Wednesday, December 1, 2010


What do you expect?
Advent is the season of expectation; the time where we prepare once again for the coming of the Prince of Peace. How we prepare depends to a great extent upon what we are anticipating. We often subconsciously set ourselves up, with self-fulfilling prophecies that predetermine final outcomes.
As you begin this 2010 Advent Season, I encourage you to spend some quality time evaluating what you expect, need, and want Christmas to be for you and your loved ones.
If Christmas has become a time that drains, stresses, and depresses you then you're more than likely trapped by the secular commercialism of our secular society. It's time to stop the merry-go-round and prepare for a spiritual experience.
This need not be a radical change of lifestyle. There are a variety of ways to make Christmas a more meaningful experience. Here is a partial list of suggestions. If these don't meet your needs contact me and I will share more alternatives.
1. Remember whose birth we are celebrating.
2. Be a part of the Advent and Christmas activities of the Church.
3. Pick up a copy of the Advent devotional we have at church from the Society of St. Andrew.
4. Earmark at least 25% of your Christmas giving budget to the less fortunate. In place of a gift make a donation to a charitable organization in the name of a person.
5. Buy your cards and gifts from UNICEF, Heifer International, etc. or any charitable organization that is supporting third world development .
6. Set aside time each day to read Scripture, pray, be still and prepare for the coming of the Prince of Peace.
7. Be active in the Means of Grace [God’s way of streaming love] particularly works of Mercy; ring the Salvation Army Bells, volunteer your time and energy in ministries that aid the hungry, the stranger, the sick, the shut-ins and the imprisoned.
8. Strive to be a peacemaker in your family, personal relationships, church and broader communities.
9. Add your own:__________________________
Praying that this may be your most Blessed Christmas ever.

"He who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life" John 4:36

Together In Christ,
Pastor Lane

Volunteers are
needed as ushers
for the 8:30
service. If you are
willing to serve as either
a regular usher or
as a substitute usher, please contact
Jack Crook at 641-828-8750.

In addition, ushers are needed for the
Christmas Eve Services at 7:00 p.m. and
11:00 p.m. If you are available, please
contact the church office.

Marion County gets to keep 90% of the funds raised by the Marion County Salvation Army Bell Ringers to assist those in need. Last year over $29,000 was raised but those funds are now completely depleted. The need is now greater than ever. The bell ringers began ringing during the Living Windows in Knoxville on Thursday, November 18th and will continue throughout the Christmas season. You can help again this year in two ways: 1) If you would like to help those in need in Marion County please go to and select the Bell Ringers Marion County link. This will show the times and places available for bell ringing. To share your gift of time for those in need this Christmas Season, please contact Merna Furney at 641-842-3072 or 641-218-8026. She keeps the master list and will gladly add your name to the list. 2) Give generously. Every penny adds up.
The Christmas Giving Tree is now decorated with name tags in the Narthex. Please help our church give some Christmas joy for less fortunate families. Your generosity in the past has been greatly appreciated. Gifts need to be returned to the church office by December 15 with the tags
attached. Contact Beverly Sterling if you have questions at 842-5286.

The Community Christmas Potluck Dinner will take place on December 25th at noon. This year we are asking for cook helpers, servers, and cleanup. Food supplies are needed to feed 100+ guests. Cash donations would be greatly appreciated.

Heifer International has presented Knoxville First United Methodist Church with a certificate of appreciation for participating in the Animal Crackers program. Because of your contribution, families struggling with hunger and poverty will receive the gift of healthy animals.

PROGRAM The annual MSPS Christmas Program will held on Thursday, December 16th at 9:00 a.m. A short reception will follow the program at 10:00 a.m. in West Fellowship Hall.

Come sing with the MSPS students on Sunday, December 19th at either the 8:30 a.m. or 10:45 a.m. church service. Students will be in attendance on this morning and will sing a couple of their Christmas songs.

Poinsettia weekend will be December 4-5.
In addition, we have extra poinsettias
available for purchase for $8.50. Contact
the church office if you are interested.

A meeting for all church members interested in outreach ministries through F.U.N. (Fellowship Uniting Neighbors) will be meeting following the second church service on Sunday Dec. 5th at 11:45 in West Fellowship Hall. Lunch will be provided. We will be reviewing past activities and planning outreach church activities for 2011. This meeting is to gather new ideas with no commitments. If you have any new ideas or projects to reach out to our neighbors , jot them down and bring them to the meeting and invite possible new members.
Wednesday, December 8th at 6:30 pm will be the dress rehearsal for the Children and Youth Christmas Program. If you are planning on being in the program please try to be in attendance as we will run through the program. Rehearsal should be complete by
7:30 p.m.

