Ye Olde Burgess Christmas Letter
Merry Christmas from “Burgess South!”

Psalm 96 Sing to the LORD a new song! Sing to the LORD, all the earth!
Sing to the LORD! Bless his name! Share the news of his saving work every single day!

Jacob
Purple has been part of Jacob’s heritage for a long time now. He has transitioned from the purple of Union County High School to the purple of Young Harris College (8 miles up the road from home.) The color is the same but the expectations and pace are different. Jacob is doing well learning to sing a new song in a new season of life. His major is Biology but we suspect this is the foundational spring board for what is to come. When we had our kids 14 years apart, I remember Shannon saying, “Well, at least they won’t be in college at the same time!” Well, now they are! Life is unpredictable! But God’s love is very predictable. Thanks be to God!

Katie & Mark & Timber
Katie and Mark continue to live and love in Castle Rock, Colorado. Katie successfully completed her comprehensive finals this year in her ongoing journey towards her Epidemiology doctorate. Mark has had a great professional year with significant promotions in the library system where he continues to manage the IT functions of a multi-county Denver suburb library system. They continue to be graced by the exuberant personality of their 90 pound “puppy” named Timber and the Divine Majesty of the Colorado Mountains – could it be “purple mountain majesty?” All I know is like her Dad, my daughter is a stalwart Minnesota Viking fan – more purple – and so is my Son-in-law (he may not know it, but it was one of the requirements to marry our daughter!)

Mark & Shannon & Grace
At the beginning of the year, Shannon began to sing a new song as she became a member of my staff team at FUMC of Union County. Her long term love of children and gifts of organization and leadership moved her into the role of Children’s Director. Along with the blessings of our new Youth Director, new preschool Director, new Nursery Director, and new Contemporary Worship Leader, we have been learning how to sing a new song with grace and love and passion. It has been wonderful but at times a little overwhelming as we find how our ministry orbits move in a divine dance to the guiding whispers of the Shepherd’s Voice. But now (the Christmas Season) is the time when crystal clarity comes to Christ’s Church. We are here to announce good news! To invite all of creation to sing a new song! World, prepare to stare at purple! It’s Advent!

From our family to your family, we wish you a very Merry Christmas!
Sing to the LORD!

Tuesday Table of Grace:
Thank you for feeding our hungry community a meal of love today!

Wednesday Night Feast:
Ro & the Robinettes are providing the entire feast tonight! The Holiday meal, sides, and desserts will all be there. No basket this night. The meal is an act of “gratitude” from these church angels who do such an awesome job of feeding the faith family. Hospitality (Lynn Varian) will also be present to host the night as we celebrate all our 2017 new members.Come feast with us and bring a friend - the meal is special and it is also free.

Wednesday Night Advent Bible Study :
Week two of this four week study on “The Christmas Gifts that Never Break” will be from 6 pm to 6:45 pm in the Fellowship Hall. Just come!

This Coming Sunday - December 10 Plans:
This is Cantata Sunday! It may be cool outside but it will be warm inside! The Cantata will happen at both 8:30 am and 11 am in the Sanctuary (those two services will be the same.) Like past years, there will be free cinnamon rolls and Juice/Tea/Coffee for everyone in the MAC in the 9:45 hour. Come fellowship together if your schedule allows. There is no 9:45 Worship at THE WELL this Sunday. We have another group serving a meal for the Cantata choir and guest musicians in the fellowship hall in the 9:45 hour.

Upcoming December Plans:
Children’s Christmas Program - December 17, 3 pm in the MAC
Sunday December 24 Worship services:
There will be four worship services that day. 11 am, 5 pm, 7 pm, 11 pm

Living Lord’s Supper Drama:
Everyone in worship heard Chuck and Pam Morgan invite the church into a “new thing” this coming Easter. They would like to put on a Living Lord’s Supper drama based on the famous da Vinci painting on Holy Thursday during Holy Week the last week of March. The Morgan’s are looking for folks willing to be the characters in the Living Lord’s Supper, set design, etc…if you would like to participate in this please contact Pam Morgan pgail49@gmail.com

Hurricane Response Team(s)
If you live in Florida or have friends or family or a church home in Florida who has been affected by the hurricanes, would you talk to them and let me know if there is a specific need a basic Church Mission team might tackle in a short term trip. We are still looking for a connection to pursue.

