Special to The Monitor
MABANK–The First United Methodist Church of Mabank will celebrate its 20th annual Lord’s Acre Harvest Festival on Saturday, Oct. 10, at the church, located at 501 South Third Street in Mabank. The Lord’s Acre Festival, named for the custom of farmers years ago who would dedicate an acre of land to the Lord and bring the produce raised on that acre to sell at a festival, has become a successful fundraiser that supports the church’s ministry to the youth of the Cedar Creek Lake area.
Twenty years ago, several families in the church, including the DeLongs, Underriners, and Loars, were concerned about keeping their teenagers interested in the church and ministering to teens that might not have a church home. While on a youth mission project in Tennessee Larry DeLong and Carol Loar met Troy Chapman from the Crowley United Methodist Church who spoke about a project in their church called ‘The Lord’s Acre Harvest Festival’. They brought this idea back to the church and, as they say, the rest is history. With the continued assistance of the Crowley congregation the Mabank version has been very successful through the years and has supported local, national and international youth activities and ministries. To this day the Crowley and Mabank congregations support one another through their Lord’s Acre festivals.
Although it has been a very successful fund raiser the purpose of this event has grown far beyond fundraising. The purpose has become touching the lives of our church family and the community beyond. The Lord’s Arce Festival has become a homecoming event where everyone involved with FUMC, old and young, near and far, past and present, join together in a celebration of the uplifting, healing love of God in our world.
Through the funds raised, the youth and numerous adult sponsors have impacted our world not only in the Cedar Creek Lake area but nationally and internationally. An ongoing local project is “Kids Klubhouse” at The Foundry House in Cherokee Shores. This is a teen-led after school program, a ministry taught by the youth of our community. In the summer of 2012 the FUMC youth program director Allison Partridge was instrumental in bringing the national organization Group WorkCamps Foundation to the Cedar Creek Lake area. Youth from all over the country came to our area and worked on home repair projects for the elderly, handicapped and economically challenged.
Members of the FUMC Youth group have recently participated in ministries in Austin, Galveston, Mississippi and Hurricane, West Virginia. These ministries include working with children and assisting in home repairs. For the past eight years members of our youth have gone to the same orphanage in Honduras to work with the children. Many lives have been touched by this lasting connection. The young people have also worked with Kids Against Hunger and made Health Kits for The United Methodist Council on Relief (UMCOR).
The festivities will kick off with a chili supper and gospel singing in the tent Thursday evening Oct. 8 at 6 p.m. The doors and the tent for this year’s Lord’s Acre Festival will open at 9 a.m. Saturday morning Oct. 10. Kid’s activities, including a bounce house, train ride, face painting and games will be from 9-noon. The Country Store, including homemade baked goods, crafts, plants, Christmas gifts and decor will also be from 9-noon. The silent auction including gift certificates for local businesses and travel will be from 9-noon and the live auction will be held from 1-3 p.m. Don’t miss the (by donation) barbecue lunch from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
This annual event, perhaps more than anything else we do all year brings our church family together with our community to show Christ’s Love.
It’s fun – it’s inspiring – it’s a great way to spend a Saturday in Mabank.
Posted by : October 4, 2015| On :
Special to The Monitor
Posted by : October 1, 2015| On :
Special to The Monitor
ATHENS–After weeks of speculation, Henderson County District Attorney Scott McKee announced this week that he will not seek a third term as District Attorney and will file for the 392nd District Judge bench in the March 2016 Republican Primary.
Current 392nd District Court Judge Carter Tarrance announced earlier this month that he would retire after more than 20 years of service on the bench once his term ends in 2016. Tarrance has held the position since his appointment in 1995 by then Governor George W. Bush.
McKee said it was an emotional decision for his family. “I love this job and the citizens and officers I serve. Judge Tarrance is an excellent judge and will be greatly missed. The toughest part is the thought of not serving as DA after next year. Over the years, I have met so many people and organizations around our county and have been blessed to work with the law enforcement community, Sheriff Ray Nutt and County Attorney Clint Davis in a synchronized fight against crime.”
McKee says serving as DA provides him with a unique perspective and understanding of the issues of the county.
He indicated that he has been encouraged by many citizens to run since he learned of the possible retirement.
McKee has practiced in the 392nd District Court as an assistant county attorney, assistant district attorney, civil and criminal defense attorney, and for the past seven years, as District Attorney.
