Purchase District Lay and Clergy Delegates
And Interested Guests
Announcing: A Town Hall Gathering
“The Purchase Area and the Proposed New Conference”
February 10, 2019
2:30 - 4:00 pm
Calvert City UMC
571 Oak Park Blvd, Calvert City, KY
Bishop Bill McAlilly, Nashville Area
Bishop Leonard Fairley, Kentucky Area
William Moore, DS, Pennyrile District, KY
New Conference Advisory Team Members
Please register at
Courageous Conversations and the Commission on the Way Forward
Four Sessions at Broadway UMC located at 701 Broadway, Paducah, KY 42001
Wednesdays (January 23 - February 13)
5:45 - 7:00 pm in Igert Hall
(Meal Served at 5:00 pm with required reservation. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a meal spot)
Session Leaders: Dr. Rob Martin and Dr. Ben Boone
District pastors, please be sure to publicize these important Wednesday conversations in your church.
Sunday, March 3, 2019, 6-8 p.m.
at Concord United Methodist Church, 5178 Hinkleville Rd, Paducah, KY
Mass Choir Director Lyz Hornbeak
All are welcome to attend the 12th annual District Music Fest (a.k.a. Choir Fest). The 2019 event is scheduled to take place Sunday, March 3 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at Concord United Methodist Church (UMC) of Paducah, Kentucky, under the direction of Mrs. Lyz Hornbeak. Mrs. Hornbeak is the choir director at Concord UMC.
A mass choir comprised of UMC members from all around the Purchase District will be performing two (2) choral pieces at the event. A mass praise band will also perform. Each church choir and praise band will perform one selection of their own choosing.
Donations will be accepted at the event through a love offering with 100% of donations benefiting Reelfoot Rural Ministries, located in Obion, TN - a ministry of the Memphis Conference of The United Methodist Church. Those giving to the offering are asked to make checks payable to their local church and write “Reelfoot Rural Ministries” in the memo line. Then, each local church is asked to write one check made payable to Reelfoot Rural Ministries and bring it to Music Fest to place in the offering.
At the 2018 event, a mass choir gathered for the 11th annual Choir Fest with proceeds totaling $4,020.00 and benefiting Reelfoot Rural Ministries.
Mark your calendars now to attend the 2019 District Music Fest at 6:00 p.m. March 3 Concord UMC located at 5178 Hinkleville Road in Paducah, Kentucky (Just past Kentucky Oaks Mall by Lowes Home Improvement).
Contact the Purchase District UMC Office at 270-527-8282.
The Laity Team of the Purchase District of the Memphis Conference of The United Methodist Church.
If you would like to sing in the mass choir or mass praise band contact the Purchase District Office by the February 4th deadline. The Mass Choir will be performing two (2) choral pieces at the event and the Mass Praise Band will sing a selection too.
A mass choir and mass praise band choir practice will begin at 3:00 p.m. on the day of Music Fest followed by individual choirs that would like to practice their individual pieces. Please click here to hear the mass choir selections on YouTube.
Please register by February 4th so the district staff can make sure to order enough music.
Leader: Dr. Joe Geary, Memphis Conference Director of Connectional Ministry
Description: Learn the benefits and challenges of a simplified model of church administration which melds the Disciplinary committees into one unified board for church administration, leadership, and oversight.
Suggested Participants: Pastors, Church Council Members, and Administrative Committee Chairpersons
Leaders: Sue Engle, Trinity-Paducah Pastor, SLI Facilitator and Coach and Samantha Hall, Director of Resource Ministries, SLI Facilitator Trainee
Description: Learn how to accomplish a ministry goal through developing a measurable plan and outcome. Workshop will include an introduction to creating Ministry Action Plans (MAP) and to further coaching opportunities.
Suggested Participants: Church Council Members, Work Area/Ministry Team Members, Church Pastors
Leader: Dr. Rob Martin, Purchase District District Superintendent
Description: Learn the role, responsibilities, and process for effective Staff Parish Committee work.
Suggested Participants: Staff Parish Chairs and New Committee Members, Church Pastors
Leader: Allison Doyle, Program Director, Lakeshore UMA
Description: Learn how to bring one of the best assets of the Memphis Conference to your local church/cluster and how Lakeshore supports the program with people and program resources.
Suggested participants: Calloway and River Cluster Youth Leaders and Church Pastors
Deadline to register: January 13, 2019
Contact Samantha Hall, director of resource ministries
shall @ memphis-umc.org
Project Christmas House 2018 will be headed to Hattiesburg, Mississippi on December 26 and staying until December 31 or January 1. Volunteers are encouraged to come for one or more days or for the whole week.
For those who are not familiar with Project Christmas House, it is a mission of the Purchase District UMC and is open to everyone. The team starts from the ground and builds up. The goal is to at least “dry in” a home for a family who has been devastated by a tornado or other disaster and does not have the means to recover on their own.
This year’s project is on stilts. This is a new challenge for the team. It will also require more money. The goal this year is $40,000.
Bill Carr, coordinator of this year’s mission, asks that you would pray as to how you can help—Pray, Pay, or Play (work). They need anyone who is willing to help! The team already has two cooks. However, they still need carpenters, laborers, electricians, etc. You may contact Bill at 270.556.5221 for more information or to volunteer. Please find a flyer linked below to distribute among your congregations.
If you cannot volunteer, please consider a donation. Make checks payable to the Purchase District UMC, write “Christmas House” in the memo line, and mail it to 2285 Jack Treas Rd., Kirksey, KY 42054. We need every church’s help to continue to make this mission a success! Thank you for your prayers and support for not only the team but for the family they will be helping.
Director of Resource Ministries
Purchase District United Methodist Church
The mission of the Purchase District is to discover, equip, connect and send lay and clergy leaders to join Christ’s transforming, disciple-making work in and for the world.
By Lane Gardner Camp, Director of Communications, Memphis Conference
Source: Memphis Conference of The United Methodist Church website | LINK
Memphis Conference United Methodist churches gave $46,515.74 in 2018 to the annual Lenten Hunger Offering (LHO). The money has now been distributed to feeding ministries inside and outside the Memphis Conference of The United Methodist Church.
The LHO has raised nearly $2.5 million for hunger-relief ministries since its establishment in 1983. It is a unique ministry of the Memphis Conference, planned and executed by the Connectional Ministries office.
The 2018 campaign was a milestone anniversary: 35 years. It ran from Ash Wednesday, Feb. 14, to Easter Sunday, April 1.
The campaign name was shortened in 2016 from Lenten World Hunger Offering to Lenten Hunger Offering to better communicate local hunger needs alongside world hunger challenges.
A total of $46,000 has been distributed as follows. $500+ is being held back to produce campaign materials for 2019.
Dr. Joe Geary, director of Connectional Ministries for the Memphis Conference, said, “I commend the care and thoughtfulness that each ministry is using in making these distributions to fulfill the command from Matthew 25, ‘I was hungry and you gave me something to eat.’”
Leaders in Giving
Dr. Debra S. Selby, M.D., chair of the Memphis Conference LHO praised the many churches that made financial contributions in 2018 and raised awareness about hunger and food insecurity.
Geary reported that giving and participation increased in 2018, compared to 2017. The Purchase District had the most churches participating (26) and all districts had at least 22 churches participating.
