The 175 th Anniversary celebration is fast approaching. As we have talked and planned for this historic celebration we have discussed the importance of holding the past, present and future in together with one another. We celebrate the past as we look to those who have gone before us that we might glean wisdom and understanding from our mothers and fathers of faith. We live fully in the present as we seek to grow in our faith and in our desire to follow Christ. We look forward to the future because we know that it is God that holds our future.

As we approach the celebration of the 175 th anniversary of our congregation, we have the opportunity to honor God and those church members who came before us and worked, gave financially and “prayed hard” so that we can enjoy the results of their renovations and building projects that make up our church campus.

UMCOR is currently working with disaster coordinators and early response teams in Louisiana and Texas to provide relief to the many people whose lives have been impacted by hurricane/ tropical storm Harvey. If you would like to make a donation for the people in Houston Texas, please make checks out to the church with memo of UMCOR Advance #901670.

A couple Sundays ago, I hope you heard Pastor Ed talk about Jesus' conversation with His disciples. In that conversation, Jesus asked two very important and thought-provoking questions, the first being “Who do they say that I am?” And the second, "Who do you say that I am? "

Please join us for Salt & Light beginning Wednesday, September 13th.

Each week a local vendor will cater our meals and Neil’s BBQ will be kicking us off with Chicken Monterey. In lieu of paying for your meal as you enter the kitchen serving area, a box will be present for donations to help cover the cost of meals and speakers.

Glimpses of Grace and Truth... Last Sunday, we discussed that Tom Rainer researched the many churches he’d consulted which, that despite his help, had continued declining until their doors were closed. Rainer researched much like a medical examiner researches a deceased person, in order to learn why it is that, regardless of effort, some churches still died. By titling his book, Autopsy of a Deceased Church, Rainer wants all churches to learn which habits will not only hinder their health and growth, but without correction, will lead to their demise.

5:00 - 5:45 - Open Gym - Games & Gym Time (FLC)
5:45 - 6:15 - Dinner (Fellowship Hall)
6:15 - 6:20 - Prayer & Announcements
6:20 - 6:30 - Dismissal for classes for kids & adults
6:30 - 7:00 - K-2nd Grade Bible/3rd - 6th Grade Music
7:00 - 7:30 - K-2nd Grade Music/3rd - 6th Grade Bible
6:30 - 7:30 - Adult Class/Worship/Dayspring

Matthew 5:13 - 16 ‘Salt of the earth...light of the world’

Everyone loves a good story. Storytelling is deeply ingrained in us as humans. We have been captivated by stories since the beginning of time. Oral tradition passed on from generation to generation has been an integral part of sharing history. Sometimes however, the story doesn’t “add up” to our standards... or perhaps I should say that we are disappointed by the story. We look for a riveting plot line with great characters, action, and plot twist. It’s what makes a good story... but not always.

"Then Jesus, knowing all that would happen to him, came forward and said to them, “Whom do you seek?” They answered him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I am he.” Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them" - John 18:4 - 5

Communion Offering

As you know every communion Sunday, the offering that is left at the chancel rail is donated to a missional agency that has been chosen by the Mission Team for that Sunday. Usually the money goes to an agency of the United Methodist Church. As a connectional church, we join with other United Methodist Churches and are able to do much more than just one church or one individual. However, this month we have selected two local helping agencies instead of an agency of the whole United Methodist Church.

Thanks to everyone who help contribute to the purchase of school supply for the children in need in our community!

Continued from a few weeks ago .... Why do we do what we do in worship? I am sure you have noticed that we no longer have an “Anthem” that the choir sings during worship. We have begun calling this “An Act of Praise.” Why have we done this? What difference does it make? Why do we have to change anything that we are doing? There’s nothing wrong with the way that we have done things in the past.

