The Gathering PASTORS’ PEN
Here it is nearing the end of January and February is about to begin, but praise God….spring is coming! I know without a shadow of doubt that spring and summer will soon be here, this I am sure of! Even at this moment while it is 21 degrees and snowing, I have the assurance that warmer weather will come. In this certainty of what lies ahead, I can rejoice and be glad that the cold and snowy weather will not last and my favorite seasons of the year will soon be upon us (not quite as quickly as I ould hope, but they will come). On Wednesday evenings during our TGIW programs, currently one small discipleship group is studying Philippians. In the first chapter Paul says, “Yes, and I will continue to rejoice.” He says this from a prison cell. Paul had discovered that “Joy” comes not from his circumstances nor is it found within himself, but from what he knows to be true of God and God’s promises to each of us. Joy is the peace in the midst of the darkness of the night when you are sure that the dawning of a new day’s light will soon be yours. Joy is the comfort you have in your heart that you cannot explain, but you know is there, when the doctor tells you, “there is no hope”…for you know in Christ there is a hope that shall not disappoint you nor forsake you. Joy is the conviction you have deep within your soul, “that in all things God works for the good of those who love him…and that nothing can separate us from His love.” As a child I was afraid of the dark…a lot of scary things can get you in the dark…all of it is “the unknown and unseen or maybe monsters hiding in the dark.” I always wanted to sleep near the bedroom window so that I could look out and see the street light that made me feel safe. I don’t fear the dark anymore…for my God is with me! He is the light of the world and the light of my soul regardless how dark it gets around me. My joy, my peace, my strength… comes from Him and not from my surrounding. You see faith…faith that we can find our comfort and rest in, is “the assurance of what we hope for and the conviction of what we do not see”…but know to be true! May the Joy of the Lord be yours…in all days, in all places, in all seasons now and forever! For our God, the Almighty, All-Present, All-Knowing God is with us always! “Yes, we can rejoice in all things!” God be with you all! Pastor Ed
SUPER BOWL AND CHILI COOK-OFF Get out your secret chili recipes and join us for a night of football, commercials, and chili! This will take place on Sunday, February 5, at the Life Center. Doors open at 5:15 p.m. and game kick-off is around 6:18 p.m. We will be judging the chili differently this year. Jars will be out for each chili, and everyone gets to vote! You vote by donating pennies to your favorite chili! Each penny donated equals one vote. The chili with the most votes at half time gets the high coveted trophy. All proceeds will be going to the church discretionary fund. So come and cheer for your team, or just watch the commercials. It has to be bigger on our screen than your TV!!
PRIMETIMERS The Primetimers will meet on Tuesday, February 14, at 11:00 a.m. at the church for lunch. Lunch will be breakfast casserole, fruit cup, and muffins from The Electric Brew. The cost is $5.00. After lunch we will go to Goshen College Sauder Hall to hear the “Coffee” cantata by J.S. Bach, performed by the Goshen College Chorale. The bus will pick up at Greencroft at 10:30 a.m. All others will drive to the church on your own. If you have questions, please call Bob Morris at 534-2791.
UPCOMING TRAINING If you are a good listener, compassionate and kind, and want to help your community, and if you are looking for the kind of rewards that money just can’t buy, Hospice volunteering may be the challenge you seek. Goshen Home Care and Hospice is offering training for new hospice volunteers beginning on February 28, 2012. The training will include six sessions conducted over successive Tuesday and Thursday evenings. The training is free, and all sessions will be held at the Goshen Hospital campus. Please call Cathi Merryman, Hospice Volunteer Coordinator, at 3641387 or 800-446-4663 for more information about the upcoming training program.
