Burgess Family Farewell Gathering

SAVE THE DATE:
We are hosting a Farewell Gathering for Pastor Mark, Shannon and Jacob
Wednesday, May 29th 6:00-7:30 pm in the MAC
Finger foods will be served
This will be your chance to love on the Burgess family, thank them
and wish them well as they head to Peachtree City.
Also, a reminder that we only have a couple of weeks before our Farewell Dinner on the 29th for the Burgess Family. The chests will be out in the narthex for early and traditional services and between the doors in the MAC if you want to give a monetary love offering to the Burgesses. A marked basket will also be available to drop off your cards of appreciation for them.
If it is more convenient, you may drop either of these off in the church office during the week or mail it to 938 Highweay 515, Blairsville attention to Deidra and earmarked Burgess Love Offering.

Tickle – May 14, 2019

Any day that we get the precious privilege to watch a youth give their life to Christ and be baptized is a great day. How precious it was to see Katelynn come to the water’s edge with a knowing smile and the confidence of a child of God. I was so honored to stand with her in that Holy Moment.

I also want to acknowledge our Relay for Life Team effort as all our resources pulled off an amazing celebration Saturday night. If you only knew how many people work so very hard doing hundreds of things to make that night special for all. I was honored to dance beside you (that’s all I am going to say!)

Wednesday Night is our end of season picnic. We have a numbers of folks grilling hamburgers and hot dogs. Drinks are also provided. What we ask is the everyone who comes brings sides or desserts. We will be eating inside the MAC beginning at 5 pm. Come hang out with us. Shannon is doing Fundamentals and Jennifer is doing the Youth Gathering - both at 6 pm.

Lastly, this coming Sunday is promotion Sunday. We would love to lift up your graduating High School youth or graduating Collegiate young adult if you give us your permission to do so (and a pict would be nice if possible.)
Please send information to Evelyn no later than Thursday noon to be included.
BlairsvilleFUMCEvelyn@gmail.com
God’s Peace,
mark

Welcome New Members!
Katelynn Rosser - 167 Harkins Young Road, Blairsville
Margie Richards - 23 Jackson Heights #D, Blairsville
Helen Colwell - 56 Pat Colwell Road, Blairsville
Donna and Bill Fredericks - 82 Silver Maple Lane, Blairsville
WOO! HOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

TONIGHT: Red Bird Adult Mission Trip Orientation Mtg at FUMC:
To those who attended the information meeting regarding the September 2019 Red Bird Mission Work Camp trip (September 8-14) and to those who have expressed an interest in the trip, there will be a team meeting this coming Tuesday, May 14, 6:00 p.m. at FUMC in the Fellowship Hall. The Connection Group Mission trip is scheduled for Sunday, September 8-Saturday, September 14. At the meeting, Rev. Katie Strals and I will cover information about particulars and answer questions. We would like to ensure that everyone who is interested in this ministry has an opportunity to learn about it and participate as they are led. Cost is $375 for the week long trip (includes materials, room and food.)

Get Ready to ROAR for VBS!
Emily Stafford and Susan Forrester will be co-leading this year’s Vacation Bible School event June 23-27. If you would like to register as a volunteer or to register your child as a participant you can do so on our church website home page and click on the ROAR registration link. Our web site is:
www.firstmethodistblairsville.com

Is God leading you to be part of a mission team?
Have you ever considered joining a mission team? If you have thought about either of these questions then we have several opportunities for you. You may have read in past announcements that our church is organizing two mission trips this year. The first trip is our annual trek to Red Bird Missions in Kentucky. The dates for this trip are: September 8-14th. The second mission trip this year is to Orphanage Emmanuel in Honduras. The dates for this trip are: October 12-19th. If you would like more information on either of these trips please let me know via email: pjsteinke60@yahoo.com and I will have the leaders of these trips contact you.

Calling All Cooks! Ready! Set ! Go!
You may now submit 2 of your favorite recipes by one of two ways:
Online @www.morriscookbooks.com Under the typensave tab
Username: Fall FestFun
Passcode: salt092
Submit your personally handwritten recipe on the recipe collection sheet provided at the MAC desk. Place your recipe in the collection box located in the narthex or at the MAC desk. We’ll happily enter them for you.

Our goal is to have all recipe submissions no later than July 1st. Our goal is to have church presale orders be completed and cooksbooks available for our Fall Festival in October.

