Tennessee Conference Review

Electronic Version of The Tennessee Conference Review a publication of The Tennessee Conference - United Methodist Church

Thomas Nankervis, Editor

Monday, August 06, 2007


In This Issue

1. “I am afraid, lest they should only exist as a dead sect, having the form of religion without the power,” article by Dr. James B. Scott and Dr. Molly Davis Scott as prelude to the Nashville Area Bishop’s Convocation on Church Renewal, Nov. 12-14—Theme: Restoring Methodism
2. New Effort Launched to Build Affordable Housing in Middle Tennessee, Blakemore United Methodist and Seay Hubbard United Methodist in partnership.
3. 2007 Native American Arts and Culture Festival, “Native Moccasins Rock,” August 17-19, 2007
4. Conference churches urged to celebrate Children's Sabbath during October
5. Central Congo Conference focus of VIM Trip to Democratic Republic of Congo, Tennessee Conference Minister invited by Bishop.
6. Meet Your Delegates to the 2008 Jurisdictional Conference, Lake Junaluska, North Carolina, short bio statements and photos
7. How Do You Feel? Article by UM evangelist Cinde Lucas. She will be providing leadership for the Overflow Ladies Day, September 8, 2007, 9:30 a.m. -1:00 p.m., St. Luke UMC, Columbia, Tennessee.
8. Lynn Taylor, New Secretary, Office of the Nashville District Superintendent.
9. SEJ Ministers’ Week Proves to be dynamic event—a report from Lake Junaluska

Restoring Methodism to be Theme of 2007 Bishop’s Convocation on Church Renewal, Nov. 12-14

The following article is the first in a series of three articles by Dr. James B. Scott and Dr. Molly Davis Scott in which they will summarize the themes they discuss in their recent book Restoring Methodism. The Scotts will be providing leadership for the Nashville Area Bishop’s Convocation on Church Renewal, November 12-14, 2007, Montgomery Bell State Park. At the convocation they will present these themes to both the clergy and the laity of the Tennessee and Memphis Annual Conferences

First in a Series of Three Articles
“I am afraid, lest they should only exist as a dead sect, having the form of religion without the power”
By Dr. James B. Scott and Dr. Molly David Scott

The reality of The United Methodist Church in America is that, in spite of some great service by laity and clergy, and some strong local churches, our Church as a whole is a collapsing denomination. What is at stake here is what we have classically called the salvation of people—that is, being united with God, recreated in the image of Jesus Christ, taught and led by the Holy Spirit, and serving Christ in the world. The United Methodist Church continues to age and decrease in numbers, which means our contribution to the Kingdom of God in future years will continue to diminish. For many of us, our Church’s loss of vitality and influence also jeopardizes the relationships of our children and grandchildren with Jesus Christ.

Dr. James B. Scott and Dr. Molly Davis Scott would not consent to be Resource persons at the Bishop’s Convocation unless there was a day set aside specifically for United Methodist lay persons.

Mr. Wesley said, “I am not afraid that the people called Methodists should ever cease to exist either in Europe or America. I am afraid, lest they should only exist as a dead sect, having the form of religion without the power.” This does not need to happen.

There is an answer. As always, that solution is found in our past. The story of the Christian Church, from the primitive Church and down through the ages and stages of Church history, cycles through the themes of flaming birth, growth and phenomenal success, abandonment of the essentials, severe decline, repentance, confession, recommitment, and—by the grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit—rebirth. In the 1700s, Methodists were born out of that same set of dynamics after the Church’s and society’s decline that culminated with the subsequent gift of rebirth. And now after almost 300 years, it is time once again for rebirth.

There is no secret here, no new theology, no gimmicks. As we said before, the solution is found in our past. The path to rebirth is a way that we already know; it has been recorded, it is clear, and it is well-defined. It is simply a matter of returning to that path. The Reverend John Wesley and the early Methodists did not turn to some unique, contemporary fad or sensational strategy to lure people into the Church. Rather, Wesley, a few clergy, and a multitude of dedicated laypeople sought to return to the original path—to living in and living out the essentials of the primitive Church of Jesus Christ.

