Thursday, November 16, 2017

Thursday Thoughts

1. Sunday Morning Worship - This week we will conclude our annual Stewardship emphasis in worship. This year we are talking about "Blueprints for the Future." You should have already received your Stewardship packed in the mail; if not, extras are available in the Sanctuary Narthex and also in the Family Life Center. Our focus in worship this week will be "To Give Generously" as Pastor Daryl focuses upon 2 Corinthians 9:6-15 in the sermon time. There will be time at the end of each service to bring forward your pledge card and  talent surveys and dedicate them at the altar rail. It promises to be a powerful time of celebration and worship together!

Invite a friend or even a neighbor, and we hope to see you all there at either 8am, 9:30am, or 11am!







2. Happy Thanksgiving!!!! 

We hope that you will enjoy the Thanksgiving Holiday next week. We will be hosting a Thanksgiving meal in our Family Life Center at noon on Thursday the 23rd.

Here's a few things that will NOT be meeting next week because of the holiday:
* Wonderful Wednesday and Tutoring
* Wednesday Night Dinner and GROW Night classes
* Chancel Choir and Handbell Practice
* Pastor Loida's Thursday Bible study
* Church Office will be closed on Thursday (Nov 23rd) and Friday (Nov 24th)


3. Welcome to Our Newest Staff Member! - The Rev. Malcolm Patterson will started this week on Wednesday as the new Minister of Visitation. "Mal" as he likes to be called, is a retired minister from the Evangelical Christian Church (previously an ordained deacon in the UMC) and has strong UMC roots and connection. He's spent most of his ministry as a deacon in the academic world as a school teacher, principal and superintendent of schools. In the last several years he has served as a professor training teachers most recently at Endicott College in Massachusetts, where he still serves remotely as a mentor for several Phd students. Paralleling his teaching career, Mal ministered in churches serving in a variety of roles, with preaching, visitation, teaching, leading in worship with communion, doing weddings, baptisms, funerals and more. Mal and his wife Joyce recently retired and moved from Massachusetts to Plantation in Leesburg - the two met as children in their local United Methodist Church. They have two adult children and grandchildren. Mal is very excited about this opportunity to minister and serve and get connected to Community. He is very warm and welcoming and gracious and everyone on the search committee felt that he had a presence that would fit in well with you and with the rest of the staff and the congregation. 


4. Looking Ahead to Advent - Be sure to mark these dates on your calendar for things coming up this season of Advent -

* Holiday Grief Seminar - Saturday December 2 starting at 10:30am
* Christmas Grace concerts - Thursday December 7th at 6pm and Saturday December 9th at 2pm  
* Many Moods of Christmas concerts - Sunday December 10th at 3:30pm and 6pm
* Blue Christmas Worship Service - Sunday December 17th at 3pm
* Christmas Eve MORNING worship - one service at 10:30am
* Christmas Eve EVENING worship - contemporary service at 5pm in the Family Life Center; traditional services at 7pm and 9pm in the sanctuary


5. Christmas Eve Offering for Missions - Our Christmas Eve offering at all our evening services will ALL be going to missions this year. We will be raising money for Water is Basic, an organization that helps build new wells and repair old wells in the South Sudan in Africa. It costs approximately $7,500 for a new well and about $1,250 for a well repair. In the South Sudan, one in every four children dies before the age of 5; most because of illnesses caused by diseased water. Help make a tremendous difference in the lives of children and in whole communities this Christmas with your offering.


Blessings! See you soon!



Thursday, November 2, 2017

Thursday Thoughts

1. Sunday Morning Worship - This week begins our annual Stewardship emphasis in worship. This year we are talking about "Blueprints for the Future." You should have already received your Stewardship packed in the mail; if not, extras are available in the Sanctuary Narthex and also in the Family Life Center. Our focus in worship this week will be "To Live Responsibly" as Pastor Loida focuses upon Matthew 25:14-18 in the sermon time. We will also be recognizing All Saints Day and Veterans Day in worship and celebrating communion. It promises to be a powerful time of celebration and worship together!

Invite a friend or even a neighbor, and we hope to see you all there at either 8am, 9:30am, or 11am!







2. Missions Possible Auction - The UMW are sponsoring their Missions Possible Auction again TOMORROW -  Friday November 3rd from 5:30-8:30pm in the Family Life Center. Last year's inaugural event raised over $10,000 for missions! There will be food, fellowship, a silent auction and a live auction featuring Pastor Daryl as the auctioneer. We're looking forward to a great event and the wonderful things that can happen in missions afterwards!






3. Americana Concerts - You will have two opportunities this weekend to celebrate Veterans' Day with our Community UMC Concert Series as we present "Americana: A Celebration of Veterans Past and Present." The first concert is Saturday November 4th at 2pm in the sanctuary and the second concert is Sunday November 5th at 6pm in the sanctuary.




