October 10 & October 17, 2015 at Hilldale UMC, Clarksville, TN
September 26 & October 3, 2015 at Westview UMC, Fairview, TN
October 2 & 3, 2015 at Hillcrest UMC, Nashville, TN
Rev. Dr. Kennard Murray
Bishop William T. McAlilly of the Nashville Episcopal area of The United Methodist Church would like to welcome Rev. Dr. Kennard Murray to the Nashville Area Cabinet as the superintendent of the Pulaski District in the Tennessee Annual Conference. Rev. <>Murray will assume the new role effective July 1, 2015.
Rev. Murray is senior pastor of Clark Memorial United Methodist Church in Nashville, TN. He was born in Nashville and grew up in Wilson County, Tennessee.
Rev. Murray is an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church. He holds a Doctorate of Ministry in Pastoral Counseling & Psychotherapy from Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary, Evanston, IL, a Master of Theological Studies from Vanderbilt University School of Divinity, a B.S. in Sociology from Tennessee State University, and he is a Certified <>Pastoral Counselor with the American Association of Pastoral Counselors. Additional studies for ordination were completed in the United Methodist Church Course of Studies programs in Tennessee and Mississippi. In 1998 Rev. Murray traveled and studied for two weeks in Israel through the Jerusalem Center for Biblical Studies. Rev. Murray lectured of the parable of the Good Shepherd in a shepherd’s field outside the city of Bethlehem.
Rev. Murray served as pastor in the Lebanon Circuit, the Smith County Parish, the Dickson County Parish and the Patterson Memorial/Ernest Newman Charge and Seay- Hubbard UMC before being appointed to Clark Memorial UMC in 2012. Rev. Murray served in several capacities within the Tennessee Annual Conference such as Treasurer of the Board of Ordained Ministries and chair of the Finance Committee; chair of the Committee on Ethnic Local Church Concerns; member of the Board of Trustees for Martin Methodist College; member of the Committee on Episcopacy; member of the Sexual Ethics Committee; member of the Sexual Ethics Response Team; and member the Conference Council on Ministries. In 2008 Rev. Murray was a delegate to Jurisdictional Conference and an alternate to General Conference. Rev. Murray teaches classes on “clergy self-care” to groups of pastors. Rev. Murray currently serves on the Nashville District Board of Ordained Ministry and the Comprehensive African-American Strategic Team.
Rev. Murray was employed with the State of Tennessee for 30 years and retired in June 2000. He worked with the Department of Mental Health for 28 years. The last two years of his employment he was the Director of Health Care Facilities for the Department of Health.
Rev. Murray is married to Pamela Johnson Murray. They have 4 children Keith, Marcus, Tiffany, and Kennard. He enjoys vacationing with his family.
Brandy Earheart Joins Nashville Area Episcopal Office Staff
Bishop McAlilly is pleased to announce that Brandy Earheart has accepted the position of Office Manager for the Nashville Area Episcopal Office.
Brandy is a member of Adams United Methodist Church in the Clarksville District. She graduated from Austin Peay State University with both a Bachelor and a Master of Science degree in Health and Human Performance. She also has a Master of Arts in Human Services from Liberty University. Prior to accepting this position, Brandy has served as an Employment Case Manager for Goodwill Career Solutions and a Career Advisor with WorkForce Essentials, Inc. She brings experience and a proven track record with strong office management and administrative skills, which will be invaluable in meeting the wide variety of needs in the Episcopal office. Brandy’s excellent written and oral communication skills as well as her range of experience with computer software will be strong assets for our team.
Brandy can be reached at email@example.com or 615-742-8834.
Grants are gifted to churches or groups of churches working to meet the needs
of poor and marginalized persons in the community through love and justice.
The recipients and their ministries are Wesleyan in nature, inviting communities
to work toward a greater balance of the Wesleyan works of mercy, namely
compassion and justice (personal and social holiness).
Love and Justice Grants are designed to help United Methodist disciples of Jesus
Christ follow his teachings to love God and to love neighbor, especially the
neighbor in need. Love of God bears fruit as love of neighbor and can be seen in
works of love and justice with the poor and marginalized.
