May Tidings 2024

Page 1

Seeking the Lost

In Luke 15, it says: some tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”

In response, Jesus told a parable. “What woman having ten silver coins, if she loses one of them, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

A woman in that time and culture received, at her wedding, a head covering with coins sewn into the band as a dowry. To lose one of the coins was devastating because of the emotional meaning, much like losing a wedding ring. At a time when coins were rare and most things were obtained through barter and trade, the coins also gave her a “safety net” should tragedy or tough times visit her family. Any woman listening to the parable would have related to the passionate drive to find the coin, even if it meant lighting a lamp in the late hours and diligently searching every nook and cranny.

It was not enough that the woman still had nine coins. She was determined to find the one that was missing. It was valuable to her. It did not matter how dusty or dirty the coin might have gotten. It did not matter where it might have fallen. What mattered was recovering the coin itself.

What might this mean for us?

• Recall that God seeks for the lost, not simply satisfied with the “found.”

• Resolve not to judge others in the way of the scribes and Pharisees, and

• Remember that our ministries and outreach should always focus on recovering the lost. It is, after all, what matters.

Inside this issue: Adult Education . . . . 11-13 Board of Trustees . . . . 8-9 Children’s Ministry . . 24-27 Churchwide . . . . . . . . 3, 10 College Ministry . . . . . . . 28 Congregational Care . . 6-7 Elder Care . . . . . . . . 20-22 Finance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 GUMP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 GUWF . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Health & Wellness . . . . . 17 Hospitality . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Membership . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Message from Pastors Tim . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Scott . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Mimi . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Missions . . . . . . . . . . 14-16 Music Ministry . . . . . . . . 13 Older Adults. . . . . . . 18-19 OLEC . . . . . . . . . . . . 29-31 Stewardship . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Tidings MAY 2024
The Lost Drachma: James Tissot (ca 1890) Tim Carpenter Senior Pastor

Executive Minister

I found the following article on the ResourceUMC website. It was adapted from addresses that Bishop Kenneth L. Carder (retired) delivered to the Giving and the Gospel Symposium in 1997 and the United Methodist Summit on Christian Stewardship in 2003.

 Giving (in the Wesleyan tradition) must be more than a response to an appeal to general humanitarianism. It must be rooted and grounded theologically and missionally.

 Giving is rooted in God's very being. The ability to give itself is a gift from God. All life is grace, a free, unearned gift from a giving God who invites us to share in the divine life and mission of giving. We are stewards and a steward is one who insures that all have a place at the table of God's provisions. God has graciously invited us to share in God's own life and activity by calling us to make sure the human family has all things necessary in order to flourish.

 Giving is indispensable to Christian discipleship. Giving is part of holy living. While the class meetings originated as a means of collecting money for the poor, they became communities of grace in which people were held in love and held accountable for holy living. Growth in discipleship inevitably includes growth in giving.

 Giving includes more than the products of our labor. Disciplined living in response to the needs of the world is a form of giving. We give by refusing to take from others what is necessary for their abundant life. Giving in the Wesleyan tradition includes joyfully sharing the fruits of our labor and management with others, especially the poor.

 Giving involves friendship with the poor. Wesley considered regular visitation of the poor as indispensable for Christian discipleship and spiritual formation as daily prayer and regular celebration of Holy Communion. He admonished the Methodists to deliver their aid to the poor, instead of sending it. Renewal will not come to United Methodism or any other church apart from welcoming the poor into the center of the church's life. Giving will not substantially increase unless and until we who have resources see the world's impoverished as members of our own family, as Jesus said they are.

 Giving moves beyond individual charity to building communities of shalom – communities of interconnectedness, justice, and compassion. Charity itself can be a paternalistic means of control. Justice, however, is what God requires. Wesley, though sometimes exhibiting a paternalistic attitude toward the poor, attempted to deal with their plight holistically. He made no distinction between delivering them medical care and proclaiming the gospel. One was not social service and the other evangelism. Both were good news.

Rev. Dr. Scott Alford Executive Minister

Mark your calendars for Sunday, May 19, as we will celebrate the birthday of The Church! May 19 is Pentecost Sunday, when we remember the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on all of the first followers of Jesus as they were gathered together in Acts 2.

Right after the 11 am services, we will all gather in the parking lot of the OLEC for lunch, where there will be international food trucks, bouncy houses, cupcakes, music, and fellowship! Be sure to wear red that Sunday –it’s the color for Pentecost, representing the red flame of fire that appeared over all the peoples’ heads as they received the Holy Spirit. Prism will have the world’s

largest birthday cake on display and special music that morning. So, don’t forget to mark your calendars, and invite your FRANS (Friends, Relatives, Associates, Neighbors, Strangers) to join us every Sunday morning for Prism at 11am!

Sundays | 11:00 am Owings Life Enrichment Center


Rev. Mimi White


Have you considered a recurring gift to GUMC?

To Give:

Go to our church website and click on Ways to Give.

A recurring gift is one that has been set up by the donor to be made regularly through the church’s website or their personal bank without any other action being necessary.

In 2022, 14% of GUMC’s member support came through recurring gifts, through ACH or debit/credit card, representing 24% of our giving families. Setting up a recurring gift creates a more constant cash flow for the church and a stronger level of giving for the donor. Generally, because of lower fees, recurring gifts made through ACH are preferred. Recurring gifts can also be easily changed as personal circumstances evolve.

If reading this digitally, click here to give

Scan to Give

Have you had a chance to view GUMC’s Annual Report?

