E-note for Tuesday, August 9

Hello, Friends, and welcome to this week’s E-Note!

This story occurred during the COVID Lockdown. A professor at the Berkeley College of Music announced to his “Music Composition 101” class that there would be a special extra-credit workshop the following Saturday on the Zoom Meetings app. He encouraged his students to participate, even though the seminar began at 8:00 am and would last until noon. He told the students to bring whatever music they were currently working on so the “special guest consultant” could offer them feedback.


The students were not enthusiastic, and by Saturday at 8:00 am, only a handful had decided to log in to the Zoom meeting. As depicted above, they could see the other students who were participating, and no one paid attention to “User 17”, in the bottom right corner. His screen was black because he had not yet turned on his web camera.


The professor lectured for the first two hours to the sleepy students. Then he called a 10 minute break. Some of the half hearted students decided not to return from the break as the professor introduced their “special guest consultant”. User 17’s screen came to life and there was the guest: Sir Paul McCartney.


Yes, that Paul McCartney. Writer or co-writer of dozens of #1 songs. Bass player in the best band ever. Billionaire.


Paul greeted the students and invited them to take turns sharing the compositions they were currently working on. Paul listened, and offered feedback to each student, :”You’ve got something good there”,  “You might try this with the bridge,” “I like that lyric. Have you thought about adding a third verse?”


What an amazing opportunity!

Too bad so few took advantage of it.


You just never know what might happen if you make it your business to be there. 


Come. Come to our Kickoff Event in the gym on Wednesday. Come to Men’s Breakfast. Come to Sunday School. Come to Worship, at 9:00 and/or 11:00. You never know what might happen, and you never know what blessings you might miss out on if you sleep in or are only half heartedly committed.


In Joy,



Exactly how good is our new Associate Pastor to Families and Youth? Rev. Corey Truitt, who has his CDL driver’s license, will serve as VOLUNTEER BUS DRIVER for the NAHS Sports Teams this year. Talk about “taking it to the streets”! WayTaGo, Corey!


Speaking of, Well Done, Bradyn Long, who served as our Lay Scripture Reader for our Traditions service on Sunday. Excellent job.

Say, what’s keeping more of Y’ALL from stepping up on this opportunity to serve?


And how about Laura Preston Ranager, who offered a beautiful selection of Special Music in the same service? Do we have some talented young people in our church, or what!


We welcome our two newest members, Clyde Parks and Mark McElroy, who made FUMC their church home last week by transfer of membership!


Last Sunday we couldn’t find the offering plates for our Embrace service. Which reminds me of a story which occurred in an African-American church, where they were not shy about passing the offering plate multiple times in a single service:

When the time for offering came, the Pastor prayed, “Lord, make this a great offering, because we need the money. Amen.” When the plate came back, it only contained one $10 bill. “This ain’t gonna cut it, friends,” the preacher declared. “We’re going to pass it again, and y’all dig deep.” He uttered the offering prayer again, “Lord, make this a good offering, because we need the money. Amen” Again the plate was passed, only this time, when it returned, it contained just a single $5 bill. “Well, brothers and sisters, we’re going to pass the plate one more time.” He bowed to pray, saying, “Lord, make this a good offering, because we need the money, and Lord, I just pray we’ll get our plate back! Amen.”  

(rim shot)

I’ll be here all week. Tip your waitresses.


The Administrative Council will meet tonight (Tuesday) at 6:00 in the Joe Davis Sunday School Classroom. Disaffiliation will be discussed. Stay prayerful.


Ready to RELAX and ENJOY our FUMC Family? Then join us for our BIG Back-To-School Kickoff event tomorrow (Wednesday) evening from 6:00-7:30 in the Gym! Free food, fun for all ages, and no agenda, no sermon, just a relaxing time for us all!


Wednesday Night G.A.P. (Growing Awakened People) resumes NEXT Wednesday at 5:00. We have some new guidelines in place to make it less chaotic and more user-friendly for everyone. Enter under the Portico on the west side of the building. Be sure and check our website  (www.FUMCNewAlbany.com) for more info and to make your reservations for supper! Make sure and “Fill the GAP” between Sundays!


I’ll be personally leading a time of Prayer and Study in the Chapel (second floor). We’ll be studying “Ten from Gen: The Top Ten Stories from Genesis”, so bring your Bible!


