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Mt Carmel United Methodist Church
December 11, 2013

Costumes Optional 

Sunday night was the children’s nativity program. I was amazed at how well the children knew their lines and lyrics. They rocked the room with songs like Rise and Shine Bethlehem, and had the crowd rolling with their complaints about taxes. And if you need a used camel, Quentin Proels can find the right camel for the right price! 

For me, two characters made the night exceptional. They didn’t say anything. They didn’t sing. But Grey Williams and Jason Campbell were outstanding in their roles of Oldest Shepherd and Oldest Wise Person. 

Sometimes children really want to be part of a performance, but then have second thoughts when they realize that means standing up in front of everyone. In practices, when a few of the children realized they weren’t sure about being in the pageant, two dads, Grey and Jason, stepped up to the plate, and agreed to be part of the pageant. 

They donned head dressings and robes, but most importantly they wore an attitude of quiet confidence. When you are nervous, there is nothing better than having someone with you who knows what to do, someone to show you where to walk in an unfamiliar room, or to sit with you while you wait. 

Not too long ago we had a Sunday morning guest who shared how someone did this for her. As she was walking across the parking lot, a Mt Carmel member welcomed her, asked her name, and invited her to share a pew. 

We’ll have a lot of first time visitors in the next two weeks. Some of our neighbors will come for the first time so that they can sing Christmas songs and hear the Christmas story. Would you be like these dads, Grey and Jason? Would you invite someone to sit or stand with you? You know when to stand and when to sit. 

You know how to find a song in the hymnal. You know to kneel at the altar rail for Holy Communion. 

You can be a person of quiet confidence for someone who thought they wanted to be part of all this, but on arriving in a new place, has second thoughts. 

No one is too old to appreciate having a magi or shepherd to sit with them. 

I’ll see you this Sunday. Costumes are optional.

Pastor Cyndi McDonald 
Mount Carmel United Methodist Church 

In the Newsletter this Week:
  • From the Pastor
  • Children's Art on Bulletin Covers
  • Holiday Schedule: Dec. 24 - Jan. 1
  • Help Set Up Sanctuary for Christmas Eve: December 22
  • Breakfast with Santa - December 14 - 9:00 & 10:00 AM
  • Children's Ministry
    • Sunday School 
  • Staff Christmas Gift
  • NCM Needs in December
  • Book Club: January 10 at 7:00 p.m.
  • UMW Christmas Card Delivery
  • Down Home Holiday - Dec. 22 - 6:30 PM
  • Epiphany Service / Lunch: Dec. 29 at 10:30 AM
  • Walk Through Bethlehem - Dec. 13 - 15
  • 12 Days of Caring - Outreach Opportunity Dec. 19 - 22
  • Trinity Soup Kitchen: January 12, 2014

Children's Art on Bulletin Covers

Thank you to Lily Ayer for her rendition of the dry bones!

Watch for more of our children's artwork on upcoming Sunday bulletins.

Christmas Worship / Office Schedule

Christmas Eve
There will be two worship services on Christmas Eve, December 24th.  Both will include Holy Communion and candlelight. The first is at 6:30 PM (childcare offered) with another at 11:30 PM (no childcare).

Holiday Office Hours:
Dec. 24 - 30:   Office Closed
Dec. 31:   Office Open 9 - 1
Jan. 1:   Office Closed

Breakfast with Santa!  December 14

Dear Friends, 

It’s that time again! Breakfast with Santa is right around the corner and reservations are appreciated! We will have a 9:00 and a 10:00 seating on Saturday, December 14. Breakfast includes pancakes, bacon, juices, coffee, tea, and Colby’s Cocoa! 

Santa will be patiently waiting in the sanctuary for everyone who has a wish. You all know, our Santa is the best, the most kind, and the most patient so even the children with the shyest of natures will be comfortable. 

Please email with your reservation. 

The cost of the breakfast has remained the same for the last 5 years. Adults are $10.00, children and students are $7.00, and children under 2 are free. If you are a grad student, you pay a student fee. We have to support those who are trying to educate themselves, right? 

Also, if anyone has the energy and time to donate a centerpiece, it would be deeply appreciated. We will have a raffle at the end of the morning to see who are the winners. You do not need to be present to win! We are totally honest here. A phone call or email message will be sent to you should you have left before the raffle! Win-win in my book! 

See you then! 

In joy and love, 

Sunday School

This Sunday, the children are going to be using the narrative lectionary lesson from Daniel 3,1, 8-30, about Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. 

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego’s faith was being tested by King Nebuchadnezzar, who throws them in the fiery furnace. God protects them and cared for his people. 

As you light your own advent wreath this week, think about filling the days with fellowship activities that build your relationships with one another as well as others in your community as you share God’s love. 

