MEMORIAL UMC’s MISSION…
We are CALLED by Christ to GROW in faith, BUILD relationships, and SERVE all people.
SUNDAY FEBRUARY 7, 2021
Fifth Sunday after Epiphany
10 R.L. Pope Class by Jim McGhee on Facebookand WGOS AM 1070
11 Live Worship In Person and Online on Facebook and WGOS AM 1070
(Please read below about protocols and how to enter the building.)
MONDAY FEBRUARY 8
10 10@10 Devotion on Facebook
TUESDAY FEBRUARY 9
9-10 Men’s Fellowship Group (Contact: Tim Lyons, firstname.lastname@example.org)
9-11 Sewing Ministry
10 10@10 Devotion on Facebook
THURSDAY FEBRUARY 11
10 10@10 Devotion on Facebook
FRIDAY FEBRUARY 12
10 10@10 Devotion on Facebook
SATURDAY FEBRUARY 13
12 UMW Zoom Gathering
SUNDAY FEBRUARY 14
10 R.L. Pope Class Online: Allen Brown
11 Live Worship In-Person & Online
February 17 Ash Wednesday
February 18 Red Cross Blood Drive
If you or a loved one would like to be added to the prayer list, please contact Lorna McCullough at 336-259-5814. If you put a name on the list, please keep in touch to let us know how that person is doing, as names are removed after three weeks.
During the coming week, please pray for…
Richard Herman and family
Harold and Carol Vannoy
Kathy Smith McKinley
Angel Christ and Randy Jackson and family
Belinda Johnson and family
Abby Emerson and family
Zeb Hanner, Sr.
Britt Martin Williams
Our country and healing for all
Finley Price family
Andrea Cain and family
Peace and justice in our nation, state, and city
Our first responders, medical community, and essential workers
All those affected by COVID-19
All military personnel
Our United Methodist missionaries
The United Methodist Church
We extend our prayers and sympathy to Rev. Jim Westmoreland and family on the death of Jim’s wife Barbara on Thursday January 28, 2021. The obituary can be found at https://obituaries.timesenterprise.com/obituary/barbara-westmoreland-1081542467?mc_cid=9d1c50e18d&mc_eid=f44643da35.
WORSHIP THIS SUNDAY
What to Expect at Indoor Worship
- Access to the Sanctuary is through the Randolph Street doors only. The designated entrance for those needing the elevator will be the door under the walkway.
- You’ll be greeted upon entering the church and asked a few questions.
- Face masks will be required for everyone.
- Some pews will be blocked to maintain social distancing; an usher will help direct you.
- Out of respect for others, please refrain from shaking hands or hugging.
- Offering plates will be available at the entrance and exit of the sanctuary.
- When services end, attendees will be dismissed by section to avoid hallway congestion.
- No nursery staff will be present, but the nursery space will be available.
- Sunday school will not be offered at this time.
VALENTINES FOR UMW SCHOLARSHIP FUND
We support our high school seniors, and we know you will too!
Honor your Valentine. For $5.00 per name you can purchase a Valentine in honor or in memory of those who are special to you. All funds go to the UMW Scholarship Fund.
Submission deadline is Monday February 8th. Valentines will be printed in a special insert on Sunday February 14th, as well as in the church eNews for that week.
Please download the VALENTINE ORDER FORM and mail or bring the completed form with payment to the church office.
Thank you for your support of this important outreach to our high school seniors!
21-DAY RACIAL EQUITY CHALLENGE
The Missions Committee is hosting a 21-Day Racial Equity Challenge that will start on February 8 and go to the end of the month. The link on the flyer and here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090A44AAAC22ABFF2-21day will allow you to sign up to receive the information on how to participate in the challenge. Spread the word! This is for Memorial UMC and beyond!
CCM DONATIONS NEEDED
Thank you for continuing to shop for Cooperative Community Ministry when you are getting your groceries. Current needs are listed below.
1. Meals of Grace teams to prepare/serve meals (Tuesday, Thursday, Friday nights)
2. Pantry Items: Mac and Cheese, Spaghetti Sauce, Noodles, Peanut Butter, Rice, Large cans of soup, Crackers
UMW ZOOM GATHERINGS
All women of Memorial are invited to join the United Methodist Women (UMW) monthly Gatherings via Zoom. Gatherings usually are held on the second Saturday of the month, and the time is usually 12:00-12:30 p.m. The Zoom meeting links will be sent out a week prior by email. If you are interested, please contact Cheryl Herman for more information. Zoom Gathering Schedule: February 13 March 13 April 17 (Third Saturday due to Easter and school breaks) May 8 June 12
COVID-19 VACCINE INFORMATION FROM NCDHHS
Many people are understandably skeptical about the COVID-19 virus and whether to receive the vaccine. The NC Dept. of Health and Human Services site provides facts and information to assist you in making an informed decision about the vaccine. The more our community understands about the vaccine, the better everyone will be in determining their best next step. Please visit YourSpotYourShot.nc.gov to learn more.
Please help do your part to stop the spread of Covid-19 virus by wearing a mask when in public, washing your hands, and observing a 6-foot social distance.
