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December 2016

Restoring Hope in the God of Second Chances!

“It’s a Boy!” We’ve all seen these kinds of yard signs pop up from time to time proudly proclaiming the arrival of a new child. Parents and grandparents overcome with joy make a bold public display so the world knows that love has arrived making this house into a home. Christmas is just like this, or at least it should be. Christmas is not something we can put under a tree or hide away in church sanctuaries. Christmas is about Jesus and his birth. It is life changing, mysterious, and holy all at the same time. It is pure joy. So this year I wanted to do something rather unusual to announce to people who think they already know all there is to Christmas that something unusual is happening in a very unusual church. So I thought of yard signs. Why yard signs? Well… Christmas should be Personal. Jesus isn’t a theory, another weekend activity or even a lifestyle. Jesus is a person looking for someone to love. As members of Mt Pleasant, we are Jesus’ family, brothers and sisters alike, learning to love one another as a family. So yes, I think Christmas is very personal because it transforms us from a crowd into a family! “To all who did receive him, he gave the right to become children of God.” John 1:12 Christmas should be Public. Have you ever known anyone who was ashamed of their new born child? Jesus is not found hidden behind stain-glassed windows. Jesus is a person, alive and active in our lives. Jesus wants to meet your friends, go where you go, be where you are. In return, Jesus will teach you to see people as he sees them, say things he would have said, and do thing he would have done. I don’t want to be a closet Christian or Sunday Morning consumer. So yes, I think Christmas is very public because that’s where Jesus is. Christmas should be Persuasive. Being a parent is incredibly demanding. It requires personal sacrifices, emotional strength, and a love that will be tested again and again. But that has never stopped people from desperately wanting to become parents. There is a deeper kind of love we all want that only comes through sacrifice and suffering. Until you know what you’re willing to die for, you haven’t really found what to live for. So yes, I think Christmas is very persuasive because it reveals God’s love! Imagine the impact if 150 “It’s a Boy!” yard signs begin popping up around town in a yard like yours! Would it make people curious, would it start a conversation, would it challenge people to rethink Christmas? I sincerely hope so! If you’re up to the Christmas Challenge, then stop by the church and pick up your yard sign (they’re free). Let’s be a bit unusual and help our community to believe in Christmas and Christians again! Merry Christmas,


