Lake Junaluska undergoing renovations

published 10/27/2009
LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. – Two lodging facilities at Lake Junaluska, Sunnyside Lodge and Mountain View Lodge, are undergoing major renovations this fall. Built in the late 1950s, both facilities have only been open seasonally because they did not have heating or air conditioning. Renovations to both facilities began October 1.   Sunnyside Lodge and Mountain View Lodge are both undergoing major improvements. New heating and cooling units, as well as new circuits for hair dryers and other utilities ...

Musical instruments of the Bible on display

published 10/27/2009
By Cathy Farmer  Music has always been central to worship. Bible research by Henry Harrison has turned up at least 15 instruments used by the Israelites to praise God.   When the Israelites successfully crossed the Red Sea, the tribes paused to thank the Lord in song and dance. Miriam, Aaron’s sister, is recorded in the Bible as taking a tambourine and dancing as she and the women she led sang, “Sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously; horse and rider he has thrown into the sea.” ...

Three districts prepare churches for conflict, stewardship

published 10/27/2009
By Stan Waldon Dyersburg District Superintendent  The Dyersburg, Paris and Paducah Districts have been addressing the concerns of the Small Membership Church.   Recently, the three districts came together at Martin, TN’s First United Methodist Church to spend a day talking about two important concerns in ministry today: Leading Amid Conflict Within the Church and Stewardship in the Small Membership Church. Sixty laity and pastors were present.   This was the third such gathering of the three ...

Lambuth offers Religion & Christian Ministry major

published 10/13/2009
   The Lambuth Religion Department will unveil a new Religion major beginning in the fall of 2010: a B.A. degree in Religion and Christian Ministry.    The new Religion and Christian Ministry major provides students with a foundation in the academic study of Religion, especially the biblical, historical and theological dimensions of Christianity. The major is also designed to help students develop skills for the practice of ministry in the student’s choice from three areas: Evangelism and ...

Metro Adult Choir Festival, October 18, 5pm

published 10/13/2009
Metro Area United Methodist Churches will come together at Collierville UMC for The Metro Adult Choir Festival where they will make some beautiful music and support the mission and ministry of Hannah’s Hope – an agency of the Memphis Conference. Hannah’s Hope Adoption and Pregnancy Counseling provide services for families who are hoping to adopt and for persons who find themselves in crisis pregnancy situations.  A love offering supporting Hannah’s Hope will be taken during the Festival. Choirs ...

Briefly for October 2, 2009

published 9/29/2009
McKendree District Lay Speaking Ministries at Emmanuel UMC in November and December These courses will be held at Emmanuel UMC, 2404 Kirby Rd. in Memphis. Basic Lay Speaking: On Thursday, November 5, 6:30-9:30 p.m. and on Saturday, November 7, 9:00 a.m.– 4:00 p.m. Cost: $25, includes lunch Sat. Advanced Lay Speaking: On Thursday, November 5, 6:30– 9:30 p.m. and Saturday, Nov 7, 9:00 a.m.– 4:00 p.m. Cost: $25, includes lunch Saturday. NEW! Youth Lay Speaking: On Thursday, December 3, 6:30–9:30 ...

Let's plan an event to celebrate The Lambuth Connection

published 9/29/2009
By Steven Fonville Chaplain, Lambuth University  Dear Friends,   I take great pleasure in sending you my warmest greetings from Lambuth University.   As you are well aware, this past year has presented the faculty, staff, and student body with unprecedented challenges. Yet, today I look across the quad from my office and see long-time faculty strolling to the dining hall. Students chat at the Eickoff Plaza. The sound of the Concert Choir rehearsing adds the refrain of youth to the chorus of ...

October 15 Small Membership Church Rally

published 9/29/2009
Tri-District Event–Dyersburg, Paducah, Paris Location: Martin First United Methodist Church Date: Thursday,October 15 Time: 8:45 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Leadership: The Turner Center for Church Leadership, Vanderbilt Divinity School • First Topic: “Stewardship in the Small Membership Church” This presentation will highlight ways to help the church to move from a “theology of scarcity” to a “theology of abundance” even in difficult economic times. • Second Topic: “Leading Amid Conflict Within the Church...

