Thursday, February 18

Student Ministry:

  • 4 Mission Opportunities this summer:  High School trip to Tucson; Middle School Mission Camp @ VBS; Middle and High School Combined Trip to West Virginia; Camp Lighthouse

  • Retreat 12:12 @ Camp Glisson – March 26-28 – Combined Middle and High School Retreat

  • Confirmation Sunday – March 21 (36 confirmands this year!)

Nursery, Children’s, and Special Needs Ministries:

  • The nursery is experiencing a baby boom! Our youngest congregants are back in big numbers and nursery volunteers are excited to love and serve them. The nursery anticipates expanding from two to three rooms on Sunday mornings in the next few months.

  • Our special needs ministry is getting its own webpage with a video from Lauren Ray, special needs coordinator, explaining who and how she serves as well as a contact form for families to reach out to her. Special needs programs and support have also been highlighted on social media as we want families to be aware of and take advantage of this wonderful ministry.

  • Children ages 3 and up, staff and volunteers have been wearing masks since we resumed in-person programming in September. Temperature checks are done for children and volunteers at check-in and hand sanitizer is ubiquitous. Families have enthusiastically complied and appreciated the measures we’re taking to keep everyone well.

  • Attendance in kindergarten through fifth grade is steadily growing on Sunday mornings, with attendance higher in the K-3rd grades. The children’s staff has reached out to families of fourth and fifth graders and has increased our High Five events. High Five is a service and leadership program for fifth graders, and these opportunities have been enthusiastically attended so in March we are hosting the third high five events since September, with another planned for April. These are very well attended and the kids love serving. It is our hope that these events will strengthen relationships and bring these older elementary children back on Sunday mornings.

  • Collide, Wednesday night programming for kindergarten through fifth grade is experiencing explosive growth, with 35-40 children plus volunteers each week. Glow in the Dark, a special evangelistic outreach event on Wednesday night each spring and fall, is March 3 and we’re anticipating a large turn-out.

  • Our outdoor family movie night in October was a big hit, and we’re planning another one for March 19.

  • The first annual EPIC Retreat for third through fifth graders (replacing the SCREAM retreat) is April 16-18 and is already half full.  EPIC will be held at Camp Lighthouse and is planned and hosted by Mount Pisgah staff.

Women’s Ministry:

  • With Covid- 19 and fewer opportunities to gather, our Women’s Ministry started Soul Sister walking groups at parks around Alpharetta, Roswell, and Johns Creek.  The women love the encouragement and time in nature while walking.

  • 141 women watched "Christmas Is Not Canceled" online through Church Online, Vimeo, Facebook, and YouTube on December 7, 2020. This online event replaced the WM annual Mistletoe Event which will continue in 2021.

  • Women’s Ministry started a Facebook Group to gather socially in this COVID season. The women share inspiration, Scriptures, stories, tips, and encouragement for our body, mind, and soul as we seek Jesus in our ordinary lives. We have new things coming this month like our Bible answers, an online exercise, healthy recipes, and devotionals.

DiscipleLife Ministry:

  • Discipleship Council: At the start of 2021, Chuck McElroy assumed the chair position following Joan Wood who chaired the Discipleship Council for the past two years. We are so very appreciative of Joan’s leadership.  The Council has taken on four focus areas as objectives for 2021:

  1. Recruit and Support Leaders of MP Discipleship Groups

  2. Drive Interest and Recruit MP Members to Join a Discipleship Group (and hopefully multiply)

  3. Drive Interest and Recruit Non-Members and People who don’t know Christ to Join a Discipleship Group (and hopefully multiply)

  4. Develop Key Measures of Success to Validate that the Council’s Mission/Vision is Effectively Implemented and Yielding Good Fruit

  • The Council has formed four subgroups who will work to develop action plans and implementation steps to advance each of the four focus areas above

4:19 Disciple Makers

  • The 4:19 Facebook group launched and has been another great resource for leaders. If you would like to join, please contact Beth Laury (blaury@mountpisgah.org) or send her a FaceBook message. A survey went out last fall to our podcast listeners. Their feedback showed our listeners want practical disciple-making teachings and interviews with ordinary people who are faithful in making disciples. You can find the 4:19 Disciple Makers podcast on your podcast app or subscribe via email here

