Notes from Brother Jay

     It’s been a great month for the Ocilla/Irwinville Charge.  Both churches seem to thrive as the Holy Spirit moves in us.  A few weeks ago Irwinville decided to address a few issues with the facilities, to offer help to the South Central District seminary students and people in the Irwinville community who struggle to make ends meet.  This past Sunday Ocilla received an increase in commitments through our Consecration Sunday efforts, with commitments reaching nearly $175,000, a $5000 increase over last year!  
     

Our Monday night Women’s group now includes four women from Irwinville, while our Tuesday Men’s group decided to become a “Class Meeting,” harking back to the early days of the Methodist Movement and the time of our greatest growth.
We maintain two Circles of United Methodist Women (Ocilla) and our United Methodist Men (Ocilla) just raised $10,000 in support of our Youth and Children’s Program.  Both churches are receiving visitors on a regular basis.   Not only that, we have people in our midst who have begun to grow through earnestly and intentionally seeking God.  
     Last Friday, November 3rd, Kathy and I celebrated five years of marriage.  On that beautiful fall day, we said “I do” to each other at Camp J. D. Tygart, a very special place in our Christian journey.  We celebrated with our families and many wonderful friends then, and I share this to celebrate with you!
     I am truly grateful for Kathy!  And, I am grateful for you as you seek God, as you volunteer your time and efforts for the glory of God, and as you pray for our churches, your Pastor and his wife.  
     I am very grateful to Jesus Christ who brought salvation to me!  With His offering to all of us, he offers hope to a hurting, troubled world.
     Advent is about his offering and it’s right around the corner.  Advent begins the Christian year.  Spiritually, a time to prepare for the Christmas celebration, the “coming” of Christ as Messiah and His return in final victory.  
     What does Christmas mean to you?  Is it time for family?  For gifts of food and other things?  Is it the tree and the decorations?   Perhaps this year we could make a time for a “reset?”
     We might travel the Advent road on our own.   With intentionality, we can take a little time each day to seek God and His will for our lives and the direction of our churches. Or, we could do this together!  Can I ask you to pray about moving in unison for a season?  Not “lock step” legalism, but joyfully expressing our gratitude for God’s goodness and the blessing we enjoy of being in this together!  By traveling together we draw closer to God.  When we draw closer to God, we are naturally drawn together in love, a love which is

 

“patient and kind, not jealous or boastful or proud or rude, not demanding its own way, not irritable, or keeping any record of being wronged.  A love not rejoicing about injustice but rejoicing whenever the truth wins out.  The king of love which never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance!”  (adapted from 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NLT)

     Love the world can only see and know through Jesus and His followers.

Peace,

Brother Jay

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