|THE JOYFUL NOISE
Season’s Greetings All!
We are coming to the end of a year of challenges and the next one looks to prove challenging as well. There are tests facing us from many directions, yet we keep chugging along serving the Lord. We have seen a gradual fall in attendance as well as in giving and it looks like the Wheatland pledge amount for 2019 will be $8,000 shy of the amount pledged for 2018. Over the last year Wheatland and Chugwater have worked hard to reduce overhead costs as we tighten our belts in order to continue these church ministries. Nevertheless, both churches have been drawing from reserves to cover operational costs.
Average attendance is down as our older members face new challenges in getting to church. We have lost members who have gone on to be with the Lord. Looking forward to next year, there is plenty of anxiety about the upcoming special conference to vote on the “Way Forward” and people are concerned about how the outcome will impact our churches. (We have included a comparison of the two options in this newsletter for your review).
That’s a lot of discouraging information! I am putting these points in the newsletter because it is important that we are informed about the situation facing our churches. It also helps us to focus our prayers in seeking solutions. We know things are tough, but we continue to serve and be committed to this church because God is with us and because we are part of something bigger than ourselves. We are bound to one another in faith life.
As we look toward a new year of challenges, I invite each of you to consider your love for this church, for its work and people. Consider how it has blessed you over the years and then consider spending more time in prayer for its well-being and health. For this reason, I am scheduling a shared time of prayer at the Wheatland church at 3 p.m. on three Saturday afternoons in December [the 8th, 15th, 22nd] We will focus our prayer on three areas: For unity as church body (Ephesians 4:1-3); for our church leaders here and in the denomination (Ephesians 3:1–10); for the strength and well-being of individual members (Isa 40:31). Please join us as you are able.
It’s the Christmas season, a time when the focus turns to the birth of the baby Jesus. It’s a time of expectation and hopefulness. In spite of the challenges, our work continues. Let us keep our courage up and trust that God is leading us as we continue with our mission in this church.
Our friend Tim Crawford from Red Bird Mission offers us a word of encouragement in this short video message. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-LjGJ8kVRg
Blessings to you and your family in this special holiday time!
Grace and peace,
IN OUR THOUGHTS AND IN OUR PRAYERS:
DECEMBER UPCOMING EVENTS
Pastor’s scheduled Seventh Week-off Dates
CHURCH VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES
2019 GOD'S CREATION CALENDAR ORDERS
SUNDAY NIGHT COMMUNITY YOUTH GROUP
WUMC 125th ANNIVERSARY 2019
Dearest friends, who have grown into more like family,
UNITED METHODIST WOMEN
The meeting of the UMW was held in the Fellowship Hall at noon on
The committee chairmen reported on their recent activities. Rowann mentioned
After hearing the unit reports, the group discussed the UMW unit’s budget for
The Harvest Celebration Potato Bar was a definite success. We served 59 plates,
The UMW ladies discussed our December plans, and decided that we’d like to repeat
The next UMW meeting will be held on December 13 at noon. Bring your own lunch and
All ladies of the church are invited to attend any of these events. We need all the
***Please join us on Dec. 1st for the Christmas parade (5:30) and live nativity
***Remember the “decorating jobs”