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E-News for November 25, 2012

posted Nov 25, 2012, 12:21 PM by Unknown user   [ updated Nov 25, 2012, 7:59 PM ]
In this Week's Monticello E-News
  1. Welcome from Pastor Rob
  2. Next Weekend in Worship, December 2
  3. Last Chance for Christmas Poinsettias
  4. Monticello Provides Gifts for 20 Children with a CASA!!!
  5. Night of the Nativities is Next Week!
  6. Monticello Serves at Grand Avenue Temple on Thanksgiving Sunday!!
  7. Three Remaining Thanksgiving Opportunities
  8. Directory Forms Available in Worship
  9. Advent Christmas Dinner and Cantata Coming Soon
  10. New Prayer Chain Begins
  11. Worship and Education Brainstorming Session Results!
  12. Mark the Date--Advent Worship and Event Schedule
Welcome from Pastor Rob
Welcome to this week's issue of the E-News, the online newsletter for Monticello United Methodist Church.  I do hope your Thanksgiving holiday was a wonderful one indeed!  Our family spent some time together with relatives travelling in from out of town.  After the traditional turkey and dressing, we enjoyed some "down time."  It is my prayer for you that you, too, had an opportunity to connect with others and offer thanks.  I hope to see you in church this weekend!

Next Weekend in Worship, December 2
Next Sunday is the beginning of Advent, a time to prepare our hearts and minds for the birth of Jesus Christ.  We'll start a special Advent series called, "Keepin' it Real--a Life Giving Christmas."  I hope you'll join us as we celebrate this special, sacred season of the year together.  

Last Chance for Christmas Poinsettias
The last chance for Christmas Poinsettias is tomorrow, November 26.  The poinsettias will be used to  decorate the chancel in Advent.  Then, you can take them home on Christmas Eve.  Any leftover poinsettias will be taken to local nursing homes.  Order yours here. 

Monticello Provides Gifts for 20 Children with a CASA
A week ago, I shared with you in worship that we had about $500 or so to finish off our goal of $2,000 to provide Christmas gifts for children and youth with a CASA.  I'm pleased to share with you that YOU have achieved your goal as a church.  This Christmas, you have reached your goal of providing $2,000 to CASA, even before Advent officially begins.  I'm so proud of you as a church--your willingness to give to others.  May God bless your generosity!!!

Night of the Nativities is Next Week
Each year, Monticello UMC puts together the "Night of the Nativities."  This event offers the community an opportunity to experience the manger scene using live actors and live animals.  It's coming up next weekend, and you don't want to miss it!  

We could also use your help.  Each year, our Family Ministries Team decorates the sanctuary with the nativity sets from parishioner's homes.  Would you be willing to offer your nativity set to the church for just one day? If so, email Sheryl.Wilde@getGOD.info or sign-up at church this weekend.  This a beautiful event that offers a very sacred beginning to the Advent season.  Be sure to join us.  Read more and check out the video here.

Monticello Serves at Grand Avenue Temple on Thanksgiving Weekend
A large team of folks from Monticello served at Grand Avenue Temple, a church and shelter in downtown Kansas City on Thanksgiving weekend Sunday morning during worship.  I am so proud of this team and their hard work.  Stay tuned for next week in worship as we share some of the team's experiences!!



Three Remaining Advent Service Opportunities
There are three opportunities for you to offer a special sacrificial gift above and beyond your regular giving to those in need this Thanksgiving.  
  • JOCO Christmas Bureau: Donate a gently used coat for someone without a coat this year.  Bring your lightly used or new coat to the Connection Point so we might provide it to those in need!  Learn more about JOCO Christmas Bureau here
  • Breakfast with Santa: We are looking for donations of new or slightly used-regiftables to be used at Breakfast with Santa.  Children may select a re-giftables to take home and give to their parents on Christmas.  Drop your donation off at the table in Fellowship Hall.  Learn more here
  • UMW Mitten Tree: The United Methodist Women are looking for donations mittens or gloves for children, youth, and adults.  Place your new gloves or mittens on the Mitten Tree in Fellowship Hall.  There is a special need this year for insulated ski-type gloves for men and boys.   Learn more here
New Prayer Chain Begins
To offer better care to those in our congregation, we are starting a brand new prayer chain.  Pastor Rob will be sending a list of public prayer requests to this new group of "prayer warriors" each week.  (Those confidential requests, of course will not be shared on the prayer chain but instead handled by our pastors.)  To be on the new prayer chain, just email Cindy at cindy.hedges@getGOD.info from the email you want to use.  Let her know you want to be on the new Monticello prayer chain.

Directory Forms Available in Worship
We need all those who want to be in the directory (or just want to be sure you are on our mailing list) to fill out a database form.  You'll find them in worship on November 25, December 2, and December 9, or at the Connection Point after that.  

Advent Christmas Dinner and Cantata Coming Soon
As your pastor, I am so proud of the Chancel Choir and their staff, Kim Demings and Doris Housh.  They work so hard together each year to bring us a message of hope each and every week in worship.  But during Advent, they do something extra special.  They bring us an Advent Dinner and Cantata complete with music, live actors, and narration designed to help us truly experience the joy of Christmas.  Tickets are on sale this week for the dinner, but the Cantata is free.  I hope you'll join my family and I as we celebrate Advent with dinner and with the wonderful music of our choir as they bring a message of the birth of Jesus Christ, in song.  Learn more and order tickets here.

