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Mt. Carmel United Methodist Church
August 17, 2016

August 21 at 10:30 AM
Covered Dish Lunch at 11:30
In the Newsletter this Week:
  • From Pastor Cyndi
  • Homecoming: August 21 - 10:30 AM
  • Covered Dish Lunch: August 21 - 11:30 AM
  • New Directory Photo Date Added: Aug. 30
  • 20 Objects for 20 Weeks
  • Outreach Opportunity: Relief Supply Kits
  • Homework Club Notes
  • NCM News: Undies Sunday / Bowling to Help Others
  • Youth Newsletter
  • Kid's Corner
  • UMW Night Circle Book Review: August 22
  • 3rd Graders Receive Bibles: August 28
  • Women's Book Club: September 2
  • Prayers / Thanksgivings
  • Ways to Make a Donation

Go Ahead and Die

This weekend we will celebrate 190 years in ministry as Mt Carmel. We will tell stories of beloved people like Billy Parks, the circuit rider who was the church’s first pastor. We’ll tell stories of some of the more recent Mt Carmel people who kept the church going through difficult times. 

The day before this Homecoming Celebration, the Council on Ministries will gather to set plans for the 191st year. Please pray for this group. Right now. Say a prayer for wisdom and strength, and humble hearts to hear God’s call for our church. 

If you have been paying attention to the Sunday morning bulletins, you already know that there is a financial problem. If you attended church conference, or even have looked around for who is present on Sundays, you know that this is linked to attendance. 

Our current structure of buildings and staff (pastor, church secretary, music, children, youth, custodial and grounds) grew during a time when attendance was growing. Ten years ago, in 2005, our average attendance at 9:30 and 11:00 totaled 157. Last year’s average was 116. Year-to-date for 2016 average of attendance at these services is 108. 

A year ago, we presented to church conference a vision that we would make disciples of Jesus Christ by focusing on relationships. Our most important relationship is with God, and this is lived out in relationships with one another and our neighbors. People don’t come to Mt Carmel anticipating a big show. They come because they are looking for a connection to people and to God. 

We set a budget for this year with a projected shortfall. We could have cut back on staff or ministries, but this would have limited our ability to grow. We said that we wanted to grow. 

But saying that we want to grow is not working. Our shortfall is about $30,000 a year, and that does not include emergency repairs like replacing Air Conditioning units. Unless something changes, savings will be gone and we will have to change the church structure in two years. (We could go a third year at the current rate, but our best guess is that this kind of restructuring would mean a significant loss of people, and funds would be needed to make up that additional shortfall.) 

Realistically, we have already lost this battle. It takes time to change the culture of an organization. It takes multiple invitations for someone to come to church. It takes months or even years for guests to take another step and become part of the church in a meaningful way. Could we grow enough in two years? Probably not. 

What do you do when you are dying? In Deep Change, Robert Quinn reminds of the parable of a frog paddling in a pot as the temperature heats to boiling. Most of us can realize when we are in a no-win situation. We might paddle harder (which doesn’t help). 

In declining businesses, people nearing retirement see a company failing and decide to just hold on until retirement when they can get out of the hot water. Others take a more proactive reaction and look for ways to get out. This second group updates the resume and finds a job at another company. Often they find that things aren’t much better elsewhere, as the whole industry is flailing. 

Both options, though, leave other frogs behind in hot water, still dying. 

Christians have a third option. We can choose to die. 

The heart of our faith is found in Jesus Christ, who dies for others, and shows that beyond death is resurrection. When we embrace death to help others, there is resurrection. 

How do we die? We die to self. We get over our own embarrassment and reluctance to invite others. The cost of not inviting others, that the church would not be there for them, is greater than our own discomfort. We remember that everyone needs God, and to know God more deeply through a church. 

How do we die? We die to our preferences for our friends. On Sunday, I watched someone so intent on sitting with friends that they walked past a guest without even a smile or hello. 

We die to preferences about where we sit in worship and reach out to newcomers. We die to preferences about when we arrive, and come early with the intention of welcoming guests. 

