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Mt. Carmel United Methodist Church
March 11, 2015
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Party On, Dudes!

Today I realized that I start each day with a strange question. 

I ask myself, “How long do I want to be in God’s presence?” 

I use a timer for morning prayer. It helps me to simply be present to God, rather than to worry about the time. I don’t want to be thinking about the day’s appointments and duties; I want to be fully present rather than wondering whether I will be late getting started. 

I always end my study and prayers with at least ten minutes of silence, but if there is time, I want to stay longer in prayer. Hence my question each day, “How long do I want to be in God’s presence?” 

You may have noticed that our scriptures on Sunday mornings are getting difficult. As he nears the cross, Jesus’ stories get more violent. Almost every story ends with someone being kicked out. A servant, who has been forgiven immense debt, is kicked out for not forgiving a small debt. Someone dragged into the wedding party is kicked out for wearing the wrong clothes. 

This coming Sunday, there are more insiders and outsiders. Young girls who don’t bring enough lamp oil and are refused entry. A servant who hid wealth rather than investing funds wisely is kicked out.

This morning, as I asked myself, “how long do I want to be in God’s presence” I laughed and said “always!” But when I am honest with myself, I know that I also set a timer because I am too eager to get up and about in busyness. Sometimes being in God’s presence makes me aware of the sinfulness of my behavior and attitude—and although necessary for God to bring healing and transformation, the process can feel painful. 

When I read these stories that end with someone being kicked out for what seems to be a minor infraction, I wonder whether the person wanted to be in or out. Sometimes the “minor infraction” reveals that the person didn’t want to be there. They already left, and only now realize it. 

Perhaps these stories are not as much about God kicking us out, but God giving us the freedom to leave. If I don’t want to be in God’s presence now, what makes me think that I will want to be in God’s presence later? 

Jesus said that what we bind on earth is bound in heaven. Our earthly actions to one another have heavenly consequences. That’s why we have spent this season of Lent thinking about forgiveness. If I am unwilling to forgive someone now, what makes me think that I will want to forgive later?

Rather than focusing on the end of the stories, when someone is kicked out, let’s remember that Jesus’ stories about the Kingdom of Heaven are filled with celebrations, feasts, banquets! When we decide we want to be in God’s presence, when we decide to let go of the hurts that come between us and other people, we cannot help but celebrate! It’s party time! 

God will not let us spend an eternity fuming about the neighbor, holding on to hurt feelings, harboring resentment toward brothers and sisters. God’s plan is not for you to spend eternity despising another person. 

The party can start now! When a prodigal admits wrong and returns home, there’s a feast! When the shepherd finds the lost sheep, there’s a banquet! 

Jesus says that when his followers live in unity, others get a glimpse of love between him and the Father (John 17:20-23). When we forgive one another, there’s a bit of heaven on earth. 

I’ll conclude with the words of “Abraham Lincoln” in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure: 

“Be excellent to each other. And... PARTY ON, DUDES!”

I’ll see you on Sunday,
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In the Newsletter this Week:
  • From the Pastor
  • Mission Moment
  • Lenten Dinner & Activities: March 11
  • Lenten Food Drive for NCM
  • Youth Dinner Theater: March 13 & 14
  • Children's Ministry
  • Women's Book Club: April 10 at 7:00 p.m.
  • Time to Order Easter Lilies
  • Family Promise Save the Date: July 12-19
  • Thanks for Supporting the Youth
  • New Baby / New Family Member
  • Night Circle Pillowcase Project
  • Thank You
  • Save the Date for Summer Lunches: June 15 - 19
  • Girl Scouts Host Rain Barrel Workshop
  • Prayers / Thanksgivings


Mission Moment



Thank you to Craig German for the Mission Moment last Sunday. 

Click here to see Craig's message about the Mt. Carmel Homework Club.



