Tennessee Conference Review

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

Thomas Nankervis, Editor

Friday, August 17, 2007


Six Important Articles in this issue of THE REVIEW
+“Know your disease, know your cure….” article by Dr. James B. Scott and Dr. Molly Davis Scott outlining major points in their book Restoring Methodism. The Scotts will be providing leadership for the Nashville Area Bishop’s Convocation on Church Renewal, November 12-14th. Restoring Methodism will be the text for the event.
+First Event in Learning for Discipleship Series, September 21-22, “Teaching the Mission of Jesus.” The event is presented by the Cal Turner Jr., Center for Church Leadership at Martin Methodist College
+Interview with Emily Snyder and Steven Miles, founders of “Strangers No Longer,” two Vanderbilt Divinity students put their faith into action by creating an organization aimed at educated people of faith about immigration and immigrant’s issues.
+ Two Young Missionaries from Tennessee Conference are Commissioned-- Christina Kretchik (St. Johns United Methodist Church) and Michael Jordan (Belmont United Methodist Church)
+ UMC assigns Dunlap to Martin Methodist in US-2 program. Martin Methodist introduces the Tennessee Conference to Mariellyn Dunlap
+Restorative justice advocate Harmon Wray dies – but the seeds of his special ministry continue to grow.

“Know your disease, know your cure….”

This article is the second 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 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.

In the 1700s, the first insurance company formed in America was the Presbyterian Ministers Fund. It was initially created to provide benefits to surviving spouses and children of clergy. Ministers Life was formed shortly thereafter for the same purpose. From the 1700s to the 1960s, these two companies enjoyed a unique advantage in the insurance business: Clergy lived longer and experienced fewer health claims than other individuals or any other group of insureds in the United States. Therefore these companies were able to offer to individuals and judicatories (Conferences) exceptionally low rates and significantly higher dividends on life-insurance policies. Since the 1960s, that trend has been reversed.
Dr. James B. Scott makes a presentation at the District Superintendent luncheon, 2007 Memphis Annual Conference. Photo by Cathy Farmer.

Clergy now have one of the worst—some actuaries say the worst—health history of any identifiable group in the insurance business. As a result, Presbyterian Ministers Fund and Ministers Life no longer exist.

The Reverend John Wesley was fond of saying, regarding the human predicament, “Know your disease, know your cure.” So what is the disease clergy are facing now and what is the cure for clergy? We affirm with Mr. Wesley that there is a cure for our current situation.

Every one of us knows how important it is that we correctly diagnose the real situation in order to apply the correct solutions. So it is with us clergy now.

We have taught in the Doctor of Ministry programs at three seminaries over the past eighteen years. In all that time, we have identified only one candidate who, in our opinion, clearly did not have a legitimate calling to ordained ministry. Without exception, every other minister unarguably demonstrated a faithful call to ministry. These people, whom we came to know intimately, truly felt called. They loved Jesus Christ and sincerely wanted to be led by His Spirit and serve the Kingdom of God. In a number of cases, they had made tremendous sacrifices to pursue their calling and were willing to suffer whatever the cost to serve Christ and His Church.

James B. and Molly Davis Scott

However, in spite of all the faithfulness we have witnessed, clergy report having many difficulties in ministry today. Almost all clergy have come to realize that ordained ministry must be done differently—in some major ways—than we have conducted it the past 40 to 50 years. Change is necessary not just because we are now in the 21st century; change in the ministry was necessary decades ago, when we first began to experience a declining and aging membership. However, many of the changes that were made then were the wrong changes and brought worse results.

Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands… who [God] has called us with a holy calling…” II Timothy 1:6,9a

Returning to a Former Way of Ministry that Produces Spiritual, Emotional, and Physical Health

For clergy, returning to a former way of ministry would produce a dramatic improvement in our spiritual, emotional and physical health. That is a desire every one of us has, and it will happen for the following reasons:

1. Clergy focusing on their salvation and calling as the top priority brings peace of heart and mind.

Whatever happens to the Church in the United Sates, or whatever course The United Methodist Church takes, we the clergy must not be deterred from nor distracted by non-priority issues. Then we will be able say that we have been found faithful to our salvation and calling. On the day we stand before Jesus the Christ, we will be able to say we have tried our utmost to serve Him and His Kingdom and have endured to the end. We never gave up; we finished the race of life well.

