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Smyrna First In Action Magazine

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uAN ote From Our Lead Pastor It is not the critic who counts not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done them better The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood who strives valiantly who errs who comes short again and again because there is no effort without error and shortcoming but who does actually strive to do the deeds who knows great enthusiasms the great devotions who spends himself in a worthy cause who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst if he fails at least fails while daring greatly so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat Theodore Roosevelt I love studying history and I love studying historical figures even more The above quote is from one of my favorite American characters Teddy Roosevelt A man of many sides and interests Roosevelt can t even be defined by the title he held of American President from 1901 1909 A rugged cowboy who just happened to graduate from Harvard he lived as full a life as any man of the last 150 years Roosevelt was a champion who lived out this saying by constantly engaging the worthy causes of his day Rev Derek Porter Lead Pastor Over the past two years I have found the beauty in the valiant try that comes up short I have learned to appreciate the truth that our scars and weaknesses can unite us and make us stronger because of what we have overcome together It is profoundly accurate that success is found in great devotion to the worthy cause of Christ In 2023 we will be focused on Smyrna First In Action We will hear you tell your stories We will tell one another s stories We celebrate triumphant stories of high achievement and we will tip our caps to the tales of daring mistakes of action There will be no cold and timid souls here 4 COME TO THE TABLE 5 CARING FOR CAREGIVERS 6 VBS A FAMILY TRADITION 7 CLUB 4 5 8 OUTSIDE COMFORT ZONES 9 SHARING THE LOVE OF GOD THROUGH MUSIC 10 THRIVING IN PRESCHOOL 12 GETTING INVOLVED LEADS TO GREAT ADVENTURES On January 15 we will be starting a Church wide focus on what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ at Smyrna First We will start by asking you to commit to three discipleship hours per week at Smyrna First UMC One hour in worship one hour in study and one hour in service will root you in ways that will grow you closer to Christ than you have ever been Our schedule for this focus will be Prayer Bible Reading Worship Witness Generosity and Service On the 3rd Wednesday night of every month this year I will be facilitating Family Discussions geared towards helping us be In Action together In January I will start the year by giving an update on where we are as a Church and where we are in the life of the United Methodist Denomination There will be a time of questions and answers for you to let the leadership know what you believe is essential in the life of this Church family that we all love so much Through the course of the year small groups will form around action and vision to help us all stay on the same page I know that there are many questions and I am looking forward to our answering and addressing each and every one In the Hollows of His Hands Derek 2 33

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Come To The Table It s What Discipleship is All About By Rev Kathryn Davis A lot of things happen for us started out as filling our bellies around tables It s no wonder we ended up feeding our souls In what read about them all throughout felt like the turn of a switch Scripture Whether it is a table full the conversation went from of disciples or even a picnic laughter to vulnerability which on a green field we know that can be hard to come by these Jesus did a lot of ministry work days Stories from work turned around the table We think of this to stories from Sunday school remembering that we are called now known as Discipleship Groups time and time again to the Lord s Free time during the week is hard Table where we receive grace which is why Sunday morning is upon grace as disciples of Jesus a priority rose one of the voices Christ Discipleship at Smyrna First from around the table One by has happened around tables one the voices of our young Whether it be the Discipleship adults echoed the voices I have Committee or one of the various heard across generations communities within it much u discipleship matters of what we do here comes alive and discipleship means around the table Isn t that what we are growing in community discipleship is about Around the table we heard the good One of the most impactful moments news that there has been a sign for me in visioning for the future at Smyrna First that community is of Discipleship Ministries at Smyrna not just formed but continues to First happened around the Young be formed Community building Adult Friendsgiving Table What and growth have begun to show that people are willing to not just be in relationship but to serve one another in love The young adults are not the only group who are an illustration of multiplication Every facet of discipleship is Sherry Vining reminds us that disciples making disciples is one minute one hour and one day at a time Discipleship brings us to tables together Take a walk through the building this month on a Sunday morning at 10 10am Watch the hallways buzz with life laughter and light Notice the names on the doorways of Discipleship Groups who have been family for decades and the ones who are newly formed We are multiplying the Kingdom here at Smyrna First for that I am ever grateful and invite you to be a part of the good and holy work that is happening here Caring for Caregivers Helping Those Dealing With Dementia Several years ago I was so By Linda Porter other caregivers at workshops overwhelmed with the many and conferences that were offered decisions and details for my in the community Each time I mother s care When I was given learned a little something new an invitation to attend a Caregivers or a different perspective but Conference at Due West UMC more importantly I no longer felt my first reaction was I d really so very alone rather spend my free time A few years later my mother died escaping from caregiving than from Alzheimer s It had been such listening about caregiving a long goodbye I was grateful for Therefore I didn t read the learning how to give her the best invitation about the guest speakers possible quality of life during her or make a reservation to attend last years and I was grateful for Then the day of the conference the support of the community the sun was shining and my June of 2018 Eve DeVane asked mood was lifted so I decided to me to help her start a Caregiver attend but I planned to take a Support group at Smyrna First seat in the back so I could sneak We both know the stresses of out if I had to I was greeted with caring for a family member who such warmth and was told there lives with Alzheimer s or related was plenty of room for me to join dementias We also understand My reluctance faded and I settled the reluctance of joining a support in to listen The guest speaker group We had our first meeting was incredible I then learned she in November that year and since was Teepa Snow internationally then it has been a joy to witness renowned dementia advocate the life saving comfort that educator and trainer Her message talking with each other provides was what I needed to hear There If you need a safe place to relax is no cure for dementia but with and share you are welcome to the positive approach to care join us quality of life can be improved We meet in person and on for persons with the disease Zoom the last Thursday of the This in turn improves the life month at 7pm in Room A102 of the caregivers as well There is no cure for dementia but with the positive approach to care quality of life can be improved for persons with the disease This in turn improves the life of the caregivers as well I was so glad I attended the conference and learned things I never knew After that experience I was more open to meeting with 4 For more information contact Eve DeVane hejdev gmail com or me porter4305 yahoo com 55