It was through the theology and practice of holiness of heart and life that men, women, and children, both rich and poor, educated and uneducated, experienced the gift of justification that comes by faith and the separate gift of sanctification that comes by faith. They were so renewed in Christ, so changed in their beings, so restored in their souls that their hearts and minds and souls found new life and new power. As a result, they were internally compelled to externally spread the love, peace, and joy they had experienced. It was the lives, the words, the deeds of the early Methodist people that won over others, one by one. The dramatic change and profound goodness that ensued in their lives over long periods of time overcame skeptics. The real and continuing change in these people could not be discounted. The proclamation of the Gospel, lived out in their lives, spoke to the licentiousness, emptiness, and self-centeredness of those without Christ. Many of the earliest antagonists of the Church were finally won over by the powerful flame of the Spirit of God present in these people.

Bishop Wills greets James and Molly Davis Scott at the 2007 session of The Memphis Annual Conference. Photo by Cathy Farmer

That Flame is still alive in The United Methodist Church today; it only desires to burn more brightly. The discipline—that is, the practice—of experiencing and maintaining that new life in service to the Kingdom of God and to the world was the result of returning to and modifying lost practices and theology.
The book Restoring Methodism is a simple little book. Many leaders in The United Methodist Church think that it captures the essence of what God did with and through the early Methodists in the 1700s and that it applies to our current situation. We need to follow in the footsteps of John Wesley, just as he followed in the footsteps of the primitive Church and other renewal movements in Church history, and we must do for our generation what he did for his.

In Restoring Methodism, we lay out 10 decisions to return to that pathway. The first two decisions articulate the contemporary reality of the Christian Church in America and the reality of The United Methodist Church in America. Some people are either mildly or severely shocked by that reality, but we assure you that we were actually kind in our portrayal of it. If anything, the picture we paint is understated. Having laid that foundation, the next eight decisions recapture the pathway, the essence of those dynamics that made Methodism one of the greatest movements of God since the first century.

Wouldn’t you like to know what those dynamics were? When we meet together in November, not only will we discuss what those principles were, we will also begin to identify how—in a tangible, practical way—we can apply them in our personal faith lives, our ministries, our local churches, and even in our Districts and Conferences.

The purpose of the comprehensive solution that we give in Restoring Methodism, and that we will discuss at the Nashville Area Bishop’s Convocation in November, is not to save a denomination. The purpose is to honor our own salvation and our own calling to serve Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God to the best of our abilities; the purpose is to pray and work so that we might become deeper disciples and even apostles. This cannot be a single-issue approach; it must be comprehensive in its scope, affecting many critical areas at once. The crucial by-products of this effort and opportunity are that we become once again the powerful movement that God initiated through John Wesley and that our personal lives and ministries overflow with the peace, power, and purpose that Christians experience in rebirth.

What we are asking you to do—both laity and clergy—is to read Restoring Methodism, pray over it, discuss it with your leadership, and come prepared to work in November. It is essential that you come prepared.

Comments on the Bishop's Convocation and on the book Restoring Methodism

For many years, the Work Area on Evangelism for the Tennessee Conference has sponsored an Evangelism Conference each September. Due to extenuating circumstances, there will be no Conference this year. However, plans are already made for the 2008 Conference with Dr. Terry Teykl, author and presenter, and Dr. Kwasi Kena of the General Board of Discipleship.

In lieu of the annual Evangelism Conference, the Work Area on Evangelism is endorsing and encouraging all clergy to make plans to go to the “Bishop’s Convocation on Church Renewal,” November 12-14, 2007 at Montgomery Bell State Park.
--Rev. Allen R. Black, Chairperson, Tennessee Conference Work Area on Evangelism

There are a lot of books about rescuing mainline Protestant churches, and most of them are useless. This is not one of those books. The Scotts have written a book that accurately defines reality, understands the origin and purpose of Methodism, and shows a direction for the future of The United Methodist Church. I highly recommend this book for study by congregations, clergy covenant groups, conference leaders, and Bishops. This book could change your life and ministry.
--Bishop Tim W. Whitaker, Florida Area, The United Methodist Church

I highly endorse this book as a way to revitalize our churches and pastors. I hope every pastor will buy a copy and let it become a guiding light in their ministry. Each Lay Leader would benefit from this book, especially if offered the opportunity to partner with his or her pastor to renew our congregations.
--Bishop Richard J. Wills, Jr., Memphis and Tennessee Conferences, The United Methodist Church

First Home Underway on Wharf Avenue in NashvilleNew Effort Launched to Build Affordable Housing in Middle Tennessee

A dedication ceremony to celebrate the start of construction of a two-story, 1,216- square-foot home located at 39 Wharf Avenue in Nashville, took place on Sunday, July 29, 2007. Participating in the ceremony were (right to left): District Superintendent John Collett, head usher Daniel Bliss Aguila, Seay-Hubbard minister Kennard Murray, and Blakemore minister Paul Gardner.