2. Holiness of heart and life will improve spiritual health.

Spiritual health is a gift of grace. It is incumbent upon us to participate with God in that gift by using our graces, gifts and expertise to do those things that we are gifted and equipped to do. When we are performing ministry that we are gifted to do and that we enjoy, we will feel worthwhile and be successful—and we will be happier and healthier.

We grew up in the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s. Even as adults in the early ’60s, we experienced the clergy dictum that “the morning is given to God.” The morning was spent in prayer, study and sermon preparation.

“My design was, not only to direct them [Methodist ministers] how to press after perfection, to exercise their every grace and improve every talent they had received….” John Wesley

The motivation was that the clergy desired what Wesley wanted out of all his preachers, whether ordained or lay: “holiness of heart and life.” In fact, Mr. Wesley continually associated holiness with happiness. With holiness or perfect love abiding in our hearts and minds and souls, we become the spiritual leaders we are called to be. The laity can see, feel, experience and know if that manifestation of “holiness of heart and life” is abiding in us. That is the primary desire and hope of laity for their clergy. It is also the beginning of leadership.

3. Empowering laypeople for front line ministry will relieve the leadership strain on clergy.
There is an expectation out there that is killing us clergy. It comes from senior leadership, and it comes from the laity. The interpretation of the expectation—“Take thou the authority”—is that if a church is to grow, it is the clergy’s responsibility. We constantly hear the refrain “It is all about leadership.” Whether by innuendo or verbal declaration, this is the expectation of many members of our senior leadership.

That expectation has been grafted into the minds of our laypeople. They say, “Let’s wait until our new preacher comes and see what he/she wants to do. Let’s see what they can do.” This is an impossible expectation! And it is a formula for failure. The rising trend in too many of our churches—that we “hire and fire our preachers”—is not Methodist.

Another expectation that developed in the late 1960s revolved around a reinterpretation of the nature and purpose of the Church. Suddenly and unexpectedly we began hearing that the role of the Church was to meet people’s “needs.” That expectation has been a driving force in the Church in America since then. It is also a bottomless pit. Noticeably Jesus did not come to meet people’s needs.

Most laypeople in Methodism love their clergy. Admittedly, some do not, but these are the minority. Admittedly, sometimes that minority gains control of a congregation, but that is a separate issue.

In the ministry situation to which we wish to return, the lay leaders will themselves—with few exceptions—resolve the problem with destructive members. The new life begins when clergy learn to be “leaders among equals.” The new relationship arrives when lay leaders enter into full and front line ministry. When lay leaders are thrust into the responsibility of full ministry and experience the complexity of it, they realize—as clergy do—their desperate spiritual need, their need for partnership and cooperation in ministry, and their need for training.

Suddenly and genuinely, there is an elevated and real appreciation for clergy and for the graces, gifts and expertise that the clergy bring to their ministry. At that moment, everything changes.
When we prepare and train lay leaders to become spiritual leaders and to do full ministry, both clergy and laity experience the righteousness, peace and joy that we are all called to experience.

We clergy will have a more loving and genuine relationship with our laypeople, especially lay leaders.

4. With these changes, there will arise the best opportunity for growth—growth that is permanent.

Historically, one of the supreme strengths of Methodism was that we kept what we won. A steady stream of people flowed in the front door, and only a small dribble escaped through the back door or were dismissed from membership.

It is the ministry of lay leaders that will not only bring people to faith in Jesus Christ but will keep what we have – the members, the strong faith, the growing, the action. Not only is this the best formula, it is the only formula for bearing fruit, and fruit that lasts.

5. Our spouse will be happier.
Our spouse will be happier because we are happier. We will be more fulfilled, enjoy what we are doing, experience significantly fewer conflicts in ministry, resolve those conflicts differently, and spend more quality time with our spouse. In many situations, our spouse will be more inclined to participate with us in ministry. All of that improves our health and lifeline.

6. Our children and grandchildren will have a greater likelihood of becoming committed Christians.

The dropout rate and the rate of casual participation of the children and grandchildren of clergy, whether our own children or the children of friends in ordained ministry, worries all of us. What children see, feel, and experience when they look at us will become the model for how they love and serve Christ.

