O beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain, For purple mountain majesties above the fruited plain! America! America! God shed His grace on thee, And crown thy good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea.


This well-known hymn is often sung around this time of year in observance of Veteran’s Day. The writer of America the Beautiful, Katherine Lee Bates, was born in Massachusetts in 1859. In the summer of 1893, Miss Bates was visiting and teaching in Colorado. It was there while standing on the summit of Pike’s Peak, looking out over the countryside from some 14,000 feet that Katherine was inspired to write the opening sentences of this beloved text. She writes,

Thank you to everyone that played a role in our Fall Retreat!
Ski Trip deposits are due this Sunday, November 17th. The $80 deposit will get your student added to the list to go. We also need volunteers willing to come with us. To make this a fun and safe trip, we'll need to have plenty of adult chaperones. Chaperones get to go skiing for free.

Dear Dyersburg FUMC Family, 

I want to share my excitement with you as we prepare to worship this Sunday. First, I am excited for all of you to meet Tori Frazier, our new Director of Children’s Ministries. You can read more about her in this newsletter, and you will have a chance to greet her at the conclusion of Sunday’s worship service. She has jumped in with both feet already and is ready to get to work building relationships and getting to know our children and their families. I extend a hearty Thank You to our Staff Parish Relations Committee, and particularly to Deb Lowrance and her search team who have persevered for so long to find just the right person! 

We are preparing for the New Year! The new Christian Year that is. Advent will be here in just a few short weeks. As you know, this is one of the busiest times of the year at church. I want to invite you to take part in the life of our church this Advent. There are many opportunities to serve, help others, and grow in the love of Christ and the Church. We will soon be decorating the sanctuary for Advent; the annual Youth Spaghetti Supper is coming up;

No UMYF this Sunday due to Fall Retreat. 

We are now less than a month away from the Youth Spaghetti Supper! This fundraiser is our biggest of the year, and funds raised go towards curriculum, mission trips, and events. If you have not yet bought tickets, our FUMC youth would love to help you. If you have a FUMC student and they have not yet picked up their spaghetti tickets, please let me know. 

Dear Dyersburg FUMC Family, 

I hope that by now you have received your 2020 Commitment Card from DFUMC and that you have had the chance to consider how you might share your financial gifts with the church in the coming year. We have two more weeks remaining in our Season of Stewardship, and I hope that you will worship with us as we consider what Jesus taught his disciples, and us, about living with a spirit of abundance rather than fear of scarcity.

Why Do We Celebrate All Saints’ Day? 

November 3 is All Saints’ Day, but this date is not nearly as well known as the day before, “All Hallows’ (Saints’) Eve,” better known as Halloween. This Sunday, we will celebrate All Saints’ Day during our morning worship service. John Wesley enjoyed and celebrated All Saints’ Day. In a journal entry from November 1, 1767, Wesley calls it “a festival I truly love.” On the same day in 1788, he writes, “I always find this a comfortable day.” The following year he calls it “a day that I peculiarly love.” 

It is Spaghetti Supper time! This year's Spaghetti Supper is going to take place on Monday, December 2nd, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. 

If you have not yet purchased your tickets, find one of our youth. They would love to sell you one. The Spaghetti Supper is our biggest fundraiser for the Youth Group every year.

This Sunday, November 3, we have the opportunity to enter the Mission Field by donating our Communion Offering to Reelfoot Rural Ministries. For years our church has partnered with Reelfoot Rural Ministries to help meet specific needs of thousands of people here in West Tennessee. Of course, we think of Reelfoot each Sunday morning when our children bring their offerings at Small Talk. 

It is about this time of year that I begin to break out in hives. That’s a peculiar statement, isn’t it? You might be wondering why that is. Well, Advent is coming soon. And while I love the season of Advent, it makes me a bit nervous. There are so many things to get done between now and the beginning of the season of Advent. We must prepare for the Hanging of the Greens, Parish Choir Cantata, Children’s Music, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day just to name a few! Not to mention other celebrations before Advent such as All Saints’ and Thanksgiving. 

Join us Saturday Night for Trivia and Pizza! It’ll be a lot of fun and all are welcome. To help me get an idea on numbers, please let me know if you plan to attend. 