Your Fall Festival Fundraiser Cookbook Team:
Eileen Nichols suki2nich@aol.com (561) 635-6130
Barb Hahn bahahn19@gmail.com (706) 835 1289
Carol Engler paprika91@hotmail.com

Prayer Quilt Ministry:
There are prayer quilts in the chapel ready to receive prayers - please stop in , pray for the specific situation listed on the quilt and tie a knot for each prayer you pray.

Prayer Concerns and Celebrations:
May LOVE REIGN over fear, hate, and violence in our world
Our military families
The two UMC related agencies in our neighborhood (YHC & Branan Lodge)
Our Church Without Walls (CWOW’S) - Suches, GA
Our entire staff team and their extended families
All our expecting “Mommies to be” - four that we know of right now!
All those with Alzheimers/Dementia related struggles
All the Pastoral Families moving & all the congregations in transition
Rev. Don Landen (Heather and Wesley) - our inbound pastoral family
JoAnn & Gene Strickland - daughter Debbie in ICU in Gainesville
Maime Rogers (and rest of the family) - recent passing of Ray Rogers
Bill Mollnhauer - broken leg
Margie Richards - carotid artery procedure in Gainesville Wednesday
John Hahn - throat cancer related treatments
Evelyn Ueltzen - wrist healing
Walt & Susan Forrester - new grandson Noah came into our world
Rhonda Schlienger - poor kidney function - prepping for dialysis
Lee Dunham - upcoming procedure to improve foot circulation
Greg Lane’s Father’s wife passed - Greg’s Father health issues
Shirley Cobb’s brother passed (not in Blairsville)
JoAnn Mayhew - moved back home
Kathy Hyer - general health
Rev. Rod McClarnon - eyesight
Heidi Hall’s husband (Bill) - recovering from surgery
John Vogeley - needs bypass surgery
Maggie Guerrier - general health and back on kidney transplant list
Susan Forrester’s brother Bobby - general health
Glen Boland - under hospice care at home
Bob Taylor - pain relief
Bill Gleasure - general health
Deidra Gilbert’s Mother in Mississippi - lung cancer
June Colditz - undergoing treatments for lymphoma
Carole Thompson - general health
Camille Higginbotham - general health
Helen Owenby - general health
Nisia Redgrave - Chatuge Rehab (Green 27)
Sonya Alexander Cristofaro sister (Linda) - radiation treatments
Larry Culpepper’s sister - general health
Dee Freed’s father (Kenneth Newman) - colon cancer
George Houdeshel - general health
Kerry Rittenhouse - Mother on chemo
Rev. Harold Smith - home with Janice - doing in-home therapy
Shannon Burgess brother in law (Steve) - cancer
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 Your Finance Team
THANK YOU!!!

………………. . …… .Received……….. .YTD Received
May 5th…………..$30,048………………$ 433,353
May 12th…………$17,831………………$ 451,184

Please continue to remember your Church in your legacy trusts & wills - that gift is also greatly appreciated!

Tickle – May 9, 2019

(Sorry for the Thursday Tuesday Tickle - it’s been a week)
What a great day in worship! I love it when both sacraments are used by God to move among the people of God. There is something “world stopping” to be present as a young adult professes faith in Christ and is baptized. We say “Praise God” and congrats to the Payne family!

Looks like a very exciting Sunday to come too - don’t miss out! Be here. Christians run towards the water - certainly the case this coming Sunday!

This is a special week for our Relay for Life fundraising efforts. Our Hawaiian themed dinner and silent auction is this Saturday night - tickets are $20 per person. When it comes to the “entertainment” for that night, all I ask is that you remember my passion to end cancer in this world and my willingness to do anything to bring about that reality - ANYTHING. (grin)
God’s Peace,
mark

Welcome New Members!
Ernie, Ann, & Ben Payne PO Box 1456, Blairsville 30514
Welcome Ben as a new Christian through his baptism & profession of faith

Ray Rogers Funeral Announcement
Our beloved Ray Rogers passed from this life to the next in the early hours this morning. Please keep Maime and the rest of the family in your prayers. Visitation will be Saturday night at Cochran Funeral home from 6 to 9 pm. The funeral service will be in our Sanctuary Sunday at 2 pm.

Red Bird Adult Mission Trip Orientation Mtg at FUMC:
To those who attended the information meeting regarding the September 2019 Red Bird Mission Work Camp trip (September 8-14) and to those who have expressed an interest in the trip, there will be a team meeting this coming Tuesday, May 14, 6:00 p.m. at FUMC in the Fellowship Hall. The Connection Group Mission trip is scheduled for Sunday, September 8-Saturday, September 14. At the meeting, Rev. Katie Strals and I will cover information about particulars and answer questions. We would like to ensure that everyone who is interested in this ministry has an opportunity to learn about it and participate as they are led. Cost is $375 for the week long trip (includes materials, room and food.)


