We’ve finished our Christmas celebrations, packed up our decorations, and now have some time to relax. Just a few weeks ago, we celebrated the Epiphany of Our Lord (the arrival of the Wise Men) and a few weeks from today, we will celebrate the Transfiguration of the Lord. What comes after Transfiguration Sunday? That’s right! Lent. 

Youth and children’s ministries are looking for individuals willing to provide a meal on Sundays at 5:00 pm. If you are interested, please contact me via phone or email. Thanks. 

We are starting an intergenerational project for the whole family and church. Beginning Wednesday, January 29th, we will have a family night the last Wednesday of each month from 5:00-7:00 pm. You can come and go as you are able.

Dear Dyersburg FUMC Family, 

Greetings in the name of the risen Christ! 

Last Sunday evening at the time of Evening Worship, programming for children, and programming for youth, a visitor unknown to the staff and volunteers present entered the building. Those who were present handled the situation well and the woman was helped to find her way out of the building with minimal disruption. 

When In Our Music God Is Glorified 

Spirituals always give me a sense of comfort, and aren’t they meant to do just that? The always-poignant texts of spirituals have multiple meanings. There is always the biblical/scriptural aspect of the text, but often there is a secret message. 

During the time of slavery, often, slaves would use spirituals as a means of communicating safely with each other without being caught. Some spirituals speak of the Promised Land (and of going there). There is an obvious reference to Heaven, but also ideas of escaping persecution and slavery. 

It is 2020 and I’m so excited to see where this next year takes us and the growth we will see in our youth. To begin 2020, we are starting two new studies. 

In UMYF, we will go over the Bible, where it came from, and how to read it. It is based on Fathom: A Deep Dive into the Story of God. This past Sunday, we learned about Inspiration and Translations of the Bible.

Letter from Bishop Bill McAlilly, Nashville Episcopal Area of the United Methodist Church:
Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
In this New Year I invite you to join me in praying for the United Methodist Church and her people in all places across the world. I invite you to pray that we expand our mission in every place so that those for whom Christ is a stranger will find in Him a gracious and generous friend. 

Of the many services and festivals that happen during Advent and Christmas, my favorite service is that of Lessons and Carols. The service has been in existence for more than 100 years. But how did it come into existence? It was 1878, at Truro Cathedral in England where the first Service of Carols was held. Bishop Edward Benson, who would become Archbishop of Canterbury, began the service at his Cathedral on December 24, 1878, at 10:00 pm. Soon after, this service spread through England and was formalized by Bishop Benson.

Enjoy your Christmas and New Year’s! 

We’ll begin meeting again on January 5th!
Thank you for everyone’s love and support for our youth in 2019. It has been an absolute joy getting to know the youth and their families these past six months.

For many of us, the lead up to and Christmas itself can be a very hectic time. We are often found moving from one thing to the next, the next place, person, or event on our calendar rather than to just pay attention to what is in front of us. This is supposed to be a season of joy and hope, but for some of us this time may not seem so joyful or hopeful. Perhaps we have lost a loved one, are dealing with change in our lives, are separated from those we care about., maybe it's a world full of brokenness and broken people, filled with hurt and despair. 

When In Our Music God Is Glorified 

We come to the third Sunday of Advent this Sunday: Joy. Sometimes it is hard to find Joy, especially during difficult times. Remember, however, that we are in a season of expectation, longing, and hopefulness. We wait for the coming of Christ at Christmas. This Sunday we light the candle of Joy, a reminder that Christ brings us everlasting joy. In many traditions, the third Sunday of Advent is devoted to Mary, the mother of God.

This week in Dayspring for our Advent series we are looking at John 1:1-18. This passage talks about what it meant for Christ to come live among humankind and describes Jesus as the light. We will discuss John preparing the way for Jesus and what it means to say, ‘The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.’ 

Dear Dyersburg FUMC Family, 

I pray that your Advent season has been a blessed one so far, and that you wait in great anticipation of the birth of the Christ Child! 

My family and I are in the throes of what I call “The First Christmas After the Move.” We know we packed the wreath, the wrapping paper, and the shirt boxes, but now we’re not quite sure where we put them. Are they in the attic, or in the guest room closet? Are they actually labeled correctly, or did it all get thrown into a box labeled “Master Bedroom Dresser” from the last move?

Christmas Is Coming!
We’re supposed to be happy, aren’t we? 

Shared with you by the FUMC Worship Team
Yes, but in our daily lives and in our worship, we should not let Christmas intrude on Advent, which begins four Sundays before Christmas Day and ends on Christmas Eve.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the youth spaghetti supper this week. Whether it was selling tickets, buying tickets, or helping prepare desserts, your help made it a wonderful and successful event. Over $5,000 was raised for youth events. Thank you all!

Last week we sang "Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus,” a hymn of Charles Wesley typically reserved for Advent. This is by far my favorite hymn, for a number of reasons but in particular for its message. In this hymn, we put ourselves back into the place of the Israelites, hoping for God to send a king who would bring freedom, strength, and consolation. Yet, we also sing this song as people who know that Jesus was the promised Messiah,

The season of Advent will begin Sunday. It is fascinating to me to know the origin of so many traditions that we have today... to know where they come from, why they are important, and to know what they stand for. 

Remember that we won't use all of the symbols for the Christmas season yet... because it is Advent. I hope you notice that the Creche is missing something.

Join us on December 2nd for Spaghetti Supper! We appreciate all of your support. This event provides funding for our youth group’s curriculum, events, mission trips, and more. We are still looking for individuals interested in making desserts. If you are willing to provide a dessert, please contact me.

It’s hard to believe that this coming Sunday, November 24th, 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. 

It’s almost time for the Spaghetti Supper! Make plans to stop by on December 2 , 4:30-6:30 p.m. before the Christmas Parade and enjoy some spaghetti and homemade desserts. If you are interested in donating a dessert or ordering a pan of spaghetti, please contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

A Look Back....... 

As we prepare to utilize the space as you enter the door off the main parking lot in a new way, we want to back up and trace its history and use... 

The space is currently utilized as a beautiful seating area just inside our doors. The original space was identical to the room on the opposite side of the sanctuary now known as the Sacristy—a storage area and staging area for items used in worship including acolyte robes, altar cloths, candlesticks, communion supplies, wedding kneeler, and floral containers. From around 1958-1964 it was a pastor’s office, complete with fireplace. 

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.