An Update From your Pastor's Desk - 11.27.2020

An Update From your Pastor's Desk - 11.27.2020

Hello there,

Greetings to you and your family. We hope that you are staying well and healthy. This email update includes important information of what's going on at Oberlin UMC. If you have any questions please feel free to contract us.


UMYF Youth Meals

Youth Group Meals are needed for December 9 and 16th. The Sign-up sheet is on the bulletin board.

UMW / Dorcas Circle

Neither UMW nor Dorcas Circle will meet in December.

Birthdays 🎉

December 2 Kariah Castle
December 3 Rayne Erickson Chanda Fleckenstein Carolyn Shirley Alissa Sporn
December 4 Jamie Orr Stosh Seller Talulah Woolsey
December 5 Kristy Evans Mackenzie Urban
December 7 Lynn Doeden Kay Matheney Perrell Stanley
December 8 Johnathan Fick Kara Haselhorst Pam Scribner Shirley Ward
December 9 Sonya Capps
December 11 Jacquelyn Marshall
December 13 Steve Kraus Cheryl Miller
December 14 Joyce Pedersen
December 16 Trenton Raile
December 17 Deanna Castle Shannon Metcalf Janelle Walter
December 19 Gabe Moore
December 20 Casey Alstrom Mick Barth Blake Garner Hayley Lewton
December 21 Delbert Erickson
December 22 Kay Danburg Emma Merrill
December 27 Jacque Elwood
December 28 Wiley Farr Linda Hollowell Addison Mathews
December 29 Mark Scott
December 30 Valisha Raile
December 31 Lila Keenan

Anniversaries 🎉

December 4: Sid and Cheryl Metcalf, Larry and Karen Thompson
December 7: Cody and Rebecca Hooker
December 9: Jay and Ann Anderson
December 10: Bradley and Angie Erickson
December 21: Lyle and Leona Hilker
December 24: Cole and Alyssa May
December 28: Joe and Candy Dejmal
December 29: Glen and Kristin Stragey
December 30: Jordan and Whitney Tally
December 31: Jerry and Melissa Chambers, Robert and Robyn Rouse, Stosh and Jill Seller

Please be in Prayer for 🙏🏼

All residents and staff of Good Samaritan Society – Decatur County; all staff and all patients - Decatur Health Clinic and Hospital; Pastor Mary Courtney; Russell Stanley; Minnie Dawn Purty; Marian Fraker; Larry Ishii; Barry Richards; Pastor Dorcia and Michael Johnson and family; Brady and Ellie Ginther and baby; Pastor Mike Rose and family; Pastor Jake Schadel and family; Doris Sloan; Hannah Abbott and family; Cheryl Metcalf; Pam VanVleet; Kay Azzara; Pam Scribner; Lynn & Roberta Johnson; Greg Long; Jan Walters; Lila Keenan; Lowell Moxter; our schools, teachers, administration, staff and school board members; our County, City, State and National leaders.

The family and friends of Karen Eskew.

Giving The Gift of Grain 🌾

– Information provided by the Kansas Area United Methodist Foundation

In Deuteronomy 26 we read, “Now I bring the first fruits of the soil that you, LORD, have given me.” Giving of the first fruits from the land is a statement of faith that God will help us bring in the whole harvest. It is a commitment that God who brought about the growth from the seeds we have planted will bring it to fruition. Have you considered giving to God the gran that comes from the land?

Why Donate Grain Directly – for many cash-basis farmers, significant tax savings can be achieved by donating grain directly to their church or other favorite United Methodist charity.

Tax Savings – Many farmers do not itemize standard deductions because the standard deduction has greatly increased over the years. Therefore, typical cash gifts to their church or charity do not save additional taxes. When executed properly to a church or charity, the cash-basis farmer avoids reporting the sale of the grain as income and still includes the cost of growing the grain in expenses which saves on self-employment tax, federal income tax and state income tax.
Key Points

  1. Timing: Donate grain grown in the current or previous years’ harvest any time during the tax year.
  2. Unsold commodity: The gift should be from unsold crop inventory, with no prior sale commitment made on the gift.
  3. Physical delivery: Be sure the gift is farm commodities, not warehouse receipts, which could be considered a cash equivalent. The church or charity must be able to demonstrate “control and dominion” over the gifted property.
  4. No control: The farmer can not provide any guidance in the transfer agreement as to the retention or sale of the gifted commodity.
  5. Documentation: Either a properly executed warehouse receipt in the church’s or charity’s name, or a notarized letter of transfer for crops stored on the farm can be used. The original sales invoice should list the charity as the seller.
  6. Storage & transportation costs: After the transfer, the church or charity should assume costs of storage, marketing and transportation as well as bear any risk of loss.
  7. Crop share leases: Gifting will not work for a crop share landlord. A share of a crop received as rental payment is considered the equivalent of rental income.

