Thursday, December 21, 2017

Thursday Thoughts

1. Sunday Morning Worship - This weekend we are celebrating Christmas Eve in worship!!!!

Adult Sunday School classes will meet at 9:00am this Sunday and there will be time for coffee and doughnuts in the Fellowship Hall at 9:45am.

Sunday morning we will host ONE single worship service at 10:30am in the sanctuary. Our Chancel Choir and the 9Thirty band will both be leading us in a service of Lessons and Carols.

Sunday evening, we will host 3 candlelight Christmas Eve services. The contemporary service will be at 5pm in the Family Life Center. There will be two traditional services at 7pm and 9pm in the sanctuary. Pastor Daryl and Pastor Debbie will be co-preaching on the March of Merriment using the Song of Zechariah in Luke 1:68-79. Invite a friend or even a neighbor, and we hope to see you all there at either 8am, 9:30am, or 11am!




2. Christmas Eve Offering for Missions - We are donating our entire Christmas Eve offering at all three evening services 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 South Sudan in Africa. It costs approximately $7,500 for a new well and about $1,250 for a well repair. In South Sudan, one in every four children dies before the age of 5; mostly 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.






3. Be In the Know! - One of the great things about Community is all the options and choices you have to help make disciples and build the Kingdom. And we want you to know about as many of them as possible. The best way to do that is for you to sign up for any of the various ways we have set up to communicate with you. Here is a list of them and how you can sign up or follow them:

  • Churchwide Email System - just call the church office to sign up or email us by clicking here.
  • Pastor's Blog - you can find the blog by clicking here. Once you are there, bookmark and you can even subscribe to have email updates of new posts sent to you automatically. The subscribe box is on the side underneath Pastor Debbie's Photo and Bio.
  • Our Church Website - you can find our church website by clicking here. Don't forget to bookmark it once you are there.
  • Our Church Facebook Page - there are many updates, photos, and even Facebook Live Videos we post on this page, a great resource! You can find that page by clicking here.
  • Our Church Text Messaging Feature - get updates about the church sent to you via text message (text message and data rates may apply). You can sign up for that by sending the text @cumcfp to the number 81010.
  • Our Church Publications - and as always you can find great information in our weekly bulletin and monthly newsletter
I hope you will take advantage of as many of these avenues for communication as possible. There is a lot happening at Community and I do not want you to miss a thing!


Have a great weekend and we will see you soon!


Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Midweek Moment



In staff meeting yesterday, we spent time together simply reflecting upon the Christmas story. We used a compilation of the Christmas story texts from the Gospel accounts in Matthew, Luke and John. Each of us took a turn around the table reading one of the paragraphs and then when we were done we shared our reflections about how the story resonated with us in a new way this year. I wanted to share this with all of you and encourage you in this week to find a few moments to read the Christmas scriptures in the same way and reflect for yourselves.

May you experience the incredible power and presence of God this week as we encounter the One in the Manger!

Blessings






The Christmas Story in Scripture 

In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. (John 1:1-5)

In those days, the Emperor Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria. And so everyone went back to his hometown to register. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee where he lived, back to Bethlehem in Judea, which was the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. Joseph went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and who was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and Mary gave birth to her firstborn child, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in manger in the stable, because there was no room for them in the inn. (Luke 2:1-7) 

That same night, out on the hillsides of Bethlehem, there was a group of shepherds, keeping watch over their flocks at night. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared to the shepherds, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that shall be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign for you: you will find the baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” (Luke 2:8-12) 

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has told us about.” So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph and the baby, who was lying in a manger. (Luke 2:13-16) 

When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child and all were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. The shepherds returned to their fields, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told. (Luke 2:17-20) 

In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking "Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage." When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. They told him, "In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet: 'And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who is to shepherd by people Israel.'" Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, "Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage." (Matthew 2:1-8) 

When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the start that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then opening their treasure chests they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road. (Matthew 2:9-12)

He was in the world and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God. (John 1:10-13) 

And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth. From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known. (John 1:14-18) 

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Thursday Thoughts

1. Sunday Morning Worship - This week we will continue our preaching series: Traveling the Highways of Advent. Pastor Debbie will be preaching this weekend with a focus upon "The Highway of Enthusiasm" from Matthew 3:1-12. We look to the excitement that comes in the anticipation of Jesus and how that excitement is a wellspring of strength and courage that will enable us to be the light of the world. Invite a friend or even a neighbor, and we hope to see you all there at either 8am, 9:30am, or 11am!





2. Advent Opportunities - Here are a few worship opportunities we want to invite you to be a part of this Advent season:


  • Blue Christmas Worship Service - Sunday, December 17th, at 3pm, in the Sanctuary 
  • Christmas Eve MORNING Worship - one combined service, including our Choir and Worship Band, at 10:30am as we celebrate the service of Lessons and Carols, in the Sanctuary 
  • Christmas Eve EVENING worship - Candlelight - Contemporary Service at 5pm in the Family Life Center; Traditional Services at 7pm and 9pm, in the Sanctuary


Mark your calendars now so you will not miss any of these opportunities!





