Vol. 9, No. 6
June 1, 2013
On Toothaches, Ostriches, and Vibrancy I learned a difficult lesson a few weeks ago. For weeks I had been troubled by a sore tooth. The normal response in such circumstances is to visit the dentist. In my infinite wisdom, I decided avoiding the dentist was the best course of action. I thought perhaps the problem would get better if I ignored it. I call this the ostrich strategy: bury my head in the sand and the problem will disappear. The result of this tactic was multiple trips to the dentist once the toothache became so bad I could no longer function. It is amazing the lengths to which we will go to avoid facing bad news, even when we know it’s there. Hold that thought, while I share with you about an important process we have begun as a congregation. At this point, you have heard many times about the Vibrant Church Initiative (VCI). We were invited by our district superintendent to participate in this process, offered through the Texas Annual Conference. The Church Council prayerfully considered and accepted this invitation. You as a congregation have been asked to pray for a team of church members who for the next several months will be reading books about church vitality and attending monthly meetings with me and with members of other congregations participating in VCI. You have been asked to pray for me as I am doing the same with the pastors of those congregations. In the weeks and months ahead you will be hearing regular reports and updates from team members, as they work through this first phase of this multi -year process. It occurs to me that some may be wondering why Russell Memorial needs to take part in VCI. To that end I want to offer three observations about the vibrancy of our congregation: Over the past decade, attendance in worship at Russell Memorial has remained stagnant, even slightly declining at times. In that same time, other congregations in our community have grown tremendously, demonstrating that our attendance is not stagnant because there is a shortage of people who need to be reached with the love and grace of Jesus Christ in our neighborhoods. Our attendance has remained stagnant because we are not reaching them. In this regard we are not a vibrant congregation. Many of you have commented to me about the shortage of young families in our congregation. This is a reality I have certainly noticed myself. In fact, few can sit in our midst on Sunday morning without recognizing this. Once again, the ministry of other congregations in our community makes it abundantly clear there is no shortage of young families around us. Once again, they are not here because we are not reaching them. In this regard we are not a vibrant congregation. (continued on page 2)
Church Stewardship Report
April 21 ATTENDANCE: 8:30 a.m. Sunday School 11:00 a.m. TITHES AND OFFERINGS: 8:30 a.m. 11:00 a.m. Total General Designated Total of All 50 90 101 April 28 27 83 145 May 5 41 83 83 May 12 35 75 147 May 19 34 101 118
$537.00 $2,682.25 $3,219.25 $1,405.84 $4,625.09
$163.00 $1,626.00 $1,789.00 $2,401.66 $4,190.66
$281.80 $5,999.00 $6,280.80 $2,552.50 $8,833.30
$1,290.00 $5,259.00 $6,549.00 $1,405.00 $7,954.00
$1,055.00 $2,606.00 $3,661.00 $2,567.00 $6,228.00
(continued from page 1) As a ten year veteran of youth ministry, perhaps the most heartbreaking indicator to me of our struggle as a congregation is the anemic state of our ministry to Jr. and Sr. High students. For a little less than one of my three years here, we have employed a youth director. At that time, we struggled to maintain a small youth group. In the more than two years since, we have had little to no youth group. For a third time, thriving youth ministries in other congregations around us demonstrate in undeniable fashion there is no shortage of Jr. and Sr. High youth in our community. For a third time, they are not here because we are not reaching them. In this regard we are not a vibrant congregation. It should be noted, there are certainly many signs of vibrancy in the life of our congregation. I am not listing them here for two reasons: The first is practical, as there is only so much space in a newsletter article. More importantly however is the human tendency to use good news as an excuse to ignore bad news. When I go to the doctor he can speak of five or six things I need to work on to be healthier, but if my blood pressure and cholesterol are good or if I’ve lost a few pounds I quickly forget the areas