Wednesday, November 28, 2012


After reading The Journey: Walking the Road to Bethlehem, you will feel much differently about the Christmas story; much differently about Christmas itself.In just 130 pages, Pastor Adam Hamilton skillfully reintroduces you to Mary and Joseph.  With each turn of the page, you begin to think of this young couple in ways you may not have before. You soon find yourself in the Holy Land, retracing the steps of the Holy Family on their journey—a journey they never wanted to take.  You begin to feel what they must have felt; the frustration, the pain, and the unanswered questions as God worked to redeem the world. Toward the end of their journey, Hamilton paints a beautiful picture of the weary travelers reaching Jerusalem just a few short hours from Bethlehem.

Hamilton writes: “imagine how they must have felt as they saw the Holy City spread out before them.  It was a city set upon a hill—actually multiple hills—but the eye was naturally drawn to one hill, Mount Moriah, where the Temple rose high above everything else. Every time I come to Jerusalem, I find my heart beats faster. I am mysteriously drawn to this place. It represents God’s earthly dwelling place—a symbol of God’s presence—and the place where so much that is important to my faith took place.”

Mary and Joseph likely felt the same way. The story culminates with Mary in labor—where you see hope born in the midst of disappointment. Hamilton writes: We want to whisper to Mary, “Don’t cry. God is here even among the animals, and people will draw hope from your story until the end of time.”

Adam Hamilton’s writing is accessible, his storytelling is descriptive, and you cannot help but be drawn in. He wants you to really know Mary—who she was, where she has been, and the relevance she has for us today.

In joining this Journey you might expect to learn something new, a fresh retelling of a 2,000-year-old story. You may expect to have some holes filled in that Scripture left out. What you will joyfully discover by reading this book, is how your own journey with Christ is shaped by this story of God’s love.



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 $44,000 was raised but those funds are now completely depleted.  The need is now greater than ever.  The bell ringers began ringing during Living Windows in Knoxville November 15th 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.

To help keep the right spiritual focus during the holiday season we are once again challenging all to refocus our giving/spending this season by calculating what we are spending on ourselves and family and to give the same amount to Jesus. How might we give to Jesus? By giving to a charity or organization that is loving and caring for others the way Jesus invites us to do. Now there are many wonderful charities, the important thing is to support them, as we do this we are spreading the love of Jesus. If you feel you can't equal a gift to Jesus in the amount what you spend yourself and family, at least give a tithe (10%) gift to Jesus or 15, 20, 25%..., whatever you believe is appropriate.

Again this year you can also give a special gift through the Church by simply marking your gift:  We will be dividing the offering in 3 ways this year: 1) In support of special ministries in our church, 1/3 will be divided between the Basketball Academy and MSPS for scholarships. 2) 1/3 will be giving to a local mission agency Neighbor Helping Neighbor. 3) 1/3 will go to a world mission project, the Malawi provisional conference, to help develop their conference farm that helps train people to improve agricultural techniques.  Let's Give Jesus the gift he so freely gave to us, love for others.

We want to let those in our church and community know that God cares for them this Christmas Season. Our goal with your financial support is to spread the true meaning of Christmas through feeding his sheep by providing Christmas Dinner baskets to large families in need.  If you would like to donate to this cause please indicate “Christmas Basket” in the memo of your check or on your love envelope. 

The Community Christmas Dinner will take place on December 25 at noon in WFH.  We are asking for cooks helpers, servers, and cleanup.  Food supplies are needed to feed 100+ guests.  Cash donations would be greatly appreciated.  If you would like to volunteer, please contact Cora and Sam Rathmel.  If you would like to make a donation, mark a love envelope or your check memo “Community Christmas Dinner”.  

You are invited to exhibit your Nativity set at church in the West Fellowship Hall.  You may set up your Nativity set on Saturday, December 15 from 1:00-3:00 p.m.  Please prepare an information sheet including your name, date acquired, interesting notes, etc.  The Nativity scenes will be displayed during the Sunday School Christmas program.   You may pick up your display following the reception on Sunday, December 16th or on Monday morning December 17th.  Please contact Merna Furney with any questions at 641-842-3072. 

Join our church family members Saturday, December 1st at 9:00 a.m. for the fellowship as we help decorate the sanctuary and church for the Christmas season. 

Luke 10:2  He told them,The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”  Are you interested in becoming more involved in church activities and the opportunities to serve Christ in the community?  If so we would like to invite you to Godfathers for lunch following the second church services on Sunday, December 2.  The FUMCs Fellowship Uniting Neighbor (F.U.N.) outreach program will be making plans for new outreach activities for the community for 2013.  

Join MSPS on Thursday, December 20 at 9:00 a.m. for our Christmas Concert and Program.  The kids are anxiously awaiting their big day to perform all their songs.

