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.”


E-Note for Tuesday, July 26

Hello, Friends! I hope this E-Note finds you well, and somewhere cool!

Now and then, we all get this call. The Past is trying to contact us, to catch up with us.

That’s not always a bad thing. For instance, I enjoyed visiting with my fellow grads of the Class of ’82 last weekend.

But think of it this way: God has observed-and judged-every second of your past. Is that good news, or bad news?

I’d say it’s both, actually. It’s bad in that each of us has plenty of sins which ought to disqualify us for the perfection of Heaven. One is all it takes.

And yet it’s good news. Because of Jesus, our Past doesn’t define our future. Nearly 600 years ahead of the curve, the Old testament prophet Jeremiah saw the future of God’s Son coming to the earth. The purpose of the arrival, life, and death of Jesus? To take away the power the Past has over us!

“…for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more.” (Jeremiah 31:34, NRSV)

Because of the work of Jesus, The Past no longer has any power to disqualify us from Heaven.  

At my class reunion, my former football teammates and I reminisced, and a line from an old Jackson Browne song came to mind: “You forget about the losses, and you exaggerate the wins.”

Indeed. But none of those old glory days stories amount to much now, 40 years later.

In the same way, the only way to have a future in an eternity we’re going to enjoy is to rely on the Grace purchased for us by Jesus, which removes the penalty for all our sins.

Don’t get me wrong. The Past has a rightful place in our lives. Enjoy those memories. Just remember, there’s a reason the windshield of our car is at least 25 times bigger than our rear-view mirror!

Confess. Let God forgive your sin. Let God practice His “selective memory” and remember your sin no more.

You might just find it a relief to decline that call when The Past is calling.

In Joy,



Welcome to our newest members of FUMC, Phil, Prentis, Caroline and Meg Boatright, and Shannon Potter! All joined last Sunday by transfer of membership.

Churches are supposed to grow. Who do YOU know who would like to be invited to experience FUMC?


Next Sunday, July 31, we will celebrate (at both services) the Blessing of the Backpacks, Promotion Sunday for Sunday School, Presentation of Bibles to our rising 3rd graders, and have a special prayer for our Teachers, Administrators, Staff and Coaches! Don’t miss it, and kids, remember to bring your Backpack to church!


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

“God forgets the Past; we should imitate Him.”

E-Note for Tuesday, July 19

Good Morning, Friends! I awoke to a beautiful rain this morning!

“…may you have a full reward from the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge!” (Ruth 2:12, NRSV)

Or, if you prefer,

“Children of the heavenly Father

safely in His bosom gather;

nestling bird nor star in heaven 

such a refuge e’er was given.” (Children of the Heavenly Father, UM Hymnal #141, Caroline V. Sandell-Berg

For the past several weeks the office staff and I have been enchanted by the bird nest outside my door. Those helpless baby birds need care and feeding 24/7. The mother bird guards the nest and feeds them worms and bugs. The babies are a little bigger each time I see them!

It’s easy to underestimate God’s providence and protection. It’s easy to come to the conclusion that it is we who feed ourselves, we who protect ourselves, and we who call the shots in our lives.

But the truth remains that it is God who provides us the things which we need-food, clothing, and shelter.

When God provided manna for the Hebrews in Exodus 16, the people were confused as to what it was. Moses explained, “It is the bread that the Lord has given you to eat. This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Gather as much of it as each of you needs, an omer to a person according to the number of persons, all providing for those in their own tents.'” (Exodus 16:15-16, NRSV)


See what God did there?


Each morning, the Israelites started the day on their knees, bowing to pick up the manna, reminded daily that it is the Lord God who provides!


Right now, those baby birds are completely dependent on their mother to feed them. But not for long.

They will fledge soon, to live and feed and procreate on their own.


And the nest? What happens to the nest?


Well, this is actually the second clutch of eggs which has hatched in that nest since I’ve moved into the office. I wonder if there will be a third…

The nest itself reminds me of our church: a place where Christians are born, raised on the Gospel of love, and sent to fly into the community and world.

