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!

175 YEARS AGO

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...

Each summer the New Life Union Mission invites hundreds of children from our community and Halls to come together for a week of fun and fellowship in a Christian environment. This program leans heavily on the volunteer efforts of local adults and youth.

Dyersburg First Methodist Church Welcomes our newest members! The confirmation class of 2017The Confirmation Class of 2017 joined the church by professions of faith on Mothers’ Day, May 14.

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

Glimpses of Easter Grace and Truth...Last Sunday, I didn’t have time to share an important point about the future (for graduates and all of us). Remember Erik Lindberg, the grandson of Charles who flew the first Trans - Atlantic flight 90 years ago? Recently, Erik spoke about the aborted Apollo 13 mission from 1970 (made into a five - star movie in 1995). Lindberg said that at one point during that mission, when saving the astronauts’ lives seemed impossible, Flight Director Gene Kranz announced a phrase that’s been hailed as a leadership motto for decades: “Failure is not an option.”

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.

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

Glimpses of Easter Grace and Truth...To print newsletters like this one, our offices had for years used a duplicator which, even when we got it; it was old, used, and almost worn out. Using everything from bailing wire to duct tape, plus some “daddy-taught-me-how skills,” Karen used it until its final copy in late 2016. After Trustees carefully bought the right replacement, we discovered over a hundred dollars worth of ink cartridges which wouldn’t fit the new model. Then one Wednesday afternoon, Jarred Lowrance walked into our office asking if he could help us with something on Wednesday afternoons.

Preschool four and five-year-old graduation will be held Tuesday, May 16 at 6:30 p.m. in the sanctuary. Refreshments will follow in the Fellowship Hall.

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

Glimpses of Easter Grace and Truth…Church Meeting Night is quickly becoming a favorite for the Teams that guide the work of our congregation. Great results have become more common like our Worship Team’s efforts to make Sunday worship more engaging, or our Trustees Team’s signing a very good roofing contract to replace the back half of the sanctuary (even before the leaks of our last storm). But these results are part of a larger effort to make our work much more effective, efficient and enduring.

A cherished hymn of mine is What a Friend We Have In Jesus. This is a fairly simplistic text of comforting words during a difficult time. The text was penned originally in 1855 by Joseph Scriven. Although never intended for publication, well known hymnist Ira Sankey published this beloved text following Scriven’s death. Perhaps my favorite line concludes the hymn: “In his arm he’ll take and shield thee; thou wilt find a solace there.”

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

Glimpses of Easter Grace and Truth…Every Sunday is special, but this Sunday is extra special. Golden Cross Sunday is a day which we have set aside to support those from the “Greatest Generation.” Our May 7th Communion Love offering is designated for the Golden Cross Sunday offering. This love offering will support ministry to the elderly – especially those who are served by Wesley Senior Ministries. Your support may provide help with rent, food or medical emergencies. 100% of your donation will directly touch the lives of our “greatest generation.”

The past few weeks of worship have truly been remarkable. It was an amazing feeling walking into the sanctuary and see a "sea of people." I hope that you were as moved by our Holy Week and Easter Sunday services as I was. Remember, Easter is not a single day. Easter is a season. We celebrate the season of Easter for 50 days. This time period begins on Easter Sunday and concludes on Pentecost Sunday. Throughout the season of Easter, we will sing Easter music, much like Advent and Christmas music. During the season of Advent we sing Advent music. During the season of Christmas, we sing Christmas music.

As many of you know, last Sunday was Youth Sunday at our church. I can’t put into words how proud I am of our youth. They all stepped out of their comfort zones to bring the congregation a worship service to remember. Each youth member had some part in the service, whether it was planning the service, speaking, singing in the choir, greeting members of the church, etc. Our service was based on the theme being rooted in Christ. A few of the students came to us with this theme and instantly we knew that it was the perfect service theme for the Sunday to follow Easter Sunday.

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

Glimpses of Easter Grace and Truth…Lent has come and gone. Palm Sunday and Holy Week are behind us, at least on our calendars. Thursday’s mandate (or in Latin, the Maundy) to “love one another as {Christ} has loved us…” has floated past us like we wish the pollens of Spring would soon do. Friday’s words from Calvary—those spoken by Christ on the cross and those spoken by the crowds beneath the cross—have all but faded into our memory. The crowds of Easter have come and gone like the flowers used by our garden club to cover the cross early Easter morning. And now, we as the Church are in the Easter season.

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

Glimpsing Grace and Truth in Holy Week...That age old saying, “A Picture Paints a Thousand Words” still rings true and, if you asked most high school English students, a picture is easier to “read” than a thousand word essay. And yes, the reason we still read is because the exercise of reading (& writing) is essential to the innate need of humanity to communicate important things to one another.

Shared with you by the FUMC Worship Team

Our Lenten journey began on Ash Wednesday and will end this Saturday, when Jesus lay in the tomb. Holy Week is the final week of Lent and is a time of more intense fasting, reading, and prayers in which we pay particular attention to the final days, suffering, and execution of Jesus. During Holy Week, Dyersburg FUMC offers worship services for us to participate in “The Three Great Days,” which begin at sunset on Maundy Thursday and continue through sunset on Easter Day.

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...

Paul Stewart and Liz Dickerson recently updated the congregation on our FUMC Vision Team’s work. Paul began by taking us back to the original Listening Sessions where we had received feedback from virtually every circle within FUMC. He helped us all to see that the initiatives which arose from the Listening Sessions last Fall are gaining traction, as Liz would share in her update from the Search Team..

What a joy it was to see six of our students get baptized at our services this past Sunday! As you might be able to tell from these baptisms and my newsletter articles, our students have been extremely busy preparing for the commitment they plan to make this Sunday at Confirmation Sunday.

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.

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!

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.

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.