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Mt Carmel United Methodist Church
January 8, 2014
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What are you looking for?

In Sunday’s sermon I asked you to answer Jesus’ question, “What are you looking for?” (John 1:38). Jesus asked this to two disciples who already were following him. As disciples, we also answer this question. 

When I preach, I consider myself part of the congregation. Anything I ask of you is something that I ask of myself. I, too, am answering Jesus’ question.

What are you looking for, Cyndi? I began by thinking about my own concerns. I want our church to grow. Our giving in 2013 was virtually the same as 2012. While I haven’t seen the numbers yet, I know this means that we are repeating the shortfall we experienced in 2012. Without growth, surplus funds will be exhausted. With the budget cuts we have made, there are few remaining options: either a smaller staff or replace me with a part-time or retired minister who does not need benefits. These are not the outcomes that I am looking for. 

I ask the question of myself again. What are you looking for? Is financial stability really what you are looking for, Cyndi? 

No. I need more. To be the same church, just with more people, would not satisfy. 

I ask again, what are you looking for, and I remember a period of my life in which after months of being told that God loves me, began to realize this for myself. God loves me. It didn’t matter that I was not perfect or had a life filled with mistakes. God loves me. 

What am I looking for? I want each person in my church to know that for themselves—for every person to know that they are God’s beloved and precious to God.

Cyndi, what are you looking for? When a stranger walks into our church, I want them to know they are loved by God. I want our welcome to be so strong that they know they are loved by God. I want them to know this whether they are young or old, rich or poor, gay or straight, brown, black or white…I’m home. I am where I am loved by God and others.

This week I watched a newcomer stand awkwardly during the passing of the peace, waiting for a welcome. Someone shook his hand and moved on. And he stood there alone. Recently another newcomer shared that on her first few visits she was told “you will find we are a welcoming church”. No one asked for her name or how she came here; they just told her this is a welcoming church.

What are you looking for, Cyndi? I want us to carry God’s love with us when we leave the building, faith that underlies all of life. I want prayer times that build a sanctuary within each person, so that each of us has a sense of God present 24/7. I want you to begin a prayer and realize that subconsciously you’ve been praying since the last time you intentionally looked to God. I want parents teaching children about God while grocery shopping and setting the table for dinner. I want those who work to know that God is using them in the workplace to bring healing to others. 

What are you looking for, Cyndi? I want us to be so transformed by knowing God’s love that we are fearless. I want to see this in mistakes. I want us to attempt ministry that is too big because we can’t help but reach out when we see hurt.

I want us to be fearless. I don’t want us to be afraid of our neighbors. I want us to be so excited about how God is changing lives in our church that we invite others to be part of this transformation.

I want our neighbors to know that we do not condemn or judge, but serve a God of grace and loving kindness. I want our neighbors to know that at Mt Carmel they can know the peace and healing that comes from forgiving others.

Knowing God’s love is the best thing that ever happened to me. It changed everything. What do I want? I want others to know God’s love for themselves. 

Don’t be satisfied with superficial answers. Dig deep. What are you looking for?

Pastor Cyndi McDonald 
Mount Carmel United Methodist Church 
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In the Newsletter this Week:
  • From the Pastor
  • Trinity Soup Kitchen: Jan. 12, 2014
  • Small Group Planning Meetings: Jan. 12 - 11:00 & 12:00
  • Children's Ministry: Valentine Workshop - Feb. 2 - 3 PM
  • Book Club: January 10, 2014
  • From the Preschool
  • Youth News
  • Upcoming Studies
    • Basics of Christianity: Begins Jan. 19th - 12:15 
    • Book of Luke: Begins Jan. 12 - 6:00 PM
  • Outreach Opportunity
  • Chili Cook-Off: Jan. 25 - 6:00 PM - Ignatius Home


Trinity Soup Kitchen - Jan. 12

The Youth Trip to Trinity Soup Kitchen is this Sunday, January 12. Thank you for donating all of the items that we have requested!

If you haven’t brought your items to the church, please have them there no later than Saturday, January 11. The church will be open from 9-11 AM if you plan to bring your donation then. PLEASE put your name on your soup donation in order to avoid a phone call from the soup police :-)  The soup needs to be frozen in one gallon zip-loc bags.