"AND SHE SHALL BRING FORTH A SON" ... I know it is an old story. I realize it was written almost two thousand years ago. But it is not just a story. And, it is not so old that it has lost its effect to those who believe it. It is the fulfillment of generations of prophesying by "holy men of old." It is the outcome of an overflowing love for Humanity and the world. It is the ultimate in the program of God in the providing of a lamb to be crucified for the sins of that world which he loved and created. It is the culmination of God's management and order to offset the ideals and standards of men. It brings to pass the very desire of Jehovah, for he said, "Sacrifices and offerings thou wouldest not, but a BODY hast thou prepared me." Finally, it is the climax of a battle of 4000 years standing, between God and the devil for "By one man sin entered into the world" (and this was the fruit. Of Satan) yet by one man, Jesus Christ, who was the "Express image of God’s person" came righteousness and salvation to all who would believe on His Name. His Name Isaiah, the prophet, described Him as being called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Yet he didn’t reveal His Name, as this honor was not committed to the prophets to reveal the name of God. Over 450 messages were given by the prophets concerning the coming of the Messiah, yet the door was closed to the revelation of His Name. This secret was revealed first of all to Joseph, the husband-to-be of Mary. The angel said, "Thou shalt call His Name Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sins." No voice or statement in the annals of History or theology has rung so loud and clear throughout the world. No voice or statement has made such an lasting impression upon the lives of the vast multitudes, involving every kindred, tongue, tribe, and nation under the sun. No prophecy ever given, no revelation ever received, no hope ever promised, has the significance, carries the same weight, or gives more assurance than the message that came on the memorable day, "Behold a virgin shall conceive and bring forth a SON." The world rises or falls with the fulfillment of this prophecy. Man’s sin either emitted or retained through the fulfillment of this prophecy. If there be no son, then were was the sacrifice? If there be no sacrifice, where was the cross. If there be no cross, where is the blood. And, though many unbelievers shall attest to the positive message of this statement, I say, according to the scripture, "Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin." "Hast thou found the secret of God?" It comes not by observation, but by revelation. It comes not by knowledge, or wisdom, but by faith. It comes not by power or might, but by the same Spirit that revealed it to Joseph. It cannot be analyzed or realized, but "Howbeit, when He the Spirit of truth is come, He will guide you into all truth." The truth has brought us face to face with Christ our Redeemer. He is our one and only mediator. "And we know the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know Him that is true, and we are in Him that is true, even in His Son, Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life." His Work "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; He hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound. To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn." Isaiah 61:1,2. Never, in the history of man, has there been such a need for such a preacher and teacher as is described here by Isaiah, the prophet. Plenty are the captives that need to be liberated from the bondages of sin. The need has so multiplied, the forces of evil have grown to such heights, that our work is a never-ending work. My, what a proclamation I that has the power to set captives free, bind up broken hearts, open prison doors and send men rejoicing on their way. Such is the Doctrine of JesusEvents Christ, such is the outcome of a Child born, and a Son Given. The work of Christ did not begin at Jordan and Family end at Bethany as one might suppose. After His glorification, after the inception of the Holy Ghost in the upper room, after the conversion of three thousand on the day of Pentecost, the people went forth and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. The work of Christ, the Gospel, and the Word of God has been transferred into our hands to carry on under His direction and anointing. Let us not fail of the grace of God in this all important hour, when men need Christ more than silver and gold and houses and lands. His Hope His hope and peace that comes with knowing and loving Him is overwhelming. It fills our life with a perspective that is focused on the fact that there is something more for us all. We aren’t facing this world alone. A babe in a manager ushered in a dispensation of grace and love that is available to us today. We have a relationship with the Almighty. This wonderful relationship has been made possible by the birth of the Son of God, His death, burial, resurrection and ascension, and by our acceptance of His promise. Because He was chosen to be the Son of God, He, of necessity, became fashioned as a man, condescending to low estate, becoming sin for us (yet He knew no sin, for He was sinless) that we may become the righteousness of God by Him. By becoming a Son, and doing the will of His Father, He shall in the end lead many Sons into glory. He gave His best for us. Shall we give our best for Him? May the Lord bless each of you, especially at this season, when to millions the birth of Jesus means nothing. His name is forgotten; His work is left undone; and the hope He has left us of His return has become a mythical rhyme. To you that know Him, become better acquainted with Him, that you may not only walk with Him here, but shall someday overcome and sit with Him in His throne forever. Pastor Anthony


Mt. Pleasant Preschool

News from the Preschool We at Mt Pleasant Preschool like to take the opportunity to focus on the things we are most thankful for in November. We have read several books, and made several projects where we could express our gratitude for the many blessings bestowed upon us. Aside from that, our 3 year old class is busy polishing up their shapes, colors, and fine motor skills. Our 4 year old Kindergarten Readiness Class has been focusing on letters A-J, and are up to memorizing 8 sight words. Both classes are doing well! Our Rada Cutlery fundraiser ends November 29! We have also begun practice for our upcoming Christmas program, “The Christmas Story”, which will be presented on Tuesday evening, December 13, at 6:30pm. We would like to extend an invitation to everyone to come join us! The children are working extra hard and we are so proud of them! Refreshments will be served afterwards in the fellowship hall. NOTE - On the night of the program, we will have collection boxes for donations to the SAK PAK program or the Mt Pleasant UMC food pantry. Mt Pleasant Preschool will be conducting a food drive for the entire month of December for any preschool family wishing to participate. A collection box will be in the hallway every day for those wishing to “drop” something in. On the 4 year old class “GREEN DAY”, we will put special emphasis on collecting green foods! The kids enjoy talking about their donations, and counting the items we collect. Our 3 year old class will also have special food drive day where we will focus in the different shapes and colors of the foods we collect. All food collected will be donated to the SAK PAK program or the food pantry. December will bring us several “special” Christmas surprises, our Christmas Parties, and the 4 Year Old Class trip to the “The Nutcracker Ballet”! Community Thanksgiving Dinner A very special thank you to everyone who participated in making our Community Thanksgiving Dinner a huge success. To those of you who provided, prepared and served the food, set-up and decorated the tables and cleaned up afterwards you are truly appreciated. We served about 125 members of our Church family and 75 visitors. It was a great evening of shared good food, fun and fellowship.