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A Family Tradition Mrs J and n ordan is a ever n m ot ha azing ppy Owen Male ski by Tara Evie Jocie and Beckham Hanover Our family has always looked forward to Vacation Bible School at Smyrna First United Methodist Church In fact there has never been a summer where we did not attend as it is our favorite week of the year We love everything about it seeing our friends playing the games making the crafts and singing the songs As a matter of fact we still have all of the CD s in our car from the past 10 years of VBS and sing them often We also enjoy seeing how much food the church collects to donate to MUST ministries it is always a competition and goes to children in our community who are in need I am Evie and have been going to VBS for as long as I can remember My favorite memories growing up in Vacation Bible school are meeting new friends playing the games in PE and learning about Jesus I always looked forward to seeing who the puppet is in the opening ceremony and actually still do I am 15 years old now and have been a volunteer for the past few years I was excited to have the opportunity to volunteer because I did not want to stop attending VBS and I wanted to give the kids the same experience that I had I love hanging out with the younger kids and enjoy watching them sing the songs It s funny thinking I was as little as they are when I started my VBS journey My name is Jocie and I am 11 years old I like going to VBS so I can meet new people and have friends outside of my usual friend group Last year I did VBX for rising 6th graders which was a completely different experience There were a lot more games including an escape room and we were able to volunteer in the community Being at VBX at Smyrna First makes you feel free like there are no adults but there are they let you be yourself and make you feel like you ve always been there This upcoming year I will be a volunteer I am excited because it s almost like going back to when I was younger and am able to still participate It is so exciting that I will be able to give the younger children a fun experience I am Beckham and I am 8 years old I like VBS because I hang out with friends I like making crafts and learning new things I look forward to summer break because Vacation Bible School is my favorite The VBS theme this year will be STELLAR where we will Shine Jesus Light We cannot wait to invite our friends to join us because we want them to grow in the church with us As long as Smyrna First has VBS the Hanover family will be there We hope you will be there too VBS VBX Registration 66 Camp Registration By Jordan Curry Growing up church was a big part of my life Fellowship with friends whose parents were in Sunday school class with mine led to friendships that have lasted into adulthood More so than friendship though those friendships have become a village We have walked through life together navigating ups and downs struggles and victoriesall through our faith in Jesus I am so excited for the launch of Club 4 5 here at Smyrna First UMC because I can think of no better way to thank Jesus for the village He surrounded me with than to help the 4th and 5th graders of Smyrna First begin to create that same village for themselves and take ownership of their faith journey as they begin to navigate the bridge from Children s Ministry to Confirmation and Youth Ministry I m also excited to welcome so many of you whose children will be walking this road with us to come alongside us as we build this village together I can t wait to see how Jesus is going to move in and through the lives of the children This is just the beginning rdan o J s r nd of M she is a hers k n i d n I th ut ot w kin Whe mber ho ared abo hday e t c I rem uch she same bir wesome e m a how he has th akes her od s n Sh o r e Plus so that m Kam as me 77

