue funds are for people with medical bills. Please contact Bleak Hollar with that specific need.

 Trustees Report by Monte Hollar per Bleaka

 The latest roof leak has been sealed, and needed painting was done for about $3,000. The septic tank at the parsonage was pumped; new door locks installed. Roof leak splotches have been painted over.

 SPPR Committee Report by Roy Hamby

 The committee has provided copies of the updated pianist contract to the church office, the pianist, and others who needed copies

 There was no Old Business to go over.

New Business

Linda Moretz wanted to remind people to make sure that the water to the outdoor faucet in the kitchen is turned off after use, because the outdoor faucet is leaking. Bleaka will inform Monte and have that checked to see why it will not turn off completely.

 Pastor’s Report

 Pastor Alan will conduct more meetings with the adult Sunday school classes in March to talk about where we need to go from here. Please be ready to provide ideas for increasing our ministries and growing the church.

The pastor then presented the final list of 12 names for the membership audit. All names were accepted to receive the audit letter.

We will continue with our time of directed prayer, with the prayer concern for each week placed in the week’s bulletin, on our website home page, and the full list for March in the newsletter.

Pastor Alan brought up the idea of a Discovery Team to look over materials related to the proposed Global Methodist Church, and relating to the eventual break-up of the UMC. Please be praying about this process and how we as a church will deal with it.

Relating to our Youth Ministry, Pastor Alan wants to have a summer program that will meet on Thursdays in June (9,16,23,30) and July (7,14,21,28). The time will be divided between service projects and fun activities. Some of the ideas presented were: volunteer work at SCCM, church clean up, yard work for community members, Finding Hope Thrift Store, Yokefellow, Carowinds Trip, Sunrise on the Parkway, Hike @Lakeside Park, Bike ride on the Lenoir Greenway, swimming. If you have some ideas, please let Pastor Alan know.

 The pastor will be attending a zoom training on a Simplified Structure for the administration of a church on March 22nd.

We received a Certificate for the full payment of our UMC apportionments for 2021.

Safe Sanctuaries Training is set for March 19th at 9:00 a.m. Anyone who works with our children and youth needs to be present at this training. Wednesday night Bible study is schedule to resume on March 16th, which will be after the time change; so everyone should be able to get here and back before night falls.

Pastor Alan announced that his membership is being transferred to the WNCC Annual Conference this year. He will be on vacation on April 18th to April 24th, and at a sermon retreat May 5-7, 2022.

Roy Hamby closed the meeting with prayer. Next Council meeting is scheduled for March 27 at 4:00 p.m.

Minutes by Cindy Sears

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Special Giving

We give thanks for the following special gifts we received in February:

In memory of Lillie Johnson by:
Delores, Bill, and Gary Paul Campbell

In honor of Gary Paul Campbell's 45th Birthday March 6th by:
Delores and Bill Campbell

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Hid In My Heart

How do I hide God’s word in my heart? Memorize it!
The LORD is my shepherd; I have everything I need...Even if I go through the deepest darkness, I will not be afraid, LORD, for you are with me. --Psalm 23:1,4a GNT

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Other and Miscellaneous

Christian Tours Trip Opportunity

Dudley Shoals Baptist Church is teaming up with Christian Tours for a special trip. On May 9, the Christian Tours bus will leave the DSBC parking lot for a three-day, two-night trip (May 9-11) to Lancaster, Pennsylvania to the Sight and Sound Theater for their production of David. Participants will visit the Amish Country and the Hershey factory, too. If you are interested in going with them, call Donna Lail at 828-758-0481 for more information.

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Quote to Ponder

"The foundations of civilization are no stronger and nor more enduring than the corporate integrity of the homes on which they rest. If the home deteriorates, civilization will crumble and fall." — BILLY GRAHAM

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