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January February Newsletter

5 January, 2020 (17:11) | Pastors' Corner | By: admin

Carl’s Corner

Dear Church Family,

As we begin this new year of 2020 I want to review and preview some things I have written and some things that add to the past work.  These ideas are by Thom Rainer.  They come from an article, “How to Turn Around a church.”  The ideas belong to Mr. Rainer.  I am exploring them in my own words.

For a review in past newsletters I have written about the following ideas. 1, Starting new groups.  2. Create a culture of inviting people to church. 3.Begin a new members class. Expect a new member /refresher class during the season of Lent. February 26,2020 is Ash Wednesday-the beginning of Lent.

Now the preview. Here are three other ideas to help turn a church around. “They began a major community ministry.” Turn around churches do ministry outside of the four walls of their building.  Next, “They began to pray for the lost and unchurched by name.” Awkward at first and then it was transformational. Lastly, “The leaders began to focus less on negative people and circumstances and more on God’s possibilities.” On the second Sunday of Advent, I preached about Mary.  The whole point of the sermon was, “For with God nothing shall be impossible.” Luke 1:37

We know that in May of 2020, the General Conference of the United Methodist Church will meet to discuss and decide the direction of the denomination. Many petitions have been submitted.  What exactly will happen is anyone’s guess.   Yet, I hear in my soul the words, ”For with God nothing shall be impossible.”

We know that things have changed about church membership, attendance, giving and a host of other factors.  Will the church ever be the church we remember? Will we polish our shoes on Saturday night? Will we dress up?   Will we be 15 minutes early for church so we can sit in the back pew?  Will Wednesday night ever be church night, again?   Yet… “For with God nothing shall be impossible.”

As we begin 2020, let’s put our trust in the God of the Impossible.


Pastor Carl


Preaching Series for Jan/Feb 2020


Matthew 2:1-12

Title: “Dream Warning”

12-Baptism of the Lord (Renewal of Baptism)

Isaiah 42:1-9, Matthew 3:13-17

Title: “To Fulfill All Righteousness”

19-2nd Sunday After the Epiphany

John 1:29-42

Title: “Come and See”

26 3rd Sunday after Epiphany

Matthew 4:12-23

Title: “Come and Follow”


2-4th Sunday after Epiphany-Communion

Matthew 5:1-12

Title: “Come and Learn”

9- 5th Sunday after Epiphany

Matthew 5:13-20

Title: “Come and Live”

16-6th Sunday after Epiphany

Matthew 5:21-30

Title: “I Say To You”

23-Transfiguration Sunday

Matthew 17:1-9

Title: “On the Mountain Top”


I am writing this on the 19th of December and am already thinking ahead to ASH WEDNESDAY-the beginning of Lent.   We will meet as a Parish at Ebenezer at 7 pm for the imposition of the ashes.

Here are the upcoming UMW meetings.

January 8 at 2 pm (Wed)-food, fun, fellowship and planning for the year. Bring your ideas.

February 12 at 9 am (Wed)- Come to the January meeting to see what our focus will be.

Looking ahead, the March meeting with be a day long mission trip to Chatham, Illinois.  On March 11 at 7:30 am, we will leave from the church to go to the Midwest Mission Distribution Center. (Rumor has it this event might be open to everyone in the church. Didn’t we used to do mission trips together??)

United Methodist Men UMM

The United Methodist Men will meet at the Country Aire restaurant on Sunday morning, January 26th and February 23rd at 7 am.

Trustees Tidbits

The main project the Trustees are working on right now is a challenge with our phone system at the church.  We can call out just fine.  The telephone in the elevator receives our phone calls instead of the regular phone. Therefore, no one can leave a message.  The phone folks believe this is an elevator problem.  The elevator folks believe this is a phone problem.  We checked with our friends at the Atlanta Public Library, as they have an elevator and phone very similar to us.  They are not having any problems.  I have great confidence this is a situation that can and will be resolved. In the meantime, please call Pastor Carl on his cell at 618-614-0658 for any church related issues.

Opportunities to Learn Something New

Class on Islam

Dave Dawson, from Ebenezer, will be offering a class on Islam after January 20th. We are considering a class in the evening.  This will be open to the Parish as well. We will meet at Ebenezer.  Please check your bulletins for date and time.

On Dec 7th, our District Superintendent Jim Barnett taught a class on the “The Twelve Keys to an Effective Church”. I have the slides and will be finding a time to go over that material with each church.  Our next “Laity Module#3 “ is set for Saturday, February 8, 2020 from 9 am until 3 pm at the Pontiac First UMC Fellowship Hall.


Nurture, Outreach and Witness will meet on Monday, Jan 6 at 6:30 pm. Check your bulletins for plans and programs in January and February.

From the Community

Spartan Council:

The goal of the Spartan Council is to remove barriers to learning so that all students have the opportunity to achieve success through education.

The Spartan Council will work to support our students through:
1. Meeting the physical needs of students which can stand in the way of academic achievement.
2. Providing more adult mentors for students.
3. Increasing opportunities for parental engagement.

You can sign up to be on the shout-out team that helps with locating/donating items for the physical needs of students or as a community partner which could be local businesses helping donate time and resources.

If interested in being involved with this organization feel free to contact Laura O’Donnell ( or Samantha Yoder (


Filling Bags Are

January 9th Marge Dyer

January 16th Bonnie DeCaire Jones and David Applegate

January 23rd Nelda Robinson

January 30th Candy Rogers

February 6th Dawn and Gerald Begolka

February 20th Nelda Robinson

We still need help on February 13th and 27TH.

All Church Potluck

On Saturday January 26th the NOW committee has planned an all church potluck at 6:00 pm, following the Saturday evening service. Everyone is invited to attend this all church event.

The Atlanta Church Council The next meeting will be held on January 20th at 6:30 pm.

January Songs of Faith

2 January, 2020 (13:40) | Pastors' Corner | By: admin

Sermon Series Title Upcoming 2020 Jan-Mid Feb

2 January, 2020 (13:11) | Pastors' Corner | By: admin

Come and….

Jan 19th Come and See

Jan 26th  Come and Follow

Feb 2nd Come and Learn

Feb 9th Come and Live

Come be changed.

Random Church Music Triva

2 January, 2020 (12:49) | Pastors' Corner | By: admin

Did you know, “Joy to the World” is 300 years old last year?

The continuity of our faith can sometimes best be expressed by the music we choose to share and continue to sing.

Through-out the year of 2020, I will be sharing some hymn history and triva that has been influential in my faith journey.


31 December, 2019 (10:46) | Pastors' Corner, calendar | By: admin

Hello Friends

For a short time this website is going to be undergoing some revisions. You may notices some changes.

Please be patient. This is going to be an ongoing process.

Education Committee Meeting

24 April, 2009 (13:28) | calendar | By: admin

The Atlanta Education Committee will meet at Sally McGinnis’s home at 7:00 pm.


7 April, 2009 (08:23) | calendar | By: admin

SHY meet at 7:00 pm at McLean UMC