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ADDRESS SERVICE REQUESTED 209 S. Blue Bonnet St. Saginaw, Texas 76179

Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage Paid Fort Worth, Texas Permit No. 570

Requested in home date 2/21/13


18 February 2013

by Rev. Jason Valendy For generations of Americans, the church was the focal point of the community. All social and philanthropic activities of the community revolved around the church. And so people, regardless of how they felt about the faith, joined a church in order to be a functioning member of the community and to have a social life. Over many decades, the church became an institution that focused on “fellowship”. Even to this day, it might be argued, the dominant ministry of the church is “fellowship”. This is not a bad thing. However it does raise the question, “How is the church any different from the Lion’s Club or the Eastern Star or a book club or any other social group that meets?”

The FOCUS newsletter is published every other week and we accept newsletter article submissions to the Friday prior. Article deadlines are listed on the church calendar at Sunday Morning Worship 8:30 and 11:00 a.m. Sunday School 9:45 a.m.

Vol. 2, Issue 38


In the recent decades, the church has become less and less the “social center” of the community. Where once Sunday was exclusively “Church day”, now it competes against “soccer day” and “NFL Day” and many other social activities. In these new times, the question is raised, “How can the church compete against other fellowship activities that are available?” One answer is to focus on having more Church fellowship opportunities to accommodate the busier schedules and give people more options. Another answer is to have “better” fellowship opportunities, so that when given a choice people will choose going to church rather than going to another party. Might I suggest that neither of these options are sustainable for our current world. Rather

than focusing on making more or better opportunities to fellowship, might I suggest that SUMC take a different focus. What would it look like to shift from viewing church as primarily offering fellowship opportunities to primarily focused on transformation? This is the intent of our Lenten season - to begin to refocus us toward transformation. This “year of preparation” is a chance to look at all that we do (personally and communally) and ask, “In what way is this ministry/event leading to transformation?” If we are called to set our own desires down, to die to ourselves and be raised in Christ then we must be willing to set aside the ministries and activities that do not contribute to the transformation of our world. Friends, every social group in America - from Kiwanis to bowling leagues - is in decline. The Church was not called by God to focus on fellowship but to be the focus on personal and social transformation. As a final question to ponder, “Other than modifying your calendar, in what ways has SUMC helped transform this community and your life since you became a member?” Let us build on those areas and press on toward the goal God has set before us. (Philippians 3).

News Ladies Day Out

Women's Shelter

The Ladies Day Out is THIS Friday from 11: a.m. - 1:00 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall. We are having a Mad Hatter Tea Party! Virginia is making us a special tea; Terry is providing punch, and we can all bring finger foods to munch on. Please wear a fun/crazy/pretty/ one-of-a-kind hat. There will be awards for the best hats.

This past December the Women of Open Arms received Christmas bags from our congregation. In these bags were lap quilts, toiletry bags made by the quilters, coasters and message boards for their homes. Filled toiletry bags were given with perfume, socks, wash clothes, and a spiritual mug filled with teas just to mention a few of the items.

Elmer Watson Golf Tournament Appreciation Luncheon

Tom Jumes

Jay Beavers James Robertson

E-mail to add people to the prayer list. Sympathies to Dan Wilkening and family on the death of his grandfather Wayne Fitzpatrick


Everyone is invited to join us on March 17 at 12: 15 p.m. for burgers and hotdogs in the Fellowship Hall for the Elmer Watson Golf Tournament Appreciation Luncheon. The United Methodist Men want to thank the congregation for their support of the golf tournament each year.

Local Church Lay Servants The following attended and completed the LSM Basic Course on February 16th. Dee Griffith Joann Avery Chuck Kilgore Londa Pontius Jeanette Schlichenmeyer Teresa Weaver Sara Richter Karen Jumes Sandy Cox Susi Rhoades Sharon Sewell Tracey Cox Rosa Jordan These participants took an in-depth look at what it truly means to be part of God's royal priesthood, our spiritual gifts that call us and our United Methodist heritage and tradition. We then discussed the opportunities where we might be called to lead, care and/or communicate.

Our Thoughts and Prayers

The battered women are also given “The Lone Star Card” and are working towards emotional and financial freedom however, “The Lone Star Card” does not cover any toiletries or cleaning supplies, not even toilet paper. We are in need of full sized shampoo's and conditioners. There is a bin in the fellowship hall or you may make a monetary donation. In the memo line state for Shelter Bags. Again, The Spirit of this Congregation is unbelievable. If you have any questions please contact Teresa Weaver at 817-9951124.

Each week during the worship services, the congregation is asked to complete a registration form found in the red folders in the pew backs, and pass it down the row so that all may sign. This is important information used in a variety of ways in the life of our church. As coordinator of the Doorstep Visitation Ministry, I would like to encourage everyone to be sure and check whether you are a member or a visitor. This will be a big help to the Doorstep Visit Teams who drop off a potted plant and information about our church to first-time visitors to let them know we were glad they worshiped with us, and to encourage them to come back. Some of our Doorstep Team members are fairly new church members themselves, and as our church grows, it becomes harder to recognize the names of all our members. The Doorstep Ministry is a well-received outreach ministry of our church that is an easy and rewarding way to be of service. If you would like to know more about this program, or think you would like to participate in it, please contact Dee Griffith at 817-232-4195 or 817-690-1368.