CEC PRESCHOOL GRADUATION - Friday, May 17th - 10 a.m./3 year olds; 7 p.m./4 year olds.

Get Ready to ROAR for VBS!
Emily Stafford and Susan Forrester will be co-leading this year’s Vacation Bible School event June 23-27. If you would like to register as a volunteer or to register your child as a participant you can do so on our church website home page and click on the ROAR registration link. Our web site is:
www.firstmethodistblairsville.com

Congrats High School Graduates:
If you have a youth graduating from High School this year, please send us their name and picture so we can celebrate them on Promotion Sunday in worship May 19 - the last Sunday before Union County High School is out for the year!

The Morning Glory Circle is closing down the Footlocker Ministry. The national Books for Soldiers is closing due to lack of requests from soldiers. As that was the ministry that our Footlocker Ministry was attached to we find we must close as well.Thank you for your support of this ministry over these past few years.

Is God leading you to be part of a mission team?
Have you ever considered joining a mission team? If you have thought about either of these questions then we have several opportunities for you. You may have read in past announcements that our church is organizing two mission trips this year. The first trip is our annual trek to Red Bird Missions in Kentucky. The dates for this trip are: September 8-14th. The second mission trip this year is to Orphanage Emmanuel in Honduras. The dates for this trip are: October 12-19th. If you would like more information on either of these trips please let me know via email: pjsteinke60@yahoo.com and I will have the leaders of these trips contact you.

If you want to get involved with either of these mission trips but are unable to join the team, we have other ways you can be part of the team. We are looking for volunteers to sign up to be a prayer partner for each person attending these trips. As a prayer partner, you will pray daily for the team and a specific member of the team. This role includes providing a card/letter for each day of the trip for your mission team partner. We will collect these cards/letters form each prayer partner prior to the trip and distribute them daily to each member. As a member of a mission team, receiving letters from other folks from home each day provides a connection and reminder that they are always covered in prayer. Please consider signing up for this important act of love to the members of these mission trips. I promise you if you have never done this before, you will be blessed more than you can imagine and your mission partner will be very grateful knowing someone back home is specifically praying for them as they show the love of Jesus to others on their trip. Please contact me with any questions or to sign up at: pjsteinke60@yahoo.com or (978)886-1783. We will provide more details as the teams are being built and we get closer to the trips. Thank you for your consideration to be part of our mission teams this year.

Calling All Cooks! Ready! Set ! Go!
You may now submit 2 of your favorite recipes by one of two ways:
Online @www.morriscookbooks.com Under the typensave tab
Username: Fall FestFun
Passcode: salt092
Submit your personally handwritten recipe on the recipe collection sheet provided at the MAC desk. Place your recipe in the collection box located in the narthex or at the MAC desk. We’ll happily enter them for you.

Our goal is to have all recipe submissions no later than July 1st. Our goal is to have church presale orders be completed and cooksbooks available for our Fall Festival in October.

Your Fall Festival Fundraiser Cookbook Team:
Eileen Nichols suki2nich@aol.com (561) 635-6130
Barb Hahn bahahn19@gmail.com (706) 835 1289
Carol Engler paprika91@hotmail.com

Prayer Quilt Ministry:
There are prayer quilts in the chapel ready to receive prayers - please stop in , pray for the specific situation listed on the quilt and tie a knot for each prayer you pray.

Did you know we recycle aluminum cans?
There is a shed across from the annex where you can drop off your aluminum. The Methodist Men use this means of fundraising to offset lawn maintenance costs. Your help is appreciated!

