News & Events

Blue Christmas, Dec. 19th in the Sanctuary

Blue Christmas 

“long dark night of the soul” ……….. “the winter of our discontent” 

 For many, the approaching holiday season can be a painful time of year.  The constant refrains on radio and tv, in Shopping malls and greeting cards about the joy and happiness of the season, reminds many people of what they have lost. They may be facing a holiday after the death of a loved one or after a divorce.  Perhaps they have been unable to have a child or have suffered through an emotional trauma. Or maybe they simply feel pressured and over whelmed by holiday preparations.  Perhaps it’s a past pain and sorrow which brings a flood of memories to darken and dampen the days.  Regardless of the reason, this season can be a time in which memories of past experiences and the pain of present experiences can become overwhelming. 

Blue Christmas is a service where we can, with others, acknowledge the “blue” feelings we have at Christmas time, the reasons for them, and offer them to God.  It is a Safe, Quiet Space for us to grieve, no matter what grief-related event we may be experiencing, without apologizing for the way we feel.  It’s also a place to experience the message of hope the season brings. 

In this service, we will have some singing appropriate to the season, recognizing that this is not a season of joy for everyone. We will invite you to reflect on the pain, the loneliness, the sadness, anxiety, anger or fear you may feel and offer it to God for healing and transformation. We pray that you will find comfort in knowing that you are not alone and hope in God who knows your pain and loves you unconditionally.  

 

Stephen Ministry

Stephen Ministry

From time to time we all go through difficult times when we could use a little support and help to get through.  Having someone to listen with compassion and offer support can be a difference makerThat’s one reason why Stephen Ministry is at Harrisburg UMC. 

Stephen Ministry is a system of caring ministry where members of a congregation are specially trained to provide one-to-one care to people who are facing a difficult or challenging time in their lives.  Stephen Ministry St Louis, a non-profit ministry organization headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, is a transdenominational ministry that maintains a support network to Stephen Ministry congregations in the US, Canada, and 30 other countries around the world.  It is a distinctively Christiancaring ministry in which pastors and lay people work together to meet the needs of people within the church and community who are experiencing a wide range of life circumstances.  

The team of people who direct Stephen Ministry at Harrisburg UMC are called Stephen Leaders and were trained at a 7-day Leader’s Training Course taught by members of the Stephen Ministry Organization. Our current Stephen Leaders are Pastor Toni Ruth Smith, Pastor Richard Smith, Sandra Bilbro and John Lomonaco.  

Lay caregivers, called Stephen Ministers, who have spiritual gifts appropriate for caring ministry are trained by our Stephen Leaders. Stephen Ministers receive 50 hours of training, learning principles and skills that equip them to provide high-quality, Christ-centered emotional and spiritual care to others.  Through training, they also gain insight into the thoughts, feelings, and actions of people who are hurting.  For whom are Stephen Minister’s trained to provide care?  Stephen Ministers care for people experiencing grief, separation or divorce, job related stress or loss, chronic or terminal illness, relocation, unplanned pregnancy, infertility, birth of a child, loneliness, military deployment, spiritual struggles and much more 

Our Stephen Ministers provide one-to-one, Confidential, Christ-centered care to help people, called Care Receivers, through many of life’s issues whether in times of transition or major life crises.  Stephen Ministers meet with their Care Receiver on a weekly basis in a private, confidential setting to listen, care, encourage, and provide emotional and spiritual support.   

The joy that motivates our Stephen Ministers to commit to this ministry is based on serving Christ with their best gifts.  Our entire Stephen Ministry team is committed to helping individuals experience the support and concern they need for as long as they need it.  Through our commitment to care, it is our prayer that the hurting and vulnerable among us will experience the hope and healing that Jesus Christ offers. 

Contact Pastor Toni Ruth  should you be interested in receiving a Stephen Minister

Habitat for Humanity Receipent

Many of us are only a few missed pay periods away from having no place to lay our heads down at night. Melissa knows that feeling all too well. After experiencing domestic violence in her relationship, she left and moved into Cabarrus Victims Assistance Network (CVAN) with her son while he was an infant. She vowed then that her family would never be homeless again. This situation pushed Melissa to work hard and strive for success. Melissa currently lives in subsidized housing through the Section 8 program. The house that she is renting now has multiple issues.

Melissa wants to have a better, more stable future for herself and her children. She heard about Habitat for Humanity Cabarrus through some of her friends who were in the Homeownership program. After earning her sweat equity and taking the Dave Ramsey financial literacy classes, Melissa feels that she is now equipped with the tools to become a homeowner. She has made a few friends during this process that have truly helped her. Her new home will provide her with more stability, and it will allow her children and future grandkids to have a safe place to visit.

Melissa is originally from Arizona and moved to Cabarrus County when she was in the 4th grade. She has two children ages 20 and 16. She is also excited about being able to teach her children about working hard to get what they want and to never give up on their dreams.

HUMC will be working on Melissa’s home on e Saturday, October 5th. HUMC’s   Should you be interested in working on the Habitat house, please contact John Lomonaco JKLomonaco@ctc.net.

Our goal is to raise $2000 for Habitat for Humanity.  There will be a Spaghetti Dinner fundraiser October 13th at 12:15 in the church fellowship hall.

WNCC District Superintendent Rev. David Hockett

District Superintendent Rev. David Hockett will be the guest speaker at HUMC’s Homecoming service on September 22nd at 1o a.m. Rev. David Hockett currently serves as the District Superintendent of the Metro District in the Western NC Conference.  He is a graduate of North Carolina State University (B.A, 1991) and Duke University (M.Div., 1994).

He served the Haw River Charge (1992-1994) while a student at The Divinity School at Duke University; Christ in Greensboro as an associate (1994-1998) and St. Timothy in Greensboro (1998-2003); Milford Hills, Salisbury (2003-2009), Forest Hill in Concord (2009-2015), and prior to joining the Cabinet he served as Senior Pastor of Boone UMC.  Rev. Hockett chaired the committee on Doctrine and Theology for the Board of Ordained Ministry and served as Chair of the Order of Elders for the 2012-2016 quadrennium.  David currently serves on the Leadership Development Team and has been a member of The Royce and Jane Reynolds Leadership Academy for Evangelism and Discipleship.

David and his wife Kim are native North Carolinians.  Kim is a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill and works for Novant Health as an IT analyst.  They have three children: Salem (22), Abbey (21) and Eli (16).  They enjoy time with friends and family, great movies, reading, and travel.

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