December 12th at 5:00 p.m. will be the
Children and Youth Christmas Program.
The program will be in the sanctuary
starting at 5:00 p.m. A pot-luck dinner
will follow at 6:00 p.m. in West Fellowship Hall.
Please make plans to attend this event
and support the children and youth of
our church.

Very special candlelight
services will be held on
Friday, December 24th
at 7:00 p.m. and 11:00

Thank you to Ruth Dykstra for the
beautiful dried flower arrangements on
the altar several weeks in November.

Altar flowers for the weekend of
Sunday, November 21 were given by
Lana Rankin and sisters in memory of their
parents, Louise and LaVerne Rankin.
Condolences to the Norm and Donna Norton family for the loss of Norm’s sister.

Congratulations to Dan and Natalie (McCombs) Bisaillon on the birth of their son, Easton Daniel Bisaillon, born on September 1. Grandparents are Tim and Diane McCombs and Ken and Becky Bisaillon.

Congratulations to Tara McCombs and Jared Marshall on the birth of their son, Carter James Marshall, who was born on November 7. Grandparents are Tim and Diane McCombs and Jamie and Renea Marshall.

Don and Maxine Harrison are great grandparents! Grandson, Levi, and wife, Megan Ferguson, are the parents of identical twin girls, Addison and Evelyn.

To my church friends: I appreciated all of your concerns and well wishes during my hospital stays and since returning home. Thank you. God Bless. Happy Holidays. Frances Caswell

The Harvest Dinner was a great success, serving over 225 people and raising $700 for MSPS. The funds will provide several scholarships and needed supplies for the children.

Under the guidance of Loretta Kono, First United Methodist Church had 539 kits for this year’s Thanksgiving Ingathering. The cash value of our Thanksgiving Ingathering for this year is $8799 plus toothpaste costs and shipping costs of $1381.

The kids were able to make their goal and a pump was able to be purchased. Thank you to all of those who contributed. Also, great job kids. A total of $521.14 was collected.

Our church Confirmands were able to raise
$610 out of the approximately $3000
total raised for this fall’s crop walk to battle
hunger. Of the total collected, 25% of
the funds go to Helping Hands with the
remainder going to Church World

New Carillon System
If you were in church Sunday or have been around the square during Living Windows or just down town recently you might have noticed some music playing at Noon and 5:00 p.m. each day. The bells are also tolling on the hour and half hour from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. each day. The First United Methodist Church will be providing the music and bell tolling for the enjoyment of the church family and the community. In the past the church bell tower played hourly. J.L. Collins purchased the first tape system way back when, but it has been broken for a long time. Thanks to the generosity of our congregation donating to the new sound system and Memorial funds left over, the church was able to purchase a new carillon system. Christmas music will begin playing on December 15th. If the community is interested, we have the option of providing more music at different times of the day during the Christmas season. We will also have the option of playing the bells inside the church once installation is complete.

CareNote Ministry
People in pain need “the right words at the right time”. CareNotes help provide these words through simple, uplifting language that is grounded in faith. A CareNote is a lot of empathy and understanding bundled into an 8-page booklet. CareNotes address specific urgent aspects of grief and loss, health care, personal healing and growth, spiritual care, family care, recovery and/or elder care. Full of help, hope, and compassion, each CareNote speaks with a gentle spirituality and includes inspiring quotes and sources of additional help. Several titles are available and they may be picked up in the main entryways of the church. This ministry is made possible by a generous gift from one of our church members.

Advent devotionals from the Society of St. Andrew are available in the church office entry way or outside the office on the window ledge.

There will be NO chapel service on Saturday, December 25.

There will be NO New Year’s Day church services.

The church office will be CLOSED on December 27 and December 31.

inclement weather
If school has been cancelled, evening meetings will be cancelled. KNIA will be the primary source for weather related cancellations. Worshipers please use your discretion. If you are worried, that may be an indication you may need to stay home.

There are still a number of poinsettias available for purchase at a cost of $8.50 per plant. Please contact the office if you are interested in making a purchase.
Poinsettias this year come by way of Jacob Petersen who is a member of our church as well as a member of the Iowa State Horticulture organization. selling of the poinsettias is a fundraiser for this horticulture group.

If you are interested in buying a copy of the Wesley Study Bible, we do have one available at the church for purchase as well as throughout the year they are available for purchase at Cokesbury for $20.00.

December 4-5
Isa. 11:1-10 Ps. 72:1-7 18-19 Rom. 15:4-13 Matt. 3:1-12

December 11-12
Isa. 35:1-10 Luke 1:47-55 Jas.5:7-10 Matt.11:2-11

December 18-19
Isa. 7:10-16 Ps. 80:1-7, 17-19 Rom. 1:1-7 Matt. 1:18-25

December 25-26
Isa. 63:7-9 Ps. 148 Heb. 2:10-18 Matt.2:13-23

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