Prayer Concerns and Celebrations:
May LOVE REIGN over fear, hate, and violence in our world
Our military families
The two UMC related agencies in our neighborhood (YHC & Branan Lodge)
Our Church Without Walls (CWOW’S) - Suches, GA
Our entire staff team and their extended families
All our expecting “Mommies to be”
All those with Alzheimers/Dementia related struggles
All the Pastoral Families moving & all the congregations in transition
Rev. Don Landen (Heather and Wesley) - our inbound pastoral family
John Hahn - throat cancer related treatments
Evelyn Ueltzen - wrist healing
Rhonda Schlienger - poor kidney function - prepping for dialysis
Lee Dunham - upcoming procedure to improve foot circulation
Gary Marshall - gall bladder surgery went well
Greg Lane’s Father’s wife passed - Greg’s Father Health issues
Recent passing of Ray Rogers
Recent passing of Phil Hill
Shirley Cobb’s brother passed (not in Blairsville)
JoAnn Mayhew - moved to Chatuge hospital in Hiawassee
Kathy Hyer - general health
Rev. Rod McClarnon - eyesight
Heidi Hall’s husband (Bill) - recovering from surgery
John Vogeley - needs bypass surgery
Maggie Guerrier - general health and back on kidney transplant list
Susan Forrester’s brother Bobby - general health
Glen Boland - under hospice care at home
Bob Taylor - spinal injections for pain relief today
Bill Gleasure - general health
Deidra Gilbert’s Mother in Mississippi - lung cancer
June Colditz - undergoing treatments for lymphoma
Carole Thompson - general health
Camille Higginbotham - general health
Helen Owenby - general health
Nisia Redgrave - Chatuge Rehab (Green 27)
Sonya Alexander Cristofaro sister (Linda) - radiation treatments
Larry Culpepper’s sister - general health
Dee Freed’s father (Kenneth Newman) - colon cancer
George Houdeshel - general health
Kerry Rittenhouse - Mother on chemo
Rev. Harold Smith - home with Janice - doing in-home therapy
Shannon Burgess brother in law (Steve) - cancer
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 Your Finance Team
THANK YOU!!!

………………. . …… .Received……….. .YTD Received
May 5th…………..$30,048………………$ 433,353

Please continue to remember your Church in your legacy trusts & wills - that gift is also greatly appreciated!

Tickle – April 30, 2019

The staff team story this week is Evelyn. She fell while riding her bike (the cover story is she did this while riding into a burning building to save multiple children and puppies…) while on a family vacation in Florida. She broke her right wrist severely enough to require immediate surgery in Florida. Plates and screws later, they have put our beloved Evelyn back together again. She is in need of time to heal. I am so thankful for Lisa Wilson covering last week for Evelyn and I am also so very thankful that Evelyn is going to work “some” this week at reduced hours to help us do church together. Let this be a “PLACE OF GRACE” during Evelyn’s time of healing. This was a very severe break on both bones. We won’t be as fast as we have been in responding to the normal pace but we will be thankful that “E” is healing properly and we will do nothing to mess that up or delay it. She has been temporarily decommissioned from “operating a church while on an office ball.” I remind everyone that one of Paul’s nine Spirit gifts listed in Galations is “gentleness.” Let’s be “gentle” until she recovers. She could be doing her recovery entirely at home. I am thankful she is here. Be thankful with me.

A second staff team announcement was our opportunity to welcome Rev. Mike Cloyd in worship this last Sunday as our new Director of Pastoral Care. You can read more details about this exciting new role in Evelyn’s Monthly newsletter that went out today. WELCOME MIKE!
God’s Peace,
mark

Welcome New Members!
Barbara Delli-Veneri 74 Cypress Edge Drive, Blairsville
Ray and Cathy Bergreen 1305 Forest Drive, Blairsville

Wednesday Night Nurture - Cinco de Mayo meal by the Men
This is a fundraiser by the UMM in support of our FUMC grass cutting ministry. Come show your support for those who freely, freely give of their time to maintain our 33 acre campus. TACO NIGHT!!!!
FREE Overflow Concert at 6 pm in the MAC (Nursery provided)
At the Concert, our Youth will also be offering baked goods as a fundraiser for their missions activities ahead.


Handbells 6:00 pm
Choir 7:00 pm
Fundamentals will still happen at 6 pm (and Nursery)
No adult program this night - everyone, come enjoy the concert!


Get Ready to ROAR for VBS!
Emily Stafford and Susan Forrester will be co-leading this year’s Vacation Bible School event June 23-27. If you would like to register as a volunteer or to register your child as a participant you can do so on our church website home page and click on the ROAR registration link. Our web site is:
www.firstmethodistblairsville.com

Congrats High School Graduates:
If you have a youth graduating from High School this year, please send us their name and picture so we can celebrate them on Promotion Sunday in worship May 19 - the last Sunday before Union County High School is out for the year!

Is God leading you to be part of a mission team?
Have you ever considered joining a mission team? If you have thought about either of these questions then we have several opportunities for you. You may have read in past announcements that our church is organizing two mission trips this year. The first trip is our annual trek to Red Bird Missions in Kentucky. The dates for this trip are: September 8-14th. The second mission trip this year is to Orphanage Emmanuel in Honduras. The dates for this trip are: October 12-19th. If you would like more information on either of these trips please let me know via email: pjsteinke60@yahoo.com and I will have the leaders of these trips contact you.

