Click to view this email in a browser

Mt Carmel United Methodist Church
December 18, 2013

You Don't Know Me!

Last week was rough. David, a fellow student in seminary, passed away after battling esophageal cancer. At first I was angry with God. It seemed like only yesterday when we graduated from seminary. Why couldn’t David live longer and use his gifts for ministry? 

Then I grew angry at cancer. I know that seems strange to be angry at a disease, but I get tired of losing people to cancer. While I have seen God use times of sickness and disease to bring healing of the soul, I do not believe God ever causes these. I yelled at cancer, “You are not God’s will!” 

In my anger, I drove to Great Clips, stomped in and told the stylist to cut enough for Locks of Love. This haircut left me shorter than I planned, but I needed to feel like I was sticking it to cancer. (Locks of Love makes wigs for children who have lost hair from conditions like alopecia, burn trauma, and cancer treatment.) 

Maybe the stylist thought I needed cheering up when she offered, “you will have so much more time now. Instead of taking an hour to style your hair, this cut will only take 20 minutes!” 

She sure didn’t know me! My “styling” is usually to pull my hair back in a pony tail. The closest I come to a hair dryer is in the car, turning the air to high, and leaning forward with my hair close to the vent. Later that night Ed and I laughed about the stylist who didn’t know me!

It hurt to hear of David’s death. I remembered a time of praying with him. In that moment, when we shared with God our deepest longings, I was given a glimpse of his soul. Because I knew him, I loved him.

This week in worship we will read John 1:18, that no one has ever seen God. However, we have seen the Son, and in seeing Jesus, God is made known.

I think that’s why Jesus came, so that we could know the Father who loves us and longs for us to respond in love. It’s easy to be mistaken about the Father. Experiencing losses to cancer or other diseases, we might wrongly conclude that cancer is God’s will. Yet whenever Jesus saw someone who was hurt or sick, he reached out with healing. Sickness and disease are not God’s will. When you know Jesus, you know this about God the creator. God longs for healing. 

Tis the season when we tell stories of Jesus’ birth. We might attempt to figure out what star was in the sky, or wonder what song the angels sang. Some stories even add details that aren’t in the Bible, such as animals that speak that one night, or even more wondrous for a baby, “no crying he makes.” Yet even without these trappings and details, the birth is extraordinary and wondrous. This is God saying, “I want you to know me. This is who I am.” 

I’ll see you this Sunday.

Pastor Cyndi McDonald 
Mount Carmel United Methodist Church 

In the Newsletter this Week:
  • From the Pastor
  • Holiday Newsletter Schedule
  • Holiday Schedule: Dec. 24 - Jan. 1
  • Serve on Christmas Eve
  • Children's Art on Bulletin Covers
  • Help Set Up Sanctuary for Christmas Eve: December 22
  • Mission Moment
  • End of Year Giving
  • Children's Ministry
    • Sunday School / Birthday Party for Jesus
    • Santa Photo Opp
    • Pageant Photos Available
  • Staff Christmas Gift
  • NCM Needs in December
  • UMW Christmas Card Delivery
  • Down Home Holiday - Dec. 22 - 6:30 PM
  • Preschool News
  • Epiphany Service / Lunch: Dec. 29 at 10:30 AM
  • Book Club: January 10 at 7:00 p.m.
  • Trinity Soup Kitchen: January 12, 2014
  • Outreach Opportunity: Dec. 19 - 22
  • Love & Logic Parenting Class: Begins Jan. 14th

Holiday Newsletter Schedule

Please note that due to the Christmas and New Year holidays, the next newsletter will be published on January 8, 2014.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Christmas Worship and Office Schedule

Christmas Eve
There will be two worship services on Christmas Eve, December 24th.  Both will include Holy Communion and candlelight. The first is at 6:30 PM (childcare offered) with another at 11:30 PM (no childcare.)

Holiday Office Hours:
Dec. 24 - 30:   Office Closed
Dec. 31:   Office Open 9 - 1
Jan. 1:   Office Closed

Serve on Christmas Eve

Help us provide a warm and welcoming worship experience for our visitors on Christmas Eve. On this evening, many people come to church for the first time or after a long absence - searching for meaning and hope. You can help them find their way! 

You can serve Christmas Eve as an usher, a greeter (look for visitors and give welcome bags), serving Holy Communion or reading scripture. 

Please contact the church office.

Children's Art on Bulletin Covers

Thank you to Cynthia Grogin for her rendition of, "all who are thirsty, come to the waters."

Watch for more of our children's artwork on upcoming Sunday bulletins.

Help Needed on December 22

Following the 11:00 service on December 22nd, volunteers are needed to help move the stage from the sanctuary, re-set the pulpit area, and get candles ready for the Christmas Eve services.

If you can help, please plan to stay for a few minutes after church (or come back if you attend at 8:30 or 9:30) to lend a hand.  Thank you!

