Bearing Fruit: Older, wiser Christians with time to listen helped me choose my life work

published 10/10/2010
  By Rev. Dr. Eddie Bromley Grace UMC, LaCenter, KY   ‘Bearing Fruit’ is a feature for sharing stories about spiritual transformation -- stories of hope and help for those pressing on to “take hold of that which Christ has taken hold for us.” Email your stories and photos on any subject to Sue Engle, leader of the Memphis Conference Intentional Discipleship Action Team, at sue.engle@gmail.com. Past stories are archived on the Memphis Conference Web site at www.memphis-umc.org. Search in ...

Youth and adults learn about what Christians can do to end slavery

published 10/10/2010
“Ending Slavery” was the name of a free educational program at Collierville UMC on Aug. 14. Christa Hayden, Mid-Atlantic Regional Director of Church Mobilization for the International Justice Mission (IJM), was the speaker.   She was hosted by the church’s Wesley Sunday School Class, according to event organizer Matt Morley.   IJM is a human rights agency that secures justice for victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and other forms of violent oppression.    The agenda included a screening ...

Lambuth University announces plans for Oct. 16-17 Family Weekend

published 9/29/2010
Sept. 29, 2010 Press Release from Lambuth University: Family Weekend 2010 is scheduled for October 16-17, 2010 at Lambuth University! The annual event promises to bring parents, students, and the LU faithful to the campus during the 2-day event. Check in for the weekend starts at 9:30 AM in the Eagle’s Nest in the Wilder College Union on Saturday, October 16. On Saturday, you’ll enjoy meeting the faculty at a special reception for students and their families, attend the home football game, visit...

Gienapp co-writes resource about understanding Islam

published 9/27/2010
Rebekah Jordan Gienapp, deacon in the Memphis Conference and executive director of Workers Interfaith Network in Memphis, is the co-author (with Dave Barnhart, pastor at Trinity UMC in Birmingham, AL) of “Understanding Islam,” a downloadable study resource in the Aug. 29 issue of FaithLink. The study suggests ways Christians and Muslims can better understand one another and work together to create peace and justice.   “Understanding Islam” topic areas include: •Common Ancestors •What Does ...

Oct. 10-19, live Internet events to launch '10-Fold'

published 9/27/2010
Read all about it at www.10-Fold.org.

Barbara Hamilton is "Living Awards" recipient

published 9/26/2010
Barbara Hamilton, right, a member at Germantown UMC, was one of five individuals honored at the 2010 Living Awards Benefit of the Methodist Healthcare Foundation.The event was held Aug. 24 in Memphis with all proceeds going to the Foundation. Hamilton was recognized for her leadership and commitment to the healing mission of Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare where she has volunteered for more than 41 years.

Reelfoot Rural Ministries seeks toys and volunteers for Toy Store

published 9/26/2010
Reelfoot Rural Ministries (RRM) is making preparations for its annual Christmas Toy Store by seeking toys, recruiting volunteers and receiving applications from area families in need of assistance, according to Mary Lou Wurth, chair of RRM’s  board of directors. RRM is a mission program of the Memphis Conference that serves four counties: Lake, Obion and Dyer Counties in northwest Tennessee and Fulton County in southwest Kentucky.  In 2009, RRM helped more than 1,600 children in 819 families ...

CANCELED: Gary Gunderson to speak at Diaconate Gathering

published 9/25/2010
NOTE: This event canceled as of 9/28/10. Gary Gunderson, deacon in the Memphis Conference and Senior Vice President for Health and Welfare Ministries of Methodist Healthcare in Memphis, is the featured speaker at the Diaconate Gathering at Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center in Lake Junaluska, N.C. Oct. 24-26. “Health, Spirituality and Wholeness” is the focus of the event with the topic, “Deacons: Re-Presenting Christ...in the World, in the Church, in Worship.”   Gunderson said he is ...

Aldersgate UMC youth raise $3,000 from play production, give all proceeds to UMCOR

published 9/24/2010
Jackson District Superintendent Joy Weathersbee, left, recently received a check for $3,000 on behalf of the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) from Garrett Henson, right, representing the youth of Aldersgate UMC in Jackson, TN. Henson served as director of the play, “The Odd Couple: Female Version,” that was produced by the church’s youth at the church in six shows over two weekends in August. The many youth who worked on the dinner theatre productions together decided to give all ...

