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2020 A Look Back ... 2021 A Look Forward

Great Things Are Coming! Where Do You Fit At First Church?

Hello church family! What a year 2020 has been. While we have had our difficulties, there have been plenty of blessings also. This letter has 2 purposes: to inform you on the ministries of the church for the year 2020 and also to encourage you to use your gifts and talents to plug into one of our existing ministries or maybe God is asking for you to start a new ministry within our church this year.

The world is hurting now more than ever before and many around us are fearful and hopeless, but we have the GOOD NEWS! We never have to fear, for God is with us and always in control. As we look forward to this year, how can we focus on fulfilling the Great Commission—which has no stipulations for pandemics? How can we get creative in ways to give the hope we have to a hopeless world? Let’s be praying together, let’s encourage one another to find and use our gifts and talents, as well as time and resources! Let’s talk about the things we can do and not focus on what we cannot. The only hands and feet God has on this earth is ours. Let’s be praying for revival! Let’s ask God to unify us and show us exactly what His plan and wishes for us are in this time. As you view this list, be encouraged that work has still been happening within our church, community and around the world, but also ask yourself where you have fit into these ministries.

We are the body of Christ…together. As you read over this list, where is your heart stirred to join in or what is God showing you that is missing?

Ministries Of The Church For 2020:

  • Dec. 27-Jan. 4: 14 members spent 8 days on mission in Honduras, building a new church, doing VBS for hundreds of children and community outreach

  • WNL resumed January 15, feeding and ministering to around 100 children/youth every Wednesday night (ended in March for COVID)

  • Jan. 24-26: 50 members (adults and youth) attended Resurrection in Pigeon Forge. We have some accept Christ for the 1st time and many re-commitments from our youth

  • Feb. 2-4 Revival with Larry Cochran

  • Shut down for COVID for a time, virtual services for a time, then resumed outdoor worship in the parking lot and Point Park—much work is done to provide this—technology-wise, filming, moving equipment, etc.

  • Youth resumed in June, meeting every Wednesday night at different outdoor locations and Bailey Moore became our youth minister

  • June: Parsonage work and repairs and refurnishing

  • July 5- Pastor Layne’s first Sunday-meals provided for the week

  • Sept. 20-1st Sunday back in the sanctuary

  • October-Pastor Appreciation every day of October

  • Trunk or Treat for the community held in our parking lot

  • Nov. 1-Harvest Celebration

  • December-Christmas provided for many needy families in our community

  • Dec. 21- “Bethlehem Star” watch and service

  • Dec. 24-Communion as families

  • Dec. 25-1,000 children were fed a Christmas meal and heard the Gospel with a fiesta in Limonel, Nicaragua and 100 came to a fiesta where they heard the Gospel and were fed in Las Penitas with gifts

Other On-going Ministries:

  • Nicaragua: our church provides for hundreds of children to be fed weekly by local pastor, Carlos Mayorga in Limonel, Nicaragua

  • Peru: Our church sponsors many kids to attend a Christian school and many have been fed throughout the COVID crisis

  • Honduras: Our church has helped the local pastor there, Pastor Ivan, to minister, feed and clothe hundreds who lost their homes when they were hit by 2 hurricanes, as well as through the pandemic

  • The United Methodist Women have provided several scholarships to Haitian children, Camp Lookout, Higher Education, and gave donations to UMCOR, Holston Home for Children, Foster children, Imagination Library, Women’s Care Center, We Care, and “Pledge to Mission” that helps fund orphanages, hospitals, midwives, childcare, food banks, etc.

  • Care and Concern Committees that provide meals for our church families after the death of a loved one

  • Haitian child sponsored by Ketchersid SS class

  • Urgent Care Prayer Team-Prayer team that offers prayers for our church and loved ones

  • Benevolence funds for assistance with bills for needy, emergency food pantry

  • Hispanic outreach with ESL Classes

  • Our church hosts Tuesday morning Faith Ministries (cooking for and feeding shut-ins), TOPS, Rotary and the Tri-County Quilters, Senior Meal trips, packing meals for children to have on the weekends (Sack Pack),

  • Divorce Care and Bible studies

  • Other ministries provided by our members behind the scenes: financial aid, home repair, rides to doctor’s appointments, grocery shopping and delivery, checking on each other

WOW. Thank you, church family, for all you have continued to do during 2020! Thank you for those who have prayed, given, and worked tirelessly. God has MORE for our church in 2021. Where might you be a blessing and further His kingdom?

1 Corinthians 12

Love, Heather Sneed

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