If you want to get involved with either of these mission trips but are unable to join the team, we have other ways you can be part of the team. We are looking for volunteers to sign up to be a prayer partner for each person attending these trips. As a prayer partner, you will pray daily for the team and a specific member of the team. This role includes providing a card/letter for each day of the trip for your mission team partner. We will collect these cards/letters form each prayer partner prior to the trip and distribute them daily to each member. As a member of a mission team, receiving letters from other folks from home each day provides a connection and reminder that they are always covered in prayer. Please consider signing up for this important act of love to the members of these mission trips. I promise you if you have never done this before, you will be blessed more than you can imagine and your mission partner will be very grateful knowing someone back home is specifically praying for them as they show the love of Jesus to others on their trip. Please contact me with any questions or to sign up at: pjsteinke60@yahoo.com or (978)886-1783. We will provide more details as the teams are being built and we get closer to the trips. Thank you for your consideration to be part of our mission teams this year.

Calling All Cooks! Ready! Set ! Go!
You may now submit 2 of your favorite recipes by one of two ways:
Online @www.morriscookbooks.com Under the typersanc tab
Username: Fall FestFun
Passcode: salt092
Submit your personally handwritten recipe on teh recipe collection sheet provided at the MAC desk. Place your recipe in the collection box located in the narthex or at the MAC desk. We’ll happily enter them for you.

Our goal is to have all recipe submissions no later than July 1st. Our goal is to have church presale orders be completed and cooksbooks available for our Fall Festival in October.

Your Fall Festival Fundraiser Cookbook Team:
Eileen Nichols suki2nich@aol.com (561) 635-6130
Barb Hahn bahahn19@gmail.com (706) 835 1289
Carol Engler paprika91@hotmail.com

Prayer Quilt Ministry:
There are prayer quilts in the chapel ready to receive prayers - please stop in , pray for the specific situation listed on the quilt and tie a knot for each prayer you pray.

Did you know we recycle aluminum cans?
There is a shed across from the annex where you can drop off your aluminum. The Methodist Men use this means of fundraising to offset lawn maintenance costs. Your help is appreciated!

Prayer Concerns and Celebrations:
May LOVE REIGN over fear, hate, and violence in our world
Sri Lanka
Our military families
The two UMC related agencies in our neighborhood (YHC & Branan Lodge)
Our Church Without Walls (CWOW’S) - Suches, GA
Our entire staff team and their extended families
All our expecting “Mommies to be”
All those with Alzheimers/Dementia related struggles
YHC College Finals this week and Next
All the Pastoral Families moving & all the congregations in transition
John Hahn - recent cancer diagnosis
Evelyn Ueltzen - wrist healing
Rhonda Schlienger - poor kidney function - prepping for dialysis
Lee Dunham - upcoming procedure to improve foot circulation
Gary Marshall - gall bladder surgery May 7th
Sally Wiley - recent passing of her son (Karen’s brother)
Deputy Todd Smith - was back with us again Sunday (cardiac event recovery)
David Steed - recovering from combo surgery Shoulder & knee
JoAnn Mayhew - moved to Chatuge hospital in Hiawassee
Joyce Byers son (Justin Byers) - cardiac concern to ER today
Kathy Hyer - general health
Mitzi Gasaway - recovery from surgery
Heidi Hall’s husband (Bill) - recovery from surgery
John Vogeley - in Florida ER during move from Blairsville
Maggie Guerrier - general health and back on kidney transplant list
Susan Forrester’s brother Bobby - general health
Glen Boland - under hospice care at home
Gary Marshall - upcoming gall bladder surgery May 7
Bob Taylor - chronic neck and back pain
Bill Gleasure - general health
Deidra Gilbert’s Mother in Mississippi - lung cancer
June Colditz - undergoing treatments for lymphoma
Carole Thompson - general health
Camille Higginbotham - general health
Helen Owenby - general health
Nisia Redgrave - Chatuge Rehab (Green 27)
Sonya Alexander Cristofaro sister (Linda) - radiation treatments
Larry Culpepper’s sister - general health
Dee Freed’s father (Kenneth Newman) - colon cancer
George Houdeshel - general health
Kerry Rittenhouse - Mother on chemo
Rev. Harold Smith - home with Janice - doing in-home therapy
Shannon Burgess brother in law (Steve) - cancer
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 Your Finance Team
THANK YOU!!!

