Service is a Vital Part of a Healthy Church

December 30, 2014

Several weeks ago, a list of the Ministries that our church supports and participates in was mailed to your home.  There is a place in at least one of these ministry areas for YOUR service.  When we serve we are also supporting our church with our witness, presence and gifts………

Participate in a Worship Service

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Lend a Hand with Empty Stocking

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Help around the Church

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Participate in VBS

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 Help with UM Army


Perhaps there is a ministry that we currently do not have that YOU would like to take the lead and initiate.  If you would care to participate in one of our existing ministries but are unsure of whom to contact, call the church office and Donna can provide you with the person to call.

Dear Members and Friends of Hemphill First United Methodist Church

December 29, 2014

For several weeks there have been announcements, sermons, articles and conversations about New Covenant Sunday.  On that day we will celebrate our spiritual renewal encouraging everyone to reaffirm the vows and commitments made when you joined the church – to participate in the ministry of the church with your Prayers, Presence, Gifts, Service, and Witness.

New Covenant Sunday is January 4, 2015, the day each person will return the enclosed card listing their intentions after prayerful consideration of how participation in each area can be increased.  The card has two parts.  The top part is information for the church; the identical bottom part is for your own records.  You will NOT be asked to sign the card that you turn in, only the portion that you keep so you will have a record of your intentions and decisions.  On January 4, the unsigned top portion of the card will be deposited in a gift box at the altar during the service.

What can the church do to help you grow spiritually?  Be alert to the possibilities for you to grow.  Be positive and receptive to the ideas you may think of or suggestions you may hear.  Open your heart so you may hear God’s whisperings.  Be in prayer that your decisions transform you.  Fuel your thoughts and imagination leading you to discover your gifts and talents in regards to your church. While some ideas to encourage / inspire you follow, trust yourself to go beyond these suggestions and choose additional paths to serve.


  • Use bulletin prayer list to intercede for those listed
  • Increase the frequency of your prayer time / length of your prayer time
  • Participate in National Day of Prayer / the World Day of Prayer


  • Accept ministry team (committee) commitments and attend meetings regularly
  • Join / be present at Sunday School / Bible Study
  • Take part in church activities in addition to Worship Services


  • Use your gifts and talents in meaningful ways
  • Sing in the choir
  • Strive to increase your givinG


  • Lead Responsive Reading at Worship / Regularly phone or contact a member shut-in
  • Teach a Sunday School Class / Lead a Children’s Sermon
  • Be involved beyond Sunday Services – Check the List of Ministries of our church; explore where you can contribute.


  • Take Communion to member shut-ins
  • Invite others to FUMC / to your Sunday School Class
  • Be aware that your actions in public speak louder than words Following the service by Reverend Grant Barnes, our new minister, a special dinner will be held to further celebrate New Covenant Sunday. This is not a pot luck dinner. The meal will be prepared for the congregation as the celebration of this day continues.   As in the time of Jesus, when coming together to share a meal had a tendency to draw His followers closer, so is the hope that we will celebrate our renewal and draw closer to Him.

Please plan to attend this special New Covenant Sunday on January 4, 2015 to celebrate a renewal of your vows and the Celebration Luncheon following.


New Covenant Team:

Peggy Rawls          Larry Lindsey    Gloria Foster

JoAnn Allison           Buckshot Walker

Pat Friese               Dan McAnally          Buzz Foster

My Gifts belong to Jesus

December 28, 2014

1 Peter 4:10 ESV As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace

Typically when you are asked to increase your giving, one automatically thinks about money. However, when we increase our service, our prayers, and our witness, we are also increasing our giving.

2 Corinthians 9:6-7 ESV The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

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Faithful Stewards – 1 Corinthians 4:1-2
Let a man so consider us as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover, it is required in stewards that one be found faithful. (NKJV)

One of the best things about reading the Bible regularly is you often see common verses in a different light – when they are read in context. The verse above is one such example. Stewardship is something we hear about often, and most of the time it is thought of in terms of finances. Obviously, it is important to be a faithful steward with everything God has given us, including finances. But that isn’t what the verse above is referring to!

Paul and Apollos were given a gift and calling from the Lord. The Bible states that they were in charge of “explaining God’s secrets.” Paul makes it clear that faithfulness in that calling was not an option – it was required. Using the gift God gave him was good stewardship. The same is true for us.

What is Your Gift?

We need to consider if we are using the gifts God has given us in a way that pleases and honors him. This is a hard question to ask if you don’t know what God has gifted you to do. If you are uncertain about what the Lord has called you to do, first, ask him to show you! In James 1:5 we’re told that if we lack wisdom, we should ask God, and it will be given to us. So that’s the first step

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Are You Using Your Gift?

