Celebrating The Ascension of Christ 

“After He had said this, He was taken up as they were watching, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.” Acts 1:9.
As we celebrate this event in the life of our Lord, let us not miss what Jesus was trying to teach us.

Glimpses of Grace & Truth...I’d like to talk about the person I consider history’s most famous mother. It’s not my mother or yours, nor is it our best friend’s mother who treated us like her own. It’s not those celebrity or political mothers like J-Lo, Madonna (except the original), not Princess Diana or Kate, or any presidential mother. No, the person I am thinking of has never experienced labor or delivery,

When In Our Worship God Is Glorified 

I hope you were able to join us this past Sunday for worship. We were certainly blessed by our Youth Group as they led our worship service! It is certainly a joy to welcome our youth to lead worship; they are gifted individuals who often help re- orient us in our faith journey together. 

Finding The Way Home
Because this son of mine was dead and has come back to life! He was lost and is found! And they began to celebrate.” Luke 15:24

Glimpses of Grace and Truth...Every Sunday is special, but some Sundays are a different kind of special. This coming Sunday, May 6th, we’ll be reminded that our past is always part of our future. As we celebrate Holy Communion, we remember that what Jesus did and said always was, still is and always will be part of Christ’s Church. As we celebrate a Baptism, recalling St. Augustine’s words from 1,600 years ago:

Youth Sunday is This Sunday! Excited would be an understatement! Church family, I cannot wait for you to see and hear these amazing students. They will be leading our worship service from the announcements to the benediction. I know you will receive a blessing from each student as they step out in faith this week.

When In Our Worship God is Glorified 

This coming Sunday is a very important day in the life of the church. Our worship will be led by our Youth Group. It isn’t very often that our youth

Glimpses of Grace & Truth...With excitement about the future at First UMC, I want to share something new and something I hope we will “re- new” in the days ahead. First, let me introduce you to Rev. Will Clark, who joins us this summer as our new Associate Pastor. Will was born and raised in Jackson, TN,

Greetings! This Sunday is the 4th Sunday of Easter, also known as Good Shepherd Sunday. The designation, Good Shepherd, comes from the lectionary readings for the day: Psalm 23 and John 10:11- 18. We all know Psalm 23, but perhaps John 10 doesn’t come directly to mind. “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” How fitting that this lectionary passage

The power of Jesus is alive in you,
“By what power or in what name have you done this?...... Let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene- whom you crucified and whom God raised from the dead- by Him this man is standing here before you healthy.” Acts 4: 7, 10

Glimpses of Grace and Truth...Methodist pastors receive many gifts, but one that’s most noticeable every spring is finding out where my family and I will be serving in the coming year. It is good that we are being reappointed to serve Dyersburg FUMC for another year, but even better that we’ll serve alongside our new Associate Pastor Will Clark (more on Will next week).

Church Family, Mary, Brylee, Holland, and I would like to say thank you for all of the prayers and support during this time of celebration. Mary and Holland are doing great and we cannot wait for you to meet her! 

May you and your families have a blessed week, Brian, Mary, Brylee, Holland Funderburk

Happy Easter! (Remember, good Methodists, it is still Easter for us!) We have moved from the glorious day of the Resurrection into the season of Eastertide. Soon, we will celebrate the Day of Pentecost(!) and will enter into one of the longest seasons of the year, Ordinary Time/Kingdomtide. I pray that you had a holy Lent.

Glimpses of Grace and Truth...In John’s Gospel, we hear early about what Jesus’ disciples saw and heard. John says that in Jesus, they even saw God’s glory, full of grace and truth. As we discussed Sunday, we hear in John 20:20 that the disciples saw the Risen Lord (what I call a biblical 20 -20 vision), and they rejoiced greatly. A few verses later,

Following after Jesus 

“Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honor.” John 12:26

We are in the midst of Holy Week we began our journey last Sunday as we waived our palm branches and shouted “Hosanna!” “Blessed is the One who comes in the name of the LORD!” How quickly this parade turns into the darkest day in history.