Lenten Dinner & Activities on March 11:
Dinner
Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. 
Cost: $6.00 ~ Adults / $3.00 ~ Children 12 and under (family maximum of $20.00) 

Menu for March 11
Soups, stews, chowder and chili, green salad, fruit salad, bread, dessert and beverages provided by the Mt. Carmel United Methodist Women. (pb&j will also be available for children) 

What I Learned Reading to Children
6:40 – 7:00 p.m. in Fellowship Hall 
Storyteller: Dick Easley

Centering Prayer Workshop 
7:00 – 7:30 p.m. in sanctuary 
Led by Pastor Cyndi 

Adult Choir Practice 
7:00 – 8:00 pm in choir room


Special Lenten Food Drive for NCM

Norcross Cooperative Ministry needs our help! The shelves are bare in the food pantry. Please bring non-perishable food donations to church on Sundays or to the Wednesday Dinners for a special Lenten Food Drive. 

Right now they are in greatest need of boxed cereal, jelly, canned meat (NO tuna please!), laundry powder, toothpaste and tooth brushes. A box for the donations is located in the hallway between the sanctuary and the fellowship hall. 

If you’d prefer to make a monetary donation, please put it in the Sunday offering labeled ‘NCM’. Thank you!


Only A Few Tickets are Still Available for the Youth Dinner Theater: March 13!








by Brian D. Taylor

Friday, March 13   (only a few left!)
and Saturday, March 14  SOLD OUT!
7:00 PM in the Fellowship Hall

Tickets are $20.00 for adults, $15.00 for students, and $10.00 for children 5 – 10. (Childcare is provided for children five and under with dinner: $3.00) 

Contact the church office at office@mtcarmel-umc.org or (770) 449-4498. Seating is going fast, so please purchase your tickets today! 

THE GIRL WITH THE GOLDEN LOCKS is produced by special permission with Pioneer Drama Service.


Children's Ministry

Sunday School:
Our lesson from Matthew 25:14-30 is the parable of the talents. 

In worship, Pastor Cyndi’s sermon will focus on the parable that is told just before this about the ten bridesmaids. Both stories center on the question of what are we to do while we wait for the Lord’s return. How are we to live? 

The children will consider how they can use their own talents in service to others. 

Palm Sunday 

The children will wave palms and sing special music on Palm Sunday, March 29th. We will sing “Make Way, Make Way” by Graham Kendrick at the beginning of both services. 

Practice will be during Sunday School and at the Lenten Dinners. I will have a CD of the music available this Sunday.


Candy Needed for Egg Hunt 
April 4:  10:00 AM - 12:00 PM  Rain or Shine

Our Egg Hunt will be slightly different this year ... you do not have to stuff eggs!

Bags of individually wrapped candy are needed by Palm Sunday (March 29) and we can take chocolate this year. Containers for candy will be available at the rear of the Sanctuary. Thank you!


Mt. Carmel Women's Book Club

All women of the church are invited to the Mt. Carmel Women's Book Club which meets monthly on a Friday night.

The next meeting will be on April 10th at Barbara Cooper's home, beginning at 7:00 p.m.

4469 Parkspring Terrace
Norcross, GA  30092

The book selection in April is Orphan Train by Cristina Baker Kline.

Click HERE for more information or contact Chris Bolton or Vicki Walden.


It's Time to Order Easter Lilies!

The Mt. Carmel United Methodist Women will once again sponsor Easter Lilies that will be in the sanctuary in honor or memory of our loved ones this Easter.  (April 5)

Cost is $8.00 per lily and any profit will benefit UMW mission projects.

To order a lily, complete the order form in Sunday bulletins, or contact the church office.


Save the Date for Family Promise!

Our church has been given the week of July12-19 for Family Promise. Mark your calendar, and plan on how you can show God's love to our neighbors. 

We will convert the preschool classrooms into bedrooms, provide breakfast and lunch fixings, and serve dinner to Family Promise participants. 

Did you know that Gwinnett County knows of over 1600 homeless children who are part of our school system? We cannot help them all, but through Family Promise we can make a difference for three or four families with children.


Thank You for Supporting our Youth!


To everyone who ate at the California Pizza Kitchen last weekend to support the Youth Summer Mission Trip  ... THANK YOU!

