It's been a while since I last posted one of these. Let me update you on some new things happening at the church as well as some personal news.
Our New Relationship with Philadelphia
This past Sunday was my first Sunday at Philadelphia UMC. That means that we are now on a charge with them. That doesn't mean a whole lot for our church as far as changes. The only logistical change is that we will be rotating Sunday evening services between FUMC and Philadelphia. We'll meet on Sunday evenings at their church the 1st and 3rd Sundays of the month and we will meet at FUMC the 2nd and the 4th Sundays. They are really excited about joining together with our church. I believe that the UMC in Hazlehurst can be stronger as we join to do ministry together.
Swing Bed Ministry
You will be hearing more about this soon, but we are about to begin an exciting new ministry with our hospital. Not long ago JDH started a Swing Bed Program, a Medicare program designed to provide skilled care to those needing extra time to heal. Sometimes their stay can be lengthy, causing loneliness and a disconnect from others. So we are going to be partnering with JDH to ensure that their patients have a great experience in our hospital. Vicki Roussert will be coordinating our new Swing Bed Ministry. Will we visit their once a week, providing them with fresh flowers, a visit, and prayer. If you would like to volunteer for this ministry please contact Vicki or Josh. The gospel is full of stories of healing and this is a chance for our church to participate in the healing ministry of JDH. I hope that you'll consider participating. We'll have a training meeting soon!
This summer I began my Doctor of Ministry degree program at Asbury Theological Seminary. This will be a three year degree program and I'm thrilled to be getting back into the classroom! I do a lot of my academic work here, but I'll have to go to campus for two weeks a year. I'll be headed up to Wilmore, KY on July 6th and will return on July 22nd. On those two Sundays that I'll be gone we will be in good hands. Retired UMC pastor, Larry Bird (not the basketball player!), will be preaching July 9th and our very own Sue Woodard will be preaching on the 16th. Be in prayer for them as they prayerfully prepare to preach.
Also, don't forget about the Ice Cream Social this Sunday at 6pm. Bring your favor homemade ice-cream and something from home that you wouldn't mind giving away. No expensive gifts please! Gag gifts are preferred! Hope to see you there!
Rev. Josh Duckworth
Hazlehurst First United Methodist Church