One thing that sets apart the people called Methodists is a practical theology that strives to make a difference in the world. One thing that sets apart Methodist folks in Dyersburg is that we want to make a difference not only in our community,

A reminder of the upcoming worship opportunities at FUMC:
March 21, 28, Lenten Midday Prayer on Wednesday’s at 12:00 p.m.

Walking in the Humbleness of Jesus
“Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus......He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death-even death on a cross.” Philippians 2:5-11

Glimpses of Grace & Truth...Remember last Sunday, when we read John 12? John ended chapter 11 with the miracle of Lazarus being raised from the dead, and began chapter 12 with Lazarus’ sisters hosting a grand dinner to celebrate. Religious leaders, especially the Pharisees, are troubled by Jesus’ growing popularity, as they hear crowds shouting “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! The King of Israel!”

“No one is born a Christian. One becomes a Christian through becoming part of a community with a distinctive way of life involving definite ethical and creedal commitments.”
After James White spent decades studying old documents—ranging from the earliest worship services of the “Underground Church” to the

We are halfway through this season of Lent. I hope that this season of prayer and reflection has been transformative for you; it certainly has for me. I want to invite you to some special times of worship and prayer during these next few weeks.

A Righteous Relationship

During Lent we are called to focus on our relationship with Jesus. Preparing for Easter includes preparing our hearts to receive the resurrected Savior.

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever. Psalm 107:1

As we journey through this season of Lent, we see glimpses of grace and truth. In this penitent season, we are called to continue giving thanks to God.

FOCUSING ON JESUS

And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him may have eternal life. John 3:14-15

Glimpses of Grace and Truth...The Old Testament reading for last Sunday was Exodus 20, where God gave to Moses and to all humanity, the Ten Commandments. In our culture where we like to “have our own voice” and “make our own decisions,” we don’t want to be commanded what to do or not do. Instead of being commanded to not bear false witness (#9), we’d rather choose when truth is most viable.

I decided that I would get up yesterday morning and go to Okeena Park and walk. So at 5:45 my alarm clock went off, and I found myself in the parking lot of Okeena Park by 6:00 a.m. I began the walk around the track...

A faithful church 

He told those who were selling the doves, “Take these things out of here! Stop making my Father’s house a marketplace!”- John 2:16

COMMUNION OFFERING FOR SUNDAY

One of the things that sets United Methodist congregations apart is our approach to generosity. We believe in connectional giving.

A faithful disciple of Jesus

He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” Mark 8:34

We are now in the season of Lent. The Lenten season has always fascinated me; you must admit, it is sort of strange. We come to church, have ashes put on our forehead, and are asked to keep a Holy Lent. Then we spend the next 40 days (not including Sundays) in sort of a mournful state... or at least most of us do! Lent is a season of self-reflection, prayer, and preparation; we prepare ourselves for Easter.

Glimpses of Grace & Truth...The word “tragic” is not nearly enough to describe what happened last Wednesday in Parkland, Florida. Another set of victims and families, another community of robbed “feeling safe” and a nation wondering about how we respond, react (perhaps overreact) and for sure, try hard to never, ever accept these things as a new normal.

God’s grace is greater than our brokenness

“Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me. Do notcast me away from your presence, and do not take your holy spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and sustain in me a willing spirit.” Psalm 51: 9- 12

Today marks an important time in the life of the Church – the beginning of Lent. Today is Ash Wednesday. This evening we will gather together in the sanctuary to pray and be reminded of our mortality. As we receive ashes in the sign of a cross on our foreheads, we will be reminded “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” This is a stark reminder that we are mortal.

