Congratulations to our members celebrating birthdays and anniversaries this month!
May 2021 Birthdays
- Alicia Alvarez
- Edward Andross
- Grace Brown
- Nancy Daniell
- Marsha Elzey
- DJ Flockhart
- Silvia Flockhart
- Lewis Gregg
- Pat Grunden
- Lin Johns
- Annette Poindexter
- Elaine Sugg
May 2021 Anniversaries
- Lisa & Mack Allen
- Ken & Raye Ann Holewinski
- Frank & Susan Sorci
As we start to come out of the COVID-19 pandemic, I must start this month’s report by thanking our entire congregation for your unwavering support of your time, talents, gifts, and service. We have stayed a close congregation even when we couldn’t physically see each other, found ways to continue to worship, and through your generosity kept our church financially solvent. Pastor John, Mike and LuAnn improvised almost weekly, supported by the dedicated Worship Team volunteers, to bring the Word to us no matter the challenge. And our Board members continue to step up to whatever is needed, when it is needed, and always cheerfully. It has truly been a team effort!
One consequence of the pandemic was a year delay in plans we made early 2020 which we are just now beginning to revisit. We are slowly making much needed repairs to our facilities inside and out to prepare for a full return to normal services and other activities during the summer. We are also planning for a yard sale in August which will allow us to clean out and sell many of the items we no long use in our ministries.
Also, this month we finally start our visioning process. Visioning is just the first step of a new journey for NFUMC to redefine our place in God’s church and our relationship to our community. Over the last decade we’ve changed as a congregation, the community around us has changed, and the pandemic accelerated even more changes. Change is not always easy, but it is necessary to continue our mission to be effective disciples of Jesus Christ to the world. We will need every one of you to be involved in the visioning process; every contribution of your time no matter how big or small is important as we set a new direction – together.
So, let’s enjoy one more month in The Grove followed by our return to fresh air worship during our Parking Lot Revival in June featuring great music and the great sermons always provided by Pastor John. Spring is here and the Lord is Risen! Let us be glad and rejoice!
Yours in Service,
Steve Justice – 2021 NFUMC Board Chair
One thing that I found to be in common among all the Big Church organizations that I mentioned in the last Lay Leader Line is the connection that we have from the highest level of the Big Church down to the individual church and member. Many opportunities exist to follow the latest news about the United Methodist Church, learn more about what it means to be a Methodist, and become involved in many initiatives to participate in the spreading of God’s Word and making disciples.
From now on I will include information on some of these opportunities. I truly hope that you will take a moment to check out at least one of these topics. If you would like additional information on a particular subject, let me know.
May 9, Mother’s Day – Wesley Woods’ Mother’s Day Offering
For more than 46 years, churches of The North Georgia Conference of The United Methodist Church have received the Mother’s Day Offering for Wesley Woods. This generous support funds financial assistance for meals and housing to residents who have the gift of a long life but may have outlived their resources. In addition, the Mother’s Day Offering also supports on-site chaplains and an innovative wellness program
Final Thought – Link to the Monday Memo
Sue Berg – Lay Leader, NFUMC
STOP whatever you are doing right now. Take a breath and moment to reflect on what you felt on Easter and never forget that wonderful day. If asked, I am sure that each of us could come up with a special word or sentence to describe the glorious feeling and experience of that day. Not only were we celebrating the Resurrection of our RISEN Lord, but also the experience and excitement of coming back together as a church. NEVER forget that feeling and cherish it especially as we continue to go forward out of the darkness of last year into the light of the future. It may not always be perfect or without flaws but with God’s help we are headed towards the light.
Now, many times you will hear me say or see that I use the term the Big Church. For clarification purposes, let me define what I mean. (Please remember that this is only Sue’s term. ) The Big Church consists of the various levels and United Methodist organizations that are above NFUMC.
- Church (NFUMC) ===> District (Southwest District)
- SOUTHWEST DISTRICT consists of Georgia counties of: Butts, Coweta, Fayette, Harris, Heard, Jasper, Lamar, Meriwether, Monroe, Pike, Spalding, Troup and Upson.
- Our current District superintendent is Rev. Susan Landry. The District main office is in Griffin.
- District ===> Conference (North Georgia Conference)
- The North Georgia Conference, located in Atlanta, is compromised of 8 Districts. Within these districts there are almost 800 churches, with more than 1,300 clergy and approximately 340,000 lay members. Our conference is the largest in the United States.
- The Conference is overseen by Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson.
- Conference ===> Jurisdiction (Southeast Jurisdiction)
- States comprising the Southeast Jurisdiction include: Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and Kentucky.
- Jurisdiction ===> United Methodist Church
- The United Methodist Church has over 12 million members around world. It was formed in 1968 but its heritage goes back to 1700 England.
In future Lay Leader Lines I will focus on these various organizations and explain their structure, role and impact on the United Methodist Church to include NFUMC.
As always, if you have any questions, please contact me.
Sue Berg – Lay Leader NFUMC
It is so good to be back to in person services in The Grove. Of course, most of March was focused on getting ready for this change, but your Board was also working on updating our church polices, getting ready for our visioning workshop in May, and preparing for our Parking Lot Revival in June.
On the policies update, we had a workshop to review existing policies and draft policies on a range of areas from Safe Sanctuary, use of church facilities, weddings, and funerals. Those policies are in editing and will be released soon to the congregation for your comments. The Board will take up the approval of the policies at our April Board meeting.
Another change will be that our Board meeting will be in person, but socially distanced. More information will be released soon on the April meeting.
We’ll continue to be cautious and still make accommodations for those who can’t attend in person, but it is fantastic to be able see our church family again on Sundays!
Yours in Service,
Steve Justice – 2021 NFUMC Board Chair