How do we die? We die to lesser priorities and say yes to being present to God here in worship on a regular basis. We teach this to our children. Let me be clear. If your children are rarely present on Sunday morning, they are not growing up in the church. And attending youth is not enough. The greatest predictor of whether a young adult is part of a church is whether they attended worship, not Sunday School or youth, but a worship service with people of all ages.

If you cannot be here on Sundays, then work with me on creating an alternative time for worship. 

Help start a small group. Be part of a small group. This is how you help others connect with the church. And yes, this is painful. Not only will it take time, but it will mean that you have to share some of your faith journey with others. 

Our former District Superintendent, Dan Brown, says that “churches are the way they are because that’s who they want to be”. We decide who we want to be. We can continue on, in ways that are comfortable for us. For a little while, anyways. 

Or we can choose to die in a Christ-like way, in a way that offers grace to others. We can embrace others, what they need, at a cost to our own desires and well-being. This is more than frogs finally jumping out of a boiling pot. This is lowering the water temperature, building a community of warm bathwater. 

I cannot make you change. The only person I can change is myself. I am praying to die to anything that gets in the way of inviting others. I want to die to anything that gets in the way of forming small groups where people can grow. I am praying to recognize my own lesser priorities that get in the way of helping others grow as disciples of Jesus. 

This Homecoming celebrates 190 years of ministry. It’s a good time to give thanks to the people who died to what they wanted in order for people in this area to know a life-giving relationship with Jesus Christ. It’s a good time for us all to consider what we have to die to, for future generations.

I'll see you on Sunday,

Homecoming THIS Sunday: 10:30 AM

At this combined 10:30 service, we will celebrate Mt. Carmel’s 190th anniversary! 

Come a few minutes early and gather on the church steps to welcome a special visitor.  (We'll have coffee and lemonade while we wait!)

There will be great music and we've heard a rumor that some of Mt. Carmel’s most notable members from the past may drop in to see how we’re doing! 

Everyone is encouraged to dress in period costumes from ANYTIME in the last 190 years. Some possibilities are outfits from the 1800’s, the roaring 20’s, your Disco years, or just what you wore last Sunday!

Come and enjoy this day of fun while we remember our heritage.

Covered Dish Lunch after Homecoming

Everyone is asked to bring a dish or two to share and plan to stay and enjoy lunch together.

And if you see a visitor, please invite them to stay too - there is ALWAYS plenty of food!

Directory Save the Date 2

Additional Photography Date Set: 
August 30

Thank you to everyone who has already signed up to have your picture taken for the new church directory!  We've had such a good response that a 3rd photo date has been added.

If you have not yet signed up, please look over the times available on Tuesday, August 30 from 2:00 - 9:00 pm.  This time the photographers will be set up in the double classroom downstairs, Room 112/114.

There are still a few times available on Tuesday, August 23 also, in the Fellowship Hall.

Sign up now at the church website, on the sign-up sheet in the Fellowship Hall on Sunday, or call the church office. 

If you can’t make one of the appointment days at Mt. Carmel, you may have your photo taken at one of the other churches where Life Touch is shooting, then have it added to our directory. 

Just call this number to find another church: 1-866-756-0281, and tell them that Mt. Carmel’s acct. number is 240782.

Please try to find a time that will work for you and your family. We'd love to have EVERYONE in our new directory!

20 Objects for 20 Weeks

We continue our celebration of 190 years of ministry with another object that is a part of the history of Mt. Carmel.

The subject for Week 7 is the Mt. Carmel Preschool!  In 1988, Mt. Carmel took a leap of faith and formed a preschool program that would serve our community's children. The Preschool is still going strong today! 

Stop by the history room at the back of the sanctuary to view this display in its entirety, as well as previous weekly displays.

Outreach Opportunity: Flood Clean-up Help

It doesn't take much to help those in Louisiana and elsewhere who are dealing with the overwhelming task of cleaning up after a flood.

A bucket of cleaning supplies can be assembled for around $65.

