Thursday, November 26, 2020

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Happy Thanksgiving to you! 


When I was growing up, it was my family’s tradition to go around the table at Thanksgiving and name at least one thing that you were thankful for. And I remember the Thanksgiving prayers of my grandfather, who included so many people and situations and circumstances that the turkey had plenty of time to cool off before we dug in! So now when thinking of Thanksgiving my heart always turn back to gratitude. 

It might be difficult in this year of Covid quarantine for you to think about gratitude and Thanksgiving. So much of our normal routines have been disrupted. And yet, God is still moving and working in our lives. If nothing else, we can praise him for his love and grace and mercy poured out in our lives through Jesus Christ. We can praise him for the forgiveness we receive for our sins. We can say thank you for the hope that is ours in Jesus of redemption and eternal life. Here are a few reminders from Scripture:  

·      Psalm 95 - "Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. For the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods..."

·      Psalm 100 - "Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations."

·      Psalm 103: 1-5 - "Praise the LORD, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all his benefits - who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s."


Gracious and merciful God we give thanks for this day and for the meals in which we will partake this day. Even though we may be apart from family and friends this year, we know that we are connected with one another through you. Help us to have hearts of gratitude to notice the blessings around us despite our circumstances. Above all we thank you for Jesus and in his name we pray, Amen. 

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Pastor Debbie and Pastor Daryl Allen 

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Advent At Home Update

Our Advent at Home kits are ready to be picked up from the church office! Each kit contains a daily devotional for Advent, a Christmas ornament, candles for an Advent "wreath", the readings for lighting the candles, and Christmas Eve candles. You may stop by and sign for a kit any time the church office is open. 

For those of you attending in-person worship, we have a few extra devotionals and ornaments for you to take home with you. Ask an usher this weekend! 


Friday, November 20, 2020

Advent Update

Pastor Debbie's midweek devotional this week was about our Advent At Home Kits which will be available for pickup starting this Monday. You can watch the video here by following this link or below in the post:  

Grace and peace, 

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Angel Tree Update


This week’s Angel Tree Progress . . .

Revised Total = 121 Angels This is a change from our initial count of

242 which allotted 2 wishes/child to 121 now allotting 1 wish/child

Sunday, November 22 - last day for Angel Sign-Out

Wednesday, December 2 - deadline for gift return

121 total # children with 1 wish/child

- 40 signed out on Sunday 11/8

- 55 signed out from 11/9 – 11/17

26 Wonderful Angel wishes remaining to ensure each child who registered with CUMC receives at least one gift

A most appreciated Thank You to all who have already selected an Angel, sent a monetary donation, or volunteered to shop Christmas morning will be more exciting for 121 children because of your generosity!

An extra note: The Foster Care system we support would appreciate donations of any gently used suitcases to be used by their children who are transitioning between living situations. Angel Tree will pass the suitcases along. Sincere thanks on their behalf!

Monday, November 16, 2020

Stewardship for 2021 Update


Greetings friends!
This Sunday we are using the parable of the Rich Farmer as our Scripture lesson. As we unpack Jesus' words in this story, we would love to use your responses to two (2) questions to help in that endeavor. Your answers will be anonymous to these quick questions and the survey should take just a few minutes of your time. Be sure to tune in for worship and during the sermon we will share the results.
To take the survey, just visit and answer the two questions and you are all done.  Thanks for being a part of this!
2021 Contribution Envelopes
Contribution envelope numbers 401 - 640 will be renumbered due to a recent audit to be more cost effective.  Contribution envelopes will be in alpha order for your collection in the Narthex starting Sunday November 29th until January 10th.  You can pick them up Sundays during Services and weekdays during regular office hours.

Stewardship Pledge Sunday
God provides "every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work." (v. 8)
There is no need to "sow sparingly" and hence "reap sparingly."
We can "sow bountifully" and "reap bountifully" (v. 6),
"enriched in every way for [our] great generosity."  II Corinthians 9:6-15
It is a high calling to be involved in the work of God’s Church. It is a blessing to watch as God moves through the faithful as they engage in that work.
This Sunday, November 22nd, each of us will be given the opportunity to offer our Stewardship Pledge Cards and Opportunity Forms for 2021. We will have a basket by our Offering Towers for you to place your cards and forms and we will pray over them in worship.

