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December 2016

Table of Contents 5-6 GUMC Life 8





Older Adults


Adult Education






McVay Counseling

Ministry Contacts Children’s Ministry Lisa Pierce - Director of Children’s Ministry 758-6512 • Kristin Dickerson - Associate Director 754-7216 • Callie Beaver - Associate Director 758-6525 • Older Adults Beverly Rhoads - Elder Care Health Ministry Coordinator 758-6513 • Luci Cromer • 755-0803 •

Adult Education Mary Groh - Director of Adult Education and Membership 754-5093 • Youth Ministry Sue Hyland - Youth & Confirmation Director 758-6516 • Brian Richards - Associate Youth Director 758-6515 • Health and Recreation Tiffany Griffin - Director of Health & Recreation 753-3100 • See full staff listing at


December Sermons December 4 Because He Reveals God’s Affirmation of Humanity

December 18 Because He Embodies the Power of Love

December 11 Because He Brings Light Into the Darkness

December 24 Because God Wants a Redeemed World

December 24 Because There is a Witness for the Future

Welcome New Member!

Agbani Dagogo-Jack, November 13

from Richard This is an exciting time in the life of Germantown Methodist. On the one hand, we are in the midst, as you read this, of the extraordinary spiritual season of Advent-Christmas. Advent began on November 27 and continues through Christmas Eve services. Our theme for these days is, “Why Jesus?” The sermons and worship will be answering that question week to week. Please note all the services and offerings shared here in this Tidings piece. I do want you to note in particular that on Christmas Sunday, December 25, there will only be one service; at 10:30 a.m. Additionally, we are in the transition to the new Senior Pastor for GUMC, Dr. Tim Carpenter. Tim will be leaving his current assignment as District Superintendent of the Metro District to become the new spiritual and administrative leader of the Church effective January 1, 2017. As I’ve said in several settings, Tim is a most gifted preacher; has a heart for spiritual development; and desires to help local churches be fruitful and vibrant. And, as a product of GUMC, he has a special caring and love for this Church. God will bless the present and future under his leadership. You will find extended information about him inside. Finally, let me say again that Pat and I have been deeply honored to be here and to serve with you and among you. It is an exceptional privilege to be the Senior Pastor of such a vital congregation and an added blessing to end one’s fulltime ministry here. With the final words John Wesley spoke, we can all say, “Best of all, God is with us.”

Farewell Reception - December 11 9:40 - 12:30 | Fellowship Hall Farewell Reception for our retiring Senior Pastor, Richard Smith and his wife Pat.


Join Us in Worship on Sunday Morning

Sunday’s November 27 - December 18 | 8:30, 9:40 & 11 a.m. | Sanctuary

Children’s Alternative Christmas

Sunday, December 4 | 9:40 and 11 a.m. | Children’s Wing

Plum Pudding Festival

Sunday, December 4 | 5 p.m. | Sanctuary

Blue Christmas

Tuesday, December 6 | 6:30 p.m. | Chapel

Milk and Muffins

Saturday, December 10 | 9:30 - 11:00 a.m. | Mike Wilson Fellowship Hall

Christmas Cookie Shoppe

Saturday, December 10 | 9 a.m. - Noon | Nursery/Preschool Area

Lessons and Carols

Sunday, December 11 | 5 p.m. | Sanctuary

Christmas Eve Services

Saturday, December 24 | Various Times | Sanctuary • 3 and 4 p.m. – Services for Families with Young Children • 6 p.m. – Service of Holy Communion with music led by our Ancient-Modern Praise Team • 7:30 p.m. – Service of Holy Communion with music led by the Chancel Choir. • 10:30 p.m. – Music for the Holy Night: an extended prelude of Christmas music; Jim Thrash, organ • 11 p.m. – Service of Holy Communion – “From Darkness to Light”