Critical Service Opportunities: (PLEASE CONSIDER!)
Remember to volunteer to help for “A Night to Shine” - the Tim Tebow Foundation Prom dinner/dance for people with special needs February 9 in our MAC. We also need communion servers to serve Holy Communion to our home bounds - you serve the same person(s) once a month on your schedule. Please help our growing team of servers bring God’s Grace to our members who can no longer come to the Table - help us take the Table to them! We also need two more people to serve in the video recording chair under Robbie Turner’s guidance at the 11 am worship service. This needs to be a rotation of four people - you will rotate through once per month. Robbie will train you. This role prepares the video that is given to Windstream for cable TV. If you wish to simply know more about either role, please contact Pastor Mark by email at firstumcpastor@windstream.net Please pray about this - both roles are critical!

Pray without Ceasing for:
Those who do not yet really know Jesus (yet)
Our military families
The two UMC related agencies in our neighborhood (YHC & Brannon Lodge)
Our entire staff team and their families
All those with Alzheimers/Dementia related struggles
Jamie & Liz Patton - Jamie at home with failing kidneys - no dialysis
Alex & Pat Box - going to be released to go home in the next few weeks!
Nancy Joyce - brother in Pittsburgh - hospitalized from heart attack (continue to pray for Nancy’s Mother - Gloria Mason)
Mike Cloyd - heart cath placed one stent - on way back home
Helen Owenby - recovering at assisted living facility from stress fractures
Phil Sallings - Heart cath clear, had procedure yesterday to at Atlanta Piedmont to replace existing pacemaker - procedure went well.
Joyce Byers sister (Martha) - in Gainesville ICU from fall - hit head.
Debbie Steed - surgical procedure December 13
Shannon Burgess two nephews (Luke - pancreas & Matt - colon cancer)
Greg Lane - procedure today to help minimie pain in back
Rod Johnson - MRI on Friday to troubleshoot vision problems
Gail McGuire sister in law (Cheri) - kidney cancer / kidney function
Pam & Tommy Ackerman - 9 yr old granddaughter (Katelyn) lumbar surgery went well - recovering.
Pam Morgan - brother (Michael) - prostate cancer
Diane & Bill Kolb’s daughter (Trish Wilkes) - recovering at home
Mitzi Gasaway - cousin in TX diagnosed with stage 4 cancer
Susan & Walt Forrester’s brother in law - pancreatic cancer Dec 7 surgery
Ray Norwood - was at church Sunday! Woo! Hoo!
Alice Aiken (Rev. Jim Aiken’s wife) healing at home from cancer related procedure
Manon Thompson — will be discharged to home tomorrow Woo! Hoo!
Kelly Schuknecht’s sister’s family - two nieces with major health concerns - but the good news this week is Molly was released from the hospital. Woo! Hoo!
Mike Brandenburg - completing antibiotic treatment at home
Ingrid Engle - sister Maggie - general health
Susan Flemming - recent cancer diagnosis
Janice Boland Nephew (Trevor) - brain trauma - home now . Woo! Hoo!
Jean Riddle – her sister’s declining health, Ruby Hruby
Larry Culpepper’s sister (Joyce Hampton) - serious illness
Claudia Deprez - goods test results in months ahead
Zadie McCall - great niece (Katrina Laxton) - chemo
Norm Rogers - recent prostate cancer diagnosis
Kris and Larry Furgason - their 38 year old daughter Holly - breast cancer.
Janice Jarrard - sister with ovarian cancer
Ruth Stefko son (Mike Stefko) - cancer related - and daughter (Dawn Chappel) - several health issues related to broken neck vertebrae.
Kathy Zimmerman’s sister (Alice Pollert) - continuing cancer related treatments
Luann, Carol & Bob Head – general health
Shirley Cobb/Bob Head/Eva Breedlove/Carol Warren – chronic back/neck/pain issues.

Through us God will reach people, touch souls, change hearts, and launch disciples (that’s Church!)

A Note from Finance

The treasure chests will stay out to receive your 2018
“Estimate of Giving Cards.” Blank card’s are now at the MAC desk and Narthex desk. We will send out “Thank Yous” after Christmas when we open the treasure chests.

……………………….Received……………….YTD Received
December 3rd…….$ 24,885…………………………$1,016,400

Please remember FUMC in your legacy trusts & wills!

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