“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. 

As he was ushering us to say the Apostle's Creed, one senior stepped up to the mic and said, "Growing up I have always known the importance of the Trinity. And I would like to say that Mr. Andy Fisher was an awesome teacher of this faith for me. He walked it, talked it, and lived it. I would also like to thank Mr. Ray Lowrance for always being a dependable and constant example of the Trinity in my life. So many of you have been that Ray or Andy presence in our lives from infants in the nursery to the last day of high school. And we say “Thank you.” Because of this we will always be able to say, and I hope you will join me and say what you’ve taught us about our faith, “ I believe in ....(The Apostle’s Creed) 

How has the Church impacted your life...?Other seniors offered things like meaningful Small Talk for our children, deep and profound prayers, words of witness to how offerings matter not only because of what we give but because of who we are in Christ. Then every senior had a voice when asked “How has the Church impacted your life?” Answers included how the Church drew me closer to God, brought me my best friends, connected me to the larger church and how to be a true Christian. From God’s Hands to Scout leaders, from good youth ministers to Upward basketball, from mission trips to creating a lasting and meaningful faith in Jesus, students gave words that showed how truly blessed they felt from all Christ’s Church at Dyersburg First has done for their faith and life.

The Scripture and sermon came from Joshua 24 and reminded us all that everyone has the chance to enter into the “Promised Land.” Where God leads us, there are some “secrets” that help us become our best in that Promised Land. First, we must remember that “a home is much more than a house.” Rather than focusing on the style of brick or color of paint, which can make a house look good, we must worry about the substance of what’s inside which makes the house into a good home. Secret #2 was that “even in distant places, home is still with us.” Just as Joshua could stand in far away Shechem and still declare “...as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord,” we too can keep Christ at the center of our lives regardless of geography. Finally, having visible signs like Joshua’s stone underneath the Oak Tree can be used to remind us who we are as God’s people and why it matters to future generations. 

Seniors to FUMC...Thank you for taking your faith seriously enough to nurture us in our faith as followers of Jesus. Without your constant care and love we would not be able to stand strongly in our beliefs in Jesus Christ and the Methodist Church. 

FUMC to Seniors...We answered the call, did the work- coaching, challenging, encouraging, risking our passion in hope that you all would not only “turn the tassel,” but believe in yourselves as gifted, loving, and kind people whose service to Christ has and will continue to change the world. 

Seniors to FUMC: As we journey into our next phases of life, we know that we will always have a place to call home here with you all. We thank you for the time, effort, and love that you have committed to us, and we urge you to continue on with that work in the generations to come. FUMC to Seniors: With you, we have continued to learn the way of grace, peace, and service. May we always continue to learn and show the grace and peace of the Lord Jesus Christ to you and all generations to come. May God’s grace bless you and keep you now and forever. 

Final Words of Senior Sunday, from everyone in the Congregation: May we all go forth in the grace and peace of God’s love in Christ. Amen!