For the Fourth Sunday of Advent
by Rev. Jackson Henry 
 
For many people, this is a season of grief.  When wandering through dark and lonely places, it is best to go with a friend-one who knows us and cares for us.  Finding an embrace in the midst of despair can help us overcome our fears and give us confidence and strength to face tomorrow.  It is in this season of anguish that we encounter a reading from the Book of Isaiah on this fourth Sunday of Advent.
Isaiah 7: 10-16 (NRSV)
Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz, saying, Ask a sign of the Lord your God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven.  But Ahaz said, I will not ask, and I will not put the Lord to the test.  Then Isaiah said: "Hear then, O house of David!  Is it too little for you to weary mortals, that you weary my God also?  Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign.  Look, the young woman is with child and shall bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel.  He shall eat curds and honey by the time he knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good.  For before the child knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land before whose two kings you are in dread will be deserted."
One:  The word of the Lord. 
ALL:  Thanks be to God.
[Light the first, second, and third candle.]
Immanuel means, "God with us."  God put on flesh and became human to be with us, to renew our hope, to show us how to live, and to deliver us from sin and death.  We light this candle today remembering that God began that work and will be faithful to complete it.  Deliverance is at hand.
[Light the fourth candle.]
One:  And so we offer this mysterious prayer:
ALL:  Lord Jesus, quickly come.
 

Messy Church is coming to the NM Conference on Feb. 11th!

     Too often people think that church has to be black and white.
A non-traditional, informal, multi-generational and hands-on approach to worship and fellowship bearing the unlikely name of "Messy Church," is "the exact opposite," says Christina Mottura. "It is crazy and messy and wonderful!"
     She is one of the lay leaders of the ministry project at the United Methodist Church's Kiski Charge, pastored by the Rev. Sara Wrona, consisting of First United Methodist Church, Vandergrift, and New Beginnings Church in Spring Church, Kiski Township, Armstrong County. Wona is a native of Western North Carolina who was raised in New Kensington with decidedly ecumenical roots.
     Similar programs have begun in Greensburg, Monroeville, Pittsburgh and throughout Western Pennsylvania.
     It is now found across the United Kingdom, where it had its origins in 2004, and in 30 countries, reports Christian Today magazine. It is estimated, the publication adds, that at least 500,000 people attend a Messy Church program each month.
     The Messy Church movement, happening across many denominations, celebrated its 3,500th church registration in November in what the magazine called a milestone for the organization. Click to read all about Messy Church

Click here for more info & to register
Deadline to Register is February 1st.
Contact Cheri Lyon: 505-440-6849 or cherilealyon@gmail.com

Bishop Bledsoe & NM Conference Reps Travel Across the Conference

Bishop Bledsoe will be visiting towns across the Conference on a spring itineration. Joining him will be the DS of location, CF&A representative, Insurance/Benefits representative, Randall Partin, Provost, Sid Strebeck, Conference Lay Leader, and Mitzi Underwood (CCYM).

The United Methodist Church is facing change and challenge from within.  Simultaneously, we have the opportunity to bring light and grace to an uncertain world without.  The Bishop felt compelled to travel throughout the NM & NWTX Conferences to provide an update and address questions and concerns.  At a time when our differences tend to be more prominent, this will be an opportunity to talk and focus on what binds us together.  Please choose a time and location that is most convenient and join us for a time of sharing.  The Conference wants to hear from you!  Questions?  Contact Randall Partin at (505)255-8786 or randall@nmconfum.com.


#GivingTuesday Donations Set Record !
     More than 2,550 persons in 19 countries contributed a total of $853,909.78 to United Methodist mission projects and missionary support through the 2016 UMC #GivingTuesday campaign. 
     "This is an outcome to celebrate, especially since this year we did not offer any matching grants as we have done on the past three annual Giving Tuesdays," said Thomas Kemper, chief executive of the denomination's worldwide mission agency, the General Board of Global Ministries, which includes the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR). 
Of the total this year, $751,281.57 was given for 446 mission projects and 156 gifts totaling $102,628.21 for missionary support through The Advance, the United Methodist designated mission giving channel. One hundred percent of every Advance gift goes to the designated ministry.   Click for the article 

Mulungwishi Update
     David and Lori Persons continue to serve the people of Mulungwishi .  They thanked the NM & NWTX Conferences for their generous & continued support. 
Here is an excerpt from a letter from them:
     At the end of July, 18 couples graduated from the Seminary and Women's School.  One of the graduates is George Kahilu and his wife, Tchijika Kaluma (Mami). We asked the question: "What did the 3 years at Mulungwishi mean to you?  Without hesitation, he said that he had a new life because of coming here.  He had continued to grow in Christ through good theological education and working with our local church in prayer groups, Bible studies and being the evangelist in church. George has been appointed to a chapel in a new growing suburb of the city of Kolwezi. 