7. Clergy and laity will deeply enjoy being in ministry together.
There are a multitude of books that describe Conferences during the first two hundred years of Methodism. The clergy and laity shared a dedicated and genuine love and affection for each other. Conferences, especially Annual Conference, were the highlight of the year. It was anticipated with enthusiasm and joy because it would be a week of spiritual blessings, renewed friendships, and advancement of the Kingdom of God.

Reclaiming our Methodist heritage would restore that depth of love and affection and comradeship among the clergy. It would be the end of competition, suspicion, and improper back-stabbing and gossip.

8. We will make decisions on the issues that are most likely to bring these results rather than focusing on secondary issues.

The fundamental organizational system of historic Methodism does not need to change. The Church’s order of Bishops, Traveling Elders, Deacons, apportionments, Conferences, etc., do not need to change. People today are so frustrated with the Church that they want to radically alter the system. But the Methodist/United Methodist system is still a great vehicle. It is not the primary problem.

What does need to change? Our attitudes, behaviors and results.

We fear that if we do not make changes on the a priori issues, we will by default make changes that are deleterious to our future. We need to return to and strengthen the already-functioning decisions outlined in our book Restoring Methodism. If we do that, it will fundamentally change the issues that drive other issues.

9. The decisions we make will be—must be—faithful, both biblically and historically.
As you can see by the people who are recommending Restoring Methodism, found in the opening pages of the book under “What Leaders Are Saying,” the ten decisions expounded upon are faithful to the biblical witness and to historical Methodism.

Having shared these thoughts, let us be soberly cognizant that we clergy still have profound influence in our United Methodist Church. To a large extent, it will be us who make the decisions about where United Methodism will be in ten, fifteen, and twenty years. We are making those decisions today. Let’s make the right decisions.

First Event in Learning for Discipleship Series, September 21-22, “Teaching the Mission of Jesus”

The Cal Turner Jr., Center for Church Leadership at Martin Methodist College is making great strides in its efforts to “identify, recruit and train future church leaders and support current leaders in ministry.” On September 21-22 the Center is launching the first event in the Learning for Discipleship Series. Dr. Margaret Ann Crain and Dr. Jack Seymour, two nationally known scholars in discipleship formation and spiritual growth, will come on campus to offer lectures, lead discussions and workshops. The theme is: “Teaching the Mission of Jesus.” This event is intended to benefit pastors, lay leaders, Christian Educators, Sunday School teachers, and other people interested in discipleship formation.

Dr. Margaret Ann Crain and Dr. Jack Seymour to provide leadership for the first event in the Learning for Discipleship Series.

These two experts in Christian education have spent the last 15 years listening to laity as they shared their deepest spiritual yearnings. “When we plan opportunities for Christian formation in our congregations that address these yearnings, people will respond, “ note Crain and Seymour. “This event will explore the centrality of education to the church’s mission. In particular, we will explore how the person and mission of Jesus must guide us as we acknowledge our spiritual yearnings and seek to respond to the call to faithfulness and discipleship.”

On Friday night, the speakers will ponder some of the most pertinent questions churches are facing today: How are we faithful to the ministry of Jesus? How do we form faithful and missional disciples? What does it mean to be a disciple? They seek to explore and embody the teaching ministry of the church on discipleship and mission. The Saturday plenary session and small group gatherings will deal with issues such as: exploring the needs and yearnings of people and how the church’s educational ministry can address those yearnings. Crain and Seymour believe that: “Inviting religious education takes account of how humans make meaning of their lives and seek to fulfill their vocations in the world.” They will conclude by providing concrete, practical examples of how the church’s education program can make disciples.

Dr. Jack L. Seymour is Professor of Religious Education at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois, one of our United Methodist Seminaries. Dr. Margaret Ann Crain is Associate Professor of Christian Education and Director of the Deacon Program at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. Together and individually, they often lead workshops at national and conference level meetings for United Methodists as well as other denominations.

Crane is president of the Religious Education Association and Seymour is editor of the journal Religious Education. Together they have conducted research on the theology of laity: What prompts us to ask questions about God? What role can the church play in resourcing and nurturing the growth of faith? They have written three books, two of which are Yearning for God: Reflections of Faithful Lives, (Upper Room Books, 2003) and A Deacon’s Heart: The New United Methodist Diaconate (Abingdon, 2001). Seymour is also the editor of Mapping Christian Education (Abingdon Press, 1997).