Preference is given to applicants who include poor and marginalized persons in
the planning and organizing of the ministry and to those who are seeking to enter
into or deepen long-term mutual relationships with the poor. This helps ensure that
ministries are “with” rather than “to” or “for” others.
Preference is also given to ministries which address justice issues rather than
simply compassion or “charity”; going beyond direct services to promoting
systemic change and collective compassion, rather than individual or personal
ministries alone (even though these are crucial and cannot be neglected).
reflect theologically on the experience of ministry so that it becomes part of the
ongoing spiritual formation of the group and those involved.
LOVE AND JUSTICE GRANT
Tennessee Conference Committee on Church and Society
Proposed Ministry Name: Amount requested: $
Phone: ( ) Fax: ( )
Please attach a brief proposal including the following information:
Purpose of this ministry.
Description of needs this ministry is designed to meet.
Two measurable goals for the year.
How is the quality of life of poor and marginalized persons affected?
How are poor and marginalized persons involved in the planning/organizing?
How does this ministry put United Methodists into ongoing personal relationships
with the poor and marginalized?
How does this ministry include action for justice as well as compassion?
How does this ministry include opportunities for participants to reflect
theologically on their experience?
Attach a budget.
Other sources of funding:
Evaluation forms will be sent 6 and 12 months after the ministry begins.
Return this information to:
TN Conference Church and Society
Attn: Merrilee Wineinger
304 S. Perimeter Park Dr.
Nashville, TN 37211
Or email to firstname.lastname@example.org
DEADLINE: January 31, 2015
Dear Conference Leader,
Since 1983 The Upper Room has offered The Academy for Spiritual Formation® as an in-depth experience in Christian spiritual formation for clergy and laity. This letter is to announce that a two-year Academy (#37) will be starting August 2015 in the Southeastern Jurisdiction.
As a way to help your Conference benefit from this unique offering, following this note you will find information about the matching grant program which will provide up to $5000 to help individuals from your Conference participate.
The Academy is an intense two-year program which brings participants together for 40 days (5 days each quarter) for worship, silence, covenant groups and study. Sixteen courses form the backbone of the Academy; worship and small groups shape its heart and soul. Once called “the best kept secret in the United Methodist Church,” an independent research study funded by a grant from the Lilly Endowment confirms the Academy’s effectiveness.* Participants emerge with a deeper relationship with God, a better sense of self- and soul-care and more creativity and freedom for the practice of ministry.
While ecumenical in outreach, the Academy is Wesleyan in spirit, balancing an emphasis upon personal and social holiness. During the first year, emphasis is placed on deepening one’s life in Christ; during the second year participants are encouraged to focus on engaging the needs of the world. Disciplines of body (health and wellness) as well as mind and spirit (lectures and worship) provide renewed vitality on many levels.
This is an expensive and time-demanding program. That’s why we developed the matching grant program which we call Encouraging Spiritual Leaders (ESL). Here’s how it works.
We invite you to identify up to five persons in your Conference (clergy or lay) whom you feel could benefit from this program and who would be a benefit to others. After they’ve applied and been accepted into the Academy (usually routine), The Upper Room will match the Conference support up to $1000 per participant and up to $5000 total per Conference. You are free to select the individuals using whatever process you wish. For more information about how this process works, see the enclosed letter.
Academy #37 begins August 3, 2015. All sessions will be at the Sumatanga Camp & Conference Center in Gallant, AL. More information about the Academy, including the dates for all eight sessions, is available on our website. Copies of our brochure and prospectus are available online or upon request by emailing email@example.com.
Thank you for your commitment to spiritually vital, alive leadership in the UMC!
Director, The Academy for Spiritual Formation and Emerging Ministries
ENCOURAGING SPIRITUAL LEADERS (ESL)
Matching grant program
Conference/The Upper Room
How it works:
A designated Conference leader or staff person recruits five persons (clergy or laity) to participate in the Academy. Conference leaders contact them and encourage them to apply for the Academy and an ESL grant.
Those interested, download and complete an application to the Academy. Once admitted (usually routine), applicant notifies the Conference office to confirm their acceptance and request an ESL grant.
