December 2019 FUMC Newsletter Rev. Don Landen, Pastor “Look, I myself will be with you every day until the end of this present age.” – Matthew 28:20a (CEB) This year, the season of Advent begins this Sunday, December 1. The season includes the four Sundays before Christmas and continues until Christmas Eve. During this season, we proclaim the “coming” or “arrival” of Christ. It is a time of preparing, watching, and waiting. That is part of the reason we use the color blue in worship, a symbol of the night sky, a time for wondering and dreaming of just what God has in store for us. During this time, we not only look back as we prepare to celebrate his birth once again at Christmas; we also look forward to Christ’s return in final victory. As amazing as these are, there’s one more way we proclaim Christ’s arrival – God comes to us again and again in Word and Spirit on any day in all sorts of ways. This year I have sensed his presence in so many ways. I have sensed this presence at worship from the pulpit and in the pews. I have seen God’s presence in homes and at the hospital. God in Christ has been present where our children and their leaders and parents gather on campus and in the community. I have seen it in parents caring for their children, and in children caring for their parents. I have seen God at work in the lives of our youth. I have seen God at work as you share his love in the community of faith and the community beyond. In these and so many other ways, I think this is what Jesus meant when he said, “the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.” (Luke 17:21 RSV) Advent is indeed a time for watching and waiting. And I will continue to watch, because I can’t wait to see what God will do next. May you sense and see the presence of Christ in your life today, tomorrow, and every day. See you Sunday, Don SPECIAL DATES IN DECEMBER Wednesday, 4th - Our Holiday Meal at 5:00 pm in the MAC Saturday, 14th - Children’s “A Gingerbread Christmas” Sunday, 15th - Worship Choir’s Cantata at 8:30 am and 11:00 am Sunday, 15th - “Overflow” Christmas Tuesday, 24th - Christmas Eve Services at 5:00 pm, 7:00 & 11:00 pm Wednesday, 25th - Merry Christmas ! Morning Glory Circle is the first Wednesday of each month at 10:00 am HOWEVER, in December we will gather at 11:00 am(Note time change) in the lower level of the MAC. This meeting will be their Christmas luncheon. Circle of Love is the first and third Thursdays of the month at 6:00 pm. They meet in the lower level of the MAC in the youth Sunday School Room. December 5th they will meet at Debbie Steed’s home for their Christmas party. All women are invited to attend any and all of these groups for fellowship. A couple of Santa’s elves will set up and manage a Christmas card table so you might “mail” your in-house church Christmas cards. Please do remember that cards are not mailed out afterwards so make sure the friend has not left for the season. The table will be located in the narthex. Calling All Young At Heart! Christmas at the Dillard House! Sunday, — December 15th — Join us for a Christmas Fellowship Dinner! Cost is $30 per person and includes transportation and the meal. We will leave the church at 2:00pm (so grab a quick lunch after church). We’ll arrive in Dillard and take a little time to browse the specialty shops of the “Boardwalk” then head to the famous Dillard House restaurant to share in a meal together. We return at approx. 