Alpha UMC
Loving God And Others In Bloomingdale GA


Alpha UMC Newsletter

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ON MATT’S HEART                                                  SEPTEMBER 2016
Prove It
For the past few weeks, we’ve been talking about the book of James in a sermon series called Prove It.  The main idea of James is that there’s no such thing as faith that’s divorced from Godly action.  Faith isn’t just something you think or something you feel, it’s something you DO.  So if we really believe that God is alive, that He loves us, and that He’s active and at work in our world, then we’re going to want to participate in that work.  If God has been speaking to your heart this month about putting your faith into action, then we’ve got several opportunities for you to Prove It right here in our community and around the world.
Backpack Buddies
This group meets every Friday to pack meals to send home to kids who depend on school lunches for something to eat. Alpha is proud to serve over 35 needy children at Bloomingdale Elementary school, providing meal, snacks and beverages for their weekends. For more information about how you can donate or help pack backpacks, see Nancy Hammond.
SonRise Servers
Alpha is proud to be a member of a coalition of area churches (The SonRise Servers) that feed the homeless of Savannah a healthy breakfast twice a month at the Savannah Baptist Center on Wheaton St. To get involved, see Willene Stone or Margel Winn.
Food Pantry
The Bloomingdale Food Pantry is a collaboration of several Bloomingdale churches. The food pantry is located at First Baptist Church of Bloomingdale (just behind Alpha.) They currently serve around 60 area families, providing pantry staples, as well as some fresh food and holiday meals. We as a church collect items several times a year, as well as providing volunteers to man the pantry on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays 1:00-4:30. For more information, see Linda Denhardt.
Larry Stricklin is going to Haiti November 14-21st of this year.  The group is going to help an Orphanage/Church/School create a self-sufficient income for the children there.  Their plan is to build a chicken farm on the property. Past success has showed that the raising & selling of the chickens locally, helps the cost of feeding, housing, clothing, & teaching the children that reside on the property.  The farm is going to cost $2500 to build. It’s not too late to sign up to go!  Larry and his team also need help fundraising for their trip to help this community develop some sustainable income.  See Larry Stricklin if you’re being called to go or to give.
Every believer is called to live a life that shows their faith to the world.  Whether you take part in these wonderful opportunities to live your faith out, or find other ways, make sure that you’re spending your time and your resources to spread God’s love in the world because we believe that God loved us first!  I’m so glad to be a part of a church that Proves It every day.

Prove It
Does your faith count when the rubber meets the road? Do your beliefs about God actually affect your everyday life? Starting in August, Alpha will be diving into a six week series on the book of James calledProve It. James challenges us to live out our faith with our actions and not be content to passively believe the right things.  We invite you to come and be challenged to respond to God’s amazing love by loving him in return, not only with our minds and hearts, but with our actions too. 

**PLEASE NOTE!  The Finance Committee will meet on Wednesday, September 7 instead of its usual time on the second Monday.  This is in order to get the budget done in time for Charge Conference. Please make every effort to attend if you serve on this committee.

We are still looking for a second nursery worker!  If you know of anyone 18 and over that is available on Wednesday evenings and Sunday mornings, please have them see our website at for more information.  Just click on “Nursery Worker needed” at the top.  Pay is $10 an hour.

The Church office will be closed Thursday, September 1 - Monday, September 5 for the Labor Day holiday.  If you need anything, please send an email or call the pastor. 

Our Wednesday Night Programs will be beginning on September 14 this year!  If you have not been coming, you have really been missing out on a great time.  We begin the evening at 5:45 with supper ($3 per person) followed by Bible Study for the adults, music and a Bible lesson for the children and Youth Group.  Our Chancel choir practices at 7:30 on Wednesdays and we invite teens and adults to join them and “make a joyful noise” for the Lord! Be sure to sign up to help clean up or make dessert one night this year!

The UMW is selling cookbooks to raise money.  The recipes have been sent to the publisher and the books should be back soon.  If you pre-order your copy before they come back from the publisher, the cost is only $12 each.  After they come back, they will be $15. These will make great Christmas presents!