Dear Dyersburg FUMC Family, 

On Sunday, November 3, FUMC Dyersburg, along with churches all around the world, will celebrate All Saints’ Sunday. On the church calendar, All Saints’ Day falls on November 1, the day after All Hallows’ Eve (what we know as Halloween). On All Saints’ Sunday, we will gather for worship to thank God for all of the saints, on earth and in heaven, and especially for those who have died since we last celebrated All Saints’ Sunday. Family members of all who have passed in the last year will receive a letter inviting them to worship with us November 3, and I know that they will experience faithful love and hospitality while they are here. 

Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the word, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. Psalm 90:1-2 

One of the most prolific hymns ever written comes from this poignant scripture. This hymn is a grand retelling of Psalm 90;

Dear Dyersburg FUMC Family, 

On Sunday, October 20 we will enter stewardship season in the life of the church. For four weeks (not including All Saints’ Day, which is November 3) we will focus in worship on stewardship as a vital component of our lives of discipleship. Stewardship season is often thought of as “that time when the preacher talks about money,” but I hope that these weeks together will turn our hearts to more than money.

Picture it, Ireland, the 8th century. These words were penned anonymously: 

Be thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart- Nought be all else to me, save that Thou art; Thou my best thought, by day or by night-waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light. 

They came to us in the form of English prose in 1905, appearing in the journal, Erin.

Our youth are on fall break this week! This time of year, it’s easy to get caught up in all the busyness going on around us. I encourage you this week to be intentional in making sure you find time to rest, relax, and reconnect. I also encourage you to be intentionally praying that among all the books, tests, football games, etc. our youth have on their schedule, they also find time to recharge and can slow down and enjoy all that’s going on around them. 

Dear Dyersburg FUMC Family, 

Two weeks ago, I and six others from Dyersburg FUMC traveled to The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, KS for the annual Leadership Institute hosted there. You might simply know Church of the Resurrection informally as “Adam Hamilton’s Church.” Each year COR hosts Leadership Institute to share best practices with churches from all over the country, and churches from many denominations send representatives to learn, fellowship, and be inspired. 

I want to share with you the prayer that is printed above the hymn Lord, I Want to Be a Christian in our hymnal. The prayer was penned by Howard Thurman, a noted 19th century African American author, theologian, educator, and civil rights leader. Here is the entire prayer:

We have a lot planned for October! First, there was a meeting scheduled for this Wednesday to discuss our upcoming ski trip with any parents or volunteers who want to help. It's being pushed back to October 16th at 5:30 p.m. 

This Sunday we celebrate World Communion Sunday. World Communion Sunday is a time for congregations around the world to experience Holy Communion in the context of the global community of faith. The first Sunday of October has become a time when Christians in every culture break bread and pour the cup to remember and affirm Christ as the Head of the Church. We remember that we are part of the whole body of believers and we are serving the same Lord whether we meet in a grand cathedral, a mud hut, outside on a hilltop, or in a meeting house. 

Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation! O my soul, praise him, for he is thy health and salvation! All ye who hear, now to his temple draw near; join me in glad adoration! 

These great words were penned by the great Joachim Neander, born Bremen, Germany on May 31, 1650. This great hymn of praise was written about 1665, when Neander was 15 years old.

Dear Dyersburg FUMC Family, 

We are nearing the end of our Uncomfortable sermon series, and my prayer is that we have all been open to the transformation of the Holy Spirit during these weeks. The undeniable truth is that living in Christian community is uncomfortable. But the joy is that Christian community also changes us so that we individually become more like Christ and so that we as a community better reflect the Kingdom of God. 

Anyone interested in helping plan or chaperone our December ski trip, please join us for a meeting on October 2nd, in the youth room at 5:30 p.m. If you're unable to make it, but would still like to help please contact Brian or me. 

Money affects our hearts. Whether we are in plenty or in want, money is directly connected to our stress level, our anxiety, and the health of our relationships. It’s no wonder, then, that Jesus talked about the relationship between our treasure and our hearts. 

For four weeks in October and November (October 20 and 27; November 10 and 17), we will look at the many ways that our treasure (time, energy, money) affects our spiritual and emotional lives.

Pilgrim thru this barren land;
I am weak, but Thou art mighty – hold me with Thy powerful hand. Bread of Heaven, Bread of Heaven, feed me till I want no more, Feed me till I want no more. 

This beloved hymn text is a poignant retelling of the Israelites 40 year journey through the wilderness.

