JANUARY, 2017 VOLUME 21, #1
CARTHAGE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
Dear Church Family:
The church plays havoc with the 12 days of Christmas. January 6th would be the 12th day of Christmas and the feast of Epiphany. Now the church celebrates Epiphany as the first Sunday of January, which falls on January 1 this year. The importance of Epiphany is Christ’s manifestation to the wider world. When he appeared to the shepherds, that was his appearance to the Jewish people. His appearance to the kings or wise men—whatever you call them—is Christ’s appearance to the Gentile world. The message is that salvation is available for everyone, not a select few.
We will begin to take down the Christmas decorations and put them away for another year. However, we cannot put away the message that was proclaimed at Christ’s birth: Peace on earth to all people of good will! Since the time of Christ, the Middle East has never really enjoyed an extended period of peace. Currently, the Middle East is a cauldron. The region hosts a number of violent terrorists. It would be wrong to ignore what is going on in this area. When you see, Christians martyred for their beliefs, the world community needs to respond in some manner.
On a different front, you know of my concern for missions and our becoming true servants of Christ by reaching out to the least and lowest. My prayer is that this might be the year that we truly reach beyond ourselves and become Christ for those on the margins of our community and the world. Let us carry the message of Christ’s birth: Peace on earth to all people of good will!
Sincerely yours in Christ,
CHILDRENS MINISTRY NEWS:
Happy New Year from the Children`s Ministry! The children had a wonderful Christmas season, on December the 11th they presented the Christmas musical “The Present is the Future”! Mrs. Jodi and I are so very proud of the wonderful job they all did and of all the hard work they put in practicing for it. Thank you to all who helped make it possible and thank you to all who attended. Your words of love, support, and encouragement to us and the children mean so much! Many new things come with the blessing of a new year but one things that is always the same is the love shown to us by God when His Son was born into this world to save us from our sins and allow us one day to have eternal life by salvation through Him, the greatest gift ever given and the only gift that gives us the best future one could ever pray for. May we all put Him at the front of our hearts, minds, and actions as we begin 2017. As always thank you for being a congregation who loves and supports the children as they grow in their faith, knowledge, and love of God.
PERSECUTED CHRISTIANS: Please pray for the following, Worshippers at Al-Bortosia Chapel: in St. Mark’s Cathedral complex were interrupted during prayers by a bomb. The explosive killed 24 worshippers mostly women & children. Several hundred others were injured. This is the deadliest attack on Copts in recent years. (Cairo, Egypt)
Chinese Christians: are facing a new set of restrictions on religious practice proposed by
the State Administration on Religious Activities (SARA). The rules, if accepted by
the government, "provide a powerful legal base for future suppression. This draft
will bring upon a religious winter so harsh that we must seek guidance from God"
said Pastor Gao Baosheng. (China)
Martha Solomon Kebede, Miheret Abera Mulat, Gifti Dabesa Fekyisa &Eden Serawit
Mekuria: school girls aged 15-18 were talking with Muslim friends about Islam & Christianity. When adults learned of their conversation they demanded the Christian girls be arrested. The prosecutor asked for 15 years in prison - three times the prosecutor had the girls re-arrested & pursued the 15-year sentence. Eventually, a court sentenced them to a month of detention & fines. The girls were recently released but continue to face death threats, as do their families.
submitted by Jill Garner
EDUCATION & SUNDAY SCHOOL: “Opportunities for a New You in the New Year”
Scripture reminds us that we are to be good stewards of our physical bodies as well as our spiritual ones. Look for opportunities to do just that. Here are 2 that come to mind.
LADIES FUNCTIONAL FITNESS CLASS
We are a group of ladies ranging in age from 40’s to 80’s who meet twice a week for a functional fitness class. The class is led by Janie Pedigo and meets at the National Guard Armory in Gordonsville. We usually meet on Tuesday and Friday mornings, from 10-11am followed by an optional “ab lab” to target abdominal exercises. The cost is $25.00 a month. The focus is not on being a certain size or losing a certain amount of weight, but being the most healthy and fit that we can be in our bodies. We do cardio plus weights with the class motto being “Do what you can do, but if it hurts, don’t do it.” There are several of our church ladies who attend and can attest to the effectiveness of the class. For more info, contact Janie Pedigo at 931-265-6158.
Also, remember that there is a Yoga class that meets 2 times a week here at the church – and several members can attest to the effectiveness of this class.
WEDNESDAY WOMEN IN THE WORD-BIBLE STUDY
It’s that time! Welcome to a brand-new year! What better way to begin the year than with a brand-new Bible Study. On Wednesday, January 25th, we will start the study “All Things New” – a study on 2nd Corinthians by Kelly Minter. Many of you took the study on 1st Corinthians last fall and are excited to continue in Paul’s letters to the Corinthians.
Place: - Here in the Gathering Room
Study will last for 8 consecutive Wednesdays. Invite any lady you think would be interested. The study books are now available in the church office. Please let Deanna or myself know if you plan to attend and haven’t signed up.
As always, if you aren’t in a Sunday School class, we would love to have you and will find the perfect one for you. We have several different ages and stages of classes available and they are just waiting for you to join.
Thank You: Thank you to Lynn Bontrager for setting up the nativity scene outside in the front of the church. We appreciate it very much.
Church Office News: The church office will be closed on Monday, January 2nd in observance of New Year’s Day and on Monday, January 16th in observance of Martin Luther King Day
Carthage United Methodist Church
608 Main Street North
Carthage, TN 37030
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Fred King Wyatt 05-28-09
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Reggie Swindler 01-24-09
Claudia Dillehay 12-05-08
Carson Maxwell 11-28-08
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Steve Schafer 08-31-08
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O.C. Wakefield 01-12-08
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