R.L. POPE CLASS ONLINE LESSONS
SUNDAYS AT 10:00 A.M. on FACEBOOK and WGOS
The R. L. Pope Class is excited to offer weekly online lessons. Tune in to Facebook Live or WGOS on your radio or computer.
February 14 Allen Brown
February 21 Kyles Wallace
February 28 Kyles Wallace
EMPTY BOWLS DATE CHANGE
The Empty Bowls Committee would like to thank the 2020 Empty Bowls ticket holders for your patience and understanding in rescheduling this fundraiser. The committee has made the difficult decision to postpone the Empty Bowls dinner and Silent Auction until March 18, 2022. All 2020 tickets will be honored for the event in 2022 unless a refund is requested. You may contact Sandy McGhee at 336-870-4015 with any questions or action regarding tickets. Thank you.
The Girl Scouts of Memorial are happy to help you with your cookie needs. Below is the information for both troops. If you would like to order or have any questions, please contact Julie Tyson at email@example.com or (336) 687-5231.
Troop 2558 booths are:
1/29/21 from 5:00-8:00pm at GNC in Lexington at Lexington Parkway Plaza
2/20/21 from 4:00-8:00pm at Lowes Home Improvement Center in Lexington
Troop 2557 booths are:
1/23/21 (Drive Thru) from 12:00-4:00pm at First Presbyterian Church in Thomasville
1/30/21 from 4:00-7:00pm at GNC in Lexington at Lexington Parkway Plaza
2/6/21 from 4:00-8:00pm at Lowes Home Improvement Center in Lexington
Cookies are $5.00 per box this year.
CLERGY AND STAFF ARE AVAILABLE
You may contact members of the staff directly or by calling the church office at 336-472-7718 and following the instructions on the recording. Here is a list of staff phone extensions and email addresses, for reference:
Danny Leonard, Senior Minister – Ext. 16; firstname.lastname@example.org
Rodney Denton, Minister of Youth and Young Adults – Ext. 18; email@example.com
Lynda Hepler, Minister of Children and Families – Ext. 11; firstname.lastname@example.org
Norris Norwood, Director of Music/Organist – Ext. 12; email@example.com
Aaron Prillaman, Director of Contemporary Worship – Ext. 20; firstname.lastname@example.org
Melanie Byerly, Director of Arts Alive Arts Academy – Ext. 33; email@example.com
Susan Frye, Secretary – Ext. 14; firstname.lastname@example.org
Peggy May, Financial Secretary/Treasurer – Ext. 13; email@example.com
Jarry Oldaker, Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds – Ext. 17; firstname.lastname@example.org
MEMORIAL AND HONORARY GIFTS
We gratefully acknowledge the following recent gifts:
In memory of Rachel Herman by David Williams
In memory of Rachel Herman by James and Marie Carmichael
In memory of Mark Lewis by James and Marie Carmichael
We close this week’s eNews with a 10@10 devotion shared by Rodney Denton on November 20, 2020.
Thanksgiving for Life!
I don’t know if you have been in any retail store recently, but if the music playing over the loudspeakers, the items that have found their way to the endcaps, and the decorations being displayed are any indication, it is clear that Christmas is on its way! I think I started noticing the transformation, when—maybe the day after Halloween (possibly before), the red and green and silver tinsel began showing up and “Jingle Bells” started filling my subconscious from the in-store speakers. Don’t get me wrong; I understand what’s at stake. I read somewhere that, traditionally, from Black Friday to New Year’s is by far the most profitable time period for the retail sector. And since this year we have had to contend with shutdowns and fear and uncertainty, I can’t blame them for beginning the shopping season as early as they possibly can.
But I must admit, it just saddens me that it seems like Thanksgiving, as a prominent holiday, has taken less and less of a role in our Fall schedule of events. I mean, I love Thanksgiving. Certainly it doesn’t hurt that Thanksgiving has sort of become associated with the act of gathering around a giant table of good food and sharing a meal with family and friends. Of course… we will have to see what that looks like this year, but my point is that I love the fellowship that Thanksgiving inspires. Even more than the meal of Thanksgiving, I really like the idea of Giving Thanks.
I don’t know if you are aware, but despite what we were all taught in school about Pilgrims and Native Americans coming together, AND what you might also have heard giving credit to Abraham Lincoln for the Thanksgiving holiday, the truth is that the very first nationally celebrated day of Thanksgiving happened under George Washington’s leadership. I want to share with you this morning just a brief section of President Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation:
“Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November [next} to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be. That we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks, for His kind care and protection of the People of this Country.…” (October 3, 1789)
That is a lot of really big fancy-sounding words, but my point is that not just being grateful, but giving thanks to God has been an important part of our country from the very beginning. In fact, I find it sort of interesting that the act of giving thanks has been a part of so many of the major turning points in our history. As I mentioned before (and I hope that my history is right here, because I got called out a few weeks ago when I had the Constitution confused with the Declaration of Independence getting signed in 1776; the Constitution was actually not signed until 1787) … but ANYWAY, as I mentioned, we all learned that a Thanksgiving Feast was celebrated by the Pilgrims right after the founding of the first successful colony in America. After the War of Independence, George Washington had the entire new nation celebrate a nationally recognized day of Thanksgiving in 1789. And finally, it was Abraham Lincoln who officially proclaimed Thanksgiving as an ongoing national holiday in 1863, which was in the middle of the Civil War. I find it very interesting that following so many of the big events in our history the inclination is turn to God and offer thanks. I think that is important to keep in mind. Giving thanks is not something that we should simply “gloss over” in order to get to the much more “lucrative” Christmas season. Thanksgiving is in the roots of who we are as people. We know that even when we work hard and sacrifice and face difficult situations, God has a hand in guiding our lives.