The following Memphis Conference churches (in alphabetical order) each contributed at least $750 to the 2018 LHO, according to the Memphis Conference treasurer’s office:
The largest contribution ($3,097) came from Enville United Methodist Church in the Tennessee River District. Leaders in the other three districts were Lone Oak United Methodist Church in the Purchase District, Dresden First United Methodist Church in the Mississippi River District and St. John’s United Methodist Church in the Metro District.
44 percent of churches that received LHO feeding ministry grants from their districts in 2017 participated in the 2018 LHO, reported Geary. “We need to encourage the churches receiving monies for their feeding ministries to participate in the Lenten Hunger Offering as it obviously blesses them and most importantly, others,” he said.
District giving totals for 2018 are:
2018 district totals collectively are less than the campaign’s overall total because they only include monies received in 2018. The overall total is higher because it includes monies carried over to 2018 from the 2017 campaign that were received after the 2017 offering’s distribution date.
Plans are now underway for the 2019 LHO campaign under the leadership of Dr. Selby. 2019 will be the annual offering’s 36th year. Lent in 2019 runs Ash Wednesday, March 6, through Easter Sunday, April 21.
Dr. Joe Geary at email@example.com
Dr. Debra S. (Debi) Selby at firstname.lastname@example.org
The women of the McCracken County United Methodist Churches will present a brunch on Saturday, November 10, 2018 from 9:30 a.m. until noon for ladies of all faiths. This FOCUS event will feature Meagan Musselman. An active Christian, wife, mother of three, local business owner and entrepreneur, Meagan will offer inspirational tips on FINDING OUR CENTER UNDER STRESS. Music will be presented by mother and daughter, Amy and Brittany Martin.
Article published 5/16/2018 on the Memphis Conference UMC website. | Link
Trinity United Methodist Church in Paducah, Kentucky, commissioned six new Stephen Ministers on Sunday, May 6.
Stephen Ministers are laypeople—Christian men and women—trained to provide one-to-one care to people experiencing a difficult time in life, such as grief, divorce, job loss, chronic or terminal illness, relocation, or separation due to military deployment.
Stephen Ministers come from all walks of life. Their commonality? A passion for bringing Christ’s love and care to people during a time of need.
Since 1975, more than 650,000 people from more than 13,000 congregations and other organizations have been trained as Stephen Ministers.
According to Trinity UMC’s pastor, Rev. Sue Engle, two of the church’s six new Stephen Ministers already have care receivers and “more connections are coming.”
Thanks to the “generous support of the Memphis Conference,” Engle said her church “dreams of this ministry continuing to grow over the next few years with connections in the community” to the McCracken County Jail, Merryman House, Haven of Hope and Paducah Cooperative Ministry.
“One day,” added Engle, “we hope that there will be strong ties with other churches in our county, all reaching the community with one-on-one caring relationships.”
For more information about Stephen Ministries, visit www.stephenministries.org.
The Purchase District UMC is sponsoring a FREE Safe Sanctuaries® Training on Sunday, May 6, 2018 from 3:00-5:00 p.m. at the Purchase District Campus located at 2285 Jack Treas Rd. in Kirksey, Kentucky. The training will be presented by Rev. Dean Emerson, Memphis Conference Safe Sanctuaries Coordinator.
Register your church in one of two ways:
Reducing the Risk of Sexual Abuse: Safe Sanctuaries® is one of the “social structures that are consistent with the gospel” (Book of Discipline, ¶122) allowing our sanctuaries, classrooms, mission encounters, camps and retreats, and all spaces where we gather to worship and serve God to be places of trust. Training is required for all persons having direct contact with children, youth, and vulnerable adults in all activities connected with local congregations, annual conferences, and camp settings. The minimum standard of training shall include an annual orientation that includes information about the Safe Sanctuaries Policy; training in the supervision of children, youth, and vulnerable adults; and training in the identification and reporting of abuse.
Article by Rev. Dr. David Russell, pastor
Benton First United Methodist Church, Benton, Ky.
The community of Marshall County in Benton, Kentucky continues to heal from the tragic school shooting at Marshall County High School on January 23, 2018. As a part of this healing Benton First United Methodist Church (UMC) reached out to another hurting community, Parkland, Florida which also suffered a school shooting less than a month later. A member at Benton First UMC, Kimberly Anderson, had contact with a parent of a student from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School because they were former college roommates. This roommate also attended Heath High School (closed in June 2013 prior to the opening of a new McCracken County High School in August 2013) where another school shooting happened in 1997. Kim asked a fellow faculty member, Crystal Fox, librarian at Benton Elementary School, to paint a canvas depicting the Marjory Stoneman Douglas mascot and the Marshall County Strong logo, bridged with the cross and the flame logo of The United Methodist Church. Our youth and children at Benton First signed the painting to show support and solidarity with the students, faculty, and staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
When: April 27-28
Location: Purchase District UMC Campus, 2285 Jack Treas Rd., Kirksey, KY 42054
Course Cost: $15.00 (includes Course, Book & Food)
Registration Deadline: April 7, 2018
Prerequisite: Recommendation of your Pastor (the church where your membership is)
B. Andrew Halford, Instructor
The Purchase District is offering a 2-day Basic Lay Servant course on Friday, April 27 and Saturday, April 28, 2018. The course will run from 6:30-9:00 p.m. on Friday evening and from 8:00am-4:00pm on Saturday. This course is for those who either have never completed the Basic Lay Servant training or don’t remember if or when they completed it, and those who are interested in becoming a Lay Servant in their Church or Charge. In the Basic Course topics such as servant and spiritual leadership, caring ministries, basic communication skills, sharing your faith and leading meetings will enhance your knowledge and skill as a leader. This course is not designed to prepare you to preach. Those who have gifts for preaching may take the advanced course on preaching after this course.
Dinner, a light breakfast, and lunch will be served. Please let us know if you have special dietary needs!
What is a Lay Servant and why do we need them?
Lay Servants are to serve the local Church or Charge in any way that their witness or leadership and service inspires the laity to deeper commitment to Christ and more effective discipleship. This includes the interpretation of scriptures, doctrine, organization, and ministries of the church.
Director of Resource Ministries
Purchase District of The United Methodist Church
(270) 527-8282 | email@example.com
To register online, click here.
To register via phone, contact Samantha Hall (see contact information above).
Make check payable to Purchase District UMC and mail to 2285 Jack Treas Rd., Kirksey, KY 42054. If registering online, mail check with printed registration form.
Pictured above is the 2017 Mass Choir under the direction of Mr. Josh Gatlin at the 10th annual District Choir Fest held on April 23 at Fulton First United Methodist Church. Photo by Penny Story.
All are welcome to attend the 11th annual Choir Fest (a.k.a. Music Fest) in the Purchase District (formerly Paducah District). The 2018 event is scheduled to take place Sunday, February 18 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at First United Methodist Church (UMC) of Mayfield, Kentucky, under the direction of Mr. Buckley Walker. Mr. Walker currently serves as choir director at Mayfield First UMC.
Over 100 people have signed up to sing in the Mass Choir. That number represents five (5) local church choirs as well as several individuals from UM churches around the district. The mass choir will be performing two (2) choral pieces at the event and most local church choirs will perform one to two selections of their own choosing.