Paducah District Older Adult Rally

published 9/29/2009
An Older Adult Rally, from 9:30 a.m. to 2:15 p.m., designed especially for persons 55+ who live in the Paducah District will be held Thursday, October 8, at Benton First UMC. Our purpose is to help congregations understand the important of older adults in our churches – the importance of Intentional Ministry with, for, and by, older adults. In addition, there will be fun in the form of learning how to create “A Better You” through yoga. (Guaranteed to be more fun than work!) Then entertainment “...

'night Light' worship service in Jackson for college age and young adults

published 9/28/2009
By David Brent Hollis Associate pastor, Jackson First UMC Several people at Jackson, Tenn.’s First United Methodist Church have been praying about a service that would seek to meet what they saw as a deep need in Jackson – something offered for all college age and young adults.   We’ve all heard the statistics about United Methodism being a dying denomination and the lack of young people in our pews – but it’s certainly not only United Methodism. All churches are losing young people.   “night ...

Primetimers: Educational & Mission Service Experiences for Older Adults

published 9/28/2009
•Justice on the Border February 11-20, 2010 McAllen, Texas Event cost - $950 •A Methodist Primer–Latin America   May 8-15. 2010 San Jose, Costa Rica Event Cost $950   •Alaska: The Last North American Frontier   August 20-28, 2010 Auke Bay, Alaska Event Cost - $975   •All Creatures Great and Small   Epworth by the Sea–Georgia November 7-12, 2010 Event Cost - $850   •Making Music – Jamaican Style   Brownstown, Jamaica January 8-15, 2011 Event Cost - $900   Event Cost does not include ...

Briefly for September 18, 2009

published 9/15/2009
Kathy Bates: Academy Award-winning actress and native Memphian to speak at Methodist Healthcare Foundation’s Cancer Center Luncheon  Academy-Award winning actress and director Kathy Bates will visit Memphis to reflect on her career and her own battle with cancer at the 8th annual Methodist Cancer Center Luncheon on Friday, November 20, 11:45 a.m., at the Peabody Hotel. A native Memphian, Bates has been honored numerous times for her work on stage, screen and television, including a 1991 Academy ...

Methodism 101 reintroduces John Wesley to Purchase Area

published 9/15/2009
 I have been a Methodist for 72 years and I never knew why we believe what we believe.”    This is one of the many positive comments overheard during the Paducah District’s Methodism 101 workshop.     It was a wonderful day filled with great information, great fellowship and a great opportunity to discover anew that we have an excellent message to share with the world.   District Superintendent Rick Dye opened the day with a reintroduction to John Wesley. All the presenters who followed filled...

Brief notes about people and events, August 7, 2009

published 8/7/2009
In Memoriam Mrs. Mary Lucille Jackson Ross, 94, widow of the late Rev. R. C. Ross, died July 21, 2009 at her home in Union City, TN. She is survived by her daughters, Joyce R. Cooper of Chattanooga; Dolores R. Davis, and Wanda S. Callison, of Union City; and Gloria R. McMillen of New Albany, MS. Sons, Boyce D. Ross of Paducah, KY, and Art Ross of Union City. She also leaves 17 grandchildren, 28 great children, and seven great, great grandchildren. Services were held Thursday, July 23, 2009 at ...

Gibson Wells UMC draws 95 to Crocodile Dock VBS

published 8/7/2009
95 children, teens, and adults had an incredible week at Gibson Wells United Methodist Church during their Crocodile Dock Vacation Bible School. The kids had exciting Bible-learning experiences through crafts, games, songs, and videos. They even visited Pharaoh in his palace. They also participated in a hands-on missions project called Operation Kid to Kid. They made comfort critters for other children who’ve been through disasters like floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, or fires.   Gibson Wells ...

