Subject: This Week at Medford UMC --December 6. 2019

This week at Medford UMC for {today}.

The Dickens Festival is tomorrow evening and we could use your help -- click here to find out how you can help share the love of Christ with our Medford community.

A Word from the Pastor

Friends --

I re-watched this week's movie - It's a Wonderful Life - as I do pretty much every year. I was glad that we're doing this series, because it forced me to watch more closely and notice a lot of details that I'd missed previously. I came to a better understanding and appreciation of this classic film. For all Frank Capra & Jimmy Stewart's associations with kind of schmalzy, feel-good movies, this one is quite deep. 

Throughout the film, there is a war raging in George between what he knows is right and what he wants more than anything. It's a battle between his ethical commitment to carry on his father's legacy of helping people through the "penny-ante" Building & Loan and his deep desire to do "great" things and make big money (like his brother Harry & his friend Sam Wainwright).

Before I'd always watched this with the more simplistic view that George just felt trapped by his circumstances and prevented from doing what he really wanted to accomplish in life. But if you look more closely, there are so many things that point instead to this battle in his heart. Take for example, his speech against Mr. Potter at the Board of Directors, or his speech to the customers of the Building and Loan during the bank run scene. I had always viewed these moments as arising out of a kind of knee-jerk loyalty to his father, his anger toward Potter, and/or his desire for self-preservation. In reality, each one of those speeches actually demonstrates his sincerely held beliefs - his "real" self as opposed to the "false" self of his ego.

There is a telling moment with Uncle Billy in the office just before he goes out to confront the crowd demanding their money that tells it all. He pauses for a moment to look at the photo of his Dad on the wall, and the little plaque below that says "All you can take with you is that which you've given away." It's a small moment, but it reveals what really motivates George Bailey. He believes that statement as much as his father did!

Of course, Mary understands this perfectly, and that's what makes their relationship so amazing. When he throws the rock through the window of the old Granville house and makes a wish for success, she likewise throws a rock - but she won't say what she wished for. Through her willingness to give away the $2000 they planned to spend on their honeymoon (which would be like giving away $30,000 today), she likewise demonstrates her commitment to the same ideals of caring for the community that motivate George.

I hope you'll take some time to re-watch It's a Wonderful Life in preparation for Sunday, when we'll look at what George and John the Baptist have in common!

Peace, Joe



Christmas Music at Medford UMC

In addition to our wonderful music each Sunday during worship, you are invited to join the Christmas spirit through song at our special music ministry events:

  • Choir Candlelight Service -- Sunday, December 15 at 7:00 pm
  • Handbell and Chime Concert --  Sunday, December 22 at 4:00 pm

Christmas Eve Worship Schedule

Worship services will be offered on December 24 in the Family Life Center at

  • 5:00 pm - Children & Family Service, and
  • 9:00 pm - Contemporary Candlelight Service

and in the Sanctuary at 

  • 7:00 pm – Lessons, Carols and Candles, and
  • 11:00 pm - Candlelight Communion Service.

We hope you, your family and your friends will join us in welcoming the Christ child. 



Opportunities to Serve & Give

Angel Tree: Check out the Outreach Committee's display this Sunday, select an angel and spread some Christmas cheer! Instructions and gift suggestions will be included. For more details on this and other gifting and sharing opportunities, please click here.
Give the Gift of Mission: This Christmas, honor your children’s Sunday school teachers and youth leaders through the gift of mission. Simply make a donation using a blue offering envelope (mark it “SS mission gift”) or through the church’s app (visit “Give Now” and follow the prompts). You can then visit the bulletin board outside Bowker Hall, choose an ornament to personalize and give to your child’s teacher or youth leaders! All gifts will be divided between REACH and MUMC’s Scholarship Fund.

Hospitality Assistants Needed: We are looking for additional hospitality team members for the 9:30 service in the FLC: one person to serve as greeter the first Sunday of each month; two people to make and serve coffee the first or fourth Sunday of each month. Please contact Lisa in the church office for more information.



Events & Small Groups

For more info about any program, or to register for events, email

Busy Bees Christmas by Candlelight: Join us in Bowker Hall on Monday, December 9 at 6:30 pm. There will be a Christmas Concert presented by our Junior Choir, delicious food and wonderful fellowship. Wear your festive tree skirt for a little extra fun! Bring a wrapped gift valued at $10 for our Pollyanna gift exchange, as well as either a favorite holiday dessert or appetizer to add to our buffet table of treats.

Dinner & a Movie (Advent Family Event): Join us on Saturday, December 14, 4:30-7:00 pm in the FLC for our own screening of “The Muppet Christmas Carol.” Everyone is welcome – bring your family and friends! There will be pizza served and we ask that each family bring either a side or dessert. Click here to let us know you are coming and what you’ll be bringing. If you have additional questions, please contact Bethany Carl.

Town Hall Meeting on LGBTQ+ Inclusion: Join us Monday, December 16 at 7:00 pm in Bowker Hall for a town-hall style, all-church gathering to talk about LGBTQ+ inclusion. The pastors and members of the MUMC Reconciling Ministries Team will discuss:

  • Progress, plans and timelines leading to a vote on becoming at Reconciling Church.
  • The outcome of the special session of the Greater New Jersey Annual Conference in late October, and subsequent developments.
  • What we’re hearing from around the UMC as we look toward General Conference 2020.

Come and join us – all are welcome – regardless of whether you are a member of MUMC. If you are invested in our faith community, we’d love to have you join us.


United Methodist Women Victorian Christmas Dinner: Join us at the Medford Village Country Club on Wednesday, December 18, 2019 at 6:00 pm for a delicious dinner and a special Christmas presentation. Purchase tickets in the FLC lobby or narthex on Sunday or in the church office during the week.



Happening This Week

Sun Dec 8 Choir Rehearsal 1:00 pm Sanctuary
Mon Dec 9 Busy Bees 6:30 pm Bowker Hall
Tues Dec 10 Witness Committee 4:00 pm Room 104
  Yoga 6:00 pm Bowker Hall
Wed Dec 11 Reconciling Team 7:00 pm Room 104
Thurs Dec 12 Women's Bible Study 10:00 am Room 104
  Daniel Plan 7:00 pm FLC
  Finance/Stewardship Committee 7:00 pm Room 104
Sat Dec 14 Advent Family Dinner & Movie 4:30 pm FLC
Sat Dec 15 Choir Candlelight Service 7:00 pm Sanctuary

Sunday Schedule

8:15 am Traditional Worship with Communion Sanctuary
9:30 am Contemporary Worship FLC
  Sunday School  
11:00 am Traditional Worship Sanctuary
4:15 pm Youth Fellowship (3rd-5th Grades)  FLC
6:00 pm Youth Fellowship (6th-8th Grades) FLC
6:00 pm Youth Fellowship (9th -12th Grades) FLC

Music Rehearsal Schedule

Tuesdays Adult Bell Choirs 7:15 pm Sanctuary
  Wesley Choir 8:30 pm Choir Room
Thursdays Junior Choir 4:15 pm Choir Room
  Youth Bells 6:30 pm Sanctuary
  Youth Choir 7:15 pm Choir Room
  Worship Band 7:30 pm FLC
  Garwood Choir 8:30 pm Choir Room
Sundays Chimes Choir 5:45 pm Sanctuary


Medford United Methodist Church
2 Hartford Road, Medford NJ 08055


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