The Conference office conveys to the Academy office (email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 1-877-899-2780, ext. 7226) those selected. Once Conference funds are received, The Upper Room matches the amount received from the Conference (up to $1000 per individual and $5000 total per Conference).
The John Wesley Conference selected five people they thought would benefit from participation in the Academy. Those selected include:
A young, eager new pastor attracted to the “emerging church” paradigm.
A lay person with years of Conference leadership, facing burn-out and needing a time of renewal.
A newly retired clergywoman who wants to offer spiritual guidance as her retirement ministry.
A pastor in mid-life, seeking to renew his call for the second half of his career.
A lay person thinking about seminary, but wanting a place to test their call.
All five apply and are accepted into the Academy.
All five notify the Conference office and the Academy office in Nashville. The Conference sends a check for $5,000 ($1000 per person), designating the five selected leaders for whom the funds are intended. The Upper Room matches this amount ($1000 per participant) and notifies the participant.
Q.: What if we have fewer than five? Will The Upper Room still designate $5000 for our Conference?
A.: No. The maximum amount per person is $1000, so if only three are recruited, $3000 is the total match that will be dispersed.
Q.: What if we have more than five? What happens then?
A.: Five thousand dollars is the upper limit for each Conference, however, those funds may be dispersed in amounts smaller than $1000. So if ten applied from a single conference, the match would be $500 per person.
Q.: Whom should we recommend?
A.: The Academy has had a positive impact on a variety of people, regardless of their situation. A certain receptivity is needed. You may choose to post an announcement in your Conference communication network (see below).
Q.: What does the individual need to do?
A.: The individual is ultimately responsible for their participation in the Academy. Support from the Conference and from the Academy office represents only a portion of the total costs. It’s important for individuals to invest personally in this experience.
Q.: Why is the Academy so expensive?
A.: While the Academy may seem expensive, remember what you’re getting! Retreat center costs (including room and board for 40 days) are the major portion; tuition is only $2500 (for sixteen courses) and the administrative costs of running the Academy (approximately $1300 per person) have historically been paid by The Upper Room. Every effort is made to contain costs; compared to other offerings, the Academy is a real bargain.
Q.: What does God do?
A.: There are many stories from the Academy of surprising generosity. Returning to her local church after a session at the Academy, Susan gives a short presentation to the UMW and they respond by paying for the rest of her tuition. During the Academy, Fred’s financial needs become apparent. Participants in his covenant group chip in and pay off the balance of his account.
Sample Conference Communication
Funds available for Spiritual Formation: John Wesley Conference has received word that The Academy for Spiritual Formation® will be offered in the Southeastern Jurisdiction, beginning August 3, 2015. Financial support for participants is available in the form of “Encouraging Spiritual Leaders” grants, a program matching Conference funds with The Upper Room funds. Those interested in contacting the Conference office for an Encouraging Spiritual Leader grant should write to ___________________________. Laity as well as clergy is invited to apply. Information about the Academy can be obtained athttp://academy.upperroom.org/about, or by calling 1-877-899-2780ext. 7233.
Sample Budget -- Academy #37
Room, board, tuition
FUNDING PLAN FOR PARTICIPANT (one scenario)
Encouraging Spiritual Leadership grant from The Upper Room
Matching grant from Conference
Payment by individual (payments are spread out over 2 years)
***Local church continuing education funds, United Methodist Women, foundations, individuals, additional conference or district support. Additional scholarship assistance from The Upper Room may be available, based on need. Click this link for help in finding additional financial resources.
The grants seek to spur quantifiable growth in worship attendance, professions of faith, small groups, mission engagement and missional giving.
“Offering these experimentation grants across the connection hopefully will nurture more creativity among our church leaders to seek ways to grow grace-filed Christ followers through worship, small groups, mission and stewardship,” said Dr. Timothy L. Bias, General Secretary (chief executive) of Discipleship Ministries. “Our hope is that these innovative efforts to increase vital congregations will result in more opportunities for people to grow in discipleship in and through The United Methodist Church.”
Underwritten by the Connectional Table’s World Service Contingency Fund, the grants are part of a churchwide effort to increase the number of highly vital congregations 15 percent by 2016.