“Building the Walls That Unite Us” is the focus of a new ministry sponsored by Blakemore United Methodist Church created to provide affordable housing to low-income families and individuals.
The Blakemore Housing Trust has begun construction on a two-story, 1,216- square-foot home located at 39 Wharf Avenue in Nashville, according to Ron Merville, Jr., the organization’s chairman.
“This project represents an effort to meet a critical need for affordable housing in our community while building community among the members of Blakemore United Methodist Church,” said Merville. “We see this as a way to put our energies into a project that is a rewarding experience both for our members and the family that purchases the home.”

Trustees of the Blakemore Housing Trust are introduced (left to right) Rev. Tom Carter, Jason Cloud, Ron Merville, Jr., and Patsye Candish. Missing was Bill Bryant.

The Blakemore Housing Trust is working with the Woodbine Community Organization to identify and select a family that has completed a series of financial counseling sessions for homebuyers.

A congregation located in the vicinity of the project, Seay-Hubbard United Methodist Church, plans to contribute to the home-building effort by providing its facilities and church members as volunteers for work days on the site.

“We see this as an opportunity to build community in our neighborhood while we build fellowship with the members of Blakemore,” said Rev. Kennard Murray of Seay-Hubbard United Methodist Church. “We look forward to being involved in an effort that will help us welcome a new family to our neighborhood.”

Organizers hope that the success of this project will serve as a model for other churches to follow to create more affordable housing in Middle Tennessee, according to Rev. Paul Gardner of Blakemore United Methodist Church.

“We have learned a great deal in the process of putting together this first project,” said Rev. Gardner. “By sharing this knowledge and experience, we hope to encourage other congregations to get involved in building homes for individuals and families that need affordable housing.”

Initial financing for the project is being provided by Pinnacle Financial Partners. Based on the current construction schedule, the home will be ready for the family to occupy by November 30, 2007.

For more information about the Blakemore Housing Trust, call Blakemore United Methodist Church at 615-297-6519.

The Seay-Hubbard Choir provided a stirring anthem for the occasion. The project represents an effort to meet a critical need for affordable housing in our community while building community among the members of Blakemore United Methodist Church, Seay-Hubbard United Methodist Church and public and private organizations committed to providing housing to low-income families and individuals.

August 17-19, Camp Lake Benson
2007 Native American Arts and Culture Festival, “Native Moccasins Rock”

Art by Mary T Newman, “What’s behind the mask?” Native arts of all kinds will take center stage at Native Moccasins Rock.

Want to learn Native American arts & crafts—pottery, basketry, bead
Work (beginning and advanced), flint knapping, leather work (make a leather bag)? You can learn to create contemporary versions of some of the very items that command high price estimates on Antiques Road Show.

Or would you like to immerse yourself in Native culture—native spirituality, traditional dance, making medicinal salves, the basics of pow-wow drumming, the message of the flute (bring a flute or get a cane flute from teacher Jamie Russell), storytelling?

The NDN Stix Chix dance group from the Nanticoke tribe in Delaware--Raggie, Boe, Cory, Kristina, Jasmine, Brittany, Meggin, and Cheyenne

If the answer to either question is “yes” then you’ll want to register for a day, or the whole event. Camp Lake Benson is located at Bon Aqua, Tennessee (west of Nashville on Highway 100). Meals and sleeping accommodations are available.

Go to the Tennessee Conference website (http://www.tnumc.org/) and in the left hand column under Conference Ministries you will see the option, “Native American.” Click on “Native American” and you will go to the Native American Ministries page. The major option on the page is Native Moccasins Rock. Clicking on the wording “Native Moccasins Rock” will take you to further information and a downloadable brochure.

Ben Sanchez, Navaho Grass dancer and lead singer of Warriors Path. Ben is performing his first dance for his baby daughter, Whitney.

