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November 28, 2019
Dear Friends;

I am trusting that you are either in preparation for dinner, or perhaps already finish with the feast (anticipating leftovers?) as you read this weekly note.  In either case, I want to wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving and to say just how grateful I am for ALL that you are and ALL that we are together.  I fear that if I start listing everything, something will be missed.  We as a church have done much this year, and we are readying a team of 23-24 for one last week of hurricane relief work in the panhandle.

Rest up, dear ones – because there is always a great push in this season.  We begin the ‘new year’ – the season of Advent on Sunday, December 1 with our regular morning services where we begin a new sermon series DARE TO BE THE LIGHT.  Then, at 5:00 p.m. we gather again for our annual Hanging of the Greens service.  I love this service so much – I love that we have all of our music groups participating; that we adorn the sanctuary with meaningful symbols; that we sing together the beloved hymns of Advent and Christmas; that we experience a holy controlled chaos that is filled with joy and goodwill.  Join us, won’t you?  And, invite a friend or family member as well to help them start the season right.  A light soup dinner will be available in Sanders Hall beginning at 3:45 p.m., and families can make Advent Wreaths for their homes.

I look forward to sharing this Advent season with you once again.



A few important financial updates:
Our 2019 Operating Budget campaign has been fulfilled at 83%.  We will be sending out one more statement of giving through November 24.  In fulfilling your promise to Saint Paul’s UMC, we hope to finish our year within budget and without deficit.

Our current pledge campaign results for the 2020 Operating Budget are as follows:  $491,524 with 121 pledges received to date.  If you have not had the opportunity to return your pledge card, please do so at your earliest convenience.  You may fill out a card online.  At the start of 2020 the Finance Team and Governing Board will review the 2020 Operating Budget and make necessary adjustments based on pledges received and anticipated income for the year.

Our Making Room Capital Campaign comes to its conclusion in December 2019.  We are currently at 93% of our pledged amounts for this important campaign.  Thank you for your faithfulness! You are encouraged to continue giving to the Making Room campaign as we pay off the loan for the renovation.  We will most likely have a second capital campaign for this purpose.

Below are links to forms for events happening at Saint Paul's.

2020 Women's Retreat:

Online Pledge Card:

Manna on Meridian:

Early Morning Advent Study:

SPARKS Wednesday Kids Ministry

Parents Morning Out Ministry

New Member Information Form

Set up your online giving to the Operating Budget and Making Room Project here:

United Methodist Children's Home
Gift Card Wish List
As Christmas moves closer we are excited to share our annual Christmas gift card drive to show God's love thru gifts during a season in which gift-giving and generosity are especially celebrated. The gift cards will be distributed across the Children's Home ministry to the children we serve. We would be most grateful for gift cards in increments of $10, $20, $25 and $50  from stores like Walmart, Kohl's, Famous Footware and Gamestop. Also restaurants to treat the children over Christmas break like Golden Corral, Papa John's, Chick-Fil-A, McDonalds and Darden restaurants. Please include a gift card receipt and write the denomination on the card if not shown. Thank you so much for providing Christmas Cheer! Some of our children have never experienced a real Christmas. Please see Janet Clark, the Children's Home Representative for Saint Paul's. She will be collecting your gift cards November 17 through December 1.

"Is Advent preparation for the birthday of Jesus, or is Advent a season unto itself, a sacrament of all times beginning in Jesus' birth and still waiting on its finality at the of this present age? Is Advent’s proclamation centered on dread, judgment, and condemnation or hope, expectation, and promise? Is Advent the beginning of the Christian year or does Advent bring the year to a conclusion?

Join a three week conversation, in the dark before dawn, as we explore the answers to these questions concerning the season of Advent. Working through passages of Fleming Rutledge’s Advent: The Once & Future Coming of Jesus Christ, we will hopefully come to find a richness in this our time between times.
6:30 a.m. *yes, that is A.M.* at Canopy Road Cafe on North Monroe beginning Monday, December 2, 2019.  Sign up here.


I will be attending the United Nations COP25 climate conference in Madrid, Spain as a Christian Observer, and would love for you to subscribe to the daily newsletter to experience it along with me! You can do so by clicking here or by visiting the home page and clicking the subscribe button You can also follow my blog where I will be posting the newsletters at


Sign up with the link in Breeze Forms




Sunday School Classes 
9:45 -10:45 a.m.

You may enter the building across from Generations Park into the Foundation, or go down the stairwell at the end of Sanders Hall hallway to the first floor.  

Kindergartners - 3rd graders are learning the "Prescription for Joy" and will be in Room 102 led by JoEllen Brown & Jessie Perry.

4th & 5th graders
 will gather in Room 104 for their lesson with Kevin & Jenni Cox. 

Preschoolers meet in Room 201 in the Nursery Wing with Mary Maud Sharpe.

For directions to the kid's classes, stop by the Welcome Table inside Sanders Hall starting at 9:30 a.m.

Toddler & Preschool Music
Wednesday Evenings 
Weekly, 5:30 - 5:55 p.m. 
New Kids MUSIC Room 200 & 202 
Gaye Herndon & Stephany Bryant, Directors

Next Date:  December 3
9:30am  Kids age 2 and up
10:00am  UNDER age 2
Room 200 ~ KIDS MUSIC ROOM & Playground fellowship

Christmas Movie Night - Wednesday, December 4
Movie Night Dinner:  Homemade Pizza, Salad Bar, Popcorn and Christmas Cookies!  Movie starts at 6:00 p.m.  Join us in Sanders Hall!

 Look for our Saint Paul's Event on Facebook and share it with your friends!
Sign up now here for your little ones to participate in the Children's Nativity Pageant on Sunday, December 22, 11:00 a.m.   


