To make new disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

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The First United Methodist Church, Smithville,Texas   December

Letter from Pastor Cindy

 From My Heart to Yours,
I love the Advent Season and the feeling of anticipation as we join together for worship and sing hymns like "O Come, O Come Emmanuel".
During this season of the Church Year, we are called to once again look forward to the coming of the Messiah, Emmanuel, God with us, Jesus. May we not be so busy that we forget the reason for all of the celebrating - the Savior is born!
In the church community there will be opportunities to worship and fellowship together beginning with the Advent Workshop for Families on December 2nd from 4:30 - 7:00pm. An evening of singing, working on craft projects, eating together, and other activities has been planned. Each family unit(1 or more)  will make an Advent Wreath and will receive an explanatory booklet for its use. I invite the families of the church to come and participate. Please contact the church office if you plan on being part of this festive celebration of the birth of Jesus.
Next, we are offering a Parent's Day Out as part of the outreach of the church into the community. Parents/grandparents are encouraged to call the office(512-237-3325) and sign up to drop off your children/grandchildren who are between the ages of 3 years old and 5th grade here at the Family Activity Center for a fun-filled day of games, craft projects, a movie, lunch, a snack, and many other activities.The hours are from 9:00am - 3:00pm. This day is our gift to parents in Smithville and is absolutely free of charge. All of the adults working with the children are Safe Gathering Trained and Certified.
On Saturday, December 16th,from 2:00 - 4:00pm, there will be a Christmas Open House at the Church Parsonage - 206 6th Street. Everyone is invited to come and see your church house and enjoy refreshments and a time of fellowship. Just drop on by, have some delicious dessert, and enjoy!
And finally, on Christmas Eve at 6:30pm, I hope we will all make an effort to bring our family and friends to the Christmas Eve Service that will feature a beautiful cantata, Holy Communion, and singing Christmas Carols by candlelight. This is one of the best ways I know to celebrate the birth of Jesus and to express our thanks to God for God's indescribable gift of His Son, Jesus. I do hope to have a very full sanctuary on that special night.
This year each member of the church will receive a wonderful Advent Devotional Book that is filled with the personal stories of different members of our church family. I have read a couple of them already and I know you will be blessed by this loving gift to each of us. Please begin on Sunday, Dec. 2nd and read a different devotional each day during Advent. Your hearts will be lifted up and this practice will draw us all nearer to our Savior, Jesus.
 From Ian and myself, we want to wish all of you a very merry Christmas filled with all kinds of blessings and a happy New Year packed with exciting new opportunities. May God bless us everyone!
In Christ,
Pastor Cindy

Advent workshop –
Sunday December 2, 5:30-7 pm

Join our church family as we have fun making Advent Wreaths, ornaments for the tree and creating a family nativity photo. 
Pizza and lemonade will be served.
Everyone is invited.  Please register by calling the office or filling out the form in worship and leaving it in the plate.


Christmas Eve Service
6:30 pm
Cantata, Communion, and 
Come and Worship with Us!

The Methodist Ladies of FUMC will meet Thursday, December 13, 2018, 2:00 - 4:00 pm
@ the Olde World Bakery for the Cookie Exchange.


Please come join us and share your 3 dozen cookies for a fun time!
Coffee and tea will be provided.

Smithville Methodist Men

The next meeting will be January 15, 2019.
Details concerning the meeting will be in the January Newsletter.

First Sunday Pancake Breakfast 8:30 - 9:30 am, December 2, 2018. 

We enjoy doing the breakfast for the church members and friends.  But, we are having a problem with only about twenty (20) participating.  With the lack of interest we will be discontinuing the breakfast unless more are interested in showing up for the breakfast on December 2nd.

Can't Go

Fifth Sunday Dinner Changed to January 6th

                The usual 5th Sunday dinner which would happen on December 30th has been changed to January 6th.  January 6th is the celebration of the Epiphany of the Lord which is the manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles as represented by the Magi in Matthew 2:1–12.   The three Kings who came from afar represent people of other religions, cultures and lifestyles.
     This year Epiphany (always January 6th) comes on a Sunday and a covered dish dinner is planned to celebrate.  We will sing Christmas carols for the last time this season and enjoy each others company on this most wonderful and meaningful day. 
Epiphany helps us realize that God became one of us… one of all of us around the world… whether we know it or not… whether we accept the gift of Christ or not.  Jesus came to bring the world to God and the Magi or Kings are the manifestation of this reality.
Come and join your church family for a covered dish dinner to celebrate Epiphany.  Dessert will be furnished.
Director of Programs / Music Director
SFUMC Offers Safe Place for Parents Day Out

