First Church children learn Bible stories through the arts

published 4/21/2009
By Sandra Mathias To accommodate the ever-growing number of young children attending downtown Memphis’ First United Methodist Church, a new Sunday school class has been created just for the 2nd, 3rd and 4th graders, according to Senior Pastor Rev. Martha Wagley.   The lively children enrolled in Laura Pickett’s Sunday school class are encouraged to use their energy and considerable creative artistic talents to illustrate a new story from the Bible each month.   At the beginning of the year, Mrs....

Briefly for April 17, 2009

published 4/14/2009
In Memoriam The Rev. William E. “Bill” Torkell Sr., 71, pastor of Macon United Methodist Church in the McKendree District and Chaplain for the Methodist Hospital Systems of Memphis, died unexpectedly Saturday, March 28, 2009 at his residence. Services were at 2pm Wednesday, April 1, at the Peebles West Funeral Chapel at Oakland with interment in Fayette County Memorial Park.   A graduate of Lambuth University and lifelong resident of the Memphis area, Rev. Torkell had served as a United ...

Carver earns D.Min. in Transformational Leadership

published 4/14/2009
By Rev. Donald Carver Sr., D. Min. After five years, over 500 hours and 15,000 miles, I have completed the Doctor of Ministry program at Ashland Theological Seminary in Ashland, Ohio. I was officially awarded the degree after defending my dissertation on February 27. My concentration was Transformational Leadership.   It has been a spiritual journey and I deeply appreciate all who have supported me along the way. Thanks to Arlington and Milburn Charge in the Paducah District. I was appointed ...

Forum in Brazil gave hope to Memphis woman

published 4/14/2009
In January, Lisa Archer, a member of Germantown United Methodist Church and a director of the Women’s Division of the General Board of Global Ministries, traveled to the World Social Forum 2009 in Brazil. She was accompanied by another director, Yuland Daley, along with two women from the United Nations. Archer said, “We had a National Geographic Kodak experience with the Indigenous people of the Amazon. They were present to enter into discussions about the deforestation of the Amazon Forest and...

Lambuth student wins Fulbright Fellowship

published 4/14/2009
Lambuth University Modern Languages major Matthew Farmer was awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Germany. This international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The program awards approximately 7,000 new grants annually, and it operates in more than 155 countries worldwide. A senior at Lambuth University, Farmer majors in both German ...

Summer children's festival to reach beyond community

published 4/14/2009
Elementary age children will have a blast this summer at the children’s festival to be held on Tuesday, June 30, at the open-air gym at Lake Junaluska from 2-4p.m. The festival is free and open to the public. There will be inflatables, a clown and balloon-animal maker, live music, games and more. The festival is part of the Youth in Mission (YIM) summer event that takes place yearly at Lake Junaluska. During YIM, youth experience first hand various opportunities for mission and outreach. This ...

Tom Laney, new Associate Director, Turner Center

published 4/14/2009
The Reverend Thomas Laney Jr. has been appointed Associate Director of the Turner Center for Church Leadership and Congregational Development at Vanderbilt Divinity School. He will also be Associate Director of the Turner Leadership Scholars Program at the Divinity School. Laney served as Senior Pastor of West End UMC in Nashville 1999-2007 and of Druid Hills UMC in Atlanta, 1990-1999. He has also served a country church in Georgia and a mid-sized church in Atlanta. He is a graduate of Yale ...

UMs can apply online now for scholarships, loans

published 4/14/2009
Students who need financial help for college costs can now apply online for United Methodist scholarships or loans. “We believe this new system is much more convenient for applicants,” said Angella Current-Felder, executive director of the Office of Loans and Scholarships at the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry. The online scholarship application went live on Jan. 5. As of March 17, more than 1,600 applications had been submitted for scholarships for the fall term.   Allyson ...

60-acre farm to be preserved in Hixson

published 4/13/2009
One of the largest remaining family farms in Hamilton County, within the city limits of Chattanooga, will be protected from development and remain a landmark. The children of Inez Hartman and Samuel Perry McConnell entered a lease agreement with the non-profit St. Andrews Center of Highland Park to provide stewardship and cultural/agricultural programming.    The Hartnell Farm was named by Sandra McConnell Burnett of Paducah, Ky., in memory of her parents, Inez Hartman McConnell and Sam ...

AC 2009 offering: Children in Crisis-Mexico

published 4/13/2009
The tender heart and trained mind of Memphis Conference episcopal leader Dick Wills remembers his early years in lower southeastern Texas near Brownsville. The plight of latino/latina children there and across the nearby border into the Matamoros area of Mexico remains a part of his Christian experience. Visits in recent years with his counterpart in the Conferencia Annual Oriental (Eastern Mexico Conference of the United Methodist Church) have quickened those concerns.   Bishop Garcia and ...

