ARTICLES FROM THE JANUARY 2021 MAPLE LEAF:

PASTOR’S NOTES  - EXAMINE YOURSELVES

“Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?  And I trust that you will discover that we have not failed the test.

Now we pray to God that you will not do anything wrong. Not that people will see that we have stood the test but that you will do what is right even though we may seem to have failed.  For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth. We are glad whenever we are weak but you are strong; and our prayer is for your perfection.”

                                                               2 Corinthians 13:5-9 (NIV)

On the first Sunday of the New Year, our worship service will focus on renewing our Covenant with God.  This service has been part of the Methodist tradition since 1755, and it seems timely given our circumstances of the past several months.

 This year has taught us that there are a number of things in our daily lives that we can manage without, at least for a time.  As a church we have had to forego the potluck or fundraising dinner, the fellowship coffee hour, the extended Sunday School class, the passing of the offering plate, hymnals, hugs and handshakes, singing as a group, and occasionally not even meeting in the church building.

 As we look to next year, we can expect some of this to change; we will at times have to suspend in-person services, most likely when there are not enough people well enough to manage the necessary safety steps.  But we also can expect that there will come a time, either through a large number getting through the virus, or a number being vaccinated, that the risks will decrease to the point where we can pick up some of what we have given up.  So it seems good to consider this now.

I remind you that in its beginning, as we find it in Acts 2:41-47, the church was impacting people most in the time between services: in learning together, eating together, praying together, verse 47 says “the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”  So while worship services are important, it was more often the daily    interactions where life change was happening.  With this in mind, I suggest that the primary work of the church revolves around those meetings dedicated to fellowship, learning, and prayer.  This is what has maintained Maple Street over the years, as well as most of the other churches with whom I have worked.  Of secondary importance are the worship services; they are tremendously valuable to current Christians, but for the typical outsider they mean little until after that person has become involved in the primary meetings.  That appears to me to be true both in the first century and in 2021.

 Our prayer meetings, fellowship gatherings, and learning groups have taken a huge hit these past several months.  Some of the groups in the church have continued with online meetings, and some have made due with phone calls to check in.  These are important steps, but I suspect that all of us feel this is far less than the contact we would like, and it is even harder to invite new people. 

Indeed, the biggest casualty in the semi-lockdown of the past several months is the evangelism of our church and many of our sister churches.  I have heard all through my growing years that the church is the one institution created for the people who are NOT in it.  So how do we “recover” this focus in the year to come?

I suspect that recognizing the importance of our primary meetings is a first step.  We have a need for more and   deeper connections with others, and we need to find ways to expand the circle of people with whom we connect.  We can   follow the directions of the scripture above—to examine ourselves to see whether we are in the faith.  Is our faith growing at this time in our lives, or have we put it on hold like so many other things this past year?  In what ways can we continue and expand our meeting together—to pray, to learn, to grow in love for each other?  I will add this into my daily prayers, encourage you likewise.

Paul makes this challenge to the Corinthians because, in his own words, “our prayer is for your perfection” (verse 9).  So, as this is Paul’s prayer for them, so this is my prayer for you, and, I pray, this will be your prayer for those God has placed in your care. 

  Yours in Christ,

  Kevin2-sig.JPG

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These are the agencies we focused most of our giving this past year:

OUT OF DARKNESS

RISE MISSIONS

YOUTH FOR CHRIST

GRACE CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL

Thank you to everyone for donating to Missions in 2020.  We appreciate your dedication to the non-profit agencies we sponsor each year.  2020 was a difficult year for many people, but through your generosity, we will be able to send a check to each agency as we have done in the past.

Thank you and God Bless,

 The Missions Team 

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2020 Poinsettia Tributes

 Arlene Ramsey
In Memory of:  Ken & Lyle Ramsey,                          
                            Ray & Joyce Pargeon
 
Emma Jean Curtice   
In Memory of:  Carl Friend
 

Dave & Becky Francis
In Memory of:  Christie Jones
 

Trudy Hyldburg
In Memory of:  Mr. & Mrs. C.H. Clement, 
                             Carl Hyldburg
 

Earl Strawn
In Memory of:  Judy Strawn,
                            Mr. & Mrs. Howard Strawn
                           Mr. & Mrs. Edward Phillips
 

Chuck Kirkpatrick
In Memory of:  Shannon Kirkpatrick- Graham (daughter)
                       Charles & Agnes Kirkpatrick (parents)
 
Anna McMillan
In Memory of:  Jeff McMillan
In Honor of:  Joyce Melick
  
 
Kaye Russo & Family
In Memory of:  John Russo
 

Dennice Mattlin
In Memory of:  All the family gone or fighting sickness.
I thank God each day you were/are part of my family.
 

Nathan & Sandra Wince
In Honor of:  Maple Street Church

 
Martine Tavakoli
In Memory of:  Mike Tavakoli
                         Jerry Davis
                         Marilyn Le Blanc
In Celebration of:  Shayda Tavakoli & Garret Dunning
 

Robin McBroom
In Memory of:  Bob & Eleanor McBroom
          Kenneth Bosch
          Ronald Bosch
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PILL BOTTLE COLLECTION​​​​​​​

We are re-starting our collecting of label-free used pill bottles.  You have heard about this project from John Morrison.  These bottles are being collected, as a service project, by the Tarhe Lions and  shipped to medical sites in disadvantaged countries.  They are used to distribute medication to   patients. You may deposit your old bottles with caps attached in the marked brown can, in the work room, anytime you are at church.  (Be sure to remove all labels.)