If you have a Kitchen Aide Mixer and would like to help mix the peanut butter and jelly, that will take place on Saturday morning from 9-11 also. Just let Gail Bolton know that you will be there with mixer in tow. We have 60 pounds of peanut butter and 60 pounds of jelly to mix - all help will be appreciated!


Small Group Planning Meetings 

You are invited to attend one of the planning meetings on Sunday, January 12th at 11:00 AM & 12:00 PM in the Fellowship Hall. 

Please plan to attend one of these meetings to have your thoughts heard about upcoming worship service plans.


Children's Ministry News

Sunday School:
The Children's Sunday School lessons for the next several months will be familiar stories from the book of John. 

This week’s lesson, “The Best for Last” John 2:1-11, is the story of Jesus’ first miracle, turning water into wine. The children’s focus is on the significance of the miracle on the community, the wedding guests and how our gifts can be amazing, too. Perhaps as a family you can plan a party together and remember God is joining you at the party.

The preschool class needs a tea set for part of their lesson. If anyone has one, could we borrow it for Sunday morning? Please let me know at children@mtcarmel-umc.org

Save the Date:
Valentine Workshop - 
February 2nd at 3:00 pm  
This year we are inviting everyone, children and adults alike, to come by Room 112/114 and make a Valentine for the residents at Morningstarr Assisted Living Center. We 
would like for each resident to get a Valentine from Mt. Carmel. 

We also will have supplies for you to make Valentines for the special people in your life.  Come and join the fun!


Women's Book Club in January

The Mt. Carmel Women's Book Club will meet on Friday, January 10th at 7:00 p.m. in the Hope House.

This month's book is: The Language of Flowers, by Vanessa Diffenbach.  Please contact Chris Bolton or Vicki Walden if you have any questions.


From the Preschool

The Preschoolers are busy getting back into their routines today for the first time in 2014, but they would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year!

Watch for news of their adventures in upcoming newsletters!


Youth News

Trinity Soup Kitchen Details:
The youth will be serving at Trinity Soup Kitchen on Sunday, Jan. 12. All youth are invited to help. Please let Gail Bolton know if you plan to attend. 

We will meet in the sanctuary at 7:00 AM for communion, before doing our final prep-work and then leaving for Trinity. We should be back at Mt. Carmel by 5:00.

Youth Ski Retreat:









The weekend of January 17-20, the Youth will go to 
Beech Mountain, N.C. for their annual Ski Retreat.

Costs are:
Shopping only-$175.00 
Skiing- $264
Snowboarding-$273

We will ski at Beech Mountain Ski Resort. 
They offer ski bib and ski coat rental for $20, 
or $14 for just the bib or coat.
 
If you need to take a ski lesson, the cost is $25 and will be paid at the time you take the lesson. 

Payments for the Ski Retreat need to be turned in to Gail Bolton or the church office no later than January 15. There are still spots available for more youth, so if you would like to go, please contact Miss Gail. 

Sunday Night Youth Meetings:
Due to the Trinity Soup Kitchen and the Ski Retreat, the Youth will not meet on the evenings of January 12 or January 19. 

Since Holy Communion will be served in worship this week, there will NOT be Youth Sunday School on Jan. 12th, but they will meet on Jan. 19th at 9:45 AM as usual.


Upcoming Studies

Basics of Christianity
Pastor Cyndi McDonald will lead this 4 week study on Sundays, beginning on January 19 at 12:15 p.m. in the Hope House. A light lunch will be provided. 

Study of Luke
The Sunday night study group, led by Boyd Whaley, will begin a 12 week study of the book of Luke on January 12th at 6:00 p.m. The group meets in the Counseling Center, downstairs near the lower Fellowship Hall. Please contact Boyd Whaley or the church office with any questions.


Outreach Opportunity

Have you seen the Box Tops symbol on products that you have purchased? Don’t throw money away - cut out those box tops! 

Most schools in the area submit these box tops for cash that they can use to buy needed supplies. 

Collect up a few and hand them off to one of the children in the church or place them in the Labels for Education container on the table across from the upstairs kitchen.


ATTENTION NEWCOMERS AND OLD TIMERS ALIKE!

Get your recipes out and your taste-buds ready. You are ALL invited to the Mt. Carmel Annual Chili Cook-Off on Saturday, January 25 – 6:00 PM at the home of Pekka & Lorrie Ignatius (3890 Berkeley View Dr., Duluth, GA 30096).

If you are new to Mt. Carmel, please plan to attend this fun, casual event where you can meet new church friends, have some fun and enjoy some great chili. If you’re an “old-timer,” please come and welcome our new friends! 