The many families we are blessed to see in our church? They’re not the first. They won’t be the last either, hopefully.


The Greek philosopher Heraclitus nailed it when he stated that we cannot step into the same river twice. In the same way, we don’t step into the same FUMC twice. Things change. People come and go. Sound equipment dies. (More on that later.)


But the love, protection, and Providence of our God is a constant, ongoing promise.

How completely do we rely on Him to provide?

In Joy,



Thanks to…

Adam. He’s the reason the lights are on, the AC is set, and the chairs are in place.

The Band. Y’all were excellent last Sunday.

Joe Davis for spreading the word about our Christmas Store during our Embrace Service.

Amy Whiteside, Anita Alef, and ALL who made the “Meet and Greet” such a rousing, delicious success!

Our Ladies on the Keys, Martha Frances Monroe and Tana Ranager.

Matt Tyer, who was exceptional, as usual.

Kelly Coltharp, for sharing with us the good news of the Christmas Store with our Traditional Service.

Our Acolytes.

ALL who sign in the pew pads and re-introduce yourselves to Corey and Me!


Want to help? 

We are assembling a list of folks to serve on a rotation for reading the Scripture during both services. Interested? Let me know at tom@fumcnewalbany.com.


In addition, we’re bringing in David Dillard as a consultant and trainer for a rotation of sound and video helpers. Stay tuned.


We’ll have an FUMC Staff Meeting today (Tuesday) at 1:00 in the United Methodist Women room.


Speaking of that room, Ladies’ Bible Study will gather at 10:00 Thursday for prayer, music, and the Word. Join us!


We will wrap up our “Real Face of Grace” series next Sunday, July 24th as we look at Preventive Grace. That’s the Grace that tells us that NO ONE is too far gone for Jesus to save them!


July 31st we will have a special day for the students, teachers, coaches, and administrators, with a Blessing of the Backpacks, Sunday School Promotion, Presentation of Bibles, and a special congregational prayer for a wonderful school year!


“This Difficult Season” is a 40-day devotional book I wrote for “folks who are in a season they’d rather not be in”. The book has proven helpful for those in grief, those taking treatments, caregivers, shut-ins, hospital patients, etc. Our first shipment will be back from the printer soon and copies will be available (for free) in the Church Office.


Remember the Back to School Kickoff on Wednesday, August 10!

Regular Wednesday Night Activities will resume on August 17!


I’m attending my 40th Class Reunion on Friday. Holy Smokes.


That’s about it for now, friends. Have a great day, and remember,


The Will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you.

E-Note for Tuesday, July 12

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

Our first impressions can fail us. 

Several years ago, I went skydiving with my son Jesse. As we awaited our turn to suit up in the hangar, the guides came in. BTW, they don’t let you just pay your money and solo jump anymore. These days, you’re strapped in tandem to the front of a guide who actually pulls the ripcord. It has to do with insurance.

Anyway, a collection of kids came in. They were our guides, but they could have passed for this season’s counselors at Camp Lake Stephens. I mean, they looked YOUNG! As a guy in his fifties, I was not inspired with confidence in them, no matter how much swagger they had. And they did have some swag!

Then, in came this older guy. About my age. About my height and weight. Gray headed, like me. “This guy,” I said to myself, “has been there and done that.” I chose the old guy as my guide without thinking twice.

Turned out he was a retired Navy SEAL. So much the better.

So we suited up, boarded the plane with 10 other jumpers, and the pilot took us in a corkscrew pattern up to 14,500 feet. My turn came, and my guide and I hit the silk. It’s truly exhilarating, freefalling at 117 MPH. And I never felt closer to God, or more within His care, than I did for that 60 seconds.

Then our chute popped open and we began our glide. Now, my guide and I were able to talk to each other. Oh, those movies where skydivers are talking to each other during freefall? That’s fake. It’s impossible to speak or yell with a 117 MPH wind in your face!

