We welcome our new Senior Pastor and her family! 

Rev. Dr. Mary Beth Bernheisel is a native of Nashville, TN who returned to her home state after attending DePauw University in Greencastle, IN where she earned a Bachelor of Music, and Boston University School of Theology where she earned her Master of Divinity. She also worked in community-based mental health in both Lancaster, CA and Chicago, IL before finally moving to Jackson where her husband, Jay, is Professor of Engineering at Union University.

When In Our Music God Is Glorified” 

Rock of Ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in thee; 

Let the water and the blood, from thy wounded side which flowed, Be of sin the double cure,
save from wrath and make me pure. 

Who Are We? 

“I am afflicted and needy (humble and dependent on Yahweh); the Lord thinks of me. You are my helper and my deliverer; my God, do not delay.” Psalm 40:17 

In the Old Testament, there is a story of Elijah and Elisha. Elisha has been Elijah’s student for some time now. Elisha stands with his father and mentor and knows that Elijah is leaving. So he asks for Elijah’s spirit to remain with him. In response, Elijah says something three times as though to emphasize. That “As the LORD lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” 

The first must become last 

“He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.”” Mark 9:36 

Pastor’s Pen & iPad with Glimpses of Grace & Truth...As we begin transitioning to new things, I wanted to do some brief reflecting back to my first newsletter article here at Dyersburg First. I told you then about pastors keeping a long-standing tradition to use their “Pen & Pad” to write a newsletter article and how I was going to slightly adjust that tradition by using my pen (which was a stylus) and an iPad. I explained how our default (back then, it was Dell and me; now it’s Will and me), is to use laptops more often than anything but that our articles will hopefully always be filled with substance and faith. 

Some of the things I said back then still apply today. I explained that my approach is to learn from and to teach by using four sources of learning, and that I keep all four of those sources underneath what I call the incarnational title of Glimpses of Grace & Truth. So we talked about: One of my favorite Bible stories...is my way of pointing out ancient biblical truths and how they still apply to faith and life today. Then we discussed that I remember when I (saw, heard or sensed in some way)...will remind us that daily experience is a good teacher about faith and life, like when a beautiful sunrise stirs our awe and wonder of God. 

When In our Music God Is Glorified” 

Greetings in the name of our LORD Jesus Christ. 

As you heard in worship this past Sunday, Annual Conference has been happening these past few days in Collierville. We had a wonderful gathering of United Methodists from across West Tennessee and Western Kentucky, lay and clergy alike. This year’s theme was “Remembering Who We Are: Word, Water, Witness.” We spent much time in prayer, in praise, in worship, and in discussion. Perhaps the most important thing to know is that God is still with us, leading us along. Sometimes we get so caught up in the day-to-day activities of our lives that we can forget that God is still there, guiding us. 

How Do We Help Today’s Church? 

by Cole Hamilton, Sara Wolfe & Patti Lou Parker 

The 2019 Annual Conference came to an end yesterday, and our FUMC Delegates and other attendees returned home. At Conference, clergy members and delegates discuss budgets, mission opportunities, ideas and other various clergy matters. These delegates and clergymen vote on such issues and then go home and proceed to do nothing. Maybe a delegate or two presented a report to their local church in worship or a Church Council meeting. However, in recent years things have been different, at least for some. 

When In our Music God Is Glorified” 

“When they came to Emmaus, he acted as if he was going on ahead. But they urged him, saying, ‘Stay with us. It’s nearly evening, and the day is almost over.’” Luke 24:28-29 

Witnessing while we are Awaiting 

"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." Last we looked into the beauty of Heaven and the promise of eternity. 

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. 

When In our Music God Is Glorified” 

One of my all-time favorite hymns is Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing. This well-known hymn was penned by Robert Robinson in 1758. Robinson was preparing to preach at the Calvanist Methodist Chapel in Norfolk, England and wrote the lyrics to this hymn to accompany his sermon for the day. 

Thinking about Heaven 

Our lectionary reading for this week carries us to the book of Revelation. "And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and showed me the Holy City Jerusalem coming down out of Heaven from God.” Rev. 21:10. 

“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. 

“When In our Music God Is Glorified” 

O God, Our help in ages past, Our hope for years to come, Our shelter from the stormy blast, And our eternal home! 

Isaac Watts, the composer of the beloved hymn O God, Our Help in Ages Past was considered the father of English Hymnody.