of needed improvement. The fact that we have many vibrant ministries cannot allow us to ignore the key areas where we are not experiencing vibrancy. It may not be pleasant to read about areas where our congregation is struggling, such as the three listed above. Like me with my toothache, most of us would rather not address these problems. Of course we know these realities exist. The only way we could possibly miss them is to bury our heads in the sand. But like my toothache, the only thing the ostrich strategy will do is compound our problems. Indicators such as these three are why our Church Council accepted the invitation to join VCI. The aim of this process is not only to honestly name and face our struggles as a congregation, but also to learn a bit about what we can do to overcome them with God’s help. I look forward to going through this process with you. Grace & Peace,
Many of you have asked about the notes Billy read at Linda Glover’s funeral so we are including them here. Her favorite passage from the Bible was in Matthew 25:31-46. She said she tried to live her life by this passage, not always succeeding. Her favorite hymn, How Great Thou Art. The words of this song always came to her in times of her greatest need, the death of her parents, husband, and brother. The words were in her head and heart each time she drove home from Baylor Rehab and after being with Dick during his final days. The words were in her head and heart at times of great joy, the birth of her son and his growth to be a caring, loving son. The greatest compliment she ever received was when Tony said, “you taught me what love is and how to love”. These words came to her each time she experienced all the many acts of love and kindness. Missy Currin Sorrells was truly the daughter of her heart. She has been loving and caring. It gave her great comfort and peace that Tony and Missy had formed a partnership of care for her. It came to her when all her “earth angels” had done God’s will in their many acts and words to help her and encourage her. She said she was not a person of great wealth or influence. However, she felt truly wealthy and blessed. A feeling of being blessed beyond anything she deserved brought her joy and peace. A joy and peace she didn’t deserve but a gift from God. Russell Memorial had been the place of her spiritual growth. She came to RMUMC praying a persuasive essay, telling God what she needed done. She followed with a how to essay, oh the audacity, the nerve. She says she knew now that all was in God’s hands, and peace remains supreme. As Methodists tend to, pastors come and go. They all make the changes God wants and move on. God has blessed us with many good pastors. Once, someone asked her if we got a good pastor this time. She said, in her usual flippant way, “Well, either he is a really good pastor, or I am a really good sinner, because every Sunday he manages to preach on one of my sins”. About that time she realized, the greatest is Gods. She says she is just an ordinary sinner unworthy but blessed by God’s grace. The pastor is just as ordinary trying to do God’s will. The boots Tony gave her for Christmas have wings and a cross on them. She never got to dance in them, nevertheless, they hold so much meaning. The wings of God’s comfort, her church family’s comfort, her friend’s (earth angels) comfort and the wings she hoped she had given to her students so that they may soar. She said she couldn’t say she wanted to die, she didn’t want to leave her cherished son, but she was at peace with it. She had no bucket list. She loved her son, family, friends and home. She didn’t want to go to heaven for the streets of gold, mansions or pearly gates. She wanted to go the heaven so she could be even closer to God’s peace that passes all understanding and had carried her through. Those that love God and listen to God are truly blessed. She was truly blessed and that’s what she wanted for all of you. Love is all that matters in the end. She said she saw the TV ads about getting loving and compassionate care if you would go out of state. There was no need for that. She said she had that care at Baylor for 5 years and that her doctor’s and their staffs were awesome. She said, “God has an awesome sense of humor. If you want to hear God laugh, tell him your plans” (from a country song). Don’t you love the delicious irony of the mouth. Finally, she said, “I wish for all here the peace and love I have experienced”.