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Sharing Love Of God Through Music Outside Comfort Zones by Jono Moehlig by Emily Atkins Comfort zones are comfortable That s not something that would shock someone It s why it s called a comfort zone When we feel comfortable this can lead to great experiences and feelings as if life is going well Yet if we only stay in our comfort zone we miss out on the chance to expand what that zone looks like Each year when I am able to take teenagers out of the normal routine of summer staying up late sleeping in and generally doing whatever they want the results are a beautiful tapestry of Kingdom discipleship This is what I am excited to offer again as we travel to the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina in the month of July to engage in the mission of God for the people of God We call this a mission trip and while we will be on a mission to serve and love others it is the stories of those who come back changed that often dominate the memories When asked to record a one sentence memory in Bayou Le Batre Alabama last year it didn t take long for surface level stories of playing basketball to give way to deeper discipleship like seeing Peanut laugh and smile while they painted her porch or how the community showed up in a big way to help get a car out of the mud The life change that happens during these trips are the reason I knew I was called into ministry as a teen Being the Youth Director of Smyrna First UMC is a direct result in participating in a mission trip to North Carolina when I was 18 and experiencing the Holy Spirit empower my sanctification journey and allowed me to know with better clarity my calling to youth ministry When we leave for the Mountains in July it will be with 20 teenagers and 5 adults Lives adored by God to do the work of God I trust and I know we won t be the only ones doing the serving but the community we encounter will show us the love of God proving that we belong with God and with God s people I pray you will consider going on this trip or support with the shrove Tuesday pancakes in February When we are faithful to the call of God it is the God of the universe that changes hearts and reveals himself to us in a community of believers sent to love the world u 88 Sitting in the Choir Loft on Sundays gives a unique Experience God through the Youth Mission Trip this summer Contact Jono for more information jono smyrnafumc org perspective on Worship Services From where we sit we see the smiles and tears that fill the faces of members and guests that find themselves in our Sanctuary during any given Worship Experience I consider the opportunity to sit in that chair and offer music to those who are rejoicing and those who are hurting a privilege In my life the journey to that chair began when I walked into the Sonshine Singers children s choir as a kindergartner Met with the smile of the choir director and a melody on the piano I found new friends and new songs that introduced a new way to learn about Jesus As I made my way through elementary school HisKids Choir and Tomorrow s Promise I found a love of singing that depended more on my heart for Jesus than on my musical abilities I also found a community of friends with shared interests I found new friends and new songs that introduced a new way to learn about Jesus As I entered the God s Light Youth Choir those friendships and my community grew as I was introduced to a larger group of students in middle and high school The more we learned about singing the more we learned about God and our relationships with Him and each other grew This community was there cheering me on in my highest highs and they were there to hold me up in my lowest lows These are the lifelong friendships that I still lean into as an adult Each time I take my chair in the choir loft as a member of the Chancel Choir and New Praise adult choirs I remember that my relationship with God continues to grow through music and I am grateful for the opportunity to share my love of God and music with others I am thankful for God and the community I am a part of in the music ministry that is a constant source of strength in my life I am also reminded that there is an empty chair in each one of our choirs perhaps it is waiting for you The Music Ministry at Smyrna First would love to welcome you into our community and our hearts we are waiting for you in the New Year Contact Kim Duggins Director of Worship and Fine Arts to learn more about the music ministry There s a place for you in the Music Ministry kduggins smyrnafumc org 93

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Weekday Education Open House Preschool 2 00pm PMO 3 30pm Sunday January 22nd Sanctuary Registration Dates January 5 19 Current PMO and Preschool Families January 20 27 Church Members January 28 General Public Thriving in Preschool by Haydne and Toqeer Chouhan When my husband and I started looking for programs enrolled in the Preschool Zebra class and I wish he could stay longer Now our second son Elijah is for our son back in 2019 we knew we wanted following in his brothers footsteps and is enrolled somewhere that was established in the area and in the same Bear class and loves it just as much that valued family and community After a lot of There may have been a few tears shed on the first research and plenty of recommendations from friends we enrolled Noah in the PMO Bear class couple of drop offs but those quickly turned to at Smyrna First and have loved every minute since waves and byes Seeing the boys grow and learn The staff and teachers treat us like family and love in this program has warmed our hearts and we are truly grateful to have such a wonderful program in our children like their own Seeing familiar faces throughout these years has kept Noah engaged and our backyard wanting to go back every single day Noah thrived during his time in the Bear class and there was never Find out more about our program smyrnafumc org weekday eduation any thought to go anywhere else He is currently 10 11 11 VBS Registration CAMP REGISTRATION

