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 ...

2010 Memphis AC attendees learn to tend God's garden

published 6/11/2010
“Tending God’s Garden” was the theme for the 2010 Memphis Annual Conference held June 6-8 in Collierville, Tenn. The theme demonstrated the commitment of United Methodist Churches in West Tennessee and Western Kentucky to not just plant seeds for God’s Kingdom, but to enthusiastically nurture those seeds for discipleship.   Nearly 1,000 lay and clergy delegates from 462 churches, representing more than 84,000 United Methodists, gathered to conduct business, learn about the United Methodist ...

2010-11 Clergy Appointments

published 6/11/2010
  Asbury District District Superintendent: Sandra Leatherwood Arlington                           Ken Stewart              Atoka                                Harry Mathewson            Bartlett                              Stephen C. Shapard       Bartlett Senior Associate      Judy Phillips Piercey    Bolton - Macedonia             James McKinney III      Campground                       David Hale     Christ Senior                      Stephen M. Dodson Christ Senior Associate        ...

Asbury and McKendree Districts have new addresses and contact information

published 6/11/2010
ASBURY: 3476 Summer Ave., Suite 201, Memphis, TN 38122 Phone 901-590-4820, Fax 901-590-4825 District Superintendent Sandra Leatherwood revsandra@asburydistrictumc.org Administrative Assistant Tammy Carroll tcarroll@asburydistrictumc.org   MCKENDREE: 2320 South Germantown Rd., Germantown, TN 38138 Phone 901-590-3688, Fax 901-590-3699 District Superintendent J. Barry Henson bhenson@mckendreedistrict.org Administrative Assistant Liz Clayton lclayton@mckendreedistrict.org

Bishop Wills ordains 10 elders

published 6/11/2010
  Bishop Wills ordained 10 elders at the 2010 Memphis Annual Conference: David Brent Hollis, Angela Marie Harris, Lora Jean Gowan, Robert Presley Craig, Jerome Scales, Jr., Steven Brice Fonville, Cynthia Dianne Miller Davis, John Turner Kizer, Deborah Joyce Burson Smith and Gail Hampton Bruno.

Clark, 13, delivers powerful Young People's Message

published 6/11/2010
  Darrah Clark, a 13-year-old member of South Pleasant Grove United Methodist Church in Hazel, Ky., delivered the Memphis Annual Conference’s Young People’s Message on Monday, June 7, 2010.   Clark shared what she believes the Church needs to know about ministry with young people. With modern references that echoed the message of Dr. Leonard Sweet, the Conference's guest speaker, she said, “We need to know how the lessons of a very old book can help guide us and the choices we make.”   Below is...

Kirchoff and Smith deliver opening and closing worship messages

published 6/11/2010
The 2010 Memphis Annual Conference’s opening worship message, “180 Gallons of the Finest Wine,” was delivered by the Rev. Rick Kirchoff (right), senior pastor of Germantown United Methodist Church in Germantown, Tenn. The Rev. Richard Smith (below), senior pastor at Murray First United Methodist Church in Murray, Ky., preached the closing Communion service. His sermon was titled, “The Problem We Face and The Promise God Gives.”

Memorial Service remembers 13

published 6/11/2010
During the June 6 Memorial Service at the 2010 Memphis Annual Conference, a bell was tolled (right) after the reading of each name of clergy members and spouses who died during the past year: Bonnie Sue Davis, Callie Jordan Gathings, Clarence O. Hampton, Alfred Neal Hinson, Kaulah Holmes, Cora Ann Hood, Joseph B. Johnson, J. Reeves Locke, JoAnn Mischke, Shirley Morton, Kathleen Phillips, Mary Lucille Ross and Rosie Scales. The Rev. Joe Beal of Broadway United Methodist Church in Paducah, KY ...

Six retire at 2010 Memphis Annual Conference

published 6/11/2010
Retiring at the 2010 Memphis Annual Conference were, from left, Robert McKinney and his wife Sue; J. Ted Leach and his wife Cathey; Frank Whitty Bratt and his wife Loletta; and Larry D. Humbert. Not pictured are William W. Copeland and Linda McLargin.

Vocal and dance talents were shared at Annual Conference

published 6/11/2010
       

CMT welcomes Sammy Tillman as Young Persons Ministries Associate

published 5/28/2010
The Rev. Sammy Tillman has accepted the new position of Young Persons Associate. Tillman will continue to work with Brownsville First United Methodist Church along with the new part-time associate’s position. Sammy comes to this work with an eagerness and faithful enthusiasm to help develop faith ministries among the young in– and outside–our churches. He has served children and youth for over 20 years within the Memphis Conference.   Tillman says of his own dreams for this office: “Having ...

Dyersburg First ready to house disaster teams

published 5/28/2010
The Red Cross shelter in the Family Life Center at Dyersburg United Methodist closed May 18 after being open 15 days to serve residents of Dyersburg. “I believe we housed 44 people at our highest occupancy, but averaged 25 most evenings,” reported the Rev. Robert Craig, associate/youth pastor at the church.   Throughout the ordeal, Craig said church members “volunteered many hours sandbagging, warehousing donated items and praying for victims.”   Craig said the church is continuing to respond ...

Invitation to see new Le Bonheur Children's Hospital

published 5/11/2010

Briefly for week of April 30, 2010

published 4/27/2010
  Please take survey on computer usage A survey to help determine the level of computer use in the Memphis Conference is on Survey Monkey at the following link: www.surveymonkey.com/s/teleconference . April 2010 News ‘N’ Views now online Interested in what’s happening in the lives of retired Memphis Conference clergy and spouses? Then go online to www.memphis-umc.org , click on the green NEWS button and then scroll down to News ‘N’ Views, the newsletter prepared by Russell and Carroll Gallimore...

Harrell Nation Jr. named to Brownsville District

published 4/27/2010
My wife Janice and I have four grown children and six grandchildren. We currently reside in Brownsville, TN and serve Brownsville’s First United Methodist Church. Janice and I look forward to being a part of the extended family in the Brownsville District. It’s an honor and a joy to serve in our home district.   In my 34 years of ministry, I have been blessed to serve a wide range of churches of various sizes and in various settings. I’ve served small and medium-sized rural churches, churches in...

Lakeshore Golf Classic, June 11

published 4/27/2010
  2010 Lakeshore Golf Classic      Teeing It Up for Life, Love, and the God of Grace     June 11, 2010   12 Noon Jackson National Golf Course Jackson, TN     No matter how you shoot on the greens, you’ll change lives for years to come.     Brochure and registration material available for download at www.lakeshoreuma.com e-mail: office@lakeshoreuma.com        

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