3. Christmas Eve Offering for Missions - We are donating our entire Christmas Eve offering at all our evening services 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 South Sudan in Africa. It costs approximately $7,500 for a new well and about $1,250 for a well repair. In South Sudan, one in every four children dies before the age of 5; mostly 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.






4. Be In the Know! - One of the great things about Community is all the options and choices you have to help make disciples and build the Kingdom. And we want you to know about as many of them as possible. The best way to do that is for you to sign up for any of the various ways we have set up to communicate with you. Here is a list of them and how you can sign up or follow them:

  • Churchwide Email System - just call the church office to sign up or email us by clicking here.
  • Pastor's Blog - you can find the blog by clicking here. Once you are there, bookmark and you can even subscribe to have email updates of new posts sent to you automatically. The subscribe box is on the side underneath Pastor Debbie's Photo and Bio.
  • Our Church Website - you can find our church website by clicking here. Don't forget to bookmark it once you are there.
  • Our Church Facebook Page - there are many updates, photos, and even Facebook Live Videos we post on this page, a great resource! You can find that page by clicking here.
  • Our Church Text Messaging Feature - get updates about the church sent to you via text message (text message and data rates may apply). You can sign up for that by sending the text @cumcfp to the number 81010.
  • Our Church Publications - and as always you can find great information in our weekly bulletin and monthly newsletter
I hope you will take advantage of as many of these avenues for communication as possible. There is a lot happening at Community and I do not want you to miss a thing!




Have a great weekend and we will see you soon!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Midweek Moment

Hey Friends,

Below is a video that I posted on our church's Facebook page today. It talks about our Blue Christmas service that is happening this Sunday, December 17th, at 3pm, in our Sanctuary. I invite you to give it a listen and if it will help you or someone you know, please come. Join us as we gather to give our turn our grief over to God and trust in his presence and lean our faith that the joy will come again.

Remember, you are valued, you are important, and you are loved.

Blessings,




Thursday, December 7, 2017

Thursday Thoughts



1. Sunday Morning Worship - This week we will continue our preaching series: Traveling the Highways of Advent. Pastor Daryl will be preaching this weekend with a focus upon "Byway in Between" from Revelation 21:1-7 as we live into the now and the not-yet of Advent.

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






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

* 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


3. GROW Night Dinner and Classes

We have just one week of GROW Night left on Wednesday December 13th.

Even if you are not part of GROW NIGHT, you are invited to our closing program at 6:15pm in the Family Life Center. There will be time to hear about the upcoming spring semester of classes and we will also be participating in a small service project together to bless some of the folks in our church's visitation ministry.

GROW Night will take a break from December 20 through January 3rd. Dinner and a new slate of classes will resume on Wednesday January 10th, 2018.


4. 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!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Midweek Moment

Thank you so much for your generous response to the children of our community in the last few weeks. Our Angel Tree gifts have been making their way back into the church and what a delight to see all of the gifts! We have heard a few special stories this week from folks who were out shopping. One gentleman was out shopping for a 12 year old girl who wanted a soccer ball and boots. When he shared with folks around him as to why he shopping, he was assisted in his search for the soccer ball by a mom with two daughters who play soccer! And a clerk in another store helped him to find the perfect pair of boots. The deadline for gift return is this Sunday and then our Angel Tree volunteers will be helping to catalog all of the items and distribute them next week to the families.

We are also thankful for the men from the congregation who have stepped up to volunteer with Fruitland Park Elementary's new mentoring program for third grade boys. Ten men attended a meeting last week about the mentoring program and began meeting with their new mentorees this week. Please keep this new program in prayer, for the students and volunteers as they work to create relationships.

What a great way to find moments of meaningfulness in this Advent season. I pray that you have many more in the days ahead, whether it's in Sunday worship, Sunday school, Christmas concerts, the GROW Night closing program or the Blue Christmas service.

I look forward to seeing you in worship this Sunday!
Blessings,







Thursday, November 30, 2017

Thursday Thoughts


Special Note - the Holiday Grief Seminar is being held this Saturday in the Fellowship Hall from 10:30am to noon! 


1. Sunday Morning Worship - This week we will begin a continue our preaching series: Traveling the Highways of Advent. Pastor Daryl will be preaching this weekend with a focus upon "The Road to Reversal" from Luke 1:39-56 and how our perspective can influence our Advent journey.



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





2. Pledges for 2018


We're so thankful for everyone who responded by turning in their pledge card last Sunday as we dedicated our pledge commitments. If you have not yet turned your financial pledge or volunteer survey into the church, it's not too late. You can bring them to worship with you this Sunday and put them in the offering plates or drop them by the church office during regular office hours.




