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The Living Last Supper

The Living Dramatization of Leonardo Da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” was presented by Cloudcroft UMC on Thursday evening April 18th at 6pm. In this dramatization of Da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” the twelve apostles speak their minds to themselves, to each other, and to the Lord in the light of the words which they have just heard Jesus speak, “One of you will betray me”.

The original script was written by Ernest K. Enuriam and was first performed by Elm Avenue Methodist Church, Portsmouth, Virginia on Palm Sunday night, 1954.

The replay of the performance is below:

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OUR PRESCHOOL HAS ACHIEVED A 4-STAR RATING!

Congratulations are in order! The 4-star rating the preschool received is a great accomplishment.  The staff under the direction of Shanny Housler and the committed preschool board worked very hard to achieve this goal.  The star ratings are based on criteria set forth by the FOCUS program and NM Children’s Youth and Families Department (CYFD). As we go up in star levels, we have more criteria to meet.

The criteria is based on several aspects in the center, such as, staff and student records, staff trainings and college course work, child observations and portfolio collections, food program, lesson plans, and everything that we do in and out of the classrooms. Our star ratings show our quality of care for the children and a 5-star is the highest level possible. The star rating also helps determine our level of reimbursement from CYFD on child care assistance. As you can see this is very important in many levels.

God’s Blessings to all!
Pastor Frances

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From the Pastor’s Desk – March 2019

1 Corinthians 3:6-8 (NIV)
I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor.

Change is very difficult. Whether we considered the change to be for good or not; change is always a challenge.

Most people get used to where they are. They are comfortable and nothing bad is happening. It’s not broken, why fix it?  I like things as they are. We’ve always done it this way. I want the church to grow, but I don’t want it to change.  These are words that are very familiar to me. At times they are hard to understand but my spirit reminds me, why I am here, whose voice I follow, and who I truly work for.

Of course, we know that not all change is good. There are many changes in life that are both painful and sad because the change that takes place is for the worse, not better. And then there are changes that change nothing, time passes, and we find ourselves in the same place, but with nothing to show for it.

It is in that spirit that I reach out to you today.  I want to talk to you about the challenges that positive changes create and how we can meet and overcome them.  One of our challenges is how to present Christ to the unchurched. We can start by doing outreach and mission work in our community, planting seeds of love and faith in others. Through different programs we can all engage in, the church can grow under the guidance and direction of the Holy Spirit.

And another challenge; who are the unchurched?  In the last eight months that I have been serving God in our church, I have seen they tend to be the younger generation.  Those that are still working, raising children, taking care of parents and living on a fixed income. There are mature people that are unchurched. But when I look at this area I find a lot of them to be homebound or they already belong to another church or they have been hurt by a church somewhere and just simply stay away.

While we are welcoming, warm and loving, the younger generation doesn’t find much to relate to us.  They see us as retired, with no financial worries (whether true or not) and we represent the community that live in those pretty cabins or houses they can’t afford.  They just don’t know that we have been where they are today and that is has been the grace of God that has carried us here.

With this in mind the programs, outreach, and missions in the 2019 church calendar were put together. Our first change will be small. We will be celebrating the Lord with a Praise and Worship Service on the fifth Sunday of the month (there are only four this year). The first one will be on March 31st.  The music will be more contemporary. The service itself will be more relaxed. This is the service where we plan to use the flat screen TV’s, an anonymous donation to the church. We plan to learn as we go and the service will be in God’s hands, since He is the one that gives the increase. As we reach out to the community we will present a traditional service every Sunday except the fifth Sunday of the month, where we will present a more contemporary Praise and Worship Service.

For this outreach we need to work together, I need your cooperation, I need your faith not in me, but in Jesus. Your participation in the plans of the church for 2019 is critical to the future growth of the church.  In order to grow we need to reach out in a more strategic manner.  If we allow God to work in us, and through us, we can plant seeds of faith. God will give the increase.

I would like to explain how I see my role as your pastor, I am first and foremost dedicated and devoted to serving God in whatever way he chooses.  This is why I am here.  It is my pleasure to be your pastor, at this time in the life of the church.

Every prayer, every program, every fundraiser, every outreach and mission is lovingly put together with you, Cloudcroft UMC, in mind.  I belong to God and you his church. If at times you are confused about my motives, plans or intentions, please in Christ come to me. Allow me the opportunity of explaining how the decision was made and the outcomes that we are hoping to achieve.

I find great joy in serving as your pastor. My leadership of the church may raise questions, but I assure you my goal is to serve God and you for as long as you will have me. I look forward to answering your questions, you can reach me at my cell 915-240-1783 or at church 575-682-2266, my email fgonza49@yahoo.com.

