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 ...

Carver earns D.Min. in Transformational Leadership

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

Forum in Brazil gave hope to Memphis woman

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

Lambuth student wins Fulbright Fellowship

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

Summer children's festival to reach beyond community

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

Tom Laney, new Associate Director, Turner Center

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

UMs can apply online now for scholarships, loans

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

60-acre farm to be preserved in Hixson

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

AC 2009 offering: Children in Crisis-Mexico

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

AC 2009 to vote on proposed constitutional amendments

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

Brief notes: April 1

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

Collierville rummage sale raises money for missions

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

Constitutional amendments to be voted on by AC 2009

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

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

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

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