………………. . …… .Received……….. .YTD Received
April 7th………….$ 36,840……………..$343,317
April 14th ……….$ 21,805……………..$365,122
April 21st………..$ 23,135……………..$388,257
April 28th………..$ 15,047……………..$403,305

Please continue to remember your Church in your legacy trusts & wills - that gift is also greatly appreciated!

EASTER – HOLY WEEK AT FIRST METHODIST

Faith Family:
Let’s turn our focus to Easter. This is the picture of the recently completed Michael Bruce Eagle Scout project - our new stage on the hill of our church campus. We are going to have perfect weather for the Youth led Sunrise service on this stage at 7:30 am this Easter Sunday. Then our regular Sunday worship times will follow at 8:30, 9:45 at THE WELL, and 11 am.
Do not miss our Living Lord’s Supper presentation this Thursday in the MAC beginning at 6:30 pm. Jesus and his 12 disciples will recreate the evening of the Last Supper - ending in the full pose of the famous Leonardo da Vinci painting. This is a shared production offered by collaboration between our drama team and many of our music ministries (soloists, piano, harp, guitar.) Don’t miss this night, but come early. There were over 350 people present last year. Jesus and the Disciples will be sharing the Lord’s Table with all who come (Holy communion.)
It is perfect that we will have a stormy weather day as we gather for our Good Friday service this Friday in the main Sanctuary at 6:30 pm for a more contemplative worship service.
Come experience all of Holy Week. Live the story.
God’s Passion,
Pastor Mark

Staff/Parrish Relations

A Note from Your Staff Parish Relations Team:

Each year every United Methodist pastor in every United Methodist church is evaluated. Based on the feedback from the pastoral family, local church SPR, and District Superintendent, the Bishop of our Conference makes the final decision and appoints every clergy person after a discerning process driven in prayer with the Bishops Cabinet. As in the past 6 years, the SPR & Mark have both requested he be reappointed to us another year. When Mark & Shannon were sent to us we had a great need for healing in the loss of Pastor Ben and they stepped in with their gifts and graces to help us move forward, grow and encouraged us to find our place in ministry here. Look at the results we have seen in that time. We are so blessed by their work here. As I said, we requested they be reappointed to us another year. However God has a great need for Mark & Shannon’s gifts and graces in another church and this year he is being sent where he is needed. We will be welcoming our new pastor, Rev. Don Landen, his wife, Heather and their son Wesley (who will be a 6th grader in the fall) on June 23rd who will be coming to help us continue to move God’s Kingdom forward here at First United Methodist Church. Mark’s Lenten sermon series “What Should Churches Do Well” included “Hospitality that is so Rad.” This is our opportunity to put this into practice as we welcome our new pastoral family! Please be in prayer for Mark & Shannon as they walk forward in their move and also in prayer for Don & Heather as they walk forward into their move here in ministry with us. I read a quote yesterday that seemed fitting. ”God knows exactly when to send what you need…trust him!” God has a plan and God’s got this!

Kelly Schuknecht,
SPR Chairperson

Children’s Ministry Director Position
As the Burgess family leaves, we will need to fill the part time Children’s Director role that Shannon will leave at the end of May. That role is responsible for the Children’s ministry (Nursery through 5th grade) on Wednesday evenings and Sunday mornings - along with special event coordination like VBS. Your primary responsibility will be preparing curriculum, equipping volunteers, organizing activities, and interacting with both Children and their parents. Our Nursery Director (Donna Frederick) reports to this position. If you would like to be considered for the Children’s Director role, please forward a resume to Evelyn in the Church Office. Her email is BlairsvilleFUMC Evelyn@gmail.com

Holy Week and Easter Services:
Wednesday- no supper or services
Holy Thursday - Living Lord’s Supper drama…6:30 pm…MAC
Good Friday Service…..6:30 pm…Sanctuary
Easter Sunday:
Sunrise Service …..7:30 am …….up at the new outdoor stage next to the playground
Regular Services at 8:30 am, 9:45 am and 11:00 am

Pastor Mark’s Sermon Notes from Palm Sunday
(after the announcement of his appointment to another church)
Scripture Luke 19:28-40
Sermon Title “He Came to Leave”

Today is a tough message. You came for Holy week, Palm Sunday, triumphant entrance, Hosanna, Hosanna in the Highest! And instead, you get a tough message. And that makes this one of the most difficult sermons I have ever delivered here at FUMC.