Former First Lady Laura Bush at Methodist Healthcare Foundation event Nov. 12 in Memphis

published 9/22/2010
 Read more HERE 

Community invited to help pack 200,000 meals for Zambia

published 9/20/2010
The event is Saturday, Oct. 2, at Christ UMC in Memphis. Click HERE for more info.

Memphis First UMC enjoys fun and games in Bartlett

published 9/19/2010
  On a recent sweltering Sunday, following the morning worship service, the Memphis First UMC congregation "beat the heat" at Putt-Putt Golf and Game Family Park in Bartlett. Eleven adults escorted 21 excited, highly energetic children.    Adults paired up with children as they strapped in for speed go-kart racing, playfully slamming into each other's bumper boats, and trying out their newly acquired golfing skills on the putt-putt course.    In between games and sports, everyone enjoyed ...

Bartlett UMC raises money for missions and teaches about cultural differences

published 9/12/2010
Four corners of the world – Central America, Africa, Asia and Europe – were on display in the four corners of the gym at Bartlett UMC in Bartlett, TN on Aug. 4. Approximately 225 people attended the church’s third annual international event called “A Global Journey, Your Passport to the World.”   The church’s Outreach Department, under Director Sarah L. Griffith, sponsored the 6 to 8 p.m. festivities, promoted as a “come and go night of enrichment through food, music and entertainment.”   The ...

Bearing Fruit: Spirit moves Covington FUMC to start a food pantry

published 9/12/2010
By Grace Phelps Minister of Small Group and Program Ministries at First UMC in Covington, TN.    ‘Bearing Fruit’ is a feature for sharing stories about spiritual transformation -- stories of hope and help for those pressing on to “take hold of that which Christ has taken hold for us.” Email your stories and photos on any subject to Sue Engle, leader of the Memphis Conference Intentional Discipleship Action Team, at sue.engle@gmail.com. Past stories are archived on the Memphis Conference Web...

Browns UMC prepares for 175th birthday

published 9/12/2010
There’s been a lot of sprucing up going on at Browns UMC in Jackson, TN this summer. Members’ opinions vary on whether it has anything to do with the fact that the church is about to celebrate its 175th anniversary.   “Get involved” has been the church’s slogan throughout the year.   Member Linda Bingham said it’s an idea that has taken hold in many ways, including making improvements and upgrades to the church’s interior.   “After (we) got started,” said Bingham, “it seemed like everyone got ...

New Life UMC is new church in Ripley

published 9/12/2010
“New Life” is the name of the newest church in the Brownsville District that the Memphis Conference voted this year to sanction. On Sunday, July 11, New Life UMC was launched with 45 in attendance. It had more than 35 charter members and a lot of enthusiasm, but little else.   The church’s temporary home was a fire station in Ripley with no air conditioning. Attendance has held steady.   The really good news    With tremendous help from the Brownsville District, New Hope has found a permanent ...

Reed is guest lay preacher at Upper Room chapel service

published 9/12/2010
David R. Reed of Martin First UMC and chair of the Communications Action Team of the Memphis Conference of the United Methodist Church, was the guest lay preacher at an Upper Room chapel service on July 27 in Nashville. “Words: A Means of Power and Grace” was the title of his message.   The chapel service was for staff of the General Board of Discipleship (GBOD) and The Upper Room, according to Rev. Tom Albin, Dean of The Upper Room Ministries and Ecumenical Relations, who introduced Reed to ...

Two Memphis Conference youth ministers complete two years of youth ministry training

published 9/12/2010
Two youth ministers from the Memphis Conference were among seven students commissioned for youth ministry by the Center for Youth Ministry Training (CYMT) in Nashville on Sunday, Aug. 1. Anthony Harless and Adam Simpson were recognized for completing two years of graduate work in youth ministry and theological education while working in local congregations as youth directors.   Though he has now relocated to his home in West Virginia, Harless was youth director at Camden First UMC in Camden, TN....

