Click to view this email in a browser

Mt Carmel United Methodist Church
August 6, 2014

Looking for Jesus in a Coke Can

I began my collection as soon as I saw the picture of a Coca-Cola nativity set. Immediately I ran to the recycle bin and began pulling out cans. 

So far, I have “mom”, “dad”, and a multitude of stars. (If this nativity set does not work out, I plan to do a rendition of Van Gogh’s starry, starry night.) 

I began thinking about the wisest people I know. If you see any cans with names like Neil, Joyce, Tom, and Barbara, please save these for me! 

The cans are beginning to stack up in my office, and I am still looking for the can that best represents Jesus.

I considered “Go Getter”. After all, Jesus becomes human and enters the world to defeat sin and death. That’s a go getter! 
“Gamer” is also a possibility. One of the earliest theories about Jesus was the “Fish Hook” theory in which God ransoms humanity from the devil by offering Jesus as “bait.” The devil takes the bait and trades humanity but is tricked in losing his prize when Jesus is resurrected. This is the atonement model used by C.S. Lewis in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe — Jesus, the ultimate gamer! 

What else could represent Jesus? Other Coke can possibilities are “buddy”, “pal”, and “friend.” I am still looking. None of these quite captures my understanding of Jesus. 

Even though I am delighting in the treasure hunt and enjoying the reflections on pop theology, I recognize why Coca-Cola marketing is encouraging us to “share a coke with a star,” “share a coke with your bros,” “share a coke with…” 

Within each person there are longings for connections. We are created in the image of a trinity God, created for community and for a connection with God. We need to share our lives, not just sodas. 

This is something the church has known for 2000 years. God comes into this world as a human to connect in a human way with each of us. In our baptism we are bound to Christ; this tie binds us to one another. 

This Sunday in worship, the 9:30 musicians will lead us in Eleanor Rigby. Several people requested this when we asked for favorite songs. There are a lot of lonely people in the world for whom sharing a soda would be a treat. 

There are playgrounds where children laugh along, afraid to do anything, when a bully harasses. There are offices where coworkers laugh, afraid to do anything, when a bully harasses. 

There are teenagers who run away from home. Others are kicked out of home after sharing their sexual preferences. 

Working with PET, Ed hears stories of people who are lame, whose families are ashamed and keep them hidden at home. 

The author of 1 John writes that if you love a parent, you love the parent’s children (1 John 5:1.) We know this, too, don’t we? That one way we show love to God is by showing love to God’s children. 

God looked at Adam and said that it was not good for this first human to be alone (Genesis 2:18.) No one is meant to be lonely. So we build PETs. We take bread and juice to the nursing home. We gather on the church lawn and offer free hotdogs to anyone passing by, no questions asked. We advertise as a denomination, “open hearts, open minds, open doors.” 

This Sunday, after we sing Eleanor Rigby, we will remember that while we sometimes feel alone, we are not meant to be lonely. That is not God’s desire for us. In our baptism we are bound to God. In our baptism we are bound to one another. 

We live in a world that encourages us to share a soda with a buddy. That’s not enough. We need Jesus. We need the church. 

No wonder I can’t find the right can.

I’ll see you this Sunday,
In the Newsletter this Week:
  • From the Pastor
  • New Painting in Foyer
  • Mission Moment
  • Men's Dinner Out
  • Children's Ministry
  • Prayers for School
  • Pavement Pounders Discontinued
  • Women's Book Club: August 8 - Location Change
  • Homecoming: August 17
  • CPR / First Aid Class: August 19 at 10:00 AM
  • Love and Logic Parenting Classes begin August 19
  • Berkeley Lake Food Project
  • Holy Communion at Assisted Living Homes
  • Harvest of Hope
  • New Pictorial Directory

New Painting in Foyer

You'll want to stop on Sunday for a look at the new painting (by Sam Tapley) hanging in the foyer near the Fellowship Hall.  

It shows Mt. Carmel members, busy at one of our favorite things, the BBQ!

Thanks Sam - great job!

(The painting of Mt. Carmel that previously hung in this space now hangs in the church office / Hope House.)

Mission Moment

Thank you Neil Odom for the Mission Moment on Holy Communion last Sunday!

To view Neil's video, click HERE.

