Hello!
Thank you so much for reading the November issue of The Focus. In this month’s Focus, you will see a note from Lead Pastor Todd Malone on celebrating Thanksgiving in the middle of a pandemic. You will also see lots of other monthly happenings at FBC. Once again, thank you for reading the Focus! 

Bible and Flag

A note from Lead Pastor Todd Malone 

Thanksgiving in a Hard Year

The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;

      his mercies never come to an end;

 they are new every morning;

      great is your faithfulness.

“The LORD is my portion,” says my soul,

      “therefore I will hope in him.”

Lamentations 3:22-24 (ESV)

What do you picture when you read those familiar words? It is common to see the passage on a poster with the sun peeking above rolling green hills. Maybe throw in a few cute sheep. But that is not the picture that goes with those verses in the Bible. Remember, the passage is found in the book of Lamentations.

Lamentations is about the destruction of God’s people in Jerusalem. They have been overrun by their enemies. The nation’s leadership have been taken into captivity or are in hiding in foreign countries. Dead bodies fill the streets. Mothers hold their starving children. That poster wouldn’t sell.

It matters what picture you put with Lamentations 3. Can we say that God’s mercies are new every morning when our lives look ravaged by war, or do we need happy sheep? 2020 has not been a happy sheep kind of year. But Lamentations shows us that we can thank God for His mercies even in the worst of times.

Read Lamentations 3 as Thanksgiving approaches. The Jews did not thank God because of their calamities. They thanked God because His mercy never left them despite their calamities. How can you affirm that this Thanksgiving? How can you say that the Lord is what fills you and sustains you (which is what it means when it says He is your portion)? How have you seen God’s great faithfulness this year?

Thank God that His mercies are new every morning. Even in 2020.

We will keep you updated as guidelines and requirements are announced for our city and county. Check back at LONGVIEWFBC.COM and make sure to sign up for the MIDWEEK MOMENT from Pastor Todd. 

Worship in The Loft

Until further notice, we are going to be offering a remote service on Sunday mornings in the Loft. This is a family friendly service in our children/youth building. It will be the same time as our live service and will be streamed from the worship center. We will have in person hosting, comfortable seating, and viewing. See you this Sunday at 10:30 am!

Sunday Night Fellowship

The Deacons are inviting the men of the church for a night of football and fellowship starting at 6:00 PM on Sunday,  November the 1st in “The Loft”.  Please bring individually wrapped snacks or cans of your favorite soft drink. Go to bit.ly/MensFellowship20 to sign up. Contact John Livingston with questions at jlivingston@mindspring.com.

Friends-Giving

Saturday, November 7th join us for Friends-Giving. This is a time for our whole church family to connect over a meal, serve together and give to our community. We will be serving a Chick-Fil-A lunch starting at 11:30 followed by a time of working together on 3 service projects for our community. Please sign up to come and select which service project you’d like to work on at: bit.ly/FBCFriendsGiving2020 Much of the event will be outdoors, weather permitting but some will be indoors and we will limit how many people can work on each project. For more information contact Rebecca Simcox at rebeccas@longviewfbc.com or Slade Rinehart at slader@longviewfbc.com

Christmas Gifts For South Ward Elementary

Come to the foyer and purchase a $5 ornament to take home and pray for that child! Each tree represents a grade level at South Ward Elementary. Your donations will go towards the purchase of a gift for each student, goodie bags and a gift for each staff member. We will be taking donations from Sunday, November 15th through Sunday, December 6th. Contact Rebecca Simcox for more information at rebeccas@longviewfbc.com

Kids Ministry volunteers needed!

We are excited that classes in the Tree House are now open! However, we have several classes that we have not been able to open up because we do not have teachers or volunteers to teach our children. We are currently needing help in the nursery, 3year old class, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 6th grade classes specifically during the 9:00 AM hour. Please pray about serving. Contact Rebecca Simcox at rebeccas@longviewfbc.com if you are feeling led to serve, or with any questions.