If not, click here to see the many great things God has accomplished through GUMC last year! (or scan this QR code)

4 Finance Tim Whelan, Finance Chair GUMC BUDGETED FINANCIAL SUMMARY as of March 31, 2024 ACTUAL YTD BUDGET YTD OVER/UNDER BUDGET ANNUAL BUDGET % ACTUAL YTD to ANNUAL BUDGET TOTAL INCOME 928,282.30 744,641.79 183,640.51 3,414,791.93 27.18% TOTAL EXPENSES 841,074.78 831,454.28 9,620.50 3,414,791.93 24.63% NET INCOME OVER EXPENSE 87,207.52 (86,812.49) 174,020.01


Congregational Care

| 901-754-7216

“So deeply do we care for you that we are determined to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you have become very dear to us.” ~ 1 Thessalonians 2:8


My Bible study group is participating in a study called “When You Pray.” It’s an interesting study for many reasons. One reason is that each session is taught by a different Bible study author. We were familiar with a couple of the authors, but one who I have enjoyed the most, thus far, we have not studied with before. Her name is Jennifer Rothschild. Jennifer has been blind since the age of fifteen from a degenerative eye disease known as Retinitis Pigmentosa. She led us in a study of lamenting. Some may think lamenting is complaining, but it isn’t. As Jennifer explains it,

“Lamenting gives you a place to name your feelings. It is a way for you to worship God with your pain. It is the way to prevent soul cement – getting stuck in your emotions so you can’t move forward in your faith.”

This session spoke volumes to me as Congregational Care Director. As I look over our congregation, knowing the pain and suffering of many, I feel deep sadness. This study has reminded me that I can lament to God about our troubles, and I can say, as many of the Psalms of lament do, that there is pain, suffering, and grief, yet God walks with us. The Holy Spirit intercedes for us with groans, and we are assured that He is faithful.


Congregational Care

Yolanda Toney | | 901-754-7216

• Prayer Ministry - Join a team of volunteers who arrive 30-45 minutes before worship to pray throughout the church for all who enter the sanctuary before worship begins. The team also prays with the pastors. New members are welcome.

Contact Ruth M. King, 901-233-7495 or

• Welcoming First-Time Visitors - GUMC Welcome Bags with information and cookies are provided for first-time visitors. Volunteers may occasionally bake, phone, and/or deliver welcome bags to guests’ homes or meet on Sunday at church.

Contact Sue Myers, 901-756-7919 or

To serve in the following ministries, Contact Yolanda Toney, 901-754-7216 or

• Grief Ministry - Commit to stay in touch with a person, who has suffered a close familial loss, for a year. Regularity of contact would be determined by the person affected by the loss and you. Contact might include calls, notes, or visits.

• Note/Card Writing Ministry - Once a month or less you will write notes to assigned persons. Adults, youth, and children may contribute to this ministry.

• Calling Ministry - Monthly or bi-monthly (determined by you) you will call assigned persons to check in with them. These people may be ill, shut-ins, or may be absent from church for several Sundays.

• Meal Ministry - Occasionally persons or families may appreciate a meal during a difficult time. You would make the meal or purchase a meal and deliver it. Are you being called from the pews into the mission field?

7 We are a welcoming community of faith, committed to: Loving God and loving others Serving Christ and sharing Him Transforming lives and making disciples
Our Mission

Board of Trustees

Karen Oppenheim, Committee Chair | Anne Bush, Staff Liaison | | 901-754-5100


Most of you are aware that there are various groups that manage the activities of our church. The Board of Trustees, like most church committees, is a group of nine church members, plus appropriate staff, that watches over our church property to ensure that we maintain the integrity of what Germantown United Methodist Church means to our congregation and to our community.

The Trustees monitor the expenses of running our facilities and exercise the care necessary to keep them in good working order. There are always active projects that aren’t exciting but are certainly necessary.

Recent and current projects include:

 Replacing the HVAC boiler in the OLEC that gave us many years of service but has reached the end of its service life.

 Installing the new Welcome Area desk inside the entrance of the OLEC and the newlandscaping along the front of the building.

 Reinforcing the glass railing in our Narthex.

 Addressing the failed outdoor staircase on the back of the Chapel building.

There is always a list of ongoing improvements needed, and we will update the status of current and future projects in this space monthly.

Below are some of the upcoming projects in 2024:

 Investigating new ways to light the front of the OLEC and the parking areas around our entire campus.

 Updating the McVay Gardens area to include new landscaping and walkways to give us improved accessibility, which will enhance our enjoyment of this part of our property. The Trinity Class is leading the way and has secured most of the funding.

 Installing new flooring in the Children’s classrooms.

 The Prescott House is receiving new attention now as we proceed to repair and upgrade the electrical and plumbing in the building. After these initial steps are completed, we will evaluate the property to better meet the needs of our Youth and church activities.


Board of Trustees

Karen Oppenheim, Committee Chair | Anne Bush, Staff Liaison | | 901-754-5100

...Continued (2024

Upcoming Projects)

 Improving our Chapel to be a more welcoming space with new paint, lighting, flooring and seating. This project is donor-funded so no church funds will be spent.

The Board of Trustees values the input of all of our church members and welcomes any ideas that you have to enhance our property. We will be delighted to review and work with you to bring your ideas to fruition. However, it is important to remember that the Trustees are responsible for all of our church property, so we must be made aware and approve the project before work is begun.

I know I speak for all of us when I say we are grateful for our church and how it shows our belief in each other and our place in this community.

Karen Oppenheim


Trey Lowery

Germantown United Methodist Church welcomed Trey Lowery into membership on Sunday, March 24, at our Prism worship service. He joined by transfer of his membership from a sister denomination in the Memphis area.

Rob Jolly

Germantown United Methodist Church welcomed Rob Jolly into membership on Sunday, April 14, at our 8:30 traditional worship service. He joined by transfer of his membership from a sister denomination in the Memphis area. His Welcome Friend is Alice Clare Colville. Rob has joined the Celebration Sunday School Class.

When asked what about Germantown UMC made him want to become a part of our church community, he replied, “I visited over ten churches in about a year and most of them did not provide a Holy Spirit moment during the worship service or Sunday school. I attended GUMC Sunday worship service and the Celebration Sunday School Class, and the Holy Spirit was in the building! I have been visiting now for about four months, have made numerous friends in Christ and am ready to commit to a new church home.”



