Connecting Points – November 19, 2017

Need Prayer? – If you would like our prayer team to be in prayer for a concern, fill out the Prayer Request card found in each pew, call the church office, or enter it on the AFUMC website. The number for the Upper Room Prayer Line is 1-800-251-2468. This is staffed 24/

Random Act of Kindness Cards – Pick up a card every week from a display in our gathering areas. Use it to share the love of Christ in a surprising, creative, and unexpected way!

Church Council Meeting – There is a brief Church Council meeting after worship today (a little after noon) in the sanctuary to vote on the final budget for 2018.

Jennifer Saunders Home Team Bake Sale Today! – The annual Home Team Bake Sale will be today after all three services.  Make sure to stop by and buy your Thanksgiving desserts!

Jennifer Saunders Home Team Sheet Sale – The team will be selling sheets again this year and they are $40 a set for any size. You can place your orders in the office anytime or with a home team member any Sunday between services until December 3rd.  Orders will arrive in time for Christmas! The proceeds from both fundraisers will go to support Jennifer’s mission work.

Community Thanksgiving Service and Meal Tonight – The Arab Ministerial Association is sponsoring a Community Thanksgiving Service tonight at 6:30 pm. Mike Shirley of New Brashiers Chapel UMC will preach. It will be at Eastside Baptist Church on Fry Gap Road. There is a pot-luck meal afterward, so bring a dish and stick around!

Please donate to our new Chrismon tree! 
 One of the traditions of our church is our Chrismon tree.  The one we have has been faithful for 17 years, but alas, it’s time to retire. We are taking this opportunity to upgrade to a new commercial quality tree to beautify our sanctuary during Advent and Christmas. It is a 14 foot fir that is pre-lit and easy to put together, with a five year warranty on the lights.  In addition to improved appearance, it will be much easier to work with.  We were able to find one for less than wholesale due to a special church discount. If you’d like to donate, mark your check for “Chrismon tree.”

No Wednesday Night Activities – There will be no Wednesday night activities due to the Thanksgiving holiday. The Church Office will be closed for Thanksgiving from November 22-24.

Need Volunteers for Advent Decorating – We are looking for volunteers to help decorate for Advent. We need strong backs to help get the tree and wreaths, etc. on Sunday, November 26th at 3:00 p.m. We also need help decorating on Monday, November 27th at 9:30 a.m. If you would like to help please contact the Church Office at 256-586-5792 or

Room in the Inn – The United Methodist Men will once again be coordinating with the Marshall County Homeless Ministries and be a host site for Room in the Inn.  We will be housing our neighbors on five nights this winter. The dates are 11/26, 12/24, 1/28, 2/25, and 3/25.  If you are willing to assist in this worthwhile endeavor, please contact Marc Scarborough or John Richey.

Calling all shoppers! – On Wednesday, November 29, we will be meeting at 10:00 a.m. in the fellowship hall and proceed to Walmart to shop for children under school age that will be attending our Christmas and Beyond party on December 9.  Lists for each child are available.  Contact Dawn Liebner or Joy Privett to help.

Fruit and Candy for Christmas and Beyond – Help us with Christmas and Beyond by donating fruit and candy for gift bags.  If your last name begins with: A-G bring apples, H-M bring pears or green apples, N-Z bring oranges. (Please, no grapefruit or bananas.) Bring your fruit to the church office prior to 6 pm Wednesday, December 6 as the fruit/candy bags will be prepared that evening.  Thank you!

Cookies for Christ – As part of our ServeFest outreach ministries, we will again be organizing “Cookies for Christ”. If you would like to sign up to make cookies, please see the sign-up sheets in the Gathering area. We will also need teams of two to take a gift of fresh cookies, along with an invitational brochure with information on the local churches in the area, to the families of those who have moved into Arab this year. It is not traditional “visitation”, but a simple, at-the-door expression of God’s love. You can pick up your cookie gift bags and delivery addresses in the office on Sunday morning, Dec. 3, and deliver that afternoon. Signup sheets will be in the Gathering area for teams of two.

What are we doing about church safety? In light of recent events in our nation, we want to continue to be a safe place as well as a warm and welcoming place. Our church has held two threat awareness workshops in the past few months (one church-wide and one for staff). Here are some other things we are doing:

1) There are new Wireless Video Doorbells outside the front and side entrances. On occasions during the week when staff are more comfortable keeping the doors locked, these require pushing the button to request entry. Office or Grace Place staff will be able to see who is at the door and may either respond verbally or come to unlock.

2) We have purchased new H-tool demolition tools for offices and Grace Place rooms with windows. This will allow staff to break windows and exit in case of a fire or other emergency.

3) We are purchasing Pepper Spray to keep in the offices and on hand (hidden) during public worship.

4) We will be holding an Usher Training Session on Sunday, Nov. 26, at 4:00 with church member and local law enforcement officer Mitch Stone. Other interested parties are welcome to come.

5) We are discussing the creation of a Safety Team who will meet periodically, observe ministries in action, and establish and communicate safety protocols. If you would like to help, please let Pastor Steve know.

Expanding Youth Wednesday Night Meeting Time – The Youth now meet on Wednesday nights from 6:00 p.m. till 7:30 p.m.