In His service and Yours,
Pastor Frances

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What We Are Thankful For

Family & Friends

God’s Gifts (his son, our church, my wife, the mountains)

I’m thankful for my dog. Chewi.

Lord, thank you for opening a door for Tommy and Gloria

Health, living on the mountain, friends, family, our church, my home and all the food

My Church family

Genetic family, church family and spiritual family

Forgiveness, love, bible, job, grace, family, health, God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit

Birth of my great-grand-daughter, Hannah

My Lord, your presence in my Life!, For trusting me with your church and for allowing me to serve you.

Corn, water and wood

Good doctors, Family, friends and the church

Church, God, Home & Country

For knowledgeable doctors and medical staff

I am thankful for family, church, friends and to all who have served this country to keep if free Thanks to all who have served so unselfishly to God and America!

My family and my church

God’s beautiful world

I am grateful that God loves me!

My family

Mrs. Mary and Church

Mom, Dad and Sister

Good Health

My mommy , daddy and PJ

My family, home and job

My family and for teaching amazing children

My dog and my family

Mom, Sister and daddy

For patches, my mom and dad

My family and health

Living in Cloudcroft, for our health and our family and church family

Mom and dad and my brother

My puppy and kitty

I am thankful for your promise, for not giving up on those of my family that are not saves.  For protecting my children from harm and for loving them enough to wait for them!

My mom, dad, sister and brother and my dog and God

Church family, our family and our beautiful mountain

Family, job, health, church and friends

Family, my wonderful church family, health and happiness on the mountain

God, the food, and all the animals

My family, BeBe, my daddy and my step mom.  I love my papa and my grandma.  I love my veterans that were in my family who died as a veterans.

Thankful for church family and their support

The veterans and one of them is my daddy Jessie who was in the Army

Living in Cloudcroft and all the many blessings I receive each day because I live in Cloudcroft.

Thankful for Glenn’s recovery, and daughter Sharon’s full recovery from her broken leg.

I am grateful for all that our Lord has blessed me with

God, family, friends, a warm home, food, fellowship, a beautiful area to live in.

For Jesus and his love.  For good health, for getting to live up here close to Heaven.  For our church, for family, friends.  For the beauty of our world and for freedom.  For those who help and those who offer help.

For Family, my church family, children and grandchildren, home, food, clothing, pets, health, friends, and my ability to know right from wrong to share God’s love

Jesus, family, grace, running water, warm socks, love, sunrises, church family, health, home, sunsets, mountains, mercy, seasons, jobs, chocolate, Holy Bible, flowers, friends, puppy dogs, electricity, music and Sunday School class.

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Sunday Services Dec 30th Cancelled

Pastor Frances has decided to call off services for tomorrow. Too many of us, including the people who run services cannot get out of their sub-divisions to get to the main roads. We are concerned for your safety and would not want to have anyone stuck in this. I know this is unusual, but the road crews are working full time and it will take time to dig out, especially in the rural areas. Take care of yourself and keep all in prayer.

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From the Pastor’s Desk – December

From the Pastor’s Desk – December
 
Christmas provides a unique opportunity each year for us all to re-focus. Not only are we reminded of the life-changing gift that is Jesus; but we are also reminded of our need for Jesus to heal us in our brokenness. That is indeed why he came, wasn’t it? To bring peace between God and man. This is why the angels declared triumphantly “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” (Luke 2:14).
 
As we celebrate Advent let us remember it is a time of preparation for Christmas. This Christmas let’s focus in the understanding that the greatest gift we receive is the love of Jesus. And the greatest gift we can give is Jesus’ love to our neighbor.
 
As a new year approaches, I want to challenge us, the church, to impact this world for good. People are in great
need, and more than ever, we need to come alive! We need to be people of prayer, faith, righteousness, and kindness. We need to love each other and love God above all else. We simply need to focus, in 2019, to do everything we can for a closer relationship with God.
 
This year brought some changes. I became your pastor, (an honor) and we said good-bye to spouses, to loved ones, to our precious summer family, friends who move to new places or to their eternal home. We said hello to new faces, welcoming new neighbors, new births, and new members to the church. God our provider, creator of all, is with us always.
 
May the time we have spent together with Christ in months past be a good foundation for us to build upon as we worship and serve him together in the year to come.
I like to close with a benediction I read recently:
 
“May you be filled with the wonder of Mary, the obedience of Joseph, the joy of the angels, the eagerness of the shepherds, the determination of the magi, and the peace of the Christ Child. God bless you now and forever.”
 
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all.
 