The two-day event costs only $80.00, (dinner and lunch included!) There is also an option to register for Saturday only.

Domenic Nigrelli, Ph.D., Director of the Cal Turner Jr., Center for Church Leadership, issues a warm personal invitation to the inaugural event. “I hope you join us for a time of learning, worship, fellowship and Sabbath. Visit us at our website at www.martinmethodist.edu/ccl. If you have questions or need more information, please feel free to contact me at 1-931-363-9864; or e-mail me at dnigrelli@martinmethodist.edu.”

Interview with Emily Snyder and Steven Miles, founders of “Strangers No Longer”
By Elizabeth Shadbolt*

Emily Snyder and Steven Miles

Last May, I was invited to a Clergy Breakfast on Immigration held by a group called “Strangers No Longer” at Loews Vanderbilt Hotel. The ballroom was packed with clergy and lay people from all over the city, representing several faiths and myriad denominations. Everyone received notebooks filled with resources, we heard from several speakers who shared their experiences with the immigrant community, and were inspired to begin conversations in our churches on immigration. I was intrigued and excited to meet the people behind “Strangers No Longer.” Emily Snyder and Steven Miles are third-year divinity students at Vanderbilt University who have put their faith into action by creating an organization aimed at educated people of faith about immigration and immigrant’s issues. They have partnered with the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC) to be the faith-based arm of their Welcoming Tennessee Initiative. In this capacity, they provide educational programming, develop educational materials, and participate in local movements for immigrant justice, facilitating theological reflection on the issues surrounding immigration. We sat down this week to talk about their organization and goals.

Liz: How do you see your organization affecting the way Christians view immigrants and immigration issues?
SNL: We want to encourage the faith community to respond to these issues from a position of faith. Our hope is that people will remember that immigrants are created in the image of God and should not be perceived as a political or economic burden. So much of the discourse on immigration involves stereotyping and prejudice. We hope to help people develop the language to discuss these issues with respect and within a theological framework.

Liz: What are the major problems with the current immigration system?
It is a broken system. There is no doubt that we need control in the number of people who enter this country because our communities are not set up in ways that can easily absorb a large influx of newcomers. The problem is that we are not being realistic about how many people need to come in. Our economy relies on an estimated 485,000 new, low-skilled immigrant workers each year, but our immigration system provides only 5,000 visas (Pew Hispanic Center) for such workers. That is a huge discrepancy between what our economy needs and what our immigration system allows.

Also, many immigrants who are without proper documentation did come through legal channels but have overstayed their visas and prefer to stay where their families are, rather than to return to a place that is no longer “home.” Family members often have varied immigration statuses and live in fear that their family will be separated.

Because the federal government has failed to overhaul the system, state and local governments are trying to take this issue (which is a federal issue) into their own hands. They make it illegal for people without certain documentation to drive or attempt to make English the only language, both of which affect all immigrants and refugees, regardless of their legal status.

The result of this broken system and the attempts that have been made to “fix” it is that immigrants are living in the shadows with fear of being arrested and deported, separated from their families. Many are unaware of their legal rights and are therefore easily exploited.

And for us, for people of faith, public policies that result in increased discrimination and the separation of families are unacceptable. We feel like the church has to take a stand with those in our community who are suffering because of the broken immigration system.

Liz: What role do you see the church playing in correcting these issues?
SNL: Because many people turn to their church for examples of how to address certain controversial issues, religious leaders should be setting the example for their communities. When Christians were helping slaves escape in early U.S. history, or when Christians harbored Jewish refugees during the Holocaust, legality did not take precedence over what was morally right: to love and care for the stranger and to protect the lives and dignity of those suffering. The church is an example to itself on how to care for the marginalized, and we believe the situation we are seeing now is no different. When people are dying from heat in the desert, church people bring them water. When mothers and fathers are being deported while at work, churches offer their children sanctuary. When state legislators try to make life in the U.S. impossible for undocumented immigrants, but end up causing pain for all immigrants and foreign visitors, people of faith stand up and say “no.” The church plays a special role in correcting the problems with our current immigration system because Christians see people differently. People made in the image of God deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. The dignity, worth, and humanity of a person cannot be reduced in the eyes of Jesus’ followers. When we feed the hungry, when we care for the sick, when we welcome the stranger we are doing the will of God. The church is the champion of the oppressed and it is demonstrated by how we treat the strangers among us.

