It’s hard to believe that this coming Sunday, November 26th, is Christ the King Sunday. What is Christ the King Sunday you might ask? This is the last Sunday of the church year. You know that the church year varies from the calendar year. We begin and end at different times than the calendar year. 

Thanksgiving week, can you believe it is already here?! Mary, Brylee, and I want to wish you and your families a blessed Thanksgiving. God has been faithful in His promises this year. We are so proud to call FUMC Dyersburg home and each of you family. 

Brief Glimpses of Grace and Truth...As the holidays are here, and life gets very busy, let’s remember a few things happening soon. We’ll give a couple other updates as we get into December, but these are in the next couple weeks. 

I invite you to travel a few days back with me—to something I wrote last Thursday. Here’s how it went: Last night we heard a fantastic talk by Dr. Scott Self. Scott shared how Nehemiah’s commitment to "do something now" resulted in Jerusalem’s walls being rebuilt in 52 days. Then Scott challenged us all about how we, instead of waiting so late that we can only say, “Next year, I’ll do things different...”, decide to start doing things different now. 

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

If our church closed its doors tomorrow would our community miss us? I was asked this question a few weeks ago. The more I thought about it, the more I wanted to say, of course our community would miss us.

Where have all the years gone? Five hundred years ago last Tuesday, Martin Luther protested that we as the Church must do better. That protest meant that Luther would quickly be deemed an enemy by quite a few government and religious leaders, some of whom had the power to convict him of treason, heresy and other charges which could constitute the death sentence. Luther was standing for what he knew then, and now 500 years later what the world still knows, was right and truthful. The protest of that day turned into millions of others calling for protest, for reformation and counter reformation. What began on one day and one door of one church, evolved into years, then decades and then five centuries of protests. Those protests became the soil out of which thousands, then hundreds of thousands of subsequent protests signified by hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of church doors out of which protesters walked, often erecting a new door and new church to take a stand for what was right.

Who Are We?

“I am afflicted and needy (humble and dependent on Yahweh); the Lord thinks of me. You are my helper and my deliverer; my God, do not delay.” - Psalm 40:17

Shared with you by the FUMC Worship Team

November 1 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.

This Sunday, November 5, 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. As Reelfoot approaches its 55th anniversary, this seems a good time to look back at the numerous ways this mission-minded organization reaches out to improve the lives of our neighbors.

Here are some pictures taken on Sunday, October 15 during the 175th Anniversary of FUMC Dyersburg.

Many hours of planning and preparation have been devoted to our fall retreat this year. Your adult leaders and myself are excited to spend this coming weekend investing in the lives of our students. There will be a time of service, worship, team building, and fellowship. The team and I are asking that you pray for our time together this weekend and encourage you to come by and love on these students with us!

I hope that you were here for our 175th Anniversary celebration. What a wonderful celebration, service, and luncheon! I have been amazed at the number of “historical documents” that we have found as we were preparing for this celebration. I especially enjoyed the many pictures on bulletin boards around the church, as I’m sure you have also. It was truly a time to celebrate! Now that our celebration is over, though, where do we go from here? What do we turn our eyes to? What will we do next?

Thank you for your continued support. With the recent disasters and the influx of refugees, it has been an additional burden on all units. We served 2409 meals last month. Thank you and continue to pray for all those in need.

Your Salvation Army

This is our big week! We have been waiting a long time for this coming Sunday... 175 years to be exact. As I have thought about what this past year has been like, I can only imagine the rich history that has taken place in this sacred space. I can only imagine the songs that have been sung, the prayers that have been prayed, the sermons that have been preached. There, no doubt, have been happy occasions such as baptisms, confirmations, weddings, as well as sad occasions. There is one common theme throughout each of these happenings: we are family. This group of people that have been worshipping for 175 years, this group of people called “Methodists” are a family. We are united by our love for Christ, our love for each other, and our love for community. Together we are stronger.

We are celebrating this week an incredible anniversary in the life of our church. For 175 years this church that we call home has been a fixture in our community. For 175 years the members of FUMC Dyersburg have served, ministered, and witnessed to the community that God placed around it. My family and I have counted it a blessing to have served beside you these last few months.

Dear Friends and First UMC Family: Over these past few months, our schedules have been busy and our plates have been full of activities leading up to a big celebration this coming Sunday. So we’d like to give a reminder, a Thank You and a word of encouragement. First, please remember that this coming Sunday is when we celebrate the 175th Anniversary of the ministries of First United Methodist in Dyersburg and Dyer County. We hope you’ll join us for worship at 10:00 a.m. as we welcome Bishop McAlilly, as both our Episcopal leader and preacher for the day. Immediately after worship, we’ll enjoy an old-fashioned Methodist potluck lunch.