Pastor Frances
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Special Event – A Christmas Cantata

Special Event – A Christmas Cantata
 
The importance of the Christian holy days inspired many composers, to write cantatas for the occasion. Some were designed to be performed in church services, others for concerts or secular celebrations. The telling of the Christmas story, through angels, shepherds, and the cradle song invited musical treatment. The term is called Weihnachtskantate in German, Cantate de Noël in French. Christmas cantatas have been written in several other languages, such as Czech, Italian, Romanian, and Spanish.
 
Many Christmas cantatas were written in the Baroque era for church services, related to the prescribed readings of the liturgical year. Cantata texts frequently incorporated bible quotations and chorale. Chorale cantatas rely on the text of one chorale only. Later composers also used free text, poems and carols.
We are blessed to have a wonderfully talented choir director in Mrs. Judy Gillett. She does not only bring her musical gift to our church every Sunday, but diligently works every year to make our cantata better than the last. She would be the first one to tell you that she would not be able to do this without the support and faithful dedication of the CCUMC choir.
 
The Christmas cantata is our gift to the community and surrounding areas and our very special offering to Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.
To all our church families, those near and far, may you have the best Thanksgiving holiday as you gather together with a thankful heart.
 
God Bless You.
Pastor Frances
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Prayers for November

Prayer for the Morning:
Good morning, God.
Before this day takes hold of me and I am spread too thin to care,
I come to you to sit quietly, for you are good to those who wait for you, to the soul that seeks your peace.
Fill me with your life-giving presence;
May all that I do this day be done with calm attention, for you are my strength and peace.
Amen.

Household Prayer: Evening
Thank you for helping me to become a more generous and attentive person this day.
As I let go of all the things done and left undone this day, make me mindful that it is your strength and steadfast loving presence that keeps my faith whole and fills me with a quiet confidence.
Amen.

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From the Pastor’s Desk – November

A few days ago, I was having a conversation about how church used to be. We used to have all our doors open early morning to late evening, if we were at church. There was nothing to fear. We could get busy any day of the week, but Sunday was for church and the whole family came to church. Then one person said, “Remember when we always brought our bible to church?” We all smiled and with no answer, we went on our way.

Then I started thinking. We want and should be safe in church, but we really are not. The last church shooting took place November 2017, in Sutherland Springs, TX, population six hundred. A gunman opened fire on parishioners at a Sunday service killing twenty-six people and turning this tiny town east of San Antonio into the scene of the country’s newest mass horror. There is no safe place any more.

What seems to be a life time ago, church was a priority. Young families came regularly because they knew the value of a spiritual education and church partnership in the up-bringing of their children. The elders were the example of what a Christian life was like. Yes; ups and downs, tragedies, losses and illnesses, the local church was a member of our family, and we a member of theirs. We held on to each other and worked together to support and maintain the church for the next generation.

I would like to have a solution for this question, but sadly I don’t. As your pastor, I can tell you that these questions are always in my prayers and on my mind. There is one thing that maybe we could do something about.

Have you ever wondered what would happen if we treated our bible like we treat our cell phone? What if we carried it around in our purses or pockets? What if we flipped through it several times a day? What if we turned back to go get it if we forgot it? What if we used it to receive messages from the bibles text? What if we treated it like we couldn’t live without it? What if we gave it to kids as gifts? What if we used it when we travel? What if we used it in case of emergency?

By now I am hoping you are thinking hmm…where is my bible?

Oh, and one more thing…

What if we spent as much time in it as we do Facebook?

Unlike our cell phone, we don’t have to worry about our bible being disconnected because Jesus already paid the bill.

Some things are out of our control, and some we are not all going to agree on a solution. The saddest is what will become of the church when you are not here?

I hope this makes you stop and think I might not be able to make the big changes, but I will start by carrying my bible today.

Remember when Jesus died on the cross, he was thinking of you!

Peace,
Pastor Frances

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From Pastor’s Desk – October

My Dear Church Family,

I thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you, because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now.   Philippians 1:3-5

There are just no words to express how incredibly honored I have felt over the last few months to know each one of you.

Each precious hug and conversation will be treasured in my heart always. I already miss every person from our summer church family.

The rest of us continue our faith walk among the clouds, our prayers to God of thanksgiving for his faithfulness and grace, continuing to grow as we gather together every Sunday to worship.

Fall has arrived, and the mountains are full of colors, and we are planning and working on new things for the new year.

As we go forth in faith, we are working to answer the question, “What is God calling Cloudcroft United Methodist Church to be in the Cloudcroft Community?”

Please keep our church in your prayers as we discern Gods’ perfect plan for us.

In order to keep in touch and up-to-date with the happenings of our church, we will be sharing with you a monthly newsletter. My prayer is that it will be informative, inspiring, and keep us connected as we move through the seasons.

I’m looking forward to doing ministry together,

Your Pastor Frances

PS. Please don’t hesitate to reach out, I would love to hear from you.  Click here to contact me.

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