8:30pm. Reserve a spot by bringing the full amount to the main church office. WOMEN’S BIBLE STUDY is on break until January 8th METHODIST MEN BIBLE STUDY The Men’s Bible Study meets on Tuesdays @10:00am in room M-7. All men are welcome to join us. “Night to Shine” Registration Now Open! Volunteers, Guests and Sponsors… Check our church website. Also, our church will sponsor the Night to Shine honored guest gift bags. Please note “NTS Gifts” on the memo line of your donation. Mark your calendars for Friday, February 7, 2020! Our Christmas “Angel Tree” is up in the MAC lobby. Please take an Angel off the tree and purchase the gift on the Angel. You can leave the gift (unwrapped) back under the tree. Gifts will be donated to the Union Count Sheriff’s Department for distribution to needy children in Union County. Please have gifts back by December 10th. This mission project is sponsored by our Ladies Bible study. Mark Your Calendars! The next Orphanage Emmanuel mission trip is schedule for May 16-23, 2020. For information please contact Joe Tatman via email: As we look back on 2019 here at FUMC, I realize we have had a very busy and out-reaching year. My little paws have been pushed to the limit gathering facts and letting everyone know about our special congregation. All the amazing things accomplished have blessed others in so many ways and have brought so much joy to our church and community. And so, here is my last article for the year, but I’ll still be collecting info for my January 2020 report. Let me hear from you, even over Thanksgiving and Christmas, when you see someone being the hands or feet of Jesus. Also, if one or several of our folks do something that needs to be shared, please leave me a note in my Mouse House. Speaking of Mouse House, did I ever tell you Pastor Mike was the architect who built my quarters about 4 years ago? (It might even be 5 years…) In any case, thanks Mike for your talent and for all the things you do for us everyday. You are loved and appreciated! I saw a handsome face in the newspaper recently who was one of The Students of the Month at Union County Middle School. His name is Sawyer Beck, and along with your folks, I congratulate you! Keep up the good work! Congratulations to Mary Ruth Cook for retaining her City Council Seat during the November 5th election. The red sweater you wore for the newspaper picture looked great. Speaking of Red…White and Blue, The Smokie Mountain Melodies sang during a “Quilts of Valor” program for the veterans receiving quilts. In keeping with the theme, they all looked great in their red, white and blue costumes. See, I really watch the fashions!! On November 8th, Veterans were treated to a breakfast presented by students, staff and personnel of Union County Schools. Art McCann, Administrative Assistant, took part in the program. In scanning the article about this event, there was a picture of The North Georgia Civil Air Patrol Squadron(of Blairsville) performing The Flag detail. In the background of that picture was our own Will Stafford standing very respectively. There was a music stand behind him, so I’m sure he was there to help with the music. I know I mentioned in my last article about Faye Eubanks who put Blairsville on the map on the game show, ‘Wheel of Fortune’. There was a wonderful article in The North Georgia News about “Our Star”. Faye told ALL THE WORLD about how important her church is to her. What a testimony!! Way to go Faye! So…as we leave 2019 behind (now I sound like a Travel log, ) I believe I have some summary words for the year…respecting, helping, participating, loving, caring, giving, sharing, accomplishing, outreaching, praying, testifying, standing up…etc. etc. etc. Notice…they are all verbs…meaning you are going and doing for The Kingdom. I am so blessed to be a part of this congregation. I wish you all a Thanksgiving filled with thoughts of how we may share our blessings in this world and a LOVE and renewed BELIEF in The Miracles of Christmas. Love to all, The Church Mouse Winter sessions begins January 9th. firstKIDS have been learning a lot about serving others the past few months! One way was by packing 27 Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes last week. We love seeing their servant hearts shine!! A Gingerbread Christmas is coming up on December 14th from 4pm-7pm. This parent night out event will include dinner, crafts, games and learning about how God wants to make His home in our hearts! Go to to register your children/grandchildren or if you would like to volunteer. This month, FirstKIDS will learn about light! It’s