Our Church Charge Conference will be coming up soon (Sept 25)!  In the next few weeks, we will be working to fill our volunteer (Lay) positions for the upcoming year.  Please prayerfully consider where your talents and abilities can be best utilized.  Can you help with Children’s ministry, help the needy or help make personnel decisions?  Can you help take care of the building and grounds, cook or help with worship?  If you have interest in a particular area, please let Pastor Matt know.  We’d love to see everyone involved in some capacity!

Welcome Home! Our Annual Homecoming Celebration will be Sunday, September 18 at 10:30 a.m. Rev. Loran Smith will be bringing the message and we will enjoy a covered dish meal following the service. Be sure to invite loved ones, former members and friends for this event!

There is a church work day scheduled for Saturday, September 11 to prepare for Homecoming.  Join us for biscuits and sausage at 8:00, then off to work we go! There are all kinds of inside and outside jobs to do from yard work to polishing pews.  We need all ages to come help out and let's make Alpha shine.

Our annual Charge Conference will be held as a Cluster-wide event (covering several Effingham and West Chatham Churches) on Sunday, September 25 at Trinity UMC (Pooler.)  The Conference will begin at 2:30 p.m. All church members are invited.

As many of you know, we present a slide show of historical pictures at our Homecoming celebration.  If you have any pictures you’d like to share, please email or bring in to the office before September 11.  Be sure to put your name on them and they will be returned right away.

On Sunday, September 18, the UMW will hold their annual Coastal District meeting at College Place UMC in Brunswick.  If you would like to attend, please see Gloria Hansen for more information.

September 1: Terry Jones                                                             

September 2: Janet Jones                                                            

September 4: Shelly Carruth                                                            

September 6: Benton & Amanda Stegall                                             
September 7: Cathy Cribbs                                                 

September 9: MaryAnn and Walter Parker                                      

September 9: Matt and Sara Beth Stout                                 

September 10: Mike Stewart

September 11: Delana Nivens

September 12: Marion Slater

September 16: Emily Ehret

September 16:  Idell Ray

September 17: Brian & Susan Ehret

September 18: Clark Allen

September 19: Benton Stegall

September 19: Andy Rawlings

September 20: Eric Stafford

September 21: Cali Copeland

September 22: River Martin

September 27: Bill Stewart

September 28: Janice Stricklin

September 29: Fred Denhardt

September 30: Maria Martin                                                                                                                                                       

Brooke Jones
Mary Ann Parker and Barbara Rawlings

David Whitfield and John Bennett           

Chris Jones

Sept 4: Willene Stone and George Vickery                        
Sept 11: Nancy Hammond and Johanna Redeye             
Sept 18: Susan Ehret and Margel Winn
Sept 25: Betty Burke and Walter Sapp

Nursery Volunteers: 

Sept. 4: NEED HELP
Sept. 11: Linda Denhardt      
Sept. 18: Sandy Roach
Sept. 25: Katy Stricklin

Wednesday Nights:         
Sept 14:  Cooking: Janice Stricklin
                Dessert: Susan Ehret                      
                Cleaning: Ellen Hooper
Sept 21: Cooking: Margel Winn
               Dessert: Betty Vickery
               Cleaning: Linda Denhardt
Sept 28: Cooking: UMM
               Dessert: Janet Jones
               Cleaning: Nancy Hammond

Sandy Roach finished treatments

Christians Around the World
Amy Love and her Family
Chris Mazzola's Ministry
Larry Stricklin
Taylor Baughn (Mary Ann's niece) 
The Prayer Team
Ron Goodlin
Glen  and Morgan Paddock (Urban Missionaries)
Our Nation
Randy Lewis

Tonya Meares (Dottie's cousin)
Willene Stone
Nancy Hammond
Zella Waters
Lois Clements
Ellen Hooper

Gladys Becton

Justin Copeland

Family of Perry Sapp
Family of Patrick Booton
Family of Mitchell Glass
The Ehret Family in the loss of Brian's Aunt