Men's Dinner Out: Thursday, August 14 - 7:00 p.m.

All men of the church are invited to join the Mt. Carmel Men's Club for dinner out at MacKenzie's Restaurant. We'll meet at the restaurant at 7:00 p.m. 

It is on Peachtree Industrial Blvd., just past Zaxby's. 
(4790 Peachtree Ind. Blvd., Berkeley Lake, GA)  It's on the 2nd floor of the building, but an elevator is available.

Children's Ministry

Sunday School:
For most of us school has started and our regular Sunday school classes begin this Sunday. 

The lesson is the familiar story of the Good Samaritan, Luke 10:25-37. We are focusing on being good neighbors. 

Children’s Art Work for Bulletin 
This fall we will again be using children’s art interpretations of the narrative lectionary scriptures as our bulletin covers each week.
I have a sign-up list for you to select the scripture you would like to draw. The list will be in the Double Classroom.  We would like for every child to draw a picture. Art work will be due back 2 weeks before your cover date.  See Ms. Marian or Pastor Cyndi if you have any questions.

Marian Long, Director of Children's Ministries

Prayers for School - from the United Methodist Board of Discipleship

Just a little extra help for those tough school days!  

We'll be giving out these prayer cards to the children on Sunday, so make sure to get one for the new school year!

Mt. Carmel Pavement Pounders Discontinued

Due to several scheduling and health issues of some of our runners, the Pavement Pounders running group will no longer meet on Saturday mornings.

Women's Book Club: August 8 at 7:00 p.m.

The Book Club will meet at the home of Susan Posey this month. Please note this change of location.  

This month's book is Sycamore Row, by John Grisham. 

All women are invited to join the group. See Chris Bolton or Vicki Walden if you have any questions.

Homecoming!  Sunday, August 17 - 10:30 AM

This will be a combined 10:30 worship service, followed by a covered dish lunch in the Fellowship Hall. 

Come and hear from guest speaker Dr. Doug Thrasher, our new District Superintendent.  

Everyone is also invited to bring a dish or two to share and enjoy lunch with your church family.

Preschool Offers CPR / First Aid Class
On Wednesday, August 19th at 10:00 AM our Preschool will once again offer this CPR & First Aid class through First Response. 

Cost is $20 per person, made payable to First Response, and the class will be held in our Fellowship Hall.

If you need to take the class for the first time, or renew your certificate, this is an inexpensive & convenient place to take it!

Please contact Lorrie Ignatius to sign up: 770-265-9948 or 

Parenting the Love & Logic Way

Learn practical tools and techniques that help adults achieve respectful, healthy relationships with their children and help them prepare their kids for the real world. Love & Logic uses humor, hope, and empathy to build up the adult-child relationship. 

Join Rev. Lynne Smith, 10:00am - 12:00 noon on Tuesday mornings downstairs in the Sr. High Youth room beginning August 19th. 

The workshop lasts 6 weeks (skipping September 16th) and is limited to 16 participants. $100/person or $150/couple includes workbook. Church/preschool members receive 10% discount. Registrations are due by 8/11/2014. 

Outreach Opportunities

Berkeley Lake Family Food Project Begins this Week!

The counselors at Berkeley Lake Elementary have requested help for the month of August.  When a teacher identifies a student whose family is in need, they give that family a food bag.  

Each food bag contains:
  • dry beans
  • bag of rice
  • package of tortillas
  • canned fruit
  • tuna/salmon/other canned meat
  • canned corn or other veggie
  • mac and cheese
Additional items if available:
  • detergent (a baggy or pods, not a whole box)
  • toothpaste
  • bar of soap
  • other household or hygiene product
You can help our Berkeley Lake Elementary School neighbors by providing some of these items.  Bins are with the Norcross Co-op bin, in the hallway between the Sanctuary and Fellowship Hall.

Serving Holy Communion to Assisted Living Residents

Every other month on the 3rd Thursday, Pastor Cyndi and Neil and Joyce Odom visit the two assisted living homes in Norcross to serve Holy Communion.  If you would like to join them, please contact Neil, Pastor Cyndi or the church office.

The next opportunity will be on Thursday, August 21st at 9:45 AM.

Harvest of Hope

Harvest of Hope is the ecumenical study, worship, and action mission trip program of the Society of St. Andrew. HoH offers opportunities to learn about hunger and a common sense solution (gleaning) to the issue. (See video on the Mt. Carmel website here.)