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Saturday February 4th 6pm Smyrna First United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall Adults 25 Children 10 10 or under Getting Involved Leads To Great Adventures by Shirley Westmoreland In 2004 Sue Hampel contacted me and asked if my 3rd grade daughter Mason would be interested in being in a variety show called Love Makes the World Go Round Having been a member of Smyrna First for a while I had heard of the show with the very long name but had not attended and didn t really know what it was about Before I spoke with Mason I did a little research and found out this is a Themed Dinner Theater with a variety of comedy acts mixed with music and dance numbers Created in 1996 to be an alternative celebration of Valentine s Day It is an event to show that all kinds of relationships parents children friends singles etc should be celebrated on the day of love Lynn Dee Martin 12 Worship Director Emeritus explained For some people if you re not a couple Valentine s can be no fun So the idea of bringing people together to show all kinds of love with a lot of laughs added was organized After hearing the background of this event and Mason agreeing to be in it rehearsals began She made fast friends with the other little girls in the Shirley Temple skit and it was another avenue to get involved with our wonderful church We were so excited to purchase our tickets and see our child in her first performance The night of the event we walked into the magically transformed Fellowship Hall and felt like we were in a fine restaurant A God s Light Youth took us to our table and before the show began everyone enjoyed the accordion Tickets available 9 30am 10 15am Sundays in Welcome Center beginning January 15 or online Ticket Link Benefits the Ministry of God s Light Youth Choir stylings of Ed Whittington as he strolled around serenading us all As the lights dimmed the band began to play and we were in for a fun night full of music laughter and good food from some talented church members Of course many years have passed since the first time our family was involved with LMTWGR but our involvement grew from there Mason continued being part of the show and a few years later I found myself in the show as a member of New Praise the church s Contemporary Ensemble The next step of involvement came when Mason and later Gavin our son learned valuable lessons from how to set up wait tables and clean up the event through the God s Light Youth Choir You see the show s proceeds help to fund the transportation for the God s Light summer choir tour so the youth and parents have an active part in the behind the scenes duties as well as onstage Let s fast forward to 2016 when I was challenged to be totally out of my comfort zone thank you Kim Duggins You see I had fun being in the background helping as a God s Light parent and doing graphics and advertising for the show and I also enjoyed being in an act or two However when she approached me on several occasions to direct the show I said NO until I said Why Not Getting that involved was stressful and I felt like a fish out of water however God stepped in and it became one of the most joyful experiences I recruited Gary my husband to be the technical director Mason to be my director s assistant and Gavin to run the show graphics From there I had the strong support of the show veterans to lean on and make the show happen They included Kim Duggins Barbara Kincaid and her ability to recruit and lead the most wonderful band Sue Hampel the one who involved us first and Ellen Adams both former directors of the show led acts and helped recruit other act directors Kelly Patrick stage manager Dan Hardy sound guy and Beverly Harding the show host rounded out the top tier All of these people including so many more worked as a team to bring TV Theme Songs We Love come to life That was definitely a learning year for me in the director s seat I learned that people who sing don t necessarily dance yes I m talking about New Praise lol You have to get creative on a budget not take things too seriously laugh a lot and love the people around you When God has His hand in it it will work out and finally our church family is super supportive I have directed a few more shows since then but this year I will be taking a back seat and being the cheerleader as Jason Traylor leads the charge I can t wait for February 4th to see the wonderful show of LMTWGR The Golden Age of Love Please join me and purchase your tickets beginning on January 15th Act fast because tickets will sell out nursery available with reservation 13

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Keep up with the latest happenings with January s Digital Calendar Click here for the SFUMC JANUARY 2023 CALENDAR 14 1315 Concord Road SE Smyrna Georgia 30080 www smyrnafumc org

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Click Here for the SFUMC January 2023 Calendar