Christmas Day Service of Worship

Sunday, December 25 | 10:30 a.m. | Sanctuary

Day |Service New Year’s January 1 10:30 a.m. | Sanctuary Sunday,


GUMC Life Welcome Rev. Tim Carpenter GUMC’s New Senior Pastor Tim will be leaving his current assignment as District Superintendent of the Metro District to become the new spiritual and administrative leader of GUMC on January 1, 2017. Rev. Tim Carpenter began serving as a District Superintendent in 2014. He served as the Asbury Superintendent from 2014-2016, and has been the METRO Superintendent since the merging of the Asbury and McKendree Districts in June of 2016. ​ im previously served as Pastor of Poplar Grove UMC in Drummonds, TN T (1993-1995); Associate Pastor of First UMC in Jackson, TN (1995-2000); Pastor of First UMC in Bolivar, TN (2000-2007); and Senior Pastor of First UMC in Covington, TN (2007-2014). He has been married to Dawn since 1988, and they have two sons; Jordan (20), and Ethan (18). He is a graduate of Germantown (TN) High School (1984), the University of Florida (B.A. Political Science, 1988), and Memphis Theological Seminary (MDiv., Magna Cum Laude, 1993). Tim grew up at Germantown UMC, and is the son of Doug and Mary Carpenter who have been members of the congregation since 1970.

SOLOS Celebrate Christmas at Grisanti's

SOLOS will celebrate Christmas at a dinner on Monday, December 19, at Grisanti's Embassy Suites. Bring a $5 gift for the Dirty Santa Gift Exchange and enjoy a fun evening with good friends and good food. Contact Kay Lindamood at 754-6033.

Massage Therapy December Special Enjoy a one-hour massage for $50. Contact Carol Panasuk, LMT, at 292-5913 to make an appointment. See OLEC staff to purchase gift certificate or purchase directly from Carol.


GUMC Life Christmas Poinsettias Remember to honor a loved one and help beautify our sanctuary for the Christmas season by providing a poinsettia! One or more plants may be ordered at $16 each. Deadline: Monday, December 5 at noon. Names of honorees and donors will be listed in a special brochure given out on Sunday, Dec 18 & 25. Order forms are available at the Information Center, the Welcome Center, and online at

December 2016 For we have seen his star in the East and have come to worship him. - Matthew 2:2 During this busy holiday season, be sure to have some special time to say thank you to the Lord. He sent his son to earth that we might have the gift of eternal life. Thank him for that priceless gift of a life that is both abundant and eternal. Praise him always and be grateful for his love. — Barbara McMahon, Prayer and Spiritual Formation Ministry Team

Parking Please remember that the Southern Social restaurant has opened on the north end of our main campus. The restaurant has limited parking immediately behind the building and in the few parking spaces that border what used to be Second Street. Please do not park in those places. Your cooperation on this will help all of us to be better neighbors.


End of Year Giving Christmastime is the perfect time to reflect on how God has blessed us to be a blessing. Your gift helps our church to serve those in need and make disciples for God. Like many charitable organizations, we are very dependent on year-end giving to support our ministries throughout the year.

Cash, Check, Electronic Payment Of course, the most common way of giving is with a check. In addition, the convenience of your bank’s bill pay can be used to send a check as well. Finally, the church can auto-draft your contribution monthly if you wish. Please contact Sharon Panis at the church office to arrange that.

In 2 Corinthians 9:11-12 we read that we are enriched not simply or even primarily for our own enjoyment, but so that we can be generous on every occasion … supplying the needs of the Lord’s people.

Stocks The stock market is up, no, wait, it’s down. Or maybe it’s doing something else. No one knows if or when a downturn in the market might occur. One way to avoid the capital gains taxes that might come by selling stock is to gift the stock to the church. The tax savings may be significant. Talk to your tax planner or financial consultant. Contact Sharon Panis to facilitate this.

Here, at the end of the year, let’s make plans to ensure that we are making the work of the Lord possible in every way. One important way is through our financial gifts. Most of us give from our ready cash. That is a good thing to do. There are many ways to give as well here in December. Whatever decisions you make, please make them in consultation with a qualified planner. Also, please remember that in order for a gift to be counted as a charitable contribution in 2016, for tax purposes, it must either be received by December 31, postmarked by December 31, or transacted online by December 31. Your decisions advance the kingdom of God.

Estate Planning Fewer than half of all American adults have a will. If we are serious about and committed to our church while we are alive, then providing for our church when we are gone makes sense, too. A bequest of property, financial instruments, savings, accounts, and other resources may be of benefit to your estate, allowing more of what you have acquired in this life to continue the work of the church and leave more for your loved ones as well. Talk to your tax planner or financial consultant.