To make a donation to help provide these supplies, you may drop your check into the offering plate on Sunday, marked "UMCOR Advance 901440", or donate directly to UMCOR at the website below.

For more information or to donate directly, visit this UMCOR website.

Homework Club News 

It’s almost time for school to begin and that means that the Thursday afternoon Homework Club will soon begin also! 

More adult volunteers are still needed on a rotating basis, once or twice a month. Some volunteers work with the kids, while others help with administrative duties or oversee the meeting. 

If you are interested in helping in some way, please contact Lisa Long or the church office for more information.

Homework Club Needs Laptops

If you have an older laptop you would be willing to donate for Homework Club use, please contact Ed McDonald at OR 678-983-5588.

It needs to be Win 7 or Win 10, ideally no more than about 5 years old. We can wipe the hard drive if needed (Drive Erase software). 

Berkeley Lake Elementary School students in the Homework Club use the laptops to check their homework, and yes, they do play educational games on them as a reward for completing their homework! 

We are having to put 4 of our 6 computers out of their (our) misery  :^)  as most of those are 10+ years old and/or overheat and shut down, etc.

All donations will be appreciated!

News from NCM

Undies Sunday for NCM: August 28

Norcross Cooperative Ministry helps people develop a good foundation for their lives, but sometimes a foundation of another kind is needed also.

Please bring new Fruit of the Loom, Jockey, or whatever your favorite kind of underwear is to help NCM's clients not only look good on the outside, but FEEL good underneath too!

Remember August 28 and bring new, packaged undies of all sizes for all ages!

Strikes, Spares & Santa for a Cause!

Norcross Cooperative Ministry invites you to join them, along with Team Elf, for an afternoon of bowling on Sunday, October 2 from 12:30 - 5:30 at Slingshot Entertainment, Norcross.

All proceeds from this event will benefit the Christmas program at NCM.  Every child deserves to share the JOY of Christmas! 

Last year NCM helped 880 families with over 2700 children at Christmas - each receiving toys & gifts, hoodies and gloves, and a gift card for a holiday meal.

You can help this happen again this Christmas!

For more information, go to: or contact NCM at 770-263-0013.

Youth News 

Now that the 2016 - 2017 school year has begun, the Mt. Carmel Youth are making plans for the fall!

During the school year, the Youth Group meets weekly on Sunday evening, beginning with dinner together at 5:15, followed by games, programs, worship and fun, ending at 7:30.

For the complete calendar of Youth events, click HERE to view the Youth Newsletter.

Kid's Corner
Sunday School
This Sunday is Homecoming and is a COMBINED SERVICE at 10:30 AM.  

During Children's Sunday School, we will learn more about what our church was like when it began, 190 years ago!

Until the end of August, we invite the children to bring offerings to Sunday School each week which we will donate to the Church World Service Heifer Project at the end of next month. The Heifer Project helps poor families around the world to purchase chickens, goats, sheep, and cows so that they can have a source of food and income that will help them become more self sufficient and less dependent upon foreign aid for their basic needs. 

What better way can we 'do justice and walk humbly' then by helping others to regain their dignity and self-sufficiency? 

Regular Fall Sunday School programming will recommence on Sunday August 28th...we will be launching a new Worship and Wonder Sunday School program for the Pre-K through 2nd grade kids which we are very excited about. Watch for details in next week's newsletter!

Hope you can join us!
Children's Director

UMW Night Circle Book Review: Aug. 22

All women are invited to join the UMW Night Circle on Monday, August 22 at 6:30 pm in the Fellowship Hall for a Book Review!

We’ll begin with dessert and conversation, followed by a review of our favorite books. Bring a book (an old or new favorite) to share with the group and come away with a great reading list! 

Contact the church office with any questions.

3rd Graders Receive Bibles: August 28

On Sunday, August 28th, children in the 3rd grade class will receive a Bible from the church, along with a “users guide!”

August 28th will also be Promotion Sunday for the Sunday school classes and we’ll Commission the 2016 – 2017 Sunday school teachers. 