Our Upcoming Trivia Event has been pushed back to October 26th. Join us in the Fellowship Hall from 5-7 p.m. Pizza and fun included! All are welcome! 

Our Youth are selling FUMC Dyersburg T-Shirts. Short-Sleeved shirts are $15, and long-sleeved shirts are $20. Shirts will be great to wear to any church event, including the upcoming Downtown Trunk or Treat.

Dear Dyersburg FUMC Family, 

I’ve been thinking a lot about gratitude this week. Last week my life was a bit hectic and I found myself hustling from one activity to the next, one venue to another. When my life gets chaotic, I tend to take for granted the wonders that surround me. I get tunnel vision, only considering the next thing on the list, the next place I need to go. I get mired in tasks and forget to thank God for miracles both great and small. 

One of my all-time favorite hymns is Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing. This well-known hymn was penned by Robert Robinson in 1758. Robinson was preparing to preach at the Calvanist Methodist Chapel in Norfolk, England, and wrote the lyrics to this hymn to accompany his sermon for the day. 

This week we'll start our September curriculum. Faith Redefined is a study where we'll look at instances in the Bible where someone's faith grew, changed, or was challenged. We'll take the lessons we learn and help our youth apply them to their lives to help them grow closer to God and have their faith become more personable.

For the past couple weeks, we have begun to engage a new sermon series that has been titled Uncomfortable. This past Sunday you heard me say that holiness is not based in purity, it is based in God making us perfect in love. We also said that holiness for us is also present in community. This is social holiness. Social Holiness means that our own individual faith, our own work of being perfected in love, can affect the faith of others. And because of this in the early age of the Methodist movement, there were those who gathered attended churches yes...but also gathered in groups of 4, 8, or 10 called class meetings and band meetings. Again, these sound similar to the small groups in our community, now don't they? 

“Have thine own way, Lord! Have thine own way!
Thou art the potter; I am the clay. Mold me and make me
after thy will,
while I am waiting, yielded and still.” 

These famous words were penned by Adelaide Pollard in 1902. Pollard had wanted to be a missionary to Africa but couldn’t raise the funds for the trip. She was heartbroken and distressed. It is said that Pollard attended a prayer meeting and overheard an elderly woman praying:

This upcoming Sunday we are kicking off UMYF for the fall! Dinner starts at 5:00 p.m. and at 5:30 p.m. we will break off into small groups.

Dear Dyersburg FUMC Family, 

As promised, I want to use this space to tell you a little bit more about myself and my call. 

I did not grow up in the Methodist church. In fact, I grew up in a series of non- denominational churches in Nashville, churches that believed it unbiblical for women to be church leaders. Fortunately, I also grew up with an aunt, my mother’s sister, who is a pastor in the United Methodist Church. So while I was spending all of my time in a church that unequivocally opposed women in church leadership, I also had a very close relationship with my aunt, an ordained United Methodist pastor.

O God, Our help in ages past, Our hope for years to come, Our shelter from the stormy blast, And our eternal home! 

Isaac Watts, the composer of the beloved hymn O God, Our Help in Ages Past was considered the father of English Hymnody. Watts was born on July 17, 1674 in Southampton, England. Watts contributed thousands of hymns to the Church. At a young age, Watts was concerned with the low ebb of church music; ponderous psalms were sung. Watts’ father encouraged him to write something better for the congregation to sing. So, for the next two years, Watts wrote a new hymn every week (that’s 104 hymns!).

For the month of September, our youth will be looking at what redefines our faith. Our goal is to help our students see biblical examples of experiences that will lead to our faith growing and developing. We want to learn how to discern in a healthy and Christ-like way. These next few weeks, we are going to look at the things that redefine our faith and learn how to respond to these things. How do we allow ourselves to grow closer to God and allow our faith to become different? How do we allow our faith to be more profound, more complex, more diverse, and more personal. 

SEPTEMBER COMMUNION OFFERING 

Our Communion Offering this Sunday will support Operation 20/20. Based at Emmanuel UMC the volunteers take our old glasses and sunglasses, clean, repair, and grade them so they can be sent out with international mission teams. Then the miracles happen. 

O God, Our help in ages past, Our hope for years to come, 

Our shelter from the stormy blast, And our eternal home! 