New book available that features photos of Africa University

published 8/7/2009
The Africa University Development Office is delighted to announce the publication of Thy Wonders Displayed: Africa University, a campus viewbook. The book describes the geological, biological, and human landscapes of Africa University, a church-related university that spans 1500 acres in eastern Zimbabwe.   In this unique campus viewbook, you will find almost 200 color photographs of mountains, croplands, wildlife, sunrises, plants and people. It is the Africa University campus that is rarely ...

School supplies needed at Reelfoot Rural Ministries

published 8/7/2009
Struggling families in Northwest Tennessee need help getting school supplies for their children. Last year, Reelfoot Rural Ministries helped outfit 189 children with new school supplies such as pencils, paper, glue and crayons. This year, RRM is asking for donations of the following:   1 inch notebook binders 1 1/2 inch notebook binders 2 inch notebook binders 3 inch notebook binders 1/2 inch binders with pocket assignment notebook baby wipes back pack (clear) back pack (without wheels) ...

Children in Crisis--Mexico: Esperanza Viva!

published 8/6/2009
By Dr. Joseph A. Geary  A delegation from the Memphis Conference recently visited the Matamoros, Mexico area. The intent was to develop a covenant relationship with the people of the Eastern Mexico Annual Conference.    Visiting with our clergy and lay counterparts in the Timiteo (Timothy) District were myself, team leader, David Lewis, Daphne Moses, Elyse Bell and Robert Craig.   Our delegation observed the presence of Christ as palpable amongst the Methodist people of Matamoros who, despite ...

Church-in-a-box appeals to unchurched

published 8/6/2009
By Grace Phelps  The historic court square in Covington, TN is pretty quiet early on Sunday mornings. The courthouse, antique shops and boutiques, law offices and banks are closed. So when the MorningSong Worship set-up team arrives, there are plenty of parking spaces available.   But by 8:30 a.m., the sounds of praise music can be heard coming from the one of the buildings and the square is lined with cars.   It all began with the desire of the congregation of Covington First United Methodist ...

God leads Raleigh UMC in Job Search Support Ministry

published 8/6/2009
By Rita Jones Outreach Chair, Raleigh UMC  In the midst of this time of economic turmoil, Raleigh United Methodist Church found itself questioning how to help those who are unemployed, underemployed, or in transition.   The answer presented itself in the form of bi-monthly meetings open to the community and congregation to help with Job Support.   During Raleigh UMC’s own economic suffering, depending on God’s direction for what best could be done to help those searching for work, the Outreach ...

Starting or energizing your Older Adult Ministry

published 8/6/2009
By Luci Cromer Coordinator, Older Adult Council  If you’re interested in older adult programming, missions, and group leadership, you won’t want to miss “Starting or Energizing Your Older Adult Ministry.”   The Rev. Vida McClure, Liaison to the Paducah District and member of the Memphis Conference Older Adult Council, will discuss “Designing a Ministry with Older Adults.”   This nuts-and-bolts presentation will teach people how to work with an older adult council, how to design, implement, and ...

Following in the footsteps of St. James

published 7/28/2009
By Sandra Mathias  As the Rev. Birgitte French approached her 50th birthday, she decided to commemorate her half-century mark by traveling to Spain to walk the Camino de Santiago de Compostela.    The “Camino” is a large network of ancient routes stretching across Europe that converge at the tomb of St. James the Apostle in northwest Spain.   For over 1,200 years, travelers have migrated to Spain to walk “the way of St. James.”   St. James, one of the 12 Apostles, was a fisherman. He left his ...

How do we do worship well?

published 7/28/2009
By Sky McCracken  Methodists have been designing and re-designing worship since its beginning.   John Wesley was an Anglican priest and patterned the very first Methodist worship services after the Anglican Book of Common Prayer. Those services underwent revision as soon as they were used, mainly because of a shortage of ordained ministers to celebrate communion regularly. That change was born out of necessity as well as passion: people in America were hungry for spiritual nurture and for God’s ...