Together we will glean fresh fruits and vegetables which will immediately, through the help of local feeding agencies, find their way onto the tables of those in need. A simple, healthy lifestyle will be experienced during the event. We will worship together, exploring what God wants us to do concerning our neighbors who are in need. 

Join us and do something about hunger! 
November 7-9 in Dahlonega, Georgia 
Intergenerational / All Ages Camp facility: Camp Glisson
690 Camp Glisson Rd., Dahlonega, GA 30533 
Facility website: 
Produce historically gleaned: Apples

For more information, check the box on the back of the Connect Card in your Sunday bulletin or see Julie Jones.

Still Time to Submit a Photo for the New Church Directory!

The Evangelism Committee will be collecting your photos for a new directory throughout the summer so send yours today! (Deadline is September 30.)

(Photos may include pets, vacation scenes, etc.)

Everyone is asked to either:

1. Provide a photo of themselves for the directory. (Please send or drop off photos to the church office, in person or electronically.) 

2. Use the same photo that was in the previous directory. (Let the church office know.)

3. Have a new photo taken by our resident photographer, George Hunter.

Contact Neil Odom or Mercer Griffin with any questions.

Prayers and Thanksgivings

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

  • Tom Cooper: hospitalized with heart issues
  • Barbara Cooper: upcoming surgery
  • Lila Hunter: recent knee surgery
  • Ragon's friend Tara: inoperable tumor
  • Family & friends of unknown man who died after collapsing on Lou Ivy Rd.
  • Cindy Jones' brother-in-law: stage 4 cancer
  • Nora Ignatius' friend & his family: sudden death of father
  • Lori Anderson's co-worker Elizabeth: cancer treatment
  • Katrina Stone: conflict at work
  • Jacque Tapley's brother Doug
  • Gail Bolton: injured hand
  • Teachers & student back to school
  • Jessee Hoge: student in scholarship camps
  • Tarin Hinson: waiting for test results
  • Katrina Stone's son Ben: job hunting
  • Jenny Jensen's friend: colon cancer
  • Bob Jones' sister Diane: Multiple Sclerosis
  • Phil Griffin passed calculus!
  • Ed: for Family Promise volunteers
  • Downey's friends visiting church
  • John Posey: new music director / organist job
  • Susan Posey: good visit to Five Springs UMC - family active there for 100 years
  • Odoms: 50th anniversary & trip to Florida w/grandson
  • Andy Loftis' birthday coming up
  • Jan Dodd back in church
  • 3rd graders who received Bibles at church on Sunday

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

Sunday's Lesson
This week in worship the lesson will be:

 1 John 5:1-6

Birthdays this week:

Caitlyn Samples
Rachael Samples
Derrick Karimi
Rob Smith
Hudson Karimi
Andy Loftis
Jessee Hoge
Hayne Thompson
Bill Posey
Anne Bailey

Anniversaries this week:
Jason & Michelle Jarrett

Save the Date

AUGUST 6 - 7:00 PM

AUGUST 8 - 7:00 PM

AUGUST 10 - 3:30 PM
ROOM 112/114

AUGUST 10 - 5:15 - 7:30 PM

AUGUST 10 - 6:30 PM

AUGUST 10 - 7:30 PM
ROOM 112/114

AUGUST 11 - 7:00 PM

AUGUST 13 - 5:45 PM

AUGUST 14 - 7:00 PM

AUGUST 17 - 10:30 AM

AUGUST 17 - 12:00 PM

AUGUST 17 - 3:30 PM
ROOM 112/114

AUGUST 19 - 10:00 AM

AUGUST 21 - 9:45 AM

AUGUST 21 - 7:00 PM

AUGUST 21 - 7:00 PM

AUGUST 25 - 29
9:30 AM - 12:30 PM

AUGUST 25 - 6:30 PM

SEPTEMBER 2  - 9:30 AM

SEPTEMBER 21 - 4:30 PM


Guest Password

If you need to access the internet in one of the church buildings, you will need to sign in using a Guest Password.  

The current password is:  barbecue

Family Wellness
through Counseling, Education and Research

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


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.

Non-Profits Email Free with VerticalResponse!