Isaac Watts, the composer of the beloved hymn O God, Our Help in Ages Past was considered the father of English Hymnody. Watts was born on July 17, 1674 in Southampton, England. Watts contributed thousands of hymns to the Church. At a young age, Watts was concerned with the low ebb of church music;

Thank you to all the parents, students, and volunteers that came to our Parent/Student Meeting this past Sunday! It has been incredible getting to know you these past couple of months and getting to see the love and support there is for our youth. I am excited to see how God will work through our youth group! 

Dear Dyersburg FUMC Family, 

On September 1 we will start a new sermon series called “Uncomfortable.” If the very name makes you uncomfortable, then this might be the sermon series for you! The lived faith to which Jesus calls us was never meant to make us feel settled. In fact, in our first week of the series we will remember that Jesus tells his would-be followers that before they go all-in to follow him, they should first “count the cost.” Following Jesus is not for everyone, and perhaps the most countercultural part of our discipleship is that we are called to be disciples in community. 

Children’s Ministry hosted a Movie Night this past Sunday! We had a great time! Join us next Sunday, August 18, from 5 – 7 in the Fellowship Hall for tie-dying fun! Sunday Night Children’s Ministry is open to all children PreK4 – 6th grade! 

This week’s Dayspring Passage: Isaiah 6:8 “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?’ And I said, 

‘Here am I. Send me!’”
Our youth group has lots going on! Going back to school also means fall sports are starting up, and I know they’d love to see you cheering them on. Sports schedules can be found online as well as asking our students. We have students involved in football, cross country, dance, marching band, as well as other extracurriculars. Your support means a lot to them! 

Dear Dyersburg FUMC Family, 

Our scripture from Luke’s gospel this Sunday is a tough one. The one we’ve come to know as the Prince of Peace, the one who sent out his followers to all the towns that he was planning to visit and told them to speak peace to those who lived there...this week he speaks some tough words: “Not peace but division.” As though our world needs more division, more things to fight about, more ways to separate ourselves from others. I am much more comfortable with a Jesus who wants us all to get along than with a Jesus who tells us that there are sides to be taken. 

Why do we sing during church? Why do you sing (I hope you do!) during church? I can’t help but think of one of my favorite movies, Sister Act. When Whoopi Goldberg (who plays Sister Mary Clarence) takes over the choir at the convent, she tells the sisters “You are singing to the Lord.” This simple yet profound statement should catch your attention. 

As students are starting back at school this week, we want to thank everyone that has played a role in our programming this summer. Whether it be with Destination Unknown or our summer lock-in; we couldn’t have done it without our wonderful volunteers and our youth’s supportive parents. So once again, thank you. 

Dear Dyersburg FUMC Family, 

Do you remember your first Bible? I don’t remember the first Bible that I ever used, but I do remember the first Bible that I ever picked out. It was the prettiest white Precious Moments Bible with pastels on the front. The inside was filled with sweet, tear-drop eyed boys and girls, and encouraging messages. I don’t have that Bible anymore, but I still remember it and how proud I was to have it. I loved opening it and reading it, even when I didn’t understand what I was reading. 

Dear Dyersburg FUMC Church Family, 

If you were in church last Sunday (either in person or via livestream), you heard Ms. Patti Lou mention something “different” that was going to happen in church next Sunday with our children. Starting this Sunday, August 4, we will be inviting our Children’s Church members to celebrate Holy Communion with the rest of the congregation. 

When In Our Music God Is Glorified” 

Everyone loves a good story. Storytelling is deeply ingrained in us as humans. We have been captivated by stories since the beginning of time. Oral tradition passed on from generation to generation has been an integral part of sharing history. Sometimes, however, the story doesn’t “add up” to our standards... or perhaps I should say that we are disappointed by the story. 

This past Friday we had around fifty students show up for our Luau Lock-in! First, I want to give a huge thank you to our wonderful chaperones and those who brought food. Your role in making this a safe and enjoyable night was much appreciated not only by Brian and me but the students as well. Thank you to our amazing youth who made the night fun and exciting!

Dear Dyersburg FUMC Family, 

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the beautiful welcome reception that you hosted for my family and me yesterday! It was so good to be able to shake your hands, hug you, hear names again, and learn new ones! And a special thank you to all who cooked, cleaned, served, and decorated! The Fellowship Hall was beautiful, and the food was a delight. I appreciate your hospitality to us, and the many ways that you have welcomed us.