Rev. Ken and Judy Lunsford along with Barbara Stevens attended the annual Charge Conference held in the sanctuary of Stephenville United Methodist Church.
Pastor Ken was asked to stand for the assembly of representatives of area Methodist Churches and give a short report on our outreach programs for our community.
He told about the Community Food Pantry; Annette Cleveland serves as the Coordinator and keeps track of the food received and distributed. 1,960 lbs of food was given out for 106 requests which fed 471 persons. This 25 year ministry supports a “dry” pantry of non-perishable supplies collected through local donations. It is designed to be a short term source of aid and there are limits on the frequency of visits.
The project for school supplies was successful and the donations were taken to the local school for the teachers to distribute as needed. Next Pastor Ken spoke about our newest project which was a coat drive for school children.
Other ministers present spoke about their outreach efforts. Oakdale and Hannibal churches raised funds for food and backpacks to send food home with certain children over the weekends. Greens Creek Methodists sponsored and worked a race/walk to raise money for the March of Dimes. Hico church has a tutoring program and expanded it to include a religious activity format similar to Sunday school. They do stories and crafts. This has been a welcome entry into the local Hispanic community. Iredell does a big summer vacation Bible school and invites all children in the community. They ask the children to help with a mission project to collect canned food for Helping Hands Food Project. The church also gives out fresh garden vegetables raised locally to the families who bring their children to VBS. Cranfills Gap also does a large summer vacation school. They join with other churches in town to make it an event; this past summer the joint VBS was held at the Lutheran Church. They also collected food for Helping Hands. Morgan Mill was happy to talk about their mission trip to the island nation of Haiti. They worked on building a church there. Morgan Mill has also been building a parsonage for their minister. The minister was very excited about a new home and the fact it will have no debt against it. Bluff Dale Church did a teacher appreciation luncheon. The local PTO got volunteers to cover classes for the teachers so they could all eat a relaxed meal together.
It was very informative to hear how churches in other areas are helping their community.
The acolytes for Sunday, 12-02 were Brady and Cole Moore; they also assisted with the offertory. Nancy Wooldridge served as Worship Leader and assisted with Holy Communion. Lisa Leatherwood also assisted with communion. Alford Havens and David Cleveland acted as greeters and ushers.
The lighting of the Advent candle was done by the Moore family. Brady Moore read from the Book of Luke in the Bible, next his father, Sammy, read a short devotional and then a purple candle on the Advent wreath was lit by the family.
Laura Leatherwood gave the youth lesson. She brought candles for each young person to take home. Laura told them, “tonight light your candle and turn out the lights, you will see how one candle can fill a room with light from corner to corner.” She said Jesus is the light of the world and to remember that Jesus lights our lives.
Rev. Ken Lunsford preached on “Advent Begins Today.” Advent is about once again taking special care to prepare our hearts, minds, souls and bodies for celebrating an event that changed the world. The lives of all people have changed since that first Christmas.
During these weeks of Advent we aren’t just singing carols about the night of Jesus’ birth. We are traveling down a road of faith, a highway of holiness, a road that looks at the end of Jesus’ life on earth. That road looks at the promises He made to return, and looks at the miraculous transformation that Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection made for the existence of every person on this planet.
The journey down the road to Bethlehem is making your home and heart a place for Christ to be born in. Will Christ be born in you and yours this season?