Geezis Humphrey displays a pottery piece she has been working on. Geezis is also a Jingle Dancer

Sheila and Grady Jones. Both will be performing Native American dances and Grady, a recording artist, will also be performing on the flute.

Emerson Begay is Navajo and is a well known traditional dancer and singer. As part of Warriors Path he will teach the basics of powwow drumming, and share how important the drum is to Native culture.

Conference churches urged to celebrate Children's Sabbath during October

Local churches in the TN Conference are encouraged to celebrate Children's Sabbath during the month of October. This is a yearly interfaith observance not only to celebrate the gifts of children and ministries with children but to also advocate for the needs of children within our own communities and across the country. This year's theme is, "My Boat is So Small: Creating a Safe Harbor of Hope and Health Care for All Children.

You may purchase a Children's Sabbath resource for $8.00. This resource is full of educational and worship ideas to use in your observance. Please make checks payable to TN Conference and order through Susan Groseclose, sgroseclose@tnumc.org or Mary T. Newman, mtnewman@tnumc.org or at 615-329-1177 or 1-800-403-5795.

Central Congo Conference focus of VIM Trip to Democratic Republic of Congo
by Rev. Bill Lovell

Bishop David Yemba Kekumba, of the Central Congo Conference of the Democratic Republic of Congo has invited Jack Miner, Rev. David Miner and me to go on a VIM trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo leaving August 17 through September 15, 2007. The purpose of this trip is to participate in the Central Congo Annual Conference at Diengenga, carefully listen to church leaders tell of the needs of the Trade School Advance # 15121A, The Lorena Kelly School # 15111N, the Medical Clinic # 15101N, the Pastor’s School at Wembo Nyama # 15116B, the orphanage in Kinshasa #15100N, and the Conference Center in Kinshasa # 1511OC.

the Rev. Bill Lovell

My parents, Marshall and Eloise Lovell were missionaries for over 20 years in the Congo and were supported by the Tennessee Annual Conference. I still speak the Otetela language fluently and will be translating for Jack and David. Jack. a retired pilot for Piedmont Airline, has been to Congo 15 times since 1985 and has been instrumental in leading the Western North Carolina Conference to build a Trade School at Diengenga. This school helps the Congolese graduate learn a marketable trade and become self-sufficient. David Miner is an minister member of the Western North Carolina Annual Conference.

I am asking for your prayers for this journey. Upon my return, I will be more than happy to come and speak to any church group in the Tennessee Conference reporting on this mission.

*Bill Lovell is a retired member of the Tennessee Annual Conference and serves as Chairperson of the Conference Board of Global Ministries. During the past few years he has been part of consultant groups sent by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry to work on the training system for African pastors.

Meet Your Delegates to the 2008 Jurisdictional Conference, Lake Junaluska, North Carolina

Ministerial Delegates to the Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference 2008

Rev. Harriet J. Bryan. Pastor of the Salem United Methodist Church since Annual Conference 2007. Previous to that she had served Erin United Methodist Church since 1999 and before that served as an associate at a North Carolina church. She was born in Columbia, Tennessee, and received a B.A. degree from the University of Mississippi. Her M. Div. is from the Duke Divinity School. During the 1997 school year she studied at St. Andrew’s University, St. Andrews, Scotland.

Bryan is Chairperson of the Commission on Equitable Compensation for the Tennessee Conference, and a member of the Conference Common Table.

Rev. Dr. Karen P. Barrineau. Pastor of St. Bethlehem United Methodist Church (1999-present), Chair of the TN Conference Order of Elders (2000-2008). Born in Orange, N.J. 9-18-1951. Education: B.S. Sociology (Francis Marion College, 1975); M.A. Teaching (University of South Carolina, 1980); M.Div. (Vanderbilt University,1991); D.Min. "Wesley & the Poor" (Wesley Theological Seminary, 2001) Married 37 years to W.R. "Barry" Barrineau. Two daughters, Laura (Bryan) Eady and Linda (Steven) O'Neal, and 7 grandchildren: Preston, C.J., Kirstyn, Derek, Coy, Kady, Khloe. Hobbies: playing violin, reading, and working on their 8 acre farm with her 2 sheep (Glory and Madora).