The experimental funds are being offered to help any local church, annual conference or central conference develop new projects or events to inspire vital congregation growth.
The grant application asks these questions:
• What are the outcomes of the event/project? How will you measure them?
• How will the event/project assist in the development of vital congregations, within the context of the church’s four areas of focus – raising up principled leaders, new places for new people, ministry with the poor and global health concerns?
• Describe how the event/project assists in the development of vital congregations through the process of carrying out our mission found in paragraph 122 of the Book of Discipline?
To obtain a grant application, contact Jeffrey Campbell, Director of Annual Conference Relationships at Discipleship Ministries, at email@example.com.
The grant application deadline is .
Tennessee Conference Leaders Study Seven Levers: Missional Strategies for Conferences
On Saturday, October 25th, clergy and lay leadership from throughout the Tennessee Annual Conference gathered at St. Marks United Methodist Church in Murfreesboro for a special training event to introduce the book and study manual SEVEN LEVERS: Missional Strategies for Conferences. This thought provoking book is designed specifically for annual conferences across the United States and is a pivotal exploration of the decline in United Methodist membership and church attendance over the past thirty years—but then goes on to present positive steps for a growing and vibrant denomination.
The book was written by author and bishop Robert Schnase, episcopal head of the Missouri Conference of the United Methodist Church. Schnase has also written the popular local church study Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations which has gone on to strengthen ministry in thousands of congregations.
Schnase and Bishop McAlilly from the Tennessee Area have a passion for strengthening the ministry of local churches. That passion is well-worded in the mission statement for the Tennessee and Memphis conferences: “The mission of the Nashville Area is to discover, equip, connect and send lay and clergy leaders who shape congregations that offer Jesus to a hurting world, one neighborhood at a time.”
The biography of Bishop Schnase offers a brief look at his commitment to strengthening local churches so they can effectively reach out to the neighborhood and to the world. “From 1989 to 2004 he served as Senior Pastor of First United Methodist Church of McAllen, Texas. First Church was recognized for congregational growth, bi-cultural ministry, young adult ministry and commitment to mission as the congregation relocated and built new facilities to serve the Rio Grande Valley. From 1984 to 1989, Rev. Schnase served as pastor of Wesley United Methodist Church in Harlingen, receiving the Circuit Rider Award for Church Growth and the Denman Evangelism Award. From 1982-1983 he served the Farnham and Alton Circuit of five churches with the British Methodist Conference.”
In an opening worship service Bishop McAlilly described revitalized local churches in Tennessee that moved forward into new and/or expanded ministries–Good Shepherd, Trinity, Patterson Memorial, and Grimes Memorial United Methodist Churches were specifically mentioned. Thoughout Schnase’s presentation were examples of individuals and local churches who had taken the pathway into new ministries. And the phrase “He/she doesn’t realize the United Methodist Church is declining” was repeated many times.
Schnase traces the revitalization of the United Methodist Church back to a study commissioned by the Council of Bishops. “In 2009, the Council of Bishops commissioned the most extensive, thorough, independent organizational study ever undertaken on a main-line denomination. Based on the analysis of forty years of statistics for more than thirty three thousand United Methodist churches in the United States plus hundreds of interviews with congregations, pastors, and laity across the connection, the 250-page Towers-Watson Report confirms patterns of precipitous decline and long-term financial unsustainability.”
“The Towers-Watson Report offers five recommendations that were accepted and approved by the Council of Bishops, and which became the Call to Action.
“1. Give sustained focus on increasing the number of vital congregations that make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world, and align resources accordingly.
