THURSDAY NIGHT ZOOM BIBLE STUDY 

Since Will left us to serve Munford United Methodist Church, I have been leading the Thursday Night Zoom Bible Study. I choose a reading from the lectionary for the coming Sunday each week for us to study. After one of the participants reads the scripture, we share which part each one of us found most meaningful or which spoke to them in new ways. 

After the Christmas break, Upward® practices will resume on Monday and Tuesday nights beginning Monday, January 7. Upward® games are on Thursday nights and Saturdays beginning Thursday, January 10. During half-time, we have a short devotional presented by church members and staff for the fans. If you are interested in participating in this ministry, please contact Patti Lou Parker at 285-4794. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

In William Wordsworth’s poem “The Solitary Reaper,” the speaker in the poem is walking through the countryside where he comes upon a girl reaping and singing while she works. Her song is lovely, but the words are unintelligible. He begins to contemplate what her song is about and describes one of the possibilities as "old, unhappy, far-off things, and battles long ago”

Upward games are on Thursday nights and Saturdays beginning Thursday, January 10.

This year All Saints’ Sunday will actually fall on All Saints’ Day, November 1. On that day, we will pay special tribute to those saints from our congregation who in the words of Charles Wesley have “to glory gone” since All Saints’ Day 2019. This year we will remember at least twelve persons.

Basketball players must attend ONE evaluation date: Nov. 8th, 6 pm - 9 pm. or Nov. 10th, 8:30 am - 12 pm.

Or to speed up evaluations for FUMC MEMBERS AND THEIR GUESTS there will an EARLY EVALUATION DATE on Sunday, Nov. 4th, 2:30 pm - 4:30 pm in the FLC.

God’s Grandeur 

The world is charged with the grandeur of God. It will flame out, like shining from shook foil; 

It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod? 

It is time to register your children (ages 5 through 6 grade) for Upward Basketball and Cheer. Online registration begins this Thursday, October 11.

I am doing something this week that I find deplorable, but necessary. I have only included the first and last verses of this week’s poem because the entire poem is too long to fit. Also, I feel like I have to explain why I chose this one. It’s all about the line that ends each verse. 

Believe it or not, we will soon start making plans for the 2019 Upward® season. We always need coaches, devotional leaders, concession stand workers, etc. Anyone who wants to be contacted to participate in this great program please contact Patti Lou Parker (285-4794) or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

Last week I promised you “weekly inspirations by God’s talented creations” by which I meant poems by famous or not so famous poets. 

After reading a poem by a contemporary poet in a United Methodist Now email and listening to Larry White’s midday devotion on Thursday of last week, I was reminded of a poem by Emily Dickinson. 

Due to several conflicts, we will not begin Beginning Pickleball and Badminton until after Fall Break. In the meantime, please contact Patti Lou Parker (285-4794 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) if you are interested in participating in this program.

Since 

Since the FLC’s not open
and no word of when’s been spoken, Since you surely have a Bible And devotions so reliable,
I’ll share weekly inspirations
By God’s talented creations. 

-Patti Lou Parker 

We have a two-table bridge game on Thursdays beginning at 10:00 a.m. Currently both tables are filled, but we often need subs. If you would like to get on the sub list, please call Sue Whitkopf at 731-676-2991 or Patti Lou Parker at 285-4794.

With in-person worship beginning this coming Sunday, June 21, I’m sure some of you are wondering when we will open the Family Life Center. Just as we gradually canceled certain activities before we closed the building completely, we will gradually open to low contact activities first. 

Beginning Badminton and Pickleball will start back on Wednesday, September 12, between 3:30 and 5:00. If you are interested, please let Patti Lou Parker know by calling the Family Life Center at 285-4794 between 10:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday or emailing her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . That day and time are not carved in stone so please call Patti Lou if you are interested in playing but cannot on Wednesdays.

At the end of Mary Beth’s Mid-Day Devotion Monday, she mentioned the Church Council Zoom meeting on Tuesday and said that one of the things we would discuss would be what we have learned from the pandemic. My first reaction was that all I have learned is that I really do enjoy staying at home in my pajamas all day. Then, I began to think about what I have observed. 

We now have three teams. There is one made up of staff members, one team made up of God’s Hands Class members, and one made up of regular Family Life Center walkers. That’s better than we were doing last week, but it is still a bit sparse for a church with the number of members that we have. The registration deadline is September 25 so there is still plenty of time to form more teams. So, if you don’t call Patti Lou Parker (285-4794) or email (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) soon to sign up, she will start calling you. 

I was so glad to hear Mary Beth use the term “Easter Monday” in her devotion on Monday of this week because when I have used the term people think it is something I have made up. In fact, Easter Monday is a federal holiday in many countries. It is commonly used as a day of rest or travel home after the busy Easter weekend.

Upward Evaluations for FUMC members
November 1 from 5:00 - 5:45 p.m.  

Open Evaluations for Cheer and Basketball
Thursday, November 2 at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Thursday, November 9 at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Saturday, November 11 at 8:30 a.m. and 12 p.m.

Following the guidelines established to contain the coronavirus, the Family Life Center is currently closed for all activities, except for walkers. 

Walkers can call the office for admittance to the building to use the walking track. 

Hand sanitizer is located on the counter. For your protection, as well as the protection of others, please use the sanitizer while in the building. 

Thank you for your cooperation. We will follow these guidelines until further notice. As soon as changes are made, we will let you know. 