You Are Invited to A Birthday Party for Jesus

Sunday, Dec. 22 9:45 

Games, Stories, and Birthday Cake 

Bring a non perishable food item as a gift for NCM 

Picture Time with Santa: 

Saturday, December 21 

from 10:45-12:00 

Bring the family and your camera for a picture with Santa. Now is the time to get those teens in a picture with Santa too! Thanks to Lois Salter, Santa is making a stop at Mt. Carmel as he does his last minute shopping. So come and have a cup of hot chocolate and a picture with Santa. 

Christmas Pageant Thank You 

A Big Thanks to all the people who helped with the Christmas Pageant, especially Cheri Proels, Kathy Sigmon, Cheryl Smith and the children. You did a marvelous job and started our Christmas celebration off with a great performance.

Marian Long
Director of Children's Ministries



Staff Christmas Gift

We are so blessed to have such an exceptional staff here at Mt. Carmel. 

Throughout the year, we benefit from their talents, dedication and hard work. There is no doubt that Mt. Carmel would not be the same without them. 

As a show of appreciation, we ask you to make a monetary Christmas gift as a special "thank you" from the congregation. If you would like to contribute, please place your gift in the offering plate on Sunday or mail to the church office.

Checks may be made payable to the church, simply designate your gift as "Staff Christmas Gift." And thank you for your gift to the wonderful Mount Carmel staff! 

The Staff Parish Relations Committee

NCM Needs: Pots, Pans & Food to Put in Them!

During the month of December, we will collect new or gently used pots and pans for NCM families.

Please remember to also buy a few extra non-perishable foods for them as you do your shopping!

All donations may be left in the NCM box in the church foyer. Of course, monetary gifts are always appreciated also.  Just make your check to Mt. Carmel, and mark it for NCM.  Thank you!

Women's Book Club in January

The Mt. Carmel Women's Book Club will meet on Friday, January 10th at 7:00 p.m. in the Hope House.

This month's book is: The Language of Flowers, by Vanessa Diffenbach.  Please contact Chris Bolton or Vicki Walden if you have any questions.

UMW Delivers Your Holiday Cards!

The Mt. Carmel United Methodist Women will once again be delivering your church-wide Christmas cards this year! 

Just drop your cards to your church friends into the gift wrapped box at the back of the sanctuary. The UMW members will then deliver the cards on Sunday mornings during Advent, before and after each worship service.

Down Home Holiday! Dec. 22 at 6:30 PM

You are cordially invited to a “Down Home Holiday” celebration on Sunday evening, December 22 at 6:30pm! 

Join us under the Christmas tree in the Fellowship Hall for hot chocolate, cider and refreshments. We’ll sing our favorite Christmas songs, hear a favorite Christmas story, play some reindeer games and we just might have an early visit from old St. Nick himself. 

A “Festive Wear” contest will be held with categories for all ages, so wear your favorite Christmas sweater, and the little ones can even wear their p.j.s! 

If you need a little Christmas cheer, the “Down Home Holiday” will be the perfect evening for you, your family, and children of ALL ages.

Preschool News

Dear Friends, 

We are more than busy at the Preschool preparing for the coming of Christ! Our students are diligently working on the Nativity play and have been practicing their parts in the car, in the tub, and in bed every day in order to present the best they have to offer. We will be reenacting that holy night on Wednesday, December 18 at 12:00 in the sanctuary, followed by a cookie swap and school-wide Christmas party. This is the second year we have had this kind of celebration and last year was very successful so we will repeat a good thing. We ask parents to bake an extra dozen for the children to eat for the party. We will provide the apple juice. 

You may ask, what is a cookie swap? Well, youngins, as many cookies as you bake are the number of cookies you should carry home with you. Here is the best part. You only have to bake one type and you can bring home many varieties. It saves everyone a lot of time and energy. New cookie recipes can become a part of your Christmas tradition. I know I am getting involved with this and then I can bring them to Finland to share! Remember to have an empty tin to fill. All cookies should be on a plate or in a container that is readily accessible. We hope we have a good turn-out again this year. 

Our biggest fundraiser of the year, though, is Breakfast with Santa! This year Santa will sport a new suit, so some of our proceeds will go to his upgrade in duds. Please invite everyone you know to join us on Saturday, December 14 (yes, THIS Saturday.) Please email me at with the number of adults and children who will be in your party and the time you would like to eat. We have a 9:00 and a 10:00 seating. Make no mistake – this is a fundraiser hosted by the Preschool for EVERYONE! We hope to have a huge turnout for our meal of pancakes, bacon, juices, coffee, tea, and Colby’s Cocoa. Adults are $10.00 and students 2 and older are $7.00! 

We are looking toward our new semester and have openings in the Two’s and Three’s and ONE spot left in our Toddler’s. Will you help us fill our roster? We hope you spread the word of our wonderful program.

In joy and love, 

Epiphany Service & Lunch: Dec. 29

On Sunday, December 29th, we will have a COMBINED EPIPHANY WORSHIP SERVICE at 10:30 AM. 

Afterwards, everybody is invited to a covered dish lunch in the Fellowship Hall. Bring a dish to share from your traditional New Year's meal! (main dish, side, or dessert)  Drinks will be furnished.

