To the Wesley Community,
We have entered Advent and are moving our way daily toward Christmas. Advent is a time of reflection and preparation for the presence of Christ in our lives and the celebration of Jesus coming into the world in Bethlehem’s manger.
The world that Jesus entered into was difficult. Jesus’ people lived under the
occupation and oppression of the Roman emperor. Their ability to worship in the regular way had been curtailed by those who were in charge. Many people, while conducting themselves as believers, wondered where the God they served was. Why didn’t God step forward and change things for his chosen people?
We, too, live in difficult times. We haven’t seen “normal” for nine months. Our lives, our homes, our churches, our jobs and just about everything else is difficult. We live each day hoping that things will be better and some of us wonder where God is in the midst of all of this.
The season of Advent reminds us that God does understand our struggles because God came in the form of Jesus and lived our lives and died our death. God in Jesus knows us more deeply than we can possibly imagine. Remember, God is with us as God promised.
During this season we will have regular online worship, and we will create three Christmas Eve services which will be available for the congregation. One will be specifically for children. One will be the traditional candlelight communion service, and one will be a service of lessons and carols. Each of these will be made available for the congregation on our church website.
I encourage you to use the season of Advent to create divine space in your life so that you might be comforted and touched by the Spirit of God. Use this season for prayer and reflection and service. Use this season to know Jesus more deeply.
Grace and Peace,
Randall F. Flanagan
A special thank you to Edith Vehse
A person who has been at the center of our prayer ministry is Edith Vehse. She has been faithful and steadfast in sharing the prayer concerns and celebrations of the congregation and our larger circle of friends. With each prayer concern, Edith often shared some sort of spiritual encouragement for her sisters and brothers on the prayer team. She was a blessing!
Recently, Edith has discerned that it is time for a transition in the leadership of the prayer team. As she steps aside from the role of leadership, it is only appropriate for all of us to give her praise and thanks for her faithful ministry. Thank you, Edith. You have been a great blessing.
Rachel Beach will take over as the coordinator for the prayer team, and Helen Ashenfelter will continue as the assistant coordinator. If you have a prayer concern you wish to share with the prayer team or if you would like to be added to the prayer team, please contact Rachel at email@example.com.
In February, we featured Edith in the first of a series on the great stories of Wesley UMC. You can find that interview on our YouTube page
Advent Study with Pastor Randy
Spots are still available in our virtual Advent Bible study. We are using the study and worship resources “Incarnation: Rediscovering the Significance of Christmas” created and shared by Adam Hamilton and the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection. Pastor Randy is leading an adult study class via Zoom on Sundays at 6 p.m.
Study materials can be purchased online. It’s not too late to register to join!
Sign up for the study: wesleymorgantown.org/bible-studies
Grief Support Group
We experience grief in many ways: death of a loved one, loss of a job, loss of a “normal” life and many other experiences of loss in our lives. Rev. Mary Ragland started a grief support group in October, and you are welcome to participate at any time. The group meets via Zoom on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month from 7:30 to 9 p.m.
It is with great sadness that we announce we will not offer confirmation this year. We considered having it via Zoom, but confirmation is more than the lessons taught. Confirmation is face-to-face interactions; it is meeting with adult mentors; it is games and travel to mission projects and service in the church and community; and it is food and fellowship. To have a remote learning experience would add on to the time our youth are already spending in front of the computer. So for all of those reasons, we will not offer confirmation this year. I have truly appreciated the opportunity to offer two confirmation classes during our time at Wesley UMC, and those youth and their families hold a special place in my heart. On the bright side, the next confirmation class will have the opportunity to bond with the new pastor when she or he determines it is time to begin a class.
Wesley UMC is truly a blessing to many! This was seen once again with your response to our annual Scott’s Run Thanksgiving basket project. Because of the situation we all find ourselves, gift cards were purchased and given to Scott’s Run to distribute. Wesley UMC supported 23 families, serving over 70 people. Thank you for your generosity. Have a blessed Thanksgiving, and be well.
-Doris and Jim Pitman
P.S. Special thanks to Ray and Holly Adams for donating Kroger gift cards. Wesley UMC was able to provide Thanksgiving meals for two additional families!
Wesley UMC youth are selling the 2021 ENJOY coupon books. All funds raised will support youth mission projects in 2021. We understand that these are very unique times and not many are venturing out to restaurants, but all coupons can be used for to-go orders, too! The coupon books are available now in the church office. Simply purchase and pick up, or we can drop them off to you. Books are $30 each, and the youth group will receive $10 for each book sold. If you would like to support this ministry, contact the church office at 304-292-9485 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Guatemalan Children’s Scholarship Project Ornament Sale
Wesley UMW Missions
In this happy holiday season, are you looking for a way to brighten up your tree, those of friends or relatives and the lives of children in Guatemala at the same time?
Leeann Danley, in partnership with the United Methodist Women, is selling handmade felt Christmas ornaments for the scholarship project she started eight years ago in Patzun, Guatemala. Since 2010, she has been traveling to Guatemala to serve and teach in Jesus’ name. While there, she met and taught many children living in poverty, and she felt called to help the students go to school by establishing this project.
The ornament sale will fund scholarships for children in rural Guatemala. Each ornament costs $5. You can pre-order felt Christmas ornaments until Friday, Dec. 11 by submitting this Google form.
The ornaments can be picked up at the church on Sunday, Dec. 13 from noon to 1 p.m. They will also be available in the church office beginning Monday, Dec. 14 during regular business hours.
Questions? Contact Sandra Putnam at email@example.com or 304-210-8865.
We hope you will make some children very far away much happier this Christmas by supporting this worthwhile mission project.
Hat and Mitten Tree
While our annual hat and mitten tree will not be on display this year, we are still collecting hats, scarves, gloves and monetary donations for the families of Scott’s Run Settlement House. If you plan to bring donations to the church, please call or email the church office ahead of time. All monetary donations can be mailed to the church office. The deadline for all donations is Sunday, Dec. 27. Wesley UMC staff will deliver all donations on Monday, Dec. 28. Give the gift of warmth this holiday season!
Wesley’s Christmas prayer tree is located in the sanctuary this year. It will hold all unspoken prayer requests. Please email your prayer request to the church office at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will place your prayer request in a bulb and hang it on the tree. Blessings to all of you!
Concerts in the Loft
Join us for virtual Concerts in the Loft on the listed dates below at 6 p.m.
2020 Concerts in the Loft Schedule
|December 13||Shane Masters|
Circle of Friends
Circle of Friends is a community outreach program designed to reach individuals in our community who need a weekend meal. For Dec. 12-13, Wesley UMC will distribute Christmas bags with hygiene items, gloves, socks, a blanket and a Christmas treat. Anyone who would like to donate items for these bags can bring donations to the church by Friday, Dec. 11. We plan to provide 30 bags (25 adult and five children). If you plan to participate, contact Marianna Miller at email@example.com or 304-292-9485.
Items needed: shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, toothbrush, soap, gloves, socks, blankets, tissue packets, hand and feet warmer packets, Little Debbie Christmas tree snack cakes and candy canes