UMW News

Fall UMW Annual Meeting at Lake Junaluska was a wonderful weekend for six of our girls; plus two from Mt. Olivet and one from Independence. We’re now looking forward to our next trip in April for SEE. Our regular October meeting will be at the church on the 13th at 10:00 a.m. Judy White has the program. Please come and join us. UMW Sunday will be October 18th and Janet Jonas from Pulaski will be our guest speaker sharing news from UMCOR. — Peggy Chappell

Operation Christmas Shoebox

“Every shoebox offers an opportunity to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with a hurting child.” — Franklin Graham (President, Samaritan’s Purse)

This year FUMC will have pre-printed boxes available for you to fill. They will be available the first of October and to be returned the first of November. Should you want to fill a shoebox but cannot come to the church to pick one up, please let Sandy in the church office (236-9937), or someone from the Agape Sunday School Class, know and we’ll make sure to get you one.


$1,034 Raised – WOW!

The Missions Committee would like to thank you ALL for your generous support of Samaritan’s Purse ‘OPERATION HEAL OUR PATRIOTS’. And WE (all of us who ate) want to thank LARRY GRABMAN & his ‘cooking crew’ (Jim Marshall, Richard Farmer, Edwin Tompkins, Jerry Cox) for the delicious chicken & homemade ice cream; and everyone else on the Missions, UMW and Programs Committees for the salads and cookies! There was only 12-15 pieces of chicken left (125+ were cooked) and a tub of macaroni salad—which was brought to Hope House for those in the shelter to enjoy. Again, THANK YOU EVERYONE!

Kid Junction Coat Campaign

The Kid Junction Team will be launching its children’s coat campaign in OCTOBER this year. All sizes of coats are needed from infants to kids size XL (16-18). They may be new or slightly used. You may place the coats in the boxes located at the doors. If you prefer to make a monetary contribution, please designate it as ‘Kid Junction Coat Campaign’. Thank you… The Kid Junction Ministry Team

Choosing to Serve the Lord


“Now if you are unwilling to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served in the region beyond the river, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” [Joshua 24:15]

There was going to be a change in leadership. Joshua who had faithfully and successfully led the Children of Israel into the Promised Land would soon be gone. Also going away with him was the people’s link back to Moses who had led them out of Egypt and also given them the law. So this was an important change indeed. Joshua gathered the people together for a farewell address. After he reminded them of all that God had done for them, Joshua asked them to choose who they would serve. Two of the options Joshua mentioned are still valid today as we struggle to choose who, or what, we will serve.



The first choice was to serve the gods your ancestors served. How many times do we elevate traditions in the highest position and worship them more than we worship God? Some of the most discouraging words a pastor ever hears are: “Preacher, we’ve never done that here,” or “Preacher, we’ve always done it this way.” One of the best definitions for insanity is keeping on doing what you have always done and expecting a different outcome.

Now traditions are not all bad. In fact, some are really good: they become sinful when we serve them rather than serving the Lord. I once served a church in which the piano lamp was broken. My pianist had to “fix” it each time before it could be used. However to even talk about replacing it was considered blaspheme because someone had given it as a memorial gift for an ancestor. Often we choose to serve the “gods” of tradition and worship the past.
The second choice was to serve the “gods” of the people around them. In Joshua’s time that may well have seemed to be the best choice. Serving the gods of the Amorites would allow the Israelites to blend in and become a part of that society. Now while the reasons may be different today the temptation to blend in and be just like everyone around us is still very strong.

Surveys tell us that peer pressure may be the most defining thing in our youth’s lives. Also most of us, regardless of age, want to be accepted and to fit in with those around us. This may be on the job, in school, or just in the community at large. Far too often we compromise our Christian beliefs and find ourselves serving the “gods” of those around us.

However, Joshua also presents a third choice, serving the LORD. In one of the best affirmations of faith in all scripture Joshua said: “But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” Oh how I hope and pray that we all can make that same affirmation of our faith!


Kid Junction News

holdinghands-md-clkerFor the months of May, June, July and August, the Kid Junction Ministry has served 47 families and 89 children. Our volunteers during those months were Elsie Davis, Linda Murphy, Nancy Westmoreland, Betty Parks, Irene Turner, Janis Kurtz, Doris Ward, Ruth Sizemore, and Dianne Marshall. The Kid Junction Team offers a big “THANK YOU” to each and every one of these ladies. We couldn’t do it without you!