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

* 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


4. GROW Night Dinner and Classes

We have just two weeks of GROW NIGHT classes left: December 6th and December 13th.

Even if you are not part of GROW NIGHT, you are invited to our closing program on Wednesday December 13th at 6:15pm in the sanctuary. There will be time to hear about the upcoming spring semester of classes and we will also be participating in a small service project together to bless some of the folks in our church's visitation ministry.

GROW Night will take a break from December 20 through January 3rd. Dinner and a new slate of classes will resume on Wednesday January 10th, 2018.


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!


Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Midweek Moment

If you look in the stores, Christmas decorations are up in full force and most of us have begun that process in some form at home. Our sanctuary and the Family Life Center have been decorated for the holiday season as well - but our decor is a little bit different. In the sanctuary for example, we have Christmas trees, but instead of a random assortment of ornaments, they are decorated with Chrismons - each ornament is a handmade symbol of Christ. And each week in worship we also light one of the Advent candles to help focus upon Christ's coming at Christmas. In our sanctuary we use a wreath and in our Family Life Center we use lanterns on a ladder. We're intentional about how we decorate, making space and creating an environment where we can focus upon Christ as the focus of the season. 

Sometimes the days between Thanksgiving and Christmas tend to be a mad rush of decorating, cooking, cleaning, purchasing presents, attending concerts, hosting holiday parties, and more. Often we can get to Christmas Day and be so exhausted we aren't able to enjoy the moments as we would like. 

The church has an antidote that helps us focus, if we take the time to embrace it. It's the season of Advent. It's a time of preparation - not of things on the outside - but of our hearts on the inside. While we count and mark these days we are invited to pause and to remember and to make space in our hearts and in our lives for the One who came seeking room so long ago. As a clergy colleague wrote me in an email many years ago, "I pray your Advent is not too busy, with moments of meaningfulness." That is still my prayer. But I recognize those moments of meaningfulness do not happen without intentionality. 

In Advent I often change up my typical devotional practices to include different reflections. Two resources that I have used in the last several years are The Advent Door and #PictureAdvent. The Advent Door is a website created by my friend Rev. Jan Richardson and features her ministry of art and words. Jan has been leading journeys through Advent for 10 years now. And #PictureAdvent is more recent addition sponsored by the Life Enrichment Center, with daily devotionals written during Advent by clergy and laity throughout our conference. Both of these websites (linked above) offer the option of subscribing so that the daily devotionals come directly to your email and you don't miss anything. 

This advent, I pray you experience that moments of meaningfulness, using these resources or others. Meaningfulness so transforming that it leaves no doubt in your soul that you have been touched by the power of the Holy Spirit. 

Have a great week and I will see you Sunday!

Friday, November 24, 2017

Thursday Thoughts

1. Sunday Morning Worship - This week we will begin a new preaching series: Traveling the Highways of Advent. Pastor Loida will begin this journey with us focusing upon the "The Straight and Narrow" using Luke 3:1-14. We will begin preparing our mind and emotions to be in tune with the new thing that God is about to do.


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




2. Pledges for 2018


We're so thankful for everyone who responded by turning in their pledge card last Sunday as we dedicated our pledge commitments. If you have not yet turned your financial pledge or volunteer survey into the church, it's not too late. You can bring them to worship with you this Sunday and put them in the offering plates or drop them by the church office during regular office hours.




3. 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


4. GROW Night Dinner and Classes

Next week we will be back to our regular schedule of Wednesday night dinner and GROW Night classes. We have just three weeks left of our fall semester: November 29th, December 6th and December 13th.

GROW Night will take a break from December 20 through January 3rd. Dinner and a new slate of classes will resume on Wednesday January 10th, 2018.


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!




Tuesday, November 21, 2017

MIdweek Moment


Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day. A day that has been marked in various ways over the years. For some of us, it is marked as a time to spend with family, near and far. For others, it is day marked by watching massive amounts of football. And for most of us, it is day to eat, rest and digest, and then eat a little more. I hate the fact that Thanksgiving here lately gets skipped over in favor of heading right to Christmas sales and decorations. 


But I'm thinking of Pastor Daryl's sermon from Sunday and all that we have to be thankful for this year - about cultivating an attitude of gratitude in response for all that God has done. Remember, he quoted Psalm 116: "I love the LORD because..." and then the Psalmist went on to list all the things that God had done that could be rejoiced over.

So with that in mind, what are you thankful for this Thanksgiving? I'll start off with a small list of things I'm thankful for in my life: 
1. for my salvation
2. for my husband Daryl and our children Parker, Wesley and Davis
3. for my calling as a pastor for the Kingdom of God
4. for getting to live out that calling here at Community among all of you, with this amazing church staff and incredible lay people 
5. for my family 
6. for dear friends
7. for my health
8. for the chance to spend Thanksgiving with family 
I hope you find joy in counting your blessings as well this Thanksgiving season.

Blessings,


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!