From the Pastor’s Desk – December

God’s Signature

Considered the greatest artistic genius that ever lived, Michelangelo believed that his inspiration came from the awesome beauty of God. He said, “Every beauty which is seen here below resembles more than anything else that celestial source from which we all come.”  He believed that the image of God in man was the essence of true beauty.  Faith, hope and love help to define this beauty.

This is reflected in the Vatican’s Pieta.

Cut from one large piece of marble, and completed when he was only 24 years old, this masterpiece depicts Mary cradling a slain Jesus in her arms.  The beauty of mankind is marred through sin in this world, but God restores this beauty through the death of his Son! This is the final and ultimate reason for our celebration of Christmas!

Through faith in Jesus Christ, the Gift of Gifts, God marks us as his people.  We are promised a full restoration from the brokenness that has touched human history.  The problems we face are answered through God’s love. We have a loving God who provides us with a living hope! This living hope is exemplified by the Pieta.

In 1972, a deranged 33-year-old Australian geologist attacked Michelangelo’s Pieta with a sledgehammer! He removed the Virgin’s arm at the elbow, knocked off a chunk of her nose, and chipped one of her eyelids before he was finally restrained.

It took six months of concentrated effort to repair the priceless sculpture. It was only then that a previously unknown monogram or secret signature of Michelangelo was discovered on the palm of the Madonna’s left hand.  It’s the only known signature of Michelangelo on any of his works! Michelangelo marked his beautiful creation to identify it as his own.

As we sift through the damage of difficult situations, whether it’s a broken relationship, a financial loss, illness or some other problem, we need to look for the initials of the Lord. Those initials are inscribed upon the hearts of all who place their trust in Him. Such a discovery is made through faith, believing that a loving God will restore us regardless of our troubled situation.

His restoration may be different than what we expect, but we can proclaim with the great Apostle Paul that our “hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost who is given unto us.”

This Christmas, let’s remember to give God praise as we celebrate the entrance of God’s Signature into human history, the Word made flesh, who entered into our broken world! Then let’s share that great hope with someone else! In so doing, we share the Gift of Gifts and the healing promise that restores every broken soul!

Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Rev. Dr. Mark Johnston



Administrative Council Highlights


Ken Stuart conducted the meeting in November.  Van Edwards reported that the roof of the church has been repaired..  The unit for heat and air in the Family Center has been installed.  Repairs to the brickwork and the interior of the church are ongoing.  Joey Jones reported that committees must submit budget requests for 2018 by Dec. 4.  Gene Baker announced that plans are being made for a fundraiser meal to benefit the Children’s Center.  This money will be used for Christmas gifts for the workers.  Jennie Meggs announced plans for the advent season and Margaret Vance gave a report on children’s choir and chancel choir as they prepare for the Christmas season.  Rev. Johnston closed the meeting by thanking John Hugh Moody for setting up the coffee bar on Sunday mornings.  He also thanked Virginia Fowler, Fran Lewis and their volunteers for all the work that is being done to make “The Crew” a successful program for children.


Basketball Concessions


The basketball concessions is in need of volunteers to work during January and February.  A weekly commitment is a great way to minister to our community for these two months!  We run the concession stand Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday each week.  If a short term commitment works for you, we are open on Wednesdays in January.  Please text or call Orlah King at 843-862-6046 if you can help!!



Epworth Joy


Christmas cards are beautiful and bring much joy to the receiver. Please consider adding our Haas Buddies at Epworth to your Christmas card list. These young guys are separated from family and friends. Friends and family who they love and miss. Words of love and encouragement written in a card would bring many smiles and Christmas cheer to them. You may either choose one or more of our buddies or address collectively the Haas Cottage.

Boys in cottage —  Jaquan Jacobs, Zay Robinson, Lucas Fowler, CJ Louve, Alex Morgan, BJ Lindsey and Ashton (no last name)

Haas Cottage
PO Box 50466
Columbia, SC 29250

Our Haas Buddies will be joining at us at 11 a.m. on Sunday, December 10th for our 11:00 worship service, covered dish luncheon and The Crew’s Christmas program. After the lunch and entertainment, we will give our Epworth friends their Christmas gifts. Hope you will also be able to join our church family on this special day. An outpouring of God’s love will certainly abound!



FUMC Children’s Center News

Everyday in our Children’s Center is filled with lots of activities.  The Pre-K class enjoyed a trip to Riverbanks Zoo.   The younger kids have been busy each day with preschool activities and play.  We have been blessed with many children to care for.

The infant toddler room is filled to capacity with a waiting list.  Our two- and three-year old rooms are also filled.  Please make sure to tell anyone that might need childcare to call immediately to be placed on our waiting list.

The staff and families of our children have so many reasons to be thankful.  As we end the month of November and begin the Advent season, we continue to spend time reflecting on our many blessings.  We are all very thankful for:

  • happy and healthy children;
  • caring and loving teachers and caregivers;
  • a safe and comfortable place to spend each day;
  • time to play, learn and have fun together;
  • the perfect weather that fall brings, enabling us all to enjoy playing outside;
  • the families that entrust their children to our care each day;
  • the members of this church family that bring donations, offer support, and provide a friendly atmosphere in which to work and play;

and, most importantly, the love of God and the many blessings that he has showered on us all.

Blessings to you all,

Debbie Polston, Children’s Center Director

Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Ephesians 5:20


December 10 Church Events

Covered Dish Luncheon on December 10, 2017

FUMC will have a covered dish luncheon on December 10th following the morning worship service.  The Crew will present music during the service and our Haas Buddies from Epworth will be guests for the service and for lunch.

Fried chicken, mac and cheese, string beans, rolls and drinks will be provided by the church.  Members are asked to bring other side dishes- salads, starches, vegetables and desserts—to the Family Center after 10a.m.


Life Touch Pictures

Remember the dates: December 10th and 11th, Lifetouch  will be here to take photos for the Church Directory — smile!


December Dates to Remember

  • December 3 – Worship Committee meeting at 3:00 PM
  • December 3 & 21 – The Crew Sings at Trinity
  • December 6, 13 & 20 – The Crew Wed. Program
  • December 7 – Energetics meet at 10 AM
  • December 10 – The Crew Sings at FUMC
  • December 10 – Finance Committee meeting at 4:00 PM
  • December 10 – Church Luncheon & Life Touch Pictures
  • December 24 – Candlelight Service


Lights Before Christmas – 2017

christmas lights

Our Haas Buddies at Epworth Children’s Home have experienced many challenges in their lives and sure enjoy times that “light up’ their surroundings. The followers of Jesus are called to be lights in the darkness.

Let’s treat our Epworth Friends to the million twinkling lights at “The Lights at Riverbanks Zoo” event on Saturday, November 18th. The cost of a ticket is $11. They go on sale November 1st. If you would like to join this beautiful fun with our buddies, please let April in our church office or Fran Lewis know by October 30th.  Tickets will be ordered November 1st.

Many Thanks,