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A portion of our core taking pumpkin patch pictures!
9 After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. 10 And they cried out in a loud voice:
“Salvation belongs to our God,
who sits on the throne,
and to the Lamb.”
Revelation 7:9-10

We have been doing a sermon series on Ephesians the last couple weeks and I have been reflecting a lot on what unity in the body of Christ looks like and what our response to the grace of the Gospel should be.  When researching for a sermon I came across the Basilica of the Annunciation which is in Nazareth, Israel. It was built to commemorate Mary being told she was to have Jesus.

This church has commissioned Christian artists from all over the world to depict Mary and Jesus in their cultural styles and symbols and the results are beautiful. Here are a few of my favorites.


I see this artwork and I realize how diverse Christianity is. There are so many diverse expressions of following Jesus. Our world is so divided and we create so many barriers. But Jesus came to reconcile us all to Himself and each other. The above verse from Revelation gives me so much joy. Knowing that Jesus came to unite us through His spirit is so comforting to me. Jesus came for all people at all times in all places. My prayer is that this unity would be true that we would act unified as a church.

Core on Halloween!
This past month we got the privilege of doing Open House. Our students invite their families and loved ones to come out and see what this community they are involved in is all about. Every year is such a blessing. Sometimes I forget that the blessings God gives us here at UTA FOCUS trickle out to bless those outside our community as well. So many parents have prayed that their kids would find God and a community that would love them and we get to be an answer to those prayers. What an honor!

Every year we do a fundraiser called Keep FOCUS Growing(KFG). We had some shortfall in fundraising for staff salaries as a whole this year and this fundraiser is really going to help up fill the gaps and make sure our ministry continues to be healthy financially. Some of our generous donors have banded together and agreed to match up to $36,000 in total donations during this campaign. So if we receive $36,000 in total contributions, they will kick in a SECOND $36,000! Your first chance to give will be on December 3rd! I humbly ask that you prayerfully consider giving to this special fundraiser which you can check out here:

As always thank you for your generosity in supporting me and this ministry. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Many Blessings,
Emily Umstead


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 Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God  who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations. Deuteronomy 7:9
If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself. 2 Timothy 2:13
The first two weeks of the school year are a time of stepping out in faith and perseverance. We spend much of those two weeks on campus meeting new people, getting numbers, and inviting, inviting, inviting. We use our lunches and dinners, classes, and school events as opportunities to meet God's children. Those who know Him already and those who don't. Those who love Him and those who are suspicious of Him. It can be a fun, overwhelming, fulfilling, and exhausting two weeks. But God is so faithful to respond to our efforts. He is steadfast in opening doors and moving in the hearts of those we meet. 

I am beyond excited to see what God does with this new year! Core starts this week! Please be praying God…