As I think back over our 6 years together, I was reminiscing this week over the toughest sermons I have shared here. I remember one that made everyone twitch, fidget and squirm. It was when I first came and I stood in this pulpit and said, “the Church of Jesus Christ is God’s Change Agent in the world!”

You twitched, you fidgeted, you squirmed - because that word “change” always seems to bring pain. One of the nearsighted truths all us human beings share (including me) is we just don’t like change because “our perspective” is change is always “BAD.”

I wonder what God’s perspective on change is…?

After all, God seems to use change to bring about great good…right?
Of course we would expect God’s perspective on change to be on a little grander scale than our own selfish perspective on change. But it makes me wonder - what does God see clearly about change that we have trouble seeing? There in lies the heart of today’s Palm Sunday message.

Would you pray with me? (Sermon Prayer)

Why did Jesus come? That’s a big question – let’s make it more specific.
Why did Jesus come to Jerusalem on that first Palm Sunday?

There are potentially many answers to that question.

Maybe He came to simply celebrate the Passover. He had done that many times before. After all, He’s Jewish and this is Passover festival time. The Law made it clear all people of the Jewish faith were to attend the annual Passover festival in Jerusalem as often as they could. It was the GRAND celebration of God moving among them in the past – so it was Holy and set apart.

Do you suppose all the unblemished lambs in the region knew the final clock was ticking as the calendar turned to Passover month? From our side of the cross, we know the Passover Lamb named Jesus sure did.

He knew he would not be staying. He knew he came to leave. He knew it would end sooner than his faith family wanted it to end. But Jesus was not called by them – He was called by the Father. He was called to bring about change. For God so loved the world that he sent his only begotten Son…why? To bring about change!!!

Remember our story. The people had grown distant from God. The Law was supposed to help them be right with God – but all it seemed to do was create complexity – and even greater distance between God & God’s children.

A course correction was needed. But for it to work, Jesus came to give something new. I think that concept is captured in the meaning behind a colt that had “never been ridden” – it was reference to something new that was about to happen. And what was that something new? Divine redemption through forgiving, sacrificial love. (repeat)

Jesus comes, the people shout with great joy at the arrival of their Messiah. From their perspective, this was God returning to where God should rightly be – the city of God – Jerusalem – the center of their faith just like before when God moved in their past!

So they make the path for him with their cloaks, their garments, their hearts…come this way Jesus, we welcome you…let us “lead you” back to “our center” – not realizing God had come to “lead us” back to God’s center – through sacrificial love.

The only one in the crowd who knew that He Came to Leave – was the one riding the colt!

Have you ever wondered how Jesus felt during that slow ride to Jerusalem – for the last time…

I’m no Jesus, but my stomach and my heart and my brain are all twisted in knots right now. Everything about the routine of life that I know, all the people I cherish, all the relationships I have given my life these 6 years to develop are about to be taken from me. I’m hurting – Your hurting – the truth is we’re both hurting. And some of you are sitting there right now saying, “See, this is why I HATE being a Methodist – they do this to you - just when everything is going right, THEY steal OUR pastor!”

And the truth is our knee jerk reactions – yours and mine – is that this is so wrong! Our church wants our pastor back, our pastoral family asked to come back, the church is growing in a season of health and vitality. Why mess all that up now? It just doesn’t make sense. SEE! SEE! Change is BAD!

Well…it doesn’t make sense from “the perspective of our own well being”

But then God the Father sending the SON to a people who would kill Him on a cross didn’t make sense from the perspective of Jesus’ own well being either…now did it?

But it all makes PERFECT SENSE from a Divine perspective.

If we can just somehow look at our world as bigger than what we want for “just us.” That’s the key. That’s the key to today – that’s the key to life – that’s the key to eternal life.

I remember a phone call I got 6 years ago.

I was in my 7th year of serving a little church in a small community. The church had grown significantly – two worship services had become three – the church had become a multi-generational church with significant mission and ministry outside the building. We had just increased staffing, bought adjacent properties, and had begun our building plan conversation…that’s when my phone rang.

It was the Bishop’s office calling. I was told I would be moved. It was because there was a precious church that had lost their beloved pastor, they were in huge debt, and they needed help. I was told the Bishop’s cabinet prayerfully discerned that they needed the Spirit Gift’s God expressed through me – now – and I was being SENT.

And so we cried, and we packed, and we obediently moved to a church called First United Methodist Church of Union County. We trusted the Holy Spirit to guide our ministry in this new place of grace. And God did.

