Fairmont is a "Lighthouse Congregation"
Our congregation, Fairmont UMC, is a "Lighthouse Congregation" of The North Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church in partnership with The United Methodist Collective and the Office of New Faith Communities. Our Church Council met on March 9 and voted to become a Lighthouse Congregation! In doing so, not only do we commit to remaining a part of the United Methodist Church, but we also commit to serving those who have lost their church homes through disaffiliation or closure.
We are committed to this work in the following ways:
- Worship: Providing worship opportunities whether online or in person. These services should be intentional about engaging and welcoming new people into the fold.
- Discipleship: Creating space to learn and grow, through small group gatherings, Bible studies and prayer opportunities.
- Mission: Inviting fellow United Methodists into opportunities to serve through hands on ministries. This can include things like backpack ministries, community gardens, literacy and C4C programs, or anything that involves making a difference and sharing the love of God with others.
- Sacrament: Communion will be offered at least one Sunday a month, but also may include invitations to communion outside of traditional worship such as mid-week gatherings and in small groups.
- Pastoral Care: Offering care such as hospital visits, gatherings at coffee shops, and finding ways to be available to those who are in need of pastoral care. This is not just the responsibility of the pastor, but includes ways in which the congregation may engage in visitation ministries, meal trains, and communications ministries.
Learn more about Lighthouse Congregations here: https://nccumc.org/umcollective/lighthouse-congregations/
Chocolate Party - March 25
The Chocolate Party is back! This year it's an Easter Edition. The party is the Work Team's signature fundraiser and we need all hands on deck! Please plan to help w food, set up, clean up, etc! The funds are used to offset our fees on the trips, and to pay for the supplies to the sponsoring organization.
The Chocolate Party is Saturday, March 25, from 5-7:30, at the church, and possibly Under the Oaks. There will be heavy hors d'ouevres and desserts, music from Randy & Friends, and crafty activities for the kids. LINK HERE to sign up.
Trips - Visit Civil Rights Sites
The Fairmont Social Justice Committee is excited to announce three civil rights sites trips. These tours will offer our congregation opportunities to visit some of the most significant civil rights sites in our state and nation.
The first on May 6, will take us to the Greensboro Civil Rights Museum, site of the lunch counter sit-ins. The tour is $20 for adults and $15 for students. Once in the museum, the tours will be led by guides who were activists in Greensboro during the era of the sit-ins.
Note: Transportation options include car-pooling and taking the train. Lunch plans are in the works.
Find details and sign up HERE.
The committee has two other tours in the planning stages. The first will be by train to Washington, D.C. to visit the African American Museum. The committee is considering a long weekend for this one during the fall of 2023. The committee is also considering a longer bus trip for June of 2024 to sites in Atlanta, Montgomery, Birmingham, and Selma.
The Social Justice Committee is planning a mission lunch for April 23 in an effort to defray costs of these trips.
Questions or suggestions? Please contact Marilyn Dixon or Susie Mallard Barnes.
Lent Worship Series - SEEKING
The lectionary for Year A offers us many stories of Jesus encountering people who are seeking: Nicodemus comes to him in the veil of night, he approaches a Samaritan woman at a well, he heals a man born without sight. In these stories, each person is seeking a new beginning, a different life, a deeper faith. What unfolds is an exchange filled with questions and exploration. Often, an unveiling occurs—assumptions are disrupted, a new perspective is revealed, mystery grows.
And so, we’ve crafted a Lenten series founded on questions. Many of our weekly questions feel restorative (“Can these bones live?”). Some feel like a charge or challenge (“Who will you listen to?”). Some questions are hopeful and curious (“How do we begin again?”). Our questions won't necessarily lead to answers, but they can help us find clarity and a new perspective. Ultimately, we pray they lead to a new beginning, a restoration, a wider grace.
Like the characters in our Lenten scriptures, we are also seeking many things: clarity, connection, wonder, justice, balance. We are seeking our calling, the sacred, and how to live as a disciple. Throughout the turbulence of the past few years, many of us are asking big questions about our lives and our faith. If you are returning to church, you are probably returning with more questions and a critical lens. We hope this series will help us unpack some of those big questions in ways that are honest and faithful. Throughout this season, we hope you will continually ask yourself: what am I seeking? What is God seeking?
This Lent, we invite you to engage in the spiritual practice of seeking. We encourage you to stay curious, open, and nimble. We hope you will soften your assumptions and expand your perspectives. We pray that these questions will create a safe space to explore—to be drawn more deeply into the fullness of life, into the heart of God. (A Sanctified Art)
Mission Lunch Thanks!
Thanks to all who helped with the Mission Lunch supporting the Cultural Truth and Love Distribution! We raised a little over $600.
Cultural Event/Food Distribution April 1
CTLD is a festive collaboration of diverse congregations to understand our differences and celebrate those things which unite. Tents arranged under the oaks at Fairmont will offer a range of ways to participate:
- Children – Spaces for artistic expression, sensory play, decorating Easter eggs, and planting
- Music – enjoy instrumental & vocal performances from Fairmont UMC family and friends
- Arts – add your artistic touch, with the guidance of artist Maggie Lewis -- which will be combined into a mosaic to be displayed on Fairmont's campus
- Advocacy – letter writing to advocate for just policies through Bread for the World
- Story telling – as a way to reflect the strengths of authentic community
- Sharing – distribution of food and resources to people in need
- Healthcare – free wellness checks and vaccinations
- Refreshments – biscuits, fruit, and more
Events are bilingual and open to all ages.
Link HERE to volunteer to help. Flyers are available in the sanctuary to share.
Fairmont Nursery Has Reopened!
Fairmont Nursery is Open! To provide hospitality for families and our youngest worshipers, our nursery is open for infants to age 5 during Sunday School and worship.
Reminder! Each Sunday, until we hire a nursery worker, we will need two volunteers. Sign Up here.
Little Free Food Pantry Needs Food!
We are still experimenting with the sign up process to find the "sweet spot" of keeping the Little Pantry full, without creating a situation where our wonderful volunteers drive to the church only to find it already overflowing!
Please consider signing up as yourself, your family, a Sunday School class, or other group. If you live too far away from the church to fill it, but would like to participate, please consider purchasing a Food Lion or Aldi gift card, and we will find a volunteer who lives near the church to partner with you as your shopper. Filling the pantry costs approximately $50 (for staples) to $75 (for more ready-to-eat meals). Please remember to check the expiration dates, if you're pulling food from your own pantry.
Use this LINK for March.
Wilson Temple Food Pantry Volunteers Needed!
Volunteers are needed of all ages and abilities to help at Wilson Temple’s Food Pantry on the 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month. Jobs include sorting and packaging food into boxes, and/or lifting and delivering food boxes (~25lbs) to individual cars. Volunteers can sign up for a shift to help between 10:30am until 12:30pm any 2nd or 4th Saturday of the month.
Our Stories To Tell...
New Feature for our Website and email newsletters: We are going to feature voices from the congregation sharing their experiences of Fairmont events, service, and community fellowship. Over the next few weeks we'll hear from Ken Dulaney about the Book Study, Amanda Rhodes about volunteering at the Wilson Temple UMC Food Pantry, and from Susie Mallard Barnes about Fairmont's mission lunches.
We now have "Our Stories to Tell" under the "Journey Together" tab.