FEBRUARY, 2017 VOLUME 21, #2


A Path to God

So, I admitted my sin to you; I didnít conceal my guilt. ďIíll confess my sins to the Lord,Ē is what I said. Then you removed the guilt of my sin. Psalm 32:5 CEB

Do you know anyone who attends church every Sunday and professes the love of Jesus Christ, yet does not express the love of Christ to others? Do you know anyone that strives to impress others about their dedication to Jesus Christ, yet when you look close at the way they live their lives it is hard to imagine that they have ever met Christ? Is it possible that one of those people could be one of us? It is very easy for us to embrace the intellectual theology of Christís love, but quite another thing to let that love flow in and through our hearts to a needy world.
It is my feeling that one of the primary reasons people fail to experience Godís love flowing through them is that a barrier of bitterness and resentment obstructs it. When we become bitter we build a wall around our heart to protect ourselves from pain. If we build that wall high enough, we may become entirely isolated from the world. Safe, but yet isolated. Our protective mechanism eventually leads us to a life of loneliness and ineffectiveness.
The root of this human condition sometimes can be traced to an unforgiving spirit. When we enclose ourselves in a prison of unforgiveness, we work, fellowship, and even worship from behind bars. Yet Scripture teaches us that this need not be the case. We learn from Godís Word that Jesus came to set the captives free. He did so through a divine act of love and forgiveness.
The power of Christís strength to forgive even the worst and most degenerate of us is available to all of us, if we are willing to accept it. If we are captive to our own anger and hostility, we need to allow the Lord to exchange those attitudes for the love we need in order to forgive. In doing so, we ourselves will experience the love of God and will, at the same time, become a vessel for sharing it with others Ė even those who have hurt us.
Folks, forgiveness is a pathway into Godís presence!
I look forward each week in seeing you at the place where we seek to practice forgiveness that we might enter into the presence of God!


BECOMERíS CIRCLE: Becomers Circle will be sponsoring a Books for Missions ďsaleĒ in the gathering room February 5 through February 19. You can choose a book or books and leave a donation in the envelopes provided.

Please check your bookshelves for books that you want to donate to this project. There are boxes near the bookshelves where you can place your books. We especially need childrenís books. We could also use DVDs.

Last year Becomers donated $4035.00 to missions from this church plus provided $100.00 a month for Emanuel House.

This IS a church in mission! Thank you for all your support.

BOY SCOUTS: The Walton Trail District Scout Leaders Dinner will be on Saturday, Feb. 25th at 5:30p.m. The cost is $15.00 each and is by reservation only.

CHILDRENS MINISTRY NEWS: Happy February from the Children`s Ministry! Children`s Choir and Chimes have resumed practices and we would love to have more little ones join us, choir practices from 4-445 on Wednesday and chimers practice from 445-530 even if you arenít sure if your little one is ready we encourage you to bring them. As I like to say ďit never hurts to let them tryĒ. Also, please remember that everything we do is open to ALL children not just those that regularly attend CUMC so if you know of a little one or family who would like to join in or have more information please let us know. As always thank you for being a congregation who loves and supports the children!
Ms. Nicole

OUTREACH COMMITTEE: The Outreach Team would like to thank all who helped prepare and deliver meals to 200 Smith County residents on Christmas Eve this year. Those of you who delivered these meals know joy and sincere appreciation of the people who receive these meals. We hope you are sharing your stories. It is a great honor to serve these people each year, and we could not do it without the support of all the wonderful people who show up to help each year!

With the most gratitude, we thank each of you!
The Outreach Team

PERSECUTED CHRISTIANS: Each year agencies serving the persecuted church compile reports on their efforts to assist Christians around the world. This year, ICC (International Christian Concern) changed the format of their report from their usual numerical list. The 2017 report is contains three categories and briefly highlights each category to give a snapshot of life therein. The "worst of the worst" category includes North Korea, Iraq, Syria and Nigeria. These are the countries with the most blatant, egregious state sponsored persecution. The second category, "core countries" includes countries that perpetually oppress the rights of religious minorities - Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, China, India and Egypt are discussed in this section of the report. The "new and noteworthy" section includes a list of countries where "events indicate declining religious freedom and are cause for alarm." The authors note persecution in these countries doesn't approach the level of suffering Christians experience elsewhere but are cause for concern - the US, Russia and Mexico are included in this section. To read the ten page report go to http://tinyurl.com/jmvrb4l
Submitted by Jill Garner

SHAWL MINISTRY: The shawl ministry will meet on Saturday, February 11th at 9:00a.m.

YOUNG AT HEART: The Young at Heart group will meet at the church on Tuesday, February 21st at 11:00am for a covered dish luncheon. The meat and beverages will be furnished. Everyone is invited to bring a covered dish and join in the fun and fellowship as we plan our year for 2017. Please call the church office by Feb. 20th if you plan to attend. We look forward to another blessed year with everyone.

PROGRAM/COMMITTEE CHAIRPERSONS: The 2017-2020 Discipline Guidelines for proper church function and procedure for all the program/committee chairpersons are in the office and it is requested that each chairperson get and review their appropriate copy.

CHURCH OFFICE: The church office will be closed on Monday, February 20, 2017 in observance of Presidentís Day.

Carthage United Methodist Church

608 Main Street North

Carthage, TN 37030







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