'Olden Days' draws community

published 7/7/2009
Palestine Church on Bruceville Slab Road in rural Dyer County had great success with its Fourth Annual Community Day. June 6th was a beautiful day and both inside and outside activities were packed with children and adults.  Since the church is rural and has an average attendance of 45-50 per Sunday, this event involved support from every member of the congregation, young and old.    Most of the activities were outside, the theme being an old fashioned church picnic. There were live pony rides, ...

Cell phones for soldiers--keeping families connected

published 7/7/2009
By Teresa Rector Cub Scout Pack 452 Committee Chaplain, Boy Scout Troop 452  Cub Scout Pack 452 has a service project the kids have been working on since last summer and the boys have proved that all young people can truly make a difference in their community.   Through the donation of cell phones by the congregation of our chartering organization, Arlington United Methodist Church, plus our Pack 452 families, registered leaders, and local businesses, we are ready to mail our second shipment for...

Positions available, July 10, 2009

published 7/7/2009
Position available Immediate job opening for Full-time Administrative Assistant to the Director of Connectional Ministries of the Memphis Annual Conference. Requirements: Excellent relational, communication, coordination, organizational, planning, computer, and database management skills. Send resumes and letters of reference to Dr. John Bonson Sr., Director of Connectional Ministries & Conference Secretary: Please send e-mails to jbonson@bellsouth.net no later than July 22, 2009.   Position ...

2009-2010 Clergy Appointments

published 6/10/2009
Asbury District District Superintendent: Kevin Conrad Alexander’s Chapel-Pleasant Grove       Billy Joe Jackson    Arlington (Journey)                                Ken Stewart            Atoka                                                      Joe E. Piercey, Jr.   Bartlett                                                    Stephen C. Shapard                Bartlett Senior Associate                                 Judy Phillips Piercey              Binghampton Memorial                   ...

Israel reports on Lambuth University

published 6/10/2009
By Cathy Farmer  Dr. Jerry Israel, Interim President of Lambuth University, reported to the conference: “For all the difficulties we’ve experienced this year, our mission, which is teaching and learning and spiritual formation, has never been questioned. When the accreditation team visited Lambuth, the team documented the exemplary nature of our programs. That sustains me and should sustain you!”   Israel said the school’s greatest hope for the future is the balanced budget for next year.   “Our...

Morgenthaler: ‘Worship and mission inextricably linked’

published 6/10/2009
By Cathy Farmer  Bring Jesus to the people, that’s what worship is about!” proclaimed Sally Morgenthaler, a nationally renowned leader in the worship world and the keynote speaker at the May 31-June 2, 2009 Memphis Annual Conference.   Noting that there’s a disconnect between what happens in church and what Christians do ‘out there’ in the world, Morgenthaler encouraged the approximately 1500 United Methodists present for the opening Sunday evening worship service to go home to their local ...

'I'm not a post-person at 75'

published 5/28/2009
By Luci Cromer Older Adult Coordinator We always ask the men and women who attend our Older Adult Seminar one question: What was the best part of the day for you? The answer is usually split equally between the speakers and the roundtable discussions. This time, we were overwhelmed with good comments about our speaker, Marvin Cropsey. Here are a few of the remarks:   “Marvin was responsible for changing this day and the future for me.”   “Marvin caused us to face reality in our seniority and ...

A dream takes shape in downtown Jackson

published 5/28/2009
By Tharon Kirk Member, Jackson First UMC The vision for community gardens in Jackson, Tenn. began in our Christian Transformation Group at First United Methodist Church as we were sharing and holding each other accountable as disciples of Christ.    Our church has been developing a relationship with the Hatton Street Neighborhood just west of Lambuth University over the past year. We’ve been looking for ways to be in ministry with that neighborhood. Grady Neely, whose college major was agronomy,...

Brief notes: May 29, 2009

published 5/28/2009
Paris District office relocates to 810 East Wood street in June The Paris District Office will close and relocate to 810 East Wood Street in Paris in early June. The offices will be closed at the current 215 Wynn Street location in order to prepare for the move and transfer services and utilities. Dr. Joe Geary, Paris District Superintendent, says they will be moving on Thursday, June 4, and will re-open in the new location Monday, June 8, at 8:30 A.M. The office is presently closed for visits ...

