I am writing this article today because our Lead Pastor, Rev. Rurel Ausley, left July 23 for Kenya where he will be taking part in the Prayer and Leadership Summit of the UMC Africa Initiative (UMCAI). He will be returning August 2. The UMCAI is a movement of United Methodists leaders in Africa committed to fostering partnership and fellowship among the Annual Conferences in Africa in order to facilitate training in leadership development, cross-cultural and intercultural evangelism and missions, prayer, revival, and resource mobilization for the sustainable growth and development of the United Methodist Church in Africa. Please be in prayer for Rurel as he is a part of this first of its kind movement among the United Methodists in Africa.
Fall is an exciting time of the year as the summer break ends and school begins. We wish our teachers, students, and administrators the very best as they begin another school year and we pray that God will richly bless them in all they do. Of course we also look forward to Friday night football games, other sports events and activities, and getting back into the routines that the school year brings!
One of those routines is weekly church activities. So, I hope that after a great summer you are ready to take advantage of all the church offers and maybe even establish some new routines and habits as we kick off all of our small groups, classes and other activities. To get details on all of the fall opportunities, be sure to check out the "Fall Finder" brochure online at nicevilleumc.org/pdf/finder-current.pdf or in the brochure racks on campus. There is no better time than now to get the entire family plugged in and ready for the best Fall ever.
If you have never taken advantage of our Tuesday or Wednesday evening meals or been a part of a class or small group, you owe it to yourself to give them a try. It is always easier to jump into a group at the start of the year as new groups begin and existing groups kick back off. There are small group opportunities every day of the week. Groups meet both in homes and at the church. To help you find the small group that fits you best, there will be an Open House in the Sanctuary Gathering Area Wednesdays, August 20 and 27, 6:00-7:30 p.m. You can come, get informed, complete your gHarmony survey, and get connected! We invite you to join us one of these Wednesday nights. You can also complete your gHarmony Survey online: surveymonkey.com/s/gharmony
We welcomed Rev. Jeff Burnett and his family to our staff the beginning of August. Jeff will be the Campus Pastor at our North Crestview campus and he has hit the ground running. As he prepares for the opening of the new campus, he will be spending a good deal of time on the St. Mark campus building relationships and helping Brice Early and Lisa Ausley manage the continued growth the St. Mark Campus is experiencing.
We want to let you know there have been some concerns with the Northview Plaza facility that have slowed down the progress of the opening of the North Crestview Campus. Major structural issues with the facility have been uncovered. These unforeseen difficulties will add to the cost of the renovation and delay the start of the campus, if we continue with our present plan. Many of our church leaders have been meeting over the past few weeks to explore other alternatives including other locations for the campus. Please pray that God leads us as we make critical decisions in the coming weeks and months.
Finally I would like to mention that our original plan was to roll out our new church name--Crosspoint United Methodist Church--the weekend of September 13-14. But we have decided to delay the rollout until January 24-25 to give us time to fully prepare for all the changes involved and to ensure the rollout is smooth and exciting.
Thank you for affording me the privilege of serving as one of your pastors. I count it an honor and privilege and I love coming to work every day at a church whose central focus is to connect people to Christ.
Rev. Greg McKinnon
On August 23-24, we are looking forward to a special focus on Small Groups as we kick off a new year together!
When life gets especially hectic and difficult, we all need a little time to ReGroup and recover, and we don't think you should have to do that alone. Everyone needs authentic community and people around us to help keep us going. Every year we try to emphasize just how important it is to be in a small group, whether you're a follower of Jesus or not, where we can encourage and support each other, ask questions, and just do life together with people we know are going to be there for us. If you've never joined a small group, now's your time!
The Faith of a Child
Dr. Herstel Carter, Congregational Care
While on a fishing trip on a lake in Northern Wisconsin with my daughter and her family, believe it or not, a pump hose on the dishwasher (in a cabin?) began leaking. While repairing the hose, my 6 year old grandson, Jeremiah, held a flashlight. After putting the hose back and tightening the clamp, I said to Jeremiah, "Sure hope this doesn't leak." Immediately Jeremiah laid the flashlight down, got down on his knees, folded his hands, bowed his head and prayed, "Dear Jesus, please bless Poppy's work and don't let the hose leak. In Jesus name, Amen!" Afterward we turned the dishwasher on and it worked; Jeremiah's prayer was answered and he smiled as if to say, "God answers prayer." Oh, "the faith of a child!"