If you know what your gifts are, you need to ask yourself if you are using the gifts God has given you, or if the gifts he’s given you are wasting away. Are you, by chance, withholding something that could be a blessing to others in the body of Christ.

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If you are using your gifts, the next thing to look at is your motive. Are you using your gifts in a way that pleases and honors the Lord? It’s possible to use our gifts, but to do so in a sloppy, uncaring manner. Or, it is possible to use them well, but to do so out of pride. The gifts God has entrusted us with should be used with excellence, and with pure motives, so that God is the one glorified. That is good stewardship!


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How can I increase my Presence?

December 26, 2014

Ephesians 4:11-12    And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;

Certainly going to church does not make you a Christian.  However, as a Christian it is important to be associated with people who gather in the name of Christ.  We experience meaningful worship through prayer, song, and the sacraments.  We are energized, as we receive a message of God’s word and the teachings of Christ by attending church.

Methodists commit to support our church with our Presence.  This includes being involved in church activities, ministry teams (committees), and the outreach opportunities that are supported by our church.

Matthew 18:20  “For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.”

Attend Worship service regularly as well as the special worship services such as Maundy Thursday, etc.,

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Attend and participate in Bible Study

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Join a Sunday School Class

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A Month of Prayers for our Church

December 25, 2014

Prayer for our church is important.  Pray that our church will follow the path God has planned.  The following 31 prayers speak to the different areas of our church.

1. Pastor – Lord, I lift up my pastor to You. Thank You for his servant’s heart. Keep him from losing heart when ministry gets tough. Help him prove faithful with the things you have entrusted to him. Teach him Your ways so that he knows You and finds favor with You as He leads us. Keep him open and honest before You and help him to represent the truth plainly. (2 Cor. 4:1; 1 Cor. 4:1-3 Ex. 33:13)

2. Elders – Lord, I lift up my elders (church board) to You. Help us respect and honor them as they direct the affairs of our church. May they wholeheartedly give their attention to prayer and ministry of the Word. Keep them above reproach, devoted to their families, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable and able to teach. May they be gentle and honest as they deal with people. (1 Tim. 5:17; Acts 6:4; 1 Tim. 3:1-2; Titus 1:7)

3. Deacons – Lord, I lift up my deacons to You. May they walk worthy of respect with sincere hearts. Keep them from indulgence and greed. Help them keep hold of truth. May they keep short accounts with You so that their conscience is clear. Bless their households with peace and respect. Fill them with Your Spirit and let them operate in wisdom as they carry out their responsibilities. (1 Tim. 3:8-9, 12; Acts 6:3)

4. Adults – Lord, I lift up the adults in my congregation to You. May we live worthy of Your call on our lives. As we respond to that call, fulfill every purpose, every faith-filled act of service by Your power. May we be clothed in righteousness with hearts that sing for joy and delight greatly in You. We want to walk with You, Jesus, dressed in white, adorned with jewels. (Eph. 4:1; 2 Thes. 1:11; Ps. 132:9; Isa. 61:10; Rev. 3:4)

5. Children/Youth – Lord, I lift up the children and youth in my congregation to You. May the little ones remain humble examples of what we adults need to become in the kingdom. Let their conduct always be pure and right with reputations that show that they remember You, Creator God. Teach them to declare Your marvelous deeds. May they flee evil desires and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace. (Matt 18:3-4; Prov. 20:11; Eccl. 12:1; Ps. 71:17; 2 Tim. 2:22)

6. Seniors – Lord, I lift up the senior members of our congregation. Thank You for every gray hair attained by righteous living. We are blessed by their example and ability to train us. Help us to be humbly submissive as we benefit from their wisdom and understanding. Help them receive the strength and power You’ve promised to the weary and weak. May they put their hope in You and be renewed in the process. (Prov. 16:31; Titus 2:4; 1 Pet. 5:5; Job 12:12; Isa. 40:29, 31)

7. Lost Among Us – Lord, I lift up the lost members of our congregation. Let the gospel be presented to them not only through the sermon but also with power, the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. Teach us to make the most of every opportunity to share Your salvation. Help us to be the fragrance of Christ to them. We stand against the enemy and his attempts to keep them blinded to Your truth. (1 Thes. 1:5; Col. 4:5; 2 Cor. 2:15; 2 Cor. 4:4)