FirstWorks Director to walk 'The Camino' for 50th birthday

published 5/28/2009
By Sandra Mathias For most of her life, the Rev. Birgitte French, known as “Pastor Bee,” has been on a journey.   She has lived on three continents and has set up housekeeping in 24 different homes ...so far.   Born on the sandy shores of Denmark, she grew up as the daughter of a United Methodist minister. Her sojourner life began at age 23 as she ventured out as a young medical missionary serving in Algeria, Kenya and Zaire.   To say she has a brave and adventurous spirit would be to seriously ...

Inner city garden sprouts in Uptown Memphis

published 5/28/2009
By Sandra Mathias  An inner city garden is taking root in downtown Memphis this summer.     On April 21, the day before “Earth Day 2009”, a joyous ribbon cutting event was held to celebrate the ground-breaking for the “Uptown Community Garden.”   City leaders, developers, and contributors, joined Downtown and Uptown residents taking shovel in hand to plant their seeds in the raised beds of this unique communal garden.    First Church Pastor Martha Wagley attended the event to honor her ...

Positions Available

published 5/28/2009
Position Available Local United Methodist church seeks a Church Music Director. Position entails orchestrating the musical gifts of the laity & responsibility for music at all worship services; coordination and direction of choral groups & praise teams; direction of children’s music ministry and use of integrated audio/visual sound system. REPLY: Grace UMC, c/o SPRC, 142 McClellan Rd., Jackson, TN 38305   Position Available   Musician/Praise and Worship Leader needed for new worship service. ...

Benefactor leaves $100,000 to Lambuth University

published 5/13/2009
Lambuth University recently received a donation of $100,000 from a private donor. The benefactor, Fred Wells, passed away in 2007, at age 83, and left money in his will to support higher education.   Alan Wells, son of the benefactor and father of two Lambuth graduates, visited campus to present the check to Dr. Jerry Israel, President of the University. With him were his two daughters, Rebecca, 22, who graduated from Lambuth in 2008, and Rachael, 20, who is a student at Freed-Hardeman ...

Brief notes May 13, 2009

published 5/13/2009
ONE ROOM SUNDAY SCHOOL WORKSHOP, MAY 17, AT HARRIS GROVE UMC The Jackson District is hosting a workshop on “The One Room Sunday School” curriculum at Harris Grove UMC on May 17 at 2pm. The Brownsville and Dyersburg Districts will also participate in the event.   CHURCH OF THE WEEK @ GBOD   The General Board of Discipleship features a Church of the Week on its worship-preaching-music website. The agency is soliciting digital photos and information for churches that would like to be included. You ...

God amazes at Dyersburg District Laity Banquet

published 5/13/2009
By Bob Nichols Dyersburg District Lay Leader  God never ceases to amaze me.   We had a great laity banquet for the Dyersburg District with about 150 in attendance. The youth gave a great program and Scott Smyth talked about plans we have for the youth in our district.   I gave the opening welcome and prayer before the meal and then directed which tables were to go first through the food line.   One of the items on the program was to honor the eight persons who had completed the Certified Lay ...

Humboldt First Community Choir Concert

published 5/13/2009
Humboldt First United Methodist Church recently presented the 14th Annual Children’s Community Choir performance. The musical was entitled “The Tale of Three Trees.” Costumes were created by Gail Edwards, a member of Grace United Methodist Church in Jackson. The scenery was designed by Pam and Bernie Dietz and Jeanna Wade. The choir is under the direction of Paula McGill. The children in the choir are from the Humboldt area schools. They perform a Christmas and Spring Concert every year.

New Paris District Secretary is Beth Thomas

published 5/13/2009
Beth Thomas is the new Paris District Secretary. She is originally from Waverly, Tenn. and a graduate of Austin Peay State University. After her marriage, she and her husband moved to Florida where they lived for 22 years. For 13 years, Beth worked in the Development Department of the Florida United Methodist Church’s Children’s Home, moving from a part time position to being the lead computer operator. In 2008, the Thomases purchased a place on Kentucky Lake and joined Antioch United Methodist ...

