Connecting Points – January 29, 2017

Communion is served in the Prayer Chapel each Sunday morning between services (9:00 – 9:15) and (10:30 – 10:45).

The supper menu for Wednesday Night, February 1st is baked pork chops/hot dogs, mashed potatoes with gravy, pinto beans, corn, salad, garlic bread, and desserts.

Need Volunteers for New Short-Term Ministry Teams! Our Church Council is recruiting people to serve on one of three short-term ministry teams to launch some new ministry thrusts during the first quarter of the year:

1) Prayer Ministry Team (to develop new ways to surround our ministries and people in prayer)

2) Invitational Ministry Team (to organize new efforts to help our church attendance grow)

3) Communications Ministry Team (to improve how we communicate about church life)

Would you be willing to help? Let us know at the church office!

Budget Fund Update – The current balance on our building mortgage is approximately $178,000, We presently have about $89,000 in our Building Fund (we keep at least $50,000 in it after making mortgage payments). $22,000 of that is committed to preliminary building committee designs and a temporary expansion for youth.

So we are now lacking only approximately $111,000 in gifts to the Building Fund in order to pay off our building debt. Thanks so much for your generous giving to the Debt & Building Challenge during the last two years!

Ghana Mission Trip Meal and Praise Report!  Everyone is invited to a church-wide fellowship meal and Ghana mission trip praise report tonight at 6:30 pm. We will eat in the fellowship hall and free-will donations will be accepted toward next year’s trip projects. After the meal, we will head to the sanctuary for the presentation. Come and hear how your prayers have been answered and lives have been touched through this year’s trip!

IF: Arab Women’s Conference – “Our dream is that we would experience the power of God as He does big things through simple acts of faith. That we live unified, surrendered to God, not just in our minds and in our theology, but also in our daily lives. Our hope is that we would participate with the Spirit of God and see Him go forth in our generation in a most powerful way.” This 2-day gathering brings together women from all over the world to humbly seek God and to equip them to better live out their callings. We seek to model, resource, and empower women so that they create fresh, honest spaces in their local contexts to wrestle with essential questions of faith. At IF:Arab, we invite you to come as you are to worship and deepen your relationship with God surrounded by women who are diversely unique and desiring the same simple love. This event will take place on February 3rd and 4th  in the Fellowship Hall. For more information contact Brooke Hemphill 256.640.3292 or

Souper Bowl for Caring – On February 5th the Youth will have gumbo and potato soup after the 9:30 and 10:55 services for $5 per bowl. During this time the Youth will be collecting canned food items and monetary donations for TESA.

Young in Heart – The Young in Heart will meet February 16th at 10:00 in the Fellowship Hall for a Valentine Day celebration. Although 2 days late, it will still be lots of fun. We will sing old favorite “Sweet-heart songs” along with Wayne Kendrick at the piano and Joe Creel on the Ukulele. Lunch (paid for by your dues) will be soup, sandwiches, salad and sweets. Plan to come and bring your “favorite” valentine. Make reservations at the sign up table.

Wednesday Night Meal Tickets – We are going to start offering a meal ticket for Wednesday night dinners. This meal ticket allows you to purchase meals at a discounted rate. Adult meal tickets are 10 meals for $60.00 and a child ticket is 10 meals for $40.00. We will keep the meal tickets at church, so you won’t have to keep up with them. You may purchase your tickets from the office or on Wednesday nights.  We are really excited about this and hope it is a benefit for everyone.

Wednesday Night Dinners Grow! – This past couple of years, Wednesday night dinners have consistently grown in meal quality and attendance. We have about 125 people each week enjoying an excellent meal due to the fine efforts of our kitchen manager, Terry Z., and her gang. Our Finance Team has increased the suggested donation to $7 for adults and $5 for children. This began in January, in order to keep the quality strong.

Flower Calendar for 2017 – Please get in touch with the church office to reserve Sundays on the altar flower calendar for 2017. Fresh flowers bless our worship life and are a wonderful way to do something in honor or memory of someone special. Here are the details:

– There are two arrangements each Sunday (you may reserve one or both).

– The first one to reserve an arrangement for a Sunday chooses the florist for that Sunday.

– Buddy’s Flowers provides a classic arrangement, and he typically charges a standard $20 per arrangement.