The Children’s Christmas Program will be Sunday, December 16 at 5:00 p.m.  The Youth Group has taken the lead on producing the play and also providing the music for the evening.  Come join the children and youth as they provide a great night of hearing what Christmas is truly about!!  A short reception of cookies and punch will follow in West Fellowship Hall.

***Rehearsals for the play will be held on Sunday, December 9 at 4:00 p.m. and again on Saturday, December 15 at 4:00 p.m. in the church sanctuary.  If your child would like to participate in the program please attend at least one of the rehearsals.***

This year we are using devotional booklets provided by the Society of St. Andrews entitled “Joy to the World!” for our Advent devotions for the advent season Dec. 2 – Dec. 25.  This program is designed to draw participants closer to God’s loving gift to the world – Jesus.  This unique devotion booklet, based on Luke 1:44. “For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy” can be used as a personal devotion booklet or as a catalyst for bringing about conversations within your Sunday school classes, small groups, or family on what makes each one of us leap for joy as we prepare to welcome the Christ Child into the world this Christmas.  As we welcome Immanuel into our lives this Holy Advent Season, discover through the words of many writers how they share the joy of Christ during the Christmas season and throughout the year. Through the scripture readings, daily devotions, and prayers, the Advent devotions program will nourish your spirit while also providing an opportunity to feed our hungry neighbors.  Booklets are available at the church office window ledge.

ADVENT silhouette
We will follow the book “The Journey” through sermons this Advent Season.  Each week you will receive in the Bulletin a different silhouette that is highlighted in the sermon.  As you set down with your family to color the figures, discuss with them the importance of each and how they fit into the Christmas story.  Be sure to attend services every weekend in December and on Christmas Eve to receive all the characters to complete your Nativity scene!

The Youth Group will be meeting the following days in December and January:

Ø  December 2 - 4 to 6 pm
Ø  December 9 - 4 to 6 pm  (Rehearsal and short meeting after)
Ø  December 16 – 4 pm to ?? pm - Christmas Program with short reception to follow – Youth will meet at Godfathers after program clean up is completed 
Ø  December 23 – No Youth – Merry Christmas!
Ø  December 30 – No Youth – Happy New Year!
Ø  January 6 – 4 to 6 pm
Ø  January 13 – 4 to 6 pm
Ø  January 20 – 4 to 6 pm

Saturday, January 26 – Make plans now to join the Youth as we attend Winter Jam at Wells Fargo Arena.  Artists this year include Toby Mac, Red, Jamie Grace, Newsong, and others.  More details to come or ask someone in Youth for details!

The family of Hubert Hollingshead would like to invite you to his 90th birthday party on Sunday, December 9, from 2-4 p.m. in WFH.  Please no gifts.  If you are unable to attend but wish to send him a card, his address is:  1828 185th Place, Tracy, IA  50256.

Condolences to Folmer and Norma Petersen and family on the passing of their sister-in-law.  

Condolences to Leona Steele, Diane McCombs and Melody Walters and family on the passing of their brother/uncle. 

Condolences to the family of Palmer Krichau on his passing. 

Thank you for the privilege of having been your custodian and for all of the cards and best wishes.  I truly feel blessed to be a part of FUMC.  Folmer

We would like to thank the congregation for their generosity.   FUMC was able to pass out 60 Thanksgiving baskets providing a Thanksgiving dinner and more for 231 family members. Thanks to everyone and those assisting with the distribution.

The Harvest Dinner would not have been possible without the support of each and every one of you. Thanks be to God.   Because of all your generosity we were able to feed between 225 to 250 people for $347 - what a deal!   FUN will be sharing over half of the proceeds by providing MSPS with $750.  God said “Just ask and you will receive”  we did – Thanks to everyone for your support of the Harvest Dinner. There were several in need who received a good meal. 

Thanks to everyone that has donated paper towel and toilet paper tubes!  We have filled our supply box for now.  Thanks again!!  

Congratulations to Jipe and Evelyn Pearson who will be celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary on December 6th!

The church office will be closed Monday, December 24 and Tuesday, December 25 for the Christmas holiday.  In addition, the church office will be closed Monday, December 31 and Tuesday, January 1 for the New Year holiday. 

For those of you who winter in a different location other than your usual residence, please contact the church office at 641-842-3712 or  and let us know your winter address so we can continue to send you the monthly “Link”.

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.  

Service response forms are still available on the church window ledge.  If you have not completed one, please do so and drop it off at the church office. 


ü   Children’s Christmas Program December 16 at 5:00 p.m. with refreshments immediately following.
ü   MSPS Christmas Program December 20 at 9:00 a.m.
ü   Christmas Eve Candlelight Services December 24 at 7:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m.
ü   Community Christmas Dinner  December 25 at Noon in WFH

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