Extra Pledge Cards and envelopes – as well as complete Stewardship Packets – are available in the Church Office, in the Narthex and in the Family Life Center.

The Budgeting Process at Community UMC
You may wonder ... “What happens with our pledges after Sunday?”

Once all of our Pledge Cards are received, we tabulate what is pledged. Based upon that information, and a bit of historical data, our Finance Committee creates our spending cap – the number that will total our 2021 Church Budget. The next step that takes places is our Budget Task Force, based upon the budget requests were submitted, begins to apportion these resources to our ministries and missions of the church. Once the above work is completed, this budget is submitted to the Leadership Council for approval and adoption.

Will also distribute a copy of the approved budget, along with a list of all Church Lay Leadership positions, in January.
For consideration in the 2021 Budget Cap, please turn in your pledge cards by Monday, December 7th. We would also ask that all commitments be turned in by the end of the year.
Questions about our budgeting process may be directed to Finance Chairman, Eric Gerstemeier ( or Leadership Chair, Kevin Milhorn (
We are extremely grateful for all the ways each of you support this church and its ministries. As we look forward, we pray for the continued work this family will do as we offer what we have and who we are to God’s work in the church, the community, and across the globe.

This is your Community, United!

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Midweek Moment

Below is an update from our Angel Tree ministry. This year more than ever, families will be depending upon our church family in order to provide Christmas for their children. Pastor Daryl and I picked out our Angels from the tree this past weekend and there's plenty more. You can pick them up when you are here for in-person worship, or stop by the church office during the week! 

Grace and Peace, 

Dear Church Family,

Here is an initial report of the Angel Tree Progress to date . . .
242   Total Angels  (2 per child for 121 children)
- 40   Angels adopted and signed out on Sunday 11/8 
202   Wonderful choices remaining 😊
Consider signing out an Angel on Sundays 11/15, 11/22  (9-12am) outside the church sanctuary, OR on weekdays in the hallway of the church office.

Our challenge for the coming week is to have 100 additional Angels adopted! 

As a congregation, we have the power to bless families and bring much joy to numerous children this Christmas.

Are you up for this ministry challenge??

Looking forward to next week’s email progress report . . .

Nancy Laraway
Coordinator - Angel Tree

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

United Methodist Women Love Offering for Missions



We need your help urgently! United Methodist Women (UMW) supports programs which aid women, children, and youth in many ways. The CUMC Food Pantry, Esther House and Community Christian School all have been recipients of UMW's mission giving. In order to raise the funds to provide these services, UMW traditionally holds two fundraisers each year — a Spring Tea and Missions Possible, our Fall Event.

2020 has been turned upside down coping with COVID-19, which has hit UMW with a double whammy: an increased need for the help these programs provide, and the restriction of UMW’s ability to raise funds to help with these growing needs. Our Spring Tea in March was cancelled, but we had hoped to be able to offer a Fall Event, which in past years had been our most successful fundraising initiative; unfortunately, the logistics of keeping everyone safe proved too overwhelming.

To this end, we are requesting a Love Offering for Missions and are relying on YOU, with God’s guidance, to raise these desperately needed funds. The upcoming Thanksgiving holiday reminds us to count the many blessings God has bestowed upon each of us; we humbly ask your support as UMW strives to pass on God’s love to those in dire need by extending the helping hand our mission support provides.

When prayerfully considering your Love Offering, we ask that you perhaps donate the amount you otherwise would have spent on tickets for Missions Possible, our Fall Event ($15-$20 per per­son); the amount you might have budgeted for auction items; an amount you would spend for a special dinner; or any amount you are moved to give. Whatever amount you decide, it will be greatly appreciated and used to help others.  

Please donate now through the end of November! You may donate through CUMC's secure website by selecting "UM Women" on the online giving page, or by writing a check. If giving by check, please make it payable to "UMW" and notate in the memo section “Love Offering."  You may drop it in the Offering Towers at church or send your check to:

Community United Methodist Church
309 College Avenue
Fruitland Park, FL 34731
United Methodist Women
c/o Pam Cahill
UMW Treasurer
3902 View Path
The Villages, FL 32163

Questions? Please contact UMW President Pat Holmes
352-750-6385 /