Happy Valentines Day...I mean, Ash Wednesday! Since Valentines & Ash Wednesday coincide this year, we should remember that Valentines wasn’t always about “romantic love.” Originally set aside as the Feast Day of St. Valentine, February 14th commemorates a priest (some say a Bishop), who tried to convince Rome’s 3rd Century Emperor Claudius to become a Christian.

This Sunday is marked as the Transfiguration of the Lord. Transfiguration Sunday marks the end of the season after Epiphany and, perhaps more importantly, signals the beginning of the season of Lent. This year, Lent begins on February 14th. That’s right, Ash Wednesday is on Valentine’s Day!

Unveiling the gospel 

And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ,

Christ’s Church serving among us...As we said last week, we want to highlight how well God is using so many gifted servants among us. This month, we’re going to focus on some of those servants who are usually in the background, quietly serving to ensure things stay on a good track. 

Who are we becoming?

“To the weak I became weak, so that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that I might by all means save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, so that I may share in its blessings.”- 1 Corinthians 9:22-23
As believers in Christ and also as members of this body of believers, who are we becoming?

NEW MIDWEEK SERVICE

Beginning February 21st, there will be a short (25-30 minute) prayer service in the Chapel followed by luncheon in the Fellowship Hall each Wednesday during Lent. This service has been designed specifically for Lent, inviting us to slow down, center ourselves, and prepare us for the celebration of Easter. Please plan to attend this new worship service; I know you will be blessed.

Glimpses of Grace and Truth...The first week of February will again be the last week of football with Super Bowl LII (52). The Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots will limp their way beyond injuries into the grand finale of the NFL. The Eagles lost Quarterback Carson Wentz three- fourths of the way through a great season. The Patriots are working hard to keep Gronkowski healthy and continue to battle against the pre-season loss of Julian Edelman, whose “miracle-catch” won last year’s Super Bowl.

I pray every one is having an amazing start to this new year! I wanted to use the Youth Corner this week to highlight some of the activities going on this spring. We are continuing our High School Bible Study on January 28th. This study is entitled Half Truths and is written by Adam Hamilton.

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.

Glimpses of Grace & Truth (in a world needing both)...More than a theological work on Epiphany or next month’s Ash Wednesday service (on Valentines Day—think about that one!), I want to touch on some very practical pieces in daily life.

I am glad to say that I am on the mend from my recent flu sickness. I hate that I missed worship with you all this past Sunday (one of my favorite Sundays of the year!). I know that you were in capable hands, and I plan to be back with you this weekend as we continue in this season after the Epiphany. In just a few short weeks, we will receive ashes and begin the holy season on Lent... more to come later.

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.

Life is stressful. All of it is stressful. As Christians, we are taught not to worry. We are told that God will take care of everything, that God will never give us more than we can handle. I believe in and serve a mighty God, who can handle anything. He is the author of creation and cares for each of His creations. Stress is not from God. Stress is a side effect from sin, from the fall of humanity.

10 And the LORD came and stood, calling as at times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant hears.” - 1 Samuel 3:10 My prayer for this new year is that I hear when God is calling. I pray that through the mountain top experiences and through the times in the valley that I never let distractions get in the way of hearing from the Father.

Happy New Year again! We began our Christian New Year on December 3rd, but we also celebrate the New Year as another calendar year begins. This year holds many exciting worship opportunities here at FUMC. I want to take the opportunity to invite you to the Sunday evening service. This service is patterned after a service called Evening Prayer. During this time of worship, there is an opportunity for meditation, prayer, singing, and hearing the Word proclaimed.

More Gifts Under the Christmas Tree...Taking a glimpse at a few more of God’s gifts here is a good way to not only end 2017, but to begin 2018. Whether it’s filling a vacant position or genuinely caring for our gifted staff, the Staff-Parish Team has done wonders at securing and equipping the best church staff around. Our new Communications-Tech Team has used almost exclusively in-house talent (mostly volunteer) to give us a state-of-the-art website plus capacity for eBlast, social media, and live-streaming of worship.