volume 31, number 11             November 2014

From our Lead Pastor

Let the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons begin! Why? Because our generosity makes such a difference in so many people's lives! Last Sunday we shared that in the past two years from November 2012 until now, Niceville UMC has baptized 259 people! That does not include another 50 in infant baptisms, whose parents have promised to raise their children in Christian homes. There is no better place to give your money, your time, and other resources for making a difference in the Kingdom of God. Connecting people to Christ for changed lives!

During Thanksgiving and Christmas we always raise our generosity factor up a notch! We never ask you to give your "tithe" (first level of giving) to additional projects…"the tithe belongs to the Lord" and is not ours to separate out…we simply give it to the Lord. But all of us need to find ways to express our generosity and gratitude above and beyond our normal giving. That's why we offer so many great things during these seasons for you to give sacrificially!

So... Join us as we partner with Samaritan's Purse and Operation Christmas Child to demonstrate God's love in a tangible way to needy children around the world and to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. Our goal this year is to collect 1100 boxes! Shoeboxes can be delivered to the Gathering Areas in the Community Life Center and the Sanctuary. Our official Collection Weekends will be November 1-2, 8-9, 15-16, 22-23. For your convenience, shoeboxes will be available at all services starting November 1 (until supplies run out). Samaritan's Purse brochures are available in "important information locations" at church. Note newsletter article for more details!

The Social Concerns Committee will prepare Thanksgiving Baskets for families in our community who have been identified by Sharing and Caring. Donated items can be placed in the Gathering Areas of the Sanctuary and the Community Life Center, by Wednesday, November 19. Please bring items according to the service you attend. Items should be new/good condition (i.e. no rusty/dented/outdated items please). Also, we do not need additional cupboard items, since these baskets are compiled and prepared identically. Thank you so much for caring for our community! See newsletter article/bulletin for food items your service should bring.

Rurel AusleyPlease be anticipating our Congo Christmas offering and Children's Home offerings in December! Giving to the poorest of the poor from our abundance!

We completed our purchase of our 10.9 acres in north Crestview across from Davidson Middle School on Old Bethel Road for our North Crestview campus. Things are quickly moving forward behind the scenes. Exciting publicity plans are being made for the "rollout" of our new Crosspoint United Methodist Church name in January 2015 plus an updated website to serve all three campuses! Please check and make sure you are up to date on your "Beyond" giving as we are using these funds now. Of course, you are always able to extend into 2015 for the advantage of another tax year.

If you have been considering membership, you are invited to Discover Class. In this class you will have a chance to learn more about the Church, get to meet some of our staff, and review expectations regarding membership at Niceville United Methodist Church. The next class is offered: Sunday, November 9 from 9:15-10:45 a.m., Room 905-907, Community Life Center.

Rev. Rurel Ausley
Lead Pastor

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Upcoming Messages


We're not ok. Ever wonder why we can't get it together and why everything seems to be falling apart around us? Sin. We always hear that all sins are the same, and that's true, but from early on in the church there have been a few singled out as the cause of others. Join us for our new series, SEVEN, as we discover not only what the 7 Deadly Sins are, and how to identify them in our lives, but also how to let God overcome and redeem them.

continuing in our series...

Nov. 1-2 - Greed
Nov. 8-9 - Lust
Nov. 15-16 - Gluttony
Nov. 22-23 - Envy

Miss a Message? Watch online!

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Article: Lew Wilder

Sabbath Time

Rev. Lew Wilder, Connections Pastor

Lew WilderI recently spent three days in Nashville at the "New Room Conference" sponsored by Asbury Seminary and the Wesley Covenant Network. It was a great conference and of the many things I came away with, one of the most significant was the concept or principle of "Sabbath Time."

This principle comes from Genesis, where at the end of creation God rested (see Genesis 2:2-3). It is interesting to note that the sabbath is the first object that God consecrated "holy".

Sabbath time is important because it is commanded in scripture as a day when we rest from our labor. It involves ceasing anything that is "work", a time of being rather than doing. It is also a time of rest, of reflecting who God is and what he is doing in our midst. It often involves feasting (Marva Dawn says that her sabbath is the only day she eats dessert).