Bearing Fruit: Sudan Hope

published 8/28/2010
  by Michael Blake This story of spiritual transformation tells about a 2010 mission trip to Sudan. Blake is executive director of Reelfoot Rural Ministries in the Memphis Conference.   In 2009 I participated in a mission study of Sudan offered by the Memphis Conference United Methodist Women. Sudan is a country in northeastern Africa.   The eight-hour course enriched what little I knew on the problems and struggles of the Sudanese people, especially in Darfur and Southern Sudan.    During the ...

Exchange in England

published 8/28/2010
By Rev. Wade Cox, Medina First UMC We have experienced an amazing journey of blessings, friendships, challenges and growth. We visited 16 cities, participated in 15 worship services and delivered 12 sermons over six weeks in the summer of 2010. What an adventure!   To spend a summer in England ministering to God’s people and sharing His word has been a gift. I am grateful to my family for their patience and willingness to experience this together and to Medina First UMC staff, leadership and ...

Pulpit Swap

published 8/28/2010
By Lane Gardner Camp When Garry Dawson-Jones of Sheffield, England first learned he had been matched with a church in Medina, Tennessee, he said he pulled out a map and “Googled” the name to learn more about where he and his family would be headed.   For five weeks this summer from mid-June into July, Dawson-Jones, a Methodist minister serving Dore and Totley Rise Methodist Churches in Sheffield, England, exchanged pulpits with Wade Cox of Medina First UMC in Medina, TN in the Brownsville ...

Conference has presence on social networking site, Facebook

published 8/16/2010
United Methodist organizations from Zimbabwe to the United States and from the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) to Parsons First UMC in the Memphis Conference, are using the social networking Web site Facebook (www.facebook.com) to make disciples of Jesus Christ. In the Memphis Conference, there are several Facebook pages being used to help congregations of the United Methodist Church connect and work together in mission.   General Background   Facebook started in 2004 as a ...

Heartsong Church in Cordova has ‘open doors’ for Muslim neighbors

published 8/16/2010
Open hearts. Open minds. Open doors. That slogan of the United Methodist Church is one that this month is being prominently modeled by the congregation of Heartsong Church in Cordova, TN as it literally opens its doors to the Memphis Islamic Center (MIC) for its observance of the holy month of Ramadan, which began Aug. 11.   Heartsong Church is part of the McKendree District of the Memphis Conference.   “They are in the final phase of building an Islamic Center for worship and education on about...

Bearing Fruit: Our moments of transformation encourage and inspire others

published 8/15/2010
'Bearing Fruit' is a column dedicated to stories about spiritual transformation in the Memphis Conference. This first column, by Susan Engle, sets the stage for others to share their transformation stories. Engle is the leader of the Memphis Conference Intentional Discipleship Action Team. Transformation takes all kinds of shapes and forms. It is sometimes so gradual that we don’t even notice God has been working until we realize our vision has changed or that we are reacting differently than we...

More than 400 attend District Youth Rally at Benton First UMC

published 8/15/2010
  The Paducah District Youth Rally on Sunday, Aug. 8, at Benton First UMC in Benton, KY was called “a great success” by Paducah District Superintendent Dr. Rick Dye.   Event organizer Susan Engle, Director of Program Ministry at Benton First UMC, reported more than 400 people in attendance from more than 20 churches.   “The goal of the evening,” said Engle, “was to energize our area youth, be invitational to the community and coordinate district-wide youth programming.”   Hundreds of barbecue ...

Wind storm brings down steeple of Big Sandy UMC

published 8/14/2010
Big Sandy UMC in Big Sandy, TN in the Paris District lost its steeple to a surprise wind storm on Tuesday, Aug. 3. Thankfully, no one was at the church at the time, reported Rev. Joseph A. Walker, Sr., who explained that the steeple broke numerous rafters and damaged decking when it crashed onto the 104-year-old church’s roof.   Walker estimates the sawmill oak steeple with metal siding weighs 400 to 500 pounds. The cross on top of the steeple penetrated the church’s roof and landed on the floor...

Bishop Wills encourages Aug. 22 offering for disaster relief

published 8/2/2010
  “...Tornadoes and floods have given us a chance to show others the love and grace of Jesus Christ. ...Help is needed now and will be needed for years to come.” Bishop Richard J. (Dick) Wills, Jr., STATE of the church address, memphis Annual Conference, June, 2010, Collierville, TN     Wind and water from the Spring 2010 storms have subsided, but many in the Memphis Conference have just begun the long path to recovery, according to Bill Carr, Memphis Conference Disaster Relief Coordinator.   ...

