Five Memphis Conference churches are drop-off points for shoebox gifts for Operation Christmas Child

published 11/4/2010
Five United Methodist churches in the Memphis Conference are drop-off points for shoebox gifts for Operation Christmas Child (OCC) during OCC’s National Collection Week, Nov. 15-22. Operation Christmas Child, a project of the international relief and evangelism organization, Samaritan's Purse, encourages volunteers to fill simple shoe boxes with toys, necessity items, school supplies, candy and hand-written notes of encouragement.    The shoe box gifts are shared with children worldwide who are...

Former Memphis Conference Bishop Kenneth L. Carder co-authors guide for effective contemporary leadership

published 11/2/2010
New Book Is Guide for Effective Contemporary Leadership   By Vicki Brown*   Grace to Lead: Practicing Leadership in the Wesleyan Tradition, by Bishop Kenneth L. Carder and the Rev. Laceye C. Warner, delves deep into Wesleyan scholarship to guide readers into effective contemporary leadership, from a solidly Wesleyan perspective.   “Carder and Warner firmly establish grace upon grace as the wellspring of principled Christian leadership,” says Bishop Hope Morgan Ward of the Mississippi Annual ...

Alamo First UMC shows quick response to local disaster

published 10/26/2010
  Editor’s Note: Memphis Conference Disaster Relief Coordinator Bill Carr praised the quick action of members of Alamo First UMC when they responded to a residential fire in their town on Oct. 11. “Alamo First UMC demonstrated what it is to be the hands and feet of Christ. It may not have been a disaster on a regional or national scale, but it was a disaster to those seven families," said Carr. "Before the flames were put out, Alamo First stepped up and stepped out,” he said.  Any time local ...

Bearing Fruit: A gift for organization leads to unique prayer ministry for youth

published 10/25/2010
  ‘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 the “News” section of the Web site with the words “Bearing ...

Jacob's Well celebrates diversity and creativity

published 10/25/2010
  Editor’s Note: This story appears on the community blog, memphisconnect.com. It is reprinted with permission from the author.   By Beth Sanders www.memphisconnect.com      What happens when a young pastor’s dream comes to life? The answer: a new church called Jacob’s Well, which (launched) Saturday, Oct. 9.    Rev. Jamey Lee has a vision and passion for racial reconciliation and justice. Lee and his family moved to Memphis five years ago when he became an associate pastor at Christ UMC. The ...

New worship services launch at two churches

published 10/25/2010
     Two churches in the Memphis Conference have recently launched new services as part of their worship offerings: McKenzie First UMC in McKenzie, TN in the Paris District and St. John’s UMC in Memphis in the McKendree District. Sunday Night Lights    “Sunday Night Lights” (SNL) is the name of the 7 p.m. Sunday night service (second and fourth Sunday of the month) at McKenzie First UMC that started in September.    This new service is designed to attract and meet the needs of people wanting a ...

Potatoes are dropping in Memphis Conference Nov. 6 and 13

published 10/25/2010
     Two Potato Drops benefitting numerous area food pantries are scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 6, in Martin, TN, and Saturday, Nov. 13, in Collierville, TN.    The Nov. 6 Potato Drop is sponsored by Martin First UMC and will take place at the church, located at 225 Main St., starting at 7:30 a.m. with a breakfast and devotional.    The Nov. 13 Potato Drop is sponsored by McKendree District United Methodist Men and will take place at Collierville UMC, located at 454 W. Poplar Ave., starting at ...

Brothers earn Eagle Scout awards together

published 10/24/2010
  Editor’s Note: This news article is reprinted (in part) with permission from the Milan Mirror-Exchange, Milan, TN. Adam and Michael Coultis are members of Milan First UMC.       By Steve Short Milan Mirror-Exchange, Aug. 3, 2010      A rare achievement was celebrated by Milan Boy Scouts this year when two brothers won Eagle awards together.    Adam and Michael Coultis were presented Eagle status in a Scout Court of Honor at Milan First UMC on July 24.    Adding to the uniqueness of the event ...

'Youth Uprising' at Middleton UMC

published 10/22/2010
  The youth of Middleton UMC in Middleton, TN joined with friends from area churches of other Christian denominations to present and host “The Uprising: A New Generation” on Saturday, Sept. 18. Approximately 100 people listened to music, had their faces painted (right photo), ate hotdogs and talked about life experiences. Activities began outside and then moved inside to fill the sanctuary. Bands (left photo) and drama groups from throughout the area performed. Rev. Lowell Gibbs delivered the ...

Lambuth University Homecoming: Oct. 29-31

published 10/22/2010
    “Don’t Stop Believin’… Hold Onto That LU Feelin’” is the motto for this year’s Homecoming weekend at Lambuth University. The weekend’s events will begin Friday, October 29, 2010 and conclude on Sunday, October 31, 2010. “Fall is always a beautiful and exciting time on campus.  Alumni look forward to visiting the campus and spending time with former classmates and professors.  There is just an air of excitement on campus Homecoming weekend that is contagious and keeps alumni coming back year...