Keith Axtell Sr

Sue Eagerton (Dottie's grandmother)
Jimmy Oetgen
Julian Oetgen
Reggie Miller
Jessie Waters
Randi Whitfield
Harold Sapp (Walter's brother)
Claydie Perkins (Glenda Key's mother) and her family
Kermit Smith
Maree Patrick
Alvin and Susan Godbee (Harry's brother & sister-in-law)
Walter Parker
Danny Miller
Anthony Clements
Jimmy Hester (Margel's cousin)
Gene Denhardt (Fred's brother)
Wayne Smith( Margel's nephew)
Marion Slater
Bob Poticny
Barbara Aldridge
Butch Ottis
Martin and Geneva Collins (Terri Collins parents)
Jeanie Joyner
Houston Susen
Stan Strack
Chris Mercer
Steve Zentiska (Karen's brother-in-law)
Scott Morgan
Judy George (Nancy's sister)
Willie Parker (Maria's boyfriend)
Sue Roe (Ellen Hooper's mom)
Craig Phillips
Shirley Smith
Michael Gay
Dean White
Michael Vickery
Ginger Palmer
Karen Glover
Cathy Cribbs
Sandy Roach
Doris Roach (Sandy's Mother in law)
Justin Wood
Dusty Rhodes
Henry Davis
Jeanette S.
Gail Boucher (Kendall's friend's mother)
Stephen Ehret
Thomas Davis

November 2018 Newsletter

Hi church family!

Since Thanksgiving is coming up, I thought I’ve give you another list of things I’m thankful for in this month’s newsletter, in no particular order:


  • As I was looking over the yard at Trunk or Treat the other day, I was struck with a tremendous gratitude for our church.  There is such a sweet spirit when the folks of Alpha get together. I know there are churches out there that are just filled with tension and strife, and while Alpha isn’t perfect I’ve never gotten that sense here.  I’m grateful for a church family that loves God and neighbor.

  • While I was at Trunk or Treat being grateful, there were people working hard to make it and other things at our church successful.  I’m so grateful for the staff we have at our church, who go above and beyond for us. Janice and Susan are a tremendous asset in the office.  Without them, this church would go screeching to a halt. Walter and Shirley do a great job keeping our church clean. Wanda and Katy watch over our youngest kids with such care.  Linda is incredibly faithful to provide us with beautiful organ music every single week. I’m grateful for our staff.

  • Somebody donated flowers in the sanctuary in honor of Pastor’s Appreciation Month last month, and it touched my heart.  It’s great to be recognized. Thank you!

  • Coffee. I know that afternoon coffee isn’t a sacrament, but I suspect that it’s not too far off.  Some days it’s a means of grace for me, and today is one of those days.

  • God is bringing people to The Bloomingdale Table.  Each month, there are new people who have no previous connection with Alpha, and we have the opportunity to meet and minister to them through the Bloomingdale Table.  God is being faithful to bring people.

  • Joey Tirpak is our Bloomingdale Table DJ, and I’m grateful for his efforts and his availability to make the Table a success.

  • My kids have teachers that care about them and nurture them in learning.  I’m tremendously grateful for all the folks at Bloomingdale Elementary.

  • I’m thankful for my mom and dad and the way they have always cared for me and supported me.

  • I’m thankful to God for sending his Spirit.  The more I learn about the role of the Holy Spirit in the life of the church and in the life of the believer, the more I want to experience.  God is blessing our church with a move of the Spirit, I’m convinced of it.


There are many more things to be thankful for, and I pray that you and I will be transformed into the kinds of people who are always looking out for reasons to be thankful, no matter what the season is.  I pray that we are overwhelmed by the realization of the love of God in our lives so that we can give that love away to the people around us.


As always, it’s a joy and a privilege to be your pastor,



November 2018 Calendar.jpg
hanging of the greens.jpg

There will be no Wednesday night programs on Wednesday, Nov. 21 due to the Thanksgiving holiday. We look forward to seeing you on the 28th for our Hanging of the Greens. On the 28th will still have dinner as usual at 5:45 p.m., then we will spend the evening “decking the halls” for Christmas. We hope you can join us for this always fun evening!