the time of year when Christmas decorations begin to fill our homes. From the twinkling lights, to the sparkling stars, to the glittering snow, there is light all around us! The very first Christmas didn’t have Christmas trees or ornaments, but it did have something special: light! Just like a star in the sky led the wisemen to Jesus on the very first Christmas, today our Christmas lights remind us to continue looking toward Jesus, the One we celebrate each Christmas. In this 4-week Christmas series, kids will discover the many ways God gets our attention and guides us toward Him: through His direction, through other people, through our Savior, and through the hope Jesus has given us. Don’t forget to ask FirstKIDS about their memory verse this month! They LOVE to share God’s word with you!! Peace and Joy, Emily firstYOUTH thank the congregation for generously supporting our 3rd Annual Operation Turkey Tree and helping to give 21 local families an abundant Thanksgiving meal in their own homes. Extra donated canned goods will go to the 9th District food pantry. The inaugural offering of the firstYOUTH Stick Ministry took place during this year’s Hanging of the Greens Service. Our students shared the true meaning of Christmas … with STICKS! A baby born in a manger, the light of the world given for us, He shall reign forevermore! Well done, kids! We follow the Wednesday Night Dinner Schedule. When there is no dinner offered on Wednesday evenings, firstYOUTH (usually!) does not gather. Student guardians should be signed up for our REMIND APP. We WILL have a Wednesday Night Dinner and a Movie some time in December. Date and time will be announced. Youth Sunday School never takes a break! Meet 11 am to noon every Sunday with Jennifer, Ragan and Colby. See you there! Youth have an opportunity to serve with firstKIDS on Saturday, December 14th from 4-7 pm at a mini Winter VBS. Students interested in helping out should contact Miss Emily. Our ministry is blessed by the love and support of our congregation, and we are most grateful for it! Sunday worship services are shown on Cable Channel 4 on Sundays at 8:30 am and 8:00 pm. Christ Centered Yoga is held on Tuesdays 9:15 to 10:15 am in room M-0 downstairs at the MAC. $5 per class. Bring yoga mat. Led by Pat Tomzyck. Tai Chi class is held on Tuesdays 1:30 pm. $10 per class. Led by Dr. Dennis Tidwell. Pickleball is a paddle sport created for all ages and skill levels. The local club plays in the MAC on Mondays & Tuesdays from 1:00pm - 4:30pm and everyone is welcome. There are plenty of experienced players there to get you started in the game and equipment is provided. PIYO: This 45 minute class of Pilates and Yoga focuses on building your core strength and toning your legs and glutes. The class will be done on the floor on a yoga mat and should be done in comfortable clothes with or without shoes. Class meets on Monday’s at 10:00am in room M-32 (3rd floor of the MAC) Cost is $5.00 per class. All exercise classes are open to everyone and are held in room M-0 downstairs at the MAC. “BalloFlex”: A seated chair fitness program for all ages and fitness levels. Class is led by Certified BalloFlex instructor Cynthia Lyles and meets Mondays at 1:00pm in room M-0 (1st floor). Cost is $3.00 per class (free to 75 and over). “Strength-Stretch-Posture”: SSP class combines isometric (strength and stretch) and moving exercises to relatable music that incorporates fitness and wellness into everyday living. This 1 hour class meets on Wednesday and Fridays at 10am in room M-32. Class is led by ACE certified trainer Lisa Toups. Cost is $5.00 per class. Bring a mat. “Fast-Effective-Fitness”. “FEF” meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:30pm - 6:30pm in the lower level of the MAC… cardio to music with some weight training included. Cost is $4.00 per class. Class is led by Rev. Mike Welch. For more information check the MAC desk. Click here for info about exercise classes Celebrating 48 Individuals who Joined our Faith