As you probably know, this year at Salt and Light we are having gym time before supper instead of during. It begins at 5:00 p.m. and lasts until 5:45. We have soccer, basketball, or hockey for the 3rd - 6th grade, and free play with slides, tunnels, and bouncy balls for 3 year old - 2nd grade children. Join us next Wednesday!

The Upward® Basketball and Cheer season ended for 2020 with an exciting show presented by Matt Adams, master illusionist and evangelist, on Sunday afternoon, February 23. It was enjoyed by a large attendance of parents and children. 

This season would not have been possible without the leadership and hard work of Justin and Megan Brock and many parents and other volunteers who came and offered support. 

Thanks again to all church members and staff who joined together to make this another successful Upward® year. 

There is no Preschool or afternoon basketball during the school’s Fall Break, so parents are welcome to bring their children to the Family Life Center to play. However, parents will also have to stay and supervise their children while playing.

The next Upward practice card will address the virtue of joy. The scripture memory verse is from Philippians 4:4, “Always be joyful because you belong to the Lord. I will say it again. Be joyful!” Our previous virtues of commitment and self-control are traits that with God's help we work to achieve; whereas, joy flows freely from God's heart to ours. It is a pleasure, a privilege, a gift.

We are still looking for people interested in Badminton. If you once played tennis, but it has become a little too strenuous, then Badminton is the game for you.

HEROES 

Realizing that the death of Kobe Bryant had most likely impacted the young men who play basketball at the Family Life Center in the afternoons, I met them as they arrived Monday to tell them that I knew they had lost a hero. One of them replied, “We’re “hooping” for Kobe today.” Their usual noisy, hard playing was replaced with an intensity and dignity that I had never seen before.

Do you ever have an idea of a group or a study or activity that you wish we had at the Family Life Center? If you do, please call Patti Lou Parker, Family Life Center Director, at 285-4794.

Those of you who have never had a child participate in our Upward® program probably don’t know about the team devotions that happen on practice nights. These devotions are a time for the coaches to talk with their players about Christian virtues. The Upward organization provides Coach Playbooks that provide instructions on how to coach, but also how to lead devotion time.

I was scrounging around in the Family Life Center equipment room when I came across this net and poles that fit into the gym floor. After examining them, I realized that they are for volleyball.

We look forward to a great season in 2020. The first games will be played on Thursday night, January 9, and on Saturday morning, January 11. Games will follow this Thursday night/ Saturday morning schedule through the third week of February. It is heart warming and at times hilarious to watch kids from 4 years-old to 6th grade playing basketball and leading cheers while practicing good sportsmanship and Christian values.

September 4 – Registration opens

September 29 – Opening Ceremony at Okeena Park from 9:00 am-10:30 am

As in recent years, the Family Life Center will be closed during the Christmas break from December 23 through January 3. However, it will be available for groups or individuals to reserve for special events.

The signup sheet for the men’s softball team will be in the FLC taped to Patti Lou’s office window and the window of the print room in the church.

UPWARD® BASKETBALL AND CHEER CHANGES IN FAMILY LIFE CENTER SCHEDULE 

With Upward starting practices in December and games and practices in January and February, there will be some changes in the Family Life Center schedule beginning the first week of December. 

We have had a relatively mild summer, but with temperatures hitting the 90’s and the humidity also reaching 90%+, walking or running outside is miserable. You don’t have to miss your daily exercise. Come to the Family Life Center and use our elevated walking track. It is actually better for your feet and whole body than concrete or asphalt because it is made of a special material that absorbs the shock of walking or running.

It is time to register your children (ages K5 through 6th grade) for Upward® Basketball and Cheer. You can register by picking up a brochure from the church office or from the Family Life Center. The registration fee is $55. Also, there will be discounts for families with more than one child participating. As always, scholarships are available to help with costs. Online Registration Link

The signup sheet for the men’s softball team will be in the FLC taped to Patti Lou’s office window and the window of the print room in the church.

Walking Track - Open M, T, TH
7:30 am–1:00 pm; 2:30 pm- 7:30 pm 

Wednesday - 7:30 am – 1:00 pm 2:30 pm - 5:00 pm 

Friday - 7:30 am - 12:00 pm

The lower parking lot, by the Family Life Center, will be blocked off next Thursday and Friday, May 11th and 12th, for our annual Preschool Field Days.

Our pickleball group has resumed playing on Thursdays at 5:30 p.m. in the Family Life Center gym. Pickleball is a game that is played on a court similar to a tennis court. However, instead of using rackets, one uses a paddle that is larger than a ping pong paddle.

Walk Across Tennessee is a team-based walking program. The teams are encouraged to cumulatively walk the equivalent of the length of Tennessee (about 500 miles) or more, over an eight-week period.

As we have for several years now, we will host the YMCA Summer Camp in our Family Life Center building. This will not impede any church activities because the YMCA will work around our schedule. If there is anything that you are planning to do at the FLC, outside of normally scheduled events, please call Patti Lou Parker as soon as possible at 285-4794

The signup sheet for the men’s softball team will be in the FLC taped to Patti Lou’s office window and the window of the print room in the church. Sign-up is $20. The league will start at the end of June. It will be a wood bat league again with the same rules as last year.

The last week of Upward practices and games was left off the calendar insert that you received in your newsletter last week.

The corrections are: 

Church Softball
The signup sheet for the men’s softball team will be in the FLC taped to Patti Lou’s office window. The league will start at the end of June. It will be a wood bat league again with the same rules as last year.