Everyone is invited to bring a pot of their favorite chili; hot or mild; beef, tofu, venison or chicken, anything goes. Or you may bring side dishes or desserts to go with the meal instead. 

After much serious tasting and debate, (along with lots of FUN!) the winner of “BEST TASTING CHILI” will be declared and a prize will be presented!

Please RSVP to Lorrie and Pekka to let them know how many people will attend and what you plan to bring. 

Just check the box on the back of the Connect Card in your Sunday bulletin, or contact: lorrie.ignatius@gmail.com or 770-265-9948. Hope to see lots of you there! 


Prayers and Thanksgivings

Please join with others in our church family in praying our concerns and thanksgivings this week.

Concerns
  • Gail Bolton's father - medical tests
  • John & Isabel Waller's daughter
  • Barbara Daniels - back surgery
  • Lisa Klaren's mother - cancer surgery
  • Lila Hunter: pets lost at NYC fireworks
  • Ken Smith's father - heart, liver & kidney failure
  • Joanne Ragon - recovering from appendectomy
  • Lane Shutt's mother & family
  • Chris Bolton's friend Beth
  • Tim Foster & family - death of Tim's mother
Thanksgivings
  • Family time over holidays
  • Everyone who helped with special events at Mt. Carmel
  • Engagement of Erin Foster to Thomas Carroll

Every week:
  • Prayers
  • Worship this week
  • Birthdays and Anniversaries
  • Save the Date
  • Counseling Center
  • Norcross Cooperative


Sunday's Lesson
This week in worship the lessons will be:
John 2:1-11
Psalm 104:14-15


Birthdays this week:

Ann Whitlow
Gwen Lansing
Megan Foster
Harrison Whitlow
Carl Garner
Paul Cox
Lynne Smith
Minnie Thomas
Bill Blalock
Margaret Crawford
Steve Rogers

No Anniversaries this week.


Save the Date

YOUTH PLAY PRACTICE
JANUARY 8 - 5:30 PM
FELLOWSHIP HALL

CHOIR PRACTICE
JANUARY 3 - 7:00 PM
CHOIR ROOM

WOMEN'S BOOK CLUB
JANUARY 10 - 7:00 PM
HOPE HOUSE

PAVEMENT POUNDERS RUN
JANUARY 11 - 8:00 AM

YOUTH TRINITY PREP
JANUARY 11: 9 - 11 AM
FELLOWSHIP HALL

YOUTH MEET FOR SOUP KITCHEN
JANUARY 12 - 7:00 AM
SANCTUARY

SMALL GROUP MEETINGS
JANUARY 12
11:00 & 12:00
FELLOWSHIP HALL

FINANCE MEETING
JANUARY 12 - 12:15 PM
HOPE HOUSE

SPR MEETING
JANUARY 12 - 3:00 PM
HOPE HOUSE

STUDY OF LUKE BEGINS
JANUARY 12 - 6:00 PM
COUNSELING CENTER

WHO IS THIS MAN? STUDY
JANUARY 13 - 7:00 PM
HOPE HOUSE

BROWN BAG STUDY
JANUARY 14 - 11:30 AM
HOPE HOUSE

YOUTH PLAY PRACTICE
JANUARY 15 - 5:30 PM
FELLOWSHIP HALL

WHO IS THIS MAN? STUDY
JANUARY 15 - 7:00 PM
ROOM 112/114

MEN'S CLUB DINNER/MTG.
JANUARY 16 - 7:00 PM
FELLOWSHIP HALL

YOUTH SKI RETREAT
JAN. 17 - 20
BEECH MTN., NC

BASICS OF CHRISTIANITY BEGINS
JANUARY 19 - 12:15 PM
HOPE HOUSE

MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY
JANUARY 20 - OFFICE CLOSED

CHILI COOK-OFF
JANUARY 25 - 6:00 PM
IGNATIUS HOME



Family Wellness
through Counseling, Education and Research


Mt. Carmel proudly supports the North Georgia Family Counseling Center.

678-242-9355
ngfccumc@gmail.com
www.ngfccumc.org


As one of the founding churches of NCM, we encourage your support assisting those in need in our area.

Help with the most urgent needs.


Share your story

Do you have an article to include in next week's bulletin or newsletter?
Email these to Suzanne Foster or call the church office.




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