  • Connect Series Classes have kicked off which is a great place for those in worship to start growing as a disciple of Jesus both online and in-person with a group during the week or before worship. The Connect Series is the best way to build a faith foundation and get involved in Mount Pisgah. We share the history of the church, places to serve, answer faith questions, and provide an overview of the Bible lead by Church members. Classes are warm and relational, with a lot of discussions. There are participants guides for each class with teaching and testimony videos. Classes are interactive, build upon themselves, and will be offered on a continuous rotation. More information here

  • Right Now Media has been popular for some groups and families in this covid season. Mount Pisgah is giving a free gift subscription to rightnowmedia.org, which is one of the largest online conduits for Christian video content. With over 40,000 titles, it is the equivalent of a Christian Netflix. There is something for everyone and you are able to access the material from any PC or mobile device. This gift to our members will help others dig deeper into God's Word, growing as disciples of Jesus Christ. Sign up here!

Walk to Emmaus Retreats set for Fall 2021

  1. Men’s #200 – Sept 16-19, 2021
    Lay Director: Andy Burt
    aaburt@bellsouth.net
    Browns Bridge Church, Cumming
    Team meetings held at Duluth UMC

  2. Women’s #232- Sept 23-26, 2021
    Lay Director: Pat Reynolds
    pkrdsr@bellsouth.net
    St. Mark UMC, Team meetings held at McKendree UMC

  3. Men’s #201 – Oct 14-17, 2021
    Lay Director: TBD
    Watch the next Loveletter
 for details

  4. Women’s #230 – Oct 21-24, 2021
    Lay Director: Sandi Falstreau
    sandi.falstreau@gmail.com
    Kennesaw UMC

  5. Men’s #199 – Nov 4-7, 2021
    Lay Director: Gary Willis
    drgaryw@bellsouth.net
    Alpharetta UMC

  6. Women’s #231- Nov 11-14, 2021
    Lay Director: Lesé (Lisa) Cooper
    lesecooper@gmail.com
    Northbrook UMC, Roswell

Finance Committee:

  • The RISE initiative has successfully launched with two goals.  Goal 1:  100% of Mount Pisgah Church encounters Jesus in the area of generosity by committing to faithfully RISE to this challenge and engage.  Goal 2:  God will provide $12.5 million through us as we RISE to His calling for us, to expand His kingdom through our love of this community.  The purpose of RISE is to provide funding for the next two years; new ministry initiatives; and reserve and capital needs as we prepared for the future of our Church.

  • The Audit Committee, a sub-committee of the Finance Committee consisting of Tony Wagman, Patti Fowle, Susan Sanders, and Helen Caudill recently approved the audit report for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2020, and will be submitting it to the Finance Committee for approval.

  • In April 2020, the Church received $570k funding for payroll costs for the period April 15 - June 30 from the Paycheck Protection Program established by the Cares Act. PPP loan forgiveness was granted by the SBA on December 11 due to the terms of forgiveness being met by the Church. All loan proceeds were used for payroll costs and benefits in addition to employee and compensation levels being maintained during the covered period.

 

Board of Trustees:

  • The Board of Trustees continues to actively and effectively oversee property and equipment maintenance and improvements. Committee member, Duane Wood helped develop a proposed capital reserve fund for both the Sanctuary and the Beacon/Summit building.  Finance Committee member, Stephen McDonald, and Trustee, David Duke will be assisting further in establishing the capital reserve plan for the Sanctuary.

  • Trustee members, Bob Collins, Buddy Lollis, David Hailey, and Helen Caudill as a sub-committee have been granted approval by the Board of Trustees to proceed with lease negotiations and execution of the July 1, 2021 renewal of the lease of "R Building" with the Summit Counseling Center and A Beacon of Hope.

  • The Trustees will begin working with USI Insurance Services and broker, Bruce Irvine on the renewal of the Church's property and commercial insurance program.  Coverages include a $15 million umbrella policy, property and general liability, automobile, cyber liability, workers compensation in addition to a $1 million policy for the director and officer's liability.