                On December 15th children from all over Smithville will gather in our Family Activity Center for a day of fun while their parents have time to prepare for Christmas morning.  Children 3 years old to 5th graders will arrive at 9 AM and be greeted by volunteers who are certified by Safe Gatherings training.   The volunteers and children will play games, make crafts and play outdoors if weather permits.  Lunch will be served by a kitchen crew and then we will show a Christmas movie with a Christian theme.  Parents will pick their children up at 3 PM and clean-up will follow.
                If you would be a volunteer with the children and have taken the Safe Gathering training, please contact Patti at the church or by email (  Anyone can volunteer to help clean up.


Patti Herndon Accepts Choir Director Post
                Patti Herndon has been working with the choir and planning music for worship since October 21st of this year.  On Tuesday the Administrative Council voted to accept the suggestion of the SPRC to hire Patti permanently.  Patti, who is our Program Director as well, is excited about this new post and looks forward to working with Pastor Cindy and the choir.  Please welcome Patti in this new position.

is a 

Our Wesley Nurse

This might help going into the New Year
Sharlene Scheler RN Wesley Nurse
Diet and Weight Loss: Best and Worst Late Night Snacks for Your Health
Worst: Leftover Pizza
It might look tempting, but anything that’s too greasy can cause heartburn, especially if you lie down soon after indulging. A snack that has fewer than 200 calories is a much safer bet.
Best: Half a Turkey Sandwich
When you want something to fill you up, half a sandwich on whole wheat bread is a good pick. Your body digests whole grains more slowly so you'll feel satisfied longer. And turkey has tryptophan, an amino acid that helps to make you sleepy. If you're not into turkey, try peanut or almond butter on whole wheat toast. Nut butter has healthy fats that raise your levels of serotonin, a feel-good mood chemical that helps you relax.
Worst: Bean and Cheese Burrito
Chowing down on something fatty and spicy isn't a great idea close to bedtime. Not only could you end up with heartburn, but you might also have lots of uncomfortable gas thanks to the beans (which would be a healthy add-in earlier in the evening).
Best: Whole-Grain Crackers With Cheese
If you're craving something cheesy, try a small amount with a few whole-grain crackers. Or go for a scoop of cottage cheese, which also has tryptophan.
Worst: Chips
The fat and salt are a bad combo, especially as bedtime nears. Plus, it’s easy to have too many, so what starts out as a small treat could turn into a binge that's bad for your mood and your waistline.
Best: Popcorn
As long as it's not drenched in butter or super salty, popcorn's a pretty good choice. It's a whole grain and it has fiber, so it’ll be more satisfying than chips and tide you over for longer.
Worst: Cookies and Chocolate
Too much sugar will perk you up -- at least for a bit -- when you should be slowing down. Plus, a sugar high is often followed by a crash that can leave you feeling lousy.
Best: A Low-Sugar Granola Bar
This can be a good stand-in for a cookie, as long as you check the nutrition label. Make sure your bar has some protein and fiber and not too much sugar. Or reach for half a banana and a handful of almonds -- both good sources of magnesium, a mineral that can help you wind down. This fruit and nut combo has some tryptophan, too.
Worst: Ice Cream
Ben and Jerry might be calling your name, but try to resist. The fat and sugar can make it harder to snooze. And if you choose a flavor with chocolate, you'll get caffeine you don't want at a late hour.
Best: Greek Yogurt
When you want a creamy treat, protein-packed Greek yogurt is a better idea. Top it with some cherries or raspberries, which have melatonin, a hormone that helps lull you into dreamland.
Worst: Sugary Cereal
It's loaded with empty carbs, so it won't satisfy you for long. If you're in the mood for cereal, swap your fruity, frosty, or coco flakes for a low-sugar, high-fiber variety.
Best: Oatmeal
It's not just for breakfast. The warmth can be soothing, and the fiber will help fill you up. Oatmeal also has melatonin, which promotes sleep.
Worst: Soda
You probably know to stay away from coffee in the wee hours, but watch out for tea and soda with caffeine as well. Try to cut off all caffeine at least 6 hours before bedtime. And carbonated drinks can be a problem even if they're caffeine-free. The bubbles can make you feel bloated and trigger heartburn. A nightcap isn't a good idea, either. While alcohol can make you feel sleepy, it can also make it harder to stay asleep.
Best: Herbal tea
A cup of herbal (caffeine-free) tea can help you unwind before bed. Try chamomile, passionflower, or valerian. Peppermint can be a relaxing choice, too, as long as you don’t tend to get heartburn.
Avoid Mindless Munching
If you find yourself craving something while watching late-night TV, pause and ask yourself if you're really hungry. Maybe you're just bored, restless, or ready to turn in for the night? But if you are truly hungry, don't ignore your body's signals: It's hard to fall asleep when your tummy's rumbling or your blood sugar is low. Choosing the right nighttime snack may help you fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly.
Think Small and Satisfying
Even if you feel ravenous, don't overdo it. Going to bed with a too-full stomach can lead to heartburn and bloating, which will make it much harder to rest. Instead, aim for a "mini meal," ideally one that has a little protein and some complex carbs.