Five-Day Academy for Spiritual Formation set for Oct. 17-22

published 8/2/2010
“Journey into Joy: the Pathway & the Pilgrimage” is the theme of the Five-Day Academy for Spiritual Formation set for Oct. 17-22 at Camp Garner Creek in Dickson, TN. Sponsors are the Memphis and Tennessee Conferences, along with the Nashville Area Clergy Orders, Fellowship of the United Methodist Church and The Upper Room Ministries.  Faculty include the Rev. Marjorie Thompson, author of Soul Feast: An Invitation to the Christian Spiritual Life, and Dr. Loyd Allen, Sylvan Hills Professor of ...

Missouri volunteers do mission work in Memphis

published 8/2/2010
A group of 202 United Methodist volunteers from the Missouri Conference visited the Memphis Conference in June to do mission work at agencies and churches needing assistance. While in the Memphis area, the volunteers were housed at Collierville UMC.   Beverly Boehmer, Missouri Conference Coordinator of Youth and College Ministries, was the group’s organizer. She dispatched small groups to different project locations.   FirstWorks   FirstWorks, a program for “at risk” children and youth from ...

Newsletter for retired ministers and spouses is now online

published 8/2/2010
The latest issue of News ‘N’ Views, the quarterly newsletter for retired ministers and spouses in the Memphis Conference, is available on the Conference web site. Edited by Carroll H. and Russell N. Gallimore, the photo-filled newsletter provides updates on what former pastors and their spouses are doing in retirement.   Click on “News ‘N’ Views” at left. Then click on “July 2010.”   The Gallimores may be reached at 367 Rockwell Rd. Jackson, TN 38305-1836. Their phone number is 731-660-1551. ...

Dinner Theatre: 'The Odd Couple' at Aldersgate UMC in Jackson

published 8/1/2010
The Aldersgate Theatre Company, a program of the United Methodist Youth Fellowship at Aldersgate UMC in Jackson, is offering dinner-threatre performances of the play, The Odd Couple (female version), at its church activity center, located at 1050 North Parkway. The comedy, by Neil Simon, is directed by Garrett Henson.   Performances are Aug. 6, 7, 13 and 14 at 7 p.m. and Aug. 8 and 15 at 1 p.m. Dinner is being catered by Baudo’s Italian Restaurant. Tickets are $20 per person with all proceeds ...

After nearly 60 years, Alamo First UMC now has a steeple and cross atop its bell tower

published 7/19/2010
 “To God be the glory!” said Pat Cummins shortly after a steeple was installed on her church.   “My heart was in my throat. My hair was standing up. That’s how happy I was,” she said.   Cummins gathered with other members of Alamo First UMC on the morning of July 13 to watch the steeple be hoisted and placed atop the church’s bell tower.   Alamo’s current building, completed in 1952, has never had a steeple. Stories differ on whether that was intentional or the church ran low on funds in the ...

District Superintendents applaud Paris District for 99.68% payout of apportionments

published 7/19/2010
  Editor’s Note:   The Paris District of the Memphis Conference had a 99.68 percent payout of apportionments for the year 2009. This was announced as part of the District Superintendent Report presented at the 2010 Memphis Annual Conference in June in Collierville, TN.   The Report, delivered by Cabinet Dean Dr. Rick C. Dye, superintendent of the Paducah District, “applauded” the Paris District and said, “We all need to be reminded that it can be done!”   Joseph A. Geary is superintendent of ...

Knit-Wits at Union City First UMC crochet and pray for others in prayer shawl ministry

published 7/19/2010
  By Glenda Caudle, The Union City Messenger This story first ran in the March 3 issue of The Union City Messenger. The story and photos are reprinted with permission from The Messenger. The first part of the article, about prayer pagers, ran in the April 5 issue of The Memphis Conference Reporter. Below is the second half of Caudle’s article -- about prayer shawls.   In addition to the prayer pagers, the congregation at First UMC in Union City, Tenn. established a “prayer shawl” ministry in ...