Community Engagement:

  • Community Engagement continues to build a rhythm of support and service with our local partners with an emphasis on deepening our engagement relationally and internationally.

  • We continue a monthly focus on a partner relationship through designated donations and information about that partner

  • We continue to develop the “First Serve” monthly opportunity to serve somewhere in the community the first week of the month now with a monthly prayer walk and service opportunity at NFCC.

  • Thirteen individuals were trained at an NFCC training night hosted by NFCC for Mount Pisgah in January. Another training will be held in March.

  • Quarterly ALL SERVE Sundays continue with an opportunity for the whole church to come together on a project to support a local partner or community member. In September care kits were put together for the Atlanta Transitional Center and in January appreciation gifts and notes were put together for the staff at Haynes Bridge Middle and at Mount Pisgah Christian School.

  • Donations of food to Drake, Homestretch, and NFCC continue to be made consistently. In November and December, we collected coats for the NFCC coat drive and toys for the Santa Shop. NFCC continues to serve twice as many families as they have in previous years. Historically the coat drive, thanksgiving meals, and Santa Shop served around 500 families. In 2020 they served upwards of 1000. Additionally, we continue to support Drake, Homestretch, and NFCC with financial gifts along with Every Woman Works.

  • Believing that intentional and relational community engagement cultivates a seedbed for new expressions of church in September we launched a dinner church, “Sunday Supper” in collaboration with NFCC. We began with a team of 20 serving 100 meals, prayer, and building relationships in addition to online engagement through a dedicated Facebook page. Fifteen have been trained in Jesus’s table theology to anchor our engagement in forming a new faith community. Upwards of 30 served on the team at February’s Sunday Supper and included that outside of Mount Pisgah with growing interest from those coming to receive meals to be a part of what is happening. We are now serving 150 meals per month, per supper, in the Oaks at Holcomb Bridge apartment complex. We have new partners in the community to provide the food while simultaneously supporting local restaurant owners and caterers. We pay for the food but at a dramatic discount, and then are able to thank and support those who partner with us. The team consists of both MP and MPIS as the apartment complex has a large Spanish-speaking population. Everything we do is in both Spanish and English. Families are serving families. The next steps for this multigenerational, multiethnic, new expression of the church will likely be adding an additional Sunday per month, and as covid restrictions are lifted, the opportunity to sit at tables together.

  • Two other new expressions of the church continue to develop at the Haynes Market under the leadership of Glenn Paris and at Haynes Forest Park, “Wind Down Wednesdays” under the leadership of Chris and Kelly Henderson

Mount Pisgah en Español:

  • We start the first level Discipleship by Zoom on Mondays at 7:30 pm and Thursday at 10:00 am (18 people)

  • We continue second level Discipleship by Zoom on Tuesdays at 7:30 pm (10 People)

  • Started the Program: Pizza with Jesus for the Youth. We seek to Disciple the Youth through talks, dynamics, and in a simple, youthful environment. (10-20 youth)

  • Carry out teaching activities, education to the group of young people (10-20 young people)

  • Fasting every Tuesday thru Wednesday. Zoom meeting on Tuesdays at 9:00 pm (Prayer, crying out, and interceding), Zoom meeting on Wednesday at 5:00 am; 10:00 am and we finish fasting at 1:00 pm

  • We started singing classes for the Adoration group. 10 persons 

  • We continue to broadcast the service on Sundays on Facebook Live, Instagram, YouTube, etc. With an average attendance of 550 people per service. The Church is growing and we are reaching different countries of the world (Mexico; Honduras; Italy; Colombia: Salvador; etc.)

  • Average face-to-face attendance on Sundays is 100 people

  • We distribute more than 110 gifts for children at Christmas. Thank you to the Anglo church for their support

  • We are supporting the food distribution at the Roswell Methodist church (my neighbor's pantry), praying for each family every Monday

  • We continue to carry out our services on Wednesdays at 7:30 in person and online. With a face-to-face attendance of 18 people and more than 90 people online.

  • We start the Youth meet every Wednesday at 7:00 pm (Pizza with Jesus). Attendance of more than 15 young people

  • On Fridays, we perform Prayer at 7:30 pm for Zoom, with an attendance of 8 to 13 people

  • We have 4 homes of light with an average attendance of 6 people per group. The meeting takes place every 8 days

  • The women's group meets periodically by Zoom and in person. With an attendance of 12-20 women per meeting.