When was the last time you were inspired by a worship service? I choose not to say “enjoy/enjoyed” because, really, worship isn’t about us. We aren’t the audience, but rather the participators. So, when was the last time that you were present for morning worship and felt inspired? I have left worship feeling inspired for the past few weeks. It seems that everything went as planned. There were common themes. The music was uplifting. Have you felt the same way?

Glimpses of Grace and Truth... Every time we turn on the television, listen to broadcast news, or read anything from newsprint to social media, we hear about the Las Vegas shooting. From reporter to journalist, from local police to federal agencies, no one standing in front of a microphone is able to give the motive for what the suspect did late Sunday night. All it took was one person. Granted, he had more weapons and ammunition than half the small town police departments in America. But still it was one person, doing what many have called, “mass evil.” For sure, there is much power in one person, power for evil but also power for good.

A potluck meal is being planned for the 175th Celebration immediately following the morning worship service. The church will provide the meat and drinks. Members are asked to bring vegetables, salads, and desserts.

A sign-up sheet will be in Sunday School classes this Sunday for you to sign up. Also help in the kitchen will be needed. If you have any questions or would like to help out, please call Aleece Jackson at 445-9266.

We remember the past and look forward to the future... Our church has a very rich history of ministries throughout its 175 years. We have so much to celebrate; we have accomplished much! However, we have to look forward to where it is that we are going. Sometimes, as we look forward, we realize there are changes that might need to be made. Change is never easy, but often change is good.

James 4:5 says, "Or do you suppose that it is for nothing that the scripture says, ‘God yearns jealously for the spirit that He has made to dwell in us?’’’

Dear Friends,

Do you wonder, as I do, how it is possible that October is just around the corner? This Sunday marks the beginning of October and World Communion Sunday. Those of you who are longtime members of the United Methodist Church will remember this Sunday being celebrated every year since your childhood. However, you may not be sure of the emphasis or focus of this Sunday.

The fear of disappointing God: Have you ever thought that God was disappointed in you? I know I have. There have been times when I have continued to make the same mistakes over and over again. I pray to seek forgiveness but I can't help to think, God I know you must be getting frustrated at me for this, how disappointed you must be in me. We must realize that although we are made in His image, we are not God

Brian and Mary Funderburk joined the church September 10. Brian is the new Youth Director here at the church. Let ’ s welcome Brian, Mary and Brylee!

You know that this is a big year for our congregation. This year marks the 175th anniversary of the Methodist faith in Dyersburg, TN. We should be immensely proud of our heritage and all that we have accomplished in these years. We also should be looking forward the future, planning and strategizing where it is that we are going. There are many pieces coming together for the actual day appointed to celebrate our anniversary, which is Sunday, October 15 th. I hope that you will plan to be in worship that day. You will not want to miss it!

Glimpses of Grace & Truth ... We’ve been discussing the need to be more careful while watching and listening. Pastor K. Duncan tells about a time when a major newspaper had shown a man taking the oath of office as the first US Senator from Hawaii. When the paper received a critical and disrespectful letter the following day, editors published the letter and photo side by side. The letter - writer complained that, while senators have always taken the oath with their right hand raised, "The senator from Hawaii doesn't know his right hand from his left." In the photo, you see Senator Inouye taking the oath with his left hand raised. If the complainer had paid attention, he may have noticed why.

I want to share with you the portion of prayer that I read while introducing a hymn this past Sunday. The following prayer was penned by Howard Thurman, a noted 19th century African American author, theologian, educator, and civil rights leader. Here is the entire prayer:

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus is the theme for this year’s “See You At The Pole”, held on Wednesday September 27th. This annual event allows the students in our community to gather together to pray for one another, their schools, and their community, a very important event that I have the privilege of attending each year. I ask you to support our students and schools this year and if you have a student encourage them to attend.

The 175 th Anniversary celebration is fast approaching. As we have talked and planned for this historic celebration we have discussed the importance of holding the past, present and future in together with one another. We celebrate the past as we look to those who have gone before us that we might glean wisdom and understanding from our mothers and fathers of faith. We live fully in the present as we seek to grow in our faith and in our desire to follow Christ. We look forward to the future because we know that it is God that holds our future.

As we approach the celebration of the 175 th anniversary of our congregation, we have the opportunity to honor God and those church members who came before us and worked, gave financially and “prayed hard” so that we can enjoy the results of their renovations and building projects that make up our church campus.

