Oct 5, 2017, Rev. Larry Patton Sr. Pastor
 
Dear First Family,

***Annual Youth Flag Football Sunday is this Sunday, October 8th.  Should the weather not cooperate, we will notify you of any alternative plans by Saturday noon.  Weather permitting; all are invited for lunch at the Carrollton Junior High field.  

***Combined worship this Sunday, October 8th, sanctuary for both 9 and 11 a.m. services.  We welcome our youth “flag footballers” for 9 a.m. worship!

***The ILI Core Principle for this Sunday is Visionary Leadership.  God has called every Christian believer to be a leader in some way (even if you don’t consider yourself a natural leader).  Our question for this Sunday:  No matter how major or minor, how might God be working right now to expand and fulfill your vision as a leader?  And yes, you’re not qualified to be a leader for God.  Neither am I!!  God does not call the qualified; rather, God qualifies the called.  

Devotional Reflection for the week:

I read this online and felt compelled to pass it along to you.  THREE THINGS TO PRAY in the face of tragedies like Monday’s Las Vegas massacre and all other tragic circumstances we may encounter along the way.  This comes from Brenda Rodgers who runs a ministry to young adult women:

 

In the face of tragedy, remember to incorporate these three essentials in your prayers…

  1. Pray that people come to know, and hold onto, the hope found in Jesus Christ, an eternally sustaining hope rather than a fleeting, fading hope

 

  1. Pray that people run to God and not run away from God during and after tragedy and its fallout.  To run from God in the face of tragedy is like drinking poison to cure a stomach ailment.

 

  1. Pray for salvation of and within souls even if physical lives are lost as a result of tragedy.  Jesus said, “Very truly I tell you, anyone who hears my word and believes him who sent me has…passed from death to life.”  (John 5:24) 

The greatest truth of the Gospel is how far God’s love extends beyond tragedy and loss, so let’s pray:  Lord, work to roll away the stone of tragedy and loss and all of its pain for our fellow citizens, their families, loved ones, our nation, and all anywhere who are grieving.  

Remember (and sing) the chorus from “One Thing Remains” by Jesus Culture:  “Your love never fails.  It never gives up.  It never runs out on me.”

 

Sep 27, 2017            Rev. Larry Patton, Sr. Pastor

Dear First Family,

By last Sunday evening, our children’s and youth’s ministry had packed 200 hygiene kits, and church-wide, you packed 100 flood cleaning buckets for hurricane relief.  An UMCOR truck came on Monday for pick up and delivery to the flood zone.  Thank you church!  We’ve given over $13,000 over-and-above your regular CFUMC giving!  Churches across our North Georgia Conference are packing flood buckets. If we all did 100 each, that would equal 100,000 buckets. If every congregation takes up just 10,000 each, that would equal ten million dollars directly for our Methodist Church relief efforts through UMCOR.  What a powerful connection we share for Christ.

GOD LISTENS

Let me ask you this question about your personal faith:  How are you doing with your quiet time?  What’s a quiet time?  It’s time you take apart from stress, cares, and fears to center on God via prayer, meditation, reading scripture, or reading this devotional message (or others like it)!  As we journey through our new CFUMC sermon series on the ILI eight core values of Christian faith, we have covered these two values:  1.  Intimacy with God, and 2.  Integrity.  It’s very difficult to foster intimacy with God without a “Quiet Time.”  Numerous times Jesus removed himself from his crowded life to settle, center, and pray.  In Matthew 14:23 we read, “And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up the mountain by himself to pray.  When evening came, he was there alone.”  Quiet time is a time to refresh, replenish, renew–all natural, organic, wholistic, no controlling substances needed to decompress!!!  It’s wholly good, wholly good for you, holy organic medicine for the soul, created by God for our wholeness.  Contact me, Rev. Karen, or any of our staff for guidance on devotional literature or simply pick up your Bible and read Psalms, Proverbs, or the Gospels–even if but one verse at a time.  Someone once asked one of the greatest missionaries ever, Mother Teresa, what she says when she prays.  She replied, “I don’t say anything.  I listen.”  Then she was asked, “So what is God saying?”  Teresa replied, “Nothing.  God listens.”