“I have handled thousands of cases throughout my career in every court in our county from traffic tickets in JP courts to capital murder in district court. Our county deserves a judge who is experienced, tough, and fair. I believe I have proven that time again as DA.”
McKee has held the DA post since 2009. In 2010, McKee, a Major in the Army reserves, deployed to Iraq as an infantry officer with the Louisiana National Guard. He spent nine months in Iraq, planning more than 1,200 combat missions, participating in many of them. McKee was awarded the Bronze Star and the Louisiana War Cross for his performance in Iraq.
During his deployment, he continued to run the office with the help of internet and video technology. McKee credits First Assistant Mark Hall for the office’s success during his deployment and his two terms as DA.
McKee has great admiration for the citizens of the county for their support during his deployment.
“I received so many prayers, letters, cards, and emails lending words of encouragement and support for the office, my family and my safety while I was gone and as DA. I am a firm believer in the power of prayer.”
Although he has not deployed since his return from Iraq in 2010, McKee has decided to retire from the reserves after almost 28 years of active and reserve military service.
McKee believes his life experience, time as a prosecutor, private practice attorney, and DA make him the right person for the bench.
As District Attorney, McKee runs the largest law firm in Henderson County with eight lawyers, three investigators and six legal professionals. He oversees thousands of cases every
Posted by : September 27, 2015| On :
Monitor Staff Reports
CEDAR CREEK LAKE–See You at the Pole takes place on the fourth Wednesday in September and was begun in 1990 in the United States. Christian students of all ages meet at a flagpole in front of their local school for prayer, scripture-reading and hymn-singing, during the early morning before school starts.
It has grown by word of mouth, announcements at youth rallies and churches, and the Internet and now occurs internationally.
The recitation of prayer in public schools in America was banned by the Supreme Court June 25, 1962.
The particular prayer that had been approved by the New York State Board of Regents read: “Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee, and we beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers and our Country.”
Seven parents claimed the prayer violated their religious beliefs and practices and requiring their children to utter it violated their First Amendment rights and in their view was establishing and promoting religion.
Here’s what the men who were directly involved in the writing of our Constitution, Declaration and Bill of Rights had to say on the matter of religion.
George Washington, General of the Revolutionary Army, president of the Constitutional Convention, First President of the United States of America, “Religion and morality are the essential pillars of civil society.”
John Adams, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights and our second President, in a speech to the military in 1798 warned his fellow countrymen, “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion . . . Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
Benjamin Rush, Signer of the Declaration of Independence and first minister of Education said: “[T]he only foundation for a useful education in a republic is to be aid in religion. Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments. Without religion, I believe that learning does real mischief to the morals and principles of mankind.”
Noah Webster, author of the first American Speller and the first Dictionary said, “[T]he Christian religion, in its purity, is the basis, or rather the source of all genuine freedom in government. . . . and I am persuaded that no civil government of a republican form can exist and be durable in which the principles of that religion have not a controlling influence.”
Gouverneur Morris, Penman and Signer of the Constitution, “[F]or avoiding the extremes of despotism or anarchy . . . the only ground of hope must be on the morals of the people. I believe that religion is the only solid base of morals and that morals are the only possible support of free governments. [T]herefore education should teach the precepts of religion and the duties of man towards God.”
Fisher Ames, author of the final wording for the First Amendment wrote, “[Why] should not the Bible regain the place it once held as a school book? Its morals are pure, its examples captivating and noble. The reverence for the Sacred Book that is thus early impressed lasts long; and probably if not impressed in infancy, never takes firm hold of the mind.”
James Wilson, Signer of the Constitution; U. S. Supreme Court Justice, “Human law must rest its authority ultimately upon the authority of that law which is divine. . . . Far from being rivals or enemies, religion and law are twin sisters, friends, and mutual assistants. Indeed, these two sciences run into each other.”
Robert Winthrop, Speaker of the U. S. House, “Men, in a word, must necessarily be controlled either by a power within them or by a power without them; either by the Word of God or by the strong arm of man; either by the Bible or by the bayonet.”
Benjamin Franklin, Signer of the Declaration of Independence “[O]nly a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.”
1778 Continental Congress: “Whereas true religion and good morals are the only solid foundations of public liberty and happiness . . . it is hereby earnestly recommended to the several States to take the most effectual measures for the encouragement thereof.”