“2. Reform clergy systems (recruitment, candidacy, mentoring, education, skills training, supervision, evaluation, deployment, and retirement.)“3. Streamline decision-making processes. . . .“4. Use metrics to evaluate progress (invite leaders to adopt an unapologetic focus on fruitfulness, outcomes, and accountability.)“5. Reform the Council of Bishops (mostly involves challenging the Council of Bishops to focus on the previous four recommendations with diligence.”) P. 8-9, Seven Levers
Bishop Schnase does not hold back on his assessed criticism of the Annual Conference or even the General Conference structure. He picks up terms used by other authors, for example “The Giant Hairball” (Gordon McKenzie) to depict what is happening within United Methodist Conferences. The hairball is Gordon McKenzie’s term for the procedures and policies that accumulate in an organization. Rules, standards, guidelines, and accepted models become established an set in stone.” (P. 15)
While “The Giant Hairballs” are in place most conference systems include five to seven layers of organizational approval. Each person or committee has the ability to say No, but nobody has the authority to say Yes. (P. 17)
As a denomination we have not totally realized the changes caused by advancements in communication. For example, 30-40 years ago if a church had an idea for global ministry—let’s say build parsonages in Africa for African clergy—the concept had to go to district committees, then conference committees. The question is then asked “how do we raise money for the program on the Conference level?” That requires involving the Council on Finance and Administration and discussion of apportionments. THEN, the proposal goes before annual conference. Then it goes to national program agencies. How many people have voted, how long does it take? Schnase points out that the process could take three years.
Today, by contrast, it’s possible for a local church leader to do research by computer, social media . . . even to contact persons in Africa directly. . . and to deal quickly with the program idea and to arrange transfer of funds or to send a Volunteer in Mission team. Yet, somehow, we seem to work harder to keep the old way going. BUT, our way of doing things is no longer relevant.
It’s interesting that Schnase uses the word “LEVERS” when he describes the strategies for moving Annual Conferences and local churches into the present world—and reaching those individuals who need to feel God’s love and grace. “Levers are tools that multiply the results of our effort. Using levers, we can move things that otherwise we could never budge.” (p. vii)
The first two levers are a crucial starting place. Without them in place, change is almost impossible. There are other levers, of course, that could be noted—but the following seven seem to float to the top of any lists that have been created
- First Lever: A Strategy for Starting New Churches
- Second Lever: A Strategy for Clergy Peer Learning
- Third Lever: A Strategy for Congregational Intervention
- Fourth Lever: A Strategy for Cultivating Clergy Excellence
- Fifth Lever: A Strategy for Aligning Budgets and Resources
- Sixth Lever: A Strategy for Creating Technically Elegant Governance Systems
- Seventh Lever: A Strategy for Reconfiguring Conference Sessions.
Bob Cate, long-time officer in the United Methodist Men, and a trainer in Nonprofit Organization Management, says this about Bishop Schnase’s presentation and the book Seven Levers: “Seven levers in this missional strategy is similar to what I learned in semi profit management. It’s different in that it is outcome based not so much system based, and I’m saying that’s a different attitude in many different areas, not just in the church, but in any type of organization. We have to have not only new technologies, but we’ve got to understand what the goals and objectives are, not just what programs are. Are we making disciples for Jesus Christ? Are we reaching community? It’s not the four walls, it’s the people. And that for me is what the Seven Levers is all about--it’s making people more accessible to the world we live in to make Disciples of Jesus Christ.
Benefits of 72+U for your church. Congregations will . . .
- Identify new leaders in their midst.
- Understand the biblical and Wesleyan principles for equipping ministry in the 21st century.
- Explore the power of the Methodist Connection and identify ways the Connection can help them serve their communities.
- Identify opportunities to engage their communities in mission.
- Explore how the Annual Conference can support their effort to make disciples and offer Christ to a hurting world.
For Your Information--Mission Statement for the Missouri Conference
The Missouri Conference--Leading Congregations to Lead People to Actively Follow Jesus Christ
Christ-Centered, Fruitfulness, Excellence, Accountability, Collaboration
Radical Hospitality, Passionate Worship, Intentional Faith Development, Risk-Taking Mission and Service, Extravagant Generosity. P. 29
By Rev. Neal Glass, Ivy Bluff UMC Pastor
Loss of Building By Fire
Our congregation had been faithful in Christian service for 114 years and 64 years in the building pictured above prior to the October 2012 arson fire that totally destroyed the building.Bro. Danny Freeman shared with the grief stricken
congregation: "As a grace filled congregation, Ivy Bluff has the determination of Nehemiah who went to Jerusalem to rebuild the walls and the burned out gates to the city. The task before us is great, but the resolve of God's people is strong. We encourage you not to be deterred when life seems unfair and destructive, but to know that God is present to see you through the hard times of life." With great leadership Brother Danny Freeman moved the congregation through the planning process for rebuilding, studying community needs and making the decision where the new church would be built.