Saturday, December 10 9:30 -11 a.m.

Children’s Alternative Christmas: Sunday, December 4, in the Market Room (rm. 260) of the children’s wing during the 9:40 and 11:00 Kids Quest hours. Children will learn the value of free trade and then have the opportunity to shop a free-trade market for special gifts. Each gift is $5. Your child may purchase up to four gifts – bring a list of names and $5 for each gift. The gifts are pre-wrapped and will be tagged for your child before leaving. This event is a gift of love from the missions committee to our children and is a treasured tradition for our young ones. To allow for Christmas morning surprises, parents are not permitted in the shopping area. If you have a preschool child who would like to shop, we will have adult “shopping guides” available to assist. Preschoolers are invited to shop between worship hours, either before the 9:40 hour or before the 11:00 hour. Elementary children will shop during their Sunday school hour. If there are extra gifts to be purchased, we will have these available on Sunday, December 11 in the children’s wing hallway.


Milk and Muffins is a long-standing Advent tradition at GUMC. Families create memories while enjoying breakfast treats, making crafts, hearing the Christmas story, and visiting with the Jolly Guy himself! Plan to drop by the Fellowship Hall on Saturday, December 10, between 9:30 and 11 a.m. Bring your camera to capture the joy (or screams) as your child shares his/her wish list with Santa.

Kids Quest Holiday Schedule We will not be having Kids Quest on Sunday, December 25 or Sunday, January 1. We will be having childcare for preschoolaged children. We encourage families to take this time to worship together. We will resume Kids Quest on Sunday, January 8.

Germantown United Methodist Preschool Germantown United Methodist Preschool GUMP Enrollment Begins Soon GUMP enrollment is just around the corner, and with that we are already becoming busy at GUMP as tours for the 2017-2018 school year continue to increase! Open Enrollment for the upcoming school year will begin in January; giving current families priority of re-enrollment and then opening enrollment up to the public. An updated enrollment application for the 2017-2018 school year will be available on-line midDecember. Please share with friends and family to consider GUMP when seeking a Weekday Preschool. Before our year breaks, GUMP wants to wish each of you a Merry Christmas! As the Christmas season is upon us, we joyfully celebrate the birth of baby Jesus! What a sweet time of year to share God’s love with our little friends. This month our three, four and five year old friends will join together to have a special chapel with Ms. Lisa (Pierce). What a special time it will be together! Also, all our classroom friends will celebrate Christmas with a “Happy Birthday Jesus” birthday party, so that as we break for Christmas our focus is on the true Reason for the Season. May this season be Merry and Bright!

For more information, visit 9

Older Adult Ministry Don’t Forget the December Brown Bag Lunch Program! Cornelia Swain, The Nativity Lady, will show us some of her “Nativity Sets Around the World.” This presentation will be Friday, December 2, in the Fellowship Hall. The program starts at 11 a.m. with lunch at noon. Bring your own sack lunch; the church will supply the beverages. Call Luci Cromer, 755-0803, for more information. No reservations are needed. There will be a crossing guard on West Street to help with overflow parking.

XYZs Experience Bonsai in February! After eating lunch at the Silver Caboose, we will travel to Brussel’s Bonsai, the largest importer and grower of quality bonsai America for over 30 years, and a destination for Asian culture enthusiasts and those interested in growing a piece of history. Bonsai is the Japanese art form, dating back over 1000 years, of using trees grown in containers. A popular hobby with both men and women, bonsai is rewarding for both the viewer and the growers. Brussel is going to teach us about the art of bonsai, demonstrate the techniques used in growing a plant, and give us a tour of this state-of-the-art facility. Prepare to be amazed! There is limited space available for this event. WHERE: Collierville, Tennessee and Olive Branch, Mississippi WHEN: Tuesday, February 21, 2017 COST: $3 per person plus lunch on your own DEPARTURE: 10:30 a.m. from OLEC parking lot. (Be there by 10:15 a.m.) RESERVATIONS: Call Nancy Arnold, 754-6326, Gretchen Blair, 755-0797, or Luci Cromer, 755-0803. You must make your reservation before paying. DEADLINE FOR MONEY and RESERVATIONS: Monday, January 23