Sabbath time is intentional, not accidental. It will not just happen. We must put our minds to the principle and ask God to help us with this, for too many of us are so wrapped up in doing rather than being, that sabbath has become a foreign concept.

There are excellent resources available that can help us further develop this in our lives. If you would like to discuss this further contact me at lwilder@nicevilleumc.org.
Blessings on your Sabbath!

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Women's Ministries

There's a Song in the Air!

Women of all ages are warmly invited to our Christmas Brunch!

Join us for food, friends and the presentation of:

Three Women and a Baby

When: Thursday, December 4, 2014, 9:30-11:30 a.m.
Where: Niceville United Methodist Church, 214 Partin Dr. South, Niceville
(Brunch will be in the Community Life Center)
Cost: $7
Registration: nicevilleumc.org/women
Childcare: YES! Register at nicevilleumc.org/women

For more info, call 850-865-4769
Invite your friends and family!

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Adult Outdoor Soccer

Adult SoccerOur program is for ages 17 and up. It is a 6v6 co-ed league that has two different divisions based on the desired competitiveness. Registration starts November 3, the fee is $60 per player. Registration deadline is December 22. Games are played Sunday afternoons, between 2-5 p.m. For more information visit our website at nicevilleumc.org/recreation or come to the Community Life Center Welcome Desk during normal business hours. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday from 6 a.m.-9 p.m. and Wednesday, Friday from 6 a.m.-2 p.m.

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Student Ministries

Upcoming Student Ministries Events

Passion Conference 2015: College and high school seniors can register now to attend the 2015 Passion Conference in Atlanta, GA, on January 2, 3 and 4. Registration is $275. Deadline is Wednesday, December 17. For more information, or to register online, visit the Student Ministries webpage at nicevilleumc.org/students.

Baptism Date Change: Students who have completed Confirmation and have chosen to be baptized will be baptized on Wednesday, November 12 at 6:30 - 7:30 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall. Everyone, including parents and family are welcome to attend.

7 Bridges Mission Opportunity: Weekend mission opportunity in Atlanta, GA. Blessing the homeless with care packages and ministry. Cost is $35, plus money for four meals. Meet at the Community Life Center on December 5 at 2:30 p.m. Return on Sunday December 7 at 8:30 p.m.

Volunteer Training: Annual training for all Student Ministry volunteers will be held in the Upper level of the Community Life Center on Sunday, November 16 from 12:30–2:30 p.m.

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Music Ministry

Mark your calendars for the Christmas Concert that will be December 14, at 6 p.m. in the Sanctuary. This Concert, entitled "Sing the Glory" will be an exciting evening of great Christmas Music.

The music will be a variety that will appeal to our whole Church. Contemporary worshipers and Traditional worshipers will join together for this very special and meaningful evening of music featuring Choir, Orchestra and Praise Band.

If you are interested in singing in this Concert Choir, please join us as soon as possible. The rehearsals are on Wednesday nights, 6-7:30 p.m., Sanctuary Choir Loft.

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Culinary Ministry

SaladWednesday Night Salad Bar Change Coming

Your Niceville UMC Culinary Team is happy to provide delicious, well-balanced, budget-friendly meals for our weekly fellowship dinners. We understand the convenience our dinners offer, allowing families to arrive at church in time for weekly programming while still being able to eat together.

Due to increased cost, volunteer and staff labor, and significant waste, the salad bar at Wednesday's dinner will be changing to a prepared salad starting December 3, 2014. Each week, we will publish a boxed salad in the menu portion of the Connection Card for the following Wednesday's dinner. There will be a rotation of 6 prepared salads, as well as a boxed side salad each week.

For those of you who select the salad bar each week, we hope this new option will continue to provide a healthy dinner choice for you to enjoy. We do ask if you choose to eat that week's salad, you sign up in the Connection Card or email us so we prepare enough salads each week. If you have questions, please contact Meghan at mgordon@nicevilleumc.org.

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The Counseling Center

"Happy, Happy, Happy"

Leonard Goldman, LMHC

Counseling CenterThat's what we all want, right?... to be happy. So what's the problem? God says don't worry... always be joyful... be thankful in all circumstances. Is there a flaw in the plan for life abundantly? What is it that prevents us from experiencing the peace that surpasses all understanding, and living a life filled with love, fulfillment, contentment, and intimacy? What is the "secret of happiness"?

