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. 


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. 

"Praise God from whom all blessings flow; praise God, all creatures here below; Praise God above, ye heavenly host; Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen." 

These are perhaps the most well-known words in all of Christian hymnody, and is likely sung in most Protestant denominations every Sunday. The Doxology was composed as such, a final verse of a hymn written in 1673. Here is one of the verses preceding the Doxology: 

Dear Dyersburg FUMC Church Family, 

There’s something we should get out in the open right off the bat. I make mistakes. I make lots of them, and some of them I even make publicly. I made one on Sunday in my sermon, and I am grateful to an attentive congregation member who brought it to me. Before I tell you what it was, I want to let you know that much of the information in my sermon came from the book Short Stories by Jesus: The Enigmatic Parables of a Controversial Rabbi by Dr. Amy -Jill Levine. Dr. Levine is University Professor of New Testament and Jewish Studies at Vanderbilt Divinity School. She is also an engaging and brilliant author, and I highly recommend her books. Along with Short Stories by Jesus, I also recommend The Misunderstood Jew: The Church and the Scandal of the Jewish Jesus. 

When In Our Music God Is Glorified” 

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! 

Join us for our Youth Luau Lock-In on July 19th! From 7 p.m. - 7 a.m. we’ll be locked in the church for a time of fun and fellowship. We’ll host a basketball tournament, play fun games like riff-off, dodgeball, and have lip sync battles. We will also assemble care packages for Wesley Senior Ministries. Any students interested in registering, please email Brian FunderburkThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Emily Sprunger at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Dear Dyersburg FUMC Family, 

What a privilege and joy it is to be among you!! Thank you so much for welcoming my family and me so warmly during our transition to a new community and a new church. We have felt so loved and cared for in these past weeks, and we are so grateful. It was wonderful to finally be able to worship with you on Sunday, and to celebrate Holy Communion with you! 

When In Our Music God Is Glorified” 

Greetings from Lake Junaluska! Many have heard or have been here, so you know firsthand how breathtaking the scenery is. This place is holy ground. There is a sense of wonder here, of mysteriousness, a sense of the Holy. I am learning lots of fun and exciting things that I think will benefit us, particularly in worship and I cannot wait to get back and begin sharing with you. 

We welcome our new Senior Pastor and her family! 

Rev. Dr. Mary Beth Bernheisel is a native of Nashville, TN who returned to her home state after attending DePauw University in Greencastle, IN where she earned a Bachelor of Music, and Boston University School of Theology where she earned her Master of Divinity. She also worked in community-based mental health in both Lancaster, CA and Chicago, IL before finally moving to Jackson where her husband, Jay, is Professor of Engineering at Union University.

When In Our Music God Is Glorified” 

Rock of Ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in thee; 

Let the water and the blood, from thy wounded side which flowed, Be of sin the double cure,
save from wrath and make me pure. 

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 

In the Old Testament, there is a story of Elijah and Elisha. Elisha has been Elijah’s student for some time now. Elisha stands with his father and mentor and knows that Elijah is leaving. So he asks for Elijah’s spirit to remain with him. In response, Elijah says something three times as though to emphasize. That “As the LORD lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” 

The first must become last 

“He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.”” Mark 9:36 

Pastor’s Pen & iPad with Glimpses of Grace & Truth...As we begin transitioning to new things, I wanted to do some brief reflecting back to my first newsletter article here at Dyersburg First. I told you then about pastors keeping a long-standing tradition to use their “Pen & Pad” to write a newsletter article and how I was going to slightly adjust that tradition by using my pen (which was a stylus) and an iPad. I explained how our default (back then, it was Dell and me; now it’s Will and me), is to use laptops more often than anything but that our articles will hopefully always be filled with substance and faith. 

Some of the things I said back then still apply today. I explained that my approach is to learn from and to teach by using four sources of learning, and that I keep all four of those sources underneath what I call the incarnational title of Glimpses of Grace & Truth. So we talked about: One of my favorite Bible my way of pointing out ancient biblical truths and how they still apply to faith and life today. Then we discussed that I remember when I (saw, heard or sensed in some way)...will remind us that daily experience is a good teacher about faith and life, like when a beautiful sunrise stirs our awe and wonder of God. 

