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Mt. Carmel United Methodist Church
September 9, 2015

connect grow serve circle

In the Newsletter this Week:
  • From the Pastor
  • Children's Ministry
  • Picnic at Berkeley Lake: September 20
  • Sign Up Now - Fall Bible Studies Begin Next Week
  • From the Preschool
  • Church Conference on October 4
  • Chapel in the Woods to Visit Animal Sanctuary: Sept. 12
  • Flamingo Alert!
  • UMW Night Circle: September 28
  • Outreach Opportunities
  • Prayers / Thanksgivings
  • Ways to Make a Donation

Miracles and a Vision for Mount Carmel

Miracles rarely happen in isolation. Usually there is someone else who is part of the situation. 

Have you ever experienced or seen a physical miracle? Was someone praying? Were there doctors and caregivers? Were there friends who gave emotional support and encouragement? 

What about the miracle of a changed life? Have you seen someone grow in peace and defeat their circumstances? Maybe you have seen someone overcome addiction or an abusive history. God was involved, and worked not only directly in the life of the person transformed but also through generous people who supported them by sharing their own stories of transformation, sponsors who gave their time and encouragement, friends who prayed and offered hope. 

Scripture tells us that this usually how God works. God could have set free the Israelites enslaved in Egypt, but instead brings transformation by calling Moses to lead them. Yes, there were miracles of frogs and locusts, but first there were people praying and crying out in slavery. 

Jesus does a similar thing. After the resurrection he could have appeared to people everywhere and in every time. Instead, he gathers with disciples who worship him—some of whom still doubting—and commissions them to make disciples. Yes, there will be miraculous escapes from prison and healings, but God’s miraculous good news will be told from one generation of people to the next. 

We know that at Mount Carmel, don’t we? Go watch some of the mission moments online. You will hear Amanda Garner describe the unconditional love she has experienced here, Andy Loftis tell of how he finally found a home here, Wynne Buran share of finding Jesus “with skin on”, Jacque Tapley explain how she grows spiritually in the Transformers class, Craig German describe why it has been important to have a church here. What do these have in common? God worked through people who offered themselves. 

Last week I wrote of the Administrative Board working toward a vision statement to be proposed at church conference on October 4. How do we fulfill the mission of the United Methodist Church to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world? 

At Mount Carmel we fulfill this mission through: 

Life changing relationships 
with God 
with one another 
with neighbors 

Did you notice the “with”? We have seen God at work when we are with one another at Barbecues and making beds together for Family Promise. We have seen God bring transformation through Sunday School classes that share their lives with one another. We have seen healing when people prayed for one another, brought meals, and a comforting word. 

A good mission/vision statement should help committees and leaders ask the right questions. This vision statement of life transforming relationships with God, one another, and neighbors would encourage us to ask questions about people rather than programs, activities and efficiency. How would a proposed ministry help people in their relationship with God? Can we tweak ongoing ministries in ways that not only get a job done but also encourage people to get to know one another? 

Here is the part that you may find uncomfortable. This emphasis on “with one another” means that friendship is more important than being friendly. Ouch! Being friendly to newcomers on a Sunday morning is easy. But the next step—being friends, intentionally making room in your life and circle of friends for newcomers—is time consuming and scary. 

But if we recognize that God works through relationships, then what choice do we have but to structure our ministries and our lives in ways that are not only friendly but also encourage friendships. 

For the next few weeks, I’ll share more. Until then, think about whether this has been your experience. Have you seen transformation? Do you have a story of how someone at Mount Carmel helped you begin or grow in your relationship with God? Do you have a story of how people at Mount Carmel helped you serve neighbors? 

I’m thankful for our Administrative Board leadership, and this question of how our vision statement could be part of God’s miracles. I’m thankful for this initiative that encourages us to reflect on and emphasize where God is already at work. I’m thankful the ways I see God at work in you, Mount Carmel.

I'll see you this Sunday,
Pastor Cyndi

Children's Ministry

Sunday School
This week, grades Preschool through 2nd grade begin the Narrative Lection, Living the Word, Sunday School series with The Beginning as told in Genesis 2: 4-25.

The major focus of the story for children is that God created humans to be in community with all creation. The children’s section of Mt. Carmel website has a link to devotional activities you can use with your families. Check it out.

Coming Soon
Sunday, September 20: 
Church wide picnic and cook out at Berkeley Lake. There will be special activities for kids beginning at 3:30.