So I said to my guide, “I’m sure glad I chose you, a guide with so much experience.” His response shocked me:

“Yeah, well actually, I don’t have much experience. I just joined this company. This is only my 77th jump. Some of those young guides with us, they’ve got a thousand, fifteen hundred, even two thousand jumps behind them.”

I guess it’s true. You can’t judge a book by its cover!

It’s the same with Jesus. Jesus lived over 2,000 years ago. Like most men in His time, He was undoubtedly thin. And He wouldn’t have walked around with a lot of swag, either, since He had a fully developed sense of humility.

But if you’re going to experience the adrenaline rush of the REAL life of discipleship, there’s nobody better to be strapped in tandem to!

There’s a great line from the old show, “Mama’s Family”. Vinton says to Thelma, “Now, Mama, you don’t need to go to church to get into heaven.” Mama responds, “Well, you don’t need to have a parachute to jump out of an airplane, either, but it certainly helps!” 

Indeed, Mama.

We are all in free fall in this life. But not all of us are strapped to the guide with the parachute.


In Joy,




Tuesday at 2:00, we will begin our weekly FUMC Staff Meetings. It’ll be an important time for communication and Christian development of our staff members. Staff folks, if you can POSSIBLY make it, we need you!


We extend our sympathy to the family of Mr. Stanley Dillon. Arrangements are incomplete at this time.


What a beautiful rendition of “It Is Well” we heard at Embrace on Sunday! Thanks, Charlaine Chung, for your lead vocal!

And how about that duet from Matt Tyer and Shawn Sanks? Outstanding!


Our Mississippi Annual Conference gathers this week from Wednesday until Friday at the Bancorpsouth Center in Tupelo. You’re welcome to join us as a guest in person, or by streaming from our Conference website, WWW.Mississippi-UMC.org. Please extend prayer for this important gathering. There are big doin’s these days.


Speaking of technology, a big thanks to Tanya Benefield, who has pretty much single handedly overhauled our FUMC website and Facebook Page. There’s a LOT to acquaint yourself with, so check out WWW.fumcnewalbany.com, and our Facebook Page(s), FUMC New Albany!

e-Mail tanya@fumcnewalbany.com

Facebook Tanya Benefield | Facebook

Twitter: @BenefieldTanya

Instagram: TanyaBene73

Find FUMC on Facebook – click on the links below

FUMC Facebook Page: First United Methodist Church of New Albany | Facebook

FUMC Facebook Group Page: FUMC New Albany | Facebook


We need YOU to help with our tech needs during the 11:00 Traditional worship service! Our plan is to bring in a consultant to teach us/lead us so that we can set up a rotation of teams to handle the tech stuff. Many hands make light the work, right? So if you’re interested in helping, text Matt Tyer at 662.538.8093!

We also want to begin using laity to read Scripture during the Traditional service. If this is something you’d be willing to rotate into, again, email me at tom@fumcnewalbany.com. We will give you all the training you need to make it a worshipful act!


Hey, Thanks to our Men’s Breakfast group, which was wonderful. Sorry I had to leave early to prepare for our Embrace worship service, which was equally wonderful! Great job to all who set up, cooked, played, sang, took down, and attended!



We will have a brief presentation next Sunday, July 17, from our Christmas in July ministry, at both services.

Ladies’ Bible Study will gather on Thursday, July 21, at 10:00 in the UMW room. I’ll be leading with music, prayer, and the Word from Mark. All ladies are invited!

>Trustees Committee will meet on Monday, July 18 at 5:30.

Finance Committee will meet on Monday, July 25, at 6:00. Ad Council meeting will follow at 7:00.

>July 31, we will hold our Blessing of the Backpacks service at both 9:00 and 11:00. We’ll also present Bibles to children and promote our kids to their new Sunday School classes! Kids, be sure to bring your backpack for a blessing and a fun little gift from FUMC!