Trinity UMC in Paducah takes message of Christ to city youth

published 7/19/2010
  Story and photos by John Wright, The Paducah Sun This story ran in the June 24 issue of The Paducah Sun. The story and photos are reprinted with permission from The Paducah Sun.   Dorothy Henry has watched a dream of hers come true this week.   A lifelong resident near Kolb Park on Paducah’s Southside, Henry quite often has seen children meandering along the streets and always wondered if anyone was teaching them about Jesus Christ. This week it appears several of them were willing to learn.  ...

993 volunteers at Christ UMC in Memphis pack 150,336 meals for Haiti

published 7/8/2010
Exceeding both the number of volunteers and the original goal of 150,000 meals, organizers of Christ Feeds are amazed at the success of their inaugural food packaging event. Working in teams of 10-12 at 14 stations set up in the gym at Christ United Methodist Church (CUMC) in Memphis, volunteers packaged nearly 19,000 meals an hour over the course of eight hours on Saturday, May 15.   The meals, consisting of rice, soy, dried vegetables and vitamins, were immediately loaded on to an 18-wheeler...

Memphis Conference Methodists give more than $267,000 for earthquake disaster relief in Haiti

published 7/8/2010
  Gifts received from the Memphis Conference for relief to Haiti after the Jan. 12 earthquake total $267,040.34 as of June 29, according to The Advance office of the General Board of Global Ministries (GBGM).   Gifts have been received from 415 individuals and churches in The Memphis Conference.   In a letter to Biship Richard J. (Dick) Wills in May. the GMGM presidents wrote about the “tangible generosity” of the people of Memphis Annual Conference.    “While we are grateful for the support ...

Mission team from Paducah district visits Jamaica in June

published 7/8/2010
Jamaica is a popular place to vacation. The water is beautiful and the colors are brilliant. The weather is warm and predictable. There are lovely resorts waiting to make your visit to the island perfect in every way: great food, great entertainment and great people. This is not the Jamaica a mission team from Benton First and Mt. Carmel UMCs, of which I was a part, recently visited!    Our team of 16 people, aged 12 to 74, spent a week in June in the Highgate area building a home, laying a ...

Register for Five-Day Academy for Spiritual Formation: Oct. 17-22

published 7/8/2010
“Journey into Joy: the Pathway & the Pilgrimage” is the theme of a Five-Day Academy for Spiritual Formation set for Oct. 17-22 at Camp Garner Creek in Dickson, TN, 45 minutes west of Nashville near Interstate 40. Sponsors are the Memphis and Tennessee Conferences, along with the Nashville Area Clergy Orders, Fellowship of the United Methodist Church and The Upper Room Ministries.   “For some, this may be a kind of renewal. For others, it may be a new exploration into deeper aspects of Christian ...

Sept. 21 workshop in Jackson is about aging and baby boomer ministry

published 7/8/2010
“Aging & Baby Boomer Ministry in the 21st Century” is the name of a Sept. 21 workshop in Jackson for persons who have a vision and passion for ministry with mid-life and older adults or who want to learn more about older adult ministries. This workshop is sponsored by the Memphis Annual Conference Older Adult Council of The United Methodist Church and is open to the public.   The Rev. Dr. Richard H. Gentzler, Jr., Director of the Center on Aging and Older Adult Ministries for the General Board ...

Socks provide comfort after Spring floods

published 7/8/2010
When early May flooding forced residents of Wesley Highland Meadows out of their homes, clean, dry socks were a welcome treat.Wesley Highland Meadows is an independent living facility in Memphis that is part of Wesley Senior Ministries. Selena Henson, right, president of Wesley Senior Ministries Foundation, places socks on a grateful resident, one of many whose feet were wet from walking through water. “In the midst of tornado sirens blasting and water rising, Golden Cross Funds were at work ...

UMW mini retreat at Milan First UMC informs attendees about orphanage

published 7/8/2010
The United Methodist Women (UMW) units of Gibson Wells, Medina First, Milan First and Salem United Methodist Churches in Gibson County, TN hosted a mini retreat at Milan First UMC the evening of May 10. Following dinner, attendees heard a program presented by Eric and Elizabeth Soard, volunteers for Grassroots Ministries at Methodist Angel House Orphanage in Tarime, Tanzania, East Africa   The Soards are graduates of Lambuth University in Jackson. They maintain a blog at www.ourjourneyingodslif...