Thank you,

Curt Kruse for Tarhe Lions

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Winter Closings 

In case of inclement weather:  for winter storm watches and  Level 1 emergencies:  watch for postings on Facebook and/or calls from ministry team leaders about whether ministries and   meetings will take place as scheduled.  Worship will take place as scheduled.  For Level 2 and Level 3 emergencies:  all  meetings,  including worship, will be cancelled.  The exception is the Community meals; these will continue as long as we are able to get enough volunteers to the building. 

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JANUARY BIRTHDAYS and ANNIVERSARIES
BIRTHDAYS

  8 Lori Knecht

14 Ezekiel Griffith (1)

14 Ed Sharp (85)

19 Charlene Brehm

19 Betty Webb (81)

26 Pastor Kevin

26 Novella Huffer (96)

27 Rick Combs

27 Kilee Schwinn

27 Linda Wagner

28 David Fairchild 

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ANNIVERSARIES
 

  7 Roy & Linda Bankes (54)

12 Larry & Becky Alspaugh (52) 

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SOS Class Meeting on Zoom 

 The SOS Class has completed an Advent study called Christmas, The Good, The Bad, and The      Ugly by Richard Wilke.  The bad was Herod! 

 Our next study is Anxious for Nothing, Finding Calm in a Chaotic World, by Max Lucado.  It certainly seems fitting! 

 We are so grateful that today’s technology allows about a dozen of us to gather via Zoom for our lessons and keep up with each other.  However, we really miss those in our class who can’t do this, and want you to know we pray for you regularly and look forward to the time we can be with you again.  The same goes for all our church family. 

 And we send special thanks to Pastor Kevin, David, Billy, Chuck, Martine and the Safety Team for all they do to keep our worship and fellowship going in these difficult times—one way or another. 

 If you would like to join our Zoom class for the Lucado study, we meet on Thursdays at 2:00 p.m.  Call Dianne Combs or Loretta Kruse for further information. 

 We hope that you are well, that you were able to have a blessed Christmas in spite of any adverse    circumstances, that God wraps you in His arms if you are feeling lonely or worried, and that we all have a New Year that begins improving!  

 Dianne Combs

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Kroger Community Rewards 

​​​​​​​Each of your Kroger purchases returns money to Maple Street UMC as long as you are signed up for the Rewards  Program and you use your Kroger Shopper’s Card.   

To sign up for the rewards program:  Go to Kroger.com. Scroll down to the bottom of the page.  Under COMMUNITY, you will find Kroger Community Rewards and click on this link and follow         instructions. Our organization name: MAPLE STREET UNITED METHODIST CHURCH.  Our number:  FV905

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COMMUNITY KITCHEN

 Back in 2019 we made a decision to be open for Christmas day to serve those in need.  It was well received by those who attended.  This year, amidst the COVID scares, the minimal crew, and uncertainty of weather, we     contemplated being open again…  Then I remembered a passage discussed during a sermonate, Be still and Know I am GOD.  How being still in His presence was able to get her through a storm in her life.  We all know how 2020 has been a storm after storm.  

     With that we did open again this year.  We enjoyed a fireplace on the TV, Christmas music, and lots of amazing gifts we were blessed to share with our community, our FAMILY.  A young lady’s face lit up holding on to her new stuffed bear as she straightened his clothes and hugged him.  One gentleman even told us it was as though we got his Christmas list.  We had EVERYTHING he had hoped for.  

     So as we think on Christmas; past, present and those yet to come, remember no matter the storm BE STILL IN HIS PRESENCE AND KNOW THAT HE IS GOD!  

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FREE STORE 

The FREE STORE is open on Wednesdays from 10 am-11:30 am.  We encourage you to call the church office (740) 687-6384 ahead of that time if you want to ensure a time to shop as well as if you have items to donate.

      New safety protocols are in place to ensure the safety of our clients and our   volunteers.  Masks are required to enter the store and must be worn covering the mouth and nose the entire time you are in the free store.  We also ask that you do your best to stay within 6 feet of others at all times.

      For the immediate future we will not be accepting donations of books, odds and ends, and toys.  We are in great need of blankets, coats, scarves, hats, and gloves for men, women and children.  Socks and personal care items are especially popular too.

      We thank you for your support of this ministry.  We could not do it without your generosity!

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Laity Ring – You are invited to join the  Laity Ring in their “Zoom” meetings.  They are on-line on Wednesday evenings at    7:30 pm.  You may also call in and listen.  Please call Dianne Combs for instructions.

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2021 Estimate of Giving Cards

 Because of the Pandemic, many things are different than before.  We do not even get to see and visit with each other without masks.  In time, we hope and pray to be back to normal.

 If you intended to, but have not yet filled out and returned your Estimate of   Giving card, we would appreciate it if you drop it off at the church office (Monday through Friday 8:30 am to 12:30 pm), or mail it to the church office (438 E. Wheeling St.).  Thank you for your   giving.

 Carolyn Starner, Financial Secretary

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Thanks again to all of you for the tremendous Christmas gift—by now, Sue and I should not be surprised by your generosity, but we are, and we are reminded how blest we are to be a part of this family.

Kevin & Sue Chambers

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Many thanks for the Christmas gift, I'm so proud and thankful to be with The Maple Street family. God Bless You All!

Chuck Kirkpatrick 

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