Gospel Gazette: November 2022

The Little Blessings: This month and every day, we have a new chance to say Thank You

In this issue:

  • Pastor David Averill reminds us of all the chances to be thankful that November brings.
  • Meet our new Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries, Hannah McMahan
  • Friendship Dinners are a success! Find out what’s on the menu for November and about a new opportunity.
  • A Methodist (and historical) perspective on elections
  • We are grateful for all our Living Love participants!
  • It’s time to load those shoeboxes again! Learn about Operation: Christmas Child
  • PLUS Crafts, studies, meetings and more.

Read the digital flipbook »

Letter from Pastor David

November is a month full of opportunities to show thankfulness. Whether it’s for the saints on All Saints’ Day (Nov. 1), for our uniformed service veterans on Veterans Day (Nov. 11), or for the blessings that come from God on Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 26), we are given much to be grateful for.

But we must remember to give thanks on every day of the year, even in the lean times. If we don’t give thanks in the lean times, how can we possibly appreciate the bounty of plentiful times? As Joseph revealed Pharaoh’s dream to him (Genesis 41), the stores of grain we save during the feast can carry us through the famine if we have prepared.

Maybe you feel your stores of faith have been depleted during the COVID-19 pandemic that lasted over 18 months, or during the recent lead-up to midterm elections. Whatever the spiritual crisis, times of thanksgiving and appreciation can replenish your soul. 

My prayer for us in the Thanksgiving season is that we can take time to give thanks for the memories of those who filled us with faith in Christ in our younger days.

Grace and Peace,

David Averill

A Methodist Perspective on Elections

This article is excerpted from Hyde Park United Methodist Church of Tampa’s blog post, “Three Simple Rules for Voting.” Original post »

In October 1774, John Wesley was preaching in some small English towns near Bristol, where a contentious election for Parliament was underway. The chief candidates were Edmund Burke and Henry Cruger, who differed in their political ideologies, their positions on the American colonies, and their support from religious groups. In his journal, Wesley called it “[one of the most] exciting elections Bristol has ever had.”

Sound at all familiar?

In the days leading up to the election, while in the town of Pill, he met with members of the local Methodist society, and offered this important guidance:

October 6, 1774. I met those of our society who had votes in the ensuing election, and advised them (1) to vote, without fee or reward, for the person they judged most worthy; (2) to speak no evil of the person they voted against; and (3) to take care their spirits were not sharpened against those that voted on the other side. 

246 years later, John Wesley’s advice is as helpful now as it was then. Regardless of how ugly and mean-spirited this or any election season becomes, we can model the kind of decency and civility that we expect of those who lead us.

Friendship Dinners

Wednesdays, 5:30–6:30pm.

Our first month of Friendship Dinners was successful, with an average 33 in attendance each week.

Prices: $7 per adult, $5 per child, $25 for families of 4+. Includes a drink, entrée, salad, and dessert. RSVP by calling the church office or via your Connection Card by the preceding Monday.

New Opportunity: Sponsor a Friendship Feast for your mission or ministry in the church. Email Pastor David to inquire.

Meal Calendar 

  • Nov. 9: Pizza Night 
  • Nov. 16: Chicken Tetrazzini 
  • Nov. 23: No dinner 
  • Nov. 30: Shepherd’s Pie

Hannah McMahan, Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries

Hannah McMahan from Killen, Alabama is our new Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries. She is a graduate of Florida College in Tampa and is working on a Masters of Divinity degree from Asbury Theological Seminary. Hannah is currently a cat owner who also longs for a dog. She is looking forward to meeting everyone and becoming involved in our congregation and our community. She will start with us on Thursday, November 10.

Chances to Be Together in Christ

NEW BIBLE STUDY, Tuesdays, 7pm, Chapel.“Resilient: Restoring Your Weary Soul in These Turbulent Times.” is a Bible study written by John Eldridge. 

WIDOWED SUPPORT GROUP, Thursday, November 17, 9:30am, Chapel. Those who have lost a spouse support one another in the journey of grief. If you or someone you know is a widow or widower, you are welcome to be part of this ministry.

CHRISTIAN BOOK CLUB,November 9, 3pm, Chapel. This month’s book is The Book of Lost Names by Kristen Hamel.