– Scott’s Urban Earth may provide a classic arrangement for a standard $35 per arrangement, or they can provide a designer arrangement. Your family would negotiate the design and cost with the florist.

VBS 2017 – We are planning for VBS 2017. Ms. Heather needs your preferences on dates. Please let her know which of the following dates you prefer: Week of June 5th, July 10th, or July 17th.

Room in the Inn T-shirts – If you would like to order a Room in the Inn T-shirt, please contact the Church Office. They are gray and navy baseball shirts. On the front in red lettering they say “Love Your Neighbors Y’all”. You may see a sample of the shirt in the Church Office. They are $20 and sizes S – 3X are available. All proceeds benefit Room in the Inn. Checks may be made to Arab First UMC.

Announcing Youth Space Expansion – Arab City Council approved the plan of our Church Council to attach a portable classroom to the back of our Youth House. This is a temporary measure to accommodate our growth in youth ministries while we finish paying off debt and begin plans for a future building. The cost for the used portable classroom was a discounted price. When the building is resold after temporary use, the proceeds will go back into the Building Fund. The classroom will be in place soon. Landscaping will be added to shield it from view.

Volunteers Needed to “Mug” People! – One of the most vital ministries of hospitality at Arab First UMC is delivering a mug and welcome information to people within two days after they worship with us for the first time. Studies show this one thing makes a huge difference. Our outstanding volunteers for this are retiring. Would you be willing to take a little time every couple of weeks to make a real difference? Call the church office for more details. 256-586-5792


 Jan 29th    Marselle Waldrop

Jan 30th    Dick Campbell and Bennett Elrod 

Jan 31st    Hunter Harrison, Diane Barker, and Arthur White   

Feb 1st     Ted Green, Lezlie Johnson, Toni Ramage, and Emily Snider

Feb 2nd     Cameron Mann & Robert Whitney

Feb 3rd     Stacey Aron & April Mann

Feb 4th      Neville Anders, John Corn, Mary Knutson, Joey Light, Campbell Loftis, and Ann Lynch


In order to keep our prayer list up to date we have started over since it is a new year.  If you would like to add someone to the Health and Healing list or Cancer Treatment list please complete the prayer cards in the pews, call the Church Office (256-586-5792) or email the Church Office at

Cancer Treatment

Jennifer Black, Nancy Ellsworth, Joan Howard, Sandy Martin, and Gary Yessick

Health and Healing

Dick Black, John Winston Clark, Dianne Creel, John Decker, Linda Hart, Ernest Holley, and Johnny Ingram

Safe Sanctuary Training
REQUIRED for ALL Volunteers with Youth and Children

Our Church Council has approved a new Safe Sanctuary policy, effective beginning with 2017. This new policy is in keeping with new guidelines of the North Alabama Conference and was carefully constructed by a task force from our church under the leadership of John Richey and Lee Michael.

All volunteers with youth and children at Arab First UMC are required to attend the training session this month. This training is for anyone who volunteers (in any capacity) with children or youth.

The required training session will be:

Monday, Feb. 6, at 6:30 pm in the Sanctuary

(Make-up Session Sunday, Feb. 12 at 3:00 in the Sanctuary)

The Make-Up session is planned in case of an unavoidable conflict with attending the session on Feb. 6. Parents with children at home are asked to make their own child-care arrangements since all volunteers must attend the training. Parents may opt to have one parent attend the first session and the other parent attend the make-up session.

Each volunteer will be required to go through a background check. Instructions on this will be given at the training session.

Children and youth are very important at Arab First UMC. The safe sanctuary policies ensure a safe and vibrant learning environment in children’s and youth ministries. Strict adherence to the new policies will protect our children and youth and protect the people of our church. Thanks for your time in going through the training.