AC 2009 to vote on proposed constitutional amendments

published 4/1/2009
By Sandra Burnett Co-leader, Memphis Conference delegation to General Conference 2008   At the 2009 session of the Memphis Annual Conference, members will vote on proposed constitutional amendments for the United Methodist denomination. The 32 proposed amendments were approved by the 2008 United Methodist General Conference, the denomination’s top legislative body.    Twenty-three of the amendments center around changing the term “central conference” to “regional conference” and also making it ...

Brief notes: April 1

published 4/1/2009
In Memoriam Mrs. Rebecca Wilford, widow of the Reverend J. D. Wilford, died Thursday, February 26, 2009 in Charleston, S. C. Mrs. Wilford’s funeral was held at Burnett’s Chapel United Methodist Church in Sedalia, KY with the Reverend Karen Barrineau officiating. Burial was in the church cemetery in Sedalia, KY. She is survived by one son, D. Sykes Wilford, and wife, Jean, who live in Charleston, S. C. Send correspondence to: Mr. D. Sykes Wilford, 43 Legare Street, Charleston, SC 29401.   ...

Collierville rummage sale raises money for missions

published 4/1/2009
By Libby Perry  The youth group and parents at Collierville United Methodist Church are gearing up to both raise and save money through their upcoming Annual Youth Rummage Sale. The event, scheduled for April 4 from 8am to 2 pm, is a major fund-raiser for the teens at CUMC, which allows the youth to serve in mission trips across the country.    During these tough economic times, the sale has become a ministry of its own according to CUMC Youth Director Kris Konsowitz. From picking up and ...

Constitutional amendments to be voted on by AC 2009

published 4/1/2009
By J. Richard Peck   Voting members of 134 annual conferences around the world will consider 32 amendments to the Constitution of The United Methodist Church as they meet in the coming months. The 62 U.S. annual conferences begin meeting in May.   Voters will be ordained elders and deacons in full connection and all lay members of the conferences. Members may debate a proposed amendment, but they cannot change it. They must vote either for or against an amendment as it stands.   Twenty-three of ...

Dr. Peter Kreeft to speak at Lambuth April 17-18

published 4/1/2009
 Join Lambuth University April 17-18 for the “Defending the Faith” conference with Dr. Peter Kreeft. Peter Kreeft, Ph.D., is a noted author, authority on C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien, professor of philosophy at Boston College and defender of the Christian faith.   Lambuth’s “Defending the Faith” conference will kick off with a special RSVP dinner with Peter Kreeft on Friday, April 17 at 5:30 p.m. in the Wilder Student Union, followed by a Q& A session. The cost is $30 and reservations by April ...

EXPLORATION an opportunity to explore God's call

published 4/1/2009
The Memphis Conference Board of Ordained Ministry is fully supporting EXPLORATION 2009 which is scheduled for Nov. 13-15 in Dallas, Texas. EXPLORATION addresses The United Methodist Church’s need for young clergy by offering youth and young adults who feel God’s call a chance to explore that call. The Memphis Conference will be coordinating an effort to provide transportation and publicity. A recent report noted that over 70% of our current active clergy will be eligible to retire by 2013. That’...

Paralegals making a difference

published 4/1/2009
By Mark Berryhill Our last free legal clinic was at Friendship United Methodist Church in Millington. We had 43 clients, with 17 attorneys, ten paralegals and one law school student in attendance. Pastor Cynthia Davis and her husband were very excited and prepared well in advance for a successful event. They were incredible hosts. These events are a partnership, and it takes both for a successful event.   Thank you, Pastor, for opening your doors and allowing us to help those in the Millington ...

Position Available

published 4/1/2009
Music Director: Church of 100-120 members. Responsible for adult and children’s choir and two worship services. Send resume to Attn: Pastor, 863 W. Forest Ave., Jackson, TN 38301.

Sally Morgenthaler to keynote Annual Conference 2009

published 4/1/2009
By Cathy Farmer   Passionate Worship will permeate Annual Conference 2009. From the opening worship service at 7pm on Sunday evening, May 31, to the closing service at 7pm on Tuesday, June 2, conference members will experience new ways of worshipping that re-connect God’s work outside the building with what happens inside.   Leading the conference in three innovative worship workshops and worship experiences on Sunday and Monday will be Sally Morgenthaler, a woman who has been a major influence ...

Bonson to be new Director of Connectional Ministries

published 3/19/2009
Dr. John Bonson has been named as the new Director of Connectional Ministries. He will also continue as Memphis Conference secretary. Bonson said, “First, I want to thank Kevin Conrad for his leadership in helping the conference build a structure that can be flexible enough to meet the changing demands placed on the church in our present economy. “I’m also grateful to the cabinet for the trust that they have placed in me,” he said. “I pray that I may be found worthy of such trust. I will depend ...

