Connecting Points – February 11, 2018

Ash Wednesday Service, February 14th at 6:00 p.m. – This year’s Ash Wednesday Service will be different than the usual! In addition to receiving the sign of the ashes, the service will include time for interactive, kid and family friendly stations for Lenten activities using clay, candles, etc. Plan to come and experience the beginning of the season of Lent in a whole new way!


The Foolishness of Love
The Craziness of Grace
Lent at Arab First UMC

This year, due to a once-in-a-lifetime unusual coincidence on the calendar, The season of Lent is “framed by the festive”. Ash Wednesday lands on February 14, which is Valentine’s Day. Easter lands on April 1, which is April Fool’s Day.

While at first this might seem like a convergence of completely unrelated secular and sacred days, could it be that our Lenten season might take on a new twist? Is Lent not ultimately about the foolishness of love and the craziness of grace? Come to worship during the season to experience a whole new way of “doing” Lent.

Lenten Lunches – The Arab Ministerial Association will once again be sponsoring Lenten lunches. This is an opportunity for people of all of our community churches, plus anyone else who would like to come, to gather each week of the Lenten season. Each noonday service will begin at 12:00 noon at the host church and conclude in time to eat lunch together at 12:30 pm.

First UMC will be hosting the Lenten lunch on Wednesday, March 21, during spring break from school. Here is the complete schedule:


Feb 14 – Community Church / Dr. Tom George, preaching

Feb 21 – Gilliam Springs Baptist / Scott Campbell, preaching

Feb 28 – First Baptist / Steve West, preaching

March 7 – Liberty / Keith Parker, preaching

March 14 – Arab Church of God / Junior Plunkett, preaching

March 21 – AFUMC / Robert Hartwell, preaching

March 28 – Pleasant Valley Baptist / Jamey Pruitt, preaching

Young in Heart Meeting– Come with us and enjoy this day of Christian fellowship, fun and food at 11:00 a.m. on February 15th.  Be prepared to be treated to some truly wonderful bluegrass and gospel music presented by the FBC Pickers. This group of talented musicians comes to us from First Baptist Church in Guntersville. Wear your toe tappin’ shoes!

Lunch will be our ever popular no charge pot luck “Blue Plate Special”.  Please bring your favorite southern side dish or dessert.  A signup sheet will be in the Narthex, please indicate the item(s) you will bring. Fish and chicken strips will be provided. Your 2018, $15 annual dues are now due and may be paid at the door. All seniors are invited to join our fellowship. Guests are always welcome.  See you there!

Church Office Closed – The Church Office will be closed on Monday, February 19 for President’s Day.

Menu for February

February 14 – Ash Wednesday/Valentine’s Day
Fettuccine alfredo, salad, cheesy bread, mushroom bread, cheese pizzas, and desserts

February 21 – Stuffed burritos, taco egg rolls, nachos, salad, pizza rolls, and desserts

February 28 – Spaghetti & meatballs, green beans, salad, garlic bread, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and birthday cake

Bishops’ Day of Prayer – The North Alabama Conference Bishops’ Day of Prayer will be on March 10th at Clearbranch United Methodist Church from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Bishop encourages clergy and leity of our Annual Conference to join Bishop Young Jin Cho and herself for this day of prayer centered on the theme, “Lord Teach us to Pray: Prayerful Living in a Broken World.” In addition, please invite others who love the ministry of prayer to accompany you in participating in this experience.

Seder Meal Table Settings NEEDED! The Seder Meal, a traditional Passover guided meal, will be on Thursday, March 29th. We need help with setting the tables! This entails you bringing nice (not paper products) table settings to serve six people (unless otherwise specified) and should include the following: Dinner plate, dessert plate, drinking glass, cloth napkin, silverware (2 forks, knife and spoon), serving utensils, 1 serving platter, 4 serving bowls, small bowl for water (handwashing), salt and pepper shakers, butter dish, and coffee cups (optional).  You may dress up your table with placemats, table runners or fabric squares, however, centerpieces will be provided for each table to encompass the traditions of the Seder Meal. To sign up or for additional information, contact Brooke Hemphill at or 256-640-3292.

