We pray that each of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends. We hope that in the midst of all the food, football and fun you took the time to think about all the good things that Christ has brought into your life. This is truly a very special time of year.
And the special time of year continues. November 29th was the beginning of Advent…our time of preparation up to Christmas. This year we will enjoy a sermon series entitled, “Countdown To Christmas.” Each week we will be sending by email sermon notes with questions for your small groups to study.
If you would like to be a part of a small group, but have not joined one you can sign up at the information counter. We encourage everyone to be a part of small group. Small groups are a wonderful place to connect with others and to grow in Christ.
Every Friday from 6:00-8:30p at The Garden you have an opportunity to see what freedom really means. Come to Celebrate Recovery where you can find freedom from hurts, habits, and hang-ups that you have battled for year in a safe, supportive environment.
Beginning December 2nd, Celebrate Recovery will be offering a Men’s 12 step Program on Wednesdays. We look forward to helping you become free.
The Garden at Gethsemane offers many ministry opportunities for children ages infant thru 5th grade.
A wonderful new children’s wing was completed last year and offers a structured, secure place for children to fellowship, play, and learn about Jesus. The Garden follows the Safe Sanctuaries program of the United Methodist Church to ensure the safety of everyone involved.
Sunday morning activities take place between 9:00a-12:30 and are based on “The Journey” vision. Once a month on Sunday afternoon God’s Group meets for fellowship and sometimes journey’s out into the community for fun.
During the week the children’s area is used by the Playful Pathways Preschool. Take a look the Children’s Area. You can learn more about Playful Pathways using the link on the right side of the page.
Lisa Blalock – Lisa has been hired to be the Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries. Lisa has been and continues to be active as a leader in Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Lisa is also the Head Coach of Muncie Central Girls Basketball Team. Lisa is currently working with our young adults and preparing for the first of the year when she will begin her time with the youth of The Garden.
Carl Jones – Carl is a long time member of The Garden. Carl has recently sensed a call to the ministry through the Local Pastor School and is pursuing that ministry. Carl has a heart for the neighborhood in downtown Muncie, specifically the East Central Neighborhood. He also has a passion for plugging people into places in the church where their gifts and graces can be used. Carl has taken a position as intern at The Garden with the title, Connections Coordinator. Carl will be busy connecting those at the Garden with ministries that fit their gifts, and he will also be connecting people to our WOW (outward focused) ministries and areas in the community that need volunteers.
Marti McKeighen – Marti has been an integral part of the office staff for several years. Because of recent medical conditions Marti has unfortunately resigned from her position so that she can concentrate on healing. Marti will be missed by the congregation, but we certainly understand and pray that she continues to heal. Mary Etta Yoho has agreed to fill-in until the first of the year. This will give us sometime to explore the position and discern what God wants us to do.
Ashley Beasley – Ashley is in her second year as the Director of the Playful Pathways Preschool. She is a wonderful asset to The Garden and has a deep love and care for the children in the preschool. Ashley has excellent administrative skills and brings her excellent ability to teach children to the preschool. The preschool itself has been a significant outreach of The Garden over the past two years and continues to bring new families through the doors.
Tanya Milano-Snell – Tanya is in her first year with Playful Pathways Preschool. She is co-teaching both preschool classes. Tanya specializes in outdoor education and has a great love for educating preschoolers.
Trista Burton – Trista is familiar to many people at The Garden. She and her husband Josh attend with their children. Trista is a co-teacher for the toddler class for Playful Pathways Preschool. She also directs the Sunday morning infant/toddler room and is in
charge of childcare for The Garden.
Kristy Taylor – Kristy is in her first year with Playful Pathways Preschool. She is a co-teacher for the toddler class. Kristy spent many years prior to joining the preschool caring for children in her home.
On March 15 members of The Garden at Gethsemane voted to accept the FCJ report prepared specifically for this church. FCJ (Fruitful Congregation Journey) is a church development program conducted by the Indiana Conference of the United Methodist Church. The Garden is working through the FCJ process to identify opportunities to strengthen the church on its Mission to be inwardly strong for an outward focus. This YES vote sets the stage for work on the Ministry Action Plan.
The FCJ report includes strengths, concerns and a Ministry Action Plan to assist The Garden as it prepares and supports those on The Journey. The full FCJ report is available here: Fruitful Congregations Journey Report.
We are excited to embark on the next leg of our Journey as we make disciples for Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
This weekend has been very important and affirming for us all at The Garden at Gethsemane. The visit from the Fruitful Congregation Journey Team of The United Methodist Church has been an opportunity to truly celebrate the many things that God has done in our church family while challenging us as well. Please find attached the Ministry Action Plan that was distributed this morning. Copies will be available for everyone who does not have email.
The five Ministry Action Plans will be discussed at the two upcoming Town Hall meetings held at The Garden. First Town Hall is Sunday March 8 at 4:00 pm. Second Town Hall is Saturday March 14 at 10:00. On Sunday March 15 at 4:00 pm we will vote on whether to accept and implement the report. Everyone will be given a chance to voice their opinion, however, only members will be allowed to vote.
You, as a congregation, have embraced the Vision that God has given to His church. You have given of your time, talent and resources. You have willingly allowed God to reinvent, and resurrect the reason He originally planted a church on this lot. You have worked to become a lighthouse for Jesus Christ, giving the entire city of Muncie new hope and new direction.
May we all continue to walk in the light of His grace and mercy. May we all continue to endeavor to walk in the bond of unity that the Spirit of God has given us. May we continue to do, “Whatever It Takes,” to accomplish the will of God in this place, at this time.
Blessings on this Journey
Rev Vickie Perkins
Pastor Tony Collins
The Branch is our new contemporary service that began in January. Our desire is that you have the opportunity to find the irresistible God, and we have designed our service so that you see Him clearly. Worship is an important part of connecting with God. Through Worship our hearts and our minds are opened to the truth of God’s presence. As you worship with us we pray that you find a place that is both comfortable and safe.
The Branch Service begins at 11:15a on Sunday morning. On The Journey.
The Path is the tool that God has given to us at The Garden at Gethsemane to begin moving people toward a Christ centered life. It is a starting point for those who are Exploring or Growing in Christ to move significantly on their disciple’s Journey. We encourage you to step into The Path and join us on the Journey.
The Plan – The Plan will help in our understanding of who Jesus is and it will help explain who we are at The Garden and what we believe.
The Promise – The Promise continues with studies designed to help you understand the promises that God has given and how to discover the specific gifts and passion he has given you.
The Process – The Process will help us move into greater understanding of the relationship that God offers to each of us and how we grow to maturity in our Christian faith.
The Path classes begin in January 2015 and will meet in Asbury Hall from 10:15-11:00 on Sunday morning. You can sign-up for The Path at the opportunities center outside the Sanctuary at The Garden.
The United Methodist Men at The Garden sell Sechler’s pickles each year. Recently they setup a pickle shop at the Delaware County Fairgrounds. Bob Wright and Butch Littell are shown here selling pickles.
Sechler’s pickles are made in Indiana and taste great. Several varieties are available at The Garden. United Methodist Men are available most Saturday mornings at The Garden so stop in and buy some. Or you can call the church office Mon-Fri 8-4 for details.
Funds raised from pickle sales support summer camp opportunities and other church activities.