Indeed prayer works! Adrian Rodgers in his article, With Daniel in the School of Prayer, says,
"Only prayer can release the cleansing and healing hand of God. And, not just any prayer. It's not the arithmetic of our prayers; that is, how many they are. It's not the geometry of our prayer; how long it might be. It's not the rhetoric of our prayer; how persuasive it may be. It's not the music of our prayer; how sweet our voice. It's not the logic of our prayer; how eloquent we become. It's not the method of our prayer; how methodical we are. It's the faith and the fervency of our prayer that counts with God."
James 5:15 says, "The effectual fervent prayers of a righteous man availeth much." Jeremiah had this faith and fervency; he expressed his complete trust and hope in God through his passionate and enthusiastic prayer. It is this "Faith of a Child" that is the foundation of Congregational Care here at Niceville UMC. Our volunteers, who provide ministries of support, hospital visitation, and end of life care, understand the importance of offering prayer as help in the midst of trouble. They understand prayer provides a connection with God, and, when uttered aloud, a means of comforting those in distress. Although he did not realize how important his prayer was to me, Jeremiah provided a means of comfort in my distress.
In his book, Leading Beyond the Walls, Adam Hamilton says, at any given time there is at least 25% of a congregation in distress. They are battling issues (depression, marital and family conflict, divorce, loss of job, debt, alcohol or drug addiction, rebellious children, trauma and abuse, illness, loss and grief, seeking spiritual direction) and, they need help. Our 7 Congregational Care Ministry teams of approximately 170 volunteers are ready and available to express "The Faith of a Child" by providing an atmosphere and opportunity to sense God's presence and comfort to families and individuals in need of help in times of distress. Are you or someone you know in our church family battling issues like those mentioned above? Our Congregational Care Administrative Assistant can help you access the support or care you need. Please call 850-678-4411, ext. 166 or email Hope McKinnon at email@example.com.
Women of the Word will resume Thursday, September 4.
Our Fall Study will be Beth Moore's "Inheritance".
Women of the Word meets every Thursday during the school year from 9:30 a.m. to noon.
The gatherings are a combination of social time, videos, small group time, testimonies, and worship.
We welcome all women and childcare is provided for infant thru Pre-K.
Beth Moore Simulcast
Saturday, September 13
Doors open at 8:00 a.m.; Simulcast 9:00 a.m.–3:15 p.m.
Niceville UMC - Community Life Center
The simulcast and lunch will be provided FREE. A love offering will be accepted.
Plan now to attend and bring a friend with you!
Register now at nicevilleumc.org/women or call 865-4769.
Promotion in Children's Ministry occurs the week of August 18-24!
All children through 5th grade will go directly to their new grade/age levels fior programming beginning that week.
When you check your child in at the computer kiosks, your child's name tag will reflect their new room assignment or location.
If you have any questions please call Children's Ministry at 678-4411 ext. 187 or stop by the children's building welcome desk for assistance.
Register Now for Rock the Universe 2014! Open to student in grades 9–12. This event is held on September 5–7 in Orlando, FL. It is a fun filled weekend of Christian concerts and theme park fun. Spaces are limited. The earlybird price is $185. Beginning August 1 the price will increase to $210.
6th Grade Parent Orientation: Parents of upcoming Middle School aged students, come join in this class for parents on what to expect as your student enters Middle School. This three-part class will meet in Room 305 in the Middle School area from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. on August 3, 10, and 17. If you miss a class, please continue to join us on the other dates.
High School Prayer Lunches: August 6 and August 13 we will meet at 12:30 p.m. at a local fast food restaurant, eat lunch and then head out to a church or school to pray. Check our website nicevilleumc.org/students for the exact location. If you have any questions, please call or email firstname.lastname@example.org 678-4411 ext. 151.