Economic conditions–crisis or opportunity?

published 3/19/2009
By Kevin Conrad It seems as if everywhere we turn, there is evidence of growing economic hardship.   Recently, the harsh reality of the economic downward spiral hit very close to home. As of March 1, 2009, the Connectional Ministries Office was forced to cut 32% of its budget, due to a 70% payout of apportionments for 2008.   Because of broader economic conditions, this initial cut may be the first in a series of tough decisions our Annual Conference will face.   Programming dollars for ...

MTS: Where religious faith intersects public health

published 3/19/2009
By Cathy Boatright and Dr. Stan Wood  Memphis Theological Seminary is intersecting religious faith and public health in its Faith and Health Doctor of Ministry (D. Min.) program.   The program is being offered in Memphis, a city known both for its soulful Delta heritage and for its ongoing struggle for economic, societal, and spiritual wholeness.    Utilizing the combined resources of selected health institutions and the seminary, this D. Min. track helps learners identify and address issues in...

Register now for Older Adult Seminar, March 31

published 3/19/2009
Register now for the March 31 seminar, Living as a Spiritual Older Adult. The keynote speaker is Marvin Cropsey, editor of Mature Years magazine and managing editor of The New International Lesson Annual. There is time allotted for roundtable discussion. Come prepared to share what your group has done during the past year as well as your plans for the future.   This seminar is sponsored by the Memphis Conference Older Adult Council. Call Luci Cromer, 901-755-0803, for information.    If you are ...

Wills appoints Conrad to Asbury District

published 3/19/2009
  Bishop Dick Wills is appointing the Rev. Kevin Conrad to the superintendency of the Asbury District.   Conrad said, “I’ve spent the majority of my years in the Conference in the Memphis area, so I have a great love and concern for the churches of the Asbury District. We are facing tremendous challenges, particularly due to current economic conditions. I firmly believe that times of challenge are also times of unique ministry opportunity.    “When I begin my work in the District,” he ...

Creation Care Tip-of-the-Month

published 3/2/2009
  It’s a “Catch-22,” isn’t it? Shopping! If we continue to consume the earth’s resources as we have in recent years, the earth will not be able to sustain us. Yet, as the current economic crisis reminds us, if we do not shop and spend, our economy cannot sustain itself either. So shop we must. Finding the fine line in this conundrum is vital to our future. Because it is clear that the way we shop, spend and consume has such a huge impact on all that God created, has the potential to alter our ...

Nurse writes book to help parents of special needs children

published 3/2/2009
Lisa Barron, a nurse at Methodist Le Bonheur Germantown Hospital, never imagined her nursing skills would become essential in taking care of one of her own children. Her daughter, Madison, a special needs child, was just four years old when she passed away in 1999. During her short life, Barron relied on her nursing skills to help take care of her daughter who had numerous medical issues, including the need to be on a ventilator.   “Being a nurse made me much more comfortable taking care of my ...

Position available for Financial Secretary

published 3/2/2009
Position Available for Financial Secretary Financial Secretary: St. Paul UMC, Lakeland, TN. Part-time position with regular work schedule; occasional evening meetings required. Qualifications: strong Christian faith; experience in business admin. (accounting, financial management) and/or a related college degree; strong computer skills (Microsoft Office, other financial software; Shelby Systems experience preferred). Office management and employee supervisory experience a plus.   The successful ...

Rotation Sunday school adds numbers at Troy

published 3/2/2009
By Tracey Malone Director, Sunday school rotation   The traditional way to teach Sunday school wasn’t bringing in new souls to Troy United Methodist Church. It wasn’t even keeping the children we had interested. So, in January of 2008, we made plans to change our teaching style and, hopefully, increase the number of children coming.   As it turned out, the Rotational Model we selected does just that–it keeps the children interested and makes them want to come every week so they don’t miss a fun ...

'Stamping out disasters not our call'

published 3/1/2009
By Susan Engle Intentional Discipleship Action Team leader and Paducah District Lay Resource Leader Disaster Relief is a different game when it’s your own backyard.   Living in the midst of the ice storm in Western Kentucky was entirely different from reading about Katrina and then going to help with the cleanup effort.   Living in the midst, trying to do your job and manage your own personal disaster is hard work.    Being on the front lines makes you both a participant in the relief effort and...

Briefly

published 3/1/2009
Spring Junior and Senior High Youth Retreat, March 13-15, at Lakeshore The Spring Junior and Senior High Youth Retreat at Lakeshore, March 13 -15, promises to be an inspirational experience for small and large youth groups alike. Lora Jean Gowan, David Hollis, and Kyser and Amanda Lowe bring leadership skills and years of fun-loving, meaningful event experience to the task of making this year’s retreat a potentially life-changing experience. Activities will include games, great music, a talent ...

