Bahamas Methodist Habitat Mission Trip in Feb, 2015

Seven members of our church community went to Eleuthera, Bahamas to work to improve housing for the people there who are poor in monetary things, though rich in joy, enthusiasm, faith and community.

Below are photos from this experience including Karina Tarte playing with a young boy at one of our work sites, a before and after of the house we built roof framing for, indoor wall framing at the other site, and scenes at both work and at our living site.

Karina and boy

Roof site beginning

roof site at end

Framing at 2nd site

At the center

Ted, John and TJ

 

Celebrating statistics

No doubt you’ve heard there are “lies, outrageous lies, and statistics”.  At the end of every January, pastors report required United Methodist stats.  It is not my favorite part of ministry.  However, I do want to let you see that we have a lot to celebrate in 2014 in many areas of faithfulness.  The number in parentheses is the 2013 statistic.

  •   Higher average Sunday worship attendance      77 ( 75)
  •   More baptisms                                                                         5 (  3)
  •   More children in our church ministries                  45 ( 34)
  •   More youth in small groups/fellowship                 19 ( 16)
  •   More adults in small groups/studies                    102 ( 65)
  •   More people pledging to our ministry                   46  ( 32)
  •   More persons engaged in mission                         236 (105)
  •   More people served by outreach ministries    607 (522)

Though numbers can seem cold, each of these numbers does represent a person who we care about and who Jesus loves. 

No one person can make all this happen. It only can occur when we faithfully, prayerfully work together.  How wonderful to see our ministry looking so healthy.  Thanks for all you do!

Grace and Peace,

Kim

Prayer, Superbowl, Hearing God

This year’s Super Bowl was an amazing game.  Both teams had some great plays. Either team could have won; and it came down to the final minute of play.

Patriot rookie, Malcolm Butler, who made the key interception, is now famous.  When he was being congratulated he pointed to heaven.  When interviewed, he talked about being blessed and amazed—no dishing of the other team, no “in-your-face” bragging. Turns out a man had told his mother that “he would do great things in the game.”  He had prayed on that and then it came true.  Turns out that Malcolm prays regularly.

Interviewed later he said, “You see some tough things growing up, and I just always said I didn’t want to have that life. I wanted to be someone. And I just wanted to make my family a better family and inspire young kids that anyone — that you can do whatever you want to if you believe and have faith.  What a beautiful message he is sharing.

God is speaking to us all the time, through our intuition, through the words of a friend, the inspiration of our devotional time, the beauty around us.  The more we pray and seek God’s word for us, the more likely we are to hear it.  What is God giving you to accomplish?

Grace and Peace,  Kim

Thanks from the VT Dept of Children and Families in Addison

It is good to be back!  We had a great time and many adventures with our two grown up kids.   Now it is time to look to ministry at NFUMC in 2015.   We have a lot of exciting things coming up. 

First, however, we have received a note from the Vt. Dept. of Children and Families in Addison County thanking us for being such generous Christmas angels.  We gave a total of 63 gifts to children and teens with help from our local Mobil station. The DCFS reports they gave out 188 gifts and that was 83 more than last year which is amazing.  They write: “Shirley (Parfitt) – thanks for being the point of contact.  And to all the wonderful Christmas angels at NFUMC – thanks for making Christmas that much brighter for some really sweet children, some of whom would literally have had nothing without you.

Awesome” said the staff at the Mobil station when I shared this letter with them.  Indeed, we are awesome when together we serve others in Christ’s name with Christ’s warm transforming love.  Together we will do more great things in 2015.

Grace and Peace,

Kim

How were you “good news” for someone this week?

Here’s some more good news on how we are changing lives:

It was great.” Teen girl on the book study after discussion on integrity and gossip.

Everyone got along so well, even kids who might not hang with each other at school.” Adult at Pizza Putt event with youth.

I saw God Sunday in Peter Curler who was the first to arrive to help the teens with their breakfast and stayed through till all was cleaned up.” Church member after the Pancake Breakfast mission trip fund raiser on Oct 26th

My child is LOVING Sunday school.”  New family

To the people of the NFUMC: Thank you for giving us the opportunity to paint this beautiful church for you and also for the work you gave us.  John and Lora, our church painters.  (donated $20 to breakfast!)

In I Corinthians chapter 1, Paul urges those Christians to “be the good news by remembering that everything they have—right thinking, right living, a clean slate and a fresh start—comes from God by way of Jesus Christ.” He reminds them in the same letter that all have gifts to share so that together they give God the glory.

How were you “good news” for someone this week?  How can we encourage one another to never give up, to “be not afraid” and to help others see God’s love for them? 

Together we are changing lives. Thanks be to God.

Grace and Peace,  Pastor Kim

Challenge Grant of $10,000 for Consecration Sunday

On Sunday Nov 9th during worship, we give everyone an opportunity to support God’s mission through our 2015 church budget by making a pledge. Pledges help us plan our ministry well.

This year there is a $10,000 challenge grant from several generous NFUMC families that will match every new pledge, and every increased pledge amount.  For example, if someone increases their pledge $20 a week, the challenge grant would match $20 x 52 weeks or $1,040.  The total amount of a new pledge would be matched by the challenge grant.

We will learn at the brunch if this challenge grant was fully matched.  The figure below shows what happened last year in terms of new and increased pledges.

Data on pledging

Parent resource for Sunday School

If you as a parent would like parent resources to continue the Sunday School lesson at home, go to this link, click on the “Leader” bar, scroll down to “Hop on Home weekly parent page” and click there (or click directly on this link to get to this page in one step).  

You can then select the Sunday that you want to explore as a family.  There are simple suggestions to continue the lesson at home.

What are you harvesting in terms of your faith?

October is a time of overflowing bounty.  Our gardens give their last burst of vegetables and flowers.  The mums and pumpkins look great with the brilliantly colored leaves that make us famous. 

What are you harvesting in terms of your faith?  As the year ripens and heads towards winter, are you more peaceful, centered, brave and forgiving than you were at the beginning of the year? 

It is easy to catalogue the progress of our gardens in the number of vegetables and flowers. It is harder to measure how we are growing as disciples.  Christians can harvest the fruits of the spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  (Galatians 5:22) 

Pick one of these and ask God for more—this is the kind of prayer God is eager to answer. 

Grace and Peace,

Kim