Cook’s United Methodist Church

February 2024

We exist to make followers of

Jesus Christ who love God and others.

Welp, we made it. We huddled and muddled through the January snow and penguin-worthy temps. And before you know it, the season of Lent will be upon us. The season comes a bit early this year, starting on February 14th to be exact. (For more “stuff you might not know” about this infamous day, look for the St. Valentine article in this newsletter or go to


The Lenten season was “set” by the Council of Nicaea in 325AD (think Church Council but at a “global” level of perfecting ministry in the name and by the power of Jesus Christ). The Council determined that the season would be 40 days leading to Easter. So, we start with Easter – based on the lunar cycles of the Jewish calendar Easter is the first Sunday after the full moon that occurs on or after the spring equinox. Now, count backwards but don’t include Sundays. (Sundays are not included in this season of introspection, sorrow, and penitence because all Sundays are little Easters in the Christian Church; on these days as we gather for worship, we gather by God to worship God and show gratitude for redemption and new life!)


The special observances that we make to keep our hearts focused on the love of God in Christ and the holiness to which we are called vary from faith tradition to faith tradition, denomination to denomination and local church to local church. They include receiving ashes (a sign of penitence), preparing for baptism, fasting or abstinence (from what and for how long determined by observer), prayer, serving or generosity in a focused way.


As a faith community, Cook’s UMC observes special ways of focusing on our penitence and the beautiful gift of redemption promised through Jesus. We gather on Ash Wednesday to courageously begin a meaningful Lenten season. We make music prominent in our re-membering the ministry of Jesus, particularly his last week. We gather for reflection on and study of God’s Word and our own journeys following Jesus. We celebrate the Last Supper and receive Holy Communion; we walk, too, the stations of the cross in our own way.


Another way our church family will be focusing collectively during Lent is learning together during worship; we will be courageously asking God to teach us regarding humility, carrying our own crosses, “business as usual” in/of the church that is offensive to our Sovereign, battling spiritual pride, discovering Divine courage that is bigger than our cowardice, and more! 


Want to do a little deeper? You are invited to read C.S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters and use SaltProject’s devotional guide to work through this unique perspective on challenges in/to our spiritual lives. Want to go a little deeper still? Read along with a small group, use the devotional guide, and gather for conversation about what you’ve read and what you’ve experienced in your walk with Christ. (We’ll gather on Wednesdays: a lunch group at 11:45am, bring your own lunch; and a supper group at 5:30pm, supper provided/small donation requested). 


Devotional guides will be available on Sunday, February 11. Groups will begin to meet on Wednesday, February 14 (please sign up through the Church Office). And, you can even find a free pdf of Lewis’ book at (Copies can be purchased at any place/site that sells books at very inexpensive rates; there’s even an audiobook read by John Cleese, if you’re interested!)


Make your mind up now and bring your heart (and body!) to a meaningful Lenten season that we might grow together in our follower-ship and our leadership as Jesus’ own!


Women’s Ensemble & Choir Practice

Both groups will practice tonight, Wednesday, January 31st

at their regular times.

Samaritan Fund                 

The dollars in this fund are used to help those in our community with immediate needs. The money used to fund this account comes from donations left on the altar rail during communion.

Communion Sunday

We will be celebrating the sacrament of Holy Communion on Sunday, February 4. If you will be worshipping/celebrating with us from home, please gather bread (or tortillas or crackers, etc.) and juice (if you don't have grape, any juice or liquid will suffice) enough for everyone in your household. We look forward to celebrating God's grace in this very special way.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Valentine’s Day is a boon for greeting card companies, for chocolatiers and jewelry-makers, etc. But most of the ways we celebrate this holiday have nothing to do with St. Valentine for whom the holiday is named and remembered. 


Valentine was a Roman priest in the 3rd century while Claudius was emperor. Specifically, this emperor was known as Claudius the Cruel (yikes!) Claudius believed that he could make his soldiers more focused, more efficient if he removed the possibility of romance as a distraction from the young men serving the army. Claudius banned marriages thinking this would do the trick.


However, Valentine thought the ban unreasonable and secretly started to marry young couples who came to him. Eventually Claudius learned of Valentine’s actions and had him arrested, eventually condemning him to death. During his prison time, Valentine’s jailer (Asterius) asked the priest to heal his blind daughter. According to legend, Valentine restored Asterius’ daughter’s sight and became her friend. Shortly before Valentine’s scheduled execution, this kind and courageous priest wrote Asterius’ daughter a famous note that he signed: From your Valentine! 


We could never commend or celebrate love enough. Romantic love, brotherly/sisterly love, the love we receive from God in Christ, the love we hold for the Holy One – no matter the expression, may we celebrate love every day this Lenten season! 

Information Update

Within the next couple of weeks many of you will begin receiving letters requesting you verify the information in the church directory and a chance to either submit an updated directory picture or request one be made in the sanctuary after the worship service on Sundays. The letters will be sent out according to the first letter in your last name. Once everyone’s information has been updated and new pictures taken the church directory will be updated and printed copies will be available for anyone wishing to have one. Thank you in advance for your quick responses. Monica

We ended the year at Cumberland University on a high note, Friend of. Because of so many that believe in and value our students, we were able to raise over $120,000 towards making their overall experience more impactful and personal. With your support, we can help sustain our fabric of what makes us so different from other universities–transforming the lives of our students.  Through new academic experiences, scholarships, guest speakers, academic programs, facility improvements, and much more, we can provide an education that will last a lifetime.