Mission Moment

Thank you to Joyce Odom and Chris Bolton for this week's mission moment. Aren't you thankful for their leadership in nurturing?

In this week's mission moment they describe what this group has meant to the church and to them.

End of Year Giving

Thank you for your support of Mt Carmel this past year with your time, talent and financial contributions. We look forward to support from all of our members and friends in the year ahead.

If you need a convenient way to make regular offerings next year, or if you plan to make an additional gift before the end of the year, we encourage you to look into our electronic giving options. As the pace of life speeds up, especially around the holidays, you may find electronic giving a most welcome way to make contributions. 

Visit or contact the church office for more information. 

Children's Ministry News

Sunday School Dec. 22:

You Are Invited to a 

Birthday Party for Jesus

Sunday, Dec. 22 at 9:45 AM

There will be Games, Stories, 

and Birthday Cake! 

Please bring a non-perishable 

food item as a gift for NCM. 

Picture Time with Santa: 

Saturday, December 21 

from 10:45-12:00 

Bring the family and your ca

mera for a picture with Santa. Now is the time to get those teens in a picture with Santa too! Thanks to Lois Salter, Santa is making a stop at Mt. Carmel as he does his last minute shopping. So come and have a cup of hot chocolate and a picture with Santa. 

Sunday School: Dec. 29 at 10:30 AM

During the combined service we will offer Sunday School for all children.  The lesson this week is from Matthew 2:1-12 and is the story of the Wise Men.  This will be a combined class with centers available with several activities.

Pictures from "O Little Christmas Town"

Alex Proels took lots of pictures at the dress rehearsal and the night of the pageant. We have them on our computers and if you would like copies, just bring a flash drive by the church and I will copy them for you.  He will have a video available after Christmas. Thanks Alex!

Marian Long
Director of Children's Ministries


Staff Christmas Gift

We are so blessed to have such an exceptional staff here at Mt. Carmel. 

Throughout the year, we benefit from their talents, dedication and hard work. There is no doubt that Mt. Carmel would not be the same without them. 

As a show of appreciation, we ask you to make a monetary Christmas gift as a special "thank you" from the congregation. If you would like to contribute, please place your gift in the offering plate on Sunday or mail to the church office by Dec. 22.

Checks may be made payable to the church, simply designate your gift as "Staff Christmas Gift." And thank you for your gift to the wonderful Mount Carmel staff! 

The Staff Parish Relations Committee

NCM Needs: Pots, Pans & Food to Put in Them!

During the month of December, we will collect new or gently used pots and pans for NCM families.

Please remember to also buy a few extra non-perishable foods for them as you do your shopping!

All donations may be left in the NCM box in the church foyer. Of course, monetary gifts are always appreciated also.  Just make your check to Mt. Carmel, and mark it for NCM.  Thank you!

UMW Delivers Your Holiday Cards!

The Mt. Carmel United Methodist Women will once again be delivering your church-wide Christmas cards this year! 

Just drop your cards to your church friends into the gift wrapped box at the back of the sanctuary. The UMW members will then deliver the cards on Sunday mornings during Advent, before and after each worship service.

Down Home Holiday! Dec. 22 at 6:30 PM

You are cordially invited to a “Down Home Holiday” celebration on Sunday evening, December 22 at 6:30pm! 

Join us under the Christmas tree in the Fellowship Hall for hot chocolate, cider and refreshments. We’ll sing our favorite Christmas songs, hear a favorite Christmas story, play some reindeer games and we just might have an early visit from old St. Nick himself. 

A “Festive Wear” contest will be held with categories for all ages, so wear your favorite Christmas sweater, and the little ones can even wear their p.j.s! 

If you need a little Christmas cheer, the “Down Home Holiday” will be the perfect evening for you, your family, and children of ALL ages.

Preschool News

Dear Friends, 

Just when we thought the Nativity Play couldn’t get any cuter, it did! We want to thank Laura Myer for playing the piano for us today and a big thank you to all the parents who helped their children practice their lines three times a day. In the car, in the tub, and in bed were the places the children were instructed to say their lines. I think it worked well, don’t you? 

The cookie “swap” was a hit again and those who participated were treated to some delicious bites. I will be freezing my cookies and carrying them to Finland. Won’t they just think I was slaving in the kitchen all December long? I believe we will do it again next year. 

Friday is our last day in the semester and we will return on Tuesday, January 7. The teachers and I wish you all a blessed Christmas, traveling mercies to those who go away for the holiday, and the happiest of new year's.

After participating in the story that has been told for over two thousand years, it helps us have a perspective of our history and faith. Carry the message in your hearts and until we meet in the new semester. We are fortunate to be in a school with loving families and wonderful children. God smiles on Mt. Carmel! 

In joy and love, 

Epiphany Service & Lunch: Dec. 29

On Sunday, December 29th, we will have a COMBINED EPIPHANY WORSHIP SERVICE at 10:30 AM. 