Director of Children's Ministry

Church Picnic at Berkeley Lake!  Sept. 20

Everyone is invited to a church picnic, cookout and vespers service at Lake Berkeley Chapel on Sunday afternoon, September 20.  There will be lots of fun, fellowship and good food! 

3:30 PM - A BOUNCY HOUSE will be set up for the children!
4:30 PM - The picnic area will be ready.
5:00 PM - Dinner is served!
6:00 PM - A vespers service with music by the Georgia Gospelites will be held outside in the picnic area.

Hamburgers, hotdogs and drinks will be furnished. Everyone is asked to please bring a side dish or dessert to share.

Mark your calendars so you don’t miss the fun! 

Location: 4043 S. Berkeley Lake Rd., Berkeley Lake, GA

• From Mt. Carmel, turn RIGHT out of the parking lot. 
• Take the first LEFT onto Lou Ivy Road. 
• Lou Ivy Road dead-ends into Bush Road – turn RIGHT.
• Bush Road dead-ends into S. Berkeley Lake Road – turn RIGHT. 
• The Chapel will be immediately on your LEFT. 

Sign Up Now - Fall Bible Studies Begin Next Week

Sign up here or call the church office. Draw closer to God as you get to know others in one of these studies: 

"Sacred Attunement: A Jewish Theology"
by Michael Fishbane
This study meets each Sunday night in the North Georgia Counseling Center, downstairs near old Fellowship Hall, and is led by Dr. Boyd Whaley.  The group gathers at 6:00, and the study is from 6:15 - 7:30 p.m.  (Begins on Sept. 13)  All are welcome to join.

"Good and Beautiful God" by James Bryan Smith
This fall, the Monday night group will examine the "false narratives" that Christians believe about themselves and God. The stories we tell about God (such as "I change by my own willpower" or "God blesses me when I'm good and punishes me when I'm bad") can lead to failure and disillusionment. We will contrast the stories in our head with Jesus' teachings and parables.This is a weekly group discussion led by Pastor Cyndi McDonald, Tom Cooper, and Steve Pearson, each Monday night at 7:00 p.m. in the Hope House.  (Begins on Sept.14.)

"Brown Bag" Lectionary Study
This weekly study of the lesson for the upcoming Sunday is led by Pastor Cyndi McDonald.  The group meets on Tuesday mornings at 11:30 a.m. in the Hope House. (Begins on Sept. 15). Everyone is also invited to bring a brown bag lunch and enjoy eating together afterwards. 

From the Preschool

Well the first week is in the books for the preschool. We have an AMAZING group of kids and parents and are looking forward to a fun year. 

We have enjoyed popsicles, toe fishing, singing and dancing and that’s just the first week! We start back with weekly music class and some after school specials right after labor day. 

Mt. Carmel preschoolers are truly the best!

Cindy Bill
Preschool Director

Church Conference on October 4

Mark your calendars for our Annual Church Conference which will be held on Sunday, October 4th immediately following the 11:00 worship service.

We will meet in the sanctuary to hear a review of the past year at Mt. Carmel, and plans for the upcoming one.

Chapel in the Woods to visit Animal Sanctuary: September 12

On September 12th, everyone is invited to travel to Locust Grove, Georgia to the Noah's Ark Animal Sanctuary.  The Chapel in the Woods hiking group sponsors this trip and will meet in the church parking lot at 10:30 a.m. to carpool.

This self guided walk is free.  Everyone should bring a lunch and you'll eat at the picnic area in the sanctuary.

Please contact Cheryl Martin if you'd like to join the carpool. or 678-206-9936.

For anyone who might like to drive themselves, the address is:
712  L.G. Griffin Rd., Locust Grove, GA  30248.

Flamingos Headed to Mt. Carmel!

The Mt. Carmel Youth will begin the Flamingo Fundraiser for the Summer Mission Trip on Sunday, September 13.  Flocks of Flamingos will begin appearing on the lawns of members and friends of Mt. Carmel the week of October 18.

If you DO NOT want the Flamingos to visit you, please stop by the insurance table located outside the sanctuary door to purchase your insurance in the amount of $15. Insurance policies will be sold on September 13, 20 and 27.

If you would like for the flamingos to come for a visit, please check the box on the back of the Connect Card in the bulletin or you can stop by the Flamingo Table and sign our Nesting Site sheet. 