Older Adult Ministry XYZs See National Parks Adventure in January! Our 400+ National Parks belong to no one and belong to us all, and they have for over 100 years. This film, narrated by Robert Redford, offers not only a sweeping overview of the national parks’ history but is equal parts adventure-pumping odyssey and soulful reflection of what the wilderness means to us all. We will follow a team of modern-day explorers on the ultimate off-trail adventure into America’s great outdoors to see awe-inspiring, heart-stopping, jaw-dropping places that fill you with a reverence for what nature can do. After the movie, we will have lunch at Patrick’s restaurant on Park Avenue. Where: CTI Giant 3D Theater and Patrick’s Restaurant When: Tuesday, January 17, 2017 Cost: $7 per person plus lunch on your own Departure: 9:45 a.m. from OLEC parking lot. (Be there by 9:30 a.m.) Reservations: Call Nancy Arnold, 754-6326, Gretchen Blair, 7550797, or Luci Cromer, 755-0803. You must make your reservation before paying. Deadline for Money and Reservations: Wednesday, December 14

Learn How to Conquer the Paper Clutter at January Brown Bag Lunch! From utility bills to receipts to birth certificates to magazines to mail—paper comes from so many sources, each and every day! Show paper who’s boss by learning effective routines and systems for keeping paper clutter at bay. Join two professional organizers as they explore categories of household and personal papers, how long to keep certain paperwork, maintaining a current filing system, ways to go paperless, and more at the January Brown Bag Lunch Series, an adventure in learning sponsored by the Older Adult Council. TOPIC: “Organizing Your Life: Household and Personal Paperwork” SPEAKERS: Amy Tuggle and Fran Cutshall, owners, Stay Organized with Us WHERE: Mike Wilson Fellowship Hall WHEN: January 6, 2017. Program starts at 11 a.m.; lunch is at noon. COST: FREE—the church will supply beverages. RESERVATIONS: No reservations are needed. Just bring your sack lunch and enjoy the program and the fellowship. QUESTIONS? Call Luci Cromer, 755-0803, or Beverly Rhoads, 754-7216, ext. 107. There will be a crossing guard on West Street to help with overflow parking.


Adult Education Women’s Retreat, February 3-4! You’re Invited to the 2017 GUMC Women’s Retreat, February 3-4! The retreat is at Pinecrest Conference Center in LaGrange, Tennessee. Our theme this year is “Fruit of the Spirit” from Galatians 5:22-23. Study sessions will be led by Dr. Pokey Stanford with music by Natalie Duncan. Our retreat promises you an opportunity to: • Embrace nature’s beauty • Be part of a loving, vibrant community of women • Let go of your to-do list for 24 hours • Enjoy downtime, quiet time and meditation • Relinquish your roles from work and home • Be nourished by delicious, home-cooked meals • Refresh and recharge • Create new friendships and strengthen existing relationships, and • Hear and discuss a message created just for you. Registration is filling up quickly—don’t postpone signing up! We are limited to 80 participants. For more information please go to our church website or pick up a brochure at one of our kiosks. Please save the date, review the details, invite a friend, and sign-up! Step out of your routine and take time for yourself.

New Adult Small Group Studies Starting in January We know Germantown UMC is a large church and it can be difficult to find a place where you feel you can ask questions, listen to ideas, or explore more of what you hear in worship. That’s why we have small groups! Small groups of Christians caring for one another, praying, studying and serving together are a foundation of Methodism and allow a person to grow in his or her faith with the help of other people who can provide encouragement and support. We have some exciting adult small group studies planned for Winter/Spring, 2017! Look for more information about our upcoming classes in our Adult Study brochure–out in early January! BIG THINGS HAPPEN in small groups. Our hope is to see you in worship, and . . . in a Small Group Study!