Each month we recognize a volunteer or volunteers who makean impactby selflessly sharing their time and talents for the betterment of our church and community.

Over the 40+ years as a member of GUMC, Luci has been an active Sunday School and Circle member, has sung in the choir for 30 years, held positions on the Church Board, and chaired the Memphis Conference Older Adult Council.

In 2001, Luci began chairing the Older Adult Council at GUMC, using the United Methodist Discipleship Ministries job description, which described the duties of this position and of members of the Council.

From the beginning, her vision when chairing a committee was to include all people in the greater Memphis community, making these ventures open to the public.

Luci credits volunteers with the success of these programs. “I have been very fortunate to have many people, on committees that I have chaired, that have shared the same vision that I had. I wish that there was room to name all the people that have served on these committees through the years, because this is their honor, not mine. I have been blessed to have wonderful, dedicated, and supportive people on all my committees. They bring the ideas and pitch in to help whenever needed; I just coordinate the results of all their hard work.”

Luci recalls reading, a long time ago, something that said, “Service is the rent we pay for living,” and says she truly believes that. “Life doesn’t mean much if we don’t give back.” If you’d like to volunteer for the Older Adult Council, or if you’d like more information, please contact Luci Cromer, 901-755-0803,

Thank you, Luci, for your many years of service and continued leadership at GUMC!

For the past 23 years of leadership at GUMC, Luci has guided the Older Adult Council growth to include:

• 2001 Formation of the Older Adult Council of 12 members including charter members Gretchen Blair, Garnet Brenneman, Jerry Corlew, Harriet Greenwood, Louise McGhee, DeWayne Hawkins, Charlotte Joshlin, and Ethel White.

• 2002 Formation of “XYZ” (Extra Young & Zesty) season; now in its 21st year, 1,232 individuals have attended these events so far.

• 2005 Formation of Handy Helpers Ministry team that started with Charles Waters as the coordinator of this group. This team, now under the leadership of Ron and Nina Gaddy, completed 60 jobs last year.

• 2005 First Brown Bag Lunch programs started and are now in their 18th year with over 1,465 attendees.

• 2005 A second committee, the XYZ Board, was formed with 6 members, some from the Older Adult Council. Additional activities have been coordinated over the years, including AARP driving classes and Friday bridge group, which had been meeting at our church for decades.

• 2020-present Older Adult Council takes out ads in The Best Times to promote the Brown Bag Lunch Series.

Luci Cromer - Older Adult Council Chair

Mary Groh, Director | | 901-754-7216

Summer Bible Study

Missing Pieces – Real Hope When Life Doesn’t Make Sense

Wednesdays, June 19 – August 7 (skipping July 3); 9:45-11:45 via Zoom.

Does God Care? Is He fair? Is He even there? Explore these and other questions in this realistic look at the messy, mysterious uncertainties of faith. God’s ways don’t always make sense, but he really does see us and care about us. Join us for this 7-session study, by Jennifer Rothschild, as we explore that there are no missing pieces in God’s plan. Facilitated by Chesley Porteous. Cost: $26.00.

Monday Monthly Book Group

4th Monday of the Month 10:00 am 12:00 pm Room 338

May 20

America’s First Daughter by Dray and Kamoie

There is no need to register. Just purchase the book (or check-out from the library) and join us for a spirited discussion!

June 24

West with Giraffes: A Novel by Lynda Rutledge

July 22

The Book Woman’s Daughter by Kim Michele Richardson

Adult Education

Adult Education

Sunday School Snapshot

Fiser-Covenant Class

This Month’s Focus: Fiser-Covenant and Fellowship Forum

Begun in 1980, the Covenant Class was renamed the Fiser-Covenant Class in 2005, to honor founder, Jamie Fiser, who taught the class for twenty-five years.

Our class is a supportive and compassionate group of couples and singles, ages 70 and beyond. We choose a book of the Bible and journey through the book as led by the teacher. Discussions and insightful additions are also part of our lessons.

Class members are active in many church activities and missions including Germantown United Women in Faith, United Methodist Men, and Rutherford Prayer Group. Some members

serve as teachers for other classes and in leadership positions on church committees. Our class also supports church and community programs including Golden Cross Services, Weekend Food Program, Coats for Kids, Discovery Weekend, Cookie Ministry, Mid-South Food Bank, and Fall Fest. Please join us for a time of Bible study and supportive fellowship at 9:30 am, in Room 233 (chapel building.)

Fellowship Forum Class

The Fellowship Forum is not the so-called “traditional” Sunday school class in that it is a discussion class of current happenings and events as related to Christian principles and beliefs. The discussions are enlightening and allow us to know each other in ways that are sometimes not possible through a lecture structure. Because of this, the class is a group of caring and loving senior citizens with friendships that have long endured. Today, we know the children and grandchildren of class members as well as the ailments and needs of the class members. We have each others’ backs.

Since the formation of the class in 1982, the class grew to a sixty-plus membership. However, the things that accompany age have reduced the class to about thirty supportive members. Even those who have moved to other areas insist that they remain on our class roll, and, while they cannot attend, we maintain contact with them.

The members of the class have a strong attachment to GUMC, having served in most leadership positions and participated on most commissions. But, while we believe in turning the reins over to fresh minds and capable younger hands, we are still active in participation and support.

We all look forward to the regular class socials throughout the year. But they, too, have changed somewhat: no longer at night, but great get-togethers for regular lunches and, of course, the Christmas party. The class cares about and supports Fellowship Forum outreach projects, which include Wesley Senior Ministries, Manna House, United Methodist

| 901-754-7216
Fiser-Covenant Class | Room 233 | Ages 70+

Adult Education

Mary Groh, Director | |

Neighborhood Centers, as well as other organizations that support those in need.

If the Fellowship Forum might fit your spiritual needs and you are looking for this type of class, we have a place for you. Come try us out! Fellowship Forum | Room 338 | Ages 75+

For information about all our Adult Sunday school classes, please visit or scan this QR code from a mobile device.