This bring me to the Scripture that I want to focus on this morning. It comes from the First Letter to the Thessalonians, chapter 5, verses 16-18. This passage is found at the end of the letter and offers some closing thoughts that Paul, the author, wants to emphasize to a small congregation of believers who were being persecuted because of their faith. Here are the encouraging words Paul wrote:
1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
These were the activities that Paul wanted the Church to focus on while he was away. Rejoice, pray, and give thanks. These were the three activities that Paul encouraged for a community of believers who were feeling persecuted and frustrated at their current circumstances. Does this not sound familiar? Perhaps these activities are the very activities that we should be engaged in today when we feel afflicted and scared. Maybe we should pay better attention to these commands.
So often it is easy get trapped in a spiral of negative thinking. Something negative happens in our lives, we begin to have negative feelings, something else happens, and those negative feelings are assigned to this new event—which in turn reinforces more negativity. Before long everything that happens we see through a lens of negative emotions, and everything that happens around us is classified in our mind as BAD. The problem is that this spiral of negativity is contagious and can affect other people around us as well. So eventually, not only are we in a constant state of yuck, but others around us are sucked into it too. I feel like that sort of sums up 2020. There are definitely some negative events happening in our world today, but at this point we may be just waiting for the next bad thing to happen. We need to get out of the spiral of negativity.
The GOOD NEWS is that breaking out of this spiral of misery is possible, and just as the infection of negativity is contagious, so is the remedy! Paul calls on us to REJOICE ALWAYS! It is a scientifically proven fact that when we experience joy there is a release of dopamine and serotonin, two types of neurotransmitters in the brain that are heavily associated with happiness (in fact, people diagnosed with clinical depression often have lower serotonin levels). It has even been proven that, even by forcing yourself to smile, you can have a positive effect on your blood pressure. So, this week make a concerted effort to spread a little more joy in the world in any way that you can, smile, look for that silver lining, go out of your way to do something for a stranger or even a person in your own home. You may be surprised at how your circumstances might change!
Next Paul calls for us to “pray continually.” Now, let me just point out the obvious here. Being in a constant state of prayer where you are always seeking God’s guidance and direction is different from the formal hands folded, head down, and eyes closed form of prayer. Life might get a little difficult if we tried to be literal by praying continually in the formal sense, especially while doing some of life’s activities, like walking, reading, or driving a car. But trying to stay connected with God throughout the day would be a very positive approach to life! And just as cultivating a life of joy has its physical benefits, likewise, spending time in prayer and meditation has proven to have many emotional benefits, including reducing depression and anxiety. Maybe this week take a few moments to spend a little time in some formal prayer, but also, follow “Dr. Paul’s” prescription to pray continually and stay connected to God in some way; and see how you might feel at the end of the week.
Finally, Paul commands the Thessalonians to “give thanks in all circumstances.” Now, I don’t know about you, but that is a pretty tall order. There are some situations in life where gratitude is simply not my first reaction. There are plenty of negative situations I can think of that should really be exempt from this command, and I am sure that the Thessalonians, who were experiencing persecution at this time, would have felt the same way. But that is not what Paul is saying. He is very clear: give thanks in ALL circumstances. Paul doesn’t say give thanks in the good times, or give thanks when you feel strong, or when things work out the way you wanted them to go. Paul says give thanks in ALL circumstances! In other words, develop an attitude of gratitude. And as it turns out, just as rejoicing always can improve your brain chemistry and praying continually can have a positive effect on your emotional health, giving thanks has many positive benefits as well, including developing strong relationships. So, this week as you sit down to THE MEAL, truly take an inventory of all the things you have to be grateful for. The key is to NOT stop being appreciative, but to continue looking for ways that you are thankful for your life and to stop taking things for granted. People are often drawn to the positivity of grateful people and that means your relationships will be stronger!
So, regardless of what the retail stores might lead you to believe, buying gifts, spending money, and other external triggers will not make you happy, healthy, and popular. The truth is the “stuff” in our lives can never take the place of the stirrings of our hearts. True joy, a continual connection to our Maker, and a grateful attitude all come from a deep seated place in our hearts, not on a store shelf or in an Amazon van. Let’s commit right now to be truly thankful this Thanksgiving, and let’s not wait until next November rolls around to be thankful again—let’s keep it going all year long!
In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, AMEN!
YOU CAN WATCH AND READ ALL 10 @ 10 DEVOTIONS HERE.