I hope you are able to make time to climb the mountain for “Quiet Time.”  After all:  It’s awfully noisy out there!

In addition to note:  Let’s have a huge crowd in church this Sunday, October 1st, for the annual World Communion Sunday.  We have this annual opportunity to celebrate the Lord’s Supper of Salvation and abundant life with Christian believers worldwide.  Among the 2.5 billion globally who profess Christian faith, this Sunday we’ll join hundreds of millions at our altar and altars all across the earth’s surface.  So this Sunday let’s make every effort to be in church–and be part of the solution!  Thank you for being “solution people”!

 

 
Sep 13, 2017    Rev. Larry Patton, Sr. Pastor
 
By this everyone will know you are my disciples, if you love one another.”  –John 13:35

For my son’s fourteenth birthday we rolled out of bed this morning at 5:30 a.m. and took him to the grand opening of the new Chik-Fil-A restaurant on Highway 61.  As one of the first one hundred dine-in customers he received a card for 52 free number one combo meals, one per week for the entire year.  Very exciting!

One thing I admire about Chik-Fil-A is the teamwork, a well-oiled sewing machine and typically a heaping helping of happy faces who say happy things like, “my pleasure” and “God bless you” and “Have a blessed day.”  What a blessing to go places where you feel warmth and welcome.
I love being part of a connectional church like the Methodist Church.  We’re a connectional model, rather than a loose confederation of autonomous congregations.  Because of our built-in united team model, we can accomplish amazing things for the Gospel and mission. One of those is the UMCOR, United Methodist Committee on Relief.  UMCOR is right in the middle of relief efforts in both Florida and Texas even as we speak, bringing an intentional faith-based approach–and mobilizing churches– to work for restoring lives.  I’m so proud of you, Carrollton First:  Your recent “Over-And-Above” giving has totaled over $12,000 for UMCOR’s work in Florida and Texas. On Sunday, September 24th, everyone’s invited to unite in our fellowship hall to pack “cleaning buckets” for UMCOR, some of the most desired needed items for restoring homes and businesses. Meet in the fellowship hall from 3-5 pm, Sunday, September 24th.
This past Sunday we also united as a team for the “Amazing Grace” annual offering for our Methodist Children’s Home, a flagship ministry of our North Georgia Conference.  From rescuing orphans of the Civil War to today’s work for foster children and families, our UM Children’s Home has a goal of offering Christ and an infrastructure of resources to build good citizens and Christian leaders of 500 of our state’s foster children by 2020.  As of today, they work with over 150 children–and on pace for rapid growth. Contributions can still be made through the church (mark it UMCH) or online at

umchildrenshome.org/amazingGrace

.Finally, I thank God not only for our teamwork as UM Christian disciples, but also for the teamwork of our own church staff.  Dear Carrollton First family, you have a team of bright, talented, resourceful, diligent staff members who deeply care about souls and about the work of nurturing encounters with the Living God and opportunities for spiritual development at every age level and station in life.  I put our staff team up against any other in the North Georgia Conference. I hope you will continue to get behind us and support us.  And we are like family who deeply care for each other.  We don’t always see eye-to-eye on every single thing, but we love each other anyway–and we are dedicated.  We know there are lots of places to go to church, but we are grateful for your dedication to Carrollton First!  We are an outstanding church with a tremendous staff and lay leadership, but we can’t do it without you, the faithful disciples who make up the congregation. You are truly the “wind beneath our wings” by your faithful prayers, presence, gifts, service, witness.  That’s what makes the wings fly, by God’s grace.  Jesus said, “They’ll know we are Christians by our love”, our love and partnership as a team.

All that to say how grateful I am and blessed I feel that you allow me to have a part and to work with such an outstanding staff team and family!  None of us is perfected yet, we are on a journey, but It’s a dream come true for me.

Over the next nine weeks, our worship sermon series is based on the International Leadership Institute’s Eight Core Principles of Christian discipleship. Also, check out our new website. Several things are still under construction, but it’s looking great.  Way to go, Cande Taylor!   Cfumc.com

Larry