Music Ministry

Rev. Todd Wilson, Minister of Music | |

Children’s Choirs Spring Concert: Make a Joyful Noise!

Sunday, May 5 | 5 pm | Sanctuary

Sunday, May 5, at 5:00 pm, the GUMC children’s choirs, and their volunteer leaders, will share the fruit of their labors from this semester. We are fortunate to have a graded choir program for our children to learn new songs, learn about service to the church, and learn about their role within the church as young leaders.

This event allows us to say thank you to our fifth-grade choristers that are “graduating” to Testimony Youth Choir next year. We will honor their work in the children’s choirs by presenting them with their very own hymnal embossed with their name.

Psalm 100 offers inspiration for the title of this program:



KnowyethattheLordheisGod:itishethathathmadeus,andnotweourselves; wearehispeople,andthesheepofhispasture.

Enterintohisgateswiththanksgiving,andintohiscourtswithpraise:bethankfuluntohim, andblesshisname.


Prayers will be lifted that you show support for these young church musicians. Your presence on May 5 is the best way do so. See you then!



This July, fourteen team members will be traveling to Kenya in support of Maua Methodist Hospital and its associated community outreach. Activities will include hospital projects, a house build, rural school visits, a community medical camp, and work alongside rescued children as they learn bio-intensive farming techniques.

The house build is for 12-year-old Kelvin Mwenda. After Kelvin’s father passed away, his mother remarried and moved away. His uncle has graciously provided him with a piece of land on which to build the house. He is currently living in a makeshift shelter while attending school (5th grade) and attempting to care for his older sister and her new-born baby. The two-room house will allow Kelvin a room in which to live and study and a room for his sister (with their aunt) to take care of the baby and find work.

Hospital projects will include construction as well as preparation of kitchen garden starter kits for discharged patients to improve access to healthy vegetables. During the school visits, we will administer deworming medicine to the children as well as distribute needed school supplies, hygiene supplies, and recreational items.

Community medical camps are busy days of screening, diagnosing, and treating or referring large numbers of residents in locales where they seldom have access to medical professionals.

At the Methodist Church of Kenya Bio-Intensive Agricultural Training Center, we will sponsor and work alongside young boys from the Sodzo Watoto wa Ahadi Rescue Center as they learn minimal impact/maximal yield farming techniques so important for feeding themselves and as a potential source of income.

Our 14-member team is your hands, feet, and hearts on the ground in Kenya, but the mission is for all of GUMC. We humbly ask your support in any of the following ways you may feel led.

• For Kelvin and his family, that Kelvin may be lifted from the depths of poverty and stigma to a thriving place in the community, and that he and his family are blessed to be a blessing to those around them.

• For the school children, rescue children, and other vulnerable people of Kenya.

• For our Kenyan coworkers in Christ (hospital, mission, and ministerial staff; school and agricultural instructors; drivers and local build team) who minister locally to so many of God’s children.

• For strength and encouragement of the team as we work and grow together.

• The team is collecting supplies for the hospital, schools, house build, and medical camp, which are often difficult to acquire locally. A listing of items for donation is provided on the following page. They may be dropped off in bins marked “Kenya Mission 2024” located in the corridor just outside the Fellowship Hall. Continued...




• Individuals may reach out to you to raise funds for their travel costs.

• Contributions to general team travel costs (to be used by those most in need) can also be made. If not needed this year, they will be put toward sponsorships for future Kenya mission travel.

• Other monetary gifts will be used to purchase additional supplies, contribute to the bio-intensive agricultural training, etc.

• Gifts should be designated as “Kenya Mission” followed by your specific donation intent.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve the people of Kenya for Germantown United Methodist Church!

“Let us not become weary in doing good. For at the proper time, if we do not give up, we will reap a harvest of blessings.” ~ Galations 6:9

List of supplies needed

School Supplies

 #2 pencils and erasers (1000 or more)

 White chalk, erasers, and ink pens for teachers, including some red ink pens

 Toothbrushes (1000 or more) (Cannot bring toothpaste.)

 Dumdum suckers for medical camp deworming (3000 or more)

 Books for children from pre-kindergarten to 1st grade

 Longer jumping ropes for multiple jumpers

 Soccer balls, frisbees, volley balls, mechanical air pump with needles

Hospital/Medical Camp Supplies

 Scrubs – Med and Lg; blue for the wards, dark blue for the surgical unit (urgent need)

Drop off donated items in bins marked “Kenya Mission 2024” located in the corridor just outside the Fellowship Hall.

 Flat and fitted single (twin) bed sheets in any color (Please wash them so we can claim they are used.)

 Bath towels, any color

 Dry erase markers with erasers (broad tip, any colors)

 Reading glasses (+1.50, +1.75, +2.00, +2.50, +2.25, +3.00, +3.50) (for medical camp)

 Brown paper lunch bags (50 count) (for medical camp)

Home Build

 Paint brushes (1”, 2”, 3” – several of each) and roller brushes (several)

 Hand saw (Portland saw #65484 or large toothed, 22”) (1 needed)

 Claw hammer (1 needed)


Read One-on-One with Children

July 8-11 | 9:15 am-12:15 pm

Project Transformation is looking for caring volunteers to read with our summer day camp participants. The literacy component of Project Transformation is an exciting opportunity for GUMC volunteers to interact with our children in a one-to-one setting. GUMC’s reading week is July 8-11 daily from 9:15 am to 12:15 pm at Centenary United Methodist Church, 584 E McLemore Ave, Memphis. Contact Mike Herringshaw at for more information.

Provide Dinner for College-Age Interns

Churches, Sunday school classes, and circles/groups from GUMC can provide dinners for interns at the Wesley Center on the University of Memphis campus, Monday-Thursday, any week this summer. This is a great opportunity to get to know young people who are making a difference! Meals are planned for 10-12 interns, plus yourself, and are of your choosing, such as home-cooked, Domino’s pizza, Gus’s Chicken etc. The summer 2024 program runs from June 3 to July 25 which allows many date options. Contact Terrice Thomas at for more information.

