It’s hard to believe that we are already half way through the fifth month of the year! 2019 is almost half-way gone. Annual Conference is just around the corner, and there is so much happening in the next couple of weeks.
- This Sunday, May 19, we will re-dedicate the Fellowship Hall with a meal and a salute to everyone who played a part in making this renovation happen. Proceeds from the meal will go to local missions projects in the community. In the United Methodist Church, we only dedicate a facility when it is debt-free. With the Insurance payout and spending from designated capital improvement funds, this renovation is debt-free and we look forward to dedicating this space to ministry for our community. While there are renovations that will need to happen in the kitchen and restrooms, those will happen over time and do not affect the ability to use our space to advance our mission.
- From now through June 2, 2019, we will collect the Annual Conference Mission Offering. This year’s mission offering is dedicated to establishing grants for local church ministries to address the opioid crisis in our communities. Here is a link to a video presentation on this offering from the Holston Annual Conference. It is my hope that we can partner with Simpson UMC, Fort Oglethorpe UMC, and Flintstone UMC to address all forms of addiction in the coming year and the years to come. Please be generous with your gifts.
- Our buckets for Zimbabwe offering has exceeded my expectations. I was told that y’all had only given about 15 buckets to our Hands On Mission Offering in the past. Frankly, I thought that I would be tarred and feathered when I challenged you to do 36 buckets for 2019. To make it easy, I suggested that we would buy the items in bulk so that the shopping wouldn’t be so tedious (and we can take advantage of discounts for buying by the case) and I found all of the items (including the buckets and shipping) would cost around $23. It didn’t take long for me to see that you not only accepted the challenge, but you exceeded it. Barbara and I.O. convinced Lowes to donate the buckets which lowered our cost to around $18. As I write this, you have contributed enough money to fill 42 buckets. You will remember that I said that anything collected over the 36 buckets would go toward local missions. Thank you for your generosity and support. You make me proud. We will pray over the buckets in the June 2nd worship service and deliver them to Brainerd UMC on June 5th.
- On June 9th, we will celebrate Pentecost, the birthday of the Church. It is also the day that Annual Conference begins at Lake Junaluska. Craig Leonard and I will represent McFarland UMC. Since I need to travel to Western North Carolina that day, we will flip worship and Sunday School on that day only. On June 9, worship will be at 10:00 a.m. and Sunday school will follow at 11:00. Please mark that on your calendar and make plans to be with us. I will update you on how much we have given through the Conference Mission Offering and through Change for Children.
As the end of our first year together looms before us, I want to thank you for your support and your friendship. You make me proud to be your pastor. I look forward to our next year together.
May God’s blessing continue to be yours!