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. 

Several of these agencies are familiar to us, but some we know little or nothing about. One that is especially interesting is the Project Transformation. Based on a model founded in 1998 in Dallas, Texas, Project Transformation Tennessee launched in 2012 to address three unique challenges with one program: 1) how to meet the academic, physical, social-emotional, and spiritual needs of children; 2) how to provide meaningful ways for college-age young adults to explore ministry opportunities and develop as young principled leaders for the church and the world; and 3) how to help revitalize churches in underserved communities. Project Transformation’s collaborative model of ministry harnesses the creative energy and leadership of college age young adults, who live in intentional Christian community, and lead summer and afterschool programs for children in various underserved neighborhoods. Each week, interns meet with church and nonprofit leaders to explore various ministry- related vocations and spend time discerning their vocational call to life-long service. Programs like this and so many others at the Annual Conference and Local Church levels make a difference every day Please consider giving to this month’s Communion offering. If you’d like more information on these agencies, visit www.memphis-umc.net/eventdetail and scroll down to Offerings that interest you. In Christ, your Missions Team 

Glimpses of Grace & Truth...God brought Abraham outside one night and said, “Look towards heaven and count the stars,” then offers the concluding thought, “if you are able to count them.” What began as such a simple instruction in Gen. 15—taking a few steps outside and standing beneath the velvet black sky of night—quickly became for Abraham a task of counting that was beyond his ability to do or even comprehend.” Once Abraham took the time to look closely at creation’s night sky, he would see stars from galaxies away lighting up his night. More importantly, Abraham would begin allowing God to enlarge his vision of faith and life (especially he and Sarah’s ability to have children) and realize that his descendants would amount to a number he never imagined possible. 

Too many of us today get stuck looking only at our problems, and we allow those difficulties, obstacles or opponents to become an object with insurmountable odds. But when we do get stuck, seeing only as far as the ceiling above us or the wall before us, we are invited to “step outside” into something like creation and be reminded that, “For God, all things are possible” (Mark 10:27). So in the days ahead, when you feel like your problems are too big, your abilities are too small and life is too hard, then you should shift your focus away from the size of our problems and focus instead on the size of your God. And you might want to listen closely because God might just nudge you to take a step outside, glance at creation and trust the Creator. And if it happens to be a midnight nudge to count a few stars, you might want to bring a really big calculator or perhaps just a small amount of faith to realize the greatness of our God and Father in heaven. May that faith enable us to live our lives faith-fully (full of faith) in God. 

Sincerely glad to serve Christ alongside you: Ed, Will and the First UMC Family