Provide New Books, Healthy Snacks, and Supplies

Project Transformation relies on support from churches like GUMC to provide supplies.

Click on this link ( or scan the QR code below to order supplies from Amazon to be delivered directly to Project Transformation:

Additional Volunteer Opportunities for an Individual or Class!

Family Fun Night Dinners

June 27 and July 18, at Centenary UMC

• Prepare and enjoy a dinner for Family Fun Night on one or both of the dates above.

• Set up, serve, eat, and socialize at Family Fun Night. Come at 5:30 pm to help set up the 6 pm meal.

Have a special gift to share?

• Come be a guest speaker and share with the Project Transformation students!

For more information on volunteering, contact: Terrice Thomas or Mike Herringshaw


Health and Wellness

| 901-758-6508

Improving Your Mental Health: One Decluttered Space at a Time

As professional organizer Peter Walsh says, “Clutter isn’t just the stuff on the floor. It’s anything that gets between you and the life you want to be living.” The physical environments we live in have a strong correlation to how we process and organize mentally. If our physical spaces are disorganized and cluttered, then our mind is also experiencing chaos which, in return, can lead to increased anxiety, depression, and stress. The American Psychological Association (APA) reports that 75% of Americans have experienced a physical or mental symptom of stress within the last month. This year marks the 75th anniversary of National Mental Health Awareness Month, being observed during the month of May. To celebrate this milestone, below are tips to help you declutter your living space while reaping the benefits of a healthier you.

AARP suggests these

8 Simple tips to rejuvenate a cluttered space

1. Start by removing trash.

2. Begin by choosing one small area to organize – like a drawer.

3. Sort items into three piles: Keep, donate, and toss.

4. Find a specific home for everything you intend to keep – for example, a hook for your keys.

5. Group similar items together so you always know where to find them.

6. If you buy something new, pledge to get rid of something else to limit items in your home.


7. If you’re holding on to items to pass to the next generation, ask your heirs if they want the items. Be prepared for them to say no, and be gracious.

8. Don’t try to do everything all at once. Schedule limited amounts of time to work on decluttering and organizing on a regular basis.

4 Mental Health Benefits of Decluttering:

Clear space, clear mind. Seeing clutter can overload our senses, so by decluttering, you can open up space for new ideas and creative expression.

Decluttering utilizes your executive functioning skills. When making decisions on what to do with possessions (keep, donate, or toss), you feel more confident in your own decision-making abilities. Self-confidence is a key ingredient to living a happy life!

Improving your living space can restore feelings of competency and pride while decreasing anxiety. Studies have found that something as simple as making your bed is associated with better rest, which greatly impacts mood.

Clutter limits your brain’s ability to process information. If you’re having trouble focusing on a project, take a few minutes to declutter your workspace first. You might find it easier to concentrate once the mess has been cleared away. Also, limiting the number of possessions you own reduces the number of items competing for your brain’s attention.

Boost Creativity
Increase Focus
Improve Mood Increase Confidence

Germantown United Women in Faith (GUWF)

May Speaker Luncheon

All women are invited to join us for a catered lunch, warm fellowship, and an inspirational message from Sally Jones Heinz on May 7, 2024, at 11:30 am, in the Mike Wilson Fellowship Hall.

Sally Jones Heinz came to the Metropolitan Inter-Faith Association (MIFA) in 2007 as Vice President of Development. She became President and CEO in 2011, only the sixth person to hold that position in MIFA’s 52-year history. She has since led MIFA through several strategic plan processes, including refining its mission, adapting to the emerging needs of the community, establishing a sound financial model, and developing a healthy work culture that supports and inspires staff members. Current focus areas are improving outcomes for families experiencing homelessness and meeting the growing community need for home-delivered meals for seniors. In 2019, MIFA was awarded a $5 million grant from the Day 1 Foundation to bolster its work supporting families.

MIFA was founded in 1968 in an unprecedented cooperative effort uniting church and community leaders to confront the growing issues of poverty, hunger, and social division in Memphis. Created in the wake of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination, MIFA began as a volunteer-driven advocacy agency and has since evolved into a professional social service nonprofit with a $10 million operating budget and a $15 million endowment. MIFA’s mission is to support the independence of vulnerable seniors and families in crisis through high-impact programs that touch the lives of 50,000 individuals each year.

Sally holds a B.A. in History from Rhodes College and an M.A. in American Studies from The University of Texas in Austin. Before coming to MIFA, she worked at other local institutions in development and communications, including the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art and Rhodes College.

Please join us as we learn more about Sally Jones Heinz’s commitment to the mission and outreach of MIFA. Her dedication to serving others is a wonderful example of doing “Everything in Love.”

Don’t Forget the May Brown Bag Lunch Program!

The “GUMC Attic Treasures Roadshow” will be Friday, May 3, 2024, in the Fellowship Hall. Todd Stricklin, local interior designer and owner of Todd & Company Estate Sales, will be available to give you an estimated value of jewelry, china, art, books, fabric, silver, toys, games, dolls, and anything else you can carry in your hands. You may bring only four items no pictures of items, vinyl records, coins, stamps, Orientalia, large pieces, or furniture, please. The program starts at 11 am with lunch at noon. Bring your own sack lunch; the church will supply the beverages. Call Luci Cromer, 356-0584, for more information. No reservations are needed.

Please note: There will be a crossing guard on West Street to help with overflow parking.

Older Adults Luci Cromer, Chair | 901-755-0803 |

Older Adults

Luci Cromer, Chair | 901-755-0803 |

Our Handy Helpers are waiting for your call…

The Handy Helpers Ministry Team, sponsored by the Older Adult Council, lends a “helping hand” to older adults in our church who need assistance with small repair and maintenance jobs around the house.


• Light maintenance and repairs including small carpentry jobs such as malfunctioning doors, locks, or windows.

• Minor electrical work such as replacing light switches and light bulbs.

• Replacing smoke alarm batteries.