AFUMC   2017 Church Council
Church Council Members:

  1. Church Council Team Leader – Patrick Smith
  2. Lay Leader – Randy Tucker
  3. Lay Member – Annual Conference – Patrick Smith
  4. Lay Member – Annual Conference – Nancy Barker
  5. 1st Alternate Lay Member Annual Conference – Bob Anderson
  6. 2nd Alternate Lay Member Annual Conference – Randy Linn
  7. Treasurer –Alan Miller
  8. Recording Secretary – Patti Wilson
  9. Financial Secretary – Jessica Watts
    Financial Assistant – Brooke Hemphill
  10. Stewardship Chair – Rudy Adler
  11. Membership Secretary – Sandra Henderson
  12. Women’s Ministry – Nancy Stewart
  13. Men’s Ministry – Marc Scarbrough
  14. Youth Representative – Elizabeth Brodhage
  15. Youth Ministry Team Leader – Melanie Williams
  16. Staff/ Parish Relations Team Leader – Mitch Stone
  17. Trustee Team Leader – Nathan Clark
  18. Financial Team Leader –Shane Withey
  19. ServeFest Team Leaders – Billie Cragg & Butch DeWeerth
  20. Mission Team Leader – Joy Privett
  21. Bereavement and Fellowship Team Leader – Terry Zakrzewski
  22. Nursery Ministry Team Leader – Kathy Handle
  23. Children’s Ministry Team Leader – Shea Beard
  24. Communications Coordinator – Holli Shelton
  25. Scouting Representatives – Allen Neuschwander
  26. Congregational Care – Roy & Kathy Bryant
  27. Information Technology – Chris Hemphill
  28. Disability Ministry Leaders – Sherry Cushing
  29. Grace Place Team Leader – Jeff Taffar
  30. Young in Heart – Doris Adler

    Church Council Members at Large

                 Class of 2017            Class of 2018                      Class of 2019                   

    Patty Saunders                Bonnie Isbell                         Mary Shumate

    Keith Hawkins                 Lucy Slater                            John Baxter

    Melynda Telesco             Marc Johnson                        Jim Saunders

    Alan Washam                Bambi Bradford                    Brian Landry

    Penny Isom                      Patti Wilson                          Max Carter

    Ministry Teams:  (Team members aren’t members of church council unless listed above)

    Staff Parish Relations Team    Mitch Stone

    Ex-Officio – Lay Leader (Randy Tucker); Lay Member (Patrick Smith)

    Class of 2017                   Class of 2018                   Class of 2019                        

    Brooke Hemphill             Mitch Stone                       Tim Guthrie

    Russ Elrod                       Myles Teston                     Carrie Walters

    Josh Shumate                  Cynthia Traylor                 Pam Donahue

    Lay Leadership Team               Chair: Steve West

    Ex-Officio – Lay Leader (Randy Tucker)

    Class of 2017                   Class of 2018                Class of 2019               

    Rudy Adler                       Chris Hemphill                      Joe Creel

    Mitch Stone                        Anna Clark                          Natalie Burke

    Cindy Ingram                  Amy Brodhage                     David Russell


    Trustee Team                           Chair: Nathan Clark

    Ex-Officio – Secretary (Robin Gregory)

    Class of 2017                   Class of 2018                Class of 2019

    Melisa Stone                           John Richey                     Nathan Clark

    Greg Gibbs                              Mary Holley                      Seth Bell

    Cindy Tucker                          Harold Breen                 Shannon Hill


    Finance Team                               Chair: Shane Withey

    Ex-Officio – Lay Leader (Randy Tucker); Lay Member (Nancy Barker); Church Council Chair (Patrick Smith); SPRT Chair (Mitch Stone); Trustee Chair (Nathan Clark); Treasurer (Alan Miller); Business Manager (Valeria Breen); Financial Secretary (Jessica Watts) ; Stewardship (Rudy Adler)

    Class of 2017                Class of 2018                   Class of 2019

    John York                            Shane Withey                   Andrea Elrod

    Clay Holley                      Jason Crawford                Dianne Prestridge

    Aric Oberle                          Brian Stewart                   Laveda Lofton


    Scholarship Selection Team    Ex-Officio –Steve West; Lee Michael

    Class of 2017                Class of 2018                  Class of 2018       

    Vicki Hestley                  Kathy Handle                          Scott Beard

    Patti Wilson                    David Hall                            Carolyn Baxter


    Grace Place Team                      Chair: Jeff Taffar                                      

    Class of 2017                   Class of 2018                Class of 2019                

    Ashley Spethman                   Jeff Taffar                      Laura Upton

    Alma Green                 Katie Scott                     Kim Landry


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