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

February 2019 Newsletter

A NOTE FROM THE PASTOR                               FEBRUARY 2019

 Hello church family!
 I’ve been thinking a lot about childhood and about the way that we are formed into the people that we become. We sign our kids up for sports because we believe that there are life lessons to be learned in the skills that we develop on the field. Teamwork, doing your best, winning and losing, and contributing to something bigger than yourself are all valuable lessons. You can tell a kid all day long in a classroom that these ideals are valuable, but they won’t to learn them for themselves unless they experience them. Sports are such a great way to get our kids to experience these things for themselves in a safe, competitive, and fun environment.
Likewise, we have children’s ministry at church because there are lessons in scripture that we want our kids to learn. Children’s ministry is so much more than just babysitting our kids while the adults go about the business of developing our faith. Children’s ministry is discipleship, and I would argue that it’s a much more important discipleship process than most adult ministry. This is because the lessons that the kids learn during this time are going to shape who they become in the future. The stories they learn and the values they inherit during this period of their lives will determine the kind of adults they grow up to be.
That’s why children’s ministry is vitally important to the life of any church. We have been blessed at Alpha with so many kids. I am so glad that Ruth, Olivia, and Roger get to grow up in a loving and supportive environment like Alpha and get to be discipled by the wonderful people that we have volunteering in our children’s ministry. It makes me so glad that my kids are being poured into by our wonderful volunteers.
If you haven’t had the blessing of working with the children of Alpha, I would like you to consider doing it. You can sign up for a single Sunday of children’s church just to be a helper to see what it’s like. You’ll find that among the challenges of having that many children together in one place, there are also many blessings to be found. And you’ll get to know that you are part of what God is doing in our church by discipling the next generation of Christians at Alpha. I promise that you will be blessed if you go.
As always, it’s a joy and privilege to be your pastor!!


The Wesley Community Center Love Walk 2019, sponsored by Savannah Early Childhood Foundation and Wesley Monumental United Methodist Church, is scheduled for Saturday, February 9, 2019. Funds raised will directly benefit homeless and low income people from this community who need our services, including Early Childhood Education, youth camp, and crisis Intervention.
The 3.6 K walk begins at 9:00 am at Wesley (1601 Drayton Street) and is a pleasant stroll through each square on Bull Street. The return route circles back to Wesley. Join us for pre and post walk rallies, food, entertainment, and fellowship. You can talk to Gloria Hansen or go to for more information

Alpha Fit.jpg

Join us for ALPHA FIT, an exercise program held weekly on Tuesdays at 6:00 p.m.  The classes are led by Autumn Whitfield Venturelli.  All fitness levels are welcome.  Invite your friends.  You do not have to be a member of Alpha to attend.


We would love for you to join one of our outreach teams this year!  We are looking for team members for the following:

Backpack Buddies – We pack healthy meals & snacks for the weekends for needy Bloomingdale Elementary students.  Judy Edwards has more information, if you’d like to help.

SonRise Servers – This team feeds breakfast to the homeless in downtown Savannah on the first, second and fifth Saturday mornings.  See Margel Winn if you’d like to get involved.

The Bloomingdale Table – We offer a free “No strings attached” meal for the community on a monthly basis, usually the third Thursday of the month at the Bloomingdale Community Center pavilion.  If you would like to cook, serve or just visit with people, let Pastor Matt know.

The Bloomingdale Food Pantry – The food pantry is open at the First Baptist church Sunday school building on the first and third Thursdays at 10:00 a.m. They are always accepting food donations and need help serving the community on Thursdays. This is a collaborative effort of several Bloomingdale churches.  See Linda Denhardt for more information

plugged in.png

This is a great time to get “plugged in” at Alpha!  We have ministries for all ages, from newborn to senior adult:

RECHARGE - On Wednesday evenings, beginning at 5:45 p.m. we have supper ($3 per person), then we offer classes for ages 4- adult.  We have an adult Bible Study, Children’s music and Bible Time and Youth Group (6th grade – young college)

Sunday School- Sunday school begins at 9:30 a.m.  We have preschool (nursery), Elementary (PreK- 5th grade), youth (6th-young college), two adult classes (Pairs and Spares and College and Career), a senior class (Watson Davis) and a class for widows and widowers (Young at Heart.)

Senior Ministries- We have a vibrant senior ministry which meets on the first Tuesday of the month for Bingo and lunch and meets every Thursday evening at 7:00 for a game night. See Nancy Hammond for more information.

United Methodist Men/Women – We have two women’s circles- the Bernie Wallace Circle which meets on the third Monday at 6:00 in member’s homes and the Ibby Waller Circle which meets the third Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. in the church social hall.  The United Methodist Men meet for breakfast on the fourth Sunday at 8:00 a.m.

The United Methodist Men will be having their annual Fat Tuesday all-you-can-eat Pancake Supper on Tuesday, March 5 5:00-7:30 p.m.  Tickets will be available soon from any UMM member. The meal includes pancakes, sausage and milk or juice for only $6 per person ($4 for kids 10 and under)

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.


February 4: Kara Allen

February 6: Stephen Ehret

February 11: Jasper Luke

February 14: Janice & Larry Stricklin

February 14: Carol & Darnell Waters

February 18: Amy Love

February 18: Dottie & David Whitfield

February 19: George Vickery

February 20: Josie Stewart

February 25: Richard Deas

February 25: Jason Luke

February 25: Barbara Rawlings

February 27: Aiden Hearn

February 27: Polly Strickland

February 29: Lily Mae Stafford


Trustee of the Month: Janice Miller

Acolyte: Julia and Dewey Hooper

Ushers: David Whitfield and Walter Sapp

Greeters: Dottie Whitfield and Autumn Venturelli


Feb 6:
Cooking: Susan Ehret
Dessert: Linda Denhardt
Cleaning: UMYF

Feb 13:
Cooking: Janice Stricklin
Dessert: Julie Miller
Cleaning: Janice Stricklin

Feb 20:
Cooking: Margel Winn
Dessert: The Stouts
Cleaning: The Legos

Feb 27:
Cooking: UMM
Dessert: Joseph Madden
Cleaning: NEED HELP

Willene Stone 

Feb. 3: Kelley Lego and Sara Beth Stout
Feb. 10: Kelley Lego
Feb. 17: Kelley Lego and Willene Stone
Feb 24: Kelley Lego 


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
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)

The Family of Robbie Roberts
The Family of  Melinda Almeda Heidt
Family and Friends of Maree Patrick

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
Donald Parker
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
Drew Warnberg (Cathy's friend)
Jason Groth (Sara Beth's friend)
Sydney Fowler
Gene Knight
Joe Heavner

Matt Stout