     Mami attended the Women's School for 3 years.  She felt she developed so much through her classes in Bible, health, nutrition, French, etc. and practical courses in cooking and sewing.  George shared that her new understanding of budgeting helped them save for a sewing machine.  She can sew for her family and others to help augment the family finances. 
     Lori works with the nutrition program, which helps women and children in the communities around Mulungwhishi.  At risk children are followed and helped with nutrition and medically as long as it takes to get them healthy. 
     We had some challenges with the electricity and water. The high intensity cables in some areas were stolen, which left us without power for long periods of time and no water pump.  So, it was back to cooking on charcoal and carrying buckets of water. 
     In Christ, David & Lori Persons
Persons_mulungwishi@hotmail.com 

29 simple acts of kindness that might just turn someone's whole day around.
by upworthy.com 
Covenant UMC stuffed toy drive.
 
The holidays are just around the corner - and there is no better way to get into the holiday spirit than by spreading a little bit of goodwill.
     So in between hurriedly planning festivities, buying gifts, and excitedly looking forward to family get-togethers, take a few moments, if you can, to spread some joy. One of the most important (and rewarding) things about the holidays is trying to make someone else happy too.
Click for the list  
 

UMC LEAD
January 22 - 25, 2017
Charlotte, NC

     In the midst of talk of the "death of the church," vital, creative, life-giving communities exist around the world, in communities large and small. The LEAD conference has always strived to shine a spotlight on this emerging church, not as a hope for the future but as a recognition of God's work in the world here and now.
      "At LEAD, there is a palpable sense of the Spirit pushing her Church into the hopeful future. The excitement from diverse participants from all over the connection is what fuels my work for the entire rest of the year." - Kenneth Pruitt
     For three days, every year, we bring together leaders, innovators, and creatives from within, and outside of, The United Methodist Church. Participants hear big ideas, experience amazing music, and network with others. There are no paid speakers or professional experts, this is a conference that is fully participant driven.
Important Deadline Reminders

  • All 2016 Tithe Monies must be received by January 10th.
  • Deadline for church statistics is January 20th.
  • How to enter church statistics brochure: Click here

Upcoming Events
December 
Dec. 23 & 26 - Conference Office Closed for Christmas
Dec. 30 - Conference Office Closed for New Year's Eve
January 
Jan. 2 - Conference Office Closed for New Year's Day
Jan. 10 - All 2016 Tithe Monies must be received by Conf Treasurer
Jan. 20 - Church stats deadline
Jan. 27-29 - FUMC-Bloomfield Lay Servant School 
February
Feb. 19 - Mountainside UMC's 50th Anniversary - Bishop Preaching
Feb. 5-8 - Mid-Year Clergy Retreat - Sacramento
Feb. 11 - Messy Church

Important Deadlines
January 10 - 2016 Tithe Money Due
January 20 - 2016 Statistics Due

Bishop's Itineration Schedule 
January 21 - FUMC-Roswell - 2:00 pm  
January 28 - FUMC-Perryton - 2:00 pm 
February 4 - St. Paul's-Abilene - 10:00 am 
February 19 - Center Street-Tucumcari - 3:00 pm
March 4 - FUMC-Childress - 10:00 am
March 5 - St. Stephen's-Amarillo - 2:30 pm 
March 11 - El Paso - Trinity-First - 2:00 pm 
March 18 - FUMC-Odessa - 10:00 am 
March 19 - FUMC-Lamesa - 3:00 pm 
March 25 - ABQ - St. John's - 2:00 pm
April 2 - Lubbock - FUMC - 2:00 pm
April 8 - Plainview - FUMC - 10:00 am 
May 13 - FUMC-Farmington - 10:00 am

Annual Conference - May 31 - June 2, 2017
 
 
Click here for the Conference Calendar

Classifieds
Conference Calendar
UMC website
 


RELEVANT, PASSIONATE, AND LIFE-CHANGING CHURCHES

New Mexico Annual Conference  

11816 Lomas Blvd. NE Albuquerque, NM 87112

Office Hours: Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Receptionist Hours: 9:00 a.m.- 2:00 p.m.

(800) 678-8786 toll free; (505) 255-8786; (505) 265-6184 fax

 Click here to view our staff listing  

 



 

Please send photos, articles, events, etc. to Alli Costello, Communications Director at alli@nmconfum.com.  Send classified ads to frontdesk@nmconfum.com.