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PASTOR'S CORNER

Remember Your Baptism!
Friends,
This Sunday is Baptism of the Lord Sunday on the Christian calendar. It's a time when we give thanks for Jesus, who modeled what it means to follow God from his birth to his baptism; from his death to his resurrection and new life. In both services, we will be remembering our own baptisms and giving thanks for the God who names us and claims us as one of God's own through the waters of new birth. In Methodism, baptism is something we only do once, but it's also something we remember over and over and over again, because in baptism we become part of God's family. What a great way to begin this new year! For more information on the Sacrament of Baptism follow this link.

If you have never been baptized, or you have child who hasn't been baptized, I want to invite you to consider doing it! Talk to Pastor Lindsey or myself about what this sacred event means and how you or your family might experience God's grace through the sacrament.

This Sunday we will also be celebrating Confirmation! We had 6 students complete confirmation during the fall of 2021. This Sunday at 11am we will commemorate this new step in their discipleship as they remember their own baptism and become full members of Elm Springs UMC. I'm so proud of these students, and I know you are excited to celebrate with them as well.

If you want to read ahead for Sunday, our sermon comes from Matthew 3:1-3, 11-17. Join us at 9 or 11am for a powerful time of worship. 


Grace and Peace, 
Pastor Jennie

_______________________________________________________________
Covid-19 Update: 
With the drastic rise in COVID cases in Arkansas and around the country, the ESUMC leadership board has reevaluated our current COVID protocols based on conference guidance and CDC recommendations. (The Bishop and Conference leadership provide guidance for the local church via the COVID Dashboard.) For the next two weeks (through January 16th), we ask that all members and guests school aged and older wear masks and practice social distancing. This will allow us to continue gathering in person safely, and allow our at risk members to continue worshiping with us as well. This also helps prevent our staff and volunteers from potential exposure so that we can continue doing the many ministries Christ has called us to.  After 2 weeks, we will reassess the need. Please continue praying for an end to this pandemic and for the families and individuals still suffering from the effects of the virus. If you or a loved one needs prayer or assistance, please email office@elmsprings.church.
FROM THE COMMUNITY
Check out some of our favorite pics from Advent/Christmas 2021!
Sweatshirt Reorder!
Did you miss ordering a sweatshirt last time? These sweatshirts run true to size and are super soft and cozy on the inside. Order now for only $20. The last day to order is January 16th!
Cost: $20
Sizes S - 4XL


To place an order, email pastor@elmsprings.church
WAYS TO SERVE:
The United Methodist Women are helping us bless our community. For the rest of the Sundays in January we will be collecting new underwear for our unhoused neighbors. If you want to help, bring new men's underwear (size L & XL) and women's underwear (size 6, 7, & 9) and place them in the cart by the Welcome Center labeled "undies Sundays." All items collected will be donated to the 7 Hills Homeless Shelter. 
Thanks for your support!
LOOKING FOR A WAY TO SERVE?
We need drivers to pick up Soul Food donations from local grocery stores on Mondays or Friday mornings. If you able to help meet this need, please contact Denise Crutchfield at kids@elmsprings.church or 479.248.1290.
Thank you for supporting our Neighbors Helping Neighbors Ministries!
WAYS TO CONNECT:
The Chosen Season 2 Study starts January 19th!
What is The Chosen?
The Chosen is a tv series based on the life of Jesus as presented in the Gospels. It aims to portray Jesus through the eyes of those who met him. 

How do I watch it?
Watch the chosen on your computer here for free or download The Chosen app on your phone or tablet to watch for free. If you need help accessing the show, call 479.248.1290.


What materials do I need?
The only thing you need to participate is internet access and a device. To prepare for week 1, watch all of season 1, and the first episode of season 2.

What if I need childcare?
This study is appropriate for anyone over the age of 13, however, if you need childcare, please email kids@elmsprings.church and we will make sure it will be provided.


See you in the chapel on 1/19 at 6pm!
MEMBERSHIP NEWS

There are so many people who give their time and energy to serve God and make the ministries of Elm Springs UMC happen. Today, we want to highlight one of our faithful volunteers, Lea Brown.

What brought you to ESUMC? 

"When first moved here were going to Central in Fayetteville. But I came from a very small church and couldn’t get comfortable in a bigger church. The first time we came, 6 years ago, it was for the 9am service and we really liked the contemporary music. We tried the 11am service, and when we walked in the door, it just felt like home. Everyone who greeted us was very friendly. 
I loved that they had so many things that I could do. I started singing in the choir. I am a natural-born volunteer and I must stay busy.  I love working with Soul Food and with Denise and the kids. I love the Children’s service and doing children’s moments. The church has kept me busy the entire time, and I love it."
 