Choose this day whom you will serve. “Now therefore revere the Lord, and serve Him in sincerity and in faithfulness; put away the gods that your ancestors served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. Now if you are unwilling to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:14-15 

This week we will celebrate those students who are graduating from High School. This is a tremendous milestone with many reasons to rejoice. This also means you who are graduating or those of you have children who are, will experience a major shift in your life. For myself, college was the place where I became the person I am now and discovered what God was calling me to do. It was at college that I was able to discover my true self, and not have to follow the decisions of others.

When In our Music God Is Glorified” 

Summertime is almost here! Things seem to slow down at the church during the summer. I hope that you will find ways to stay connected through the summer months. I invite you to sing in the choir this summer. During the months of June, July, and August, the Parish Choir will rehearse every other week and we would like to invite you to join us for rehearsals and sing during the worship services.

Mother’s Day 

Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come.
She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: 

Glimpses of Grace and Truth...Today is a good day to have a good day.” When a church member said this a few weeks back, I began thinking about our need to make every day a good day, and came up with a few ideas to make our day a good day. 

First, notice the good God has already dropped into your day. As the Psalmist reminded God’s people long ago, and Ms. Dell reminded us every Sunday, “This is the day which the LORD has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24). Recalling how miraculous it is that I can see well enough to read, to hear well enough to comprehend and understand well enough to grasp,

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 

The story of the prodigal son brings the message of the grace of God to life. We see the father offer forgiveness and reconciliation even before his son asks.

Over 10,000 people a day turn sixty-five in America each day. We are in the beginning of the largest bubble of retirement aged citizens in the history of our society. This growth in seniors will continue well into the next decade. In fact, the population of sixty-five plus will outnumber under twenty- five in that time span.

Awaiting the return of Jesus 

“Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgement, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and He will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him.” Hebrews 9: 27-28. 

Glimpses of Grace and Truth...I want to go back to something I briefly mentioned Sunday: the difference between a dead hero and a Living Lord. We all know the names of many dead heroes like Abraham Lincoln and Mother Teresa, Martin Luther and Martin Luther King, Jr., national military leaders and local school teachers. For each one of those, we remember things they said, what they did and even pass on their wisdom to others. We might even have a day set aside to remember them. But Easter was meant to be a day set aside, not for a dead hero, but for the Living Lord.

“When In Our Music God Is Glorified” 

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. I hope that you have been able to come to the church this week (or will by Saturday) and pray through the Stations of the Cross. This truly humbling reminder of Jesus’s last hours on earth, from the Garden as he prayed alone to being laid in the tomb, is a transformative glimpse into what our Lord suffered.

The Folded Napkin 

Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb.2 So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” 3 So Peter went out with the other disciple, and they were going toward the tomb. 4 Both of them were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5 And stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there,7 and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself. John 20:1-7 

This past week you may have seen images of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, but those images were not what you expected to see. The Cathedral caught fire and was severely damaged, while burning for several hours. The timber roof collapsed causing the fire on the inside of the stone walls to rage, all this while firefighters, first responders, and even some priests attempted to save whatever they could while also calming the blaze. One aerial shot of the fire at night was even more disconcerting for me, because the cathedral was built in the shape of the Cross, and so it was just a cross of fire and destruction. With this happening at the beginning of Holy Week, the images are even more powerful. 

“When In Our Music God Is Glorified” 

A word about Holy Week Services... 

We are fast approaching one of the most holy experiences of the Christian year, Holy Week. As we draw closer to the cross, we are reminded of the final days of Jesus' life. We stand at the gates to Jerusalem and shout "Hosanna! Blessed is the One who comes in the name of the Lord!".

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
During our Lenten journey we have looked at unveiling the gospel, understanding the grace of God, being a faithful disciple and church, and focusing on our relationship with Christ.

Glimpses of Grace & Truth...Are you ready for the rapid series of events in Holy Week? Our reading last Sunday (John 12) came right after Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead in John 11. Chapter 12 starts with Lazarus’ sisters hosting a great feast, which is also where Mary anoints Jesus with the alabaster jar of expensive nard (“for my burial,” Jesus says). John jumps from that dinner to Jesus riding a donkey colt into Jerusalem as crowds shout “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” 

Lenten Services 

- Lenten Midday Prayer on Wednesdays at 12:05 p.m.

- Holy Week Prayer Stations 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. (in the Sanctuary/garden area, Use the Troy Door entrance to the Sanctuary.) 