LAKE CARES FOOD DISTRIBUTION, Fridays, November 4 and 18, 7am, MLK Center. Twice a month, our church helps distribute food to our community members in need. Children are welcome, and community service hours are available to students in this ministry.

SENIOR CENTER ACTIVITIES, 2nd & 4th Tuesdays, 10am–1pm. The Mount Dora Senior Center offers programs and games at the MLK Center

Saturday, November 5, 9am. Demonstrate Loving God, Loving Others to your community during our semiannual Living Love volunteer event. Beginning at 9:00 am, we will meet in Friendship Hall and receive our assigned worksites.  Projects may include landscaping and sanitizing, moving mulch, delivering gifts to public servants, making crafts with kids, creating cards for shut-ins, or cooking lunch.  After serving and loving our neighbors, we will return to Friendship Hall for lunch together.

All ages are welcome and needed.  Every participant will receive a free T-shirt!

Sunday Morning Studies 

Carpenter’s Class

9:30am, CEC Building. Currently leading a seven-week study on the Psalms. Enter through the north double doors of the Thrift Shoppe.


11am, Friendship Hall. Currently studying the book of Proverbs. Snacks and coffee begin at 10:30.

Bible Explorers

9:30am, Chapel. Currently studying the book of 1 Peter. 

Chronological Study

9:30am, Sanctuary Hall. This group is studying the Bible in chronological order.

Help the Children’s Home!

Gift cards are needed for Christmas gifts for the residents of the Florida United Methodist Children’s Homes in Enterprise and Madison. 

Gift cards in increments of $20 to $100 should be from major chain stores and restaurants. Especially useful and flexible gift cards for the children include Amazon, Visa, TJ Maxx, Ross, Wal-Mart, and Epic Theater gift cards. 

The staff use a portion of the gift cards to purchase personalized gifts for each resident that are wrapped and placed under the Christmas tree for Christmas morning. The children also receive some gift cards on Christmas morning so that they can go shopping. Children in residential care have few options for personal shopping. 

Please place your gift cards in the offering plate or deliver them to the church office. It is very helpful if you include the gift receipt with the card or write the amount directly on the gift card. Cards are needed by November 27.

Advent Season Activities

Advent is Almost Here! Here are a few ways to get involved in the approaching Christmas season.

ADVENT CANDLE LIGHTING, Sundays from November 17 to December 24. Families and study groups are needed to lead the Advent candle lighting ceremony in worship at each of our three services. To volunteer your family or study group, contact Janet Westlake. 

HANGING OF THE GREENS, Mon. Nov. 21. Meet in the sanctuary to help us decorate the church campus for Christmas.

MOUNT DORA CHRISTMAS PARADE, Sat. Dec. 3, 9am. Each year, we hand out 3,000 candy cane invitations to the crowd at the parade. Volunteers are needed to be in the parade! Meet in the Grandview parking lot.

ORDER A POINSETTIA. Poinsettias will soon be available to order. Watch our bulletin for updates!

Operation: Christmas Child boxes due soon!

Since 1993, Operation: Christmas Child, run by Samaritan’s Purse, has delivered shoebox gifts to more than 188 million children in over 170 countries. The project delivers not only the joy of what, for many kids, is their first gift ever, but also gives them a tangible expression of God’s love. Tens of thousands of volunteers from local churches around the world partner with Samaritan’s Purse to present the Gospel of Jesus Christ at festive outreach events where children are surprised with these shoebox gifts.

Last year, our congregation filled 74 shoeboxes for low-income children around the world. You can help a child this year by filling any plastic shoebox with toys, gifts and hygiene items, labeling it with a suggested age and gender, and returning it to the Fifth Avenue entrance by November 13. Official Operation: Christmas Child shoeboxes are available in the church office if you prefer.

Learn more about the initiative at samaritanspurse.org/operation-christmas-child

Other News & Announcements

2023 Church Leadership. Our church leadership has been selected. A list of leaders and their positions is available in the church office.

Exercise Classes—new schedule. Rather than meeting at 8am, the class now meets Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 9am.

2023 Flower Calendar. The flower calendar is hanging in the Sanctuary. Reserve a date to donate flowers in Honor or Memory of someone or something special.

Thrift Shoppe holiday hours. 5th Avenue Thrift Shoppe will be closed Thursday, November 24 and Friday, November 25 in observance of Thanksgiving. We will be open on Saturday, November 26—it’s Small Business Saturday, so come support a small business!