Rev. Michael Williams. Michael Williams has been a member of the Tennessee Conference since 1974. During that time he has served churches, taught as an adjunct professor at several seminaries, and served on staff of the General Board of Discipleship in the Section on Worship. Michael is presently serving at Hendersonville First United Methodist Church. He is married to Margaret, and they have two daughters, Sarah and Elizabeth.

Rev. Max Mayo. Max is married to Stephanie and they have two children, Justin and Maddie. Stephanie is a Physical Therapist. He graduated with a BSW from Middle Tennessee State University in 1993 and received a Master of Divinity from the Candler School of Theology of Emory University in Atlanta in 1997. Max received his first appointment in 1990. His appointments include the Haynes Chapel/Cedar Grove Charge 1990-1994, Newborn (North Georgia) 1994-1997, Westview 1997-2002, and Fairfield Glade 2002-present.
Rev. Kennard Murray. Rev. Kennard Murray is the pastor of Seay-Hubbard UMC in the Nashville District. He is married to Pamela. They have four children Keith, Marcus, Tiffany, and Kennard. Kennard has served churches in the Tennessee Annual Conference since 1993. He has served the Annual Conference in several areas such as Refugee Assistant Coordinator, treasurer of the Wesley Foundation at Tennessee State University, Board of Directors of the Nashville Area United Methodist Foundation, and the Nashville District Board of Ordained Ministry. Kennard currently serves on the Committee on Episcopacy and Committee on Sexual Ethics. He is a Candidate for the Degree of Doctor of Ministry from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Pastoral Counseling and Psychotherapy. He has a Masters Degree from Vanderbilt University in Theological Studies and a Bachelors of Science Degree from Tennessee State University in Sociology. Kennard was Ecclesiastical Endorsed as a Pastoral Counselor by the United Methodist Endorsing Agency Board of Higher Education and Ministry, Division of Ordained Ministry in 2004. In May, 2000 Kennard retired from employment with Tennessee State Government after 30 years of service. The last position he held was the Director of the Division of Health Care Facilities with the Tennessee Department of Health. Kennard's home church is John Wesley UMC in the Nashville District.

Lay Delegates to the Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference 2008

Holly Neal. Holly is a member of Crossville 1st UMC where she serves on the Evangelism & UMW Nomination Committees and is Chairperson for the Lay Witness Mission. She shares her faith as a study leader for UMW, as a Sunday School teacher and as a Certified Lay Speaker. Holly experienced growth in her spiritual life through The Walk to Emmaus, Chrysalis, and Kairos Torch Prison Ministry. She is a student of God’s Word having completed all four Disciple Bible Studies as well as many others. This year she began training to be a Stephen Minister.

In the Cookeville District Holly is the Director of Lay Speaking Ministries, UMW Treasurer and serves on the Board of Ordained Ministry and DCOM. On the Conference Level she serves on the Board of Laity, the Congregational Development and nominating committees. She was blessed to serve as delegate to the 2004 Jurisdictional Conference.

Holly is the Director of the United Fund of Cumberland County raising funds and awareness for 29 local non-profits. She and husband Randy will celebrate 33 years of marriage this December. They have two daughters Heather who is employed at United Methodist Communications and is married to Rev. Ryan Bennett and Joanna who is Director of Program Ministries at Fairfield Glade United Methodist Church and is married to Paramedic Josh Newberry.

Rachel Britt Hagewood. Rachel has been involved in the Tennessee Conference her entire life. As the daughter of a pastor (Dr. Ed Britt), Rachel grew up in several churches around the conference. She attended Martin Methodist College, graduating with a degree in Christian Education. She and her husband, Mark, are now members at Hendersonville FUMC. Rachel is a member of the Young Adult Council for the Tennessee Conference. Rachel works as a Development Editor for children’s Sunday school curriculum at the United Methodist Publishing House, working on Live B.I.G., the new DVD based curriculum. Rachel loves to scrapbook, and is working to establishing her own scrapbooking business. She also enjoys spending time with family and playing with her dog, Briscoe.

Patricia (Pat) Sailors. Pat went to work at the Pulaski District Office twenty-three years ago as a “temp” until Superintendent Roy West could hire a real secretary, and is still there. Prior to that she was a research chemist for Caterpillar and a stay-at-home Mom. This is her first election as a lay delegate to Jurisdictional Conference.