Liz: How can people be involved in immigration justice ministries?
Make immigration a topic of dialogue in your church, invite speakers to share with your group, keep yourself informed, write letters to the editor about how faith informs your position, read the bible listening for wisdom about how to treat your neighbor and welcome the stranger, listen carefully to how people around you talk about immigrants and be that faithful voice that shows solidarity with the strangers among us. Get one of our packets for more information on how to address this issue in your congregation. IF you’re a Methodist, then you have a long tradition and many resources from the denomination about immigration and immigration issues. The best way to get involved is to start spending time with immigrants in your community: teach ESL at your church and listen to the stories of the students, sign up for email notices from TIRRC. In Nashville, the faith community is a very important part of the public voice. By being informed, we can affect the dialogue in our city positively, with the love of Christ.

Emily and Steven are happy to speak with your church or small group. They can be reached at faithandimmigration@yahoo.com. On Saturday, September 29th, the conference is sponsoring a half-day workshop on immigration issues at Blakemore UMC in Nashville. Strangers No Longer will be among the presenters. For more information, contact Liz Shadbolt at 668-0606 or lizshadbolt@bellsouth.net.

*Elizabeth Shadbolt is “Immigration/Refugee Coordinator” for the Tennessee Conference Committee on Global Ministries.

Two Young Missionaries from Tennessee Conference are Commissioned

Michael Jordan and Christina Kretchik, both from Nashville, recently became missionaries. Mr. Jordan will work as a teacher and in Children's Ministries Development, Colegio Metodista San Juan Moderno, San Juan, Puerto Rico. Ms. Kretchik's assignment is still pending (See notation at end of this article for her assignment)

Christina Kretchik

The two were among a class of 17 young adults who were commissioned on July 15, 2007, for United Methodist missions through the General Board of Global Ministries. Eight of the new missionaries will serve as mission interns and nine will serve as US-2s. US-2s serve for two years in national and nearby assignments. Mission interns work for three years; half of the time in the international setting, and the other half is spent in a national organization.

"This is not about success," said Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar of the Greater New Jersey Conference, who addressed the new missionaries. "It is about faithfulness. Following Christ means going to places the world doesn't want you to go. Following Jesus means taking risks for the sake of the Gospel of Jesus Christ."

Before being commissioned, the young missionaries spoke in unison the Wesleyan covenant prayer, "I am no longer my own, but thine…Let me be full, let me be empty. Let me have all things, let me have nothing. I freely and with a willing heart give it all to your pleasure and disposal."

Michael Jordan

Bishop Devadhar, along with Rev. Edith L. Gleaves, deputy general secretary of mission personnel of the General Board of Global Ministries; Rev. Steven Goldstein, assistant general secretary of mission personnel; Rev. James F. Karpen of St. Paul and St. Andrew; and Mary Baldridge, director of Global Ministries, performed the laying on of hands to commission each missionary during the Sunday service.

As he laid hands on each of the missionaries, Rev. Devadhar said, "I commission you to take the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ into all the world."

The congregation spoke in unison to the new missionaries: "As members of The United Methodist Church representing the whole church, we send you into service with your special gifts and graces. We have called you; we support you. You are our gift to the world. We will receive you back again on behalf of all God's people."

Rev. Karpen said, "God is moving in their lives. It is a privilege to be a tiny part of that."

"I'm excited for our denomination when I see these bright young faces filled with joy," said Bishop Devadhar.