Diabetic Education Class

Every Monday @ the New Food Pantry
 6:30 pm

For questions or other information contact Sharlene at 210-259-3733 or


  Food Pantry:
  Needs volunteers on Wednesday mornings.  

Church Office:

Needs 1 volunteer each Wednesday from 10-12 to cover the phone during the weekly staff meeting.
Drivers Needed:
For rides to church and doctor appointments.  If you would be willing to serve Christ in this way, please call the church office at 512-237-3325.
Smithville Community Clinic:

We are always looking for volunteers to help out to do basic office/receptionist duties. Please contact Brianna Temby at (512) 237-0647.

New Hope Respite:
  Needs volunteers on Thursdays in the FAC.





WEDNESDAYS @ 9:30 am


Prayer is a sacred practice that works in ways we can’t even begin to comprehend. As Christians, we have faith in God’s plan, but can you explain the peace or comfort you experience in the midst of grief or trials? Do you ever need a moment in the middle of your busy-ness week to pause and recharge? Come to the chapel and quiet your heart. Prayer is personal. Prayer is powerful. You will find your life enriched as you pray. Suzanne and Neta meet each Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. In this season of Advent, you are invited to recommit and join them in this opportunity to pray and reflect. Come as you are, come when you can.

26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. 27 And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.  Romans 8:26-27 NRSV


1:00 PM

The class meets in the Education Building across the street from the Methodist Church. The classes are led by Sharlene Scheler RN Wesley Nurse. We use DVDs one for strengthening and one for stretching. The best attire is what you are comfortable wearing. These classes have been going on for 5+ years. Each class is about 45 minutes.

For questions or other information contact Sharlene at 210-259-3733 or
New Hope Respite 

10:00 am - 2:00 pm, Thursdays

FUMC Family Activity Center


December Birthdays & Anniversaries

  • Sharlene Scheler, Dec. 1st
  • Rebecca James, Dec. 3rd
  • Jerry Peden, Dec. 6th
  • Cherrell Rose, Dec. 6th
  • Carl Mohler, Dec. 7th
  • Joseph Cooper, Dec. 8th
  • Beverley Cooper, Dec. 8th
  • Neta Rose, Dec. 11th
  • Kathleen Fenwick, Dec. 12th
  • Addison Daugherty, Dec. 15th 
  • Brooke Otto, Dec. 15th
  • Becky Brooks, Dec. 17th
  • Taylor Floyd, Dec. 18th
  • Cathy Smith, Dec. 19th
  • Sheri Holder, Dec. 20th
  • John Summarell, Dec. 20th
  • Shirley Floyd, Dec. 22nd
  • Stan Williams, Dec. 23rd
  • Gerald Menasco, Dec. 25th
  • Ralph Scott, Dec 30th 