• Minor plumbing work such as working on “running” toilets or leaky faucets.

• Other miscellaneous jobs are considered on an individual basis.

If you are planning a larger job for your house (repainting, wood replacement, remodeling) and would like a second opinion of what really needs to be done, call Handy Helpers, and they will send someone out to take a look and talk to you about it.

Handy Helpers do not work on large or small appliances, roofs, home decorating, or on jobs requiring tall ladders.


The Handy Helpers service charges only for parts and materials used in the repair. There is NO charge for labor.


You must be a member of Germantown United Methodist Church, have homeowner’s liability insurance, and be over 60 years of age.

To request assistance, please contact Ron or Nina Gaddy, 754-1238

XYZs See Catch Me If You Can in June!

Based on the life of Frank Abagnale, Jr., this musical jet sets audiences on a high-flying wild ride through the life of a young con artist who poses as a pilot, doctor, and lawyer, all while being pursued by the FBI. Catch Me If You Can is a thrilling musical adventure that is not to be missed. Make your reservation NOW and come with us to opening night!

WHERE: Playhouse on the Square

WHEN: Friday, June 14, 2024

COST: $20 per person cost includes reserved seat and opening night reception

DEPARTURE: 6:45 pm from OLEC parking lot. (Be there by 6:30 pm)

RESERVATIONS: Call Luci Cromer, 755-0803, Gretchen Blair, 755-0797, or Garnet Brenneman, 754-3711. You must make your reservation before paying.



Elder Care Ministry

| 901-758-6508


Perhaps the best test is whether you want the grandkids as passengers

Because you want to make sure your loved one doesn't become an unfortunate statistic of older drivers, take a proactive approach to making sure your parent or older loved one is still safe to drive. Older drivers made up 17 percent of all traffic fatalities and 10 percent of all

people injured during the year. For many older drivers, driving serves as a form of independence and sometimes even a source of pride, so this is a sensitive subject. It's unrealistic to trust that your loved one will hand over the keys at the appropriate time. Some older adults might, but others won't. The deciding factor may be whether grandchildren are allowed in the car when the older adult is driving.


When and how to talk about turning over the car keys

Although there are natural changes that may occur in our brains and to our bodies as we age, the question of when it is time to limit or stop driving is not about age. It’s about the ability of the driver. To this end, observing the driving of the loved one about whom you are concerned and looking for warning signs of unsafe driving is a great first step in determining whether it’s time to talk to them about hanging up the keys.


A free online seminar, developed jointly with the Hartford and MIT AgeLab, can guide you through steps to prepare you for the conversation about driving. We Need to Talk ( transportation/we_need_to_talk) provides you with tools to begin a casual conversation about driving and tips on engaging an older driver in self-evaluation. It can also help you with possible solutions for your loved one’s transportation needs helping your loved one maintain their independence and relieving some of the pressure on you as the caregiver.


Here are five questions to ask yourself or a loved one you are concerned about to assess whether it’s OK to stay behind the wheel.

1. Do you frequently have difficulty reading street signs and seeing street markings?

2. Does driving leave you feeling anxious and stressed?

3. Have friends or family members expressed concern regarding your driving, or said they don’t feel safe with you behind the wheel?


Elder Care Ministry

4. Do you have difficulty with certain physical requirements of driving? For example, do you have trouble looking over your shoulder when changing lanes?

5. Are you currently taking medication that causes drowsiness or otherwise impedes your ability to drive?

If you answered yes to even one of these questions, and you want to keep driving, consider these steps.

 Rethink your meds. Many medications can make you drowsy or affect your concentration. Your doctor may be able to suggest a drug without those side effects.

 Get a driving evaluation. A Certified Driving Rehabilitation Specialist (CDRS)/Occupational Therapist can assess your abilities and offer advice to help you drive more safely.

 Take a course. A course geared toward older drivers can help you navigate the changes in driving laws.

 Upgrade your car. Several technology upgrades can help reduce crashes for older drivers: rearview cameras, automatic emergency braking systems, collision warning systems, and blind spot and lane-departure warning systems.

Excerpts from

How to Get a Disabled Parking Permit in Tennessee

There are two types of permits disabled drivers or passengers can use in Tennessee. You can get a temporary or permanent placard to hang on your rearview mirror, or you can get a license plate if you are permanently disabled or hearing impaired. Disabled veterans also have special disability plates available to them.

The Tennessee Department of Motor Vehicles issues all disabled placards and plates, or you can visit your local county clerk’s office. Form RV-F1310301 must be completed by you and your treating physician in order to apply for a Tennessee disabled parking permit or plates. You can obtain this form in person at a DMV office or online at and enter F1310301 search box.

Permanent disability placards are valid for a period of two years. A disability license plate is valid for a period of one year and a temporary placard for six months, allowing only one renewal after that.

| 901-758-6508 ...Continued

Elder Care Ministry

Susan Crowson, Director | | 901-758-6508


Volunteer for Homebound Ministry and Communion

Our homebound ministry is being revived as a “safety net” ministry to deepen our outreach to our senior adult members, ages 80+, who are homebound. Because they are unable to get out and about, it keeps them from in-person church friendships and service they were able to do in their past.

Join us as we serve them through our Homebound Ministries.

The commitment you’ll make is a few hours every month to visit your designated senior adult at their home in-person and touch base each month by phone. You’ll serve Communion at their home on the first Sunday of each month. Training and all supplies will be provided. Any additional get-togethers are arranged according to your schedule.

By seeing and visiting your designated senior adults every few weeks, you’ll provide ongoing companionship with a listening ear, compassion with a listening heart, and awareness when they have significant needs, health emergencies etc. This ensures we, as GUMC, stay connected with our special folks as we develop a stronger GUMC pastoral care safety net for them.

Let Us Know

• When you have a pastoral prayer need, Let Us Know.

• If you have a health emergency or concern, Let Us Know.

• If there is a need for which you’d like support, Let Us Know.

Let Us Know – so we can be attentive to your spiritual and practical needs.

