Wednesday, November 04, 2009
Laity Report for 2009 by Lay Leader Ronny Ellison
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The People Called Methodist
By Ronny Ellison – Lay Leader
The people called Methodist in the community of Tinney Chapel present this report to the 2009 Charge Conference.
Tinney Chapel remains a caring and loving community of faith. We are still recovering from some times in the past; I feel we are making a turn. We have become more stable, with a few returning and a more positive attitude prevailing among the faithful. That is not to say we have reached our goal, some are still not happy and for the most part never will be.
Worship is traditional with a blend of contemporary. As in most rural churches a simple style of worship is preferred. All Christian special days are observed and God’s presence is felt in this place.
Native Americans Participated in the month of November with story telling, singing in Cherokee, speakers on Native issues.
We resumed our association with Hynson Chapel CME Church for Black History Month. They came for a joint worship service with Rev. Scott delivering the sermon. After the worship service, we had food and fellowship.
We returned the favor by attending their homecoming with Pastor Sue preaching and again food and fellowship.
The choir performs every Sunday and has presented Christmas and Easter Cantatas at church and the two nursing homes. The choir sang in Cherokee at Winnsboro Center For The Arts and the women’s group at First Methodist.
We were deeply saddened at the retirement of Pat Hollingsworth who served faithfully as choir director and pianist for 18 years. We rejoiced that God sent us Molly Mathis who enthusiastically accepted this new role, after moving home from New York. We are overjoyed with the talent she has brought to Tinney Chapel.
Our attendance remains in the 40s, but with the prospect of a Hispanic congregation and returning old members things will improve.
Each first time visitor is presented with a coffee mug and encouraged to return. Sunday school remains strong at Tinney Chapel with 4 adult classes. We have a few children now with volunteers willing to teach.
We have news items provided to the local paper. One of our own members is on the Conference Communication Commission and we provide a monthly newsletter, Tinney Chapel Times, to members and visitors.
No organized evangelism program is provided, but with the new DNA program we have hopes of getting this started. Visitors are heartily welcomed with no racial prejudice in the church.
Everyone tries to make new people feel welcome and they are eager for them to be a part of our family.
Many in the church have been on the Walk to Emmaus and they in turn work in the local Johnston Unit in the program “Residents Encounter Christ.”
We have three members of the congregation who are certified lay speakers.
Youth and Family Activities:
Lack of young families and youth is our biggest concern. We have shown how much we love and support them. Recently the congregation made a love offering to Matthew Hallman, a former youth member in our church. Matthew is now a senior at Texas Tech, and is planning on going to graduate school. We are always ready to help and encourage our youth in their faith walk.
Tinney Chapel has its traditional 4th Sunday dinner, fish fries, ice cream socials, breakfasts, buffalo burgers, pie suppers and our 8th annual Cowboy Poetry gathering and stew.
Glenn Goggans has been bringing horses for kids to ride at our 4th Sunday dinners.
OASIS – Older Adults Still In Service – is active with Dick and Carolyn Beavers and Joe Dan and Peggy Boyd working hard for our older members. Attendance has been down due to death and heath, but we are in hopes others will become apart of the group.
Rural Life Sunday was a great success. We had games for older and young alike. A goat pulling a cart took small children and a dog for a ride. Glenn brought the horses again, and we had horseback riding. The Moores brought a train for kids of all ages to ride. Pumpkins were set out with paints, so that the young people could paint faces on the pumpkins. We had the ever popular “rooster chase” in which the young people chased and caught the roosters. Eight lucky kids went home with a rooster to the parents delight. There were 17 youth present for Rural Life Sunday.
Missions from Tinney Chapel come through the church and various organizations in the church, such as the Ladies Group, the Men's Group, OASIS, Native American Fellowship, Sunday school classes, and individuals. They are being reported as one.
Contributions and items have been given to:
Morgan’s Mercy Mansion – a drug and alcohol rehab facility for women.
Holy Highway Girls Home
Northeast Texas Child Advocacy Center
The Blessing Box
Methodist Children Home
Cherokee Christmas and Back to School
Choctaw Back to School
Dan Hubble Ministries
Gerry Gearner – Campus Crusades for Christ – missionary
Ramsey family in China – Missionaries
Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch
Nothing But Nets
Cheryl Newton visited Sager Brown – UMCOR’s Depot for distribution of emergency goods throughout the country and the world.
Recently the members purchased new plants for the grounds. This was accomplished by members giving a living memorial on All Saints Sunday for those who have preceded us on our journey.
2009 has brought many changes and challenges. As an older congregation, this is not comfortable, but we are determined that in order for us to carry on the work of Christ, we must press forward to these challenges. We are not here to serve self or even the existence of this building; we are here to be Christ like in our service to others. In order to be Christ like, the self must be denied and Christ must shine from each of us.
Respectfully, Ronny Ellison – Lay Leader – 2009 Charge Conference