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G Chat April 2, 2020

WHAT ABOUT CHURCH & EASTER:
 
A LETTER FROM BISHOP SUE:
 
Dear Friends,
 
Yesterday we sent out our first weekly update for the LaGrange District. Already, it seems that weekly is not often enough. 
 
The Bishop and Cabinet seek to clarify the expectation for worship and church gatherings in this season of physical distancing. To be clear, each church is directed not to gather on the church property for meetings or services. This is the urging and expectation, which includes drive-in church, parking lot church, or garden church gatherings. We are following our Government Officials’ orders in order to save lives.
 
The Rev. Sky McCracken from Memphis shared a word with his congregation–it is a good representation of our perspective. See the very short message in the link below.
 
Note: Online worship is still encouraged, with the gold standard (and safest option) being a simple, at home posting— prayer and message, with perhaps some music added, if possible.
 
  https://www.facebook.com/618791164/posts/10158253472661165/?d=n 
 
Bishop Sue Halpert-Johnson
 
A NOTE FROM PASTOR LISA:

We will continue our worship as we have been.  We are learning to streamline our worship parts so there is only one click.    You may connect through Cokes Chapel Facebook or the church-wide email with the link provided.
 
GENERAL INFORMATION
 
The North Georgia Conference has rescheduled the Annual Conference to August of 2020. 
 
The General Conference has been rescheduled for 2021. 
 


IN OUR HEARTS & PRAYERS:

CURRENT
Dana West, granddaughter of Larry
      Smith
The Paulus Family, in-laws of Ernie &
      Brenda Haines
Joann, sister of Sandy Cavender
Terri Cannon, friend of Jean Raines
Dorothy Croft, Mike Croft’s mother
Bob Brown, Pat Harkins brother
Peggy Blackmon, sister of Paul Snyder
Jill, friend of Carol Ross
 
ONGOING
Stan Smith, Marcia Smith’s husband
Jerry Freeman
Roger Harkins
Darius Allen, Marie Allen’s son
Cera Carter
Mick Moore
Jake Thomas, brother-in-law of Lorraine
      Burt
Pastor Wayne Ellis & Family
Jones Family, Howard & Margie, etal
Glenn Etheridge (Pastor)

Prayers for one another and our country for comfort, peace, freedom from anxiety, depression, and fear.  May God surround us and protect us during this difficult time.
 
SEE BELOW FOR OUR HOMEBOUND LIST
 


DAILY DEVOTIONALS

Daily devotionals continue if you are not receiving one, notify Velda at veldagraydon@me.com to have your name added.
 
YOUR STORIES
How are we experiencing this current pandemic?  This spot is reserved for you to share experiences, thoughts with our community.  Be mindful that we are wishing to encourage one another.
 
Send your story to Pastor Lisa at ldempsey@cokeschapel.org today.  We are all in this together!  Let’s share the light of Christ with one another!
 

 

 
COMMITTEE ON FINANCE REPORT
GOD IS GOOD ALL THE TIME!  Easter is coming. What a wonderful time of the year.  We can celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the promise of life everlasting.  As a community of believers, during this time prior to Easter, we give with our hearts…”for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21 NIV  So many of you understand how special it is to give back as part of your worship whether you are in God’s house or not.  Thank you for your generosity.   
As information regarding the use of stimulus funds comes from the Federal government, the Committee on Finance, along with other programs areas, are working to determine if we as a church/childcare center meet the eligibility requirements.  We will keep you informed.
 
It is important to recognize two blessings that have come our way:  
1. The bank agreed to defer the Childcare mortgage payment for April, May and June 
2. The UMC Conference has agreed to pay the church portion of the Pastor’s Healthcare benefit for April, May and June.  
 
FINANCIAL SNAPSHOT FOR MARCH, 2020
Mar 1-Mar 31, 2020 | All Funds
Monthly projected Budget = $22,408
Actual Budget Funds $27,395.00 Cash + Parsonage Rental $1000 = $28,395  
 
Your generosity and God’s guidance will direct us through this time!  God Bless our ministry work!
 



NURTURE
Cokes Care Team Phone Tree – We hope that you have received a call from our phone tree team. 
 
