The New Year’s Resolution
It is that time of year again. It is time to make promises we intend to keep based solely on our willpower. It is time for our New Year’s Resolutions. The self-help, diet, and physical fitness markets go crazy this time of year. The market reacts to our desire to be better people and our willingness to pay for this worthy goal. Unfortunately, this tradition does not make much sense. We basically promise to use our willpower to overcome faults that we have failed to overcome before. We promise ourselves we will have the willpower to do it this year, and yet usually by February or March we are disappointed again. There is always next year!
I personally never make it more than three weeks. I must admit that my willpower is quite weak. While I certainly desire to be better, as a Christian, I understand that it is Christ’s will I seek and Christ’s will that can create something new of me. In fact, Methodists have a service called the Covenant Renewal Service that was first celebrated by Methodists in 1755. In this service, participants examine how they have responded to God’s call on their lives. We seek forgiveness and make plans to rely upon God’s grace in the coming year.
The point is that we do not become better people or better Christians based on our willpower. Instead, we become a new creation based on how well we will submit our will to Christ’s will. The first step is to recognize that we are not capable and that God is capable. We must also recognize that God is willing. We must answer the question of whether we are willing to be changed. When we are willing, we must ask God for the grace to become willing servants. This has always been our goal. From our baptism, we have been seeking closer union with God through Christ. We are not to accept our sinful nature, but to seek the One who is willing and able to overcome it. God is longing to make us anew!
My hope this year is that you might join me in renewing our covenant with God. If we do not know and trust God, we cannot submit to God’s transforming grace. A great place to start is in setting aside time each day for study, reflection, and prayer. Worship is the place that we can admit our powerlessness, submit to God, and find the grace to change. Seriously taking the call to worship regularly can help us, too. Lastly, unlike all other resolutions, when we fail, go to God in prayer and find the grace to begin again. We do not have to wait until next January. God is willing — are we?
I would like to leave you with the prayer from the opening of our Covenant Renewal Service from The United Methodist Book of Worship. May it lead you into a renewal of your covenant with God.
O God, Searcher of all our hearts,
You have formed us as a people and claimed us for Your own.
As we come to acknowledge Your sovereignty and grace,
and to enter anew into covenant with You,
reveal any reluctance or falsehood within us.
Let Your Spirit impress Your truth on our inmost being,
and receive us in mercy, for the sake of our Mediator, Jesus Christ,
who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Far from perfected, but still seeking God,
Rev. Jimmy Hendricks
Come celebrate the twelve nights of Christmas with unique original musical arrangements of popular carols in a modern jazz setting on Sunday, January 7, at 6pm.
On December 13, the UMW had their annual Christmas Party with seventeen members present. Patsy Elliot decorated the tables with Christmas figures, and she lead the gift giving section of our meeting. Karen Hoffmeister lead us in prayer before we all dove into the delicious meal catered by Jackie Green. The Christmas party was enjoyed by all.
In January, the UMW will be collecting soup and crackers for GraceWorks Ministries’ Fuel Bags program for school children. The fuel bags items will really be needed with the colder weather upon us. Also, Barb Belden will check with GraceWorks to see when they might need the UMW to do some volunteer work.
Anyone interested in the Nolensville First UMW group is warmly welcomed. We meet in the Fellowship Hall every second Wednesday of the month at 10:30am; the next meeting will be January 10. Please join us!
Karen R. Hoffmeister, Secretary
Give blood and help save lives! Nolensville First UMC will host a Red Cross blood drive on Thursday, January 11, 1:15-7:15pm in the Fellowship Hall. Please join our lifesaving mission and schedule an appointment at www.RedCrossBlood.org today! Streamline your donation experience and save up to fifteen minutes by visiting RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass to complete your pre-donation reading and health history questions on the day of your appointment.
The need is great; help save a life!
Please join us on January 14 at 9:30am for Second Sunday Breakfast. Bring a favorite breakfast dish to share and come fellowship between the services with church family from the other service!
The Fellowship Sunday School Class is responsible for set-up, drinks, and clean up on January 14. Please remember that the class responsible for Second Sunday Breakfast is also requested to provide cookies, donuts, or other snacks for all other Sundays of the month.
Please put all food away after fellowship on ALL Sundays. We are called to be fishers of men, not of mice and ants! This class is also responsible for returning the Fellowship Hall to “Sunday Setting” after breakfast. Diagrams are posted on the kitchen doors.
On Christmas Eve, your generosity gave over $2,400 to be split between Southeast Williamson County Meals on Wheels, GraceWorks Ministries, and the Nolensville Volunteer Fire Department. Thank you!
Dear Nolensville First United Methodist Church,
The Kroger Family of Stores is committed to bringing hope and help to local communities. We do this through a variety of activities, including charitable giving, sponsorships and the unique Community Rewards Program of Kroger.
Your supporters (seventeen households) who shopped at Kroger between September and November, 2017, have contributed to your $83.97 total donation. If you have any questions or would like to sign up to help contribute, please visit www.krogercommunityrewards.com and link your Kroger card with Nolensville First UMC. Thank you for your continued support of your local Kroger store.