In addition, we will send our teachers, coaches, administrators, and staff into the school year with a special prayer.


I just finished watching the latest season of a TV series called “Alone”, where they drop 10 willing participants into a wilderness survival experience in Canada in late Fall. Then it struck me: Hey, History Channel-REALLY impress me and drop these folks in the Mississippi Delta for June, July and August, and let’s see how well they can live off the land! I’ll bet no one would last more than a week without “tapping out”!


Well, friends, that’s about it for now. Have a great day, and remember,


“If your life as a disciple is not an adrenaline rush, you’re not doing it the way Jesus did it.”

E-Note for Wednesday, July 6

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

I hope your Fourth was a wonderful day.


The other day I was in the Pastor’s Study, moving books onto bookshelves. Now, I had noticed that the second shelf was tilted a little toward the left front. I ignored that, however.

After putting 10 or 12 books on the shelf, all was OK. The next book to go on the shelf, however, was my NIV Study Bible. I put it in place and turned my back for the next book.




You can’t make this stuff up, folks. The Holy Bible caused all the other books to come tumbling down!


“If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” (Jesus, John 8:31-32, NRSV)


Notice this, friends. I was on a fool’s errand, piling books on a shelf I knew couldn’t sustain the weight. Then the Bible caused the avalanche which then allowed me to FIX what was wrong (the front left pin was missing under the shelf) so things could work out.


John Lennon sang, “Gimme some Truth.”

Colonel Nathan Jessep shouted, “You can’t handle the truth!”

Jesus says, “Stay in my Word and you’ll know the truth, and be set free by it.”


And He should know. Because even from an early age, God’s Word (only the Old Testament, at that point in history) was on Jesus’ reading list! Familiarity with God’s Scripture allowed Jesus the ability to see problems and come up with solutions.  And, Lo and Behold, Jesus found himself able to stand up to political pressure, temptation, and even satan himself.

Gee, I wonder if the two are related…


How familiar are you with God’s Word? Is there a problem you’re currently ignoring?

The answer, even if it involves some work, is in God’s Word.

In Joy,


Great Job, all of you who worked to make Camp Sonshine a success! What a wonderful community outreach to children who clearly appreciated it!


Thanks, Tana Ranager, for helping out with the sermon last Sunday!


Thank you for the flower arrangement in our honor, Buzzy Clayton Sunday School Class. Just gorgeous!


And Thanks also to all of you who registered your attendance in the pew pads on Sunday. It’ll be a big help to Corey and Me, and it’s also an important way to welcome guests to our church!


Thanks are also due to all of you who have made the Potters’ arrival in New Albany such a great experience. Thanks for your gifts of time, friendship, and generosity.


Please remain in prayer for our United Methodist Youth (and Thomas, and their adult counselors) as they participate in M28, a powerful event in our own Lake Junaluska Assembly, North Carolina. New Associate Pastor to Youth and Families Rev. Corey Truett and I saw them off early Sunday morning. It made us wish we could go back to Lake J, too! Our group will return home on Thursday.


We look forward to hearing reports during worship from our Mission Team to Costa Rica soon!


As we at FUMC re-evaluate our presence on social media (particularly our http://www.fumcnewalbany.com webpage and Facebook pages), please be patient. We’ll get there.


Our Embrace service will return next Sunday at 9:00 in the gym. I can’t wait to worship with y’all!


Men’s Breakfast meets next Sunday, July 10, at 8:00. Guys, join us for this disciple-making opportunity!


Next Sunday we’ll continue our sermon series “The Real Face of Grace” by looking at Justifying Grace (Romans 4:1-12, Matthew 8:5-13). Spoiler alert: Justifying Grace makes it “Just as IF I’D never sinned before! Be sure to be in God’s house, physically or digitally.


Upcoming Attractions

>FUMC Staff Meeting, Tuesday, July 12, 2:00. We need every staff person, full time and part time, who can possibly make it!