  • The men's group meets periodically by Zoom and in person. With an attendance of 7 people per meeting.

  • We continue the prayer program 4 times a day. (5:00 am - 10:00 am - 3:00 pm - 8:00 pm). It is called: "the call of Jesus" and each one of us stops for a few minutes when the alarm sounds and makes a brief prayer remembering that God has accompanied us up to that moment and that God will continue to accompany us. We pray for the whole Church. We are more than 40 people who received the call of Jesus

  • We support the Sunday supper program with the pastor: Heather Jallad, which takes place on the first Sunday of each month

  • We distributed more than 30 turkeys with Thanksgiving dinner (Donated by the Falcons). Thank you for the help of Pastor: Steve Wood

  • We continue to distribute food baskets according to the need of each family (more than 100 families)

  • More than 30 gift cards ($ 25; $ 50 and $ 100) were distributed, donated by our Anglo brothers through La Pastor: Heather Jallad

  • We sent two boxes of food to Venezuela and two boxes of clothes and shoes to Honduras

  • We send small toys for children in the eastern plains of Colombia (more than 50 children)

  • We financially supported the Christmas dinner program in Honduras (20 families)

  • Financial support for a 10-year-old boy to undergo  eye surgery in Guatemala

  • We baptize 3 children and one adult. 

  • In these new times, we continue with our mission and vision of making disciples here, there, and everywhere, passionate and in love with Jesus Christ. Being a Church of life where Jesus heals, restores lives and we expand the Kingdom of God

  •  We will continue to motivate, encourage and train people to follow the model of Jesus (Discipleship). For people to connect with God through prayer and have a new lifestyle that reflects the life of Christ

  •  We will continue to focus on giving spiritual nourishment to the members of Mount Pisgah UMC in Spanish so that they can mature and develop a good and solid relationship with God.

  •  We continue to make disciples here, there, and everywhere.

  •  We continue to provide counseling and spiritual guidance to couples, adults, couples, and the younger members of our Church.

Membership/Baptisms:

  • We had 17 new members join the church and 11 baptisms since our last church council meeting.

  • Over this same time period last year, we had 55 new members (the majority of these were from confirmation) and 25 baptisms (roughly 2/3 of these were from confirmation)

  • Jason Zemke is working with Jenny Bramel on a confirmation parent new member class on February 26.  We are following the same process we have used for the last several years for parents of confirmands who have not yet joined the church.

Jason Ordination Update – Fruitfulness Project:

  • One of the requirements for ordination is to create a fruitfulness project.  A fruitfulness project must involve the laity of the church, it can modify an existing program or it can be something new, it has to impact the community in some way and must contain some aspect of discipleship.  I have been working with Kay Zemke, Beverly Johnson, and Ann Gambil to engage parents of young children in service projects focusing on serving our community.  Due to Covid-19, we have not been able to get out into the community to serve, but we have found ways to do so by being involved in Sunday Supper and offering snack bags for young children.  We have created snack bags to distribute to front-line workers doing Covid testing and we created bags of love for the Roswell Nursing Home in connection with the Caring Ministry. 

Ash Wednesday:

  • In an attempt to meet the need of our online worshiping community, a recording of the Ash Wednesday service will be sent out as a separate stream at 6:30 am 12:00 pm, and 6:30 pm. Pastor Heather Jallad is leading the recorded service for this week for those online.  Jason will lead the in-person service at 6:30 pm Ash Wednesday. Valorie Deel has made up ash and communion kits for online and in-person worship. The kits can be picked up under the bridge up until the last online service for those watching online and those in person will receive the kits upon entering the sanctuary building.

9:30 AM Worship:

  • The orchestra is being used to enhance the 9:30 worship service every week. The choir is meeting every week to rehearse, but because of COVID, rehearsals are shortened, and thus the choir is only singing in the services on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of each month. We’ve added two new orchestra members and three new choir members since our last conference.