Mark your calendars now!

Women's Book Club: September 2

The next meeting of the Mt. Carmel Women's Book Club will be on Friday, September 2 at 7:00 p.m.

This month's book selection is Ethan Frome, by Edith Wharton.  All women are welcome!

For more information, please contact Chris Bolton or Vicki Walden.

Purple Hats for Babies

Several people have been working on hats for this project. This is a reminder that finished hats are due back to the Church Office by August 20, 2016. If you have any questions, contact Shelia Trentini at 404-317-0766 or 

The Click for Babies Campaign invites crafters to make purple baby hats. These are part of a hospital education program designed to remind new parents about normal periods of increased infant crying, with a goal to prevent the shaking and abuse of infants. 

Yarn: any shade of purple or lilac (no angora, mohair, or feathery yarns) 
Size: 12-14 in circumference; 6-7 in long 
Pattern: any pattern (no bells, pompoms, buttons, etc.) 
Method: knit, crochet, loom (30-31 peg loom) 

Deliver finished hats to Church Office by August 20, 2016 or mail directly via USPS to: 
Emily’s Hats for Hope Initiative 
ATTN: Purple Hats 
PO Box 2374 
Morristown, NJ 07962-2374

Prayers and Concerns

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

Prayers and Concerns
  • Judy Bagwell's sister Alice: breast cancer
  • Cindy Bill (Preschool Director) - breast cancer
  • Marilyn McGee: prayers for Tom & Joyce Ivy
  • Dawn Seigler's friend: many health problems
  • Flood victims in Louisiana
  • Milwaukee violence
  • Volunteers to help with Homework Club
  • Cheryl Martin: Pastor WariaEli & family - death his wife, Mama WariaEli, Happiness - from complications after surgery.  This is the pastor Cheryl's mission team works with in Tanzania.
  • Continued prayers for Barbara Cooper and Lois Salter
  • Carl Garner: back at home and recovering from cellulitis
  • For Council on Ministries planning session on Saturday

  • Judy Bagwell back in church after knee surgery
  • All 3 Ignatius girls at home over the weekend
  • Gene Anglin over his long illness
  • Lois Salter back in church after being bitten by snake
  • Susan Posey: son John home over weekend / celebrated Bill's birthday / John has a new job as organist at large church in Rock Hill, SC.
  • Joshua and Megan (Foster) Marson successfully moved back to Kennesaw from Mississippi

Ways to Make a Donation Electronically

Thank you for your support of Mt. Carmel!  

There are many ways to give: You may use a Debit Card, Credit Card, or PayPal, or you may make an automatic electronic funds transfer on a one-time or recurring basis.  

Click HERE to give electronically. 
Every week:
  • Prayers
  • Worship this week
  • Birthdays and Anniversaries
  • Save the Date
  • Counseling Center
  • Norcross Cooperative

Birthdays this week:

Molly Joyner Leeper
Charlie Leeper
John Salter
Sam Sigmon
Cindy Jones
Vicki Walden

Anniversaries this week:
Boyd & Hillary Whaley

Save the Date


AUGUST 17 - 8:30 PM

10:30 AM - 2:00 PM
ROOM 112/114

AUGUST 21 - 10:30 AM

AUGUST 21 - 11:30 AM

AUGUST 21 - 4:30 PM

AUGUST 21 - 5:15 PM

AUGUST 22 - 6:30 PM

AUGUST 23 - 7:00 PM

AUGUST 23 & 24
2:00 - 9:00 PM

9:30 & 11:00 - SANCTUARY

9:30 & 11:00 AM

AUGUST 28 - 12:15 PM

AUGUST 30 - 2:00 - 9:00 PM
ROOM 112/114


9:30 & 11:00 AM


SEPTEMBER 6 - 11:30 AM



4:00 - 6:30 PM


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

Donations of non-perishable food may be left in the NCM tub in the church foyer, and checks made to the church and marked for NCM may be dropped into the offering plate or by the church office.

Family Wellness
through Counseling, 
Education and Research

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


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

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