8. Worship Leaders – Lord, I lift up our worship leaders. Appoint people to this position who understand the splendor of Your holiness and praise You out of that understanding. Help them lead us faithfully in thanks for Your enduring love. Use their praise to defeat the enemy. May they be the true worshipers You are looking for who worship in spirit and in truth. Let them glory only in You, Jesus, so that they put no confidence in their own flesh. (2 Chron. 20:21-22; Jn. 4:23-24; Phil. 3:3)

9. Speakers/Teachers – Lord, I lift up the speakers and teachers in our church. May everyone who holds that position—pastors, Sunday school teachers, small group leaders, guest speakers—rightly divide Your word of truth. Let them admonish and teach with wisdom. Reveal the mysteries of Your word to them and encourage them to speak those mysteries courageously and fearlessly. Let them speak with a spirit of faith that springs from their relationship with You. (2 Tim. 2:15; Col. 1:28; Dan. 2:47; Phil. 1:14; 2 Cor. 4:13)

10. Women’s Ministry – Lord, I lift up our Women’s Ministry. Encourage our older women to train the younger in family issues. Teach our women to be virtuous—women with gentle and quiet spirits who put their hope in You. Let this ministry produce women who feel Your passion for them and who choose to spend time at Your feet. Train them to contend for the gospel side by side with the men. (Titus 2:4, 5; Pro. 31:10; 1 Pet. 3:4, 5; Ps. 45:11; Lk. 10:38-42; Phil. 4:3)

11. Men’s Ministry – Lord, I lift up our Men’s Ministry to You. Use this ministry to build our men in their faith. Teach them to be in right relationship to You and each other, to love their wives sacrificially and to instruct their children with patience. Encourage them to hold each other accountable as they carry each other’s burdens. May they speak the truth in love to each other even when it’s hard. (Jude 1:20; Titus 2:2; 1 Tim. 5:1; Eph. 5:25, 6:4; Gal. 6:2; Eph. 4:15; Prov. 27:6)

12. Youth Workers – Lord, I lift up our Youth Workers. Let these young men and women set an example in their speech, life, love, faith and purity. Cause them to be strong, alive-in-the-Word overcomers. Help them to have discernment as they deal with the young people in our church. Help them to notice any youth who lacks judgment so they can teach them to value Your life-giving principles. Pour out Your Spirit on them. (1 Tim. 4:12; 1 Jn 2:14; Prov. 3:21, 7:7; 7:2; Joel 2:28).

13. Behind-the-Scenes Workers – Lord, I lift up the people who work behind the scenes at our church. Thank You for every nursery worker, parking lot attendant, office volunteer, building janitor, etc. who has devoted themselves to the service of the saints. Bless them for the obedience and generosity they have displayed—may You receive praise as a result! Keep them in an attitude of humility that comes from wisdom and wholehearted service to You rather than to be noticed by others. (1 Cor. 16:15; 2 Cor. 9:12-13; Jas. 3:13; Eph. 6:7)

14. Children’s Ministries – Lord, I lift up our children’s ministries to You. Create an atmosphere here that encourages our children to find You. Let the teachers be careful to remind each child of the marvelous things You have done. Cause everything they learn about You to become a part of them forever. May they consistently choose life and blessing each day because of the training they receive in our church. Keep them walking in the truth. (Mk 10:14; Dt. 4:9; 29:29; 30:19; Prov 22:6; 3 Jn 1:4)

15. Prayer Focus – Lord, I lift up the prayer focus in my church. Make us into a house of prayer. We desire to be clear-minded and self-controlled so that we can pray first, always, continually and thankfully. May everyone recognize that this is Your desire for all and not just a few. Use us to stand in the gap for others. Let there be prayer ministry among us that is powerful and effective. (Mk. 11:17; 1 Pet. 4:7; 1 Tim. 2:1; Eph. 6:18; 1 Thes. 5:17; Phil. 4:6; Ps. 32:6; Ezk. 22:30; Jas. 5:16)

16. Spiritual Level – Lord, I lift up the spiritual temperature of my church. Revive us! Refine us so that we burn hot for You. Give us singleness of heart and action so that we always fear You and follow Your precepts. Pour out a spirit of Josiah on us so that we turn to You heart, soul and strength. Open our minds to understand Your Word so that our hearts burn within us. (Ps. 85:6; Rev. 3:14-18; Jer. 32:39; Ps. 111:10; 2 Ki. 23:25; Lk. 24:45, 32)

17. Spirit-Led – Lord, I lift up the issue of our willingness to be led by Your Spirit. Holy Spirit, show us any way we are grieving, quenching or resisting You. Convict us and lead us to level ground. Help us keep in step with You as we live by You. Reign in us so that we experience Your freedom. Lead us into grace, life and peace. (Eph. 4:30; 1 Thes. 5:19; Acts 7:51; Jn. 16:8; Ps. 143:10; Gal. 5:25; 2 Cor. 3:17; Gal. 5:18; Ro. 8:6)