We will continue to keep in touch with you!  We want to make sure you are well and check-in to see if there is a specific need we can meet.  With your help, we will continue to build a Directory to make available to the membership.  Questions?  Contact Pastor Lisa at ldempsey@cokeschapel.org or 770-598-5066.
 


 

INTERGENERATIONAL, YOUTH, & CHILDREN’S DISCIPLESHIP:
In Inter-generational and Youth Ministry, time has been invested in continuing connections.  The Inter-generational Sunday School Class continues at home with the Lenten study on “The Way of Prayer.”  This week’s lesson on “Praying with Our Bodies” was adapted to provide participants with at-home prayer activities to engage a new or further understanding of this way of prayer.  Youth were prayed for and communicated with personally, via technology.  Furthermore, a lot of time has been spent investigating ways to offer opportunities for online learning and gathering.  I have attended online Zoom meetings and webinars, gathering ideas and instruction for how we might best meet “together” while honoring social distancing in the days to come.  Finally, on Wednesday, April 1 at noon, our Youth Group will be holding a 3-minute prayer vigil for our healthcare workers and their families.  Through texts, the youth will be prompted to begin and end our collective prayer time.
God is at work all around us!  May we hold each other by heart and lift each other by prayer as we journey together, yet apart!     
      


PRAYER TEAM
Cokes Chapel Prayer Team is praying for all of you.  Your requests, concerns, and praises are important to us.  Please let us know if you need anything or have a special prayer request.  I am available and happy to pray with you by telephone or just be a listening ear.  Please join us in daily praying for God to heal our world.  Claim it in the powerful name of Jesus Christ and give thanks to God for all things.  Contact Debbie at  DebbieCarter30263@charter.net or 678-233-4980.
 


 
OUTREACH UPDATE
The corona virus is causing a few changes in some of our outreach projects.
 
– Meals on Wheels of Coweta is delivering all meals for the week on Mondays and Tuesdays.  Therefore, our team will not be delivering our Friday route until further notice.
 
– Our April 28th packing day at Backpack Buddies has been canceled.  They are still providing the food but are working with a different schedule and procedure during this time.
 



COKES CHAPEL CHILDCARE CENTER:
 
In keeping with Governor Kemp’s directive, the Childcare Center will remain closed at this time.  Opening date will be determined by best practices from the Governor and other advice from the State Health Department. 
 
 

 
Show our Shut-ins some Love!  A note from you would brighten their day and make a difference.  You don’t even have to “know” them, just sign the card, “your Coke’s Chapel Family”.
 
Consider sending one card each week to rotate through the list, and let the Cokes Chapel love shine out!
 
Marie Allen 355 Millard Farmers Industrial Blvd. Apt. 212 Newnan, GA 30263
Jerry Freeman 28 Sweetwater Place, Sharpsburg, GA 30277-1 882
Jerry & Del Lenox 45 Soliel Ct. Sharpsburg, GA 30277-2307
Mick Moore 4661 Highway 34E, Sharpsburg, GA 30277-3509
Merlene Smith 25 Newnan Lakes Blvd., C/o Benton House Newnan, GA. 30263-5791
Claudette Schunk 519 Perkins Rd. Apt. 222 Palmetto, GA. 30268-2365
Joyce Taylor 152 Riva Ridge Ln   Newnan, GA 30263-6713
Al Warren 14 Hampshire Ln   Newnan, GA 30265-6058
 
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4096 Lower Fayetteville Road, Sharpsburg, GA

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G Chat March 26, 2020

Daily Devotions from Pastor Lisa began in response to our pandemic. I felt this could be a way to reach out and let you know you are thought of, prayed for and loved.  Currently, I am using the church-wide email list but hope to separate from this list and create one that you can “choose to continue” to receive daily devotions.  I will continue to post on Facebook on my and Cokes Chapel’s Facebook page.

How are we experiencing this current pandemic?  This spot is reserved for you to share experiences, thoughts with our community.  Be mindful that we are wishing to encourage one another.
 
Send your story to Pastor Lisa at ldempsey@cokeschapel.org today.  We are all in this together!  Let’s share the light of Christ with one another!
 