20% of those sales will help fund the Summer Mission Trip to Nassau, Bahamas on June 21 - 28.



Church Families Welcome New Members!

We are so happy for the following Mt. Carmel families as they welcome their newest members!


Welcome Tucker Lee Riviere, born on Tuesday in North Carolina!  Congratulations to Bryant and Kara Riviere and grandparents Steve & Donna!





We're also celebrating the recent adoption in the Nichelson household

Morgan, Jay, Eliah and Harlee are happy to announce that Breahna will celebrate her new beginning in their family with her new name, Madelene Claire Nichelson.  Congratulations!


Night Circle Needs Pillowcases!

The Lola Belle Young Night Circle will begin a project at their March meeting to sew "pillowcase dresses" for young girls in underprivileged countries and you can help!

Please click HERE to see the plan!

If you would like to help with supplies, please provide new or "gently used" pillowcases (any size - pre-washed please.)  Also ribbon, bias tape, ric-rac, white thread, and other decorations are needed.  Supplies may be dropped off in the church office.

If you would like to help with the project, plan to attend the next NIght Circle meeting on Monday, March 23rd in the Fellowship Hall.  We will begin at 6:30 with dessert and coffee, then move on to the project. (Please note we will not have dinner at this meeting.)  

All women of the church are invited to attend!


Thank You!

Thank you so much for all the prayers, visits and all the love! 
I still need them.

Love to all,
Lucile Jones

Lucile is still in rehab at Life Care of Lawrenceville:
210 Collins Industrial Way
Lawrenceville, GA  30043

She would be so happy to have cards and visits!


Save the Date for Summer Lunches: June 15 - 19

Mt. Carmel will once again partner with MUST Ministries to provide lunches for local children for a week this summer.

On June 15 - 19, we will make sack lunches for children who would normally get free or reduced priced lunch at school, but may not have lunch during the summer.  

Working with MUST Ministries, these lunches are then delivered to areas near the church each day.

If you'd like to help with this ministry, just check the box on the back of the Connect Card in your Sunday bulletins, or contact  the church office.


Help Save Water and Money!

Ellie Grogin’s Brownie Girl Scout Troop, # 3063,  is hosting a Rain Barrel making workshop at Christ the King Lutheran Church on May 9th. 

If you are interested in purchasing a rain barrel, or for more information, click HERE for the full article. (Or contact Lisa Grogin for specifics.)


Prayers and Thanksgivings

Please join with others in our church family in praying our concerns and thanksgivings this week.

Concerns
Maxine Follmer & family: death of her father "Papi"
Jay Nichelson & family: death of Jay's uncle Ronnie
Clayton: young man who had a stroke
Ragon's friend Nancy & family
Lois Salter's dog Silky
Dawn Seigler's friend: surgery on Monday
Annette Rogers: oral surgery on Tuesday
Katrina Stone's boss: leaving medical center after 25 years -          she will be missed
Jan Dodd
Carl Garner's sister-in-law: medical issues
Illness at Fountainview Assisted Living where Bill Posey lives.
     For those who are ill and for Bill not to catch it.
Craig German's cousin Kay & family: death of her husband
Lane Shutt's Aunt Sara & family: son died on Thursday - the 
     2nd child she has lost in a year.
Friend of Nora Ignatius: her grandfather seriously ill - internal 
     bleeding

Thanksgivings
Assisted Living Home residents in church on Sunday
Wynne Buran's family visiting on Sunday
Birth of Bryant & Kara Riviere's son Tucker
Nichelson's adoption final - welcome Madelene Nichelson
Hard work of cast and crew of Youth Dinner Theater
Every week:
  • Prayers
  • Worship this week
  • Birthdays and Anniversaries
  • Save the Date
  • Counseling Center
  • Norcross Cooperative


Sunday's Lesson
This week in worship the lesson will be:

Matthew 25:1-30


Birthdays this week:

