A Letter from Pastor Patricia Warden
It has been a long time since we have “gathered” and we all miss connecting together. But your leadership team at church has engaged in many new outreaching methods to keep you in the “know” about your church community ! However, I feel it is time to collect this information, and share it in order that we can view how we are still keeping our mission statement alive. (Mission Statement: To make disciples of Jesus Christ for the Transformation of the world)
It all began on March 22, 2019 when all the world went to live streaming on Facebook. Yes, it has been 24 Sundays of no contact, yet now we have expanded as of June 7, 2020, to 90.1 FM Radio each Sunday morning. (thanks to a grant from the Central Texas Conference) Needless to say, many volunteers have stepped up to learn technology for the purpose of making disciples for Jesus Christ and to continue the spiritual formation within our church. We were well ahead of many because the only license music allowed was from the United Methodist Hymnal, which we owned the CD’s and could use immediately. Planning worship took on a new creative path for sermons, music , prayers, and engagement. And I will admit, I found the unknown a bit refreshing to my soul!
We began worship by live streaming from our sanctuary with the help of Pat Nelson, our now Sr Tech Guy on site! You can watch 9:30 am worship on the Nolanville First United Methodist Church Facebook page. And as of June 7 you can also join us in the parking lot by Jonah Hall at 9:30am for Drive In Worship. You can tune your car radio to 90.1 FM and listen safely from your car (staying in your own car as CDC recommends but seeing the faces of others) and listening at your own volume of comfort. We sing, pray, hear God’s Word and share our blessings of the week. Our antenna allows us to reach into the homes nearby, within 4 or 5 blocks, which means we are in homes of families we have yet to meet. And those families are engaging with us on our text and email sites. If Dorothy has your email address, then you are receiving all the announcements, community concerns and a Psalm to read each week. If you have not received these bits of communication, please let Dorothy know your email. It is our goal to keep the church body engaged and informed of opportunities, challenges and prayerful concerns.
I want to share in the midst of the unknown , the unknown re-opening of the sanctuary for worship, the unknown re-start of the Saturday breakfast, and the unknown re-making of small groups, that a lot has still been happening for the Kingdom.
*Meals on Wheels, through a Hill County Grant, was begun in Nolanville, and the churches leading the way for the past 21 weeks of serving over 50 individuals with 6 committed drivers to deliver. And this continues!
*Sanitizing Items have continued to come into our possession and were distributed to those in need within our community. It was like God sent the items to us and the phone rang next to someone in need. God has been our supplier!
*Due to COVID-19 many in our community were unemployed, and needed help to pay bills, rent, utilities, health, gas, find a home, and the clergy were a part of connecting to county resources to help these families. (the church was the connector not the provider) CAN (Christian Assistance Network, led by Brian Mc Neil locally) has allowed us to be a part of the team. We gave a donation of $250 to assist his agency because of all the help he is to us.
*KWTX did a VIRTURAL FOOD DRIVE and our own Nolanville Food Pantry was a part of the 19 pantries participating. The amount of $3,697 was received! A great help to the community to provide food during these days of isolation.
*The Central Texas Beard and Mustache Club held a virtual fund raiser for our Nolanville Food Pantry and presented a check for $300 to aid in feeding the community
*Trinity Baptist in Harker Heights, (the one we bought the van from) did a food drive in August and donated over 600 pounds to Nolanville Food Pantry.
*Jesus Love and Hope Mission led by Pastor Che, provides transitional housing and meals. Due to the virus he has been limited to the number he can feed, so he has been donating loaves of bread to the Meals of Wheels clients in Nolanville. Ray Belk picks up bread each Saturday .
*A company from Holland , Texas thru one of our city council members, has donated masks to all Food Pantry and all Meals of Wheels clients, and to the teachers at Cavazos Elementary. (a total of 250) free!
*Many donations of clothing, bedding, furniture, diapers, and medical supplies have come through our doors and quickly (less than a week) found someone in need. I am in awe of how God knows all our needs and lets our church be His Distributor!
*July 11, we kept to our traditional FISH FRY (Christmas in July) but made it into a drive by. Many thanks to Landon and Jayson Glazener for frying the fish, fries, and hushpuppies. Profit was $1,300 plus!!
*July 18, we did our first DRIVE BY BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION for 18 years old Kayla Gill. Thank you for all your support of honking by as you waved to make her day so special. It was an incredibly special day for her and her family. Total of 57 cars, 4 people and 6 dogs participated!