>Mississippi Annual Conference meets in person (!) and by live streaming, July 13-15. To stream, go to www.mississippi-umc.org. or the Mississippi Conference Facebook page.

>Christmas in July will make a brief presentation of their work in both worship services on Sunday, July 17. We will also receive a special offering for their important ministry to our community. Please plan to be prayerfully generous.

>Back-to-School Kickoff will be Wednesday, August 10, from 6:00-7:30 pm. Stay Tuned.

>Wednesday Night activities will resume on August 17th. My Pastor-Led Bible Study will be entitled “Ten from Gen:10 Great Stories from the Book of Genesis”.


Well, Campers, that’s about it for the moment. Have a great day, stay hydrated, and remember,


With Truth comes Freedom, but with Freedom comes Responsibility.

E-Note for Wednesday, June 29

Good Morning, Friends, and welcome to this week’s E-Note. We will be visiting this way on a weekly basis for devotion and information.

While it would be tempting to equate our first Sunday together with July 4, 1776, I’m not going there. However, I am a direct descendent of Benjamin Franklin, who said,

“You will never find time for anything; you must MAKE time.”

Bingo. Especially regarding Sundays at First UMC.

As long as people see worship and Sunday School as just one more item on their “to-do list”, our church will suffer and we will flounder as Disciples.

But when we make Sundays at FUMC a HIGH priority, our personal world will change, and we will change New Albany, too!

This Sunday, July 3, we will gather for a SINGLE worship service at 10:30. A few notes:

>We begin a 4-week sermon series, “The Real Face of Grace”, in which we look at four types of God’s Grace which we benefit from. This week we’ll focus on Prevenient Grace, or Grace which is available before we even know we NEED to be forgiven.

>We will offer “A Time for the Child in All of Us” (children’s message) during the service this and every week.

>Our Scriptures for the morning will be John 1:1-9, and Colossians 3:12-14. Suffice to say, “We benefit most from the one who went FIRST (Jesus).”

>We’ve got a lineup of patriotic hymns, specials, and choir anthem, so come in your patriotic colors and join us!

In Joy,


BTW, Connection Meal this week will be at 9:15, and then Sunday School will begin at 9:30. This would be a GREAT TIME for you to join a Sunday School Class!


As we gain our folks’ email addresses, we will be able to bring more folks into this communication loop. Have your friends and family text Martha Rainey their email address so we can all get on the same page!


Thanks to everyone who’s extended such a warm (and delicious!) welcome to the Potters!

Thanks also to all who made Camp Sonshine such a great ministry outreach!

In case you wondered, we’ll never be able to afford enough staff to replace all our volunteers! Thanks for what y’all do, and are going to do, for the Kingdom!


Some Upcoming Things:

>Our Men’s Breakfast will be Sunday, July 10, at 8:00 in the Fellowship. Come get a MAN’s breakfast and help strategize ways to bring the Kingdom closer!

>Our United Methodist Youth will attend M28 July 3-7 at Lake Junaluska Assembly. It’s a good thing!

>Our NEW Associate Pastor to Youth and Families, Rev. Corey Truett, and his wife Heather move to New Albany!

>Mississippi Annual Conference meets IN PERSON and online in Tupelo, July 13-16.

>Our Christmas in July Sunday will be July 17, with a presentation in both services, a “meet-and-greet” brunch, and an opportunity to support this ministry with a SPECIAL OFFERING.

>Promotion Sunday for Children, Blessing of the Backpacks, and Presentation of Bibles to 3rd Graders will be Sunday, July 31, at both services.

>Back to School KICKOFF with inflatables and a cookout will be Wednesday, August 10, 6:00-7:30. Stay tuned.


Okay, that’s about it for the moment. Have a great day, and remember

“The Church is not a museum for the saved, it’s a hospital for the sinners.”


Have a great day, and remember,

“Changes aren’t permanent, but change is.”-Neil Peart