Dear Fellow Joyful Worshippers,
Advent, a season of joyfully anticipating the coming of our Savior, compels us to break up normal routines so we can “make room” for our King Jesus! The Worship Committee at Clyde FUMC would like to invite you to joyfully anticipate the coming Messiah in some new ways this Advent season.
Beginning on Sunday, December 10th, and going through December 31st, we are combining to one worship service at 10:00 am each week. Our regular schedule for these four Sundays will be:
8:30 am – Fellowship Time in the Fellowship Hall
9:00 am – Sunday school
10:00 am – Worship Service in the Sanctuary
This change is happening in part to prepare for our special Christmas Cantata on December 17th, at 10:00 am, which will feature all our musical ensembles in the Sanctuary and will be followed by an all-church Fellowship Meal. December 24th is also a special day in which we hope to pack the house twice, once at 10:00 am, and again at 6:30 pm for the “Christmas Eve Candlelight Service.”
We know that corporately engaging in a different routine can have the effect of fasting, which results in opening ourselves more fully to Christ. Of course, we don’t engage in a change merely to endure it, but we anticipate that the God who makes all things new will make a new creation of us! Sunday morning tends to be the simplest expression of our assembling together, and one worship service expresses the “unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” that has been the heart desire among us for quite some time.
We also know that the Christmas season is a natural time for people to try out church for the first time. Being together simplifies our invitational message and equips us to welcome more effectively all of our guests.
An additional facet of our corporate Advent fast will be raising the video screen and revealing the beautiful stained-glass window. I am reminded of the parable comparing a disciple in the Kingdom of Heaven to the “owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.” At Clyde FUMC, we have a God-granted, legacy-rich heritage of creatively and authentically worshiping the Ancient of Days, Who Was, And Is, And Is To Come!
The Worship Committee (Jared Reiff, Melba Miller, Kenny Wilson, Daniel Noworatzky, Lauren Farwell, and Marci Pair) would like to hear any feedback or reflections you receive from the Lord as we journey together through an innovative approach to worship and the Christmas season. We hope your feedback will play a part in helping us discern the Father’s direction for us in 2018.
May you enjoy this season of celebrating the Jesus who first came in a manger, but soon will be coming in the clouds!
Only By Grace,
Monty Barnett, Pastor
December 17th will be a very special musical Sunday service were the cantata we’ve titled “Musical Christmas” will take the place of THE WORD. The cantata will feature all the musical groups of the church: the choir, the praise band, the handbell choir, and even a children’s choir.
“Musical Christmas” showcases all your favorite classic Christmas carols, like O Come, O Come, Emmanuel and God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen, reimagined for mixed choir and praise band. They’re sure to delight folks of all ages, recalling good memories of Christmases past while making new memories we all will share.
All of the groups have been working so hard to bring you this music, and we’re sure it will “make your spirits bright” as we prepare for the coming of the Christ-child this Advent season.
This special cantata, Dec. 17th during THE WORD, will also be a shared experience of both service folks as we will be joining together in a 10:00am UNITY service that Sunday. Remember that the following Sunday, Dec. 24th is the special Christmas Eve service which will be all together in a 10:00am UNITY service as well as a candlelight service that evening at 6:30 PM.
Looking forward to seeing you all Sunday!
And Merry Christmas!
“A Man with a Life’s Mission”
An interview with Rev. James Holman
by Jared Reiff
You’ve heard it said that success is equal to hard work plus passion, plus time. This is most evident in the life and successes of our guest speaker for this coming Sunday’s service, the reverend James Holman. This week, Rev. Holman is celebrating his 95th birthday. He has decided after these 95 years of life and 79 years of ministry that he will be hanging up his pastoral robes for good, but not before one last celebration of all that God has done in “A Service of Praise for Jesus.” This special 9:30am service at Clyde First United Methodist Church will feature a lot of music, a lot of testimony, and a lot of Rev. Holman’s own heart and soul poured out on all who are ready to receive it. And make no mistake, he has planned everything down to the last detail, from the Order of service, to what image will be projected at any given moment, to the opportunity to intentionally respond during the Invitation. In his diligence, I wouldn’t be surprised if Rev. Holman has preemptively called up the Holy Spirit (on the cell phone) and explained what hour it should arrive here at FUMC Clyde!
In coordinating with Rev. Holman about what needed to be accomplished for this service, he shared with me his testimony, of how God called him to ministry at the young age of 16 after a conversion experience. He started preaching that year, his Junior year in high school, and has never looked back.
“The LORD has been very good to me over all these years,” he said in our conversation, “I want to give Him all of the praise and the honor for that.” It appeared to me that this desire to give back was his primary reason for doing this whole thing, but it is more than just that. He continued, “I don’t want to celebrate it for me, but for Jesus, to lift up what He has done for me [and] so that others will benefit.” I began to understand exactly what the reverend was after: for others to be enriched through the testimony of God’s goodness in his life of ministry. Although this service is intended to be about praising Jesus, I wouldn’t be surprised if our own incredible and long journeys in new and unique areas of ministry are brought to mind and clarified in the process.
“James has said this is different than anything he’s done before,” said Pastor Monty Barnett on the topic of the upcoming service. “The whole thing is about Jesus, and it is fun to see the intensity and simplicity of the burden the LORD has placed on this 95-year old preacher!” Part of the fun for this celebration comes from the full-circle nature that individuals like Pastor Barnett, who was himself baptized by Holman, must feel, especially considering how complete and conclusive this service will be for Holman. In our conversation, he indicated in no uncertain terms that this marks the end of his ministry behind the pulpit when he said “this will be the last time I preach,” but he has the feeling it will also mark the beginning of someone’s ministry, perhaps even several people’s. “Just wait till the invitation, that is going to be a special moment, I just know it will be.”
This memorable service will be Sunday, September 24th at 9:30am in the sanctuary of the First United Methodist Church in Clyde. Come early and prepare for this special celebration of God’s goodness with coffee and fellowship around 8:00am and Sunday School at 8:30am, all of which will lead into the single 9:30am “Service of Praise for Jesus.” Hope to see you there!