Donations will be accepted at the event through a love offering with 100% of donations benefiting Reelfoot Rural Ministries, located in Obion, TN - a ministry of the Memphis Conference of The United Methodist Church. Those giving to the offering are asked to make checks payable to their local church and write “Reelfoot Rural Ministries” in the memo line. Then, each local church is asked to write one check made payable to Reelfoot Rural Ministries and bring it to Choir Fest to place in the offering.
At the event in the Spring in 2017 (pictured above), a mass choir of approximately 69 voices from five (5) United Methodist church choirs along with several persons participating as individuals gathered for the 10th annual Choir Fest with proceeds totaling $4,020.00 and benefiting Reelfoot Rural Ministries.
Mark your calendars now to attend Choir Fest at 6:00 p.m. February 18, 2018 at Mayfield First UMC.
Contact Dianna Colson, lay leader of the Purchase District UMC at (270) 527-1939 or the Purchase District Office at 270-527-8282.
The Laity Team of the Purchase District of the Memphis Conference of The United Methodist Church.
Seeking Choir Members - At this time the Mass Choir is full. If you are interested in participating in the event in 2019, please check this website toward the end of 2018 or contact the district office.
Pictured above is the 2017 Mass Choir under the direction of Mr. Josh Gatlin at the 10th annual District Choir Fest held on April 23 at Fulton First United Methodist Church. Photo by Penny Story.
Plans are underway for the 11th annual Choir Fest (a.k.a. Music Fest) in the Purchase District (formerly Paducah District). The 2018 event is scheduled to take place Sunday, February 18 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at First United Methodist Church (UMC) in Mayfield, Kentucky, under the direction of Mr. Buckley Walker. Mr. Walker currently serves as choir director at Mayfield First UMC. Since October 8, 2017, members of the Purchase District Laity Team have been contacting local church choir directors, music directors, pastors or designated contact persons to recruit choirs, groups, and/or individuals from each church to participate in the mass choir.
If you would like to sing in the mass choir, contact Dianna Colson (contact information below) or the Purchase District Office. The mass choir will be performing two (2) choral pieces at the event. The total cost of both pieces is $3.75 per person. Please register soon so district staff can make sure to order enough music.
Donations will be accepted through a love offering at Choir Fest with ALL proceeds benefiting Reelfoot Rural Ministries, located in Obion, TN - a ministry of the Memphis Conference of The United Methodist Church. Those giving to the offering are asked to make checks payable to their local church and write “Reelfoot Rural Ministries” in the memo line. Then, each local church is asked to write one check made payable to Purchase District UMC and write “Reelfoot Rural Ministries” in the memo line and bring it to Choir Fest for the offering. After Choir Fest, the district will then write one check to Reelfoot.
At the event in the Spring of 2017, a mass choir of approximately 69 voices from five (5) United Methodist church choirs along with several persons participating as individuals gathered for the 10th annual Choir Fest with proceeds totaling $4,020.00 and benefiting Reelfoot Rural Ministries.
Mark your calendars now to attend Choir Fest at 6:00 p.m. February 18 at Mayfield First UMC.
Contact Dianna Colson, lay leader of the Purchase District UMC at (270) 527-1939 or the Purchase District Office at 270-527-8282.
The Laity Team of the Purchase District of the Memphis Conference of The United Methodist Church.
The Purchase District office has announced its 2017 holiday schedule for the Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year holidays.
Monday - Thursday: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Submitted by Dianna Colson
Purchase District Lay Leader
It was quite an evening for the 3rd annual Laity in Action Celebration on Saturday, October 28, 2017. The World Renowned Rust College A’Cappella Choir from Holly Springs, Mississippi performed at the Kenneth Shadowen Performing Arts Center located on the campus of Marshall County High School in Benton, Kentucky. Also, the Marshall County High School Chamber Choir, under the direction of Ms. Jessica Dismukes, sang and they were an inspiration to everyone. There were approximately 200 people in attendance and the love offering taken for Rust College was $1,578.00!!
I would like to thank the members of our Purchase District Laity Team for their hard work and support and especially to Mr. Jim Capps who worked with Rust College in preparation for their coming. The choir members stayed with 15 Host families in Benton and Calvert City and enjoyed a delicious meal at Benton First United Methodist Church (UMC) after the concert and a hearty breakfast at Calvert City UMC before the choir left to return home the following day.
We were indeed blessed by the choir singing and we are also very blessed to have an active Laity Team that works tirelessly to make connections within our district as we all work to transform lives in God’s kingdom.
Thanks and love to all who made this night possible.
The Lake Institute has partnered with the United Methodist Foundation for the Memphis and Tennessee Conferences to offer a two-day seminar entitled “Creating Congregational Cultures of Generosity” to Purchase District churches. Creating Congregational Cultures of Generosity (CCCG) is an interactive seminar demonstrating how pastors and ministry leaders can unearth and energize congregational generosity by exploring the significant and necessary steps to creating lasting cultural change within a congregation.
Where: Purchase District Campus located at 2285 Jack Treas Road, Kirksey, KY (in the Brewer’s community)
Cost: $25 per person for manual
Meals: Lunch and snacks will be provided
RSVP: Churches need to report the number of people that will be attending to the Purchase District Office at 270-527-8282 by January 31, 2018.
“If the ethics of the Christians were not in theory greatly different from the best of Stoic and Jewish teaching, in practice they were, and they were inspired and ennobled by a new motivating force, which the Christians claimed was none other than the Spirit of this gracious God active within their lives. They made the grace of God credible by a society of love and mutual care which astonished the pagans and was recognized as something entirely new. It lent persuasiveness to their claim that the New Age had dawned in Christ.” (Michael Green, Evangelism in the Early Church, 120)
Among those practices were amazing acts of generosity such as adopting pagan children into their homes, children they could little afford to feed. As it was true in the first centuries of our movement, it remains true today: the world is watching us and will still respond to the message of a church that practices what it preaches. You are invited to participate in a program that could help inspire your congregation into greater and more consistent lives of generosity.
The World Renowned Rust College A’Cappella Choir will perform in concert at the 3rd annual Purchase District ‘Laity in Action Celebration’ on Saturday, October 28th from 6:00-8:00 p.m. The event will take place at the Kenneth Shadowen Performing Arts Center on the campus of Marshall County High School located at 416 High School Road in Benton, Kentucky. The event is FREE and is open to the public. Donations to benefit Rust College will be accepted. Invite your Family, Friends, Church Family and Neighbors.
The Laity in Action Celebration event is sponsored by the Purchase District of the Memphis Conference of the United Methodist Church and is planned by members of the district’s Laity Team. Members of the team consist of the district lay leader, district resource leader, district director of Lay Servant Ministries, district president of United Methodist Women, district president of United Methodist Men, and local church representatives from various United Methodist churches throughout the Purchase District.
Rust College is located in Holly Springs, MS. The college’s world famous A’Cappella Choir is one of America’s most renowned choirs. The choir performed at the 2016 Memphis Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church and has captured the attention of prestigious audiences worldwide.
Some of their noteworthy performances include:
For more information
Come and enjoy an evening of worship through music with a district-wide Mass Choir consisting of approximately 125 voices and guest speaker Robert Craig, director of Reelfoot Rural Ministries (RRM). The event will take place at First United Methodist Church in Fulton, Kentucky on Sunday, April 23, at 6:00 p.m. The Purchase District Laity Team is pleased to announce that the mass choir of the 10th annual Choir Fest will feature Hallelujah! By and By arranged by Mary McDonald, and Alleluia, He Lives! arranged by Joel Raney.