“For if you forgive others their trespasses, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." Matthew 6:14-15

The gospel writer Matthew powerfully tells the story of Peter walking on the water toward Jesus. You remember that Jesus had sent the disciples ahead of him so He could be alone to pray. It reads:

Everyone loves a good story. Storytelling is deeply ingrained in us as humans. We have been captivated by stories since the beginning of time. Oral tradition passed on from generation to generation has been an integral part of sharing history. Sometimes however, the story doesn’t “add up” to our standards... or perhaps I should say that we are disappointed by the story. We look for a riveting plot line with great characters, action, and plot twist. It’s what makes a good story... but not always.

Parents I just want to say THANK YOU for the amazing turn out for our parent meeting this past week! Your prayers and support for this ministry are truly a blessing.

We are looking for a teacher for the 2 & 3 year old class.

Every day, every week, HGTV and other DIY (Do-It-Yourself) Channels host programs starring Property Brothers (Drew & Jonathon), or Love it or List it (Hillary & David). Then there are the heart-warming shows that take you into people’s lives like Complete Home Makeover with Ty Pennington, who would invite you to say, “Move that bus” or Chip and Joanna Gaines reveal where a lucky couple sees a giant-sized picture of what their old house looked like before they’re asked, “Would you like to see your Fixer Upper?”

Continuing on our topic from last week, why do we do the things that we do during our worship services? This week, I’d like to talk about the Apostle’s Creed and the Gloria Patri. We mentioned last week that the beginning of our worship moves rather quickly from inward to upward with the Call to Worship and the Hymn of Praise. We continue the upward direction as we recite the Apostle’s Creed.

The Mission Team would like to thank all those who helped purchase School kits for Dyersburg and Dyer County students!

Jennifer Davis is the HOSTS facilitator at Dyersburg Primary School. HOSTS stands for “Helping One Student To Succeed.”

Glimpses of Grace and Truth... The old saying, “a picture paints a thousand words,” is still true today but a thousand years ago, that “thousand - word picture” was, in some ways, even more true. Because public schools didn’t exist and most people either could not afford education or didn’t want to join a monastery for an education, reading and literacy were rare. In that day and time, most stories of faith and life were told either verbally or with more visible forms like paintings. Since acrylic paint wasn’t discovered until the 1930s, paintings needed lots of care and limited exposure to have a decent shelf life.

Do you ever wonder why we do what we do during morning worship? Why do we have to say the Apostle’s Creed? Or why do we say the Lord’s Prayer together? Why do we call the opening hymn the “‘Hymn of Praise”? For the next few weeks, these and many more questions will be discussed. Why do we do what we do? Let’s look at the first few movements of our worship together.

Glimpses of Grace and Truth... Mary Pierce-Norton, from our UMC’s Board of Discipleship calls Holy Communion a sort of “Show-and-Tell Time," because Jesus took very ordinary elements - some unleavened bread and a cup of wine - and he filled them with great meaning. His use of a common loaf and a common cup made clear that Holy Communion is very much a communal act, that we not only gather in the same room but are joined together by the God who called us together.

All summer long, you have been encouraged to give generously to provide school supplies to children in our community. Our goal is to supply kits for 100 students. We need to raise $2,500 for students in our city and county school districts.

For the month of July, I have been teaching the Seekers and Sojourners Sunday school class. I was a little hesitant to say yes when first asked, but I am glad that I accepted; it has been a great experience. Our topic for the month has been hymns and their stories. I have really enjoyed reading about the origin of hymns and the influences of writers of hymns. Throughout this month, I have found that many hymns point to the Wesley’s. However minor or major the contribution may have been, John and Charles Wesley changed the church with their hymn texts.

Note from Mr. Brian, Wow did summer really go by this fast?! Our Sunday night bible studies, destination unknowns, and trips have been great and we are looking forward to our fall/winter plans. Parents encourage your students to get involved.

Free, ongoing, self - paced online course from UM Communications. Certificate of Completion and .5 ALLLM CEU awarded. Facilitated by Bill Lawson

As July comes to a close and students return to school, we are reminded that the cost of school supplies can be a hardship to many in our community. So far we have raised $975.00, but we are still short of our goal of 100 kits. Please consider making a donation this Sunday!