Amy Jenkins
Lyle Hoge
Scott Ragon
Alston Minor
June Spruell
Penny Millar

Anniversaries this week:
Bob & Pat Pollock


Save the Date

LENTEN DINNER / DEVOTION
MARCH 11 - 6:00 PM
FELLOWSHIP HALL

CENTERING PRAYER
MARCH 11 - 7:00 PM
SANCTUARY

ADULT CHOIR PRACTICE
MARCH 11 - 7:00 PM
CHOIR ROOM

WEDNESDAY NIGHT STUDY
MARCH 11 - 7:00 PM
HOPE HOUSE

9:30 MUSICIANS PRACTICE
MARCH 11 - 8:30 PM
SANCTUARY

HOMEWORK CLUB
MARCH 12 - 3:30 PM
FELLOWSHIP HALL

YOUTH DINNER THEATER: THE GIRL WITH THE GOLDEN LOCKS
MARCH 13 & 14 - 7:00 PM
FELLOWSHIP HALL

MEN'S SUNDAY PRACTICE
MARCH 14 - 1:00 PM
SANCTUARY

YOUTH STRIKE SET
MARCH 15 - TIME TBD
FELLOWSHIP HALL

STEWARDSHIP MTG.
MARCH 16 - 6:30 PM
HOPE HOUSE

UMW DAY CIRCLE
MARCH 17 - 10:30 AM
FELLOWSHIP HALL

BROWN BAG STUDY
MARCH 17 - 11:30 AM
HOPE HOUSE

LENTEN DINNER/ ACTIVITIES
MARCH 18 - 6:00 PM
FELLOWSHIP HALL

UNITED METH. MEN'S MTG.
MARCH 19 - 7:00 PM
FELLOWSHIP HALL

SPECIAL ADULT CHOIR PRACTICE
MARCH 21 - 10:00 AM
SANCTUARY

MEN'S SUNDAY PRACTICE
MARCH 21 - 1:00 PM
SANCTUARY

UNITED METHODIST MEN'S SUNDAY
MARCH 22 - 10:30 AM
SANCTUARY

YOUTH / PARENT MISSION TRIP MEETING
MARCH 22 - 4:00 PM
YOUTH HALL

FINAL LENTEN DINNER & ACTIVITIES
MARCH 25

PALM SUNDAY
MARCH 29

STATIONS OF THE CROSS
APRIL 1 - 4
M-F: 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
SAT: 9:00 AM - NOON

MAUNDY THURSDAY WORSHIP
APRIL 2 - 7:00 PM
SANCTUARY

GOOD FRIDAY WORSHIP
APRIL 3 - 12:00 PM
SANCTUARY
(NO LUNCH THIS YEAR)

EASTER EGG HUNT
APRIL 4 - 10:00 AM
FELLOWSHIP HALL / OUTSIDE (RAIN OR SHINE)

EASTER SUNDAY
APRIL 5
SUNRISE SERVICE - 6:30 AM
BREAKFAST - 7:00 AM
WORSHIP - 9:30 & 11:00 AM

EASTER MONDAY 
CHURCH OFFICE CLOSED

SPRING BBQ & SWEET SHOP
APRIL 24 & 25

VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL
JUNE 1 - 5

MUST SUMMER LUNCHES
JUNE 15 - 19 

YOUTH MISSION TRIP
JUNE 21 - 28

FAMILY PROMISE WEEK
JULY 12 - 19


Guest Password

If you need to access the internet in one of the church buildings, you will need to sign in using a Guest Password.  

The current password is:  barbecue



Family Wellness
through Counseling, Education and Research


Mt. Carmel proudly supports the North Georgia Family Counseling Center.

678-242-9355
ngfccumc@gmail.com
www.ngfccumc.org


As one of the founding churches of NCM, we encourage your support assisting those in need in our area.

Help with the most urgent needs.


Share your story

Do you have an article to include in next week's bulletin or newsletter?
Email these to Suzanne Foster or call the church office.




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Mt. Carmel United Methodist Church
5100 South Old Peachtree Road
Norcross, Georgia 30092
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