The other mission interns are:

Brittany Brooks, from Gastonia, NC, North Carolina Annual Conference, will work at SHADE, Cape Town, South Africa.
Elizabeth Hooks, from Lynn Haven, FL, Alabama/West Florida Annual Conference, will work at the Bethune House, Hong Kong.
David Hosey, from Millersville, MD, Baltimore/Washington Annual Conference, will work at Sabeel, Jerusalem, Israel/Palestine.
Abigail Huggins, from Wilkesboro, NC, Western North Carolina Annual Conference, will work at GRENCODA, Grenada, West Indies.
Lindsey Kerr, from North Huntington, PA, Baltimore/Washington Annual Conference, will work at In Peace, Mindanao, Philippines.
Christine Lafferty, from Lyndhurst, OH, East Ohio Annual Conference, will work at Christian Medica Acción, Managua, Nicaragua.
Jennifer Mihok, from North Wales, PA, Eastern Pennsylvania Annual Conference, will work at Genthin UMC, Genthin, Germany.
Elizabeth Thiombiano, from Baltimore, MD, Baltimore-Washington Annual Conference, will work at Shade and Fresh Water Project, Brazil.

The home conferences and assignments of the new US-2s are:

Mariellyn Dunlap, from Carrollton, OH, East Ohio Annual Conference, will be the assistant director at the S.E.R.V.S. and Religious Life, Martin Methodist College-Cal Turner Jr. Center for Church Leadership, Pulaski, TN.
Lindsey Hall, from Lincoln, NE, Nebraska Annual Conference, will be a youth worker at the Prevention Services for Youth Program, Susannah Wesley Community Center, Honolulu, HI.
Katherine Kinne, from Alexandra, KY, South Indiana Annual Conference, will work as a Community Relations Coordinator, Denver Urban Ministries, Denver, CO.
Jamie Michaels, from Olathe, KS, Western North Carolina Annual Conference, will work as a seminar program associate, General Board of Church and Society, Seminar Program, Washington, DC.
Elizabeth Rumbel, from Hatboro, PA, Eastern Pennsylvania Annual Conference, will work as a program and development assistant, Warren Village, Inc., Denver, CO.
Kathryn Wheat, from Worthington, OH, West Ohio Annual Conference, will work in community outreach development, Urban Ministry, Foundry United Methodist Church, Washington, DC.
Rebecca Yount, from Owasso, OK, Oklahoma Annual Conference, will be an assistant public policy advocate for Church World Service, Washington, DC.

To become a US-2 or mission intern, you must be between the ages of 20 and 30, have a college degree or equivalent experience, and be connected to The United Methodist Church through a local church or campus ministry.

To learn more about the becoming a young adult missionary, link to: http://new.gbgm-umc.org/about/us/mp/missionaries/youngadults/

Christina Kretchik is a member of St. John’s United Methodist Church in Nashville. Her pastor, David Lay, Has updated information: “Christina has received her assignment. She will be in a US-two at Emmaus United Methodist Church in Albany, NY. Saint John's is very excited about having one of our own responding to God's call to the mission field. Christina has a heart for working with our neighbors in need. Emmaus UMC is a mixed congregation with a lot of immigrants from around the world and Christina will be helping with an English as a Second language class and other programs with in the congregation geared toward the immigrants.

Michael Jordan is a member of Belmont United Methodist Church in Nashville. John Collett his former pastor writes: “As Michael’s former pastor and now his District Superintendent, I know he will give much love and care to his ministry with the children and people of Puerto Rico.”

A related article on Ohioan Mariellyn Dunlap who was appointed to Martin Methodist College can be found following this article.

Ohio native comes to Center for Church Leadership for two-year assignment
UMC assigns Dunlap to Martin Methodist in US-2 program

Mariellyn Dunlap, a 2002 graduate of Malone College, was one of a select number of young people tabbed in the spring for the US-2 program by the United Methodist Church. She will spend the next two years as a member of the staff at MMC's Cal Turner Jr., Center for Church Leadership. Here she visits with Daniel Smith, a junior from Tullahoma, Tenn.