Oberlin UMC is able and prepared to receive gifts of grain from anyone wishing to do so. If you have questions about the process, you may contact Pastor Gordon.

Thoughts From Pastor Gordon 💭  - Advent Now and Not Yet

During Advent, Christians sing songs such as, “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” and “Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus.” These songs anticipate the hope that God’s people felt as they waited for this Savior. We light candles of hope, peace, love, and joy, like an emblazoned clock counting down to God’s intervention.

Waiting for something that has already happened is a curious practice. Explaining the season of Advent can be quite difficult for us. When a child is in the womb, the child is certainly real even though you can’t hold the baby in your arms. A mother’s body changes, subtle flutters soon become kicks, and ultrasounds reveal a profile, leading someone to say, “She looks just like you!” or “Are you sure you aren’t having an alien?” The child is certainly real, but not yet born. It’s kind of like recording kick counts as the baby’s due date approaches. Ask any mother — the baby is already here, but not yet born.

The Advent season plays with our notion of time. The church gathers in the present to ponder the past for a future hope. A Christmas Carol is a beautiful story for the Advent season because it is a tale in which the past, present, and future all come together in one transformative night. Certainly, this story is about Scrooge’s love of money and his altruistic failures, but it is also a story about how Scrooge cannot let go of his past. Early in the story, after establishing that Marley had been dead for some time, Dickens writes, “Scrooge never painted out Old Marley’s name. There it stood, years afterwards, above the warehouse door: Scrooge and Marley”. Scrooge seems to cling to the past because his (only?) friend Marley represented the only things in which Scrooge trusts: hard work, frugality, unwavering discipline, and action that can be weighed, measured, and counted.

Jesus came to save us from counting our past as our only reality. It’s like when Moses led God’s people out of Egyptian slavery into the wilderness. Before they reached the Promised Land, the Book of Exodus says, “The whole congregation of the Israelites complained against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. The Israelites said to them, ‘If only we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt … for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger'” (Exodus 16:2-3 NRSV). Because living in the wilderness was difficult and they were caught wandering between where they were and where they were heading, the people complained and wished they had died as slaves. The people became stubborn and bitter (see Exodus 32:9), almost “Scroogelike” in their relationship with God and one another. Instead of moving forward in faith, trusting that God was with them, the people kept looking over their shoulders, hopelessly lamenting over the way things were.

Advent is like living in the wilderness between what was and what will be. Living into this tension, remembering God’s promises, and depending on faith become spiritual disciplines that keep us from becoming Scrooges ourselves. Even though the Promised Land may seem far off, we hold tightly to the promises of our God, for “he who promised is faithful” (Hebrews 10:23 NIV).

Reprinted from Ministry Matters
as an excerpt from:
The Redemption of Scrooge by Matt Rawle.

For Your Calendar 🗓

Sunday, November 29 – First Sunday in Advent / UM Student Day
Wednesday, December 2 –
9:30 AM – Women’s Bible Study – Basement
5:30 PM – Women’s Bible Study – Fellowship Hall
6:15 PM – UMYF – Basement
7:00 PM – Praise Team Practice
Friday, December 4 – Pastor Gordon Day Off
Sunday, December 6 –Second Sunday in Advent with communion
1:30 PM – Christmas Crafting in Fellowship Hall for shut ins
Wednesday, December 9 –
9:30 AM – Women’s Bible Study – Basement
5:30 PM – Women’s Bible Study – Fellowship Hall
6:15 PM – UMYF – Basement
7:00 PM – Praise Team Practice
Friday, December 11 – Pastor Gordon Day Off
Sunday, December 13 – Third Sunday in Advent
Friday, December 18 – Pastor Gordon Day Off
Sunday, December 20 – Fourth Sunday in Advent
Children’s Christmas Program during Worship
Wednesday, December 23 –
School Christmas Break to Jan. 4, 2021
Thursday, December 24 – Christmas Eve – Please watch future bulletins and for more information about special worship services.
Friday, December 25 – Merry Christmas / Office Closed
Sunday, December 27 – First Sunday After Christmas
Sunday, January 3 – Epiphany of the Lord Sunday

Worship Online 💻

Did you know you can worship with us wherever you go? Head to to worship LIVE with us on our online campus on Sunday's at 10:45 am. Or rewatch our services anytime anywhere with our on-demand content available on our online campus - head to

Follow us on your favorite Social Media Network 📱

Did you know that Oberlin UMC is now on Twitter, and Instagram, along with Facebook, and YouTube? Follow us on your favorite social media platform and stay connected with Oberlin UMC.

Facebook: @OberlinUMC

Twitter: @oberlinumc

Instagram: @oberlinumc

YouTube: Oberlin United Methodist Church

Please continue to take care of yourself and each other,

Pastor Gordon