December 2017 -- Connector

Holland's United Methodist Church

 The Connector

Holland's United Methodist Church




full of
for you and
yours we pray,
& may a gleam
of friendly cheer
melt all your cares
away. With every joy
that heart could wish to
light the Yule logs flow
on faces of the friends you
love. May their numbers grow.
Let the singing voices fill the air
and Christmas bells ring out; let
everyone with glad accord a joyful
message shout. Let plenty crown
your festive board with heaps
of food and fun
with Tiny Tim,
“God Bless Us Every One”

As we share our first Christmas with you,
May all of you have a very blessed and

Merry Christmas!
Rev. Rich & Debbie



Saturday, December 2, 5:00 – 7:30 pm in the fellowship hall.

Holland’s Higher Ground Band will be playing music. Babysitting will be available after dinner.



We are sponsoring the ANGEL TREE for Vance Elementary community families who are in need of help at Christmastime. Look for the tree, with gift tags for children, in the narthex through December 17. If you would like to help, take a gift tag off the tree and place your donated gift under the tree (wrapped with tag on front of package) before December 18. Thank you for all your love and generosity in this season of giving! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all! (Matt. 25:40 – “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for Me.”



All children and their families are invited to join our annual Christmas celebration! 


Friday, December 8

6:30 PM

Youth Room

The evening’s festivities will include dinner, movie, and crafts. 

Please RSVP to



Holland’s ASP Team will host a holiday babysitting day on Saturday, December 9. Drop off your kids and do your holiday shopping!

There will be two shifts. Morning shift: 8 am – 12 pm. Pancakes and sausage will be served for breakfast. Evening shift: 4 – 9 pm. Hot dogs will be served for dinner. All donations will benefit ASP.


♫♪♫ All Creation Sing ♫♪♫

By Grace Christmas Concert

December 10th @ 6:00 PM

An evening of Christmas Praise & Worship

Come join all of creation in singing praises to

the Newborn King!

Love offering from

our 4th Annual Benefit Concert will go to

BackPack Buddies


Hollands 2017 Christmas Cantata

We think of that first Christmas night as being peaceful, silent, calm...all the things we like to think about Christmas. When we think of the first Christmas, we think of Christ coming to a world filled with chaos and adversity – much like today. We think of His people waiting for a Deliverer – much like today. We think of God coming down to step into the brokenness and heartache, just like today. This cantata reminds us that Christmas is still a living story. When our Lion of Judah comes into our lives, everything changes: we are healed, we become clean, we are changed forever!

Holland’s Chancel Choir invites you to join us on Sunday, December 17th at the 8:30 and 11:00 services to listen to this wonderful work in celebration of our Lord’s birth. He is our mighty lion, our protector, our Savior, and yet as a man He was gentle and kind, a servant to all, innocent of the sin that we humans so easily give in to. This cantata weaves the symbolism of the Lion of Judah and the Lamb of God into the Christmas story. Through original songs and traditional carols, singers, orchestra, and listeners are reminded that this story is not just an event in history, but a “living story” that still impacts the world today.




Higher Ground will be hosting a Moravian Love Feast on Thursday, December 21 at 7:00 pm in the youth room. The love feast will feature traditional hymns and "Christmas-themed" bluegrass music. The love feast will be celebrated "Moravian-style" complete with buns, coffee, and candlelight. Join us for this wonderful service of worship as we celebrate the birth of the Messiah!


Merry Christmas to all of our Holland’s family and friends. Our senior group will have our Christmas meeting on Thursday, December 21, at 11:30 am, in the fellowship hall. We can assure you that fun will be had by all. We will have entertainment, door prizes, Silly Santa, delicious food, and great fellowship. Again, everyone should bring a finger food to share and a Silly Santa gift, not to exceed $10. Drinks will be furnished. We are looking forward to seeing you, and as always guests are welcomed. The more, the merrier!


It’s time to purchase your pecans for the holidays! First Journey Circle is selling gift bags of chocolate-covered, cinnamon, and pecan clusters. The 16-ounce bags of halves and chopped pecans for cooking holiday recipes are also available. Gift bags are $10 and the 16-ounce bags are $12. 


Samaritan’s Pantry is an ongoing, church-wide ministry to help those in need. Each month, we will suggest an “item of the month” or you can bring an item you have on hand. Collected items are donated to Garner Area Ministries. The Samaritan’s Pantry is located in the hallway near the church office. For more information, please contact Lavonda Bagwell, 919-772- 8171. Items for December: Canned meat and vegetables.





Friday, December 8, 6:30 pm - Children’s Christmas Program – “Jingle Jam”

Sunday, December 10, 6:00 pm
By Grace Concert – “All Creation Sing”

Sunday, December 17, 8:30 & 11:00 am
Christmas Cantata - “Little Lion, Little Lamb”
(There will be no 9:45 worship service.)

Thursday, December 21, 7:00 pm
Higher Ground Love Feast
in the Youth Room

Sunday, December 24
Sunday Morning Worship

9:00 am – Coffee and pastries in the fellowship hall.

10:00 am – Worship Service
(Come as You Are!)
(Kids certainly welcome in pajamas!)