Family in 2019 Ray & Cathy Berggreen, Diane Brackett, Helen Colwell, Phil & Kathy Cook,Barbara Dell-Veneri, Joe & Ann Duket, Sandy Flodder, Bill & Donna Fredericks, Harold & Peggy Hergert, Harry & Pat Jinks, Heather Landen, Emma Lander, Nina Landers, Joe & Kristen Livingston, Terri Mager, Roger & Maria McGlen, Anita Meza, Ray & Debbie Parson, Ernie & Ann Payne, Ben Payne, Margie Richards, Miriam Roper, Katelynn Rosser, Mike & Rhonda Schlienger, Jack & Ann Smith, Wade & Shirley Smith, Danielle Snider, Carter & Carlene Spence, Rick & Jessica Stamper, Michael & Kelly Sulser, Robert & Nancy Woods The Prayer Quilt Ministry is now accepting requests for prayer quilts. Contact Paula Myers 706 745 5760 for further information or pick up a flyer off of the narthex desk. Completed quilts are placed in the Bray Chapel to receive your prayers and knots. Please stop by throughout the week. Airman William Prentice, Wright Paterson AFB, Ohio. He is the grandson of Juanita Prentice. CW02 Blane Dorton. PS473, Box 2896, FPO AP 96349 He is the son of Buddy & Teresa Moore and Bob Dorton. ND1 Brody Dorton. 232 Marsh Haven Drive, Sneads Ferry, NC 28460 He is the son of Buddy & Teresa Moore and Bob Dorton. SSgt. Krystle Lewis-Wayne Reserve Air National Guard . She is the daughter of Barry & Shelley Lewis. Pvt., Prentice, Nathaniel, 11214 8th Avenue CT E #82, Tacoma, Washington 98455. He is the grandson of Juanita Prentice. Major Paul Hargrove, Germany He is the grandson-in-law of Henry and Myrtle von Staden. Master Sgt. Kevin Ryan, 19102 East Crestridge Circle Aurora, CO 80015. He is the grandson-in-law of Henry and Myrtle von Staden. Lt. Jody Stuckey, 820 Emory Street, Imperial Beach, CA 91932. He is the nephew of Richard and Paula Myers. Michael Couture, US Marine Corps, Afghanistan. Sgt. Christopher Womack, Kailua Hawaii. He is the grandson of Glen and Linda Womack. Sgt. 1st class, Matthew Ueltzen, Fort Bragg, NC. He is the son of David and Evelyn Ueltzen. Captain David Riddle, grandson of Bob and Jean Riddle Matthew Moore, 5840 B Chason Ridge Drive, Fayetteville, NC 28314. Matthew is the son of Buddy and Teresa Moore. Cpt. Laura Jeffrey, 1 Sgt. Craig Jeffrey, Lt. Andre LaTaste All children of Vern and Angie Craft. Sgt. 1st Class, Josh Pierce,Pennsylvania SEY, grandson-in-law of George Houdeshel. Seth Loertscher,Union 111, Unite 223 AP AE09348. He is the nephew of Ruth Stefko. Command Sgt Major George Ackerman, Fort Bliss, El Paso, Texas. He is the son of Tommy and Pam Ackerman. Christopher Varian, MISTF-C 61274, APO AE 09309. He is the grandson of Lynn and Barry Varian. SR Weldon, Tucker B Ship 14, Div 365 Recruit Training Command, 3410 Sailer Drive, Great Lakes, IL 60088. He is the son of Melinda and Jeff Weldon. Lt. Tsali Bentley II, Sheppard AFB, Wichita Falls, TX. He is the son of Tsali and Jacque Bentley. Alex Hayden Varian, BM3 Coast Guard. Guam. He is the grandson of Lynn and Barry Varian. David Mears, Air Force, He is the grandson-in-law of Diane and Fritz Simonsen. Pray for our homebound… Juanita Prentice Sharon Willits Hugh Lee Anita Lippman Missions Around You Our next Missions committee meeting is Sunday 12/8/2019 at 4:00pm. Ongoing Collections Hope House — laundry detergent, household cleaner, dish soap Food Pantry - canned goods and dry goods Orphanage Emmanuel - baby diapers and female pads. Women’s Enrichment Center - a list is provided on their box The CEC Preschool celebrated Halloween this year with a “dress-up” parade. The students got a special treat from a few friends along the parade route. Mrs. Evelyn, Mrs. Deidra, and Pastor Don passed out candy dressed in fancy hats. At the Mac desk we had a special visit from CEC Board member, Pat Clay, who helped pass out candy before we went to the gym to sing songs and see everyone in their costumes. The students and the teachers all had a great time playing “dress-up”. We are excited this year to have had the opportunity for our 3 and 4-year old classes to take a field trip to the Young Harris Planetarium for a holiday