When In our Music God Is Glorified” 

Greetings in the name of our LORD Jesus Christ. 

As you heard in worship this past Sunday, Annual Conference has been happening these past few days in Collierville. We had a wonderful gathering of United Methodists from across West Tennessee and Western Kentucky, lay and clergy alike. This year’s theme was “Remembering Who We Are: Word, Water, Witness.” We spent much time in prayer, in praise, in worship, and in discussion. Perhaps the most important thing to know is that God is still with us, leading us along. Sometimes we get so caught up in the day-to-day activities of our lives that we can forget that God is still there, guiding us. 

How Do We Help Today’s Church? 

by Cole Hamilton, Sara Wolfe & Patti Lou Parker 

The 2019 Annual Conference came to an end yesterday, and our FUMC Delegates and other attendees returned home. At Conference, clergy members and delegates discuss budgets, mission opportunities, ideas and other various clergy matters. These delegates and clergymen vote on such issues and then go home and proceed to do nothing. Maybe a delegate or two presented a report to their local church in worship or a Church Council meeting. However, in recent years things have been different, at least for some. 

When In our Music God Is Glorified” 

“When they came to Emmaus, he acted as if he was going on ahead. But they urged him, saying, ‘Stay with us. It’s nearly evening, and the day is almost over.’” Luke 24:28-29 

Witnessing while we are Awaiting 

"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." Last we looked into the beauty of Heaven and the promise of eternity. 

As usual, our June communion offering will go to support the Annual Conference offering. In past years, the conference has chosen one agency to receive the monies collected at Annual Conference. This year the offering will be divided equally among the Memphis Conference's seven outreach agencies/ ministries: Hannah's Hope, Lakeshore, Disaster Response, Project Transformation, Reelfoot, Neighborhood Centers & Western Kentucky Family Services. 

When In our Music God Is Glorified” 

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. 

Thinking about Heaven 

Our lectionary reading for this week carries us to the book of Revelation. "And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and showed me the Holy City Jerusalem coming down out of Heaven from God.” Rev. 21:10. 

“Glimpses of Grace in Seniors last Sunday...” From the opening announcements and Call to Worship, our Seniors gave statements that they had developed and, for the most part, written on their own. An outstanding witness is what they gave to how God has used the First UMC Family to nurture what used to be young boys and girls into the young men and women they are today. In the rest of this article, you will find many words and phrases they developed to be used last Sunday. 

“When In our Music God Is Glorified” 

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.

Choose this day whom you will serve. “Now therefore revere the Lord, and serve Him in sincerity and in faithfulness; put away the gods that your ancestors served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. Now if you are unwilling to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:14-15 

This week we will celebrate those students who are graduating from High School. This is a tremendous milestone with many reasons to rejoice. This also means you who are graduating or those of you have children who are, will experience a major shift in your life. For myself, college was the place where I became the person I am now and discovered what God was calling me to do. It was at college that I was able to discover my true self, and not have to follow the decisions of others.

When In our Music God Is Glorified” 

Summertime is almost here! Things seem to slow down at the church during the summer. I hope that you will find ways to stay connected through the summer months. I invite you to sing in the choir this summer. During the months of June, July, and August, the Parish Choir will rehearse every other week and we would like to invite you to join us for rehearsals and sing during the worship services.

Mother’s Day 

Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come.
She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: 

Glimpses of Grace and Truth...Today is a good day to have a good day.” When a church member said this a few weeks back, I began thinking about our need to make every day a good day, and came up with a few ideas to make our day a good day. 

First, notice the good God has already dropped into your day. As the Psalmist reminded God’s people long ago, and Ms. Dell reminded us every Sunday, “This is the day which the LORD has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24). Recalling how miraculous it is that I can see well enough to read, to hear well enough to comprehend and understand well enough to grasp,

Finding The Way Home 

Because this son of mine was dead and has come back to life! He was lost and is found!’ And they began to celebrate.” Luke 15:24 

The story of the prodigal son brings the message of the grace of God to life. We see the father offer forgiveness and reconciliation even before his son asks.

Over 10,000 people a day turn sixty-five in America each day. We are in the beginning of the largest bubble of retirement aged citizens in the history of our society. This growth in seniors will continue well into the next decade. In fact, the population of sixty-five plus will outnumber under twenty- five in that time span.