Connecting Points – December 3, 2017

Cookies for Christ – As part of our ServeFest outreach ministries, we are delivering “Cookies for Christ” TODAY.  We 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 since Easter. 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 today.

Please donate to our new Chrismon tree!  We have a new commercial quality tree. It is a 14 foot fir that is pre-lit and easy to put together, with a five year warranty on the lights.  We were able to find one for less than wholesale. If you’d like to donate, mark your check for “Chrismon tree.”

Does Your Family have an Ornament on the Church Christmas Tree? In addition to our new Chrismon tree inside the sanctuary, with traditional symbols of Christ as ornaments, it’s also an Arab First UMC tradition to have a family Christmas tree in the gathering area! Families active in the church are invited to add an ornament with your family’s name on it, if you have not done so in the past.

Menu for Wednesday Night – The dinner menu for Wednesday, December 6th is baked chicken, dinosaur nuggets for kids, twice baked potatoes, fried okra, creamed corn and macaroni, salad, rolls, and desserts.

Fruit and Candy for Christmas and Beyond – Help us 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.

Christmas Parade – The Arab Christmas Parade will be on Thursday, December 7.  We need children/youth/adults who are willing to sing Christmas carols on the float to be there at 5:30 p.m.  If you are interested in helping construct the float, please contact Amye Turner or Seth Guthrie.

JAAM News – We invite our church family to join our children for the JAAM Christmas Program (The MK Christmas Special).  It is SUNDAY EVENING, December 10 at 5:00 in the sanctuary.  There is a potluck dinner following the program.  FOR PARENTS:  Kids are the “audience” so there is no special dress for this program.  Please have children gather in the music room at 4:30. Those children with speaking and solo parts meet at 4:00.  POTLUCK– (Meat, tea and water will be provided).  Parents of K’s please bring Capri Suns for kids drinks.  Parents of 1st-2nd  grade please bring a dessert, and parents of 3rd-5th please bring a side dish.
JAAM bells, color bells and choir also share in worship at 9:30 and 1:55 a.m. on December 10.

First 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!

Children’s Department Fund Raiser – We will be selling long sleeve AFUMC shirts during the month of December.  Adult shirts (S-XL) will be $20 and kid sizes will be $15.  Extended adult sizes will be available for an additional fee. The funds raised will help purchase a laminator for the church.  Thank you in advance for your
support!  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Heather Tallent.

Pre-K Sunday School Volunteer Needed – We currently need someone to teach the Pre-K Sunday School class on the 4th Sunday of the month, beginning January 28.  Please consider volunteering!  Let Heather Tallent know if you are interested.  You must be Safe Sanctuary trained.

Young-In-Heart – For our annual Christmas meeting, Young-In-Heart, the Senior Adult Ministry of AFUMC, will gather on Thursday, December 21, at 11:00AM in the fellowship hall for our Christmas dinner. Come and enjoy a day of Christian fellowship, fun and food.  Tune up your voices for an old fashioned Christmas caroling session led by our own Wayne Kendrick and Pastor Steve. For a secret gift exchange please bring a small (under $5) wrapped gift. Our Christmas dinner will be prepared by Chef Terry Z. Members and guests please bring $5 each for this meal.

Church Office Holiday Closing Dates – The Church Office will be closed December 22nd, 25th, and 26th for the Christmas Holiday and will also be closed January 1st in observance of New Year’s Day.

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 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.

ServeFest on Christmas Eve – We will be delivering donuts on Christmas Eve Day to businesses that stay open for our community. It is our way of saying “Thank You” for the service they provide. If you are interested, please contact the church office or Terry Zakrzewski at 256-486-5183.

Help TESA this holiday season! – Located in the narthex on a card table is a Christmas display with envelopes and a TESA sign.  Adopt an envelope (or two or three or…).  Put the donation amount indicated on it in the envelope.  Return the envelope directly to TESA or to the church office.  Bless you as you bless others!

New Sound Board! We are accepting monetary donations for our new sound board! It was installed in the sanctuary after Thanksgiving, along with new choir monitors, to enhance our worship experiences. Please be patient as our gifted sound crew works the “bugs” out! Improved technology will help immensely, including digital technology which keeps our “normal” settings in memory for an optimal experience each week, even if settings got changed for special activities. This is something we have been working for and we appreciate your generous donations!

Confirmation Class of 2018 – Calling all FIFTH GRADERS (and older youth who haven’t been through confirmation)! Our first meeting will be Sunday, January 7, @ 4:30 in the fellowship hall.  Parents and confirmands will need to attend this meeting.  We will have a pizza social as part of the meeting.  Each family is asked to bring $5 to help cover the cost.  Please sign up for the Confirmation Remind group to receive important messages (text @4ea78 to 81010).

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 three threat awareness trainings (one church-wide, one for staff, and one for ushers). 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 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

4) 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.


Christmas Eve Simplified Schedule 

Christmas Eve falls on a Sunday this year!

10:00 am – Joint Christmas Morning Service

Pastor Steve preaches, one service and no Sunday School

4:00 and 7:00 pm – Candlelight and Communion Services 

Pastor Nicky preaches, Pastor Steve leads us in candlelight and communion

Original Chrismon Tree Document – If you would like a copy of the original Chrismon Tree document that was originated back when our Church was located on 1st Ave NW, please pick up a copy in the gathering area. This is a great document to have to celebrate the history of our Church.

   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, Susan Linn, Hank Linsky, Sandy Martin, Glenn McNeal, Joseph Morris, Aaron Oberle, Allen Tant, and Anna Beth Whitehorn

 Health and Healing

Freeman Allen, 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, Lisa King, Patricia McDowell, Cherie McNeal, Robert Millard (Joyce DeWeerth’s brother), Bert Morris, Chet Rowley, Alice Schmidt, T.L. Simmons, Carol & Frank Smith, Eleanor Annette Smith, Bruce Taylor, Dian Taylor, Avery Tincher, Cynthia (Sunny) Waters, and Gary Yessick


Dec 6th        Leslie & Laurie Wright



Dec 3rd        Leslie Black, Roy Corn, and Nina Hodges

Dec 4th        John Clark and Joanne Stisher

Dec 5th        Maxine Ellenburg

Dec 6th        Chris Mann, Dustin Reed, Tarah Sloan Page, Colin Talbot, and Sammy Waldrop

Dec 7th        Max Carter, Sheila Holley, Traci Stewart, and Amye Turner

Dec 8th         Elizabeth Aron, Mark Brazelton, and Jessica Quillin

Dec 9th        Stephen Hogan and Alan Miller

                    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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