To reach Pastoral Care Team, call 901-754-7216, or email Brenda West; Susan Crowson

When Something is Different

Sometimes when family gathers for the holidays, we notice that older family members have aged and slowed down. Knowing what is normal aging is important; knowing what is of concern is even more important. If you are concerned about changes in memory, cognitive function and physical limitations, reach out. GUMC Elder Care Ministry can guide you to resources and support. Contact us at or 901-754-6508


Germantown United Methodist Preschool (GUMP)

GUMP teachers are soaking up every day we have together with our sweet friends. Our previous unit, “Marching into Spring,” brought lessons of birds, butterflies, plants, and all things related to the changing of seasons. Our teachers have finished up their spring conferences with our parents. This is a great time for our teachers to share all of the wonderful growth our little friends have made throughout the year.

As we are approaching our final weeks for the 23/24 school year, we still have many exciting activities planned. Our final unit, “Animals All around Us,” brings fun learning opportunities to each class, discussing baby animals, farm animals, and zoo animals. One of our favorite events of this unit is the visit from the petting farm! Oh, what fun it is to meet all different kinds of animals up close!

GUMP will host 4 one-week summer camps for our current families. The administrative staff will have office hours available to meet potential new families interested in joining our list for the 24/25 school year. Our preschool day is from 9:30 to 2:30 with extended hours available for children ages 24 months to 5 years old. If you or someone you know is interested in this program, please contact us at 753-3109. We would love to share information about all the amazing things happening at GUMP!

We had such a wonderful year, and we cannot believe we are already saying, “See you later!” We look forward to welcoming all our families, both returning and new, in August for the 24/25 school year. For those families with their last child at GUMP, we appreciate all the support you have given us throughout the years, and we wish you the very best in this next chapter. You will be missed, but we will continue to champion your family as you move into elementary school, a new town, or new country! Our teachers and students have enjoyed a year of laughter, learning, and growth. Thank you for sharing your precious children with us. We wish you all a safe, relaxing summer!


Children’s Ministry

Natalie Adkinson, Director |

Janelle Crist, Assoc. Director, Nursery |

Hayley Heard, Assoc. Director, Elem. |


Over 850 children and adults attended GUMC’s Annual Easter Egg Hunt at the beautiful McVay Gardens on March 30.

Thank you to all the adult and youth volunteers who made this event possible!


Children’s Ministry

Natalie Adkinson, Director |

Janelle Crist, Assoc. Director, Nursery |

Hayley Heard, Assoc. Director, Elem. |


Children’s Ministry

Natalie Adkinson, Director |

Janelle Crist, Assoc. Director, Nursery |

Hayley Heard, Assoc. Director, Elem. |

Lakeshore Summer Camp | July 21-27, 2024

Elementary Camp IV

We are taking a crew from GUMC to Lakeshore for this week of fun and fellowship. This designated week is for elementary (ages 8-12) and middle school (ages 12-14) students. Many of our youth will also be serving as camp counselors. If you are interested in attending this week, please register

through Lakeshore’s website ( and then drop an email to Natalie Adkinson. We will help answer any questions you may have about sleep-away camp.

Lakeshore has an abundance of opportunities for all campers; there are a variety of camps offered all summer long! There are camps for people with special needs, as well as camps for people who have suffered traumatic experiences. There is a camp for people who love to fish, a camp for people who love aquatics, a camp for the arts, and a camp for those who love living in the wilderness. There is even a camp for people who love board games! There is a camp for everyone, so go to their website and take a peek.

Worship Reminder

We hope that you will bring your elementary students and younger children, too, if you wish to worship with you each week at our 8:30 am or 11:00 am traditional services in the Sanctuary, or 11:00 am Prism Service in the OLEC.

Remember that children are always welcome at our services! For our traditional services, we have children’s bulletins and worship bags in the cabinet on the east side of the Narthex. For Prism, we have worship bags on the back table in the OLEC gym. Please return your worship bag to the bin after the service. The Hamilton Nursery is open during all worship services for children who have not yet entered Kindergarten.

A special thank you to our elementary Sunday school teachers who have served through the 2023-2024 school year:

Josh & Carolyn Gwatney - K/1st Grade Boys

Leigh Adams - K/1st Grade Girls

Courtney & Matt Lubozynski - 2nd/3rd Grade Boys

Laurie Pakis - 2nd/3rd Grade Girls

Jennifer Penn & Erin Dempsey - 4th/5th Grade Boys/Girls.

Their last day of teaching for the year will be May 19. Be sure to show your appreciation and gratitude for their dedication to the children at our church!

Starting May 26, all elementary students will meet together in the Huddle for the summer. We will need adult volunteers to help in the Huddle during the summer. Please be on the lookout for a signup genius to assist with Summer Sunday School.


Children’s Ministry

Natalie Adkinson, Director |

Janelle Crist, Assoc. Director, Nursery |

Hayley Heard, Assoc. Director, Elem. |


July 15-19 | 9:30 am-3:30 pm

For students entering 5th or 6th grade in Fall 2024

Cost: $125/child

In this hands-on camp, we will explore three specific types of mission: inner-church, urban, and rural. The idea is that each child will have a chance to experience different types of work. This transforming week of service allows the kids to get a taste of different types of mission work and begin deciding where they feel most led to serve. Some days, we will make our lunches here at church, and, other days, we will explore local Memphis eateries. We will finish each day with some seriously fun gaga ball or other games at the OLEC. Cost is $125 which includes all activities, transportation, food, and a t-shirt. Space is limited to the first 23 children registered. Sign up today!

SCUBA VBS 2024 - Diving into friendship with God

June 3-7, 2024 (9:00 am-noon)

Make plans to join us as we dive below the surface to discover the ever-flowing love of God! Kids will be immersed in the Word and discover what living water is really all about!

VBS is for children age four (by Aug. 15, 2024) through rising 6th graders. Cost is $20/child. If your child is younger, we have a special Volunteer VBS available (free of charge) to the children of volunteers.


re fishing for volunteers!