 

COMMITTEE ON FINANCE REPORT: 
This is certainly a trying time in our lives.  We have never experienced a pandemic. Our lives have changed which usually brings on anxiety, worry and even fear.  A preacher, most of you know him, told his congregation, if you get tired, weary, afraid, mad, upset…GO TO THE CROSS.  Imagine yourself at the foot of the cross looking up. He said, you will find your answers there. Think about that one!
 
To be honest, I have struggled the past few weeks trying to figure out what we will do without a weekly tithe, I thought I was in control of tithing (thank you Pastor Lisa for setting me straight on that).  I know what God expects, it’s simple, TRUST AND OBEY.  I have seen HIS presence many times during the past weeks; and, honestly, I think HE might have winked at me when I finally realized, through the chaos of  my mind,  HE was here, there and everywhere!!!!!  Look for HIM, Listen for HIM, Feel HIS presence.  We are HIS Church, He will never leave us. 
 
Current Year-to-Date Financial Snapshot: (UMC Conference Board of Pensions will pay the church portion of Pastor Lisa’s Healthflex Insurance for April-June… a savings of a little over $1000+ per month.)
Monthly Projected Budget = $22,408.00
 
January General Funds $18,909.00 + $1000 rent + $921.95 Childcare Tithe = $20,830.95
February General Funds $23,234.78 + $1000 rent + $778.47 Childcare Tithe = $25,013.25
March General Funds (YTD)  $21,610 (March 8 and March 15 = $6069;  March 22 has not been posted) 
 
From God’s church including the Committee on Finance, thank you for giving from your heart for that’s where your treasure is. We have been blessed.
 


NURTURE
Cokes Care Team Phone Tree – We hope that each of you have received a call from one of our 8 members of the phone tree.  We want to keep in touch with you!  Each week when you receive a call, we will be making sure you are well, checking in to see if there is a specific need we can meet, and with your help, continue to build an accurate Directory to make available to the membership.  Questions?  Contact Pastor Lisa at ldempsey@cokeschapel.org  



Food Pantry Update:  We are not going to ask anyone anymore to go to the grocery store for food items for the FOOD PANTRY.  We received generous donations on Monday.  We are asking you to check your cupboard at home for items that you can spare for the FOOD PANTRY such as spaghetti noodles, spaghetti sauce. rice, dry beans, jelly, chicken in a can, tuna in a can, noodles, soups. and cereal.  The Fellowship Hall will be open on Monday’s between 9-11 AM to drop off food you can spare from your cupboard.  Someone will be available to take your donations and give out food.  We have about 14 bags of food to hand out on Monday during that time.  Thank you for your generous giving!  We encourage you to look for God’s presence in your life…He is there.   
United Methodist Women are making plans to beautify the front of the church by Easter Sunday! It’s going to be awesome!!!!  Lots of Love from UMW.


During this time of “Social Distancing,” we are all in prayer and contemplation about how to best connect with God and one another.  In addition to our regular community gatherings, like worship, Sunday School, and Youth Group being halted, our larger events, like the annual Easter Egg Hunt and the Inter-generational trip to the Biblical History Center have been canceled.   Yet, amidst it all, we are still community!  I am continuing to compile and offer materials for Lenten study on “The Way of Prayer” through email to the Inter-generational Sunday School class each week.  Also, I am in connection with the youth and their families through texts and phone conversations on a frequent basis.  Out of this unique situation, God is opening us to new ways to connect, grow, and serve.  New developments are in the works.  My trust during this time is in the fact that God does NOT cause bad things to happen, but rather that God can use all things for good (Romans 8:28).  It will be exciting to see what good God will bring forth in the weeks ahead!              

 

PRAYER TEAM:
Cokes Chapel Prayer Team is praying for all of you.  Your requests, concerns and praises are important to us.  Please let us know if you need anything or have a special prayer request.  I am available and happy to pray with you by telephone or just be a listening ear.  Please join us in daily praying for God to heal our world.  Claim it in the powerful name of Jesus Christ and give thanks to God for all things.   Blessings, Debbie Carter
 

 

Outreach brings Good News!!
Dear Cokes Chapel friends, Thanks to your generosity and love at our Mission Dinner and Auction, as well as our Valentine’s dinner!  Together we raised more than we had pledged to their ministries. This week, we were pleased to send a “Special Blessing” of $1000. to all three missionaries.  This gift is in addition to our quarterly pledges of $300 each.

