As we bask in the glow of Christmas, are you making any New Year’s Resolutions? How does your faith play into it?
John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, found it meaningful to hold a service every New Year’s to re-dedicate yourself to the life of faith. He called it a Covenant Renewal Service, but it’s not far off to think of it as a New Year’s resolution for Christians. The idea didn’t start with Wesley, though… Come this Sunday to hear of a resolution from the Old Testament, made centuries before Jesus was even born. Then, join in as we renew our own walk with God!
New Tax Laws
New Tax Reform Legislation raises the standard deduction for income taxes beginning in 2018. The Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that the number of taxpayers who will itemize their deductions in 2018 (and thereby get tax savings from charitable gifts) will fall from 40 million under current law to just 9 million under the new legislation.
If you currently itemize, and are financially able to do so, consider giving some or all of next year’s gifts to the church before the end of this year. You can claim your gifts on your 2017 taxes (due April of 2018) and give the church a boost. This can be done for regular offering, special gifts such as for a capital campaign or endowment.
To qualify, the gift must be made by the end of this year, given in worship on or before December 31 or postmarked no later than December 30. The check should be dated in 2017 and indicate on the memo line “2018 offering” or other designation. When in doubt, reach out to the church office to clarify your intentions.
Time for Disciple IV!
First United Methodist Church will offer DISCIPLE 4 Bible Studies starting in January, meeting weekly until the end of May, taking a break for summer, and starting back up in September for those wanting to have a better understanding of the bible. We invite you to join this study if you have already completed Disciple 1 Bible Studies! If you have not ever taken Disciple Bible Study before, you will need to start with Disciple I.
DISCIPLE IV: UNDER THE TREE OF LIFE, the final study in the four-phase DISCIPLE program, concentrates on the Writings (Old Testament books not in the Torah or the Prophets), the Gospel of John, and Revelation. Emphasis on the Psalms as Israelâ€™s hymnbook and prayer book leads naturally to an emphasis on worship in the study. Present throughout the entire study is the sense of living toward completionâ€“â€“toward the climax of the message and the promise, extravagantly pictured in the Revelation. The image of the tree and the color gold emphasize the prod and promise in the Scriptures for DISCIPLE: UNDER THE TREE OF LIFE. The word Under in the title is meant to convey invitation, welcome, sheltering, security, and restâ€“â€“home at last.
The cost of the study book is $40. Scholarships are available to those needing help with the expense. Please let Lisa Dale in the church office know if you would like to take the study.
Circles of Hope Volunteers Needed
Circles of Hope Reno County is a community initiative helping families with limited resources better their circumstances. We call it an initiative because it is a long-term solution to a long-term problem. A Circles of Hope Ally is an advocate for a Circle Leader, walking beside them during the time immediately following completion of the training program. It is a critical period for Circle Leaders when they need support and guidance in order to reach their goals.
We are currently seeking caring individuals to serve as Allies. As an Ally, you will provide support not only to a Circle Leader, but also have the opportunity to promote collaboration and advocacy in our community. If you would like to become an Ally, please contact:
Don’t forget to support our Hope Houses, the colorful boxes on the west side of our building! Bring anything to leave for anyone to take.
Have you linked your Dillons Plus card with the church? If you do, a portion of all your normal purchases will go to support our ministries! You can set it up by clicking here or contact the office if you’d like help.
Come this Sunday to learn what New Year’s can mean for Christians!
Sunday, December 31
8:30am & 10:55am Worship
9:45am Sunday School
11:05am Radio Broadcast (KWBW 1450 AM, 98.5 FM) In memory of Anita Southworth
Wednesday, January 3
Thursday, January 4
5:30pm UMW Exec – Fr. Pl.
7:00pm Evening Circle – FP