Memphis First UMC blesses pets of members, neighbors and friends

published 10/22/2010
  By Sandra Mathias Memphis First UMC    On Saturday morning, Oct. 2, the sun shown brightly through the towering steel of the Memphis First UMC sanctuary frame as the congregation welcomed furry, four-legged friends to a “Blessing of the Animals” service.    In downtown Memphis, at the corner of Second and Poplar, church members, neighbors, friends and animal lovers from all parts of Shelby County led their beloved pets to this joyous event, conducted by Senior Pastor Scott Alford.     Several...

'The Way' is new Friday night worship service at St. John's UMC in Memphis

published 10/14/2010
Beginning Friday, Oct. 16, St. John's UMC in Memphis (corner of Peabody and Bellevue) launches a new worship service that will take place on Friday nights at 6 p.m. The Way will be  a service of recovery (from drugs, alcohol, divorce and grief, for example), but is designed to nurture anyone at the end of a hectic week. Promotional materials say the message at The Way will be one of "encouragement and hope" and that "compassion is key." Music will be a important part of the Friday night service ...

Food drive underway for Carpenter's Table Food Pantry at Memphis First UMC

published 10/14/2010
  The bare shelves of the "Carpenter's Table" Food Pantry at Memphis First UMC are a testament to the ever growing needs of those who live hungry in downtown Memphis.   A new mission, led by member Larry Chitwood, assists citizens who are employed in low paying jobs, "the working poor," but struggle to put food on the table for their families. The goal is to be an encouraging link to keep citizens in the workforce.   The pantry is open Saturdays by appointment to prescreened clients. Clients ...

Report on Health Care Reform from Memphis Conference Clergy Wellness Commission

published 10/13/2010
  Health Care Reform Mr. Jim Horobetz, Consultant Rev. Scott Alford, Chairperson Memphis Conference Clergy Wellness Commission   After years of debate, Congress passed comprehensive health care reform legislation. On March 30, 2010, President Obama signed into law the two pieces of legislation that comprise “Health Care Reform,” the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and The Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010. Health Care Reform affects us all, as Americans, as a ...

Loan program available to churches and agencies to reduce energy

published 10/12/2010
Churches and agencies in the Memphis Conference of The United Methodist Church are invited to take advantage of a new program designed to help reduce energy consumption and save money.   The short-term loan program was authorized and announced this month by the Board of The Nashville Area United Methodist Foundation and The United Methodist Development Fund of TN/KY, Inc.   Energy and Power Reduction Incentive Plan Loans are designed “to help churches and ministries reduce utility costs and ...

Antioch UMC celebrates debt-free building with mortgage burning and dedication service

published 10/11/2010
By George Jackey, Antioch UMC   Antioch UMC had a groundbreaking service on March 11, 2007 for the expansion of its sanctuary and the construction of a a new fellowship hall.    Antioch is located near Kentucky Lake in Springville, TN and has a membership of 105.   Three and one-half years later, Sept. 19, 2010, we gathered in our Sanctuary to celebrate a service for the dedication of a church building that is free of debt. We had a “mortgage burning.”   Our pastor, Rev. Paul McAdoo, led the ...

Gallimore prefers to ‘wear out than rust out’

published 10/11/2010
Russell N. Gallimore believes it’s far better to wear out than rust out. He’s not talking about metal machinery, though. He’s talking about himself and the importance of staying physically active as he ages.   Gallimore lives in Jackson, TN and turns 75-years-old this month. A full elder in the Memphis Conference, he retired in 1998 after serving appointments throughout the conference for approximately 40 years.   While Gallimore participates in many sports and recreational pursuits throughut ...

Wesley Chapel UMC has ‘Love Fest’ for community

published 10/11/2010
Wesley Chapel UMC presented its second annual Love Fest to its East Jackson, TN community on Saturday, Aug. 28. Member Helen bond estimated that 400 people were in attendance.   Children played games and had their faces painted while adults enjoyed bingo, gospel music, praise dancers and an indoor health fair. Among several speakers was Gerry Campbell, Jackson District Lay Leader.   Representatives of the local fire department were on hand to assist with installing fire extinguishers.   The ...

30 years of service and still going: Linda Wilson

published 10/10/2010
Anyone who has worked with preschoolers for 30 years is bound to have many cherished memories. Linda Wilson has so many from her 30 years as the director of the preschool at Forest Heights UMC in Jackson that she has decided to compile not just her memories, but those of current and former students, teachers and parents, as well, in a commemorative cookbook.   It’s really just a continuation of a celebration that occurred in August when the church honored Wilson and her ministry with a special ...

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 ...

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