Bloomingdale Table.png

The November Bloomingdale Table will be held on Thursday, November 29 at 6:30. Please let Matt know if you can help cook or serve the meal that evening. Be sure to invite your friends and neighbors in Bloomingdale! The menu will be Chicken Tetrazzini.

childrens choir christmas.jpg

The Children’s Choir will begin working on their Christmas program soon. They meet on Wednesday nights 6:30-7:15. Before practice, we would love for you to join us for supper at 5:45 if you would like. It is $3 per person.


There will be a training class for new acolytes on Wednesday, November 7 following the Children’s Bible study class (7:30). We welcome kids aged 6 and over. Kids will be expected to be able to carry a lit candle lighter safely and to be solemn during the service. This is a great way for the young ones to begin to be involved in the ministries of the church! Contact Susan Ehret for more information.

We have begun livestreaming our Sunday sermons for those of you who may miss a Sunday! Join us at approx 10:55 on the Alpha United Methodist facebook page ( soon after church or click the picture above to link to it directly

coloring church.jpg

We know little hands like to keep busy in church so we have Children’s bulletins and crayons on the table in the back of the church. They have puzzles on them for the older kids and are great for letting the little ones doodle on.


November 6
Sara Beth Stout

November 6
McKenna Whitfield

November 7
Amber Cary

November 8
Caroline Zachary

November 8
Clark Madden

November 9
Melissa and Scotty Allen

November 10
Linda Kaapa

November 10
Gene Knight

November 11
Joan Wood

November 11
Andrea Sapp

November 12
Thomas Dillbeck

November 13
Margel Winn

November 13
Lois Clements

November 14
Jerry and Lynn Rivers


Trustee of the Month: Chris Jones

Acolyte: Eli and Madison Koskela

Ushers: Andy Stafford and Chris Jones

Greeters: Lily Mae Stafford and Judy Edwards


Nov 7: Cooking: Susan Ehret
Dessert: Judy Edwards
Cleaning: UMYF

Nov 14: Cooking: Janice Stricklin
Dessert: Linda Denhardt
Cleaning: Gloria Hansen


Nov 28: Cooking: UMM
Dessert: Susan Ehret
Cleaning: NEED HELP 


The birth of Lucas David Whitfield
The birth of August William Stone (Gus)

Christians Around the World
The Prayer Team
Glen and Morgan Paddock (Urban Missionaries)
Our Nation
Children's Ministry Leaders
Our Children's Ministries need volunteers
Our Military
Stephen Peoples
The Bloomingdale Table
Hurricane victims in Lumberton and other areas
Victims of Hurricane Michael

Willene Stone
Lois Clements
Ellen Hooper
Rev. Kenny and Shari Harrelson
Janice and Larry Stricklin

Gladys Becton
Residents of Magnolia Manor

Richard Slater


Family of Danielle Glisson
Family of Ray Roberson
Family of Diane Iler
Family of Dale Joyner
Family of John Beam
Family of Scarlet Davis
Family of Father George Cabe

Margel Winn

HOSPITAL (Not Local):
Caroline Moore and family
George Vickery and Betty Vickery
Reggie Miller
Maree Patrick
Walter Parker
Ginger Palmer
Karen Glover
Cathy Cribbs
Sandy Roach
Henry Davis
Ruthie Brown (James' mother)
Cheryl (Friend of Lori Straub)
Mary Brewer
Mary Howard
Mary Smith
Danny Miller
Lynn Shikany
Autumn Meushaw
Geneva and Martin Collins
Donald Parker
Dennis Baxter
Kim Poplin
Reid Crosby
Robbie Roberts
Matt Hearn
Walter Parker
Richard Hackney
Kathy Stout
Gwen Cox
Kenny Bibb
Nona Joyner
Shirley Smith (Wanda's mom)
Jenny Myers (Terry’s sister)
Lucas Venturelli
Bob Riedel

Matt Stout