presentation. A lot of the children have not had the opportunity to experience a planetarium before now, so the CEC was so happy to be able to offer a holiday field trip for each student and their parent. We all had an amazing time watching the show. Our 4-year old class started going to our “CEC Library” in October. Each Friday we meet and read a book or two and then each student gets to pick out a book to take home for a week. We keep the library full of books with the help of our parents purchasing books from Scholastic Book Clubs a few times each year. The more books the parents purchase the more books we get for our library. It is a win-win situation. The students are learning to be responsible for the books and returning them in good condition each week. The classes were excited to celebrate the holidays with their parents at our annual CEC Preschool Christmas Celebration. The parents supplied a wonderful feast for all of us and the children sang songs and got us all in a warm holiday spirit. The CEC family would like to wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year ! Box Tops is changing the way we earn money for our school. Over the summer, participating brands have begun to change their packaging from the traditional Box Tops Clips to the new Box Top Labels. From now on, instead of clipping from packages, all Box Tops will be earned digitally by scanning your receipts. (If you still have old Box Tops at home, please send them in. We can still turn them in until they expire.) Please download the Box Tops for Education app from Google Play or the App Store! In order to credit CEC, please open the app and search for our zip code 30512. Then, select FIRST UNITED METHODIST PRESCHOOL. Follow the instructions. You can scan your receipts there. If you’d rather not use the app,you can also turn in your receipts to your child’s teacher or drop them off in the Box Tops “Drop- Off Box” and we can scan them for you. Thank YOU for all of your help raising money for our school! Faith Family: Girls Scouts of Towns, Union, Fannin counties again send out thanks to all who so generously contributed to our uniform campaign. It leveled the playing field for some of our less well-to-do families. SWEET NEWS – Cookie season is not too far around the corner. Pre-sales start in late December. So - - - fetch up yer favorite Girl Scout and get your order placed. There is a new offering this year. The Savannah Smile is being replaced with a lemon sandwich cookie – the Lemon Up. Girl scouts have already earned a number of badges and will have a pinning ceremony during our Christmas Party the third Tuesday in December. Stop by for some refreshments and to watch the girls get their awards. And remember – it is never too late to get your girl enrolled in our program. Blessings to all during the upcoming Christmas Season For more information contact: Janice Walters-Taylor Girl Scout Troop 11635 Post Office Box 2285 Blairsville GA 30514 Office: 706.745.1854 DECEMBER BIRTHDAYS: 1 - Jim deRevere, Peggy Gorman, David Kuykendall 2 - AG Sherman 3 - Harold Hergert, Alice Russell, Stan Wallace 4 -Cathy Berggreen, Bill Dittus, Dottie Kuberek, Sandy Sosensky, Lydia Stafford, Paisley Stamper 5- Melanie Howell, Lewis McAfee, Richard Myers, Jeannie PIckerill 7 -Beverly Bradley 8 -Shirley Walker, Peggy Wood 10- Tara McCann, Karen Rice 11 - Sharon Willits 12 - Milton Bradley, Peggy Hergert 13 - Roer Evans, Krystle Wayne 14 - Jason Clements, Bob Stone, Jeff Weldon 16 - Kathy Wiley 17-Marie Goddard 18 - Brandon Collins, Benetta Cook, Jerry Roberson 19 - Nisia Redgrave, Sally Wiley 20 - Glenda Wischmeyer 21- Anita Meza 22 - Paxton Snider, Sam Wilson 23 - Tsali Bentley 24 - Donna Poulos 25 -Mitzi Gasaway, Ray Norwood, Alan Zimmerman 27 -Ginger Adamson, Penny Collins, Maggie Plott 28 -Jennifer de la Montagne, Kerry Rittenhouse 29 - Marilyn Barnes, James Young 30 - Joe Chiras, Cher York, 31 - Joe Livingston, Carole Thompson, Billie Roach

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