Adult Education New Bible Study Starting in January Wednesday Evenings & Thursday Mornings The Story - Getting to the Heart of God’s Story The “Greatest Story Ever Told” is more than just a cliché. God goes to great lengths to rescue lost and hurting people. That is what The Story is all about—the story of the Bible, God’s great love affair with humanity. The Story sweeps you into the unfolding progression of Bible characters and events from Genesis to Revelation. It allows the stories, poems, and teachings of the Bible to read like a novel. And like any good story, The Story is filled with intrigue, drama, conflict, romance, and redemption. The Story is an innovative, video-based, small-group Bible study that presents Scripture as a continuous narrative in chronological order. The study will help you understand God’s word more fully and engage with it more easily. Author Randy Frazee, explores the theme running through Scripture of God’s pursuit of a relationship with us and how we can learn to recognize God’s presence. The Story will open your eyes to God’s master plan unfolding in the lives of the Bible’s characters–and in your own life. This class will be offered at two different times – Wednesday evenings, 6:30 - 7:30 p.m., and Thursday mornings, 10:30 - 11:30 a.m. Join Rev. Brad Gabriel beginning January 11 or 12 for the first of three 10week sessions. The class will break during the summer and return in the fall for the second session. The final session of the study will begin in January of 2018. Register online at or contact Mary Groh for additional information. Cost for the study is $5 and free childcare is available by reservation. If you have been intimidated by the thought of reading and understanding the complete Bible, but you want to gain an understanding of the essence of this incredible story, then this Bible study is for you!


Adult Education 10 Reasons You Should Join The Monthly Book Group Looking for something fun to do? Want to meet church members and make new friends? Looking for a good debate, a reason to get out of the house? Looking for fun on a tight budget? Well, guess what? You can address all of these issues by joining our Monday Monthly Book Group! It’s true. Our book group isn’t just about reading great books. Sure, that’s part of it, but the benefits of joining a group are vast and may even surprise you. Here are 10 reasons to join us. Which will be the one that sends you running to the library? 1) It’s FREE!

6) A reason to turn off the TV

2) Meet new people

7) Take a break and get out of the house

3) Read a good book

8) Everyone is welcome

4) Lively discussions and good debates

9) Learn something new

5) Discover new genres and authors

10) L  earn to read critically and expand your communication skills

Have we convinced you yet? Here is the list of books that we will be reading this winter and spring: January 23


Daphne du Maurier

February 27

The Kitchen House

Kathleen Grissom

March 27

A Man Called Ove

Fredrik Backman

April 24

Docket No. 76

Arita M. L. Bohannan

May 22

Ordinary Grace

William Kent Krueger

We meet the 4th Monday of the month in Room 338 from 10 a.m.–noon. You are welcome to join us!

Wednesday Morning Women’s Bible Study in January Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World | January 25–April 12, 9:45-11:45 a.m. The life of a woman today isn’t really all that different from that of Mary and Martha in the New Testament. Like Mary, you long to sit at the Lord’s feet, but the daily demands of a busy world just won’t leave you alone. Like Martha, you love Jesus and really want to serve him, yet you struggle with weariness, resentment, and feelings of inadequacy. With a fresh approach to the familiar Bible story and with creative, practical strategies, this 12-week DVD study, facilitated by Chesley Porteous, shows how we can draw closer to God, deepen our devotion, strengthen our service, and do each with less stress and greater joy. Come discover what Jesus meant by the “better part” as you strengthen your relationship with the God who invites you closer. Childcare is available by reservation. Cost for the study is $23. Registration will open soon at For more information contact Chesley Porteous at


United Methodist Women Annual Christmas Cookie Shoppe

Saturday, December 10 | 9 a.m. - Noon | Nursery/Preschool Area Delicious homemade cookies make the best gifts! Come shop at the annual Christmas Cookie Shoppe! It is a great opportunity for church members and friends to buy festive and beautiful homemade cookies and candies to enjoy or give as gifts during the Christmas holidays. The funds raised will be given to the missions supported by the United Methodist Women of our church. Cookie Shoppers will receive a bakery box and will be able to choose from over 100 different cookies and candies. The boxes will be weighed and sold for $8.00 per pound. Credit Cards will be accepted this year. Pre-orders of boxed cookies can be made Sunday, December 4 in the Fellowship Hall; a form will be provided with payment required at the time of order. We need your help in order to raise significant funds for our missions and ministries. Please consider helping by baking cookies for the Cookie Shoppe. This year we know that with more participation we can make it even more wonderful! You get delicious cookies and we raise money for missions! Let’s start baking! You do not have to be active in a UMW Circle—all GUMC women are members of the United Methodist Women! Get creative! We want cookies that are made from scratch and out of the ordinary so that we can offer our family and friends very special holiday treats. (PLEASE, NO CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES! We will have some for sale, and we don’t need an abundance of them!) Is fudge your specialty? Please make some fudge!