Afterwards, everybody is invited to a covered dish lunch in the Fellowship Hall. Bring a dish to share from your traditional New Year's meal! (main dish, side, or dessert)  Drinks will be furnished.

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.

Trinity Soup Kitchen - Jan. 12

Trinity Table (Trinity Soup Kitchen) is a Sunday Soup Kitchen that has been serving the hungry of Atlanta since 1982. They serve everyone who comes to the Table a hot meal and give each guest a to-go bag of food as well. 

This ministry is successful because of the work of dedicated volunteers. On Sunday, January 12, our youth, along with adult volunteers, will be going to Trinity Table to serve. In order to serve the 250 guests, we need your help. 

Please look below and also on the Connect Card in your Sunday bulletin to see if you can help with any of the items needed. You may either check the boxes on the back of the Connect Card, go to the church website, or contact the church office to sign up.

Bring your donations to the church kitchen anytime before January 11. Please make sure that you put your name and "Trinity Soup Kitchen" on your donation when you bring it to the church.

If you would like to go with the Youth to help serve, you may sign up for that too!  Thanks!

1 gallon soup (need 35 gallons) (optional recipe here)
Squeeze Margarine (need 18 bottles) 
Saltine Crackers (need 17 boxes) 
3 boxes granola bars - any type (need 300 bars total) 
Help serve at Trinity

Outreach Opportunity

Help over 2,700 homeless children in metro Atlanta have a memorable and meaningful Christmas. 

Children’s Restoration Network 12 Days of Caring Wrap Party will be held December 19th through the 22nd. Hours are 10am till 4:30. Location: Roswell Town Center shopping center in Roswell at the corner of Holcomb Bridge and Alpharetta Hwy, Suite #250 (at the back of the Mall off of Commerce Blvd, near the Whirly Ball location). 

What do you do at a Wrap Party? Sort, wrap & personalize gifts for children in Metro Atlanta Homeless Shelters. There will be food, Holiday music, and Christmas cheer in the air. Many families have made this part of their Christmas tradition over the last 17 years. Bring a roll or two of wrapping paper, some scotch tape, and gift tags if you are able. 

For more information see: 

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, 6:30-8:30 pm on Tuesday evenings in the Senior High Youth Room beginning January 14th. The workshop lasts 6 weeks and is limited to 16 participants. 

Registrations are due by January 5, 2014. For more information and to register go to

Rev. Lynne Smith 
NGFCC Minister of Education

Prayers and Thanksgivings

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

  • Erin, daughter of Lila's friend: improving - Shepherd Spinal Center
  • Family of Tony, Tapley's friend who died last Friday
  • Jacque's co-worker Brenda: father died on Thursday
  • Melanie Bagwell - surgery on Wednesday
  • Lane Shutt's mother & family
  • Mike: grandmother dying in Haiti / safe travels to see her
  • Patty Merson's friend's brother - biopsy results
  • Sara Rogers' friends: auto accident / 1 death - 2 hurt
  • Roe's friend Nicholas: child on respirator
  • Ronda Bendig: still suffering from head injury
  • Downey's friend Peter: cancer
  • Lois & mother
  • Ryan Stark: foot surgery on Dec. 23
  • Tom Irish: surgery on Dec. 23
  • Mark McDonald grad. from Ga. Tech. / job in N.Y.
  • Norcross State Champs / North Gwinnett runner up
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 1:1-18
Psalm 130:5-8

Birthdays thru 2013:

Carol Jamieson
Kevin Hinson
Bud Layson
Eva Proels
Lane Shutt
Loyd McGee
Cheryl Smith
Taylor Tucker
Alexa Whitlow
Diane Smith
Gene Weeks
Ken Smith
Sara Rogers
Kevin Weeks
Nicole Yearwood
Joyce Odom
Susie Reinhart
Patty Merson
Matthew Follmer

Anniversaries thru 2013:
Thomas & Joyce Ivy
Bill & Carol Bryant
Dick & Jeannie Klinetob

Save the Date

DECEMBER 18 - 7:00 PM

DECEMBER 21 - 8:00 AM

DEC. 21 - 10 AM - 8 PM

DEC. 21 - 10:45 AM - NOON

DECEMBER 22 - 9:45 AM

DECEMBER 22 - 6:30 PM

6:30 PM & 11:30 PM


DEC. 24 - 30

DECEMBER 29 - 10:30 AM

DECEMBER 31 - 9:00 - 1:00

DECEMBER 31 - 11:30 AM


11:00 & 12:00 

JAN. 5 - 3:00 PM

JAN. 5 - 3:30 

JAN. 5 - 4:30 PM
ROOM 112/114

JAN. 7 - 11:30 AM

JANUARY 10 - 7:00 PM


11:00 & 12:00

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!