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christmas incarnation is the reason for the season

Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10

This coming Sunday of the Advent calendar focuses on celebrating joy in the Lord, emphasizing Christian joy, and also explores the mission of John the Baptist in connection with Advent.

The phrase "Joy in the Lord" refers to a profound and spiritual sense of happiness or gladness that arises from one's relationship with God in the context of Christian faith. It goes beyond fleeting feelings of pleasure or satisfaction and is deeply rooted in a believer's connection with their faith and relationship with Jesus Christ. This is a joy that transcends external circumstances or material possessions, drawing strength from the belief in the divine and the promises of faith.

Pastor, no matter the size of your current congregation, the lack of interest in the faith of your community, or the dysfunction you may find presently in your relationships, there is indeed a joy that may surpass all of that. In no way does this truth minimize your reality, but rather God’s joy surpasses it. Such a fruit of the Spirit manifests forth the glory of God in a manner beyond any sermon one may speak. 

Joy is not dependent on temporary circumstances but is a deeper and lasting sense of well-being that comes from a close relationship with God. The verse above from Nehemiah was in fact God reminding the people long ago that their acknowledgement of shortcomings was correct, but they were not to stay in their grief. Their acknowledgement of God was to bring joy. 

I encourage you therefore, to shift your focus from worrying about any unfinished Christmas service preparations, disappointments, or personal faults, and settle into the reason we do any of this at all: Christ has come and overcomes all that we have, are, or will face that disappoints from a fallen world! God spoke into the darkness and said, here is MY light!

On the Adventure with you,

Supt. Ben

Missionary Support Request from Impact Middle East

Thank you so much for your concern and prayers for our team in Palestine. It continues to be a challenging journey for those near Gaza and in the West Bank. In addition, we have team members in the north who have been under rocket attacks for weeks. Even those team members in Galilee have had restrictions to travel, schools, shopping, and inconveniences with daily life.

While next to impossible, we offered to help some of our team relocate. Each of them declined saying that the opportunity to share the Gospel was at an all-time high. None of them wanted to evacuate to safer areas. That speaks volumes to the deep calling our team embraces as they spread the Gospel and raise up leaders.


So how do we help? Dr. Nabil, our leader in Palestine, has requested that we supply funds for a retreat following the war for our team to gather in Galilee and heal from trauma. We intend to have a group from Jordan that specializes in trauma care and can minister to the team, spouses, and children. This will be a necessary step to future ministry.


Costs? $15,000 USD for our team and retreat center and $5,000 USD for travel, arrangements and materials for trauma care and aftercare following retreat. I feel it is important to our team that these funds come from The Free Methodist Church and not Impact Middle East or a non-FMC donor. Our team needs to know the church they serve supports them in times of crisis.


Impact Middle East will cover all transfer costs for funds, so 100% will go to the trauma and aftercare program.


You may give online:


Select Palestine Trauma Care in giving type drop down menu.


Or by mail:

Impact Middle East

6757 Cascade Rd SE

Suite 206

Grand Rapids, MI. 49546


Thank you and blessings as you celebrate the Advent season.


Dr. Dale Woods

Middle East Area Director, FMWM

Survey Request from the Latin America Area Engagements Team.

As the Latin America Area Engagements team, our primary goal is to develop and strengthen the relationship between you and the FMC in Latin America (which goes by the Spanish acronym IML). And we do that from a posture of gratitude.

First, we must say "Thank you!" Thank you for your support of missions and Kingdom work around the globe. Your faithful prayer support and generous financial support is part of the work God is doing to bring total restoration and transformation in our world.

Thank you for your partnership with Free Methodist World Missions (FMWM) around the world and especially here in the Latin America Area.

To better serve you, and to strengthen our relationship with you, we have developed a brief survey that will take no more than 5 minutes to complete.

We are asking the pastors and ministry leaders to complete this survey:


We appreciate in advance the insights that we can glean from this survey that will indeed, help us deepen our connections.  

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End of Year Deadlines For Gateway Conference and Free Methodist Church-USA

Giving Deadlines for Gateway Conference:

Treasurers should close their accounts on December 31 and submit their accounts for audit by review by February 1. The Gateway Conference accounts will close January 5 to allow time to receive final contributions from churches. All checks for 2023 must be dated by December 31, 2023. Any checks written after that date will be credited in 2024.

Giving Deadlines for FMCUSA:

For Individual donors, to be included as a 2023 gift the check must be dated in 2023 and postmarked no later than December 31, 2023. Online gifts must be made no later than December 31, 2023.

Church checks that qualify as 2023 missions giving must be dated in 2023 and postmarked no later than January 5, 2024. Online gifts must be made no later than December 31, 2023.

For information regarding deadlines for gifts from individuals for churches click on the green link below:


Looking Ahead:

March 4-FMX SUMMIT and

March 5-7-Exponential Global Conference – First Baptist Church, Orlando, FL

March 6-7-Our Story, An FM Women's Gathering and

March 7-9, E2024 Wesleyan Holiness Women Clergy Conference, Hyatt Regency at DFM International Airport, Dallas, TX


Leadership Summit, Saturday, April 20, Greenville FMC

Click here for more information

The word MINISTRY written in vintage letterpress type

Superintendent's Schedule:

December 10-Membership Class, Lamar, MO

December 14-Membership Class, Cave In Rock, IL

December 17-The Solid Rock, Pontoon Beach, IL

January 3-Illinois Faith and Recovery Collaboration Meeting

January 7-Consecrated Deacons Service-Moundford, Decatur, IL

January 11-BOA Meeting

January 23-MEGA Meeting

February 3-Latino Roundtable

Our Mission:




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