Dates to Remember! June 1st, Farmer’s Market at the Rodeo Grounds June 2nd, 12:00 p.m. Church Picnic/Senior Recognition Luncheon June 5th, CAMP FEES DUES!!! (be sure to pay before the price increase) June 16th, Father’s Day June 23rd, 2:00 p.m. VCI meeting in Lindale Happy Birthday to Our June babies:
Jamie Blackburn Lue Miles Hannah McFarland Adele Monning Frosty Tunnell Chuck Currie Mary Keller Mary Alice Ellis Wayne Watson Vera Lofland Charlotte Youngblood Billy Watson Joy Bills Riley Moore Amelia Watson Katie McDonald Richard Doty 6-1 6-2 6-7 6-8 6-9 6-10 6-10 6-11 6-11 6-12 6-14 6-19 6-22 6-22 6-24 6-25 6-30
June Worship Assistants:
Altar Guild: Nelda Currie (Chair), Bonnie George, Bernadette Kolb, Charlotte Conn, Dana Hullum, Jeanie Teel Ushers: Sherri Rowe (Head), Lynn Rowe, Robert Manion, Cindy Manion Acolytes:
LOST AND FOUND
SAVE THE DATE Saturday, August 10, 2013 We hope you can join us for the 4TH ANNUAL LINDA GLOVER HATS AND WHITE GLOVE TEA Please start making your plans, invite your special friends. Sign up to host a table, spread the word. All proceeds will go to support the missions supported by RMUMC United Methodist Women
Community Outreach Program Neighbor to Neighbor Lunch 11 am-2pm Fourth Saturday of each month Deen Building - George Hall OPEN TO ANYONE WHO CHOOSES TO COME We will be asking different groups to step up and claim one of the dates. Please contact Gerda David for details - 214-538-0192 - leave message on her cell phone.
Russell Memorial UMC Calendar Of Events for June:
Have you lost something? We may have found it! Come check out the lost and found by the kitchenette and conference table!
Miss a Message? Did you miss a Sunday morning message? Want to hear one again? Want to share one with a friend? Visit our web site (www.russellmemorialumc.org) and watch them there.
1 Farmer’s Market
2 8:00 am UMM @ Lone Star Grill 8:30 am Early Service 9:15am Coffee & Donuts 9:45am Sunday School 11:00am Worship 12:00 pm Church Picnic/ Sr. Recognition 9 8:30 am Early Service 9:15 am Coffee & Donuts 9:45 am Sunday School 11:00 am Worship 16 Father’s Day 8:30 am Early Service 9:15 am Coffee & Donuts 9:45 am Sunday School 11:00 am Worship 3:00 pm Crestwood
3 10:00 am Prayer Group 6:00pm Trustees Intermediate School in Deen Building
4 6:30 pm Auction Meeting Intermediate School in Deen Building
5 CAMP FEES DUE!!!!
7 Wedding Reception
8 Wedding Reception
10 10:00 am Prayer Group 6:00pm Finance
12 Birthday Girls
13 6:30 pm Day School Board
15 Crafting with Christ 6-8 pm Wicks Reception
17 10:00 am Prayer Group 6:00 pm Church Council
18 6:30 pm Jesus Girls
22 Neighbor to Neighbor Lunch 11 am—2 pm
23 24 8:30am Early 10:00 am Prayer Service Group 9:15am Coffee & Donuts 9:45 am Sunday School 11:00 am Worship 12:00 pm Potluck/ UMW 2:00 pm VCI in Lindale ________________ 30 8:30am Early Service 9:15am Coffee & Donuts 9:45 am Sunday School 11:00 am Worship
26 10:00 am Sunshine Circle LATE CAMPERS DUE!!!
Remember in Prayer:
Bennie Scott Bo & Maxine Clopton Brandon Harris Chase (has concussion) Church of Christ, Azle Danny Harris Dennis Basham Don & Judith Hollister Doug Turner Dub & Janice Cooper Faye Potter RMUMC Graduating Seniors Grant Barnes & Wallace UMC Greg Evans & Family Helen & James Lawrence Henry Watson Israel & Middle East JJ Bryant
James VanSickle Jay Miller & Family Jennifer Langford John Thornsbury Johnny & Laura Bates Joni Tunnell Julie (living donor) Kay Crosby Kathy Capp Katie Butts Kelles Miller L.N. Hill Linda Frazier Linda Santmyer Margaret Butler Marie Nickles Norma Hundley Our Armed Forces Our World Rick Lutzinger
Robert & Katherine Cozart Robin & Gigi Pruitt Roger Jones Sandra Brown Sharla Welchel Sharon Blazer Teachers & Students Tiffany Phillips Shaw Tony Glover Tornado Victims VBS Wayne Rhodes Weldon Powers West, Texas “He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you can hide. His truth will be your shield and protection.” Psalms 91:4
Heaven’s Harvest Auction
We know it may seem early, but it’s time to start talking AUCTION! This year’s auction will be Saturday, October 12. We need people to start thinking of donations and start looking now. Help is needed in all form and fashion. If you can volunteer to make phone calls, write letters or contact members, please let Connie Watson know as soon as possible!
