THE OFFERTORY THIS MORNING is “Jesus Loves Me” by Bradbury arranged by Fred Bock in the style of Claude Debussy’s “Clair de Lune” and played by Kimberly Belsley.
Kimberly has studied piano since she was 7 years old and has overcome great obstacles to do this. We hope it helps our faith and perseverance to know a little of what she has been through. She was born with no fingers. The fingers she now has are not jointed except at the hand and are not uniform finger sizes. Kimberley’s big assets include an enthusiastic and persevering spirit, and a bright intellect. She graduated from the University of Houston, Clear Lake, on December 19th, 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts degree that enables her to teach General Education and Special Education students. The words of the hymn (below) convey the spiritual emotion of the piece that Kimberley is playing.
Jesus loves me! This I know,
For the Bible tells me so;
Little ones to Him belong;
They are weak but He is strong
Yes, Jesus loves me; Yes Jesus loves me;
Yes, Jesus loves me, The Bible tells me so.
Jesus, take this heart of mine;
Make it pure, and wholly Thine.
Thou hast bled and died for me;
I will henceforth live for Thee. (words by Anna Warner)
MISSIONS COMMITMENT SUNDAY is coming up on February 7th! We will celebrate and learn more about the ministries that our church is involved in (both locally and around the world), and we will ask you to prayerfully consider making a commitment to be a part of these ministries through prayer, giving and/or volunteering. Our goal for 2016 is to raise $55,000 to help support the following ministries:
• Brian and Kylie C.
• Michael and Kathryn Linville in India
• Jack and Celesta Rea’s work in Hong Kong/China.
• David Thomas and Discipling for Development in Rwanda and Burundi
• Local and overseas mission fields
We are excited to learn what God has in store for us with mission projects ‘here and there’ – we are praying for His direction about how and where we volunteer and care for our missionaries and mission fields. What a privilege we have to be a part of what God is doing in our community and around the world. Prayer is a crucial part of ANY ministry, but in some ways it can be harder to commit to regular, fervent prayer than just to slip some money into the offering plate. Would you be willing to choose at least one missionary or ministry to pray for regularly in 2016? Thank you to those of you who are already praying faithfully! If you would like to learn more about what we are planning for missions, you are encouraged to pick up an information flyer from the kiosk.
REMINDER: Our church is scheduled to deliver Meals on Wheels the week of February 1st. Volunteers, please mark your calendars!
LADIES – Mark your calendar for Wednesday, February 10th, when our spring session of the Wednesday morning Bible Study will begin. By popular request, this year’s study is at a NEW TIME. Join us in the Coffee Café at 9:15 for a light breakfast, followed by the study at 9:30. We’ll finish up by 10:30 so that you have the rest of your morning free. Details about the book and topic for this year’s study will be in next Sunday’s bulletin. Meanwhile, save your Wednesday mornings for this time of enjoying fellowship with other ladies as we study together.
OUR LENTEN STUDY FOR THIS YEAR is Gospeled Lives: Encounters with Jesus by John Indermark (author of the “Companions in Christ” series that some of you went through with Pastor Joe Roher a number of years ago.) Gospeled Lives is a collection of stories from the Gospels about individuals and groups who encountered Jesus and their varying reactions. In the words of the author, “Gospeled lives do not always veer the same direction. Calls may be heard or neglected. Challenges may be taken on or passed up. Transformation may be embraced or avoided. Some people leave the encounter unpersuaded. Others depart empowered. In every case, the story of gospeled lives remains open-ended. That is, response to encounter with Jesus continues to unfold in ongoing choices and unfinished stories… That is where you and I enter the picture. Our lives write the yet-to-be lived stories of our response to encounter with Jesus.” Copies of the book will be available at the church office later this week at a cost of $15. You are encouraged to participate in this study over the 6 weeks of Lent, beginning on February 10th. The short daily readings and the questions for reflection will help us to think more deeply about what it means to hear and respond to Christ’s word.
LADIES, there is still time to register for our 2016 Women’s Retreat – Bread of Life. We are heading to the T Bar M Resort in New Braunfels, January 29th – 31st. Our speaker this year will be Cindy Dawson and we welcome Katie Newton as our worship leader. The late registration cost for quadruple occupancy is $195. If you wish to attend, your registration form and $100 deposit must be received in the church office by 4:30 p.m. Thursday, January 28th. If you have any questions, please contact Beth Stanfield.
PARENTS OF HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS: You are invited to an informational meeting about the spring break trip to Mexico, March 12th-19th– please join us in the high school room on Sunday, January 31st at 2 p.m. Students are welcome to attend as well. No commitment is necessary – just come to hear about the trip and ask any questions that you might have. Fund-raising ideas will also be discussed. Our groups spend time in Mexico every other year with Friends churches in the area around Nueva Rosita and we are excited to go back and serve again! We’ll spend time worshipping together; helping to complete construction projects on churches and assisting with children’s vacation Bible school. The cost for this trip is $225, to be paid online with your registration at www.efcmaym.org by February 19th. There will be a mandatory student orientation held on March 6th at the church for all students that will be participating.