Guidelines for Cookie Bakers: • Bake 12 dozen of ONE KIND of cookie (may be frozen if wrapped properly). • Cookies must be delivered to the church on Friday, December 9 before 3 p.m. • Please deliver to the Nursery area, yellow room to the left. Please label them for Cookie Shoppe. • Include a 3x5 card with your name and type of cookie • Bring your cookies in DISPOSABLE containers. We will be placing them in decorated trays. Sign up to BAKE cookies and help us make this Christmas Cookie Shoppe the best ever! Go to and sign up to bake cookies on the “SIGN-UP Genius” web site. For more information contact chairpersons: Ronnie Pruitt at, or Barbara Schanson at


United Methodist Women New Library Room Our church is blessed with a wonderful women’s organization called Germantown United Methodist Women (GUMW). We are excited to now have a space in Room 231 in which to conduct meetings and also to house our small library. Please stop by and peruse our books! GUMW is the women’s organization of our church and is very involved in supporting the ministries of our church as well as offering all women of GUMC an organization where they can grow spiritually, develop as leaders, and serve and work to help make our community a better place. To find out more about GUMW please go to our web page at or contact Anna Graunke at

December Brunch Tuesday, December 13 | 10:30 a.m. | Mike Wilson Fellowship Hall Come and enjoy! Take time from all the hustle and bustle and refocus on the reason for the season. Enjoy a delicious brunch and the fellowship of women at Germantown United Methodist Church. Entertainment will be provided that will lift your spirits with the sounds of the season. You won’t want to miss the singing of our very own, Rev. Erin Beasley. We will also be awarding our annual Recognition Pins and installing our new 2017 officers. All women are invited to attend and you are welcome to bring a friend. The cost is $10. Deadline to register is Thursday, December 8 at 1 p.m. To pay by credit card go to To pay by check: Make check out to GUMW, write GUMW December Brunch in the memo line, place in drop box in the Welcome Center. For luncheon questions email Yolanda Toney at


Childcare is available at no cost. Indicate if you need childcare when registering online or by writing “Need Childcare” on your check. Email names and ages of children to Yolanda Toney. You will receive an email confirming your request. All women are welcome to attend Germantown United Methodist Women events. If you are looking for the camaraderie of Christian women, fellowship while serving others in need and the opportunity to make lifelong friends, consider joining one of GUMW’s many Circles (small groups.) For information, contact GUMW President Anna Graunke at gumw@germantownumc. org or Yolanda Toney at

Missions The Longest Night of the Year Each year, extreme cold will claim lives of those without shelter. GUMC has become an integral part of the solution here in Shelby County. Through our ecumenical partnership with OLPH, St. George’s Episcopal, Farmington Presbyterian, and Church of the Incarnation, we provide vitally needed shelter to those experiencing homelessness in the form of Room In The Inn at The Cottage. Room In The Inn, named for the biblical Christmas narrative when Mary and Joseph were told there was no room in the inn, operates during the coldest months of the year, November through March. Room In The Inn is a unique emergency shelter program in that it is the only free shelter in Shelby County and is also the only shelter that allows children to stay with parents. It is extremely hard to convey on paper how extraordinary Room In The Inn is and how much it means to both our guests and our volunteers. When the City of Germantown Fire Marshall informed GUMC that The Cottage required costly improvements to comply with fire code so that individuals could continue to stay overnight at The Cottage, there was no question of discontinuing our hospitality. The five partnering churches decided to launch a joint Go Fund Me campaign to help cover the costs. That fundraising page caught the attention of Shelby County Commissioner Mark Billingsley who encouraged us to submit a grant proposal to help with costs. We did, and it

From Left: Alise Davis, Commissioner Mark Billingsley, Rene Platten of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church, and Lisa Anderson Executive Director of Room In The Inn -Memphis.