Thank you, Community Rewards Staff
On Sunday, January 14, 12-2pm, Pastor will have a leadership and staff training on polity (the organizational structure of the church) and how it focuses us on our vision and mission. Lunch will be provided and the entire church is invited to attend.
Sun - Jan 7 - Confirmation Pizza Party (12:30pm)
Parent Meeting (4pm)
Wed - Jan 10 - Youth@Midweek (5-7pm)
Sun - Jan 14 - Confirmation 8th grade & Up (3-4:30pm)
Tue - Jan 16 - Confirmation 6th & 7th grades (5-6:30pm)
Wed - Jan 17 - Youth@Midweek (5-7pm)
Sun - Jan 21 - Confirmation 8th grade & Up (3-4:30pm)
Tue - Jan 23 - Confirmation 6th & 7th grades (5-6:30pm)
Wed - Jan 24 - Youth@Midweek (5-7pm)
Sun - Jan 28 - Confirmation 8th grade & Up (3-4:30pm)
Tue - Jan 30 - Confirmation 6th & 7th grades (5-6:30pm)
Wed - Jan 31 - Youth@Midweek (5-7pm)
CONFIRMATION CLASS IS COMING!
Confirmation class is a time for youth to learn what it means to be a Disciple of Jesus Christ. We will have an informational pizza party on Sunday, January 7, at 12:30pm. Confirmation classes for 6th and 7th grade will be Tuesdays, 5-6:30pm, starting January 16 and for 8th grade and older on Sundays, 3-4:30pm, starting January 14. Please sign up on the sheet available during worship or at goo.gl/RKuAyZ.
We are also looking for Prayer Partners for these young people during their Confirmation classes. If you are interested, please sign up on the sheet available during worship or at goo.gl/CzSLzs.
YOUTH PARENT MEETING
ALL youth parents are encouraged to attend a brief parent meeting at 4pm on Sunday, January 7, in the Youth Area. We will go over the spring calendar and discuss summer mission trips!
YOUTH@PLAY: ABOVE ALL
Sunday, January 21, we ae meeting at Above All in Cool Springs from 3:15-5pm for an afternoon of bouncy fun! Cost is $20! Let Meggie know if you are planning on attending or if you would need a ride!
YOUTH@514: SUNDAYS 5-7pm
Join us for a time focused on growing together in our faith through food, games, worship, a lesson, and small group discussions.
YOUTH@MIDWEEK: WEDNESDAYS 5-7pm
Join us for a time of food, fun, and fellowship. This time is laid back and you are welcome to bring homework and friends! We will always begin our time with dinner and end with a short devotion.
Peace, Meggie McDowell, Youth Director, firstname.lastname@example.org
A summary from December 12, 2017:
Pastor Jimmy introduced a visual aid and Ministry Action Plans, which are tools to help us stay on target with our new mission and vision. Pastor will be holding classes in 2018 for training in how to use these tools. We will start with a leadership training lunch on January 14. The entire church is invited to these classes.
Don Hoffmeister presented the 2017 year-to-date financial reports. Although we are still outspending our income, we expect to be even at the end of the year.
The 2018 Budget draft presented last October was approved.
The Council decided that this year’s Christmas Eve offering will be split evenly to Southeast Williamson County Meals on Wheels, GraceWorks Ministries, and the Nolensville Volunteer Fire Department.
1/2 Zack M; 1/3 Ashton R; 1/4 Shelby F, Hayden F; 1/6 Carrie Ozburn, Chris Clore, Erica D; 1/9 Jim Warpinski; 1/11 Joyce Patton; 1/12 Joe Wisniewski, Drake W; 1/13 Sandy Johnson; 1/15 Erin Leach; 1/17 Mike Hagan; 1/18 Kenneth Moore; 1/19 Sullivan Tuck, Bobby S; 1/20 Randy Matlock, Jared C; 1/22 Sylvia Wilkerson, Caroline C; 1/23 Marcia Woodcock, Sherry Paschall, Abby H; 1/24 Chris Campbell; 1/25 Alan R; 1/29 Tom Crawford, Jennifer Hendricks; 1/30 Sandy Green
1/18 Lynette & Mark Jones (26); 1/23 Barbara & Fred Jeffries (58); 1/26 Donna & Dave Burdge (61); 1/31 Peggy & Frank Wilson (65); and a very special congratulations to Sharon & Bruce Bowater who will be celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary on January 15!
Board of Trustees:
January 2, 7pm
February 6, 7pm
March 6, 7pm
April 3, 7pm
May 1, 7pm
June 5, 7pm
July 3, 7pm
August 7, 7pm
September 4, 7pm
October 2, 7pm
November 6, 7pm
December 4, 7pm
Jacob’s Ladder Board:
February 5, 6:30pm
May 7, 6:30pm
August 6, 6:30pm
November 5, 6:30pm