The congregation initially met each Sunday morning in the Woodland Elementary School, 8362 Jim Cummings Highway, Bradyville, TN. For Sunday night Bible Study and Wednesday night Prayer Meeting we met at Pocahontas Community Center, 1441 Pocahontas Road, Morrison, TN. Since November 2013 we met at the Woodland Baptist Church, next door to the Woodland Elementary School, due to the gracious invitation from Brother John Robinson and congregation.
Celebration of New Building - Rebuilding Effort
In June of 2013 Brother Neal Glass came as the pastor to assist the congregation in the rebuilding effort. It took awhile for the church membership to come together on a single vision as to what the new church should be. The biggest struggle was getting all of the hearts and minds to be of the same accord. We had to focus on a single vision. We all came together. This church has many members, but we’re one We invite everyone to join in the celebration of our completed new church building for Ivy Bluff United Methodist Church. These two dates are special to us following the hard work and patient waiting over the past two years to complete our plans and finalize the building of our
new church building. Thanks for your prayers and gifts that helped us reach these days of celebration!
First Sunday in the Building
November 16 - A Day of Celebration
Open House: Sunday, November 23
This is a new beginning. The people of Ivy Bluff United Methodist Church, know what the Lord can do, and we know what the Lord will do. After the church was destroyed by fire, we thank God that two years later we have this beautiful new church building. We are rising from the ashes, because the Lord has been good to us.
Our challenge is to go forth and do the will of God, making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
- No Sunday School
- Procession from old church site to new church. Gather at 9:15 a.m.
- Morning Worship at 9:30
- Consecration Service and Baptism of Lynn Judkins
- Former Pastor, Bro. Danny Freeman to preach
- Fellowship Meal to follow Morning Worship
- Activities for Children following Fellowship Meal
- Tour of Facilities
- Punch and Cookies in Fellowship Hall
- Show PowerPoint Presentation of groundbreaking and building process.
- Administrative Services (3)
- Adult-Older Adult Ministry (12)
- Annual Conference (85)
- Appointments (5)
- Archives and History (2)
- Asian-American Ministries (1)
- Bishop (5)
- CAAST (8)
- Camp and Retreat Ministry (20)
- Children and Family Ministry (45)
- Christian Education (1)
- Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns (8)
- Church and Society (16)
- Commission on Religion and Race (7)
- Commission on the Status and Role of Women (6)
- Communications (46)
- Congregational Development (25)
- Disabilities Concerns (7)
- Disaster Response and Recovery (28)
- Disciple Bible Outreach Ministry (4)
- Education-Spiritual Formation (3)
- Ethnic Local Church Concerns (2)
- Evangelism (5)
- Extension Ministries (47)
- GBHEM (3)
- GCFA (2)
- Health and Welfare (20)
- Helpful Materials (12)
- Higher Education and Campus Ministry (49)
- Hispanic-Latino Academy (11)
- Hunger Ministry (12)
- Imagine No Malaria (3)
- Information Technology (6)
- Lay Servant Ministry (13)
- Mercy and Mission Ministry (45)
- Multimedia (10)
- Native American Ministry (7)
- Safe Sanctuaries Ministry (2)
- Safe Spaces Ministry (2)
- Singles Ministry (1)
- Spiritual Formation (4)
- Stewardship (5)
- UMCOR (11)
- UMVIM (1)
- United Methodist Men (4)
- United Methodist Women (8)
- Vital Congregations (20)
- Volunteers in Mission (9)
- Worship (15)
- Young People's Ministry (66)
- Fall 2015 Lay Servant Ministries Schools
- Welcome Rev. Dr. Kennard Murray
- Brandy Earheart
- Winter Shelter Volunteers Needed
- 2015 Grants for Love and Justice Ministries
- Matching Grant Program - August 2015 - 2 Year Academy
- 2015 Summer Camp Schedule and Registration
- Grants Available to Spark Creative Vital Congregation Growth
- Seven Levers Recap
- Ivy Bluff UMC fire & restoration