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PASTOR'S CORNER

Friends,
It's important to gather with your church family each week all year long (as a pastor I'm obligated to say that!), but there's something distinctly important about being in worship during the season of Advent. Advent* comes from a Latin word which means "visit" or "coming." It was added to the Christian calendar right before Christmas as a way to mark the longing of the Jews for the Messiah as well as our own longing for Jesus to come to us and offer us grace and healing. It's a time when we press pause on the chaotic Christmas culture around us and instead light candles, sing songs, and hear scripture that remind us what exactly it is we are so busy rushing towards: a king born to two non-royals, wrapped in leftover cloths, placed in an animal's feeding trough. The fact that Jesus came first as an infant and not as a conquering warrior is a beautiful image of how God takes our weakness and shows divine power.

Our Advent sermon series is called CHRISTmyths: What We Get Wrong About the First Noel. We're having some fun looking at some of our favorite Christmas songs and what they don't always get right about that first Christmas. Our scripture this week is Matthew 11:25-30 and our Christmas song is It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year. Join us this Sunday at 9a or 11a to hear more! We will also be taking Communion each week in Advent. Let's use our time at the Lord's Table to remember that we are called to invite people to find their place at Christ's table as well.

There will be plenty of opportunities to experience Christ this Advent, so invite a friend or neighbor to join us as we celebrate God's incredible gift:
Christ has come to us and will come again to finish the work he began so long ago.
O Come, O Come Emmanuel!

 
Grace and Peace, 
Pastor Jennie
*Want to know more about the origins of Advent? Click here.
COMMUNITY EVENTS
Honor a loved one and help make our Worship Center beautiful with a poinsettia plant this Christmas!
Click the picture to reserve your poinsettia plant now.


Plants may be taken home after the Christmas Eve Candlelight Service.
Pre-order your famous Belvedresi chili now by clicking on the picture above! Only $6/quart if you order by Dec 8.
Join us at 9am for a beautiful anthology of Contemporary Christmas Music with scripture or at 11am for a traditional Lessons & Carols, featuring the Elm Springs Choir, Youth, and Kids. You won't want to miss either experience!

COMBINED WORSHIP ON DEC 26 AT 10AM

Wear your favorite Christmas Sweater and come sing some favorite Christmas hymns during this very special joint worship service!
WAYS TO SERVE:

Holiday Food Box Packing Party


Tuesday, December 14 @ 6:30 PM
Join us as we pack Holiday food boxes so local students and their families can have a festive meal on us. After all the boxes are packed, we will load and deliver them to the schools.
WAYS TO CONNECT:
MEMBERSHIP NEWS
We haven been blessed with 7 new members during the month of November here at Elm Springs:  
Joycee Davis, David & Lea Cook, Alan & Kay Love, Naomi Smith and Belva Plumlee
When you see them, please welcome them to our church family!

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, John Belvedrisi. Check out his story:

What brought you to ESUMC?

John says he was working in retail and met Linda who lived in Springdale. They married in 2005 and they have lived here ever since. They were the last couple to get married in the old chapel with Pastor Carl Palmer.

What are some of your favorite accomplishments since getting involved at Elm Springs UMC?

"This was Linda’s church but the people here drew me in and accepted me right away. I was so impressed that they always accept people as they are.

I have volunteered in a lot of places in the church, but my favorite thing was being on the Vision Team. We seemed to make a lot of progress with moving the youth forward. We also were able to help structure our 9am service as a contemporary service, distinct from the traditional 11am.

We asked John if he could have one superpower, what would that be? 

He simply said that he “would like the power to make people believe that God is a living God here and now and that will make a difference to your future.”

If you could tell a stranger one thing about ESUMC what would you tell them?  

John says “I would want people to know that God shows himself to me here at this church more than anywhere else in my life. The people here reflect the Lord by what they do and not just by their words.”

John encourages everyone to find a place to volunteer and to serve. Even if it is not at this church, you need to do this!

He final word is this: “ABOVE ALL...BE KIND.”

If you get a chance to see John, please thank him for his consistent, faithful service. We are certainly blessed to have John as part of our congregation.

Make sure you wish these people a very happy birthday! We are glad you were born!
12/04           Paula Mynatt
12/05           Peg Shelton
12/08           David Page
12/13           Melissa Hash 
12/15           Kim Carlton
12/15           Mary Pat Meyers
12/15           AJ Plichta  
12/16           Kaylee Plichta
12/22           Rev. Lindsey Russell
12/23.          Rev. Jennie Williams 
12/27           Bob Ashbaugh 
12/27           Pat Ashbaugh
12/30           Scott McDaniel
12/31           Craig Carlton


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...

Those in our church and our surrounding community: 
Sondra Haney          Cindy Qualls   
Lucy Roberts            Theo and Wilma Kirkland
Laurie Foster            Dena Evans
Janda Wetzel            David Cheeks
Greg Humphries      Norman and Molly Gage
Jessie Hutton            Riley Dyer
Gail Brodie                 Gregg Holland
David Edwards         Naomi Smith
Ava Nubbie                Earl Chandler
Linda Kanter             Sharon Couch Collins
Pam Nubbie              Tonya Nelson
Gary Marsh                Ted Kilpatrick
Lanna Hardy             Rachel Sanford
Beverly Klenke        Jimmy Bersi
Joycee Davis            Rick Roberts
Craig Carlton            David Edwards
Stacy Schleisman

 
And around the world:
All victims of natural disasters and all those traveling to offer assistance to those affected, those affected by Covid, and all who have food insecurity.

 
Our Christian Sympathy extends to:
Families who've lost these loved ones: Ester Price, Roger Frost, Dennis Doty, Frank Foster, Heath Lance,  Austin Smith,  Jerry Treat, Danny Harvey, and Bryan Kirkland. Please keep these families in your prayers.

 
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 (November): 
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 $690,566.05!

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