Throughout the evening, a variety of choral arrangements will be performed by six (6) choirs and praise teams from the Calvert City, Clinton First, Fountain Avenue, Fulton First, Mayfield First, and Trinity United Methodist Churches, as well as, a combined Mass Choir under the direction of Mr. Josh Gatlin, choir director of Fulton First UMC. Also performing with the Mass Choir will be individuals from the Cayce, Crutchfield, Wingo-St. Paul, Symsonia, Lebanon, South Pleasant Grove, Mt. Olive, New Liberty, Arcadia, Massac, and Hazel United Methodist Churches.
Donations will be accepted through a love offering with ALL proceeds benefiting the many ministries of Reelfoot Rural Ministries located in Obion, Tenn - a ministry of the Memphis Conference of The United Methodist Church. Sunday, April 9 is designated as a district-wide ‘special offering’ Sunday for local United Methodist Churches. Those giving to the special offering should make checks payable to their local church and write “Reelfoot Rural Ministries” in the memo line. Then, each local church is asked to write one check made payable to Purchase District UMC and write “Reelfoot Rural Ministries” in the memo line and bring it to Choir Fest for the offering. After Choir Fest, the district will then write one check to Reelfoot.
At the 2016 event, a mass choir of approximately 120 voices from six (6) United Methodist Churches gathered for the district’s 9th annual Choir Fest with proceeds totaling $3,485.00 and benefiting Reelfoot Rural Ministries.
Mark your calendars now to attend Choir Fest on April 23rd at Fulton First UMC. Refreshments will follow the performance. All are invited!
Event sponsored by the District Laity Team of the Purchase District of the United Methodist Church.
First United Methodist Church, 200 Carr Street, Fulton, KY 42041 | website
Purchase District Lay Leader Dianna Colson | (270) 527-1939
Purchase District Office | (270) 527-8282 | PurchaseDistrict@Memphis-UMC.org
Josh Gatlin is starting his fourth year of service to First United Methodist Church (FUMC) in Fulton, Kentucky. Josh is a 2012 graduate of the University of Tennessee-Martin with a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education. Along with serving FUMC Fulton, Josh is in his third year of teaching. He teaches at Chester County High School in Henderson, Tennessee working as the choir director and assistant band director. Josh currently lives in Jackson, Tennessee with his wife Lauren and dog Izzy.
The Mass Choir will practice on April 23rd at 3:00 p.m. at Fulton First UMC. Participants are to rehearse both song selections prior to April 23rd and come to practice prepared. Individual participants may contact any of the participating church choirs to practice with them (click on church names above for contact information). Robes are optional. After practice and prior to the program, the generous members at Fulton First UMC will serve a light meal.
April 15 is the deadline to apply for a $2,000 Anita Padgett Memorial Music Scholarship offered by Lone Oak United Methodist Church in Paducah, Ky.
For more information and application form go to http://loneoakumcpaducah.org/generosity/scholarship/ OR contact:
The Memphis Conference, along with the Tennessee and California-Pacific Conferences of The United Methodist Church, are partnering with the East Congo Episcopal Area of The United Methodist Church for Congo Women Arise – an initiative to address the needs of rape survivors in a location often called the “rape capital of the world.”
Congo Women Arise will be the recipient of the 2017 Memphis Annual Conference offering, according to an announcement by Nashville Episcopal Area Bishop Bill McAlilly. The Nashville Area includes the Memphis (West Tennessee and Western Kentucky) and Tennessee (Middle Tennessee) Conferences.
To read the full article on the Memphis Conference website, click here.
Pictured above is the Mass Choir under the direction of Jane Dyson at the 2016 Purchase District Choir Fest held on March 20 at Reidland United Methodist Church located in the Reidland Community. Photo by Penny Story.
Plans are underway for the 10th annual Choir Fest (a.k.a. Music Fest) in the Purchase District. The 2017 event is scheduled to take place on Sunday, April 23 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at First United Methodist Church (UMC) in Fulton, Kentucky, under the direction of Mr. Josh Gatlin. Mr. Gatlin currently serves as choir director at Fulton First UMC. Purchase District Lay Leader Dianna Colson reports that members of the Purchase District Laity Team will be contacting each local church choir director, music director, or designated contact person to see how many choirs, groups, and/or individuals from each church will be participating in this year’s event to assist the team in planning and ordering materials. Mrs. Colson serves as chairperson of the District Laity Team.
Donations will be accepted through a love offering at Choir Fest with ALL proceeds benefiting Reelfoot Rural Ministries, located in Obion, TN - a ministry of the Memphis Conference of The United Methodist Church. Sunday, April 9 is designated as a district-wide 'special offering' day for churches to take up an offering for the event. Those giving to the offering should make checks payable to their local church and write “Reelfoot Rural Ministries” in the memo line. Then, each local church is asked to write one check made payable to Purchase District UMC and write “Reelfoot Rural Ministries” in the memo line and bring it to Choir Fest for the offering. After Choir Fest, the district will then write one check to Reelfoot.
At the 2016 event, a mass choir of approximately 120 voices from six (6) United Methodist churches gathered for the district's 9th annnual Choir Fest with proceeds totaling $3,485.00 and benefiting Reelfoot Rural Ministries.
Mark your calendars now to attend Choir Fest on April 23rd at Fulton First UMC.
Contact Dianna Colson, District Lay Leader, at (270) 527-1939.
By Rev. April Arnold, Pastor
There are some sights and sounds that trigger familiar longings. With autumn comes the changing of colors and leaves falling to the ground. The air is filled with the sights and sounds of harvest. The word “harvest” itself seems to suggest “plenty” or “abundance.” We at Mason’s Chapel United Methodist Church (UMC) are growing into a new appreciation for the concepts of “fullness” and “lack.”
Fifteen (15) members from Mason’s Chapel UMC took a break from our everyday “norms” to submerge ourselves in a Society of St. Andrews “Harvest of Hope” Mission Retreat in Dahlonega, GA Friday-Sunday, November 4-6, 2016. This idea first began with Advent Devotional books ordered for members of the Hazel-Mason’s Chapel Charge in 2015. From this came donations given to the Society of St. Andrew and more information about their programs; including an eye opening DVD concerning waste in America and the various, and sometimes surprising, causes.
The weekend was centered on Matthew 25:31-46: “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’ Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?’ Then he will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
Highlights of the weekend were Worship together, fellowship with two other United Methodist congregations from Alabama and Georgia, a 2-night stay at Camp Glisson which is the North Georgia Conference’s version of our Lakeshore UMA in the Memphis Conference, gleaning, tour of a Food Bank (did you know there is a difference between a food pantry and a food bank?), and a hunger awareness meal. It’s impossible to summarize how meaningful these activities and this time together have been for our congregation. Not only are we experiencing a new unity, we have come back changed and more aware of the realities of hunger not only in America, but in our community.
We have also come back with a new resolve and sensitivity to those around us. Not only can we make a difference, but our Shepherd’s voice is calling us to follow Him and to feed His sheep. The good news is: we are finding that we don’t have to re-invent the wheel. Rather, we can take steps beyond things we are already doing and plug into programs already in place.
