Over the last few weeks, our newsletter has “unwrapped” Christmas gifts we should appreciate around our campus and community. Though the Christmas season has moved now into Epiphany, I’ll offer a few reasons we must continue being thankful.

High School Bible Study...As students begin a new semester at school, our FUMC High School Youth is starting back its Monday Night Bible Study. Meeting in the relaxed setting of a home (Thank you, Scott & Deana!!), the group has continued growing in numbers that include not only our students, but several new faces. Brian Funderburk, Director of Youth Ministries, has watched these students make the study a priority. The group spends most of its time wrestling with today’s more controversial issues, focusing on Scripture and our UMC theology. Brian says the group’s aim is to, “better prepare ourselves to live Jesus in the future.” Wrestling with these topics before our students go off to college and life not only gives a biblical/theological perspective on tough issues, but helps students learn how to answer similar questions in the future. Brian is excited about the group starting back up this coming Monday (Jan. 15th) and plans to soon start a study for Middle School. Please keep our youth and their leaders in your prayers. 

Sunday School (& Preschool)...If you’ve been around campus lately, you may have heard teeth chattering or seen some folks shiver. When temperatures hit single digits, it had a significant effect on some of our aging heat systems. With a boiler from the early ‘60s, and three 19-year old HVAC units atop the Family Life Center, the cold spell took its toll. Our FUMC Trustees are replacing these four systems as soon as the units arrive and a crane is arranged for the installation (a 10-12 day process). So we will NOT have Sunday School on Jan. 14th—stay tuned about Jan. 21st. 

We are very proud of the hard work of our FUMC Trustees and especially our HVAC contractors who stood on top of our Education Building last week when temperatures were single-digits. Their hard work replaced failing heat chambers and restarted those four units (yes, that’s four more), getting our FUMC Preschool back in session on January 5th, well ahead of the target date of the 8th. So while we lament cold temps and broken heaters, we must be thankful for people working hard to get things back on track. 

Rust College A’ Capella Choir returns to Dyersburg FUMC... 

Hopefully you remember the story of how the Methodists led the way in establishing African American colleges when the Civil War ended. Merely months after wars end, our Methodist family began Rust College in Holly Springs, MS in 1866. Often called a “World Renowned Choir,” this group travels each year to sing the story of God’s grace and love. So please join us on January 27th—concert starts at 6:30 p.m. 

While we could and should keep adding to this list, we’re out of space on page 1 for this week. So in the days ahead, keep sending up thanks to our great God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ and finding your place to join God’s transforming work through disciples like you.

Gladly serving beside you in Christ: Ed & the First UMC Family