Piano Volunteer for JAAM JAAM is looking for someone to come and play piano on Wednesday’s between 4 and 5 o’clock.  If you like kids, play piano and can help, please call Debby Heidt at 256-797-4648.

Children’s Department Fund Raiser We are selling long sleeve AFUMC shirts. Adult shirts (S-XL) for $20 and kid sizes for $15.  Extended adult sizes will be available for an additional fee. The funds raised will help purchase a laminator for the church. If you would like to purchase a shirt, you can pick one up in the Church Office.

Baby Bottle Boomerang – From Psalm 127:3 we read, “Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from Him.”  Through the Real Life Pregnancy Center here in Marshall County, you have the opportunity to support moms, their babies’ needs, and the medical clinic.  Simply pick up a baby bottle located in baskets by the church office entrance and in the narthex (hallway outside the sanctuary by the tower entrance) and fill the bottle with coins, cash, or checks made to Real Life Pregnancy Center.  Then return the filled bottles to the church office.  All donations of $25 or more can receive a tax receipt; place your name and address in the bottle with the donations.  For more information call 878-1300 or 486-2090.  (Last year’s campaign helped provide more than 3800 items distributed during 754 visits made by clients. Sharing the gospel and prayer are integral parts of client visits.)

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

Children’s Christmas Shoe Boxes for 2018 – This year we are collecting Christmas shoe boxes for UMCOR. The JAAM kids will stuff boxes. These shoe boxes go to the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Honduras and Panama and other countries where our United Methodist Missionaries are located.  There are specific items the boxes should contain so we will collect by month.  The cost of the boxes is $5.00 and half pays shipping and half goes to the missionary to assist those children with the greatness need.  The targeted ages are 2-12 years.  Because the UMCOR boxes strive for consistent and equal items for the child we will focus our collection of items by the month listed below.  (Wicker boxes will be by door entrances)

February – Hot Wheels Cars, Small Dolls, Marbles (no more than 5/baggie,) Small balls & hand pump, and McDonalds Toys.

Fellowship Hall Audio and Video in Working Order! We apologize for the sound and video issues we have had with the AV system in the fellowship hall over the last few months. However, the main unit has now been professionally replaced and is in full working order … no crackles, pops, or video glitches! The system is available for ministry use. There are TV monitors, microphones, and stands using the sound system and Apple TV, or directly HD plug-in from your laptop. Please be sure and familiarize yourself with the detailed instructions in advance before attempting to use the system. Instructions are laminated and found in the sound cabinet.



Feb 14th    Mark & Amanda Betterton, Jeremy & Dori Couch

Feb 15th    Billy & Kaye Stricklend III

Feb 11th   Ashley O’Neal and Putnam Hunter

Feb 12th   Mark Brodhage and Logan Tidmore

Feb 13th   Shanda Walls
Feb 14th   Robert Anderson, Emma Bond, Marcus Flack, Lauren Harding, Stacey Isom, and Sandy West
Feb 15th   Candace Garrison, Margie Martin, Lisa Whitlock, and Savannah Wright

Feb 16th   Patricia Saunders, Kelly Scarbrough, and Logan Suter

Feb 17th   Hannah Morris, Justin Pendergrass, Corley Williams, Denise Williams, and Tessa Zimomra


If you would like to add someone to the Health and Healing list or Cancer Care list please complete the prayer cards in the pews, call the Church Office (256-586-5792) or email the Church Office at

Cancer Care

Jennifer Brown


Health and Healing
George & Beth Burkes, JoAnn Cleveland, Ron Gonia, John Freeman, Stephanie Jennings, Fran Roberts, Allen Tant, Bruce Taylor, Peg Tremblay, and Bob Whitney



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