Middle School Summer Fun Days: Don't sit on the couch this summer. Join us for an exciting summer adventure:
August 6 - Shipwreck Island
August 13 - Goofy Golf
Visit nicevilleumc.org/students/ for complete information.
Mark your calendars now! The annual Student Ministries Family Fun Night is on Sunday, August 24, from 5:30-8:00 p.m. Parents and Students in grades 6-12 are invited to join us for a fun and informative evening in the Community Life Center. This is a pot luck event; just bring a side dish as main entrée will be provided. Check out our website for more information.
Transformations YOUTH... will begin its second class on September 2, 2014. Join us on Tuesday evenings for a 25 week, 2 phase course that will cover job skills, discovering your personal career interests and how to overcome roadblocks in your search.
The second phase will guide you on managing money wisely, saving for your future and other issues that arise as you become more independent. Meets in Room 958 upstairs in the Community Life Center. For more information please contact Becky Ainslie-Perez at 509-998-4874 or email email@example.com.
Home Run (PG 13)
Friday, August 29, 7 p.m.
Community Life Center
A feature film about a major league baseball player
and his return to baseball.
Childcare birth–5th grade, with preregistration.
Supervised activities for Middle School students not attending the movie.
BBQ meal 5:30 – 6:45, $5/person, $15/family
Reserve your seat, meal and/or child care slot at nicevilleumc.org/recovery by August 22.
New to our Church?
Want to know more about who we are and what we're all about?
Then we invite you to join us in the Community Life Center, Room 905-907,
on Sunday, August 10, at 9:15-10:45 a.m. for the next Discover Class. You will receive a brief overview of our mission, vision
and values. Childcare is provided in the Children's Building.
We joyfully welcome the following members to our church family, who joined in May 2014.
Welcome to our Church Family at Niceville UMC!
In an effort to enhance and improve the overall experience of our basketball league, we have adopted a new beginner basketball program that will cater to our 4-5 year olds to teach the basics of the game of basketball.
We believe that our children need a firm foundation on the basics of basketball before they can participate in a competitive game. For that reason we will no longer allow our 4 year olds to participate in our traditional Youth Basketball League.
The Beginner Basketball Program will provide a fun, safe, and encouraging atmosphere that will teach the basic fundamentals of the game, while having a blast!
Registration ends August 23. Cost $40.00.
Visiti nicevilleumc.org/recreation for complete information and registration.
Transformations Poverty Alleviation Ministry (Mentors)
Transformations is looking for Mentoring Partners to work with adults and youth students as they become empowered to change their lives while impacting the community. Work with individuals who want to build a sustainable lifestyle for themselves as well as improve the community for all who live here.
An information and training class will be conducted over four consecutive weeks beginning Tuesday evenings, August 5, 6:00 p.m., Room 913 in the Community Life Center. Mentoring Partners will begin working with participants on September 2, 2014. For more information please contact Kim Colpitts at 850-461-0203, Joe Shearer at 850-687-9404 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Jesus and the Alligators"
by Leonard Goldman
When I was in the army, we had a sign over our recon shop door that said, "When you're up to your 'neck' in alligators, it's hard to remember the mission is to drain the swamp".
As a counselor I often meet with people who are feeling overwhelmed and scattered by the circumstances in their lives.
I can identify with this because it's not uncommon for me to find myself pulled in several directions at once; so distracted or enmeshed in my circumstances that I'm emotionally struggling to focus and act.
Jesus calls us to be in the world but not of the world... sometimes easier said than done.
Read the full article at: nicevilleumc.org/counseling/alligators.html
Young At Heart: Our program for Tuesday, August 12 will be author Charles Davis. Charles will share stories of growing up in Pensacola. Join us at 11:30 a.m. in the Fellowship Hall. Cost for lunch: $6. Please sign up or cancel for lunch by the Friday noon, August 8.
Karaoke: Are you interested in a fun evening? Bring your friends and come sing or just listen and enjoy a great evening of laughter and fellowship! Please bring a savory or sweet finger food to share. Fellowship Hall, Thursday, August 28, 6-8:30 p.m. Come and go as you like that night. No cost, but please sign up.