Read the full article at: nicevilleumc.org/counseling/happy.html

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ThanksgivingThanksgiving Baskets

The Social Concerns Committee will once again prepare Thanksgiving baskets for families who have been identified by Sharing and Caring. We are asking the congregation to assist us in this project by donating the following nonperishable food items. Donated items can be placed in the Gathering Areas of the Sanctuary and the Community Life Center, by Wednesday, November 19. Please bring items according to the service you attend. Items should be new/good condition (i.e. no rusty/dented/outdated items please). Also, we do not need additional cupboard items, since baskets are prepared identically.

9:30, 9:32, and 11:00

Exchange, 8:00 & 11:02

1 bag of stuffing

1 can green beans

1 can cranberry sauce

1 can pumpkin

1 can sweet potatoes

1 box instant mashed potatoes

1 can corn

1 can evaporated milk

1 can green peas

1 boxed pie crust

Dry jello or pudding

Rice or canned fruit

Please add a handwritten note or Bible verse.
Thank you so much for caring for our community!

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Operation Christmas Child

Join us as we partner with Samaritan's Purse to demonstrate God's love in a tangible way to needy children around the world, and together with the local church worldwide, to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. Our goal this year is to collect 1100 boxes!

COLLECTION WEEKENDS 2014: Nov. 1-2, Nov. 8-9, Nov. 15-16, Nov. 22-23

Collection locations are the Gathering Areas of the Community Life Center and the Sanctuary.

For your convenience, shoeboxes will be available at all services starting November 1 (until supplies run out):

  • GO (Gospel Opportunity) cardboard boxes = .25 cents
  • Plastic shoe boxes = $1.00
  • Plastic shoe boxes with school supplies & hygiene items
  • = $8.00 (you personalize with toys, etc.)

Samaritan's Purse brochures are available at church.


When shopping, plan for your items to fit into a standard-sized shoebox.
Operation Christmas ChildToiletries: Toothbrushes & toothpaste, Bar soap (in box/plastic wrapper), Washcloth/small towel, Comb.
School supplies: Pencils w/small pencil sharpener, Ballpoint pens, Crayons/markers, Small lined notebooks, Erasers
Clothing: Tee-shirts, Socks, Baseball caps
Toys: Small cars, Yo-Yo, Balls, Jump ropes, Dolls, Jacks, Stuffed animals, Small Etch A Sketch, Kazoos, Slinky, Harmonicas, Small puzzles
Miscellaneous: Calculators, Watches, Sunglasses, Flashlights (extra batteries)

No liquids/lotions of any kind; No food; toys of war or violence; medications/vitamins; breakable items; aerosol cans or used/damaged items!

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November Featured Events


Operation Christmas Child Distribution and Collection

November 2014


Ministry Architects Meetings


Children's Ministry Architect Report


Hospitality Ministry Training


Standard Time Begins


Ministry Architect Meetings


Operation Christmas Child Distribution and Collection


Discover Class


Veterans Day, Okaloosa Co. Schools CLOSED




Operation Christmas Child Distribution and Collection


Italy Mission Trip


Divorce Care Surviving the Holidays


Operation Christmas Child Distribution and Collection


Community Thanksgiving Service


Thanksgiving Holiday, Okaloosa Co. Schools CLOSED


Tuesday Night Dinner and Activities Cancelled


Wednesday Night Dinner and Activities Cancelled


Thanksgiving Holiday OFFICES and FACILITIES CLOSED


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VisionDiscover Class

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, November 9, 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.

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Welcome New Members!

We joyfully welcome the following members to our church family, who joined in September 2014.

Jackie Abruzzini
Shaun Abruzzini
Margie Carlucci
Christel Dietzius
Steve Dietzius
John Eichling

Craig Ewing
Darsi Ewing
Barbara Griffin
Lynn Griffin
Shea Haley

Bunny Hudson
Jim Hudson
Jaiden Knight
Katherine McWilliams
Shelley Scott



Welcome to our Church Family at Niceville UMC!