During the season of Advent Hazel and Mason’s Chapel UMC’s took the Advent challenge. We often have Advent Calendars to count down the days until Christmas in which we might receive a candy cane or piece of chocolate. This year we collected a non-perishable food item for each day that we count down to Christmas. So what about you? The season of Lent begins with Ash Wednesday on March 1, this year. What if as a part of our “giving something up” or “giving ourselves to”, we collect non-perishable food items for the 40 days of Lent? Maybe this effort could be joined with or might spark a renewed commitment to our Lenten World Hunger Offering?
What if; we take those items to our local food pantry to be donated to those who are food insecure? What if; we take these items to a family, someone elderly, or someone alone in our community as a bridge to loving them and welcoming them into our lives and our churches? What if? What if we “on purpose” did the things that God is calling us to do? I pray you will join with us as we strive to be disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
For more information about our trip simply contact Rev. April Arnold firstname.lastname@example.org. Our mission team would be happy to come share this trip you’re your congregation or small group. Check out Mason’s Chapel UMC’s Facebook page for pictures of our trip. Check out the Society of St. Andrews website for more information about their gleaning programs, retreats, Christmas Cards, and free Advent or Lenten Devotionals at www.endhunger.org.
Submitted by Jeannine Cauthen, Mason’s Chapel United Methodist Church, Hazel, Ky.
GRACE Home for Children was founded in 2013 as a response to the overwhelming number of orphaned, abandoned, and vulnerable children resulting from war and lack of medical services in the new nation of South Sudan. That year, the first home was completed by the Holston Conference of the United Methodist Church in the village of Pukuka, and in 2015, a second home was built in the village of Kenyi through the efforts of people in the Memphis Conference of the United Methodist Church in cooperation with Holston. It has been a blessing to be a part of this ministry.
My involvement began in 2012 when I made my first trip to South Sudan with a VIM team from the Memphis Conference led by Rev. Michael Blake and Beth Brown. Rev. Richard Dowdy from our district was also on the trip. While there, we spent a good bit of our time in the village of Kenyi where we were installing a concrete floor in the United Methodist Church there. There were children everywhere!! In fact, more than 200 who were orphaned or vulnerable. Most of these children were living in the homes of extended family, but there were about a dozen children living behind the church in some abandoned huts. These huts had huge holes in their thatch roofs, and the children were sleeping on a dirty old blue tarp on the dirt floor. The church was trying to take care of them best they could, by at least providing some food. These children just stole my heart.
The youngest boy, Manasseh, was about five years old. He had been found crying on the roadside, abandoned by his mother. He was suffering from malnutrition—he was pot-bellied and had a dull, glassy-eyed look to him. The youngest girl, Grace, was about the same age. I took a picture of the two of them together in their tattered clothing. Grace was carrying another smaller child on her back, and she had beads of sweat rolling down her face. She had a haggard look in her eyes, one that had no place on the face of a five year old little girl.
Before we even left South Sudan, our team made a commitment to raise funds to meet the physical and educational needs of these children and to construct a home for them similar to the one already under construction in Pukuka. Through the generous donations of many people, this dream became a reality.
Our team, along with my husband, Joe, returned to South Sudan in 2014. The home in Kenyi was just about complete. The children looked so much better. I would hardly have known little Manasseh and little Grace. They looked nothing like the photo that was etched in my mind. They had beaming smiles, clean clothes, and looked so healthy and happy.
The children at both homes have thrived. All are healthier, more outgoing, and one girl is even first in her class in school. Through sleepovers and get-togethers, the 23 kids from Pukuka and the 13 kids from Kenyi have become family. Both groups have “mamas” that live with them 24 hours a day, making this a REAL home and not an institution. They have lots of father figures. The Director, the compound managers, and the guards all live there as well. The children’s physical, emotional, and spiritual needs are being met. Praise God!
Unfortunately, as civil war broke out last July, on the fifth anniversary of the struggling new nation, circumstances have changed. The children were forced to flee their homes to go to Uganda. They are currently living in tents in a refugee camp there. It was quite an ordeal for them. They had to spend several rainy days and nights in the bush, traveling on foot with no food. A couple of the boys sustained some very bad wounds, but they got the care they needed in Uganda and are healed. The GOOD news is that, while there are challenges for the kids in the camp, they are all 36 together as a family with their mamas. The commitment of the staff to the well-being and safety of these children is amazing.
Right now, the goal is to get the children out of the camp and into a new home in Uganda where we can continue our commitment to care for them and educate them. We want them to once again experience the stability they found at their homes in South Sudan. Hopefully, when peace is restored they can return to their homes. The future of this young nation depends on the youth.
If you are interested in more information, Joe and I would be happy to answer any questions or to give a presentation to your church or group. We can be reached at 270-293-4255 or 270-227-2704. In the meantime, please PRAY for these children and for PEACE in South Sudan.
Submitted by Kim Morrison
District Resource Leader
Christmas is a time of celebrating the birth of Jesus who came and taught us to remember those in need. Each year, a group from the Purchase District will hear a call and go answer by building a house for families that have lost their homes due to natural disasters and fall through the cracks of conventional help.
Carpenters, electricians, plumbers, roofers, laborers, plasterers, hard workers, and Prayer Warriors
If you can’t serve on the team with your presence, you can help support by giving donations. The projects rely on your donations and this year’s project is estimated to cost in excess of $40,000.
WE NEED YOUR HELP!
Send donations to: Purchase District and designate to “Project Christmas House”
DATES: Dec. 26—Dec. 31
LOCATION: Clarksdale, MS
If you would like to help this family out for Christmas by volunteering to go on the mission trip or to make a donation contact:
Bill Carr (270) 556-5221 | Brad Colson (270) 703-0610
Article by Dianna Colson, lay leader of the Purchase District of the United Methodist Church
WOW!! The churches in the Purchase District are doing some wonderful ministries in their communities. The second annual Laity in Action Celebration was held on Oct. 16, 2016 at the District Office. We had representatives from seven (7) churches speak about their community outreach ministries that ranged from establishing a clothes closet that has reached far beyond the boundaries of their community, to filling backpacks for school children, to food pantries, building ramps, and sewing clothing for children in need.
The District Laity Team would like to thank Coldwater United Methodist Church (UMC), Russell Chapel UMC, Oakland UMC, Mt. Carmel UMC, Murray First UMC, Calvert City UMC, and Grace UMC for graciously agreeing to share their ministries and to connect and share with others who might be interested in doing similar ministries. Information about the Purchase District Project Christmas House and the Clinton area’s Mission House was also shared. Rev. Jamie Lee, pastor of Grace UMC, gave a powerful talk about Radical Hospitality which challenged all of us to be aware of people around us every day who might be in need of a friendly face. We ended our day with Holy Communion and Sending Forth to help make disciples of Jesus, one neighborhood at a time.
Thank you to all members of the District Laity Team for their hard work in planning and helping to make this event a success. Also, a special Thank You to Mrs. Tane Alexander, member of Brooks Chapel UMC, for making the beautiful balloon bouquets that made our tables very festive.
In Christian Love,
District Lay Leader
Submitted by Rev. April Arnold
Hazel-Mason's Chapel UMCs
Hazel, Mason's Chapel, Lynn Grove, and South Pleasant Grove United Methodist Churches all came together for a week of Vacation Bible School July 11-15 nightly from 6:00-8:00 p.m. Over the past 7 years, Lynn Grove UMC has partnered with South Pleasant Grove UMC for Vacation Bible School and in the last 3 years, Hazel-Mason's Chapel has joined the team. During this time, VBS has been hosted by South Pleasant Grove UMC but with their recent remodel the location was changed to Hazel UMC and has been agreed by representatives of all 4 churches that this 'United VBS' should rotate its location.