Look what God has done through all of you in our time of shared ministry! You are strong. You are healthy and vital. This church has grown significantly. Two services have become three. You have become a multi-generational church with significant mission and ministry that extends outside the boundaries of this church campus. We are in the process of adding incremental staffing again…

…and that’s when my phone rang.

It was the Bishop’s office calling. I was told I would be moved. It was because there was another precious church that had lost their lead pastor in November – a retired interim pastor has been wonderfully filling in until this year’s appointment cycle. And the Bishop’s cabinet has prayerfully discerned they need the Spirit’s Gifts God is expressing through me – now – and I am being SENT.

And so we cry, and we pack, and we obediently move.

When I went into the ministry, I learned that there are these “things” we give to God called Ordination vows. Because I took my call from God seriously, I also took my Ordination vows seriously. The short version of those vows is “I give my life sacrificially for God’s will.” That’s it.

To be ordained in the UMC means you give your life to God and you trust those who are empowered to discern God’s calling to send you where God desires you to be…and it’s tough to do. It’s not easy. But faith is not easy.

I’ve often wondered if there was ever a moment when that part of God we know as God the Father faced that part of God we know as God the Son to say, “I need you to do this now. I need you to take forgiving love into the creation in a way that they can see it. But it will require your painful sacrifice on a cross…”

I find great comfort knowing that the part of God we know as the Holy Spirit would have also been there in that conversation too - saying to God the Son, “your sacrifice will open their hearts for me to live in them eternally – it will change everything.” Then it dawned on me that whole conversation only makes sense when you remember the Father, Son and Spirit are ONE….our One True God.

That One True God sent me to you.
That One True God is now sending me to Peachtree City UMC.

And like Jesus before me, I know even as I arrive there, I am coming to leave. Because God’s perspective is not one group of people, not one church, not one denomination, not even one season of life. God’s perspective is the eternal Kingdom of God on earth as it is in Heaven….can’t you “see” God methodically changing the world toward that goal? And until that day comes, God will be calling people to follow Jesus’ sacrifice to help bring about God’s Kingdom.

The same thing is happening with the Landen family right now…they are crying, they are packing, and they are obediently coming to you.

This is the ministry of the ordained itinerant Elder in the United Methodist Church.
It means we go where God sends us. We follow the apostolic ministry – that’s the churchy word for the ministry of “being sent by the Holy Spirit.”

Why should a pastor get sent to a new place?

Because the gifts and graces the Holy Spirit expresses in that person are now what God needs in that new place. Those Spirit gifts are not ours to Lord over. That movement of the Spirit is not mine – it is God’s – it is that very Spirit that is calling my use of those Spirit Gifts into a new place.

And if our perspective could just become what “all of us” need (that’s God’s Perspective) rather than just what “we need here” (our own perspective)…then we begin to see things a little clearer. It still hurts – but we can see.

And so Jesus was sent by God to town one day to do a new thing - riding on the back of a colt to the welcoming shouts of ALL the people. Well, not “all” the people.

Luke tells us, some Pharisees in the crowd (that’s the churchy people of that day) were not happy. Why? Because they knew his arrival would bring change. And we don’t like change – it makes us twitch and fidget and squirm.

But here is another truth given to us in our Scripture today. The creation itself is groaning (yearning) for change – and change is coming – even the stones know it!
And my response is BRING IT LORD - BRING IT NOW!

I long for the day when the world will become
…a kindler, gentler place with no more tears.
I long for the day when the world will become
…a peaceable kingdom without fear or angst
I long for the day when the world will become
…a place of grace where everyone’s eyes are directly on God instead of on themselves.

But somebody has got to do something to make it go…
God did God’s part – now God is asking us to do our part.
And so where He leads me I will follow – even if I have to carry a cross when I get there…

This is a pretty radical idea - isn’t it?
God knows this is what it takes to change the world!

So here is my message today – I end back at the beginning:
The church of Jesus Christ is God’s change agent in the world…
That’s THE VERY POINT of Holy week – to make all things new again!

Ok, your twitching again! I can see it.
Don’t worry. The change I’m talking about will be good.
Your task is simply to take what has happened here in this place of grace
to the rest of the world!

Lord, Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven…

Amen.

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

A Note from Your Finance Team

………………. . …… .Received……….. .YTD Received
April 7th………….$ 36,840……………..$343,317
April 14th………..$ 21,805……………..$365,122

Thank you for your generosity Church!

Please continue to remember your Church in your legacy trusts & wills - that gift is also greatly appreciated!

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