Youth Sunday School 
Every Sunday from 9:45 - 10:45 a.m.
Room 211

Words of Hope, Restoration and Peace
When the early Christians and Gospel writers set out to tell the story of Jesus, the words of the Old Testament prophets were ringing in their ears.  But the prophets wrote centuries before Jesus' birth, and while the Gospel writers looked back and saw how Jesus fulfilled those ancient words, these prophecies were originally meant for their own contemporary audience.  The prophets looked at the people and events of their present situation and sought to speak words of hope, restoration, justice, and peace.  These words were not meant to be put into a time capsule until Jesus would arrive, but to be heard in light of the current and urgent needs of their communities.
The purpose of this study (which is designed specifically for youth) is to engage some of the familiar prophecies we often hear during the season of Advent.  Through discussion, Scripture study activities, group reflection and more, we'll learn about the original context of these prophecies, explore the Advent themes inherent in them, and how these prophecies also echo through the stories of Jesus.
All youth are warmly invited to be a part of this study and, of course, of sharing joys and concerns, group-building games, and yummy snacks!

Youth Choir
Every Sunday from 4:30-5:15 p.m.
The Youth Choir is a group of very talented singers. We’re expecting to grow as everyone settles into a new routine. We rehearse on Sunday afternoons at 4:30 in the choir room. All Youth in Grades 6-12 are invited to join us. Contact Gaye Herndon (

Rooted Youth Fellowship
Every Sunday from 5:15 to 7:00 p.m.
We meet in Sanders Hall for dinner, games, and community.



Family of Jack Pelham, Family of Audrey Robbins, Sandy Kendrick, Leah Allen, Susan Johnson, Yvonne Brownlie, Kristin Dowell, Hazel Oliver, Wayne & Gail Wallace and family, Carolyn Drake, healing, June Joiner, Beverly Kinloch, Marilyn Lowe, Jim Chick, Ron and Mary Ann Braswell, Nena Martinez’s mother, Marjorie Swanberg (Barbara Bauldree’s aunt), healing, Gordon Bowman, healing, Kristi Osborn & family, JD Godbold, Ethel Pearl, healing and restoration, Henry & Celestine Turner, bereavement, Edna Brownlie, safe travels for Pastor Issac and Tania.


Betty Blair, Bob Caldwell, Terry and Carol Broadway; Charlotte Chellman; Dick & Doris Sublette; Helen Keaton; Ralph Kenyon; Ivy Lee Daniel; David Beverly; Norma DeRuyter; Margaret Farnell; Pat Giglio, in Georgia; Oriska Henn & her caregiver Doris; Ralph Hook; Leroy Irwin; Bill Jones; Robert Kennedy; Dottie Melton; Ruth Riley; Dot Roberts; Gretchen Scoggin, Terry Shoffstall; Rev. Ben & Betty Spivey; Norma & Pam Strickland; Melanie Tredik; Soisson Church, Haiti, for peace in Haiti; Yaguaramas Methodist Church, Cuba; Those incarcerated and those returning as citizens, and the people in ministry with them.

CALENDAR  November 28 - December 4, 2019

Thursday, November 28
Thanksgiving Holiday - Office Closed

Friday, November 29
Office Closed for Holiday

Saturday, November 30
Boy Scouts selling Christmas Trees, 9:00 a.m., Scout House Parking Lot
Soul Food Distribution, 9:30 a.m., Lake Ella

Sunday, December 1
Informal Worship, 8:30 a.m., Sanctuary

Sunday School, 9:45 a.m.
Traditional Worship, 11:00 a.m., Sanctuary
Boy Scouts selling Christmas Trees, 12:00 p.m., Scout House Parking Lot

Barbershop Ladies, 2:00 p.m., Choir Room
Order of the Arrow, 3:00 p.m., Scout House
Soup Dinner, 3:45 p.m., Sanders Hall
Hanging of the Greens 5:00 p.m., Sanctuary

Monday, December 2
Classical Conversations, 8:00 a.m., Room 211
Parents Morning Out, 9:00 a.m., 200 Level
Congregational Care, 10:00 a.m., Room 310
Jack Pelham Funeral, 11:00 a.m., Sanctuary
Boy Scouts selling Christmas Trees, 5:00 p.m., Scout House Parking Lot
Governing Board, 6:30 p.m., Sanders Hall
Boy Scout Troop 115, 7:00 p.m., Scout House

Tuesday, December 3
Mommy & Me Music, 9:30 a.m., Room 200
Alzheimer's Caregivers Luncheon, 11:30 a.m., Parlor, Parlor Kitchen
Boy Scouts selling Christmas Trees, 5:00 p.m., Scout House Parking Lot

Covenant Chancel Choir, 6:00 p.m., Choir Room
Cub Scouts, 6:30 p.m., Sanders Hall
Girl Scout Troop 67, 6:30 p.m., Parlor, Room 210 & 211
Se'lah, 7:30 p.m., Choir Room

Wednesday, December 4
Parents Morning Out, 9:00 a.m., 200 Level
UMW Board Meeting, 10:00 a.m., Library

Creation Care T-Shirt Bags, 10:30 a.m., Room 309
SPARKS, 3:00 p.m., 100 Level
Boy Scouts selling Christmas Trees, 5:00 p.m., Scout House Parking Lot
Wednesday Night Dinner, 5:15 p.m., Sanders Hall
PreSchool Music, 5:30 p.m., 200 Level
Movie Night, 6:00 p.m., Sanders Hall
Cantata Rehearsal, 6:30 p.m., Choir Room
Grief Share, 6:30 p.m., Room 327
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