was approved. As OLPH welcomed the first guests of the season, Mr. Billingsley stopped by The Cottage to meet the guests himself and to see how we are serving the needs of the homeless in our community. What a blessing! December 21 will be the Winter Solstice otherwise known as the longest night of the year. For many, that night doesn’t carry very much significance. Maybe you’ll be finishing the last of your Christmas gift wrapping, or headed to a holiday party, or snuggling under a blanket watching a good show. But, for those without a place to call their own, when the sun goes down it is the most dangerous time of day. The longest night of the year seems an appropriate time to pay homage to those who have lost their lives while living on the streets and rededicate ourselves to preventing more deaths. I invite you to remember our efforts at Room In The Inn on Sunday, December 18. On that Sunday, nearest the longest night of the year, we would appreciate you lifting up RITI in prayer and/or making a financial contribution. You can make contributions by writing a check to GUMC with RITI in the memo line, or by contributing directly to Room In The Inn – Memphis on their website The longest night of the year falls on a Wednesday this year. That means that on the longest night of the year, there will be 14 fewer homeless people out on the streets counting the minutes until sunrise. They will be warm, fed, and loved at Room In The Inn at The Cottage. Help us continue to serve them so that no one will hear the words, “There is no room in the inn.” Merry Christmas from RITI at The Cottage!


Youth Crave 2016 Each year in November, our youth and lots of brave and generous adults head out to Victory Ranch for a fall weekend retreat. This year, just like any other, we loaded up and headed out for a weekend that we knew would be fun and spirit filled. What we didn’t know is that God was going to show up in a BIG way through our students, adults, speakers, and worship leaders. We aren’t sure why this year was any different that years before but The Spirit was alive and flowing through each person there. Our talks, small groups, worship, and rec times together were special and life giving. Every student and adult came back renewed and refreshed ready to do whatever God had “Set them apart” to do. This year, over 100 youth and adults attended this retreat. Without each of them being open, honest, and willing to connect with God and each other, retreats like this would not be possible. Our prayer


as we’ve returned home has been that the fire that was lit in each of us would continue to burn brightly for God and for His Kingdom. A special thanks to each adult and college student that made this retreat not only possible but special. We are grateful for each of you! Below you will find a few things from Crave this year. The first one is a lovely devotional written by Sally Gairhan. Each year a senior high student writes devotionals to share with us each morning. I know that just by reading the devotional below, you will experience just a part of what we experienced during Crave weekend. You will also find a review of the weekend written by Keegan Szalay. It has been a joy to watch Keegan grow in her faith and in her leadership within GUMC! Read below how Crave moved her.


James 1: 2-6 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may become mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts will be like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. When I was in the sixth grade, my picture was left out of the Houston Middle School yearbook. This might not seem like a big deal, but I was traumatized. I remember coming home from school that day, bawling my eyes out to my mom because I didn’t believe that anyone would remember who I was without a tiny square picture attached to my name. I believed for a very long time, I didn’t feel myself fit in with everyone else. I bought every single color polo t-shirt and did the things everyone in my grade did, but I never felt at ease or confident in myself. I never really understood the concept that it was okay to not be like every other person that you know. Almost six years later, I sometimes fall into that same state of timidity and fear of who I am in this very moment. I’m not saying that everyone needs to be crazy loud and outgoing, but I do believe that we should be confident in the very person that God created us to be. Whatever that means for you, know that with Him, you were made to do great things. And when we invest ourselves in the person that God made us to be, we can overcome those tests of our faith with perseverance.

I know that I am not “mature and complete” because I still try to fill myself up with the things that are not of God. We are people obsessed with time when we simply were not made for it. We weren’t made to fill our plates with so many things that we fail to find the space to put God in our lives, or rather in control. We weren’t made to feel burdened by saying yes to things, even good things. We were made to be set apart. We were made to have God in every single crack and crevice that seems to hold us together when we are falling apart. We were made to have perseverance. In a book called Uninvited, Lysa TerKeurst brings up these three questions: Is God good? Is God good to me? Do I trust God to be God? The idea of our faith being tested seems a lot easier in theory rather than when it actually happens. I think that this weekend, you can find your perseverance to look at your trials with PURE JOY because God is good at being God and for that we will always have a reason to sing. Almighty Creator, Whether this morning begins our fifth or first Crave, help us realize that this is our place and our time to be set apart. We praise you for mornings just like this one where we can gather in community to learn how to live radically for You. Create in us pure hearts, oh God, all for you. Let our daily walks be a testament to your endless grace and highest sacrifice. Amen By Sally Gairhan