Next Sunday (August 14), we will hear testimony from our recent Costa Rica Mission Team in both worship services. It will be powerful!


Still needed: Lay Scripture Readers, Volunteers to help get “The Flock” back up and running, and folks willing to join the Handbell Choir! Respond to this email or check out the “volunteer” area on our website!


Did you know that we have three distinct congregations for our 11:00 Traditions Worship Service?

It’s true. First, we have the live, in-person congregation, the people actually sitting in the pews. Second is our congregation who gathers with us at 11:00 at the website and Facebook Live. Finally, there is a third congregation who worships with us throughout the week, all hours of the day and night, by watching our posted worship service on our Facebook page. For instance, nearly 750 people worshiped with us on July 31st alone!

Praise God from whom electrons flow!


Well, Friends, that’s about it for today. Have a great week, and remember,

“The world is run by those who show up.”-Jim Carmichael



E-Note for Tuesday, August 2

Good Morning, friends, and welcome to the first E-Note of August!

Way back when, I knew a college student who nearly made a career out of his schooling. He was a 4th-year senior when I arrived on campus. He was still there when I graduated 4 years later. Three semesters after that, the school finally told him to stop coming, because he was taking up a spot for someone who actually planned to graduate!

Can we all agree that 9 1/2 years of undergraduate education without a degree is ridiculous?

Here’s the thing, though. How many of US are right where we were as Disciples of Jesus Christ 10 years ago? Or even 20?


>Do we know the truth of the Holy Scriptures better than we did a year ago?

>Have we applied their truths to our lives in such a way that prayer is more important to us today?

>Have we applied the Scriptures to our generosity, toward God and others?


Perhaps a more helpful word to use there would be “Learning”, rather than “Study”? After all, “study” might hold some negative memories for some folks.

Regardless, when Jesus said, “Come as you are”, he didn’t say, “Stay like I found you”. 


As I write this, we are getting a light, refreshing rain. Growth will be the result, in our yards, flower beds and gardens. What will we do with that growth? Curse it? Ignore it? Or will we rather enjoy it for the gift it is?


Keep growing in learning, friends. That’s what unlocks new possibilities.


My Mom learned piano in her 50’s. After that she mastered the hammered dulcimer, too.

My Dad learned Spanish in his 60’s.


Where have you and I grown? Where will we grow today?

It’s a beautiful day for it.

In Joy,



Thanks to all who helped with our worship services last Sunday. Our volunteers rock!


Next Sunday, August 7th, we’ll begin a new series for worship: “Back to School”. We’ll be reviewing the basics of our Christian faith for the coming weeks, beginning with “The Majesty of God” (Psalm 8, Revelation 22:1-5). In coming weeks we’ll also look at “Jesus our Savior”, “The Primacy of Scripture”, “The Importance of Conversion”, and so on. This is a GREAT time to be in worship. For some folks it’ll be new material. For other folks, think of it as batting practice!

In addition, we will celebrate Holy Communion next Sunday in both the Embrace service and the Traditions service. A serving option will be available for any who are not comfortable taking Communion with “live” elements. What a day of rejoicing that will be!


Who do you know who’s having a hard time? Struggling day to day? “This Difficult Season”, a 40-day devotional book, has been made available to anyone who would like a copy. Drop by the church office or respond to this E-Note and we’ll get one to you.


Please send me a copy of “This Difficult Season” *
First name *
Last name *
Mailing Address *
City, State & Zip Code *
New Albany, MS 38652
Myrtle, MS 38650
Blue Springs, MS 38828
Other (complete next field)
City, State & Zip Code (if not listed) *


“Who is this Tanya?”

I’ve heard that from several folks. Tanya Benefield, wife of Tim Benefield, daughter of Mrs. Lois Spiese, has graciously volunteered to bring our Website and social media up to date. This has already allowed improved communication in our church, and we’re not finished yet! Thanks, Tanya, for your service to our church!


We remain in prayer for the start of this Fall Semester of School. Students, Teachers, Administrators, Coaches, Staff-y’all are the target of a lot of prayers!


The Administrative Council will next meet on Tuesday, August 9, at 6:00 in the Joe Davis Sunday School Room.


Well, Friends, that’s about it for now. Have a great day, open your Bible, talk (and listen) to God, and remember what Benjamin Franklin said:


“Intelligence without education is like silver in the mine.”