What do you think the following have in common?

  • Massachusetts became the first state to pass laws stating that a child under age twelve could be forced to work only a maximum of 10 hours per day.
  • The first adhesive postage stamp was printed with a hand - drawn picture of George Washington.
  • The first illustrated weekly magazine in the U.S. was published.
  • Ether was used as an anesthetic in America for the first time.
  • The United States consisted of only 26 states.
  • The first established group of Methodists began gathering near the banks of the Forked Deer River at the south end of Church Street.

A short devotion: God paints a beautiful masterpiece with the ashes of our lives. It's only when we finally realize that only He can pick up the pieces that true happiness and fulfillment can enter in. Satan tries to keep us down and steal our joy but God says let me turn this trial into triumph and this test into a testimony.

Sometimes I feel a personal connection to this past Sunday’s Gospel lesson. Remember the story? The sower and the seeds. I wonder if sometimes our (and my) message is falling on rocky ground, that is, it’s falling on ground not prepared to receive the message, whatever that message may be. Praise to God that there have been some new members to come and join us in the Parish Choir. We are so grateful that they have joined us, but again, I ask for more members. We have many singers in this congregation that are sitting in the pews. We need you to join us. The thing is, yes, it does require something of you. But what I don’t think you realize is the blessing that you will receive.

Glimpses of Grace and Truth... As we read on Sunday, Jesus used very vivid stories so that all who listened could easily envision: a sower who sows seeds, a farmer who finds weeds, images of roots and fruit, planting and harvesting. While his stories most often included images very clear to his listeners, the stories’ meanings were often more elusive, more hidden. Yet when his followers put forth the effort to listen closely, to think carefully and, when confused, to ask questions, the meaning became as clear as the images. Unfortunately it’s not only Jesus and his parables that baffle us; it’s the more ancient stories of the Old Testament and the more modern stories of everyday life.

It will be "Back to School" time before we know it, but not all children in our community can afford the necessary supplies to begin a new school year. During the months of June and July, the Missions Team invites you to give generously to provide school supplies to children in our community.

Santo! Santo! Santo! How awesome was it that we sang Spanish this past Sunday. And what a great reminder of the Body of Christ. We worship with our sisters and brothers from across the globe. I hope that you enjoyed singing in Spanish this past Sunday, I know that I did. For many of you, I know that this was very different from anything that has been done here before, but remember that some change can be good. It’s a holy moment when you realize that we are truly worshipping with the global Body of Christ in their native language.

A youth room devotion: Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12:1 - 2

Ed White, Senior Pastor
Lea Griffith, Associate Pastor
The Congregation, Ministers

Glimpses of Grace and Truth in daily life... When last night’s All Star Game went into extra innings, and I remembered that our Wednesday morning Men’s Prayer Breakfast means a very early morning, I headed off to bed. I couldn’t help but think about how much I have enjoyed playing, coaching and, to a lesser extent, watching sports. While baseball and soccer were a lot of fun to play and coach, neither one is exciting enough for me to sit and watch often on television unless it’s baseball’s All - Star Game or soccer’s World Cup.

As you read last week, I mentioned that you would hear more about the music and worship week at Lake J that I recently attended. Each day was structured the same: breakfast, worship, rehearsals, lunch, seminars, then dinner. Each afternoon, there were numerous seminars to attend in the areas of visual arts, dance, worship, children/youth/adult music.

Ed White, Senior Pastor
Lea Griffith, Associate Pastor
The Congregation, Ministers

It’s now official: our nation is 241 years old...or is it? It has been 241 years since our nation’s founders signed the Declaration of Independence but that wasn’t when we actually became a nation. July 4th 1776 was simply when we declared we’d no longer be subjects of a King 6,000 miles away.