UMCOR is currently working with disaster coordinators and early response teams in Louisiana and Texas to provide relief to the many people whose lives have been impacted by hurricane/ tropical storm Harvey. If you would like to make a donation for the people in Houston Texas, please make checks out to the church with memo of UMCOR Advance #901670.

A couple Sundays ago, I hope you heard Pastor Ed talk about Jesus' conversation with His disciples. In that conversation, Jesus asked two very important and thought-provoking questions, the first being “Who do they say that I am?” And the second, "Who do you say that I am? "

Please join us for Salt & Light beginning Wednesday, September 13th.

Each week a local vendor will cater our meals and Neil’s BBQ will be kicking us off with Chicken Monterey. In lieu of paying for your meal as you enter the kitchen serving area, a box will be present for donations to help cover the cost of meals and speakers.

Glimpses of Grace and Truth... Last Sunday, we discussed that Tom Rainer researched the many churches he’d consulted which, that despite his help, had continued declining until their doors were closed. Rainer researched much like a medical examiner researches a deceased person, in order to learn why it is that, regardless of effort, some churches still died. By titling his book, Autopsy of a Deceased Church, Rainer wants all churches to learn which habits will not only hinder their health and growth, but without correction, will lead to their demise.

5:00 - 5:45 - Open Gym - Games & Gym Time (FLC)
5:45 - 6:15 - Dinner (Fellowship Hall)
6:15 - 6:20 - Prayer & Announcements
6:20 - 6:30 - Dismissal for classes for kids & adults
6:30 - 7:00 - K-2nd Grade Bible/3rd - 6th Grade Music
7:00 - 7:30 - K-2nd Grade Music/3rd - 6th Grade Bible
6:30 - 7:30 - Adult Class/Worship/Dayspring

Matthew 5:13 - 16 ‘Salt of the earth...light of the world’

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. We look for a riveting plot line with great characters, action, and plot twist. It’s what makes a good story... but not always.

"Then Jesus, knowing all that would happen to him, came forward and said to them, “Whom do you seek?” They answered him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I am he.” Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them" - John 18:4 - 5

Communion Offering

As you know every communion Sunday, the offering that is left at the chancel rail is donated to a missional agency that has been chosen by the Mission Team for that Sunday. Usually the money goes to an agency of the United Methodist Church. As a connectional church, we join with other United Methodist Churches and are able to do much more than just one church or one individual. However, this month we have selected two local helping agencies instead of an agency of the whole United Methodist Church.

Thanks to everyone who help contribute to the purchase of school supply for the children in need in our community!

Continued from a few weeks ago .... Why do we do what we do in worship? I am sure you have noticed that we no longer have an “Anthem” that the choir sings during worship. We have begun calling this “An Act of Praise.” Why have we done this? What difference does it make? Why do we have to change anything that we are doing? There’s nothing wrong with the way that we have done things in the past.

“For if you forgive others their trespasses, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." Matthew 6:14-15

The gospel writer Matthew powerfully tells the story of Peter walking on the water toward Jesus. You remember that Jesus had sent the disciples ahead of him so He could be alone to pray. It reads:

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. We look for a riveting plot line with great characters, action, and plot twist. It’s what makes a good story... but not always.

Parents I just want to say THANK YOU for the amazing turn out for our parent meeting this past week! Your prayers and support for this ministry are truly a blessing.

We are looking for a teacher for the 2 & 3 year old class.

Every day, every week, HGTV and other DIY (Do-It-Yourself) Channels host programs starring Property Brothers (Drew & Jonathon), or Love it or List it (Hillary & David). Then there are the heart-warming shows that take you into people’s lives like Complete Home Makeover with Ty Pennington, who would invite you to say, “Move that bus” or Chip and Joanna Gaines reveal where a lucky couple sees a giant-sized picture of what their old house looked like before they’re asked, “Would you like to see your Fixer Upper?”

Continuing on our topic from last week, why do we do the things that we do during our worship services? This week, I’d like to talk about the Apostle’s Creed and the Gloria Patri. We mentioned last week that the beginning of our worship moves rather quickly from inward to upward with the Call to Worship and the Hymn of Praise. We continue the upward direction as we recite the Apostle’s Creed.

The Mission Team would like to thank all those who helped purchase School kits for Dyersburg and Dyer County students!

Jennifer Davis is the HOSTS facilitator at Dyersburg Primary School. HOSTS stands for “Helping One Student To Succeed.”