Walk Through Bethlehem: Dec. 13 - 15

Simpsonwood UMC will once again present the Annual Walk Through Bethlehem on the grounds of Simpsonwood Retreat Center this year!

You won't want to miss this Christmas tradition with your family. You'll walk through the streets of Bethlehem, meet the citizens, shop in the market, then follow the path leading to the live nativity.

Admission is free, but canned food will be appreciated for Norcross Cooperative Ministry.

Hot chocolate and cookies will complete your evening!

Outreach Opportunity

Help over 2,700 homeless children in metro Atlanta have a memorable and meaningful Christmas. 

Children’s Restoration Network 12 Days of Caring Wrap Party will be held December 19th through the 22nd. Hours are 10am till 4:30. 

Location: Roswell Town Center shopping center in Roswell at the corner of Holcomb Bridge and Alpharetta Hwy, Suite #250 (at the back of the Mall off of Commerce Blvd, near the Whirly Ball location). 

What do you do at a Wrap Party? Sort, wrap & personalize gifts for children in Metro Atlanta Homeless Shelters. There will be food, Holiday music, and Christmas cheer in the air. Many families have made this part of their Christmas tradition over the last 17 years. Bring a roll or two of wrapping paper, some scotch tape, and gift tags if you are able. 

Trinity Soup Kitchen - Jan. 12

Trinity Table (Trinity Soup Kitchen) is a Sunday Soup Kitchen that has been serving the hungry of Atlanta since 1982. They serve everyone who comes to the Table a hot meal and give each guest a to-go bag of food as well. 

This ministry is successful because of the work of dedicated volunteers. On Sunday, January 12, our youth, along with adult volunteers, will be going to Trinity Table to serve. In order to serve the 250 guests, we need your help. 

Please look below and also on the Connect Card in your Sunday bulletin to see if you can help with any of the items needed. You may either check the boxes on the back of the Connect Card, go to the church website, or contact the church office to sign up.

Bring your donations to the church kitchen anytime before January 11. Please make sure that you put your name and "Trinity Soup Kitchen" on your donation when you bring it to the church.

If you would like to go with the Youth to help serve, you may sign up for that too!  Thanks!

1 gallon soup (need 35 gallons) (optional recipe here)
Squeeze Margarine (need 18 bottles) 
Saltine Crackers (need 17 boxes) 
3 boxes granola bars - any type (need 300 bars total) 
Help serve at Trinity

Prayers and Thanksgivings

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

  • Chris Bolton's sister Geri: death of husband
  • Lila Hunter's friend's daughter Erin: brain injury / coma
  • Mike Saintil: traveling to Haiti - grandmother in final stages of life
  • Ronda Bendig: fell and hit her head while bowling
  • Julie Samples' father: surgery
  • Vickie Tucker's father: into assisted living
  • Clean Water presentation
  • Craig German's sister: shoulder surgery
  • Lisa Long: traveling to Texas / for good weather
  • Anglins' grandson: to be a missionary in Thailand for 6 months
  • Michelle Hammond's mother: death of 3 people close to her this week
  • Nicholas D.: pneumonia
  • Barbara Cooper's daughter: surgery
  • Lane Shutt's mother: home hospice care
  • Riviere's friend Tom: unknown obstruction - can't eat
  • Ted Klaren: for prayers & concern
  • Emily Samples' birthday and also her grandfather's
  • John & Vickie Tucker's anniversary
  • Pekka Ignatius: bowling fun on Saturday
  • Choir performance at Berkeley Lake Chapel Dec. 15
Every week:
  • Prayers
  • Worship this week
  • Birthdays and Anniversaries
  • Save the Date
  • Counseling Center
  • Norcross Cooperative

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

John 4:13-14
Isaiah 55:1-11

Birthdays this week:

Seth Ragon
Jason Parrish
Lori Anderson
Pat Pollock
Jason Easley
Ryan Porterfield

Anniversaries this week:
Ken & Cheryl Smith

Save the Date

DECEMBER 11 by 5:00 PM

DECEMBER 14 - 8:00 AM

9:00 & 10:00 AM

DECEMBER 14 - 1:00 PM

DECEMBER 14 - 6:30 PM

DECEMBER 15 - 8:00 AM

DECEMBER 15 - 11:00 AM

DECEMBER 15 - 5:15 PM

DECEMBER 16 - 6:30 PM

DECEMBER 17 - 10:30 AM

DECEMBER 17 - 11:30 AM

DECEMBER 18 - 12:00 PM

DECEMBER 18 - 7:00 PM

DEC. 21 - 10 AM - 8 PM

DECEMBER 21 - 10:45 AM

DECEMBER 22 - 9:45 AM

DECEMBER 22 - 6:30 PM

6:30 PM & 11:30 PM


DEC. 24 - 30

DECEMBER 31: 9 - 1

Family Wellness
through Counseling, Education and Research

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


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

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

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