Family Events SAK PAK

SAK PAK is currently serving 131 children. The cost is approximately $5 per child per pack. In order to fund this ministry, we recently participated in 3 Craft Shows and raised approximately $500. We will be offering hand made Christmas Ornaments on the tree in the Narthex beginning November 27th. Each ornament for sale will have a tag on it. RADA cutlery is also for sale. Did you know that RADA also offers Cook Books, delicious food items , kitchen helpers and stoneware? Contact Sherry at 304-481-5064 or stop by Elaine’s office, look at a catalogue and place an order. If you have any questions about this program or would like to help, please let me know. If you would like to donate to this program, I thank you in advance. Sherry Hinton, Director


Gratitude Changes Everything!

Sunday School Sunday School 2016 Avg Weekly Attendance YTD 2015 Avg Weekly Attendance YTD

67 56

1st Sv

2nd Sv

73 70

139 138

Total 211 208

2016 Avg. Weekly Offering YTD

General Budget $6,701

Designated $1,288

Total $8,127

2015 Avg. Weekly Offering YTD

$6,486

$1,040

$7,526

2016 Stewardship General Plate Offering Undesignated Income YTD Designated Income YTD Miscellaneous

Estimated $375,118 $309,516 65,602 8,200.00

Total Income YTD

$386,180

Expenses YTD

$383,318

2017 Budget Plan Staff Trustees Children Youth Worship Mission Office Marketing WV Annual Conference Small Groups

TOTAL

Estimated 199,110.00 52,400.00 5,100.00 2,250.00 6,000.00 9,000.00 9,000.00 4,900.00 76,776.00 8,000.00 372,736.00


Trustees From the Trustees:

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year TRUSTEES: Managing the Resources of the Congregation. As trustees, our leadership role requires us to be a faithful participant in the mission of the church. The mission of the church is to partner with God to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. As we end another year, we must assess out efforts. What we have accomplished this year, did it keep us on track with our mission? Were the results what we wanted? And, can we correctly assess these results? Can we answer the question, “Do the activities and experiences at our church, lead people into a mature relationship with God and a life of deeper discipleship?” We are here to help all, to empower all, not to enable, so all can contribute. Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needs. (Ephesians 4:28) The trustees are working on the parsonage and announcing a year end fund drive for this project. There will be announcements on Sundays and in the bulletins. New lighting is planned for the hallway, sitting room, entryway and dining room. The dining room, sitting room and one bedroom do not have any window coverings. We are acquiring quotes for blinds. New sliding doors are needed for the sunroom and we are replacing the lawnmower. Also, a back deck between the sunroom and master bedroom is being scheduled. This is an Eagle Scout project. The cost of materials for the deck will be approximately $2,000 for a wood deck or $5,000 for a composite deck. All in all, the cost of these improvements will be about $16,000. Donations can be earmarked for the Building Fund/Parsonage. We are very thankful for such a giving congregation. Thank you for your support. Enjoy the Holidays. Be Safe. And always, Remember to Smile. When coming to church, please make sure your car is locked and valuables are not in plain sight. Please do the same even if you are just dropping something off or stopping by for a quick visit. When you arrive for a meeting, please monitor the access to the door and then please lock the door after everyone has arrived. And, please, make sure the doors are locked when you leave. Please contact one of the trustees with any concerns, problems or issues. And you are always welcome to any of the trustee’s meetings. We usually meet @ 7 pm the on the first Monday of the Month. The Trustees