VBS is a huge production and a great outreach that requires many hands. We need help with decorations, curriculum preparation, and admin. tasks. During the week of VBS, we need adult and youth station leaders to help the children with crafts, games, Bible stories, snacks, and more. We also need adult and youth group guides to travel with the children from station to station.

Registration deadline for children and volunteers is May 19! Register today!

To register your child and/or to register as a volunteer, click here or go to

Want to help but not sure how? Please contact one of our children’s ministry directors listed above to find where you are best suited to serve.



On April 7, we had the privilege of celebrating the confirmation of eleven of our sixth-grade students! These students have been studying, learning, growing, and forming their community all school year and are now members of our GUMC congregation. We are so proud of them and so incredibly blessed to have been a part of the beginning of their journey forward as followers of Christ. They are passionate, thoughtful, and talented persons, who represent what it means to chase after Jesus! If you see one of their smiling faces, don’t forget to welcome them into the GUMC community. Thank you for your continued prayers for them as they step into whatever God is calling them to next!

College Ministry

Lauren Wright Hobbs Nursing Scholarship – 2024

A scholarship has been established through Germantown United Methodist Church to benefit a student from our church who is pursuing a degree in nursing. This scholarship is named for Lauren Wright Hobbs who loved serving others in the nursing profession. Lauren was a long-time member of our church who lost her battle with cervical cancer at the age of 29 in October of 2013.

Recipients must be members of GUMC and attending nursing school now or in the coming fall semester. The $3,000 scholarship will be awarded to the student who best fits the model that Lauren exemplified in her love of nursing. Applications may be obtained by contacting Karen Oppenheim at All completed applications must be received by Friday, June 21. The Scholarship committee will review and select the recipient prior to June 30, 2024. The scholarship will be awarded for the 2024-2025 school year.

Donations can be made to this scholarship fund by writing your check to GUMC with Lauren Wright Hobbs Scholarship noted in the memo line. 2024 is the eleventh year for this scholarship that is dedicated to the memory of Lauren and her love of nursing. The Emmaus Sunday School Class is honored to establish this scholarship in her name.


Owings Life Enrichment Center (OLEC)

Gordon Kelly, Director |

Kimberly Marsh, Assistant Dir. |

Pickleball at the OLEC

Wednesdays 9 am-noon

Thursdays 9 am-noon $2

Fridays 9 am-noon

Evening Pickleball!


5:00-7:30 pm

$2 all players

Please note: Available pickleball times are subject to change due to groups renting the gym or lessons. Please check the website each week under “Get Involved” or call the OLEC (901-753-3100) for updates on available pickleball times.

Daytime Hours Church Members Guests
$3 $5
$2 $2
Mondays 12-3 pm
Tuesdays 9 am-noon
$3 $5

Owings Life Enrichment Center (OLEC)

Gordon Kelly, Director |

Kimberly Marsh, Assistant Dir. |

Germantown Martial Arts

Tuesdays and Thursdays

Beginner class at 5:45 pm Advanced class at 6:45 pm

Ages 12 and up

Call Ralph White at 901-490-1410 or David Porteous at 901-846-6851 for more information.

Yo Chi on Mondays at 11:30 am

Happy Spring! Now is the perfect time to visit the OLEC if you’ve never been. The OLEC is a full-service exercise facility. We have a newly-updated weight room, cardio room, walking track, and open gym time.

All of this is FREE to church members! Contact any of our staff if you have questions.

Yo-Chi was created to be a class for both mind and body and combines Yoga and Tai' Chi movements. This program gives you benefits in stability, strength, mobility, flexibility, and balance. Although this is typically a standing class, a chair may be used as needed. These two programs, Yoga and Tai' Chi, are the two oldest mind body programs that still exist today. This is a slow and controlled class that will increase your overall wellness and balance.

Other Classes we offer:

Gentle Yoga - Mon & Wed 3:30-4:30 pm

Senior fitness class - Tues & Thurs 10-11 am

Vinyasa Yoga - Mon 5-6 pm & Wed 2-3 pm

Stroller Strides - Exercise with your child!

Mon/Wed/Fri 9:30-10:45 am in the OLEC dance room


9:30-10:45 am

Owings Life Enrichment Center (OLEC)

Gordon Kelly, Director |

Kimberly Marsh, Assistant Dir. |

Exercise Class Schedule May 2024

Stroller Strides (DR) 10-11 am Walk Fit (DR) Judy Pearson

11:30 am-12 pm

Yo Chi (DR)- Judy Oros


Smash Parkinsons (DR)-Judy Oros

3:30-4:30 pm

Gentle Yoga (DR)- Al Walton

5:00-6:00 pm

Vinyasa Yoga (DR) Al Walton

5:45 pm


Martial Arts (DR)

6:45 pm Advanced Martial Arts (DR)

Open Play Gym Time

Mon: 3-5 pm

Tues/Wed/Thurs: 1-5 pm Sat: 8 am-12 pm

Please note: Free play time is for church members only. All guests can purchase a $10.00 day pass.

9:30-10:45 am

Stroller Strides (DR) 10-11 am

Chair Class (DR) Judy Pearson

2-3 pm

Vinyasa Yoga (DR)-Al Walton

3:30-4:30 pm

Gentle Yoga (DR)- Al Walton

5:45 pm


Martial Arts (DR)

6:45 pm

Advanced Martial Arts (DR)

Follow our Instagram page, @olecgermantown, to keep up with all the latest happenings at the OLEC.

9:30-10:45 am

Stroller Strides (DR)

Class Locations:

Weight Room—WR

Dance Room—DR Upstairs Room UP

Group Exercise Classes and Personal Training are available at the OLEC. Contact Gordon Kelly or Kim Marsh for more information.

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday

Germantown United Methodist Church


Germantown,TN 38138


Editor’sNote: The deadline for submitting articles for Tidings is the 10th of the month prior. Submissions received after this deadline are not guaranteed to run.


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