A note about Thanksgiving

The church office will be closed for Thanksgiving holiday November 25-27 so staff may spend time with their families. We look forward to seeing you all on Sunday, November 29!

The CARES Act and a possibility for generosity

I want you to make you aware of something that many are not aware of in the midst of this pandemic. There are three important aspects of the CARES Act stimulus bill (passed March 27, 2020) that apply to individuals and families. This may provide an opportunity for you to do more than you thought possible to be generous with your funds this year.

#1: Charitable Giving Deductions

For 2020, every generous American can deduct up to $300 of charitable giving—even if you take the standard deduction and do not itemize your deductions. This can provide a direct savings on your income taxes.

#2: Charitable Giving For Those Who Itemize

If you have the ability to make special gifts during this time, and you itemize your deductions, the IRS will allow you to deduct up to 100% of your adjusted gross income when you file your 2020 tax return.

This is unprecedented—and may be a real tax-advantaged opportunity if you have financial resources that are beyond your personal needs. If your gift exceeds your income this year, the deduction is eligible to roll over for use in future years as well.

#3: IRA & the CARES Act

If your have an Individual Retirement Account and are taking Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs), the CARES Act suspends that requirement for 2020. In other words, if you do not need the income from your IRA for your living expenses you ARE NOT REQUIRED to take the minimum distribution in 2020.

As I’m sure you know, I am not a financial consultant, so please consult your tax advisor or your financial advisor before making any decisions on how to apply these opportunities.

If you’d like to give to Fellowship, click here: https://pushpay.com/g/longviewfbc

WANT TO SUPPORT FBC FINANCIALLY?

Click HERE to give a one-time gift, or schedule recurring giving. It’s easy!

Coming Events

November 1 - 10:30 am - Communion

Sunday, November 1 we will celebrate communion on campus and virtually for those worshipping with us online. Kids in 1st – 6th grades will join us for this special time of remembrance.

November 1 - Sunday Night Fellowship

The Deacons are inviting the men of the church for a night of football and fellowship starting at 6:00 PM.

November 7 - Friends-Giving
Join us Saturday, November 7th join us for Friends-Giving. This is a time for our whole church family to connect over a meal, serve together and give to our community. We will be serving a Chick-Fil-A lunch starting at 11:30 followed by a time of working together on 3 service projects for our community. Please sign up to come and select which service project you’d like to work on at: bit.ly/FBCFriendsGiving2020 Much of the event will be outdoors, weather permitting but some will be indoors and we will limit how many people can work on each project. For more information contact Rebecca Simcox at rebeccas@longviewfbc.com or Slade Rinehart at slader@longviewfbc.com
November 1-15 - Trustee Evaluations

An important event each year in the life of Fellowship Bible Church is the refreshing of the church’s Deacon Board and Elder Board, as a number of men join these boards. We believe it is important for the FBC family to voice their support or concerns about these men. Those who are FBC members will receive trustee evaluation forms today via e-mail. There are also a limited number of forms available at the community life desk for those others who would like to participate. The evaluation period last 2 weeks. So, please take time to provide feedback on these men.

November 15 - Congregational Meeting
There will be a congregational meeting on Sunday, November 15, at 4:00 pm in the Worship Center Auditorium. Leadership will give an update on how Fellowship has been and continues to adapt to the COVID pandemic. We are planning to have a panel of elders available to answer questions. Childcare is not available, but you are welcome to bring your children.
November 22 - Leadership Installation
November 15 - December 6 - South Ward Christmas

Come to the foyer and purchase a $5 ornament to take home and pray for that child! Each tree represents a grade level at South Ward Elementary. Your donations will go towards the purchase of a gift for each student, goodie bags and a gift for each staff member.  We will be taking donations from Sunday, November 15th through Sunday, December 6th.  Contact Rebecca Simcox for more information at rebeccas@longviewfbc.com

November 29 - Advent Begins
November 29 - Benevolence Sunday