When the flamingos arrive at your house please follow the directions that are in the bag on a flamingo. Please do not bring the flamingos back to the church - they will be removed within 24 hours. 

The flamingos visit your home in acts of kindness and love from the youth. Thanks for your support!!

UMW Night Circle Celebrates School Days

School days, school days! Dear, old golden rule days . . . 

All women of the church are invited to join the UMW on September 28 at 6:30 at Barbara Cooper’s home as we remember our school days together. 

Bring a photo of yourself as a child or teenager, and we’ll have a fun guessing game. Bring a memory to share, too, of a favorite teacher, a poignant or amusing moment, or a spiritual turning point from your school days. 

Let’s enjoy getting to know each other better!

RSVP to Barbara Cooper or the church office.

Outreach Opportunities

Cheeseburger Bobby's helps Murphy-Harpst Children's Home
Murphy-Harpst Children's Home is a ministry of the United Methodist Church that provides a safe haven for some of Georgia's most severely abused children. 

During the month of September, you can help them by eating at Cheeseburger Bobby's!  A portion of the sale of every dessert will go to the children's home, as well as contents of a direct donation box that will also be available in stores.

Please consider helping these children in this way, or you may make a direct donation through Mt. Carmel at any time. Just mark your check, "Murphy-Harpst" and drop it into the offering plate.  Thank you!

Simpsonwood UMC Needs Volunteers for Mission Trip: Oct. 27 - Nov. 4
Simpsonwood UMC plans a mission trip to El Salvador from October 27 - November 4 and they need 6-8 more volunteers. Here are the basics of the trip:

Mission activities we intend to accomplish:
• Children's Bible School, last trip we were able to have about 50 children on 5 afternoons 
• Visit homes of families in the village were we are beginning to build a church this fall. We visited 40 families in the village of La Gloria on the last trip. 
• Construction projects in either La Gloria or at the mission residence. 
• Distribute reading glasses to villagers in La Gloria. 
• New for this trip, we plan to help with the church and children's program at a plant church that is being lead by Jose Arouche (the foreman we have been work with for 2 years). 

As you can see is we have an ambitious plan. To complete the plan we'll need 12 people. Right now we have 6 commitments. We could easily use 4 -8 more volunteers.

• Do not need any specific skills just a big heart and a willingness to spread Jesus's Love.
• At least 16 years old, if under 18 an accompanying responsible adult.
• Need a valid passport 

The trip cost is just under $1200, $530 ground fee and airline ticket. 

Please contact myself or Amanda Lane ( for more information. Thank you for considering being part of this mission trip.

In His Service,
Kevin E Hill 
678 296-5300

And don't forget ...
to check the church website or previous newsletters for information about Food Pack for Feed My Starving Children and Norcross Cooperative Ministry.

Prayers and Concerns

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

  • Annette Rogers - surgery on Friday
  • family of Sylvia Brigman
  • Dorothy Edwards
  • Lucile Jones
  • Friend of Lane Shutt's daughter: cancer / pregnancy
  • Gail Bolton (update - recovering well)
  • Ruby's family - death of sister, brother-in-law is ill
  • Norcross man held hostage in Yemen
  • refugees
  • Andy's surgery on September 29
  • guest Sarah at 9:30 worship
  • 11th anniversary of Christy and Ernie

  • Craig German's aunt 100th birthday!

  • Austrian people's welcome of refugees
  • Welcome back Julie and Bob Jones

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

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

Genesis 3:1-19
Mark 1:9-13

Birthdays this week:

Dick Klinetob
Clara Hoge
Erin Foster Carroll
Cecilia Carroll
Allison Joyner Piepmeier
Lynn Parrish
Mark Moore
Isaac Campbell

No anniversaries this week.

Save the Date

SEPT. 9 - 7:00 PM

SEPT. 9 - 8:30 PM

SEPT. 10 - 3:30 PM

SEPT. 12 - 10:30 AM

SEPT. 13 - 6:00 PM

SEPT. 14 - 7:00 PM

SEPT. 15 - 10:30 AM

SEPT. 15 - 11:30 AM

SEPT. 17 - 7:00 PM


SEPTEMBER 20 - 4:30 PM

SEPTEMBER 28 - 6:30 PM


OCTOBER 4 - 12:15 PM

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.


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.

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

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