Dear Church Family,
Please read all of this letter as I have several items to touch upon. One of which will change the normal routine each Sunday Morning.
During Advent each year, we tend to focus on four elements of the Fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace and hope. This year in addition to these four elements there will also be a focus upon God's promise that perfect love drives out all fear, I John 4:18. During our 7:00 pm Bible Study and on the Sunday morning services we will focus on four interactions of Mary, Joseph, Elizabeth and the Shepherds as God spoke to them through angels. In each instance their first response was a fear so great the scripture says they were terrified.
On Sunday mornings at 9:00 am the adult study will be A Savior is Born. This is a great Study. You will not want to miss it.
Now for the Sunday Morning Changes.
As you have been following the news you will have seen that in recent days a 92-year-old woman was robbed, a person with an assistance dog was attacked and the list goes on. I can't believe anyone would attack these defenseless people, yet it happens every day. We live in very difficult and evil times.
As we approach the celebration of Jesus birth I am reminded of the scripture in John 3:16-17, "For this is the way God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world should be saved through him."
Jesus came for one primary purpose, to save the world from the evil power of sin. The same power that has led to several deadly attacks upon churches in recent years. The Trustees have been wrestling with the question of our response to these church attacks. Following will be the changes on Sunday morning to protect our children and all attenders to provide as safe a place as possible.
* At 10:40 am all exterior doors will be locked.
* Clear signage will be installed directing anyone arriving after 10:40 to the office and courtyard door near the offices as an usher will be posted there to let people in and assist with the elevator if needed.
* Training will be given to the ushers and others to understand what needs to be done if an untruder situation would occur.
* Watch for more information as this plan continues to unfold.
These are not big changes and many of us will not be impacted by them in any way at all. Let us remember the families of the Texas church shooting of recent weeks and continue to pray for each of them and the whole congregation. Also, to pray for all the churches that have been targeted by evil persons by mass shooting, bombs fires and vandalism.
Remember we are about to celebrate the greatest gift of love given this world. God showed his love in this, He sent his one and only Son so that everyone who believes . . . My prayer for you today is that you believe in Jesus.
FINANCE & STEWARDSHIP
Facts, Figures & FYI's
2018 Stewardship Campaign: We had a very blessed worship service for our "Consecration Sunday" on November 19th as Pastor Mike completed his 5-week sermon series based on the book, The God Guarantee, Finding Freedom from the Fear of Not Having Enough. By putting our faith and trust in God and with His leading, we presented our Estimate of Giving Cards and our General Information & Service Opportunities forms for 2018. We give thanks and praise for what God has given us and pray that He will multiply, use and direct our gifts to do His will during the coming year. We will communicate our campaign results in early December. If you have not had the opportunity to return your Estimate of Giving Cards or your General Information & Service Opportunities forms, we will gladly accept yours at any time. You may place them in the offering, send via US Mail or drop them off in the Church Office. Everyone will be receiving an acknowledgement letter confirming your financial commitment. A final stewardship campaign and financial update will be presented on Sunday, January 7th during our worship service, as well as by letter. Thank you again for your faithful stewardship...................
2018 Giving Envelopes: Your 2018 Giving Envelopes will be available on Sunday, December 10h on the shelf outside the church office. Please make every effort to pick them up, as it is quite expensive to mail them.
2017 Giving Statements: Your 2017 Giving Statements will be emailed on Saturday, January 6th. For those who receive hardcopies, they will be available for your pick-up on Sunday, January 7th on the shelf outside the Church Office.
Please contact the Church Office or Tom Wiggins @ email@example.com if you have any questions about anything related to finance or stewardship.
Nov. 5 148
Nov. 12 146
Nov. 19 129
Nov. 26 134
DECEMBER MISSION FOCUS: IMPACT WITH HOPE
Impact with Hope is a local charity that has international influence. You may know it as International Services of Hope which has been present on Farnsworth Road in Waterville since their incorporation in 1982. (One of the original trustees was Fred Dieter, who was a member of this church before his passing.) It is a community based, non-profit, charitable organization whose mandate is devoted to ensuring a brighter future for children.
Their mission is to reach out and serve others by mending broken bodies, bones, and hearts, feeding hungry families, responding to disasters, and investing in communities throughout the world. More than $0.98 out of every $1.00 is spent directly on the people they serve.
They have been particularly busy this fall since the two recent hurricanes, Harvey & Irma, that devastated much of Puerto Rico and other islands. As of October, they had already sent over ½ million meals to Puerto Rico, and had 3 forty-foot containers of supplies ready to go. One of their most urgent needs is for the funds to aid in shipping. Please give generously to our December Mission Focus!
WUMC has been very fortunate these many years to bring the creativity of our Lord into our presence at each worship service in a number of ways but especially with the flower arrangements on our altar. These arrangements give us the opportunity to enjoy the flowers and along with the spoken word and music be reminded of who we are worshiping. They also provide an occasion to honor and celebrate family, friends and our Lord. I take this time to tell you Third Street Blooms in Waterville is the florist who prepares each order for our altar as requested. The Sign Up sheet for flowers is on the bulletin board by the church office. The cost of each arrangement will be increased to forty ($40.00) dollars beginning the first of 2018. If you have ordered flowers recently you realize the cost. Our florist has been very generous with the arrangements and delivery.
Send your payment to the church and indicate altar flowers.
Don't forget you may take your arrangement home after the service.
Melva Robinson, Chairman Altar Guild
WUMC Family News
Prayers of Christian Hope and Peace:
Thank you one and all for your assistance with our Operation Christmas Child Shoebox ministry. Whether you donated money throughout the two months of this mission project, packed a box, brought items throughout the year for the packing party, packed a box online, helped with booth at Roche de Boeuf, assisted or helped pack items for packing party, helped with set up and tear down for collection week or volunteered during that week (not to mention all the other activities that go along with this ministry throughout the entire year), your time and effort is deeply appreciated.
Here are the results for 2017:
Boxes packed by WUMC-205
Total boxes "crated" and delivered to our distribution point from collection week-904. Crates packed-65; Volunteer hours (only for collection week or directly pertaining the week)-72.75.
Thank you one and all for being involved with Samaritan's Purse in this mission! Think of all of the lives you've touched in Jesus name in the 20 years WUMC has been involved in this ministry.
BOW WOW Means "THANK YOU!"
Your generosity has many happy tails wagging. Karen Longnecker was able to capture one of the happy faces and wagging tails as they enjoyed peanut butter from your jars.
As part of our Christmas celebration we wish to grace the Chancel Area with poinsettias for our Christmas Service.
You may order your poinsettias by completing an order envelope located in the pew envelope holder and placing it in the offering plate. Please complete the number of poinsettias, color, to whom you are dedicating to or if you desire to contribute to the New Building Fund, print your name as you would like it printed in the bulletin and enclose your payment.
The cost of each poinsettia is $ 7.00 and last day to order is Sunday, December 17, 2017.
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DECEMBER SCRIPTURE AND PRAYER
Following each daily Scripture Reading are the names of the families and individuals for our daily prayer list. Please read your Bible and pray for these persons for the month of December. If you have a prayer request, please feel free to contact the Prayer Chain:firstname.lastname@example.org