This year we averaged 25 children each night who were loved and taught lessons from the Bible about how “God Keeps His Promises.” There were crafts, meals, and themed recreation time. Music time was made especially meaningful as “old school” children's Bible songs were learned throughout the week and then the same CD was sent home with the children to enjoy. Lesson time was full of facts and fun with “Dr. Bones” (Mrs. Heather Suggs from Hazel UMC who wrote this year's curriculum) who was our leader as we “Tracked the Bones of Joseph” with puppets named “G.W.” which stands for “God's Word” and “Camille” the Camel.
On the last night of our VBS we had 72 children, parents, and family join us for one last lesson and activity, songs, meal, and a special visit from Mr. Ron Wright of Gideon's International who gave a Bible to each child. Over the course of the week we had a friendly competition between our 3 age groups to see which group could collect the most canned food and non-perishable items for Needline of Calloway County. This week we were blessed to deliver 200 items.
So, take heart and start planning for VBS 2017 NOW small membership churches! Think about who you can join together with to reach the precious children in your community! It takes months of planning and a lot of work, but to quote one child from our VBS, “I can't wait to come back to Vacation Bible School next year!” That makes it ALL worth it!
Pictures can be found on each church’s Facebook page/group by clicking a link below or searching the church's name on Facebook.
Submitted by Rev. Kim Morrison, District Resource Leader
“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Gal. 6:2
We, as disciples of Jesus Christ, have a responsibility to offer up prayer on behalf of others ~ not only those in our own churches and community ~ but also those throughout our nation and abroad who are suffering oppression, exploitation, and persecution. The Thirteen United Methodist Churches of Marshall County united on March 4, 2016 and held a 13-hour prayer vigil to honor this special day of prayer. Each church hosted one hour, beginning at 7:00 am and ending at 8:00 pm.
Some of the churches held a service and others were set up so that anybody could come at any time during the hour and pray as long as they would like. We had a prayer guide that they could use that would unite us all together as we prayed for…..
Christians in all places of our world….
for those who are persecuted, oppressed and exploited…
for all world leaders, that their hearts would be turned to God…
for the Christians, citizens and leaders in Cuba… (focus of this year’s World Day of Prayer)
for our nation and its leadership…
for The United Methodist Church and the 2016 General and Jurisdictional Conferences…
for the Memphis Conference, its churches, laity and clergy…
for the Purchase District, its churches, laity and clergy…
for the churches, laity and clergy in Marshall County: in particular, those at Olive, Calvert City, Oak Level, Briensburg, Pleasant Grove, Benton First, Mt. Carmel, Oakland, Palma, Church Grove, Maple Spring, Union Ridge, and Dexter-Hardin United Methodist Churches…
and for all of the churches, people, leaders, and those in need in Marshall County.
“Sometimes we think that we must do some mighty labor that produces a “visible” work that all will see to do any good in this world but many times it’s a quiet voice lifted up in love to a mighty God that does the most powerful work that this world needs.”
Our resources came from the World Day of Prayer website. Many thanks to Jennifer Rodriquez, member of Benton First United Methodist Church, for listening to God and prompting us do this, and thanks to our Marshall County Cluster Leadership team that made this possible.
Submitted by Nancy Phillips, South Pleasant Grove United Methodist Church, Calloway County, Ky.
Teachers in our schools today are under a lot of pressure to try to compensate for the inequalities in family background and financial stability that children bring to their kindergarten experience. Children with large vocabularies and literary skills soar while those with meager exposure to words and stories have great difficulty leaving the runway. No teacher, no matter how talented, can truly make up for what is not taught before the children enter school. Two college teachers at South Pleasant Grove United Methodist Church (SPG), who spent many years in remedial education at Murray State University, know first-hand the results of students who started illprepared for the academic rigors of college. For some students, lagging behind started in kindergarten. Many children struggle to keep up; some never attain what they could have because they were not raised in homes where during their first years of life they received a daily diet of books.
According to the United States Department of Education, “children develop much of their capacity for learning in the first three years of life, when their brains grow at 90 percent of their eventual adult weight.” Even though pediatricians and psychologists have recommended that children should be read to beginning at birth, 6 in 10 babies and 5 in 10 toddlers are not read to regularly in their home. Although books are available in public libraries, only 37 percent of children in the United States ages 35 visit a library at least once a month. Instead it is estimated that children 35 spend an average of 13 hours and 28 minutes a week watching television. Overall, children under 13 spend 90 minutes a day watching television shows. Assessments show that passive television watching does not have the same impact as parents who talk, sing, and read to their children. The National Assessment of Educational Progress found that students with higher reading scores were more likely to have at least 25 books in their homes.
With these numbers in mind, a group of United Methodist Women made it one of their goals to try to make readers of the children in Southwest Calloway County. Beginning with a summer program in 2015, children in the neighborhoods of SPG were invited to join a reading program on Wednesday evenings at the church. The middle and high school students at SPG assisted elementary age children read books aloud. The preschool children were read to by the older students. The adults organized group readings, crafts, activities, and snacks to enhance the ninety-minute program. The goal was to make reading fun for all ages.
In the fall of 2015, the reading program was changed so that older children and youth could return to their regular Wednesday night Bible studies. The preschool children were allowed to continue story time with a rotating team of about 6 or 7 different United Methodist Women (UMW) members. The church adopted the same reading program used at the Calloway County Library so that the women did not have to create thematic lessons without readymade suggestions of books, songs, and activities. The UMW paid for these materials.
One of the members of SPG donated book bags to both the preschoolers and elementary age children so that the children could carry books back and forth from and to the church. The books were donated by individuals in the church and in the community. The little library of books is still in its infancy but is growing. Hopefully with a new building next year, the children will have shelves and reading tables in a separate room to use for their program. The Wednesday night program begins with meal at 5:30 and reading time follows at 6:00. The program started with ONE preschooler in August and now has four little ones listening to stories and songs. This program has enabled us to reach children and families in our communities that we previously did have anything to offer this youngest age group. If you happen to pass the nursery on Wednesday evenings, you will see and hear some animated kids who are enjoying books. South Pleasant Grove United Methodist Church hopes to continue the summer program targeting all ages and possibly begin a daytime program next year.
By Valerie Clark, South Pleasant Grove UMC, Calloway County, Ky.
The Congregation at South Pleasant Grove United Methodist Church in Calloway County recently donated funds to purchase items and “make up” 48 Health Kits for UMCOR. These relief-supply kits are composed of eight basic hygiene items intended to be used for those in crisis.
This small congregation of about 75 people responded to this mission project, as we will soon be entering tornado season. Sadly, of course, any family can suffer tragedy 365 days a year – from a fire or flooding, just to name a few.
We feel blessed to be able to answer God's call to help some of those in crisis. Sadly these 48 Health Kits probably won't last very long.
We all pray that crisis will not affect our families, but unfortunately no one is immune to crisis. Our hope and prayer is this: if a crisis does happen to our loved ones, I think we would all want them to receive spiritual help and guidance and comfort accompanied with physical help such as these Health Kits.