4. Charge Conference - Our annual Charge Conference is coming up soon. We will gather with the other United Methodist churches in the area for a time of worship and reflection on missions and ministries this past year. We will also look to the future and the ways we can impact our communities. We will go over reports and have a few votes that will need to be taken. It is open for all people to attend and all members can vote. It will be held on November 5th, at New Covenant UMC, 3470 Woodridge Dr., in The Villages, beginning at 4pm. We hope to see you there as we represent Community UMC!





5. Thank You!!!! 

Thank you so much for your generous response to Pumpkin Patch and Trunk or Treat this year! We had some wonderful volunteer coordinators from the congregation who stepped up to help with Pumpkin Patch (Serena O'Neil and Ali Lafler) and so many of you gave of your time to sit and "tend" the patch. We sold out of pumpkins on Halloween and it was a banner year in sales to help benefit our Camp Scholarship Fund. 

The response for Trunk or Treat was amazing too! We had almost 100 volunteers between the 32 trunks and other folks who served hot dogs, drinks and snowcones. We know many of you donated candy and food items as well. We had approximately 1,500 people come through the Trunk or Treat in 2.5 hours on Halloween night!! That's a new record for us in terms of attendance as well. We're so thankful for your help with both of these events and your generosity. 


**** BONUS *****

It's time for the time change!!!!
Please don't forget to set your clocks back an hour on Sunday night!!!!


Blessings! See you soon!


Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Midweek Moment

This weekend in worship we will celebrate All Saints Day. In the early days of the church it became customary to celebrate feast days for those who were martyred for their faith. Eventually because of persecution, there became too many to celebrate separately and so the church moved to a common day of remembrance for all of the departed saints. On Sunday in worship we will lift up the names of the faithful from our own congregation who have passed away in the last year. It’s also an opportunity to reflect on other people near and dear to you who have died, especially those who guided you in your faith. 

Already this week, my family members are on my mind - particularly my mom and dad, Ellen and Rob Keller. They certainly had a lot to do with my faith development. They tried in the best way they could everyday to live out their faith and they did it by loving other people. I know where that deep faith came from because I watched their parents as well. My dad's parents Paul and Thelma Keller for a while were both employed as public school music teachers, then later he became a college business manager/treasurer. No matter what else they were doing their lives revolved around church and music. He as a church choir director and a member of a Gospel quarter for over 50 years; she as the church organist and quartet accompanist for the same amount of time. They were more vocal about their faith and its implications for every aspect of life. My mom's mother Helen Washburn had faith that sustained her through a lot of difficult moments in life. I appreciated when she lived with us and I would catch her reading her Bible and her daily devotions every day from the recliner in the corner of the living room. And while there are many others who shared their example of faith and are saints in my life, I would be remiss if I did not mention Daryl's grandmother Emma Davis. She died of a brain tumor when I just sixteen years old. She was an incredible example of selfless Christian love and service in the church where I grew up. Everyone wanted to be like her in every way except for her height (she was so tiny - we joked that's why she always worked with kids!)

Chapter 11 of Hebrews is often called the Hall of Heroes because it lists so many of the great saints of faith from the Old Testament....Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Rahab, Gideon, Barak, Samson, David, Samuel and the prophets. And then Paul switches gears in the next chapter to talk about the life of faith as a race: Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."

I love picturing those who have gone before as a great cloud of witnesses lining the race of our faith, cheering us on, their examples encouraging us when we are about to lose hope. I hope you will take time to lift up the saints in our lives who have gone before us and line our race of faith. Who will be in your great cloud of witnesses?

Let us pray the prayer for All Saints Day: O almighty God, by whom we are graciously knit together as one communion and fellowship in the mystical body of Jesus Christ, our Lord, grant us so to follow Your blessed saints in all virtuous and godly living that we may come to those unspeakable joys which You have prepared for those who sincerely love You; through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen!

Blessings, 


Thursday, October 26, 2017

Thursday Thoughts

1. Sunday Morning Worship - This week is Youth Sunday in worship. Our youth group has been working for the last several weeks on preparing worship for this Sunday. You won't want to miss out as the youth lead us in all aspects of worship. The theme this weekend is "We Are The Body" taken from Romans 12:1-8 and I Corinthians 12.

Invite a friend or even a neighbor, and we hope to see you all there at either 8am, 9:30am, or 11am!


2. Pumpkin Patch - Our annual Pumpkin Patch is underway. We hope that you will visit the patch and invite your friends and neighbors as well. It's a great place for a photo opportunity, to buy decorations or to find just the right pumpkin for your family to carve! While this pumpkin patch does help raise funds for our camp scholarship fund, it is also a fantastic way to meet our neighbors and welcome them to our campus. You never know what seed might be planted or what prayer might be answered through our patch this year. Hope to see you out there!


3. Trunk Or Treat Festival!!!! - This wonderful annual event will be held on Tuesday October 31st in the church parking lot at 6:30pm. There are lots of ways to volunteer, including setting up your car and dressing up to hand out candy to the kids from the neighborhood. Contact the church office if you have not done so already to take part. And let's remember to invite our friends, neighbors, family members, grandchildren, to come out and participate that evening. This is one of our fun community outreach events, giving folks a safe space to celebrate Halloween.