Worship Assistant Schedule March 3 Liturgist: Debbie McDonald and Sandy Thompson Sound System Operators: Ralph Fockler and Chuck Wheeler Ushers: John Mackey, Craig Bradford, Rosa Jordan, Keith & Linda Carter, Charles & Shirley Stephens Doorstep Visitation: Mike & Kelly Powers Acolytes: Lauren Wise and Keara Spinks, Mikayla Warthen Audio Visual: Chuck Wheeler and Jerry Avery

March 10 Liturgist: Mark Schlichenmeyer and Chuck Wheeler Sound System Operators: Tom Griffith and Charles Stephens Ushers: Danny Jordan, Peggy Dietz and Bobby Rann, Dan Wilkening, Michelle Burkholder, Don & Jean King, Reid Marley Doorstep Visitation: Diane Weaver Acolytes: Sammy Jo Spindor and Benjamin Apgar, Stephen Wilkening Audio Visual: Adrian Cardenas and Kallie Weaver

Parents, we still have open spots for Sunday night dinners during the month of March. Talk to Josh or Kristin to sign up, today! This is a great way to invest in your child’s spiritual formation and to see what youth at SUMC is all about.

News Continued Easter Egg Hunt

Upcoming Events

Starting March 3 we will be collected filled Easter Eggs (taped closed) for the annual Easter Egg hunt March 24th following our covered-dish luncheon. Please place your donations in the baskets by the display in the Fellowship Hall.

February Admin. Council Meeting 24 Mid-winter Retreat 22 - 24

Additionally, we are collecting items for Easter Baskets our kids will be assembling and donating to Community Link Mission for their clients.

Please watch further editions of FOCUS for specific items for those baskets.

Summer Church Camp Sign up by going to For kids going into 1st grade – 12th grade If you need scholarship assistance please contact Mary Nell Partin in the church office, so do not apply online.

Fantastic Opportunity!! Ever feel like there's something missing in your life? A void that needs filling? Have I got an opportunity for you! The Hands of the Spirit Puppet Team is looking for adults who have a heart for Christ and kids to take over leadership. This is your chance to work with some of the finest folks in the world and have a blast doing it! No experience is necessary, on-the-job training will be provided (as well as cookies). Don't wait! Call now for more

March Confirmation trip to Children's Home 2 Puppets Easter Program - 17 Palm Sunday, Blood Drive and Egg Hunt 24 Maundy Thursday 28 Good Friday 29 Easter Sunday 31 April Confirmation trip to Aldersgate 13 UMM Golf Tournament 13 Lay Servant Advance Course 20 Lord's Acre 27 May Sisterhood Retreat 3 - 5 Pentecost and Confirmation Sunday 19

Elmer Watson Memorial Golf Tournament Sign up now for the Elmer Watson Memorial Golf Tournament. Register as a single player, a team, or be a hole sponsor. The Golf tournament is a shotgun start at 1:00 p.m. on April 13th, 2013 at the Golf Club at the Resort. $100:00 for a hole sponsor and $60:00 per player includes range, greens/cart, dinner and awards afterwards. To sign up or info contact: Reid Marley 817879-6877, Keith Carter 817-808-5417, Ron Attaway 817-729-3334

Attention, Midwinter Youth: we are leaving the church on Friday, February 22 at 5 pm on the dot. Please be at the church and ready to go by that time. Also, if you have not paid your money, the cost is $100, and money must be received before we leave for the trip. Pack your clothes, bedding, toiletries, flashlight and—of course—your Bible to bring with you, and bring money for Sunday lunch. We will be arriving back at the church at 3 pm. Due to Midwinter next week, we will not be having Youth on Sunday night.

If you haven’t checked out one of the new, youth Sunday School classes yet, there is still time to get in on the class of your choice— Have you been wondering what faith formation actually entails? Join Kristin’s class. Ladies, do you wonder about what it really means to be made in the image of God? Join Michelle and Paula for a little discussion on Hotness. Are you convinced of the existence of zombies in the Bible? Josh and Audra may just prove you right! We begin promptly at 9:45, and we look forward to seeing you there.

Are you selling stock for Mission Trip? Don’t forget to say “thanks” in a new way! One suggestion: Create a photo collage of your work on the trip and let’s turn that into a one -of-a-kind thank you card for your stock investor! Remember, this person bought stock because s/he believes in the work God is accomplishing on Mission Trip. What’s a better way to solidify that belief than to show them what is accomplished? We look forward


Bi- weekly newsletter for Saginaw United Methodist Church - Saginaw Texas