A member of Pulaski First, Pat has served on various church committees including PPRC, Trustees, Administrative Board, taught Sunday School, Bible studies, and youth. She has served on numerous district and conference committees and currently serves on the Conference Board of Ordained Ministry, Equitable Compensation and Communications.

Pat attended Western Illinois University with a major in Special Education. She has been married to Richard (Dick) Sailors for 40 years and they have two grown children, Matt a doctor in Houston, TX and Megan, a nurse and stay-at-home Mom in Maryville, TN, and 3 grandsons.

Andrew Miller. Andy is President and Publisher of Providence House Publishers in Franklin, Tennessee. For nearly twenty years he has been an active member of Franklin First United Methodist Church. In his lay capacity at Franklin First he has served in a number of positions including chair of Long Range Planning and Church Historian. He is chairman of the board of the Cool Spring YMCA and is an active member of the Rotary Club of Nashville. He presently serves as president of the Tennessee Conference Historical Society and was previously a member of the conference Commission on Archives and History. Andy was a reserve delegate to the 2000 and 2004 General Conferences.

Andy is a native of Southern California, and came to Nashville in 1981 to work at the United Methodist Publishing House where he was employed until the manufacturing division was closed and he began his present work in 1990. He is a 1981 graduate of California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, California. He is married to Jane and has a daughter Micah and a son Paul Wesley.

Deborah H. Robinson. Deborah H. Robinson is Executive Director of Miriam’s Promise in Nashville. Miriam’s Promise is affiliated with the United Methodist Church and provides pregnancy counseling, parenting education, counseling and adoption services. Debbie has served as director of Miriam’s Promise since 1991.
Debbie received her undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University and a Masters in Counseling from Trevecca Nazarene University. She has served in an advisory capacity to The Tennessee Adoption Law Commission, taught as an adjunct professor at Martin Methodist College and has conducted continuing education seminars for attorneys, counselors and social workers. Debbie and her husband Harry attend Bethlehem United Methodist Church where Harry serves as Director of Music and Arts.

How Do You Feel?
By Cinde Lucas*

Cinde Lucas is a singer, songwriter, speaker, musician, and workshop leader. She is an Associate Evangelist with the United Methodist Church and is a member of the National Association of United Methodist Evangelists. She will be providing leadership for the Overflow Ladies Day, September 8, 2007, 9:30 a.m. -1:00 p.m., St. Luke UMC, Columbia, Tennessee.

There's a myth that I would like to rip out of your mind today. It is the age-old myth of FEELING like doing something. You know I don't know very many times in my life that I can say that I FELT like doing some of the tasks that await me every day. Let's see; I don't feel like getting up some mornings. I don't feel like cleaning, cooking, or doing laundry most days. I don't feel like buying groceries, paying bills, washing my vehicle or mowing the grass. Why, some days I don't even feel like praying or reading my Bible. So when did we get the idea that when we feel like doing something that that was the time to do it?

Here are some other things that I don't normally FEEL like doing. I don't feel like forgiving someone when they hurt and/or offend me. I don't feel like loving people who are obnoxious and rude. I don't feel like giving up my rights and putting others first. But not one place in the Bible can I find where it says that when we feel like it, then we can do these things. Nope, not once. If any of you find it, please let me know so that I can get off this hook that my feelings try to keep me on.

You see we give our feeling way too much say. Our feelings are part of our soul, which is our mind, will and emotions. Christians are to be led by the Spirit, not our feelings. Want to know why? The Holy Spirit is always ready to forgive, love, work, be diligent, and do the right things. But our flesh, (our soulish realm) never FEELS like doing any of these things. In fact, when I follow the dictates of my flesh I usually end up spending too much money, eating too much food, wasting too much time, and behaving too selfishly.

The only way to live a victorious, Christian life is to be led by the Holy Spirit. Following the leadership of the Holy Spirit is a choice, not a feeling. The quickest way I know of to DIE to my flesh, is to do the opposite of what I FEEL like doing. Paul said, "I die daily", and believe me your feelings have to go to the cross on a daily basis if you ever want to have any victory in your life.