New Youth Sunday School Location – The Youth now meet in the fellowship hall in room 104 instead of meeting at the youth house. On the 1st and 3rd Sundays they will meet at 10:55. On the 2nd and 4th Sundays they will meet at 9:30.

College Care Packages – Our Youth Group invites all parents and grandparents, who have family members who attend college and are members of our church, to send their name and mailing address in order that we may send them a gift during final exams. In addition, if anyone would like to donate for our college care packages, please bring the money to the church office.

1st Annual Ugly Sweater Christmas Party! – December 13th we will have an Ugly Christmas Sweater Party. Dinner will be at 5. Wear your sweater and take family pictures in the Photo Booth. Maybe win a fantastic prize! Then join us around the bonfire (weather permitting) for caroling, hot chocolate and a S’mores Bar. So get that sweater ready!

Huntsville Havoc Tickets – The Cub Scouts are selling Huntsville Havoc tickets for the game on December 1st, which is Star Wars night. Tickets are $10 and the Cub Scouts make $5 on each ticket. If you would like to purchase a ticket, please see Carrie Walters or Steve McDonald.


Nov 22nd     John & Carolyn Baxter

Nov 24th      Max & Lem Carter



Nov 19th      Naven Knuston

Nov 20th      Haley Buckelew, Katlyn Caldwell, Pam Donahue, Kensley Golden, and Dawn Tidmore

Nov 21st       Penny Isom and Parker Smith

Nov 22nd      Erika England and Lydia Latham

Nov 23rd      Kathleen Eskridge, Samuel Heflin, and John Snider

Nov 24th      Aubrey Elrod and Carolyn Nelson

Nov 25th      Roy Bryant, Deborah Childress, Dori Couch, Laura Hinds, and Christy Willingham


 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

Stephanie Bonner, Jennifer Brown, Greg Burkhead, Jaycee-Jayne Caldwell, Becky Deese (sister of Elise Brasseale), Johanna Grimes, Tim Guthrie, Steve Johnson, Ruth Klein, Hank Linsky, Sandy Martin, Glenn McNeal, Joseph Morris, Aaron Oberle, Allen Tant, and Anna Beth Whitehorn

 Health and Healing

Melanie Arbuckle, Ben Brazelton, Roy Bryant, Beth & George Burks, Pam Cooper, Tim Cragg, Dianne Creel, Lorrie Duquette, Tammy Fritz, Ron Gonia, Conrad Hamilton, Neva Hestley, Caroline Hinds, Lisa King, Patricia McDowell, Cherie McNeal, Robert Millard (Joyce DeWeerth’s brother), Bert Morris, Chet Rowley, Alice Schmidt, T.L. Simmons, Carol & Frank Smith, Bruce Taylor, Dian Taylor, Avery Tincher, Cynthia (Sunny) Waters, and Gary Yessick


Christmas and Beyond
Saturday December 9 from 7-10 am
 AFUMC Annual Local Missions Project

What is Christmas and Beyond?  It is a ministry of our church and a major part of the Christmas season at Arab First United Methodist Church. Most importantly, it is celebrating Christ’s birth through sharing, caring and service to others. This year we are inviting 100 children to our C&B Party. The children receive toys, clothes, fruit, candy, and a Bible. (Children’s names are obtained through the Christmas Coalition as well as provided by our church family and community. If you know someone in need of help, please call the church office.)

You will have the opportunity to help in the following ways:

Sponsoring a Child – The cost is $150.00 per child for gifts, a food box, Bible and other assorted items. You may contribute any amount you wish.  Please make checks payable to AFUMC with C&B on the memo line.

Providing fruit – Everyone can contribute the fruit to be distributed at the party. To assure an adequate assortment of fruit, please bring the following items.  If your last name begins with: A-G bring apples, H-M bring pears or green apples, N-Z bring oranges. (Please, no grapefruit or bananas.) Bring your fruit to the church office prior to 6 pm Wednesday, December 6 as the fruit/candy bags will be prepared that evening.

Clothes Closet Workers – We will accept donations of good used clothing and toys. Several people will be needed to organize the closet on December 7 & 8. On the day of C&B, parents will pick out clothes and toys for their families while their children are shopping. You may begin leaving your items on Sunday, December 3 in the downstairs entrance. For more information,  call Billie Cragg (256-586-0048).

Attention:  PLEASE, if possible, bring your donations on hangers or in categorized boxes/bags. Example: Men’s clothing in one box, baby items in another, etc. This will save HOURS of sorting.

Remember:  If it is dirty or worn out, it cannot be given so please do not donate it. Please do not bring summer items.

Helpers will also be needed for the Clothes Closet on December 9 (day of C&B party).

Shoppers – We need people to shop with the children and spend time showing them the love of Christ. We will help the children select toys and clothes, guiding them to stay within their budget. You will shop, eat breakfast and attend the program with your assigned child. This may be their first experience to see God’s grace and love in action.  Our need is 100 shoppers for 100 children.    All shoppers need to report no later than 6:30am the morning of the party.

Cook – We need folks to help with the breakfast meal. Call Joanie Reynolds (256-640-7213).

Other – There are many tasks. Offer to help in any capacity you are able!!

      Please have all donations at the church by 6 pm on Wednesday, December 6.

For information or to volunteer, call: Joy Privett (256-586-8641), Dawn Liebner (256-293-8079), or the church office (256-586-5792).


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