Please join in by keeping this mission project, as well as all of the United Methodist Churches' mission projects in your daily prayers! Disaster relief programs are so very important!… And are so very in need of your prayers, today and every day!
Updated Mar. 17, 2016
Come out to enjoy an evening of worship through music with a Mass Choir consisting of approximately 130 voices at Reidland United Methodist Church in Reidland (Paducah), Kentucky on Sunday, March 20 at 6:00 p.m. The Purchase District of United Methodist Church is pleased to announce the 9th Annual Choir Fest (formerly Paducah District ‘Music Fest’), featuring 10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord), arranged by Lloyd Larson, and For the Beauty of the Earth, arranged by John Rutter. A variety of choral arrangements will be performed by six (6) choirs and praise teams from Calvert City UMC, Concord UMC, Fulton First UMC, Lone Oak UMC, Reidland UMC, and Trinity UMC (McCracken) as well as a combined Mass Choir under the direction of Jane Dyson of Reidland, Ky. Also performing with the Mass Choir will be individuals from Clinton First UMC, Lynn Grove UMC, Mason’s Chapel UMC, Massac UMC, Owens Chapel UMC, Pryorsburg UMC, South Pleasant Grove UMC, and Spence Chapel UMC.
Donations will be accepted through a love offering, with ALL proceeds benefiting the many ministries of Reelfoot Rural Ministries (RRM), located in Obion, Tenn. Robert Craig, director of RRM, will be the guest speaker. Refreshments will follow the performance. All are invited!
Sponsored by the District Laity Team of the Purchase District of the UMC.
Reidland United Methodist Church is located at 5515 Reidland Road, Paducah, KY 42003
Contact the Purchase District office at 270.527.8282 or PurchaseDistrict@Memphis-UMC.org.
The Mass Choir will practice on March 20th at 3:30 p.m. at Reidland UMC. Participants are to rehearse both song selections before March 20th and come to practice prepared. Individual participants can contact any of the participating church choirs to practice with them (click on church names above for contact information). After practice, the generous members at Reidland UMC will serve refreshments before the program begins at 6:00 p.m.
By Roshella Jackson, South Pleasant Grove UMC, Hazel, KY
Many thanks to South Pleasant Grove United Methodist Church for making a fabulous investment in the youth of our church. We had a group of 8 youth and 3 adults attend the TN Conference Young People's Ministry “Warmth in Winter” Youth Conference on January 29–31, 2016 in Murfreesboro, TN.
“Warmth in Winter” began in 1982 as a time for youth and their leaders from the Tennessee Conference of the United Methodist Church to come together for fellowship and worship. In 2016, “Warmth in Winter” celebrated its 35th birthday! Over the years, the conference has grown from less than 100 in attendance to present day where nearly 2,400 youth, young adults, and adults still join together for fellowship, training, and worship.
To my knowledge, this is the first year that South Pleasant Grove has attended this youth conference and it was truly a wonderful experience to be a part of this Christian gathering. Anytime that the youth (and adults for that matter) have an opportunity to be in a gathering with that many youth, excited about experiencing the movement of God, it IS a powerful experience. Many times the youth share about hearing derogatory comments from their peers about being a “Christian” or a “Bible Thumper” and understandably that is a challenge to remaining strong and faithful to their Christian beliefs, church activities, and life choices. Events like “Warmth in Winter”, bring them to together to get to see youth from all over to connect and to celebrate their involvement in the church, their love of God, and their common Christian values.
“Warmth in Winter” is an event that is developed and organized to be an experience very similar to Youth 2015, the national United Methodist youth event that was held in Orlando, Florida this past year. This national youth gathering is a faith-forming event and is a ministry of Young People’s Ministries, a division of Discipleship Ministries. It is an amazing gathering, but it only happens once every four years and it moves all over the country, and can be cost prohibitive to attend. “Warmth in Winter” offers many of the same opportunities: to be in a large worship setting, to hear gifted youth ministry worship speakers, to listen to powerful worship bands, to attend informational and thought provoking workshops, and to participate in on-site service projects. We also attended one of the District pizza parties that were offered on Saturday night that not only provided us a very inexpensive meal, but fun games that encouraged all of the youth to mingle and share about their similarities and differences. We were extra blessed to hear Bishop Bill McAlilly speak and offer communion on Sunday morning. The event was well organized and everything flowed well and made for an enjoyable weekend of Christian fellowship for all!! The event has outgrown the Conference Center in Murfreesboro and will be relocating to Opryland Hotel in 2017.
The theme of the weekend was “Journey”. “We are all on a journey. From the moment we are created, our journey began. Our journey of faith also started at our creation. All of the experiences along the way compile on the other to form our path. God presents us an opportunity to join in on a transformational journey out of the sinful brokenness of the world. What does your journey look like?”
Submitted by April Arnold, pastor
Hazel and Mason's Chapel United Methodist Churches
Hazel United Methodist Church has begun a new “Reaching Out Mail Ministry”. The ministry began with a simple Christmas visit to a shut-in last year to a lady who longed to receive mail. We have organized and this lady now receives a piece of mail every day that the Postal service runs. From this, we are dreaming big and are “reaching out” to others in the community and beyond, from inmates, to those of little or no faith, to the faithful who can no longer join a congregation on Sunday mornings. We are asking YOU for names and addresses of people who might be blessed by this ministry.
For more information or other ways you can help contact Travis Burris by email at email@example.com.
CLICK HERE TO READ ARTICLE
on Memphis Conference Website
Submitted by Nancy Doty
Communications Coordinator, Murray UMW
The United Methodist Women (UMW) at First United Methodist Church in Murray, Kentucky are ‘opening their umbrellas’ to participate in the United Methodist Women’s ‘Umbrella Defense’ to Intercept the Traffickers photo campaign to raise awareness of human trafficking. Human trafficking is the second largest criminal industry in the United States. And, the Super Bowl, taking place Sunday, February 7, 2016 at Levi's® Stadium in Santa Clara, California increases the likelihood of where human trafficking can occur. We are joining a virtual line of defense around the stadium to prevent and protect those who may be victimized.
What is an “umbrella” defense? It is named after the football defensive play created by New York Giants coach, Steve Owen. The innovative formation (it was 1950) enabled the Giants to shut out the then-formidable Cleveland Browns. (source: http://www.unitedmethodistwomen.org/intercept)
Visit the UMW website at http://www.unitedmethodistwomen.org/intercept.
By George James
South Pleasant Grove United Methodist Church; Hazel, KY
Our small group of United Methodist Men (UMM) delivered ten flood relief cleaning buckets to our Purchase Area District Office on Tuesday morning, January 5, 2016. In the big scheme of things, that number of buckets is barely even a dent in the number that will probably be needed. But considering the flooding close to our area, we wanted to at least do something and do it in a timely manner. What preceded our action?
I am President of our small rural church’s UMM. Our monthly meetings normally have five or six men present. If we have a significant project with some extra lead time, we often turn out 15 or more. Average age of our group is about 55 plus.
My regular work is as an air-ambulance pilot on 12 to 14 hour shifts, either day or night. Late on Wednesday night while I was at work I opened an email on my phone that our Pastor, Robert Baker, had forwarded from our District Superintendent, Sky McCracken. It indicated that there was a need for some flood relief assistance in our area as a result of the recent very heavy rains.