So I pray that today you will be willing to follow the Holy Spirit to do those things that your flesh doesn't FEEL like doing. I pray that you will have strength to say NO to your selfish, self-centered desires and say yes to God's ways of living and being, regardless of how you feel. May God give you His grace to walk by faith and not allow your feelings to rule over you. May you know the presence of the Lord and experience His resurrection power to overcome all the feelings that hinder you today.

In His Grace,

Lynn Taylor, New Secretary, Office of the Nashville District Superintendent

Lynn Taylor

Lynn Taylor, originally from Clarksville, TN, has called Nashville home since 1984. She is married to Sid Taylor and they have two children, Kate and Sy. She is an active member at Belmont United Methodist Church having served as past chair of Staff Parish Relations Committee and the Trust Fund Board. In addition, she has served on the finance and outreach committees. Lynn’s business background includes work as Assistant Vice President for Ingram Book Company in the finance department, along with various part-time and consulting positions after become a mother. She loves the outdoors and spends much of her free time attending sporting events in which her children are participating.

SEJ Ministers’ Week Proves to be dynamic event
Among those attending from the Tennessee Annual Conference were Al Doyle, Lloyd Doyle, Bishop Dick Wills and Eileen, Harold Martin and Vivian, Bettye Lewis, Steven Lee and Crystal. Garry Speich and Peggy also dropped by to visit with friends and expound on the joys of retirement.

Lake Junaluska, N.C.: Learning and relaxation marked this year’s Ministrers’ Conference. The gathering of clergy during the week of July 10 – 13 featured Rev. Mike Slaughter of Ginghamsburg Church in Tipp City, Ohio. The week was built around workshops, platform hours and worship.

Rev. Mike Slaughter, pastor of Ginghamsburg Church, Tipp City, Ohio, was one of the principle leaders for the SEJ gathering of clergy.

Ed. Pruit, a District Superintendent in the Virginia Annual Conference said he enjoyed the whole experience.

“It’s really been great for me. The preaching has been really been great. Mike Slaughter is a fresh breeze. For someone who’s from a big church that’s known nationwide, he’s a great spokesperson for the United Methodist Church. I enjoyed just being here, waking up early and reading,” he said.

Money Matters was the title of one of the teachings Slaughter shared with the pastors. He said financial freedom is something people sitting in church pews are trying to find.

“The mission of Jesus is setting people free so they can know the esteem and purpose of generous living,” he said.

Dennis Morris of the South Carolina Annual Conference said once he paid attention in the teaching it made a world of difference.

“I gotta be honest, when I walked in there and I saw it was about money I thought ‘Gosh, not stewardship’ and by the time I left there my wife and I were talking about the commitments we need to make and the changes that we need to make in our own lives,” Morris said.

Dr. Ron Lowery of the Tennessee Conference felt the event was excellent in helping pastors to minister effectively in local churches.

District Superintendent Ron Lowery of the Tennessee Annual Conference said the week was focused on helping pastors to minister effectively in local churches.

“I think it’s been a real excellent week. I think the class presentations have been good, they help us get focused on what the needs are in a local church and how to address those needs. They’ve been across a big spectrum of things, which I think it’s been good. The platform speakers have been really outstanding, Mike Slaughter uses new ways of approaching church and I think the Bishops who have spoken at night have inspired in different ways, each bringing special emphasis to us,” he said.

Bishop Larry Goodpaster of the Alabama-West Florida Annual Conference said networking is one of the many benefits pastors receive at the conference.

“They have the opportunity to learn from people who are very effective in ministry and learning from each other. I think one of the great parts of Ministers’ Week is networking with other pastors and other leaders in the church so that we can help each other,” he said.

Gary Jones, also of the Alabama-West Florida Conference, said he had a great experience for the third year.

“I was blessed with the worship services and the platform speaker had a lot of valuable information that we hopefully can take all this back to our church, trying to put in our operations of the church. This is a wonderful experience, you learn a lot you have some great fellowship with other pastors, you are in a beautiful place and it’s a wonderful experience,” he said.

Donna Jones of the Kentucky Annual Conference said she was ready to tell others about the conference.

“I think it’s been a great week. Mike Slaughter it’s been excellent. I just wish he rubbed off on a lot of us. The bishops have been great too, Lisa Allen in the worship has been wonderful. I think we had a great week and I’m excited about telling others to come,” she said.

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