Weekly Update: November 18


How is your plan for Thanksgiving shaping up? Is your turkey thawing appropriately? Are the cans of jellied cranberries stacked and ready for plopping onto plates with that familiar “thoo-whap?” Have you picked up all the ingredients for everyone’s favorites? Here’s my real question: is your plan centered on food or lists or, in the midst of all the high-gear preparations, is it ALREADY centered in authentic thanksgiving? What is driving your celebration this time? Of course you know the “correct” answer is thanksgiving, but people seem to be so excited about getting together again, “party” may very well be this year’s default theme.

However, the Biblical concept of thanksgiving is centered on God. Indeed there is plenty of thanksgiving about food in the Bible, but it is always about the LIFE that the food provides by the very Hand of God, rather than food itself. I write that as I pray for you just now—that the joyous reality of God so invades your life that EVERY day is a day of true thankful celebration.

Okay…you read that and say in your head, “Hey preacher, I know I should feel that way, and I want to, but I’m not there. It’s been a tough year and I am emotionally wiped out right now. Sure, I’m excited about the idea of Thanksgiving, but I’m already worn out from all the other stuff going on around me.”

Well my friend, maybe you just need some motivation. How about allowing this amazingly enthusiastic example of Thanksgiving in 1 Chronicles 16:23-29 MOTIVATE you! Try this on and see how it feels…

Sing to GOD, everyone and everything! Get out his salvation news every day! Publish his glory among the godless nations, his wonders to all races and religions. And why? Because GOD is great—well worth praising! No god or goddess comes close in honor. All the popular gods are stuff and nonsense, but GOD made the cosmos! Splendor and majesty flow out of him, strength and joy fill his place. Shout Bravo! to GOD, families of the peoples, in awe of the Glory, in awe of the Strength: Bravo! Shout Bravo! to his famous Name, lift high an offering and enter his presence! Stand resplendent in his robes of holiness! (MSG)

My friend, share the Message of Jesus Christ with every person within the sphere of your influence, and thanksgiving will be natural, authentic, influential, and POWERFUL! Bravo…You!

Happy Thanksgiving! (And remember to wear your stretchy pants on Thursday.)


Pastor Rusty <><


1. Family Ministries has been partnering with Liberty Park Elementary School. They are in need of toiletries for 10 families this holiday season. Each family needs the following: body wash, toothpaste, deodorant, laundry soap, and toilet paper. Old Bethel is collecting 10 of each item. These toiletry items will be going home with the kids on Thanksgiving break. Please drop off all donations to the tote in the lobby by this Sunday, November 21. Thank you so much for helping this our community neighbors. If you have any questions please contact Pastor Tonya at tdavis@oldbethel.org.

2. Congregational meeting Sunday, November 21, 2021 at 5 pm there will be another session with Mike Womack and Rev. Jerry Rairdon., who will answer questions around changes the UMC is facing. If you have questions you would like to submit, please email them to Margaret Ferry at btferry@comcast.net by November 14. The questions will be reviewed for duplications and submitted to the speakers ahead of the meeting.

3. Applications for Summer Fare Grants are available at the Welcome Center in the lobby. Submission deadline is November 28, 2021. Place completed applications in the Summer Fare mailbox in the reception office. You may contact Mike Tucker or Dan Wilson with any questions.

4. The Old Bethel & Partners Food Pantry is collecting Kleenex and Paper Towels to distribute to our shoppers this Christmas. These items are a huge blessing to the families we serve and are greatly appreciated. If you are able to donate, please drop these items off at the pantry or at the church. If you have any questions please contact Community Life Minister Arin Schellenberg.

5. Everyone is invited for a fun afternoon of Cookies & Caroling! Join us in Fellowship Hall on Saturday, December 4, 1-3pm as we get in the Christmas spirit together - through song! Invite your children and grandchildren because Mr. & Mrs. Claus will be joining us!

6. The Youth Group are going shopping for Operation Shoebox gifts December 5, during their normal meeting hours 12-2. They will be filling shoe boxes full of goodies to send to those who are in need. If you would like to join them in filling a box please contact Pastor Tonya at tdavis@oldbethel.org.

7. UMW Cookie Walk (& More): Saturday, December 11, 10am-2pm. Select an assortment of homemade cookies for your holiday parties and gatherings. Cookies will be weighed and sold per pound. This event is open to the public and proceeds benefit missions. You may volunteer to donate cookies and/or help with the event by calling Jean Zerkel at 317-894-3646. Last minutes gift shoppers will also have the opportunity to select vintage and hand-crafted items such as decorated towels, quilted heart ornaments, aprons, cookie cutter wall hooks, and vintage ornaments, jewelry and more. Contact Dianna Fred at 317-909-3366 with questions.

8. The Old Bethel & Partners Food Pantry and the Old Bethel Preschool are partnering to sponsor four families from the community for Christmas this year. Look for the Angle Tree in the middle of the lobby beginning next Sunday, November 28. It will be decorated with paper ornaments listing gifts for each member of the families. If you have questions, please contact Preschool Director Shannon Schwoebel at preschool@oldbethel.org.

9. We still need volunteer receptionist for several shifts. The morning shift is 9am-12:30pm. The afternoon shift is 12:304pm. You can work each week or every other week. OR you might like to be a sub and serve when others are on vacation. Building traffic is slowly increasing and having receptionists to answer the phone is a GREAT help to our administrative staff! Contact Administrative Assistant Lynda Preston at lpreston@oldbethel.org or 317-359-9651, extension 131.

10. This Sunday’s message notes are below. November 21: ICHTHUS: What’s With the Fish Symbol?

The five letters that spell ________ are also letters that illustrate our __________.

ICHTHUS is an ancient acronym: ________ ________ ______ ______ ________.

As a “code” a fish painted or drawn on the outside door of a house let early Christians know that they’d be ________ and ____________ inside.

John 21:1-4 Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Tiberias. It happened this way: Simon Peter, Thomas (called Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. “I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. (NIV)

For forty days Jesus weaned the disciples from His presence—letting them get used to _________ ___ ________ ______.

Life without direction left the disciples (and us) searching for ___________ ___ ____.

John 21:4-6 Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?” “No,” they answered. He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.

Jesus used the fish to help them remember ________ He is, and that would remind them of what they’re _______________ ____ ____ __________.

John 21:7-8 Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards.

Persons with Peter’s attitude leave the world behind and focus on getting as close ____ __________, as fast ____ __________.

John 21:9-14 When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” Simon Peter climbed aboard and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.

If I never come in to the shore from fishing, I will never enjoy the _______ and _________.

Christ-followers are made to live for __________ ___________!

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