One of the things suggested was cleaning buckets, comprised of 16 items, with an approximate cost of $65.00 per bucket. My work schedule slowed me down a bit. But, by Saturday morning, after doing some phone calls and coordination with my core group of men, we had set a goal of filling and delivering ten buckets by the following Tuesday. On Sunday, during church announcement time, I made an appeal to our congregation for help with funding. In all we took in a bit over $800.
On Sunday afternoon and evening, I went to five different stores in Murray, KY and got 90% of the materials needed for the buckets, filling the back end of my Subaru. Overall, gathering these items was the hardest part. A fellow member met me at the church about 8pm and we unloaded all the stuff onto a couple of tables in our fellowship hall. We did not sort any of it that night, but another member and his wife came in Monday morning and sorted it into the 15 groups of items that were to go into the buckets; a big help.
On Monday, I was off duty from my regular job, so after doing some household work and errands, I went back to Murray and acquired the remaining 10% of items. I also printed up some content labels and some business card labels with a picture, a greeting, and the name of our church on them to place on the buckets.
Late Monday afternoon, two of us started filling the buckets. Before we got too far along, four others joined us and we got them all filled, sealed, and labeled in pretty short order. We took a few pictures, patted ourselves on the back, and thanked one another for each one’s help. As we were preparing to leave, our Pastor showed up to help too, but alas he had missed the real action. We teased him a bit, but we thanked him for coming with good intentions.
About mid-morning on Tuesday, two of us drove to our District Office to deliver the buckets. Two wonderful ladies that work there, Penny and Kim, helped us unload them into the designated area. They also expressed their appreciation and that of the DS for our good work to benefit others. All in all, it was a very satisfying and rewarding project for our small group of United Methodist Men.
Photos: courtesy George James
(Click on arrows to view more photos.)
Submitted by Rev. Jamie Lee, pastor of Grace United Methodist Church, Ballard County, KY
The River Counties Cluster of United Methodist Churches met Sunday, January 3, 2016 for a joint Epiphany service in the with the people of Heartfelt Connection, an outreach ministry of Clinton First United Methodist Church located at the old feed store in Clinton, Ky. There were 85 in attendance and the Riverheart band led us in worship.
Members of the cluster churches provided the meal for the group. Several of the youth helped with a teaching moment about the 12 Days of Christmas and we closed the evening around the bonfire with an Epiphany candlelight service, celebrating the night when God broke into the darkness. Rev. Stan Waldon, pastor of Clinton First UMC, commissioned the group to go out and be the light of Christ to a hurting world.
(The River Counties Cluster is consists of United Methodist Churches in Ballard, Carlisle, Fulton, and Hickman Counties in western Kentucky.)
Plans are underway for the 9th annual Choir Fest (a.k.a. Music Fest) in the Purchase District. The 2016 event is scheduled to take place on Sunday, March 20 at Reidland United Methodist Church in Reidland (Paducah), Ky., under the direction of Ms. Jane Dyson. Ms. Dyson currently serves as choir director at Calvert City United Methodist Church in Calvert City, Ky. Purchase District Lay Leader Dianna Colson reports that members of the Purchase District Laity Team will be contacting each local church choir director, music director, or designated contact person to see how many choirs, groups, and/or individuals from each church will be participating in this year’s event, to assist the team in planning and ordering materials. Mrs. Colson serves as chairperson of the District Laity Team.
Donations will be accepted through a love offering with ALL proceeds benefiting Reelfoot Rural Ministries, located in Obion, TN - a ministry of the Memphis Conference of The United Methodist Church.
At the 2015 event, a mass choir of 120 voices from eight (8) United Methodist churches gathered for the district's 8th annual “Music Fest” with proceeds totalling $4,500.00 and benefiting Reelfoot Rural Ministries.
Mark your calendars now to attend Choir Fest on March 20th at Reidland UMC.
Contact Dianna Colson, District Lay Leader, at (270) 527-1939.
An informational meeting will be held for men (both clergy and laymen) who would explore the idea that God is calling men to prison to minister to inmates/brothers at the Kentucky State Penitentiary in Eddyville Kentucky. The meeting will be led by Mr. Rick Rosa and is scheduled to be held on Thursday, January 7, 2016, 6:30 p.m. at Calvert City United Methodist Church (UMC).
Rev. Gregory Waldrop, pastor of Calvert City UMC, invites you to the informational meeting to hear how Kairos Prison Ministry (similar to the Walk to Emmaus) works and how clergy and laymen in the Purchase District can serve as God’s instrument through which His love, grace and mercy are expressed to the participants/guests in a real and profound way. In the words of Rev. Waldrop, “Come allow God to call you past your comfort zone as Jesus' follower”.
Although the Kentucky State Penitentiary is an adult male prison, women can take part in the ministry by serving on the support team.
Changing Hearts, Transforming Lives, Impacting the World is the essence of what Kairos does.
Visit the Kairos Prison Ministry website at www.kairosprisonministry.org.
Calvert City United Methodist Church, 571 Oak Park Boulevard, Calvert City, Kentucky 42029
Clergy and laity are invited to dig into God's Word and share insights of the upcoming Sunday's lectionary scriptures in an informal setting on Thursday mornings for one hour at the District Office.
Contact District Resource LeaderRev. Kim Morrison. | Contact details
Purchase District Office, 2285 Jack Treas Road, Kirksey, KY 42054
Submitted by Kim Morrison
District Resource Leader
Christmas is a time of giving. We often get wrapped up in the commercialism of the season that we forget the real meaning….that Christ was born and came to be a servant that saved the people. You can be a servant this year for God's people and help with Project Christmas House by donating your money or time.
This year's Project Christmas House will be in Louisville, Mississippi for a single mother with one child. They were living with family while their newly purchased house was being remodeled. The house was nearly finished and the mother was waiting for her next paycheck to have the utilities turned on. A tornado hit and the house was destroyed. She had no insurance in effect yet and because she did not have a utility bill for that address, she was unable to receive sufficient help from FEMA.
If you would like to help this family out for Christmas by volunteering to go on the mission trip or to make a donation contact Bill Carr. (270) 556-5221 | email
Submitted by Joe Burkead
The Purchase District One-Time “Make a Difference” Fund Raiser for the Lakeshore Building Campaign is drawing to a close. October 31 has been set as the final date to host an event. Groups of United Methodist Men, as well as United Methodist Youth Fellowship (UMYF) groups and others, have made this campaign a terrific success!
To date, 15 churches have participated in seven separate fund raisers, generating a total of $10,261.46 for Lakeshore United Methodist Assembly (LUMA).
The most recent group to add to the total was Lone Oak United Methodist. On September 23, Terri Bozeman and her group children, ranging in age from 6 –11, assisted by the Lone Oak United Methodist Women (UMW), raised over $800 for Lakeshore by hosting a spaghetti dinner at the church. This was one of our more successful events, and was the event that raised the grand total above the $10,000 mark! Thanks and congratulations to Terri and her gang for an outstanding effort!
If there are any groups who plan to host a “last minute” event in October, we may yet add to the above total. Contact Joe Burkhead with any information or questions.
Brother Gary Lawson, Lakeshore Director, and the rest of the staff and Board of Directors at LUMA, pass along their most sincere thanks for the efforts of those in the Purchase District who helped make this campaign a success.
To contact Joe Burkhead, call the Purchase District Office at 270-527-282.
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