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

March 2019 Newsletter

Dear Church Family,


I want to write you about a few things that are happening in our church, both as a denomination, and as a local church.

 First off, you probably have heard that the Special General Conference was held recently.  As of this writing, it concluded yesterday.  The Conference delegates voted to move forward with the Modified Traditional Plan, which retains the language in the Book of Discipline around human sexuality.  It remains to be seen if any changes will be made to the Book of Discipline around the increases in accountability contained in this plan, as the plan still has to be reviewed by the Judicial Council for constitutionality.  Regardless of the decision by the Judicial Council, I expect the impact to Alpha of this outcome to be minimal.

 The Conference was contentious and the division in the church was acutely felt.  Please continue to be in prayer for the United Methodist Church in the coming days and months so we can focus on the mission of the important work God has called us to do, instead of being constantly pulled into conflict over this issue.  

 In our local church we have more opportunities to offer ourselves to God. The first Wednesday of March will be Ash Wednesday, and with that we will begin the season of Lent. Lent is an opportunity for us to look inward.  To examine our desires and seek to align those desires with God’s desires.  I encourage you to think about fasting during this time.  Find something to fast that will help you align your desires with Jesus.

 I’ve also been enjoying our Alpha Fit group, which is an exercise class that meets in the Social Hall on Tuesdays at 6pm, led by Autumn Venturelli.  If disciplining yourself to exercise fits in to your Lenten practices, then please join us!

 We are also continuing with our Bloomingdale Table ministry.  This is a great opportunity to meet people from outside our church and to spread the love of Jesus to Bloomingdale.  I encourage you to keep this ministry in prayer and to come out to support it.

 So!  It’s an interesting time to be a United Methodist, but being a Christian hasn’t changed much.  We’re called to love our neighbors, feed the hungry, and devote ourselves fully to Jesus.  I’m grateful that Alpha has opportunities to do all of those things and more.  

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


MARCH 2019 Calendar.jpg


trustees new.jpg

The Trustees Committee meeting has been moved the second Tuesday of March due to the Pancake Supper.  The meeting will be on March 12 at 6:30.

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If anyone is interested in joining our Usher Team or Greeter Team for Sunday mornings, we need you! Ushers and Greeters would serve a month at a time in teams of two.  Usher duties include taking up offering and guiding people to the front for Communion once a month. Greeters greet people as they enter the church, direct them to restrooms, nursery, etc. if needed and light the Acolyte candle lighters. Men and ladies are welcome!  If you are interested, let Susan Ehret or Matt Stout know.


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We will be celebrating Confirmation Sunday on Sunday, March 3 during the morning service.  The Alpha Family would like to congratulate our confirmands on their decision to respond to the grace of God, as acknowledged in baptism, and to promise to live as people of faith.  Join us for a covered dish meal and fellowship following the service. We will also be celebrating a Baptism that morning.

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 The Fat Tuesday Pancake Supper will be Tuesday, March 5, 5:00-7:30.  The tickets are $6 for adults and $ for kids under 10.  Tickets are available from any member of the United Methodist Men.  Price includes all you can eat pancakes, sausage and beverages.  Proceeds benefit projects of the UMM. 

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Join us for our Ash Wednesday Service on March 6.  We will have our regular Wednesday night supper at 5:45 ($3) and the service will begin at 6:30.

Bloomingdale Table.png

Since we didn’t have a Bloomingdale Supper in February, we will have two this month. The first will be Thursday, March 7 and the second Thursday, March 28.  They begin at 6:30 in the Bloomingdale Community Center Pavilion.  This is a “No-Strings” meal provided by our church for the Bloomingdale Community so invite anyone you know who may enjoy it.


The South Georgia Conference will host the “South Georgia Response to the Way Forward” in Tifton on March 9 1:00-4:00.  The event will take place at the UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center.


The United Methodist Women will be attending the Spiritual Growth Retreat at Epworth Friday, March 22-24 at Epworth.  Contact Gloria Hansen 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

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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.


March 2: Emily Zachary

March 3: Cory Whitfield

March 6: Kurt Shuman

March 14: Joseph Madden

March 14: Anthony Clements

March 14: Zella Waters

March 16: Jessie Wood

March 17: Autumn Venturelli

March 20: Justin Copeland

March 21: Chris Jones

March 21: Tanner Rushing

March 30: James Brown

March 31: Ashley Clements Selfridge


Trustee of the Month: Brian Ehret

Acolyte: Julia and Dewey Hooper

Ushers: Chris Jones and Andy Stafford

Greeters: Dottie Whitfield and Autumn Venturelli


March 6:

Cooking: Susan Ehret

Dessert: No Dessert (Ash Wed)

Cleaning: UMYF

March 13:

Cooking: Janice Stricklin

Dessert: Rosemary Riedel

Cleaning: Janice Stricklin

March 20:

Cooking: Margel Winn

Dessert: Judy Edwards

Cleaning: Judy Edwards

March 27:

Cooking: UMW

Dessert: Willene Stone

Cleaning: Willene Stone


Deatre Denion


March 3: No Children’s Church

March 10: Deatre Denion

March 17: Deatre Denion and Kelley Lego

March 24: Deatre Denion

March 31: Deatre Denion



Joel Kem Baptism

Hogan Cribbs, Julia Hooper, Brooke Jones, Maggie Jones, Joel Kem and Autumn Meushaw joined the church


Christians Around the World

The Prayer Team

Our Nation

Children's Ministry Leaders

Our Military

The Bloomingdale Table


Willene Stone

Lois Clements

Rev. Kenny and Shari Harrelson

Janice and Larry Stricklin


Gladys Becton

Residents of Magnolia Manor


Richard Slater

Sydney Fowler


48th Brigade (National Guard)


Family of Drew Warnberg

Family of Carl Arndt


Johanna Redeye

Linda Strozier


George Vickery and Betty Vickery

Reggie Miller

Ginger Palmer

Karen Glover

Cathy Cribbs

Sandy Roach

Ruthie Brown (James' mother)

Cheryl (Friend of Lori Straub)

Mary Brewer

Mary Howard

Mary Smith

Danny Miller

Geneva and Martin Collins

Dennis Baxter

Kim Poplin

Reid Crosby

Matt Hearn

Walter Parker

Richard Hackney

Gwen Cox

Kenny Bibb

Nona Joyner

Jenny Myers (Terry’s sister)

Bob Riedel

Zella Waters

Margel Winn

Jason Groth (Sara Beth's friend)

Sydney Fowler

Gene Knight

Joe Heavner

Jimmi Taylor

Bonnie Acquilino

Thom Miles

Michael Mason

Mike Unger

Larry Flegle (Friend of Susan)

Matt Stout