  • We recently voted to install choir officers. Our current number one priority is keeping people connected during this time when some people don’t feel safe leaving their homes. We are doing this by having volunteers zoom our choir rehearsals. One person acts as a host and interacts with those who can only attend online. The other person shares their screen with the sheet music. We’ve been having around 20 people in the room and about 20 people joining online. (We were running about 40+ pre-pandemic, so this is good.) We are able to interact and share prayer requests/concerns with both those in the room and those joining online.

  • In addition to preparing for weekly services, we are looking forward to Easter Sunday and beyond.

11:00 AM Worship:

  • The worship team is being used to create authentic and genuine worship moments on Sunday mornings and beyond. Since our primary goal is to be a church where the name of Jesus can easily be lifted high through song in fullness with theological strength we work hard to put forth songs that are singable to a broad spectrum of believers – regardless of stage. Our team meets Thursday evenings for prayer together, life updates, and to rehearse the songs for the upcoming Sunday morning. 

  • Last March our worship team created an internal ‘worship leadership team’ who has pastored and shepherded our worship team in so many precious ways. This internal team prays for our broader team weekly, meets with our team to encourage them, and is responsible to lead worship in rotation so that other leaders can rest and recoup. This worship leadership team has been a game-changer for the discipleship and support of our entire team. 

  • Our team is currently writing songs and putting together worship setlists for Sunday mornings, student ministry retreats, Good Friday and Easter. We’re in a busy season but we’re expectant!

Caring Ministry:

  • The Nursing Home Ministry is now known as the Senior Living Ministry.  Funds were collected in December to provide gifts for seniors living in senior care homes in the community.  Cards of encouragement have been collected since November and distributed to the local senior care facilities. Each month has a theme such as Valentine’s Day for February and Easter in March. The response from the congregation has been great and this project will continue until visitation can resume.

  • The Martha Ministry has served several funerals recently overseeing social distancing, masks, and safe receiving lines for the families. 

  • The Blanket Ministry continues meeting one Saturday a month.  Lap blankets and prayer shawls are being made and provided to assisted living homes.  

  • Grief Share is continuing via Zoom with larger groups than in the past.  Anxiety and grief have been huge in the community.

  • Stephen Ministry continues through the utilization of technology due to the COVID restraints. 

  • The Prison Ministry is thriving and is currently providing laundry detergent, socks, and used clothing to residents at the Transitional Center as they are currently not working and cannot leave the facility for personal needs. They were provided with bags of toiletries and personal items at Christmas. 

  • Caravans are delivering yard signs of encouragement and delivering altar flowers to Mount Pisgah members struggling at this time. 

  • The COVID 19 Fund at the church is still available to help members.  Funds are also being provided to North Fulton Community Charites. 

  • The council is also looking into creative ways to offer hope and help to our community and reach out and make a more effective effort during these continued COVID days.  This includes how to have a meaningful National Day of Prayer on May 6 in lieu of the traditional prayer room.

Hospitality:

  • Targeted volunteer recruitment sent to anyone who has been in worship at least 5 times in the 100 days.  Have seen an increase in 22 new (not returning) people serving on a rotating basis, including short-term and long-term members and students.

  • Helped with planning and managing logistics, timeline, and volunteers for the first Mount Pisgah Christmas Tree Lighting.  Hospitality at the Christmas Tree Lighting included a welcoming check-in and registration for almost 1000 attendees; volunteers from the parking lot to event exit; a diverse number of food trucks.

  • Worked with the worship team to plan a welcoming Christmas Eve worship, while still emphasizing congregation safety and procedures for social distancing and wearing masks. 

  • Worked with a volunteer team of mainly students to decorate the church in preparation for the Christmas season.

  • Continue to offer a safe, welcoming environment for Sunday morning worship, while still emphasizing congregation safety and procedures for social distancing and wearing masks.

  • Christmas Tree Lighting Festival

    • Hosted the first, what we hope to be, annual Mount Pisgah Christmas Tree Lighting Festival.  The event joined all staff and ministry areas together for this community wide event.  With a short timeline, the event was well received by our community and church members.  

    • Friday, December 11th from 6-8pm.

    • Approximately 1000, multi-generational and multi-ministry attendees, all accounted for through pre-registration and on site registration.  