4. Missions Possible Auction - The UMW are sponsoring their Missions Possible Auction again on Friday November 3rd from 5:30-8:30pm in the Family Life Center. Last year's inaugural event raised over $10,000 for missions! There will be food, fellowship, a silent auction and a live auction featuring Pastor Daryl as the auctioneer. Tickets are $15 each. Don't miss this great opportunity!







5. Charge Conference - Our annual Charge Conference is coming up soon. We will gather with the other United Methodist churches in the area for a time of worship and reflection on missions and ministries this past year. We will also look to the future and the ways we can impact our communities. We will go over reports and have a few votes that will need to be taken. It is open for all people to attend and all members can vote. It will be held on November 5th, at New Covenant UMC, 3470 Woodridge Dr., in The Villages, beginning at 4pm. We hope to see you there as we represent Community UMC!




See you soon!



Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Midweek Moment

Daryl, Loida and I spent some time this week at the Life Enrichment Center for the Bishop's Annual Clergy Gathering. The theme of this year's gathering was Sabbath: Rest in the Midst of Storm and Recovery. The gathering started on Tuesday at noon and finished on Wednesday at noon. The main speaker was Dr. Matthew Sleeth, a former ER doctor who wrote the book 24/6: A Prescription for a Happier, Healthier Life.  Tuesday afternoon had some time built in for pastors to spend time with their covenant groups, receive spiritual direction, get a massage, participate in yoga chapel, walk, canoe, read, take a nap. It was great to be with colleagues from across the conference that we haven't been able to see in a while. We enjoyed the speaker and his reminders to build Sabbath rest and rhythm into our lives.

But the biggest highlight for us as your pastors was being led in all of the worship services by our own Community 9Thirty Worship Band. They did an amazing job of not just singing and playing, but really leading people into God's presence as we worshipped. They represented our church and community well and we heard nothing but wonderful compliments from the other pastors and conference staff. What a blessing to be able to sit and worship with their familiar faces and voices without worrying which one of the three of us was up to speak next, like on a typical Sunday morning. We're thankful to everyone who took time away from work and from school to be there and to lead in twice on Tuesday and twice on Wednesday. Many thanks to Joey Landstedt and the rest of the band: Mike Hanna, John and Mona Oliver, Amanda Quinn, Riley Standifer, and Kim and Kylor Stumbo.




We're so blessed to be part of this wonderful Community family, with so many wonderful staff and lay volunteers!!

Blessings

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Thursday Thoughts

1. Sunday Morning Worship - This week Pastor Debbie and Pastor Daryl will be co-preaching in all three services, presenting their annual State of the Church address. This year's address is based on the Great Commission Jesus gave in Matthew 28:16-20.

Invite a friend or even a neighbor, and we hope to see you all there at either 8am, 9:30am, or 11am!


2. Pumpkin Patch - Our annual Pumpkin Patch is underway. We hope that you will visit the patch and invite your friends and neighbors as well. It's a great place for a photo opportunity, to buy decorations or to find just the right pumpkin for your family to carve! While this pumpkin patch does help raise funds for our camp scholarship fund, it is also a fantastic way to meet our neighbors and welcome them to our campus. You never know what seed might be planted or what prayer might be answered through our patch this year. Hope to see you out there!


3. Trunk Or Treat Festival!!!! - This wonderful annual event will be held on Tuesday October 31st in the church parking lot at 6:30pm. There are lots of ways to volunteer, including setting up your car and dressing up to hand out candy to the kids from the neighborhood. Contact the church office if you have not done so already to take part. And let's remember to invite our friends, neighbors, family members, grandchildren, to come out and participate that evening. This is one of our fun community outreach events, giving folks a safe space to celebrate Halloween.


4. Charge Conference - Our annual Charge Conference is coming up soon. We will gather with the other United Methodist churches in the area for a time of worship and reflection on missions and ministries this past year. We will also look to the future and the ways we can impact our communities. We will go over reports and have a few votes that will need to be taken. It is open for all people to attend and all members can vote. It will be held on November 5th, at New Covenant UMC, 3470 Woodridge Dr., in The Villages, beginning at 4pm. We hope to see you there as we represent Community UMC!




See you soon!


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Midweek Moment

The pumpkins are here and the Patch is all set up and ready to go! Our original unload time was last Saturday morning at 8am and we had volunteers all signed up to help. And then we found out the truck would not arrive until Sunday night at 6pm. We are so thankful for all the volunteers who came out on short notice Sunday night - so many people showed up that unloading only took an hour!!!!
We had several staff members, the youth group, some of the Cub Scouts, plus church folks from all the different services on hand to help out. What a tremendous blessing!!!! And it turned out to be a fun evening as you can tell from the pictures and video below.












So come out and get your pumpkins, take some pictures with your family and enjoy the Pumpkin Patch! All proceeds from the Patch benefit our camp scholarship fund for children and youth.