Greetings from Lake Junaluska! You may have been wondering where I was this past Sunday... well I have been in the beautiful mountains of North Carolina. I am attending Music and Worship Arts week in Lake J (sponsored by the Fellowship of United Methodist Musicians.) Lake J is a transformative place; this place is holy ground. Tucked away in the mountain range is a quiet place to worship, rejuvenate, relax, pray, and listen for God. If you have never visited Lake J, I encourage you to do so.

Hannah’s Hope was born out of the rich tradition of the Holston Home for Children, which served the West Tennessee area as a child - placing agency from 1985 until 2002. Based in Greenville, Tennessee, and affiliated with the Holston Conference of the United Methodist Church, Holston Home for Children had been in operation since 1895, providing assistance to children and families through adoptive services, foster care, parenting, crisis pregnancy and adoption counseling.

Thank you to those who have signed up to bring food for our reception on Sunday. If you can, please bring your food to the church on Friday or Saturday between 12 noon and 2 p.m.

Ed White, Senior Pastor
Lea Griffith, Associate Pastor
The Congregation, Ministers

As you’ve probably heard, we have seen a few changes in our staff and will officially welcome Rev. Lea Griffith on July 2nd. We will give her a warm Dyersburg welcome with a reception during the Sunday school hour this coming Sunday. Here’s a bit more about Rev. Griffith.

The invitation is still extended to those who wish to join the choir. We are in need of men in the Parish Choir. John Wesley stressed the importance of small groups in our faith. We have many small groups in our church, and Parish Choir is one of them. Did you know that there are many health benefits to singing? Studies have shown that singing is very healthy! Singing, particularly in a choir, is shown to increase mental health. In addition, studies have shown that singers’ heartbeats synchronize when singing, acting as though there is a single heart beat, rather than many.

Through your support, UMCOR is able to provide assistance for survivors of human trafficking, funding health and development projects that alleviate hunger and poverty, holistic community - based health programs, and access to clean water and sanitation. This is just a sampling of the good works that gifts like yours make possible. Thank you for giving so generously.

Ed White, Senior Pastor
Dell King, Associate Pastor
The Congregation, Ministers

For anyone new to Methodism, or those who need a refresher, United Methodist Churches are connected in many ways - from local clusters, larger districts, and to larger groups like our recent gathering of the Memphis Annual Conference. Our Bishop, Bill McAlilly, along with his cabinet of District Superintendents like Mississippi River DS, Kevin Conrad, are called and appointed to serve Christ alongside pastors and laity of all our United Methodist churches.

This past Sunday we celebrated the Day of Pentecost (referred to by many as the birthday of the church.) We had a wonderful celebration. Did you notice anything different in the sanctuary? Perhaps you noticed the tongues of fire that followed the Processional Cross as we sang our processional hymn. You may have noticed the banners in the sanctuary - 4 symbols were displayed. A red banner with a dove symbolic of Pentecost, a white banner with a chalice symbolic of communion, a green banner with the symbol A Ω, and another banner with the sign of the Trinity.

FUMC Youth are excited to welcome upcoming 7th graders: Ella Bevis, Jack Caldwell, Mollie Kate Collier, Malea Liebold, and Ryan Lowrance. We are glad that you are a part of our group!

Ed White, Senior Pastor
Dell King, Associate Pastor
The Congregation, Ministers

Glimpses of Easter Grace and Truth in our Memphis Annual Conference... Over the past three days, we were part of a dozen or more folks from our church family who attended the 2017 Session of the Memphis Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. We were reminded of some simple truths about who we are as followers of Christ and about our unique Wesleyan Methodist heritage. At one point, a conference leader reminded us that as Wesleyan Christians, “We are part of an organization that cares as much about the lost as it does about the found.”

There's an old saying that "it takes a village to raise one child." I'm sure you have heard of it, and would probably agree that this is true. In a much similar vein, it takes a whole village to be the church. We cannot do it on our own. Being the Body of Christ means that we have many members sharing their specific gifts. Without each of these members, we cannot properly function. You may be wondering what any of this has to do with our music ministry. Well, I will tell you...