United Methodist Women

The United Methodist Women will not hold a meeting in December. The next meeting of the United Methodist Women will be on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 at 7:00 pm in the Fellowship Hall. The theme of the program for our November meeting was World Thank Offering. The World Thank Offering is a mission supported by the United Methodist Women whose purpose is turning faith, hope and love into action on behalf of women, children and youth around the world. A donation in the amount of $100 was approved for this year’s contribution to the World Thank Offering with individual donations to be collected and submitted with next year’s contribution. “Our offerings honor God and can become part of the good work that God is doing in the world. . .” – The Rev. Rosanna Anderson. Election of officers has been held. Officers for 2017 are: President: Jane Utt; Vice President: Nancy Brown; Treasurer: Cyndy Goldsworthy; Secretary: Patsy Bee. Please join us as we continue to serve as: “ . . . a community of women whose PURPOSE is to know God and to experience freedom as whole persons through Jesus Christ; to develop a creative, supportive fellowship; and to expand concepts of mission through participation in the global ministries of the church.

Pearl Buchanan, President


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Jim Bennett Sue Emrick ~ Mia Archer Kendra Reed Doug Williams Tony Hess Cathy Barker ~ Becky Rhoades ~ Matthew Whited Steve & Margaret Carson Jon Mader Charles & Delores Cox ~ David & Janet Spaur Dana Mader Justin Thompson ~ Emma Bagley Lisa Duckworth ~ Dot Mayhew Sara Daugherty ~ Tiffany Spellman Megan Moore Jan Bargeloh ~ Conner Bargeloh ~ Teresa Havery

Emma Poe Jerry Matheny Mark Hinton

Holly Burnside Don & Cathy Cunningham Jenny Criss ~ Cary Schmidt Erik Linsell ~ Cori Ann Farr Kevin Evans ~ Dick & Marie Morris Chris & Jill Fox ~ Gladys Moore ~ Vera Smith Ralph Somerville 31 Tonya Bee ~ Lola Morris ~ Jerry & Barb Pifer We want to celebrate your special days. If we have missed your birthday or anniversary, please let us know.

Acolytes 4 Peyton Farr & Ali Smith 11 Gabi Davis & Rylee Davis 18 Aiden Garrett & Ashton Garrett 25 Addison Deems & Abbi Francisco Bread Bakers 4 Ann Somerville 11 Helen Wright 18 Ann Mayhew 25 Carol Dobson

Children’s Church 4 Christmas Program 11 Sherry Hess & Melanie Garrett 18 Betsy Offenberger & Lisa Smith 25 No Children’s Church

Communion Stewards ~ 8:15 am Service 4 John & Linda Bargeloh Doug & Lori Full Communion Stewards ~ 10:45 am Service 4 Kelly Williams & Linette Gedon Jon & Dana Mader Greeters ~ 8:15 am 4 Eddy & Ruth Ann Sheppard 11 John & Linda Bargeloh 18 Butch & Carol Dobson 25 Jean Evans & Ann Mayhew Greeters ~ 10:45 am 4 Whit & Christin Parrish 11 Chris, Brenda, Ian McNight 18 Greg & Elaine Cappadona 25 Rick, Connie, Josh Dellinger