18. Spiritual Gifts – Lord, I lift up the use of spiritual gifts in our church. We eagerly desire spiritual gifts that You’ve given for our common good. Help us understand the various gifts and how they work. Teach us to use what we’ve received to serve others and faithfully administer Your grace—whatever form that takes. Help us exercise our gifts in love. Remind us to keep fanning into flame the gifts You’ve entrusted to us. (1 Cor. 14:1, 12:4-7;1 Pet. 4:10; 2 Tim. 1:6)

19. Love/Unity – Lord, I lift up our love for one another as a body. Help us purify ourselves by obeying the truth so that our love for each other will be sincere, deep and from the heart. May our love for one another prove that we are Your disciples. Give us a spirit of unity so that we may glorify You with one heart and voice. Help us accept one another as we clothe ourselves in love. (1 Pet. 1:22; Jn. 13:34-35; Ro. 15:5-7; Col. 3:14)

20. Finances – Lord, I lift up our church finances. May we sow generously into our church without reluctance or compulsion. Make all grace abound so we have all we need for every good work You’ve assigned us. Make us rich in ways that result in generosity on our part so You will be praised. Keep reminding us of your promise to throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out blessing on all who bring the whole tithe into Your house. (2 Cor. 9:6-11; Mal. 3:10)

21. Outreach/Missions Projects – Lord, I lift up our outreach programs. Remind us to do good and share with others as a pleasing sacrifice to You. Keep us outwardly focused so we don’t become self-absorbed. Help us teach one another to be faithful ministers of Your Son. Enable us to meet people wherever they have a need. Help us minister faithfully as we proclaim the gospel so that the ones we reach might become an acceptable offering to You. (Heb. 13:16; Phil. 2:4; Col. 1:7; Jude 1:23)

22. Single parents – Lord, I lift up the single parents in our church. May they know You as father to the fatherless and defender of widows! Let us be a real family to them when they are lonely. Show us ways to include them and minister grace to them. Stir up practical ideas in us that show Your love and care. Help them relax in Your grace and provision which is more than enough for every weakness and need. (Ps. 68:5, 6; 25:16; Matt. 25:35-40; 2 Cor. 12:9; Phil. 4:19)

23. Help for the Hurting – Lord, I lift up those who are hurting right now. May they come to know You as El Roi, the God who sees them. For every situation of rejection, help them feel sonship. Bind up the brokenhearted! In every area of bondage, set the captives free; in every case of mourning, replace it with Your oil of gladness. Comfort them so that they will have a ministry of comfort to others. (Gen. 16:13; Ro. 8:15; Isa. 61:1-3; 2 Cor. 1:3-4)

24. Freedom from besetting sins – Lord, I lift up every one of us who struggle with sin issues. Keep us from the enemy’s scheme of condemnation. Grant us repentance so that we can escape the trap of the evil one. Thank You that sin was done away with on the cross and that we are no longer slaves to it. Help us to throw off everything that entangles—help us run the race with perseverance. (Ro. 8:1; 2 Tim. 2:25, 26; Ro. 6:6; Heb. 12:1)

25. Kingdom focus/priorities – Lord, I lift up our priorities as a congregation. Give us ears to hear what Your Spirit is saying to our church. Open our eyes to see things as You see them. Help us move beyond issues of immediate need to pursuing Kingdom issues. Bring us to a place where “Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” is more than just words we say. (Rev. 3: 22; 2 Ki. 6:17; Matt. 6:25, 33, 10)

26. Growth through evangelism – Lord, I lift up our church growth to You. Add to our number daily through new converts. Birth spiritual children through us. Let our actions win people over without words. Use us as Your agents to rescue people from darkness and bring them into Your Son’s kingdom. We long to be worthy ambassadors in this ministry You have entrusted to us: that of proclaiming Your message of reconciliation to a lost world. (Acts 2:47; 1 Cor. 4:15; 1 Pet. 3:1-2; Col. 1:13; 2 Cor 5:20)

27. Our neighborhood – Lord, I lift up our community, especially the surrounding neighborhood. Let us love these people as we love ourselves. May our concern for their needs override other things that take our time and focus. Rebuild and restore areas that have been devastated. Renew our community—send Your peace and prosperity into this place where You’ve planted us. Bless each individual home and family. Build each house from the inside out; watch over our city. (Gal. 5:14; Prov. 3:28; Isa. 61:4; Jer. 29:7; Lk 10:5-6; Ps. 127:1)