Our book-bag and school materials campaign was once again a tremendous success. Our goal was to exceed 50 book-bags. Fifty-Four (54) book-bags were donated and a huge amount of school materials. Our team is truly grateful for your generosity in helping to make less fortunate children feel prepared as they begin a new school year.
The Team sincerely appreciates all monetary contributions for this important ministry.


However, we are always in need of VOLUNTEERS on the first and third Tuesday of each month from 10:00-12:00 to help record information, assist parents, and/or bag items. This is truly a rewarding experience! If you are interested in helping one or both Tuesdays please call Linda Murphy at 236-6080 or 233-9102.

“But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.” Hebrews 13:16 [N.K.J.V.]


Mountain Top Community School


FUMC-Galax is happy to announce they will be opening their doors (or rather, classroom) to the Mountain Top Community School, a private Christian school developed by Joy Ranch. The students (15-20) will meet at FUMC on Monday & Fridays from 9:00am-12:00 and Thursdays 6:30-8:30pm beginning September 21st.

  • MULTIGRADE – An idea so old, it seems new ‘For nearly 150 years the country school was the backbone of American education. As late as 1913 one-half of children were enrolled in the country’s 212,000 one-room schools.’ []  Loving to Learn
  •  MENTORING – A plan so sensible, it sounds crazy ‘ Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.’ Benjamin Franklin Learning for Life
  • MASTERYA vision so clear, it is radical ‘Students with mastery orientation seek to improve their competence. Those with performance orientations seek to prove their competence’ [] Where school is FUN!

For more information on the Mountain Top Community School, please visit their website:

Thank You: Doris Ward

Who has generously donated new chimes in memory of her husband, D.E., & Eleanor Nuckolls, to our church which were installed the end of July. Once again at noon and 5:00 Galax City will be blessed with the beautiful sound of the chimes from First United Methodist Church!

State of the Church

Each year for Charge Conference the pastor is asked to do a report of the state of the church that he or she is serving. Below is my report for this year.



This has been another hard year for our church. Both membership and average attendance, for both Worship and Sunday School, is down. One promising thing is that the percentage of decrease is less than it has been in the past few years. Also troubling is the fact that our giving is down. At the end of July we were over $7,000 behind our budgeted donations and over $10,000 behind last year’s giving. We need to do better!

Easter eggs in grass.

© Donar Reiskoffer / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-3.0

However, there are some encouraging signs. Ruth Sizemore, our Children’s Committee Chair, did a great job with our Easter Egg Hunt and our Vacation Bible School “G-Force=God’s Love In Action”—was really successful with an average of over 20 kids each night. God is good!

Our Mission Outreach continues to do great work; with our Health and Welfare Assistance program each Tuesday making a real difference to those in need.

Our United Methodist Women remains one of the strongest units in the Wytheville District. Several members of our local unit serve in leadership positions on the district level.

Our Music Department does a great job—this adds so much to our Worship. However, our brightest light may be our Kid’s Junction ministry. Started with the help of a Holston Conference “Change-for-Children” grant, this has not merely survived but grown greatly. This school year we were able to provide fifty plus backpacks for students as well as other needed school supplies. This is in addition to our on-going distribution of coats, clothes, diapers and personal hygiene items not covered by SNAP benefits. Way to go church!

This is a time of change for First Galax United Methodist Church as we transition from the type of church we used to be and become the church God wants us to be now. Change is always scary but if we seek God’s will to commit to doing what God wants, we will have a bright future.


Stump the Pastor!!!

For the last few months the children have been adding to our ll:00 service on the forth Sunday of each month by trying to “Stump the Pastor”.  They have brought in items and presented them to Pastor Gregory and he has been challenged to give a message for children’s time based on those items.  So far he has proven once again that there is a sermon in everyday items.  Some of the things they have challenged them with are, a set of keys, a red white and blue dog, a teddy bear, lipstick, chewing gum and he has come up with a great message each time.  Could you do as well?

Looking forward to a great year with children in the church.

Ruth Sizemore