Share some of the projects that you have been involved in and what you feel you have accomplished.  
“I have participated in choir, children’s moments, children’s church, Soul Food, Blessings Thrift Shop, UMW, and have been a Lay Servant for 3 years now. A Lay Servant is certified to preach and serve in my local church. I have also been a facilitator for adult Sunday School classes, worked on VBS, Christmas pageants, and helped with potlucks. I have also sung in the community choir for Thanksgiving.”  She was also a pastor's wife for 20 years while Jim served as a licensed local pastor.
 
What makes your volunteer experience here meaningful?
"It always makes me feel good to do something for someone else. Most of what I do here is to give help or pleasure to others. "
 
If you could have one superpower what would it be? 
"I would like to be able to love everybody as God loves me. I hope that I always do the right thing for the right reasons."
 
If you could tell a stranger one thing about ESUMC what would it be?
"I would tell them that it’s a family here and that is what brought us here and what kept us here. ESUMC makes us feel so welcome. I love our Pastor."

Lea's mantra is: What the World needs now is LOVE!
 
When you see Lea Brown please thank her for her years of service with us, she is certainly a Christian blessing to all of us: when spend any amount of time with her, you come away feeling like a better person.
Thank You, Lea…you are Special!
Make sure you wish these people a very happy birthday! We are glad you were born!

1/4    Kelly Page
1/9    Kay Bower
1/12  Reeves Aunspaugh
1/13  Jennifer Aunspaugh
1/17  Max Page
1/18  Brandon Williams
1/19  Essa Downum
1/21  Cleo Franco
1/22  Gary Marsh
1/23  Debbie Chandler, Rachel Downum, & Ted Kilpatrick
1/26  Andy Downum
1/28  Jaxon Crutchfield
1/30  Ronald Mynatt
1/31  Caitlin Burrows


Don't see your birthday listed? We don't want to miss a chance to celebrate you! Email office@elmsprings.church so we can update our records.
Please continue to pray for...

Chelsie Main                    Stryker Wardlow
Paul Watkins                   Pastor Jennie
Earl Chandler                  Laylah Keck
Diana Nelson                  Jimmy Bersi
Lisa Bacila                        Rex Haymaker
Paul & Ron Millette       Hunter Stoll
Ted Kilpatrick                  Diane Nelson
Gary Marsh                      Karyn Lowe
Diane Buell                      Flora and Johnny Headrick
Linda Harvey                  Sue Little


Those in our church and our surrounding community: 
Our country and all those who are hungry. Areas impacted by tornados. The Salvation Army and all those who provide food, clothing, and shelter to God’s children. Prayers for Ecclesia College students for final exams, and any who are suffer from depression, anxiety, or mental illness.

And around the world:
Please pray for safe traveling mercies.

 
Our Christian Sympathy extends to:
The families Chris Vaught and Darrell Marsh, and Maverin Downum and family for the loss of their mother and grandmother.

 
Let Us Pray:
Healing God, we thank you for your everlasting love. As we lift up each joy and concern, we especially remember these names listed here. Comfort them, heal them, and sustain them. We pray that you would help us to be kind to one another, showing each other mercy, forgiveness and understanding. Help us to share the love you've so generously shared with us. As a faith family may we treat each other with compassion. In Christ's name. Amen.
Share your joys and concerns!
WAYS TO GIVE:
Online: Click here to give online, secured by Vanco. 
Mail: Elm Springs UMC, P.O. Box 8, Elm Springs, AR 72728.
In Person: On Sundays during worship or at your convenience in our lockbox at the main ESUMC entrance.
Automated Clearing House (ACH): Automatic payments from your bank account. To get complete information, please call the church at 479-248-1290 with routing and account numbers. There are no fees incurred by the donor or the church with ACH.

GENEROSITY BY THE NUMBERS (December):
General Ministry Fund: $25,468.98
Designated Funds: $5,745.42 (Including funds given toward ATAP*) 

*The All Things Are Possible (ATAP) Capital Campaign began in June 2019 to pay down our mortgage note, which was around $1.3m. Since then, through your generous contributions, we have reduced our mortgage to $666,948!

MINISTRY PLANNING FOR 2022
2022 Ministry Funding Plan (Operating Budget): $347,203
Commitments Made for 2022 so far: $161,780
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