Worship and Education Brainstorming Results
In the past many weeks, nearly all our committees (Leadership Team, Trustees, Church Council, SPRC, Worship Ministry Team, Children's Ministry Team, staff, and more) have been brainstorming and discussing options for 2013.  Then, last weekend, I had the opportunity to listen to a large group of parishioners, many parents of our children, and our Sunday School teachers.  Our Lay Leader, Art Howell, was also part of the gatherings.    Our topic was to provide a public forum for brainstorming and take a critical look at the programming we offer as a church as we continue to ask the question, "what does God expect from us in 2013?"  This session, open to all, was a great opportunity to discuss that with a more broad base from our church.  Today, I wanted to share with you what we learned and what I learned as your pastor.

In our session, we looked closely as a team at worship and at our educational offerings for all ages.  The results were interesting to me as your pastor as I learned some new things.  First, unanimously the room felt we needed to deepen and grow our educational programming for children, youth, and adults.  In doing so, the group felt we grow closer to God, closer to each other, and that expanding our educational programming can strengthen our church immensely.  The group felt we develop relationships more in educational and small group settings than we do in worship.  So, offering a more comprehensive educational program is important to our future as a church.  As your pastor, I could not agree more.

Secondly, the group discussed the timing of our educational programming, the low attendance at the 9:00am worship service, and the low attendance in all our educational programming.  We heard from the majority of the room that our current 9:00am start time is too early for many families with children.  We also heard many wanted to worship with their children AND attend Sunday School, but our current structure does not allow that well.  As a result, many are staying from 9:00am through noon, making for a long tough morning for our young families.  We also heard we have too few offerings for Christian Education programming.  There was encouragement to offer multiple classes for adults on Sunday mornings but also move the youth time to a time that works better.  

Third, we heard a message from our families that they prefer worship that is neither 100% "traditional" nor 100% "contemporary."  Rather, they prefer worship that has "something for everyone" and provides music "for all tastes."  Worship, of course, is a deeply personal thing for so many people and having a great discussion together helps us have some guidance going forward.  They felt "coming together" as a church was an important part of worship together.

Fourth, we heard a need for adult space in the building.  Many of our adults, especially those that struggle with stairs, have trouble attending events in the chapel.  But, we have so little adult space.  We brainstormed ideas for creating more adult space in our meeting.  Then, we discussed this further at trustees this week too.

Fifth, we heard we need a better transition plan from "Children's Ministry" to "Youth Ministry" and that a single leader for both programs might be very helpful to provide support for locating curriculum, recruiting and training teachers, and more.  SPRC also discussed this and felt the same need.  As your pastor, I would concur completely.

While we have a lot of information and feedback from many of our committees, teams, parents, teachers, and more, I'm interested in your thoughts too!!!  Do you take advantage of Christian Education now?  If not, what opportunities would encourage you to become involved?  What do you love most about worship?  What would you change?  What do you think of our current worship times?  How can we attract more folks to Monticello through education and worship?  Prayerfully, what do you hear God calling us to do in 2013?

I'm looking for any advice you can provide me as your pastor so our committees together can move forward with some great ideas for 2013.  We'll be nailing down some final ideas in the upcoming week, so send me your thoughts if you have them!  Blessings to you all, and thank you to all those who attended last weekend.  You help all our committees, and your pastors see your needs so much more clearly!!!  Blessings to you!

Mark the Date--Advent Worship and Event Schedule
  • Advent Begins with worship on Sunday, December 2 at 9:00am and 10:45am.
  • Night of the Nativities is Sunday, December 2 from 5:00-7:00pm.  This event is free.  We can also use more nativities "loaned" to the church for this event.  Contact Sheryl Wilde if you volunteer your personal nativity set for the evening.  Read more here
  • Breakfast with Santa is Saturday, December 8 from 9:00-10:30am.  There is a small fee at the door to see Santa and get your photo.  Read more here
  • "The Well" Christmas Party is Saturday, December 8 from 4:00-10:30pm.  This is open to all youth in grades 6-12 but reservations are necessary.  Contact Will Demings by email or visit the youth Facebook page to register.
  • Children's Choir Leading Worship on Sunday, December 9 at the 9:00am and 10:45am worship services.
  • "It's a Wrap" wrapping party for CASA Christmas gifts is Monday, December 10 from 6:00-8:00pm.  No need to register, just show up!  But, we are still $600 short of our goal for CASA gifts.  Donate today here.   OR Learn about the event here.  
  • Advent Worship on Sunday, December 16 at 9:00am and 10:45am.
  • Chancel Choir Dinner and Advent Cantata is Sunday, December 16.  Dinner is at 5:30pm and the Cantata is at 6:30pm.  The Cantata, though, is free and open to all!!!  Purchase dinner tickets here
  • Sunday, December 16 Worship 9:00am and 10:45am.
  • Candlelight Christmas Eve Worship will be on Monday, December 24, at 5:00pm and 7:00pm.  Both services will be indentical.  Come celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ with us!!
  • New Years Weekend Worship will be on Sunday, December 30, and have only one service at 10:45am