PULASKI, Tenn. — Mariellyn Dunlap gets high marks for her dedication to the United Methodist Church’s focus on mission and social justice. She can be praised for understanding how faith, education, and service to others work together to shape young lives. She certainly earns plaudits for her willingness to reach out and have an impact – however large or small – on other people, near and far.
Yes, she has all that going for her. In fact, those are some of the very reasons that the 2002 graduate of Malone College was selected for the United Methodist Church’s US-2 mission and social justice program and why she was assigned for the next two years to the Cal Turner Jr., Center for Church Leadership at Martin Methodist College.
Just don’t ask her to predict the future – especially her own; turns out, that’s not one of her strengths.
“Five years ago, I would have never imagined being here,” said Dunlap, who comes to the assignment after spending mission time in the U.S. and abroad. “Then again, I would have never imagined spending two years in Slovakia, either. But I understand now that God just asks me to take one day at a time, one step at a time, and that’s hard for me, because I’m a planner, an organizer. What I’ve learned is that I can plan and be organized, but I just need to remain flexible and open to changes in those plans.”
Dunlap is one of 15 young adults, ages 20-30, chosen this spring to spend two years in the US-2 leadership development experience. The program sends these individuals throughout the United States to deepen their faith while learning from and serving with community-based organizations. The goal of the program is that these young adults will boldly re-examine their role and participation in society as they struggle with hunger, homelessness, HIV/AIDS, illiteracy, children at risk, substance abuse, racism, domestic violence, and inadequate health care.
At the Center for Church Leadership, Dunlap will work with the Martin S.E.R.V.E.S. (Students Engaged in Reviving Volunteer Efforts in Society) program and help develop a service learning component to the college’s academic program. She’ll have direct contact with students through the Religious Life Office, and that is precisely why this assignment was at the top of her request list.

“When I was in New York being interviewed for the US-2 program in March, they gave us a list of 30 different possible placements,” Dunlap recalled. “Of course, there was no guarantee at that point that we would be selected for the program, but they wanted to know where our interests might lie. Martin Methodist College was my first choice off that list.
“The combination of education, mission, and social justice was what caught my interest. My mother has been a teacher as long as I can remember, and I have other educators in my family. Although I never thought about becoming a teacher myself, the chance to influence people at a very formative time in their lives was very intriguing to me,” she said.
“We have the opportunity to get them interested in mission and social justice at this time in their lives so they can carry it on through to a later time in their lives.”
This marks the second time that Martin Methodist College has been affiliated with the US-2 program. A member of the college’s Class of 2006, Adam Burgett, was selected for US-2 a year ago and is now beginning his second year of service in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Rev. Laura Kirkpatrick, the MMC campus minister, became acquainted with the former director of the program, who encouraged her to have Martin Methodist apply to become a US-2 assignment site.
Dunlap earned her degree in communication arts in 2002 from Malone College in Canton, Ohio, and then launched out on two mission trips – a six-week venture to the American Indian Field in Arizona and a seven-week experience in Honduras, the second most impoverished country in Central America behind only Haiti.
She then called upon her journalism degree by applying for a position with TransWorld Radio, spending the next two years reporting in Slovakia. The third year with TransWorld, she worked from her hometown in Ohio.
It was during that third year that she was encouraged by a member of local church to consider leadership possibilities within the United Methodist Church. As she examined the UMC’s global ministries web pages, she came across the US-2 program.

“I really like the combination of mission and social justice, which a lot of people consider two separate things, but I’ve always thought of as being linked,” she said.
“What I have learned is that mission is not just something you do when you have find some time or during two weeks during the summer. It’s a lifelong calling, and while I don’t have a clue what the future holds for me after these next two years at Martin Methodist College, it’s going to be exciting to go through the experience of finding out.”

And that’s a prediction she makes with full confidence.

Restorative justice advocate Harmon Wray dies
By Marta W. Aldrich*

Restorative justice advocate Harmon Wray created a teaching project at Riverbend Maximum Security Prison in Nashville, Tenn., bringing together inmates and students at Vanderbilt Divinity School. Wray died July 24 of a brain hemorrhage. A UMNS file photo by Mike DuBose

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - Harmon Wray believed that some of the most profound theology shared in the world today takes place within the walls of prison.

So when the lifelong criminal justice advocate died suddenly on July 24, his closest friends and colleagues found it only natural to head to Riverbend Maximum Security Institution in Nashville to share their loss with Wray's "family" - the inmates he has ministered to for years, some for decades.

The Rev. Janet Wolf, a United Methodist clergywoman who worked with Wray in prison ministry for 35 years, was among those who went.

"It was an extraordinary thing," she said of the hour-long meeting with prisoners. "We shared our grief like a family. Everybody was crying, which is not a common event inside prison."

A United Methodist who dedicated his life to advocating for restorative justice, crusading against the death penalty and fighting for prison reform, Wray died at age 60 of a massive brain hemorrhage.