Exploring What's New at Destin Commons – Shop and explore in small groups, and, if you'd like, reassemble at Uncle Buck's for lunch and bowling. On Thursday, August 21, we will depart at 9:30 a.m., and return by 3:00 p.m. via church bus. Cost: $2 or bring a friend for only $3 total. Sign up by August 14. Lunch and bowling are not included in trip cost. Bowling will cost about $10.
Cruise the British Isles: Sign ups have now begun for this 13-day cruise aboard the Royal Princess visiting Ireland, Scotland and Paris/Normandy. We depart Aug. 25 and return Sept. 6, 2015. Only a $100 deposit secures your spot if you book by September 24, and you'll receive a coupon book for onboard savings. Cruise prices start at $4730 and is all inclusive except for gratuities. Contact Barbara for itinerary and details: 678-4411, ext. 123; email@example.com.
Caring, enthusiastic sighted guides are needed for the Extreme Experience Camp for Visually Impaired and Blind Adults held at Blue Lake Camp. You need no training... just smiles and a helpful hand! It is stress free and you will have fun and be blessed. Cost is $50. Sunday, September 28-Wednesday, October 1. Call now to join our team or for more information!
Children in Crisis: Three-person teams work for two hours once a month in the CIC pantry. We are always ready to welcome new members! Here's a recent photo of one group taking a break from their labor.
Check out all of the Active Adults 50 Plus at: nicevilleumc.org/seniors/pdf/seniors-current.pdf
Contact Barbara Wilder for trip details and sign ups:
678-4411, ext. 123 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Judy Alley, Dorothy Baldwin, Connie Cobb, Marc Cole, Shawna Crist, Iris Girling, Dot Manning, Becky Matthews, Bob Newton, Lavina Nixon, John O'Neil, B.J. Parrish, Margarita Perez, Claire Powers, Joanne Rolfe, Cindy Scott, Doris Smith, Jennifer Stuteville, Jan Tardiff, Ron Tardiff, Leroy Thornal, Bobby Tyre, Larry Van Pelt, Dick Weaver, Joe Weston, Tom Winburn and Gabriel Zamora.
To Frank Cranor on the death of his brother;
To Nadean Edeburn on the death of her brother;
To Sabra Guy on the death of her husband;
To David Scheckells on the death of his uncle;
To Jeanne Shaw on the death of her sister;
To Linda Swales on the death of her mother.
Dear Church Family, Thank you so much for your calls, prayers, flowers, dinners and kind words prior to and following my recent surgery. Love truly is the greatest gift of all! Blessings, Joanne Rolfe
Lay Servant Ministry Training
The Pensacola District Lay Servant Ministry will be offering training on September 6 & 13 at Shalimar UMC in Fort Walton Beach. Registration fee is $10.00 per person. Registration forms can be found on the Pensacola District website at www.umcpensacoladistrict.org/LayServantMinistry or contact Bruce Knecht at email@example.com
Trip to the Holy Lands
Tom and Edie Giovanini are co-hosting, with Bishop Leeland, a trip to the Holy Lands. Dates are January 19-29, 2015. If you are interested, please call Tom/Edie at 682-7594 or 496-0300 for a brochure. Costs from Atlanta are approximately $3,000 which includes meals, hotel, and all transportation.
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For a complete listing of all staff with email links, visit the Staff Contact List online.
Connections Newsletter, Vol. 31, No. 8, Niceville United Methodist Church
Publication Deadlines: Bulletin - 12:00 noon each Tuesday. Newsletter: 15th day of the prior month. Connections is a monthly publication of Niceville United Methodist Church, 214 Partin Dr. S., Niceville, Florida 32578. Printed copies are only mailed to those who specifically sign up for that delivery means. Newsletters also available in brochure racks at the church.
If you wish to unsubscribe to this newsletter, please "reply" and put the word "unsubscribe" in the Subject line, or call 850-678-4411 850-678-4411. Please also include a message indicating whether you are choosing to remove your email address from the database, or you are only unsubscribing from the e-newsletter. Email addresses are also used for FirstNet tools, class communications, etc.