Sunday, December 24
Christmas Eve Services

5:00 pm - Children-friendly family worship

7:00 pm - Contemporary worship - candlelight & Holy Communion

9:00 pm - Traditional worship - candlelight & Holy Communion

Monday, December 25: Christmas Day




Samaritan’s Pantry is an ongoing, church-wide ministry to help those in need. Each month, we will suggest an “item of the month” or you can bring an item you have on hand. Collected items are donated to Garner Area Ministries. The Samaritan’s Pantry is located in the hallway near the church office. For more information, please contact Lavonda Bagwell, 919-772- 8171. Items for December: Canned meat and vegetables.



Serving At: Mara Region in Tanzania
Location: Tanzania, Africa
Home Country: United States of America, North America
Spouse: Elizabeth Soard

Eric Soard is a United Methodist missionary with the General Board of Global Ministriesassigned along with his wife, Elizabeth Soard, as a church planter and discipleship trainer in the Mara Region of Tanzania.

The United Methodist Church in Tanzania has expanded rapidly since it was launched by the North Katanga Annual Conference in 1989 in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), with assistance from Global Ministries. Volunteers in mission have helped to extend the church into the Mara Region in northern Tanzania, bordering Kenya, but the area has few trained, ordained pastors. Eric and Elizabeth will initially concentrate on the Tarime area. The couple is familiar with this area since they spent two years in Tanzania as volunteers working with Angel House Orphanage and Angel Secondary School.

Eric was born in Arkansas, but now counts Medina, Tennessee, in the Memphis AnnualConference, as home. His church membership is at the First United Methodist Church of Medina. Eric received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Lambuth University in Jackson, Tennessee and worked as youth director at Lambuth Memorial United Methodist Church while in college. He has also been youth director at Medina First Church. “I have spent my whole life in the church…and I remember the first time I accepted God’s love for me as one of his children,” he says. “However, I think the most important time was when God asked me to share His love with others….”Faith for me is something that must have a real impact on the world around me and how I interact with that world.” As he matured, Eric felt God’s “call for my life, a call to serve others.” He and Elizabeth volunteered in 2010 for mission service in Tanzania, working at the orphanage and school in Tarime.

Angel Orphanage is an Advance mission project of Global Ministries. The work of helping to plant new churches in Tanzania appeals to Eric. He says: “I am excited about establishing new, holistic communities of faith that can spread the reality of God’s adoption of his children in this world.”



In order to comply with IRS regulations, any donations that you would like to have credited to your 2017 contributions record should either be dropped off at the church office by December 31, 2017 or postmarked by December 30, 2017. If you are bringing a contribution to the church and want to hand it to someone, it should be in the office prior to 5:00 pm on Thursday, December 28.  If you would like a copy of your statement of giving prior to year-end, please contact our Financial Associate, Ellen Chambers, in the office. A current statement will be provided upon request at any time during the year. 

Ellen F. Chambers, Financial Associate


-- A note from Rev. Keith Nanney:
     “Thank you for all the support we have received from Holland’s Church during our recovery from our accident of September 30. Every card, phone call, visit, and prayer were healing ointment for our souls and bodies. Sandra has to continue with her neck brace until the week before Christmas. Please continue to remember her.”

-- Betty Middleton’s address is Springbrook Nursing and Rehabilitation, 195 Springbrook Avenue, Room 301, Clayton, NC 27520. Cards are welcome!



You can help beautify our sanctuary all year long by donating an altar flower arrangement in honor/celebration or memory of loved ones. Sign-up sheets are available outside the church office on the bulletin board. If you have any questions, please contact the church office.


To view the youth newsletter, please visit the Youth website at



Maybe you've been wondering how to jazz up your faith life!  An excellent way is to sign up for and participate in the Walk to Emmaus, a three-day interdenominational retreat sponsored by the Upper Room of the United Methodist Church.  The three purposes are to enhance your faith in Christ, raise up church leaders, and to encourage you to Christianize your environment. The next men's Walk is March 8-11, and the next women's Walk is April 26-29.  Walks are held at Camp Agape near Fuquay! Half of the seats for the women's Walk in April are already filled.  

Holland's has already had well over 100 members to participate in the Walk, including 17 new participants in 2017.  We hope to have even more in 2018.  With only four Walks per year, the opportunities are limited.  The spring Walk dates for 2018 have already been mentioned.  Fall Walks next year will be Sept. 20-23 for men and October 11-14 for women.  It's time to treat yourself to an unforgettable experience by signing up for the Walk.

You'll need a sponsor, and lots of folks from our church would gladly do this for you.  If you need a sponsor, call me at 919-721-9161, and I can connect you with a sponsor.  You can also see me at church or ask your friends if they know someone who has done the Walk.  You will not have a problem finding a sponsor.  You may have already been invited to go but haven't felt ready-until now.  Go ahead and sign up and treat yourself in the new year to the Walk to Emmaus. Thanks.  Rod Poole



The last blood drive was very successful. This was held on a Monday instead of the usual Sunday afternoon. The American Red Cross collected 36 units on October 23. Thanks to all our faithful donors who take time to insure lifesaving blood supply is available for those who need it. Thank you to First Journey Circle for hosting the drive.  The next opportunity to donate at HUMC will be Sunday March 18, 2018.