Bishop Kenneth Carder, who served the Nashville area until his retirement in 2000, remembered Wray as the embodiment of Matthew 25, in which Christ comes for those who care for "the least of these," including those in prison.

"One of the greatest tragedies of his death is that one of the nation's most articulate, courageous voices on behalf of the vulnerable, the marginalized, the pushed aside, has been silenced," Carder told United Methodist News Service. "Harmon was a genuine friend to those whom society, including the church, too often keeps at an arm's distance."

Inspired to service
Born in Memphis, Tenn., Wray was a student at the former Southwestern College in Memphis in April 1968 when he heard the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. deliver his final speech before he was assassinated. Wray marched with striking sanitation workers in Memphis and remained committed throughout his lifetime to nonviolent resistance to advocate for justice.

He graduated from Southwestern in 1968 and earned a master's degree in religion from Duke University in 1970. Wray pursued a doctorate in ethics at Vanderbilt Divinity School in the 1970s but stopped short of completing his dissertation. "I got what I came for," he told friends after quitting, according to a profile of Wray by friend and writer John Egerton. "I got the experience, the knowledge, the personal associations. The only thing I left behind was the degree itself, and it meant nothing to me - and even less to the people I wanted to serve."

Wray was employed from time to time at the regional and denominational levels of The United Methodist Church to work with task forces on various social issues, especially restorative justice.
He served as executive director of Restorative Justice Ministries from 1999 through 2001 for the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries, and his book Restorative Justice: Moving Beyond Punishment was used as a resource for the board's 2002-2003 mission study. He worked with various organizations in Tennessee, including the Southern Prison Ministry, and helped to create Tennesseans Against the Death Penalty.

In 2003, he received a lifetime achievement award from the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty.
"If we're serious about our responsibility to the church," Wray said in a 2004 interview with Interpreter magazine, "we must take a restorative approach to help victims and offenders instead of a revenge approach that most always hurts everyone involved."

Carder called Wray's work in the restorative justice movement a gift to society and the church.

"One of the things he emphasized was that the criminal justice system today virtually pushes aside the victims as surely as it does perpetrators," Carder said. "Crimes are treated as crimes against the state instead of crimes against persons. He called for restoration of the community through alternatives to just locking people away."

Tom Porter, executive director of JUSTPEACE, a United Methodist center for addressing conflict in constructive ways, said: "Harmon struck me as a person who truly understood the Jesus Way and lived it. … He will be sorely missed, particularly by those in the restorative justice community."

Inside prison walls
Serving as an adjunct professor at Vanderbilt Divinity School, Wray and several associates developed a course that took Vanderbilt students inside the Riverbend prison to learn alongside inmates about "Theology and Politics of Crime and Justice in America." The course has continued since 2003.

"Issues of theology - even how you hear the Bible - are dramatically altered when sitting inside locked prison gates every day," said Wolf. "We kept thinking what a difference it would make if people from the outside could come inside the prisons to talk - instead of learning about it on the outside.

"Part of our mission was to redefine prison ministry from the inside out. Instead of church folks thinking that somehow we have God and we're taking God inside the prison, this ministry acknowledges that God has been there all along."

When he died, Wray was in the process of expanding the classroom model to other seminaries, including Duke Divinity School.

At a July 28 memorial service at Belmont United Methodist Church in Nashville, a rose was placed on the altar at the request of Tennessee Death Row inmate William Groseclose, whom Wray visited over the last 20 years and who now is incarcerated at West Tennessee State Penitentiary. Carder, who eulogized Wray, said the rose stood for "all of those unable to be present for his funeral because of their imprisonment."

Another memorial service was planned for the evening of July 30 at the Riverbend prison, where Vanderbilt students and Riverbend inmates enrolled in Wray's class gathered for the last session of the summer. Friends said it was a fitting way to say goodbye.
"Harmon's loyalty transcended commitment to the institutional church and its processes," said Carder. "While he participated faithfully in the congregation of Edgehill United Methodist Church and worked with the structures of the Board of Global Ministries and the Tennessee Conference, his ultimate commitment was to the kingdom of God and the reign of justice, generosity and compassion.

"He often challenged the institutions of the church. For many of us, Harmon became a conscience that called the church beyond its own preoccupation with itself to a living faith."

*Aldrich is news editor of United Methodist News Service.

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.