Youth Crave Review 2016 | By: Keegan Szalay Over the first weekend of November, 120 people from the youth group gather for a weekend retreat. We call this weekend “Crave.” This was my second year going to Crave. We had an amazing speaker for the second year in a row, Bo Bo. We also had awesome music led by Steven Hyland, amazing food, activities, and devotionals written by our very own youth, Sally Gairhan. We talked about the idea of being “Set Apart,” and the main three topics were about how we could think, love, and live differently in our community. Bo Bo gave us the definition of being set apart as someone or something different from others. Some of the key factors I took home and am trying to incorporate into my daily life are that you cannot walk with Jesus and try to walk with the world at the same time, we cannot lower our standards to please others around us, and if I want to live for God, I must stop worrying about myself. My small group talked about some ways we could live set apart from our daily life and how we could hold each other accountable for doing so. GUMC has been an amazing place for me to feel comfortable when I want to be set apart from the real world of school, friends, jobs, etc. The friendships I have made over the weekend will last a lifetime, and the ones I have made over the years growing up in the church I am forever grateful for.

S.I.P. (Sisters in Prayer) Prayer Breakfast Each Tuesday at 6 a.m., anywhere from 12-20 high school girls flock to the Starbuck’s on Houston Levee. Each week they gather for a time of Bible Study and sharing of their stories from the week before or their hopes for the week ahead. This breakfast began last spring and has grown from 4-6 weekly to an average of about 15. This semester we’ve been studying Matthew and have been so blessed by all that we have learned. This group has come to know and love each other at a time during the day when none of us are super “sunshiny.” It is such a gift to get to grow with one another in our walks with the Lord and to get to wake-up and share special time with our sisters on this journey. At right you will find a picture from one of our most exciting mornings. At this point in the season it was just beginning to get cold but we were still sitting outside, it’s really the only space that is big enough to hold us. Just as we were getting deep into Matthew the girls began to squeal … a POSSUM decided that he wanted to join us that morning too. A picture was snapped and the rest is history!


McVay Counseling Center Staff Updates at the McVay Counseling Center The Board of the McVay Counseling Center asks everyone at GUMC to join us in thanking both Dr. Bill Walker, D.Min., LPC/MHSP and Christina Burns, LPC/MHSP and wishing them all the best as they leave the Center to pursue new interests. Bill and his wife have moved to Atlanta to be closer to children and grandchildren while Christina has accepted a full-time position as Clinical Director of Fairhaven Treatment Center in Cordova. Fairhaven is a Residential Treatment Center for treatment of eating disorders. Both Bill and Christina have faithfully served as counselors at McVay. Bill has been with the Counseling Center for six years and Christina for over 10 years. We will truly miss both of them. Congratulations to both Bill and Christina!

Christina Burns, LPC/MHSP

Dr. Bill Walker, D.Min., LPC/MHSP

We at the Board are pleased to introduce you to Britt Palmer, MA, LMFT as our new counselor at McVay. She began working part time at the Center in early November. She has broad experience in the field of counseling. Britt has practiced in Oregon, California, and here in Memphis. She is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Her areas of strength are Group, Individual, Family, Couples, and Equine Assisted Psychotherapy. Welcome Britt to the McVay Counseling Center! “In faithfulness to the call of Christ, Germantown United Methodist Church provides the McVay Counseling Center. We see this ministry of GUMC providing quality, affordable counseling from trained professional counselors for members of the church as well as persons in the community. This ministry is undergirded by the belief that as individuals experience pain and emotional turmoil in their lives, the church is an appropriate and caring place to turn. The Center seeks to reach the entire community with a message of hope and healing, regardless of faith, religious preference, or background.�

Britt Palmer, MA, LMFT


December 2016 Tidings  
December 2016 Tidings  

Digital Tidings For Germantown United Methodist Church.