From The Desk of the YP 2012 Mission Trip—Destination Cleveland It’s that time of the year again, time to start thinking about our annual youth group summer mission trip. This year we are going to do inner city mission work and will be traveling to Cleveland Ohio from June 10—16 for that trip. While there we will be providing three work groups for the mission, two of which will be doing light construction and repair projects to the homes of low income families, while the third group will be conducting Vacation Bible Schools. Yes, that is right, I said schools, as they will be doing a morning VBS for one church that will be from 9 to 11 and an afternoon VBS for another church that will be from 1 to 3. In addition to that, on Saturday morning before heading home we will be going into the homeless communities with a mission group from Cleveland to take food to, and minister with, the homeless communities of the area. We are really looking forward to this trip as this will be the last mission trip that I will be taking with the group, and it is our hopes that it will be the first one that the new youth pastor will be taking. We ask that you, the church body, start to pray for this trip as we start planning and raising funds for it. By the way … the pink envelope, which is a special offering toward a different ministry each month, is going to youth missions in the month of February. Please prayerfully consider giving to this trip in that way. In Christ, Jeff Karnes, Youth Pastor Dear Brothers and Sisters, This year I have been given a most wonderful opportunity to serve and explore my faith in pilgrimage. Through the University of Indianapolis, I was selected, along with nine other students, for a spring term trip in May 2012 to Sierra Leone, Africa. This three-week trip will take place from May 6 through May 21, and involve service to the community of Taiama. We will be working alongside Operation Classroom, a United Methodist organization many of you may be familiar with in our connection with the school in Ganta. With the help of Operation Classroom, we will be rebuilding a girls’ dormitory for the Methodist school there, which had been destroyed in the rebel wars. In addition to serving the community, we look forward to experiencing African culture, building relationships, and cultivating a life-long compassion for God’s children. Of course, any kind of pilgrimage first requires a means of getting there. I am humbly asking for your financial support as I prepare to take this step in my journey of faith. The amount I would like to raise to help cover expenses such as travel, lodging, and vaccinations estimates around $2,100. If you would like to support me financially, checks can be made out to Goshen First UMC with the memo Elise: Sierra Leone. I also sincerely ask for your prayers as I ready my heart for all that God has in store for me in this experience! God has called us to be his hands, his feet, his heart, whether it’s giving or going. I pray that I might be the hands and feet of Christ, and I pray that God will use you to bless my life and many others! God Bless,
First United Methodist Church 214 S. Fifth Street Goshen, IN 46528 Phone: 533-9518 www.goshenfirstumc.org www.goshenlifecenter.org
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“Thank you to everyone who helped with our food pantry this past year. People helped in a number of ways: drivers to South Bend to get food, people who packed food boxes and stocked the shelves, and many people who gave food or finances for the food pantry. One S.S. class brought in food for the pantry once every month during the year. We served 380 families in 2011, with December being the highest month where we served 79 families that month. Thanks again for your generosity.” -Harriet Martin “Thank you for your gift to Goshen Interfaith Hospitality Network. We also appreciate your wonderful gift of hospitality to GIHN families. Your support is essential and we thank you.” -Lois Bare, GIHN Board “We want to say a big THANK YOU to Garry Anglemyer, Dick Hinckley, and Bob Rock for the great job they did replacing the old back doors of the downtown church building!”
HAPPY FEBRUARY BIRTHDAYS! February 1 Shirley Myers Zaiden Hoffman February 2 Mike Anderson Barbara Lewallen Amanda Eckelbarger
February 11 Kendall Griffee February 12 Josh Fredrick February 13 Dave Brinkruff
February 3 Hannah Sorrell Mike Taylor
February 14 Dennis Martin Dick Myers
February 4 Olivia Salisbury Lenette Burckhart
February 15 Paul Shidler
February 5 Jason Miller Marian Honick A.J. Brinson Steven Kinel Tia Rice Evan Sailor February 6 Tyler Riegsecker February 7 Mitch Day Shanon Layne February 8 Emily Good Tony Beltran February 9 Jacob Haimes Bob Rock Larry Solyom Margie Weaver Ron Howard Jack Moser February 10 Ramona Reynolds Brandi Griffee Robert Zawacki
February 16 Gordon DeWilde February 17 Jackie Hinckley Karen Weaver February 19 Charlie Payne Mary Jo Cotherman Mel Eash Morgan Howar February 20 Peggy Paflas Rev. Ed Fritz Kim Gunden February 21 Colten Meier Yvonne Paff Lela Gailey February 22 Florence Guengerich Kayleigh Crowder Sydney Sheeley February 23 Payton Crume Peg Herring
February 24 Shirley Hansen Emily Hodges Andy Peters Barbara Leedy Doug Hansen Mackenzie Miller February 25 Nora Jones February 26 Larry Juday February 27 Norman Simmons February 28 Cathy Webb Darrell Eggers Jamison Karnes Jennifer Howar Vienna Griffith February 29 Kimberly Hart