Clinton pulls together during 2009 ice storm

published 3/1/2009
By Rev. Vida McClure Storms come and storms go, but some storms embed themselves in our memory.    In Hickman County, which is located in the extreme southwest corner of Kentucky, the Ice Storm of 2009, that turned our communities into a dazzling–yet terrifying–ice land, is one that this generation will long remember.   On Tuesday, January 29, the storm began moving quickly into our area. During the evening and night hours, frightening, crashing sounds could be heard as limbs, tree tops, and ...

Crossroads croons at Care Center

published 3/1/2009
By Cathi Johnson  The Rev. Don Park and a small group of seven choir members from CrossRoads United Methodist in Collierville shared Valentine’s Day carnations and sang a collection of old-time music for residents of Wesley Highland Place in Memphis on February 15.     Hits like “Stormy Weather” and “Sunny” brought back fond memories of earlier years for the folks there. Rev. Park visited with residents, one of whom, now nearly blind, shared that in her youth she played steel guitar in a band! ...

Faith Fest 2009

published 3/1/2009
By Kevin Conrad Built to Last... What does it take to build a faith to last a lifetime? That’s the challenge children and youth face as they grow in their awareness, understanding and response to the gospel. Jesus is the focal point. Discipleship is the journey. Prayer is the passport. Building a faith for a lifetime is the emphasis of this year’s gathering which is targeted at kids in the 5th-8th grades, hosted by Bishop Richard Wills.   All Confirmation groups—whether you are just forming, ...

Methodism 101 class intensive instruction in being Methodist

published 3/1/2009
On Saturday, February 7, almost 70 lay and clergy from the Asbury and McKendree Districts gathered at St. Paul United Methodist Church in Lakeland for a “Methodism 101” class. During six hours of intensive instruction, they learned about: John Wesley from Dave Hilliard, American Methodism from Wayne Hamm, The African Experience from Martin McCain, Organization and Conferences from Jack Shannon, Methodist Ministry from Judy Piercey, Methodist Beliefs from Tim Atkins, Challenges to the UMC from ...

Michelle Obama selects letter from Dr. Cynthia Bond Hopson for book

published 3/1/2009
The letter written to incoming first lady Michelle Obama by a General Board of Higher Education and Ministry staffer was selected for a collection of letters published in a new book, Go, Tell Michelle: African American Women Write to the New First Lady. “In my letter I talk about growing up in Haywood County, Tenn., during the early 1960s and the struggle African Americans in that area had when they tried to register to vote. My parents and their neighbors were among those who stood in long ...

Lambuth donors pledge $4 million in matching funds

published 5/31/2008
Four million dollars isn’t small potatoes in anyone’s budget. Four million dollars, a sum pledged by two of Lambuth University’s most generous supporters, would go a long way toward spiffing up the Lambuth University campus, making faculty and staff salaries more competitive and providing scholarships for aspiring students. But there’s both a catch and an opportunity. The opportunity? The donors are pledging up to $4 million in matching dollars for unrestricted gifts to the university. That ...

Bishop Ellis Finger Dies

published 5/29/2008
United Methodist Bishop Homer Ellis Finger Jr. dies A UMNS Report By Linda Green* May 27, 2008 Bishop Homer Ellis Finger Jr., a former president of the United Methodist Council of Bishops, died May 25 from heart failure. Finger, 91, of Givens Estates in Asheville, N.C., was elected in to the episcopacy in 1964 and served in the denomination’s Nashville (Tenn.) Area for 12 years and the Holston Area, based in Knoxville, Tenn., for eight years. Before the 1968 gathering that led to the creation of...

Bishop’s Study Committee and Transitional Team reports provoked discussion at District Hearings

published 5/29/2008
David Comperry, a member of the Bishop's Study Committee, listed the five main recommendations: 1. establish an endowment program for agencies, 2. share administrative costs with the Tennessee Conference, 3. develop a plan to train and equip clergy and laity in core ministries with the goal of an increase of 10% in apportionment payout, 4. reduce conference funding of agencies by half over the next four years, and 5. develop an easy to understand apportionment formula.

Metro District Committee on Ordained Ministry Meeting, Memphis, TN

Metro District Committee on Ordained Ministry Meeting   WHAT: Interview for provisional membership 2018 WHEN: Monday March 27, 9am - 1pm WHERE: Metro District office at Highland Heights UMC on the corner of Summer and Highland in Memphis, TN MORE INFO: Rev. Dr. Birgitte T. French CrossRoads UMC, 9315 E. Shelby Drive, Collierville TN 38017 Church 901-737-3776 | Cell 901-484-1576

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