28. Connectivity with the Church in our city – Lord, I lift up the Church in our city. Thank You for creating the body as one unit made up of many parts. Help us understand the value of each part as You have arranged them. We confess that we’ve minimized other parts. Forgive us, for we are all baptized by one Spirit into one body. Help us to work at being one: concerned about one another—suffering with and rejoicing with other congregations as appropriate. (1 Cor. 12:12-26)

29. Connectivity with the Church in our nation – Lord, I lift up the Church in our nation. We humbly unite and confess as one people—one Church called by Your name—that we have sinned. We’ve operated out of acquired wealth thinking we could do it on our own—but we are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. We seek Your face, O God! Thank You for hearing and forgiving us. We wait on You for the healing of our land! (2 Chron. 7:14; Rev. 3:17)

30. Connectivity with the Church around the world – Lord, I lift up the Church universal. Father, we claim the power of Your name over us so that we will be one, as You and Your Son are one. We want Your joy in full measure just as Your Son, Jesus, prayed for us. Help us live as though we are not of this world; sanctify us by Your word. May we be brought to complete unity so that the world will know the truth of the gospel. (Jn. 17:11-23)

31. Protection from the Enemy – Lord, I lift up our need for protection. Protect and deliver us from the evil one. Help us be as wise as serpents and as innocent as doves as we deal with the wolves around us. Show us how to test every spirit to see if they are from You. Help us recognize the enemy’s disguises and schemes so that he won’t outwit us. (Jn. 17:15; Matt. 6:13; Matt. 10:14; 1 Jn.. 4:1; 2 Cor. 11:14; 2:11)

(C) 2004, 2012 by Church Prayer Leaders Network. http://www.prayerleader,com. This guide can be photocopied or emailed freely as long as this statement and website is included on the bottom. © 2014 Church Prayer Leaders Network. All Rights Reserved


Provided by Katherine Knight

Baptisms – Lennon and Levi – Dec 14th

December 25, 2014

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Lennon Elizabeth

Mark 10:16   And He took them in His arms and began blessing them, laying His hands on them.


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Levi Michael

  Proverbs 22:6     Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.






Baptism of Edward James Callahan – Nov 30th

December 23, 2014


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2 1/2 month old Edward

Grandson of JoAnn and Brad Varnum

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Born September 14, 2014

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Parents are Robert and Melissa Callahan of Atlanta, Georgia

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 Matthew 19:14 – But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

Support our church with Prayer

December 22, 2014

Luke 6:12    One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God.

How many times have you prayed today?  The most beautiful part of being a Christian is your direct route to talking directly to God. He does answer prayers. Even if you sometimes don’t have the words to say, just listen to what God may be saying to you, speak from the heart and He will listen. This is such an important part of Christian life — talking to God can improve your life in so many ways. He may answer your prayers or maybe even give you answers to question you didn’t even know you were asking. The special relationship between you and God is important.

1 Timothy 2:1-2     I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone–  for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.




Romans 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helps our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

Philippians 4:6     Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

  prayer 1


How do I Witness

December 19, 2014

Of the five vows that we take when joining the church, one of the most important is Witness.

1 Peter 3:15 (ESV)

But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,

Witnessing to others is hard for most of us. Inviting someone to Sunday church service, sharing your faith, and inviting folks to church activities are all examples of witnessing.

One way to witness is to simply tell the story of how you came to Christ. The way we live needs to show that Christ is real. How does your story go?

The following is an excerpt from a young man’s story:  “My story continues. I’d be the first to say I’m not a perfect Christian. Far from it, I still make a lot of mistakes, but I even see those mistakes as a part of my story. I make sure I confess my sins to God and, when needed, to others. I then try my best to make changes that will help me live more the way God wants me to. And I try my best to be the same person at church as I am at school or on the court or on the football field. I just know that each experience I have is a part of my continuing story of faith. The story I live today isn’t dramatic. But it is still my story—and it’s still the best way to let others know that Christ is real in my life.”

Matthew 5: (ESV)   16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

But have you ever thought how much you witness in your everyday activities?  Your personal example is a part of your witness.

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The Shawl Ministry is a powerful witness

People watch us and how we react to situations with our words and actions. These reactions are hopefully positive but sadly in some cases become a negative witness. How do we speak of our church to others? How we react to a driver that cuts us off in traffic? How we interact with the person in front of you in the grocery store in the “10 items or less” check out but has at least 40 items?  We never know what personal crisis people are dealing with.  A smile and a pleasant “Hello” is a great witness.

Lending a helping hand

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UM Army at work and in Witness


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Witnessing through Service



Activity on the Playground

December 16, 2014


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