*July 31, we had a wedding with less than 10 to keep with CDC Guidelines. And it was so special to be able to let God be present in their new beginning. I was so honored.
* Camp Meeting in August were continued without the rooster but with cowbells from each car. I was very thankful for the guest pastors that returned to keep us faithful to our heritage.
Needless to say, I have not mentioned all the encounters we have had a church during the pandemic, but I can assure you that many lives have been touched by God through all of you. This is to let you know that you are an active church, in spite of social distancing. It has been orchestrated so that even in distancing, God reaches out. And all of you, when I call and ask you to serve/do/give, have been most willing to do so in safe manner. I am thankful for you!
Now, to get to update you on our future………
*Trustees and Finance met to receive bids on new siding (hardy board), painting exterior, doors, and steeple with cross and flame, and install new windows. It was decided that since we are in a very good financial situation now (utilities are very low, Larry has the grounds under control, Bob has the van updated, office expenses are down, no bulletins, no musicians, and apportionments are paid etc.) The motion was passed. Phase I : Windows are 4 to 6 weeks out. Phase II: siding removed and replaced Phase III: Painting. It looks like around the month of November all will be completed. Thanks to all of you who faithfully continue to give your prayers, your presence, your gifts, your service , and your witness to support the work of the Nolanville First United Methodist Church. The project will cost approximately $32,000.00 , which we have in our checking. (smile)
* It was also voted to accept the 2020 Budget as our projected 2021 Budget for Charge Conference. The only unknown will be the apportioned item.
* It was also voted to continue the same Leadership Team as voted on in 2020 for the upcoming 2021 year. With these two items secured, then our Charge Conference in November will be complete.
*Annual Conference will be held Virtual on September 19 at 10 am. It is by invitation only for the pastor and lay delegate (Carol Garelick) due to the zoom restrictions. Carol and I will be receiving the preliminary report by the first of September if you would be interested in viewing to give us input. There are proposed changes that we will vote to make the 5 districts into 3 for 2021 to provide a savings on the cost of offices and staff. Those details have not been released yet.
*I am anticipating PULSE to resume as an outdoor service in October 2020 at 6 pm. Due to the heat and social distancing required, it was suspended inside, just as was the 9:30am service . We have missed the community, and they have missed us too. I have heard from most via text or email to keep in contact with them.
*I wish that I could give you a date when we will return to our sanctuary, but CTC is till cautious and protective of everyone’s health. Until that day arrives, let’s just keep being Jesus from our own homes and in prayer for the safe health of all around. And worship with us on line or Drive In each Sunday.
*Update on the Clinic: The Finance voted to pay our yearly promised donation of $1,200 to the clinic this month. The building at 101 North Main, Nolanville, Texas was gutted on August 7th and 8th , and windows washed, and a temporary sign placed inside on August 14! The legal actions are completed to be a 501 (c) 3 under the name NOLANVILLE FAITH OUTREACH CENTER, they have secured a checking account at South Star Bank in Harker Heights, Karon Cowan is the Treasurer and one of the 3 check signers. Now we are to decide the logo and create the website ( Central Union Church of Christ Task), Each church has a lay person on the board to represent their church. The Blueprint is to be presented for final approval on August 29, 2020. Next step is securing bids (roof, plumbing, electrical, AC/Heating, flooring, and supplies) and funds to move forward with the project. It is projected that the opening may be January/February 2021. We are thankful for the community support, both physically and verbally, that has demonstrated interest in this need for our community. If you would like to follow along with the progress, please join the Facebook page: Nolanville Faith Outreach Center.
I do have more to share but let me sum it up with this: I really like being a part of your church! I enjoy being your pastor and friend in the community.
And the reason why, is because the church is not a building….it is the people!
Church people think about how to get people into church.
Kingdom people think about how to get the church into the world.
Church people worry that the world might change the church.
Kingdom people work to see the church change the world.
By Howard Snyder
Blessings and Praises for Serving a Mighty God!
Communion is offered at Drive In Worship on the first Sunday of each month. If you would like communion offered at your home, we are able to serve it safely at your home. Please let me know if this is your desire. We are celebrating Holy Communion with sealed elements that come in a self contained item. ( the wafer and cup are packaged in an easily
peel back unit which when served is then peeled back by you as the elements are blessed )