In memory of Everett Jensen Given by Denny & Betty McCormick, Lois & Tom Butts, and Patty Jouett. In memory of Zach Sewell Given by Lois & Tom Butts. In memory of Linda Glover Given by Lois & Tom Butts, Robert & Linda Greenwald, Larry & Theresa Turner, Bob & Fritz Gilbreth, Tom & Debbie Faulkenbury, Erin & Arthur Galope, Mary H. Castleberry, Phyllis Mayo, Linda Malone, Mamie McCasland, Weldon & Judy Powers, & Ted Deen, Sr. In memory of Pat & Linda Glover Given by Maxine Page.
Notes of Thanks
I want to thank all of you for your prayers, cards and phone calls during the recent death of my brother Everett. It was such a blessing from God that I was able to spend the last nine days with Everett before his battle with cancer ended his life on earth. Everett knew Jesus and his faith never wavered during those last days. I will miss him terribly, but God’s word gives us the comfort that while death in this life is final, we will be together once more for an eternity where there will be no pain, no cancer and no tears. Many of you have given monetary gifts in his memory and words cannot express how much those gifts have meant to me. It is such a blessing to be a part of such a loving and caring congregation. Hugs, Betty McCormick I want to thank my church family and the prayer group for all the prayers, cards and food. I feel like God is hearing your prayers and they are working. I want you all to know how grateful I am and how much I love you. Thank you , Margaret Butler Dear Friends at RMUMC, Thank you so much for the beautiful prayer shawl. It has already brought a lot of comfort to us. We really appreciate y’all keeping us in your prayers. God Bless, Roger & Linda Jones
Be a Scout Centennial Superstar!
As you know, Boy Scout Troop 381 in celebrating 100 years of scouting in Wills Point, the third oldest continuously active troop in Texas! We are looking for 100 Scout Centennial Superstars to donate $100 each to pay for our once-in-a-lifetime 100th Anniversary trip to Yellowstone this summer. These superstars will be recognized with a personal paver in our Proud Heritage area, to be read and appreciated by our community for years to come. If you are interested contact the church office for a donation form.
Church Camp is Coming
Church camp at Lakeview is July 15-19. It will be here before we know it! Any kids finishing 4th grade through graduating high school this Spring are eligible. The cost is $235 per camper, or $250 if you register late. There is a link to the camp on the church’s webpage, or you can pick up a registration form in the office. The due date for money is June 5th!
(Thank you notes Continued)
Thank you for all your prayers, cards, visits and concerns for Chuck and I during his illness. We had a close call but we know prayers are what saved him. God Bless You, Chuck and Nelda Currie
Dr. Billy Watson, Pastor Nancy McDonald, Office Administrator Theresa Turner, Ladies Hand Bells Director Denise Ross, Pianist
Dr. Bob Gilbreth, Music Director Fritz Gilbreth, Organist Mary Keller, WOW Coordinator Jackie Cockerham, Financial Administrator
Russell Memorial United Methodist Church 201 S. Fourth St Wills Point, Texas 75169 903-873-2569 Office Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Monday-Thursday [email protected]
The Russell Report
Russell Memorial UMC A Family Rooted in Christ and Reaching Out in Love 201 S. Fourth Street P. O. Box 335 Wills Point, TX 75169
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