Paris District 'One Room Sunday School' workshop

published 5/13/2009
By Elyse Bell Paris Lay Resource Leader   Ten Paris District churches sent representatives to the April 26 workshop entitled “One Room Sunday School” hosted by the Paris District at Bethesda UMC. It was designed specifically for small membership churches that have only a few children who range in age from three to twelve. The training event drew 30 participants including teachers, education chairpersons, Sunday school superintendents, and pastors.    We intentionally planned this event at a ...

Positions Available - May 13, 2009

published 5/13/2009
Position available - Office Assistant The Memphis Conference Treasurer’s Office is accepting applications for the position of Office Assistant. Primary duties will be standard financial office posting, mail handling, receptionist work. This is a ¾ time position with full benefits. Send an application to: Treasurer’s Personnel Committee, 24 Corporate Blvd., Jackson, TN 38305.   Position available – Part Time Director of Children and Youth Ministries     Asbury United Methodist Church, Memphis, ...

Randy Cooper is Baccalaureate speaker at Lambuth

published 5/13/2009
Lambuth University held its commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 10. Graduation weekend began with the Senior Breakfast on Saturday morning. On Saturday afternoon, the celebration continued with the Baccalaureate Service. The Baccalaureate speaker was Dr. Randy Cooper, a 1975 Lambuth graduate. A President’s Reception followed the Baccalaureate Service. Graduation weekend concluded with Commencement. Approximately 180 students received their diplomas during the ceremony. Lambuth alumni from the ...

The Church and Facebook

published 5/13/2009
Many individuals and local churches are now using Facebook as a communication and social networking tool. It can have very positive results in the life of the faith community, but there are some things to be aware of and consider when getting set up. Susan Hay, the General Board of Discipleship Associate for Youth Ministry, has shared an article prepared by Paul O’Brien, a knowledgeable person in the field of Cyber Safety. Lakeshore has posted this article on their website (www.lakeshoreuma.com)...

UMNS Open House and Annual Meeting reveal love

published 5/13/2009
Sunday, April 19, was a great day for the “Home Team.” The home team, which is made up of the United Methodist Neighborhood Centers’ Board of Directors, Key Women, staff, volunteers, clergy and laity of the Memphis Conference and guests, rejoiced with the more than 75 others who enriched the experience.    The Walnut Grove UMNC site was attractively clean and elegant from the outside lawn to the third floor. The Key Women had different foods and drinks on all three floors; guests were assisted ...

Broadway and Northside join forces

published 5/12/2009
On Sunday, April 26, a journey of faith and ministry of 84 years concluded in a joyous service of worship, uniting the Northside and Broadway United Methodist Churches as one new congregation.  In 1925, a Broadway Sunday school class began an outpost Sunday school. That venture of faith quickly grew into a flourishing congregation called Northside.    In the intervening years, both congregations provided important ministry and witness, touching the lives of untold numbers of people and the ...

Dyersburg District church 'springs into action'

published 5/12/2009
By Pat Edmundson   On a beautiful Saturday morning, the Saturday before Easter, some of the members of Christ United Methodist Church in the Dyersburg District were joined by a group of volunteers from other United Methodist churches who gathered with a mission. It was called “Spring Into Action.”   This was the plan: A late breakfast, a time of prayer and instruction, the assigning of roads with handy maps, and then everyone was ready to “Go.”   But, before “Go,” lots of planning, praying, and ...

Yea or Nay? Delegates talk about Constitutional Amendments

published 5/12/2009
Memphis Conference delegates to the 2009 General and Jurisdictional Conferences were asked what they thought about the proposed Constitutional Amendments that will be voted on at the 2009 Annual Conference. The following are the answers sent in by the Rev. Randy Cooper, Sandra Burnett, Selena Henson, the Rev. Sky McCracken, the Rev. Gail Gaddie and Beth Brown.  Randy Cooper   Here is my thinking on the amendments. I have come to view any amendment as needing to answer two questions. First, will ...

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 ...

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