They sent a note in response that we are sharing with you. It is evident that this was truly a Special Blessing!  Enjoy!  Betsy and Earl Bagley, Outreach Chairpersons

From Caleb Earle* in Africa: Oh my goodness! Thank you so much! I can’t begin to express how grateful I am to you all!! I am very excited to see you all as soon as I get home! 

We received word today that we will be getting on a flight Tuesday morning with the American embassy to head back to the US. We will be self quarantining for 14 days when we get back. But whenever this mess clears up, I look forward to sharing with you all how incredibly God has worked over this time!!

From Allie and David Houle in Thailand:  Thank you so much for all the hard work you and people at Cokes Chapel do for missions. The number of people in Thailand infected is still low, so we are happy to say we don’t know anyone with the virus. Pattaya is a tourist town, and now there are no tourists. Most of the tourists are usually from China, so this is a big problem for our area.

Most of the blessing home kids’ moms work in a hotel, restaurant, massage, or walking street. About half of them have lost their jobs or have been laid off indefinitely and have no income. They are asking for help for money for food and paying rent, so it is a challenging time of figuring out how we can help. Getting donations at this time is extremely helpful for us, so thank you so so much.  Allie and David

From Amanda and Matt Hadden in South Dakota: We have had to cancel incoming teams for March and April.  Praying through how summer camp will look this summer as numbers may be limited or teams may be unable to come. We are asking God for wisdom in many areas for sure.  Please pass on our thanks!! Amanda Hadden


 

Our Cokes Chapel Child Care has closed as of Tuesday, March 24.  Gov. Kemp’s guide on social distance with 10 or more in a gathering created the need to close. We want to keep staff and children safe.  

Your CCCC board, chair, Keith Simpson and Director Kristin McCoy have done an outstanding job maintaining the safety of our children during this time!  Say a prayer for this great group of staff and also for the families this will affect.

Note from Board:  Monday afternoon Governor Kemp ordered all non-essential businesses to close who could not maintain groups of less than 10 people while maintaining 6 feet of separation. We were unable to meet this requirement, so we were forced to close. This order is effective until April 6, 2020.  Obviously, it may be extended as conditions are required. We know this is causing hardships on some of our families who are first responders, nurses, and other essential workers. Please keep them in your prayers.
 
We are going to be able to provide some financial support to our employees for at least a few weeks. This pandemic is going to present challenges to all of us financially. Fortunately, the childcare center is on solid ground financially so we should be able to weather the storm. Please keep the employees in your prayers during these trying times. I truly believe we will come together as a community and come out of this stronger.
 
Keith Simpson
CCCC Board Chairman


 
GENERAL INFORMATION:
Council of Bishops issued a notice that the General Conference that was scheduled for May 2020 has been moved to 2021.  Please read the full article for further information.  https://www.unitedmethodistbishops.org/newsdetail/umc-general-conference-to-move-to-2021-13535402.


Show our Shut-ins some Love!  
A note from you would brighten their day and make a difference.  You don’t even have to “know” them, just sign the card, “your Coke’s Chapel Family”.Consider sending one card each week to rotate through the list, and let the Cokes Chapel love shine out!

 

Marie Allen 355 Millard Farmers Industrial Blvd. Apt. 212 Newnan, GA 30263

Jerry Freeman 28 Sweetwater Place, Sharpsburg, GA 30277-1 882

Jerry & Del Lenox 45 Soliel Ct. Sharpsburg, GA 30277-2307

Mick Moore 4661 Highway 34E, Sharpsburg, GA 30277-3509

Merlene Smith 25 Newnan Lakes Blvd., C/o Benton House Newnan, GA. 30263-5791

Claudette Schunk 519 Perkins Rd. Apt. 222 Palmetto, GA. 30268-2365

Joyce Taylor 152 Riva Ridge Ln   Newnan, GA 30263-6713

Al Warren 14 Hampshire Ln   Newnan, GA 30265-6058

 

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