Shawn & Hannah Bales
December 3rd

Mitch & Julie Smith
December 6th

Bennie & Mary Ann Luders 
December 12th

Please choose from the list below for your Advent
Sunday, December 2, 2018
1st Sunday of Advent
  • Jeremiah 33:14-16
  • Psalm 25:1-10 (UMH756)
  • 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13
  • Luke 21:25-36
Sunday, September 9, 2018
2nd Sunday of Advent
  • Malachi 3:1-4
  • Luke 1:68-79 (UMH 208)
  • Philippians 1:3-11
  • Luke 3:7-18
Sunday, December 16, 2018
3rd Sunday of Advent
  • Zephaniah 3:14-20
  • Isaiah 12:2-6
  • Philippians 4:4-7
  • Luke 3:7-18
Sunday, December 23, 2018
4th Sunday of Advent
  • Micah 5:2-5a
  • Luke 1:47-55 (UMH 199)
  • Hebrews 10:5-10
  • Luke 1:39-45
Monday, December 24, 2018
Christmas Eve
  • Isaiah 9:2-7
  • Psalm 96 (UMH 815)
  • Titus 2:11-14
  • Luke 2:1-20
Tuesday, December 25, 2018
Christmas Day
  • Isaiah 52:7-10
  • Psalm 98 (UMH 818)
  • Hebrews 1:1-4 (5-12)
  • John 1:1-14
Sunday, December 30, 2018
1st Sunday after Christmas Day
  • 1 Samuel 2:18-20, 26
  • Psalm 148 (UMH 861)
  • Colossians 3:12-17
  • Luke 2:41-52
Monday, December 31, 2018
Watch Night
  • Ecclesiastes 3:1-13
  • Psalm 8 (UMH 743)
  • Revelation 21:1-6a
  • Matthew 25:31-46

FUMC Smithville

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The FUMC Church Staff Wishes you a 



December 24 & 25, 2018


Advent Hands

I see the hands of Joseph. 
Back and forth along bare wood they move.
There is worry in those working hands, 
sorting out confusing thoughts with every stroke.
“How can this be, my beautiful Mary now with child?”  
Rough with deep splinters, these hands, 
small, painful splinters like tiny crosses 
embedded deeply in this choice to stay with her. 
He could have closed his hands to her, 
said, “No” and let her go to stoning.
But, dear Joseph opened both his heart and hands
to this mother and her child.
Preparing in these days before 
with working hands 
and wood pressed tight between them.
It is these rough hands that will open
and be the first to hold the Child.

I see the hands of John,
worn from desert raging storms
and plucking locusts from sand ripped rocks 
beneath the remnant of a Bethlehem star.
A howling wind like some lost wolf 
cries out beneath the moon,
or was that John? 
This loneliness, 
enough to make a grown man mad.
He’s waiting for this, God’s whisper. 
“Go now. He is coming. 
You have prepared your hands enough. 
Go. He needs your servant hands, 
your cupping hands to lift the water, 
and place his feet upon the path to service and to death.
Go now, John, and open your hands to him.
It is time.”

I see a fist held tight and fingers blanched to white.
Prying is no easy task.
These fingers find a way of pulling back to old positions,
protecting all that was and is. 
Blanched to white. No openness. All fright.
But then the Spirit comes.
A holy Christmas dance begins
and blows between the twisted paths.
This fist opens
the twisted fingers letting go.
Their rock-solid place in line has eased.
And one by one the fingers lift
True color is returned 
And through the deepest of mysteries,
The holiest of holies,
O longing of longings
Beyond all human imagining 
this fist,
as if awakened from Lazarus’ cold stone dream
reaches out to hold the tiny newborn hand of God.

By: Catherine Alder

October 23, 2018
Council Members Present:
Becky Brooks
Doug Floyd
Glenn Ginder
Brenda Knode
Terri Krueger
Pastor Cindy Layton
John Lube
Judy McAbee
Tricia Menasco
Buddy Wilson
Non-Council Members Present:
Courtney August
Lynn Dale
1.  Chair John Lube called the meeting to order. Pastor Cindy offered the opening prayer. 

2.  Minutes of September 18, 2018 meeting were distributed for review and approval. Minutes were approved as presented.

3.  Treasurer’s Report – Lynn Dale reported UMW had funds when they disbanded that rolled into an undesignated pool. Now that they have reinstated the organization, they would like to recoup the funds to be used for scholarships and adopt-a-teacher program. A line item for United Methodist Ladies is proposed to be established. Brenda Knode moved that we designate $550 for their use.  Buddy seconded the motion. Motion carried

The Treasurer’s Report was adopted and is attached hereto and made a part of these minutes. 

Pastor Cindy is considering sending a letter out to the congregation suggesting a love offering be given to the church at the end of the year in honor or memory of someone.
Courtney reported that the Wesley Nurse fund is in deficit of $180. Brenda Knode moved that we allocate $100 per month from Gifts and Memorials undesignated funds to provide funds for Wesley Nurse initiatives. Terri Krueger seconded the motion.  Brenda amended the motion to provide $300 for the final quarter of 2018, and then allocate $1,200 annually thereafter. The allocation will be reviewed during the annual budget review. Terri Krueger seconded the amended motion. Motion passed.