    • For the year 2020, it was a huge boost to community and church morale, and a wonderful way to enter the Christmas season.

    • The flow and layout was established to create a safe environment for people to stay socially distanced.  Additionally, everyone was required to wear a mask for the entire evening.

    • Elements of the event included: choir, orchestra and music all evening; live nativity; cookie station for children and families; 4 food trucks; caring ministry; formal tree lighting; snow and sledding in the Underground; biblical and Christmas characters walking the event; and winter themed photobooth.

    • 350 cards signed for Caring ministries offered an intentional way for our community to love on seniors and inmates. 

Missions:

  • Through the pandemic and continuing is the wonderful work of our global missions ministry partners and missionaries who are serving and growing His Kingdom.  Through the congregation's giving, we are still able to meet the financial support commitments we made at the beginning of our budget year.

  • Current Global Mission Partners

    • ILI – International Leadership Institute

    • MCF – Mully Children’s Family

    • Elam Ministries

    • Venezuela NOW

    • Water@Work – Domincan Republic

    • Receiving His Life Ministries

  • Supported Missionaries:

    • Hernando and Katherine Montana (Budapest, Hungary – Discipleship Training)

    • David Bachman (Navigators Nashville)

    • Jonathan and Robyn Bachman (College Ministry – Florida)

  • The prospects of foreign mission trips with Mount Pisgah congregants remain difficult to predict or plan for. This will most likely remain through the summer with some of the travel restrictions in place and the uncertainty of changing conditions in the countries we would be traveling to.

  • COVID-19 Relief Fund - $23,000 has been provided by our Mount Pisgah congregation, with the vast majority being used for providing food relief through our global missions partners, in the following countries:  Kenya, Costa Rica, Venezuela, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Siberia.  There have been amazing stories coming back from the field on how these funds were used by our partners, as they were the hands and feet of Jesus to a world in need.

  • As an example, food supplies were delivered to families in Afghanistan through a global missions partner. 10,000+ Afghans were reached with these supplies through this coordinated COVID-19 relief response.  One of the testimonies of a family served through this relief effort:

    • A gift of food softens a hard heart - Several years ago, church planters in the region befriended an Afghan family with four children. They would come to the church now and then, but the father of the family would often proudly say that he was an atheist. Then the coronavirus pandemic struck in 2020. Stuck without work, the family completely ran out of food but was ashamed to tell anyone. That night the man turned to his wife and asked, “What will we do now?” The next morning someone from the church knocked on the family’s door. When they opened it, they were shocked to see four large bags of groceries. They couldn’t believe that God had heard their unspoken prayer. That day, the father called the church planters and said, “I believe in Jesus! I want to give my heart to him!”

 

Parent Ministry and Pisgah Fosters:

  •   Parent Confirmation is averaging between 25-30 parents each Sunday morning for those who have kids currently in the student classes. We are halfway through with this year's program. pastor Steve will give this week’s lesson on the history of the church and discuss the basics of the Methodist denomination. 

  • Prayers for the Student Celebration on Friday 2/26 during which students will make decisions on readiness to follow Christ as an “adult member of the church” and parents and prayer partners will be gathering for a special time of prayer and communion on their student’s behalf.

  • A group of 12-15 parents are currently walking through Raising MoneyWise Kids from Crown Financial Ministries to coincide with the Rise initiative. 

  • Several Parents from the falls’ parents classes on ‘How to Talk with your Kids about Race and Racism” are taking a follow-up zoom class offered by the Be the Bridge Builders Ministry on “Foundational Principles for White  Bridge Builders”. 

  • The Moms Fellowship Bible study and small group for moms with younger children were able to launch in person last week after some covid-related delays. 

  • Our small group for moms of children with a range of mental health diagnoses continues to meet weekly via zoom. 

  • Pisgah Fosters volunteers and staff teamed up with Children’s Ministry High Five kids and Student Life teens to do a much-appreciated winter yard cleanup and planting for one of our long-serving foster families, Kevin and Sonya Morgan on 1/30.

  • Volunteers are currently coordinating the donation and collection of Easter Baskets for 10-15 foster children from the Wellroot Family Services (formerly the United Methodist Children’s Home).