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Surviving the HolidaysDivorce Care:

Surviving the Holidays

Tuesday, November 18

6:00-7:30 p.m., Room 305

Register at nicevilleumc.org/singles

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Active Adults 50 Plus Ministry


Young at Heart: Our program for Tuesday, November 4 will be Bev Gross speaking to us on "The Real Truth about the Pilgrims". Join us at 11:30 a.m. in the Fellowship Hall. Cost for lunch: $6. Please sign up or cancel for lunch by Friday noon, October 31. Contact Barbara Wilder at 678-4411 ext. 123 or bwilder@nicevilleumc.org.


Gulf Coast Zoo: On Thursday, November 6, come with us and enjoy the morning with the animals... maybe even feed a giraffe! We will have lunch at Johnny Houston's. Cost: $20 for admission, train ride through the free range area, and transportation. Departing at 8 a.m., return at 3 p.m. Contact Barbara Wilder for itinerary and details: 678-4411 ext. 123 or bwilder@nicevilleumc.org.

Casting Crowns Concert: Join us for the Casting Crowns Thrive Tour with Sidewalk Prophets and Mandesa. All tickets on hand are sold out, but you may purchase them online and ride the bus with us! We will depart at 4:45 p.m. and travel by church bus to the Pensacola Bay Center for this concert on Thursday, November 13. Cost: $7 for transportation only.

Callaway Gardens/La Grange Trip: Travel with us to see the Callaway Gardens Fantasy in Lights! We'll also tour Bellevue (an antebellum home), the National Infantry Museum (includes the IMAX film "Jerusalem"), and the Walker-Peters-Langdon house. We will stay overnight at the Wingate in LaGrange, GA. Departing 7 a.m. on Thursday Dec 11, returning 5:30 p.m. on Friday Dec 12. Cost: $201 includes admissions, travel (via motor coach), hotel. Trip limited to 30 people! Sign-ups close Nov 17.

Barbara WilderContact Barbara Wilder for trip details and sign ups:

678-4411, ext. 123 or bwilder@nicevilleumc.org

The Active Adults 50 Plus monthly brochure (PDF) is also online.

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Christmas Poinsettias


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Prayerful Concerns

Recently Hospitalized:

Lullene Angelos, Bob Apfel, Debbie Atashian, Phil Bascom, Donna Boles, Marissa Boyd, Billie Jean Branson, Fred Carley, Andrew Chandler, Sylvia Chandler, Stan Davis, Bill Downing, Tommie Duncan, Selman Ellisor, Darcy Gutierez, Mary Hencinski, Gwen Jones, Debby Lee, Holly Lowmiller, Jeanne Mallette, Betsy Nielsen, Dawn Samuolis, Bernie Shanklin, Jeanie Slocum, J.B. Story, Yajin Ward, Mincy Whiddon, and Billie Whiddon.


Marilyn Fuller on the death of her mother;
Joe Gagliardi on the death of his father;
Steve Griner on the death of his father;
Lori Harrington and children on the death of her husband;
Wayne Phillips on the death of his grandmother.

Thank You:

Dear Church Family and Friends, I would love to write each of you a special "thank you" for all your prayers, cards, flowers, "goodies", visits, etc., but that is impossible at this time. But all of these helped bring me through 2 weeks at Sacred Heart Hospital—Destin, then 2 weeks at the Rehabilitation Institute—Destin, and now as I write this, it is the 45th day at The Manor. At each place I have met some of the most wonderful caretakers who have helped make my days and nights more bearable. I also have nothing but praise for my surgeon, Dr. Poelstra. Of course, the Lord's loving presence has been so very real to me during this time, especially when the pain was so severe. I am not sure how much longer I will be at the Manor, but we (the family) have agreed that it is best to stay on until I can do more on my own. My family—Ed, Wanda, Sharon and John—have gone the extra mile for me. So for now I just have to ask the Lord to bless each of you for all your kindnesses to me. (As of Wednesday, October 22, I am finally home and so very thankful.) With much love, Sylvia Chandler

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Stewardship Report

This report below is an image.


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Please Pray for Your Niceville Campus Staff

This listing below is an image.

For a complete listing of all staff with email links, visit the Staff Contact List online.

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Connections Newsletter, Vol. 31, No. 11, 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.

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