$25,000+ raised for United Methodist Neighborhood Centers at Theatre Memphis fundraiser

published 7/7/2010
More than $25,000 was raised for United Methodist Neighborhood Centers (UMNC) in Memphis on June 1 at a Theatre Memphis fundraiser. The money will be used to support UMNC’s many projects: educational efforts, assistance programs and social services, according to Sharon Lockhart, UMNC board member.   “We want to thank everyone who attended, bought tickets, sold tickets, obtained auction items and supported us. We had only 20 empty seats. Everyone had a great time visiting, buying, eating and ...

Interfaith Student Center at UT Martin hosts International Calligraphy Workshop

published 7/7/2010
The Interfaith Student Center at the University of Tennessee at Martin hosted an International Calligraphy Workshop in March. The event allowed students to learn about and practice writing in other languages.   The Interfaith Student Center is a cooperative ministry of the United Methodist, Roman Catholic, Episcopal, Cumberland Presbyterian, Missionary Baptist, and Presbyterian (USA) churches, though it seeks to be in ministry with people of all faiths and to be respectful of all faiths.   Six ...

Use Tool Kit to plan fall programming

published 7/7/2010
It’s July and time to start thinking about fall programming!  The Intentional Discipleship Action Team of The Memphis Conference is here to help with a new Tool Kit (a box) that is packed with more than $60 worth of great materials to consider for your fall programming.   One Tool Kit is being provided free of charge to each charge in The Memphis Conference.   Charting the Course is the name of a workbook in the Tool Kit. It walks you, step by step, through a very detailed process for defining ...

Bishop Wills discusses state of church in 2010

published 6/25/2010
Bishop Richard J. (Dick) Wills delivered the 2010 “state of the church” address during the 2010 Memphis Annual Conference held June 6-8 in Collierville, TN. Below is the text of his message. In many ways this has been a difficult year for many of our churches. We are just beginning to climb out of a recession. People are without work. Homes are being foreclosed. On top of these difficulties, the May flooding and tornadoes left thousands of people without homes.   Some may say we need to be ...

Consider numerous ways to help with local disaster relief

published 6/25/2010
Asked how can Memphis Conference United Methodists can help with the May 2010 storm disaster, Bill Carr, Memphis Conference disaster relief coordinator, named the following: CASEWORKERS to assist victims with the many decisions that have to be made in the aftermath of a disaster. A two-day caseworker training session was planned for June 18-19, but because not enough people signed up, it is being rescheduled for the latter part of July. “Please be in prayer about your ability to help in this ...

InfoServ now offers live chat

published 6/25/2010
InfoServ, the official information service of The United Methodist Church, now offers an online “live chat” feature that allows customers to communicate directly with representatives. Launched June 1, “Chat with InfoServ” encourages real time conversations between members, church pastors, agency staff and others with questions about The United Methodist Church.   InfoServ is a ministry of United Methodist Communications. Started in 1974 as a “reference desk” for those who have questions about ...

Magnitude of May, 2010 disaster growing every day, according to relief coordinator

published 6/25/2010
Seven weeks after the severe storms, flooding, straight-line winds and tornadoes of early May that affected many parts of West Tennessee, Bill Carr reported on June 18 that the “magnitude of the disaster is growing every day.” Carr is Disaster Relief Coordinator for the Memphis Conference of the United Methodist Church. His office is part of the Connectional Ministries Team in Jackson, TN.   To help describe the extent of the disaster, Carr noted that 18 of 21 counties in West Tennessee have ...

Upcoming opportunities to learn and grow

published 6/25/2010
  July 29-Aug. 2 School of Congregational Development in Nashville   The annual School of Congregational Development (SCD 2010) will take place July 29-Aug. 2 at the Renaissance Hotel and Nashville Convention Center and area churches. It is sponsored by the General Board of Discipleship, Path 1 and the General Board of Global Ministries.   SCD 2010 is where United Methodists may gather together to learn to dream and create new ministries,” said Craig K. Miller, director of pastoral leadership ...

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