THRIVE STUDENT MINISTRY

THRIVE Activities – December Dec. 3 Serve at the Christmas Stories Tour Concert- Blennerhassett Middle School. We need youth to serve in “set up” and “clean up”! Youth that serve will get to join us to meet and greet the band! Dec. 4 NO YOUTH – This is the night of the Rising Stars’ Christmas program! Come out and support our little friends! Dec. 11 THRIVE will be the special music for second service! We will have a soup, salad, and sandwich lunch after service to raise money for our December and January events. At the end of this lunch we will be making cookies for our caroling night! Anyone that can stay to help bake and make baggies of candy is appreciated!!! NO YOUTH FOR THIS EVENING – Adult Christmas Program – Bring your family out to enjoy! Dec. 14 Christmas Caroling in Mineral Wells. Following the Wednesday night dinner at the church, we will be having a hay ride through Lincolnshire area to share songs with the community and handing out candy and cookies. 6:30-8pm We need VOICES, DELIVERY HANDS, AND WARM HEARTS! Anyone is welcome to join!! We will be singing “Oh, What a Glorious Night “ by Sidewalk Prophets (see youtube) ;) And classic carols we all will know!!! Dec. 18 THRIVE CHRISTMAS PARTY! @ Pike Street Lanes! Invite a friend!! 6-8 pm Bring $3 for shoes. Dinner will be provided. WEAR YOUR FAVORITE UGLY CHRISTMAS SWEATER!! Dec. 25 NO YOUTH ~

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

KEEP UPDATED ON NEW EVENTS… Visit us on Facebook @ THRIVE Student Ministry Twitter @THRIVEYouthMP and Instagram @thriveyouthmp On behalf of the entire Mt. Pleasant family, I want to gratefully acknowledge years of service of the dedicated disciples! Rick Armstrong – for the past 12 years Rick has served as our financial secretary which means he records your personal contributions and reports our gifts for tax purposes. Each week for the past 12 years, Rick would be recording checks, depositing money and making transactions all behind the scenes. Rick also teaches a growing Sunday school class and is a dedicated EMS volunteer. Rick will continue to teach but is exploring new ministry opportunities. Thank you God for Rick! Elaine Smith – words cannot adequately describe the joy, laughter and love Elaine brings to those who come into the church office. She embodies all that we hope to be as a church. She is joyful, optimistic and understanding. Elaine is the perfect example of why I believe Mt Pleasant is the BEST church around. Elaine reminds me that laughter is key to true friendship and can restore the weariest soul. That’s why I look forward to each day spent in her presence. Thank you God for Elaine! John Bargeloh – John has been our treasurer and chief accountant for many years. John reconciles the income statements with our expenses, pays the bills and helps make sure we are financially secure and healthy. Paying the bills is not a glamorous job, but an essential one. Without John’s dedication to the church, all the good things we want to do would grind to a halt and countless people who need us would be left out in the cold. John’s quiet commitment to Mt Pleasant helps this place run smoothly. Thank you God for John! Sherry Hinton – Sherry is always busy serving someone and yet is ready to help in a crisis. Whenever there is crisis, an unexpected funeral meal, or a church celebration meal, Sherry is always right there cooking, cleaning and organizing volunteers. Sherry’s passion for children and her endless supply of energy has grown the Sak Pak program to serve over 131 children each week. Sherry loves the church, it’s mission and it’s message of Hope. Thank you God for Sherry! If there is someone you would like to nominate for a Crystal Cross recognition, please contact the church office.


Our Christmas experience is shaped by our expectations, Or lack thereof! But God shows up throughout the Christmas story – and in our stories too – in unexpected ways, with the unexpected people, with a very unexpected gift! 11.27 God’s Timing for those ready to give up 12.04 Hard Choices when life doesn’t make sense 12.11 Making Space for Heaven for Innkeepers and Shepherds like us 12.18 All of Me Mary’s Story 12.24 An unexpected Story Candlelight Worship at 6 and 8 pm 12.25 Christmas Morning, Worship at 10 am

The Christmas Stories Tour featuring Jason Gray, David Dunn and Grayson Reed Blennerhassett Middle School December 3 ~ 6:00 pm Admission is Free December 4 December 11

December 13

Rising Stars ~ 6:30 pm Christmas Program Christmas Music~7:00 pm by the Sanctuary Choir and Praise Team Preschool Christmas Program 6:30 pm ~ Refreshments following the program in the Fellowship Hall

December 11th ~ Soup and Sandwich Luncheon ~ Fundraiser Sponsored by the Youth ~ After Worship December 14th ~ Christmas Caroling in Mineral Wells! ~ Sponsored by the Youth


Spire December 2016