4.  Approval of Expenditures in Excess of $500 -  Please see Trustees’ Report below.

5.  New Business
  1. Sign for United Methodist Men’s pancake breakfast – John Lube reported that attendance at UMM pancake breakfast has been low. They are considering changing the frequency. Additionally, they would like to have a banner made to display the week before the breakfast advertising the breakfast. UMM will pay for the sign. Buddy Wilson moved we approve placement of the sign. Doug Floyd seconded the motion. Motion passed.
  2. Custodial staff – Pastor Cindy reported that the cleaning of the campus has been substandard. We will pull the contract to review the terms and determine what our options are at the next meeting. Also, we, as Trustees, need to observe the condition of the campus and document any insufficiencies in cleaning.
6.  Trustee Report – Glenn Ginder provided the Trustee Report, a copy of which is attached hereto and made a part of these minutes. Doug Floyd reported that we received a bid from Chris Yates for campus landscaping for $500 per month during the growing season or approximately nine months. Doug moved that we hire Chris for landscaping as described. Becky Brooks seconded. Motion carried.

Glenn received a bid of $6,000 for all of the campus tree trimming work. He moved that we accept the Bastrop Tree Trimming bid to be paid with $3,000 coming from the flex memorial funds and $3,000 from the Earl Walborg designated memorial funds. Doug Floyd seconded the motion. Motion passed.

7.  SPRC Report - Confidential

8.  Pastor’s Report – Pastor Cindy advised that Patti Herndon has done a great job of developing and organizing activities, but she is not intended to lead the activities herself. She has also taken on leading the choir. Pastor Cindy asked us to take under advisement compensating her for her choir responsibilities. 

9.  Old Business
  1. Sock hop dates proposed are either 1/19/19 or 3/2/19.
  2. It was noted that we need to fill a couple of vacancies (Secretary and Fellowship) on the Administrative Council. Pastor Cindy will assemble a nominating committee to propose names for the vacant positions.
  3. Thanksgiving dinner for the city workers – our church committee, along with volunteers from the congregation, will cook, serve and clean.
Pastor Cindy offered the closing prayer.  Meeting was adjourned.
Next meeting will be Tuesday, November 27, 2018 at 6:30 p.m.
Minutes taken and recorded by Terri Krueger.
FUMC's Calendar
Upcoming  Calendar events:

Saturday, December 1, 2018
Festival of Lights - Main Street

Sunday,  December 2, 2018
Pancake Breakfast 8:30 -9:30, FAC

Friday, December 15, 2018
Parents Day Out 9:00 - 3:00

Saturday, December 16, 2018
Parsonage Christmas Open House, 2:00 - 4:00

Tuesday, December 18, 2018
Administration Council Meeting 6:30 , AC

Monday, December 24, 2018
Christmas Eve
Office Closed
Christmas Eve Service 6:30, Sanctuary

Tuesday, December 25, 2018
Office Closed

Monday, December 31, 2018
New Year's Eve
Office Closed

  • Nancy Wilson
  • Kathy Smith
  • Ernest Gray
  • Frank & Gloria Caso
  • Cynthia Evans
  • Judy McAbee
  • Margaret Walborg-Silva -Daughter of MaryAnn Walborg 
  • Stuart Johnson -Molly Todd & Sharlene Scheler’s Nephew 
  • Ann Isaac - Friend of Penny Ackerman
  • Tony Olvera - Molly & Paul Todd Grand-son-in-law
  • TK Orsak and Sheldon Johnson & Family
  • Chad Carroll - Friend of Heath & Cynthia Evans
  • Preston & Ellie Kyle- Robin Barton’s friends      
  • Hattie Campion - Friend of Jean Lastovica
  • Ted Krueger
  • Ken Harris
  • Leticia Walborg -MaryAnn Walborg’s daughter-in-law
  • Heather Rogers
Newsletter Submissions
Newsletter Guidelines: Submissions must come from churches or organizations directly related to the First United Methodist Church and include ready-to-publish copy and accompanying graphic. Deadline for submission is 10:00 am the Friday before the week of publication. Publication is based on relevance and space available. Newsletter submissions/questions may be sent to
Your Church Staff

Rev. Cynthia Layton
Patti Herndon, Director of Programs
Sandra Mohr, Secretary
Courtney August, Treasurer

Phone: (512) 237-3325
Forward to a Friend
Come worship with us!

Sunday Chapel: 8:30am
Sunday School: 9:30am
Sunday Sanctuary: 10:45am

Copyright © 2017 *FUMC Smithville*, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
P.O. Box 698, Smithville, TX 78957

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First UMC, Smithville · 400 Olive Street · · Smithville, TX 78957 · USA

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