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 

Transitions of Dyer County is a local ministry that operates a residential recovery program for women with life controlling problems. The women are nurtured and discipled in the love of Jesus Christ in a safe environment conducive to life transformation. Transitions operates primarily on donations which are tax deductible and is very grateful for your help in changing lives and restoring families. 

“When In Our Music God Is Glorified” 

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. 

Youth Sunday Is This Sunday! 

The Youth Group, volunteers, and I want to invite you to join us in worship this coming Sunday. The entire service will be youth led and you will witness these amazing students pour out their hearts to our Savior!

Glimpses of Grace & Truth...When George Walton died in a 1962 car accident, authorities found a strange nickel in a velvet package at the crash site. Walton knew the value of his special coin because he had researched how a rogue worker at the US Mint made it fifty years before. When the US Treasury decided in 1913 to change the image on nickels from the old Liberty Head to the Buffalo nickel, long-time mint worker Samuel Brown was changing the plates late one night so they would be ready the next morning. After changing the year plate to 1913, Brown decided to keep the Liberty image plate and run five coins for safe keeping. For years, the story and the value of those coins was known by few people,

Happy Spring Break!

See Brian for Deere Run sign-up’s. We have a few extra spots available. Thank You! 

May you and your families have a Blessed Week, Brian, Mary, Brylee, & Holland Funderburk 

“When In Our Music God Is Glorified” 

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.

“People were bringing little children to Jesus in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them. But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, ‘Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.’ And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them.”—Mark 10:13-16 (NRSV). 

“When In Our Music God Is Glorified”

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!

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. Our scripture reading this week focuses on maintaining a pure way of life, this is the only life that Jesus can be apart of. How can we do this on our own? How can we live up to the expectation of a perfect God? How can we live Christ like in a world saturated with sin? “With my heart I seek you.......

Glimpses of Grace & Truth...In last Sunday’s Episcopal address to over a thousand churches in Tennessee & West KY, Bishop McAlilly reminded us that General Conference did not bring peace to the group called Methodist. This lack of peace, absence of unity is too common in today’s society where people talk much more about what they stand against than what they stand for. Even the term “disaffiliation” is being named as a social trend because we as a society spend more time and energy deciding what we don’t like than what we do, declaring who we reject, and why, than who we accept, and why. We as the Church must give society a better alternative. In this season of Lent, we must practice the alternative now.

“When In Our Music God Is Glorified” 

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.”

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 must first deny ourselves. It is not what we want for our lives but what Christ wants for us. Our thoughts and ideas apart from Christ are leading us away from him.

Glimpses of Grace & Truth...The best of intentions does not guarantee the best of outcomes. Leaders in church, non-profit and in corporate America have listened for decades to the wisdom of Guy Kawasaki who helped Steve Jobs in the early days of Apple. One of the nuggets of wisdom Guy shares often came not from the business world but from the ordinary life—interesting but ordinary—life of being a husband and father. When Guy and his wife had their first child, they were determined to be politically and environmentally correct. They were going to use cotton diapers and wash them themselves. Two weeks went by. Doing your own cotton diapers, they discovered, is quite difficult.

“When In Our Music God Is Glorified” 

One of my all-time favorite hymns is Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing. This well-known hymn was penned by Robert Robinson in 1758. Robinson was preparing to preach at the Calvanist Methodist Chapel in Norfolk, England and wrote the lyrics to this hymn to accompany his sermon for the day.

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 sprit within me. Do not cast 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 

Glimpsing Grace & Truth…Winners and Losers. “this % for; that % against”—difficult but decisive votes.  So last night, the Methodist pastor was asked by their neighbor about General Conference, “Who won?”  In today’s terms, it sounds like a good question. At least, it’s a normal question…because "winners and losers" is how we usually gauge things.  It’s how we gauge things in sports, since pretty much every sporting event has a winner and a loser (with the occasional tie). Every election has winners and losers.  Every ballot, every survey, every competition has winners and losers.  If we use such a strict definition of winning and losing, then our high school dance team’s 4th place finish last weekend in Orlando’s national competition was a loss.  And unfortunately, the way many view the last four days of General Conference, we talk in terms of winners and losers. 

“When In Our Music God Is Glorified” 

On Jordan’s stormy banks I stand And cast a wishful eye 

To Canaan’s fair and happy land,
Where my possessions lie.
I am bound for the promised land,
I am bound for the promised land;
O who will come and go with me? I am bound for the promised land. 

In times of trouble 

The salvation of the righteous is from the Lord; he is their stronghold in the time of trouble. The Lord helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in him. Psalm 37:39-40