The generosity our students experienced during our Giving Week not only sets them up for success on our campus, but beyond. By supporting their athletics, scholarships, academic schools, Rise Together, or events, you have let our students know that they are surrounded by a caring community. It takes a village to encourage and guide these students who are looking to improve their lives–thank you for making them a priority during the season of giving.  We look forward to the semester ahead at Cumberland University and even more to our Commencement ceremony in May where we hope you can join us. 

Thank you again, Friend!

Katie Wolfe

Director of Annual Giving, Cumberland University

National Love Your Pet Day

Humans aren’t the only ones who need love and attention-- pets do too. Valentine’s Day is February 14, but did you know that Love Your Pet Day is February 20? So many of us have pets (dogs, cats, reptiles—YUCK, etc.) and treat them as very important, if not the most important, members of our family. This is a picture of our sweet Molly (the best dog EVER)!! Unfortunately, we lost Molly several years ago but there will never be another pet to replace the love we felt for her in our hearts. It meant a lot to us for our children (Savannah & Todd) to have a pet to grow up with and now that they are grown adults they have their own pets. There is nothing like coming home from a bad day and being greeted by your pet with tail wags, licks and hugs. The true meaning of unconditional love. Let’s celebrate National Love Your Pet Day by sending me photos of your adorable pet. I’ll display them on a bulletin board in the church and include them in the March newsletter. Much love, Monica

Wesley Pilgrimage in England

Discipleship Ministries is once again planning a ten-day pilgrimage to England to follow the life and spiritual journey of John and Charles Wesley and the movement they nurtured. We will explore the early growth of Methodism in England, which traveled to America and eventually became a global church!

The 2024 Wesley Pilgrimage will take place July 27-August 6, 2024. Information about registration, costs, and scholarships can be found on the Pilgrimage web


The pilgrimage registration fee is $2,499, which includes ten nights lodging, most meals, coach travel to pilgrimage sites, all admission fees, and more. The pilgrimage fee does not include round-trip airfare to England or ground transportation from the airport to Salisbury. However, included in this fee is a coach from Salisbury to Heathrow International Airport on the last day of the itinerary. 


All pilgrims must pay a non-refundable $350 deposit to secure their place for the pilgrimage. Registration is “first-come, first-served.” The maximum number of pilgrims is thirty-six; however, a waiting list will be available. 

Fellowship Coffee & Donuts

Volunteers needed to bring donuts in 2024 for our fellowship time (between first service and Sunday School). There is a sign-up sheet on the donut table across from the coffee pots by friendship hall4-5 dozen needed each Sunday and must be here by 9:15am. Keep your receipt to be reimbursed by the office. Tax exempt forms available in the office.

WELCOME TO RESOURCEUMC.ORG! offers church leaders — both clergy and laypeople serving in local churches and connectional roles — a central place to search for and find timely content, relevant resources, and comprehensive information from across The United Methodist Church’s global connection.


You’ll find resources for specific seasons and topics, including worship, mission, diversity, welcoming and more, as well as updates about each general agency and denominational entity, such as the Council of Bishops and Connectional Table.

Whether you’re looking for ideas for children’s ministry, a stewardship campaign, launching a church website or any other ministry area, the site is your go-to source for practical information and inspiration.


CONNECT WITH US expands every day! Visit regularly to explore the latest additions to the continuously growing content collection.


Subscribe to The Source e-newsletter to receive new content in your inbox, from feature stories and seasonal resources to inspiring ideas and special announcements.

Have feedback to share? Offer suggestions, ask questions, and send us your ideas by emailing us: is a collaborative effort of the United Methodist general agencies to make denominational content easier for leaders to find; the site is managed by United Methodist Communications.

Have questions? We have answers!

Here you can find responses to many of the questions asked

most often and a place to submit your question.

Ask The UMC seeks to provide clear answers to a wide variety of questions about United Methodism. Since we are now in the Season after Epiphany, this is a good time to shed light on what this means. Each season of the Christian year has a specific purpose. The Season after Epiphany has a specific role in the disciple-making work of the local church. The readings of the Revised Common Lectionary support each congregation in the kind of work it most needs to do during these weeks to get ready for the next phase of its work during Lent.

Cook’s Inclement Weather Policy

Sunday worship schedules will depend on the weather / road conditions on those mornings. A decision will be made as quickly as possible and will be posted on Facebook as well as email communication sent. Please use your own discretion on those days.

SALT (Serving at the Lord’s Table)


CANNED BEANS (northern, pinto, black, kidney, pork & beans)

TOILET PAPER (4-roll package)


BAR SOAP (individually wrapped)


All donations can be left in totes in back hall.

Backpack Program

The Backpack program supports our neediest children. Students are supplied with food items to bridge the weekend gap during the school year. The Church at Pleasant Grove sponsors the Backpack Program for 5 schools in our area and they need help stocking their shelves. Items requested are: Instant Oatmeal Packages; Individual Mac & Cheese; Pudding Cups (non-refrigerated; Ravioli, Spaghetti-O's; Granola Bars; Fruit Cups; Applesauce; Juice Boxes (avoid those with lots of sugar). All donations can be left in the totes in back hallway.

Caregivers Coffee Connection

A Caregivers Support Group meets the third Wednesday of the month at 1pm in Cook’s UMC Youth Room. This is to offer respite, support, and connection for those who are caregivers. Our purpose is to surround each other with support and friendship as we encourage the journey of a Caregiver. If you or someone you know would benefit from a loving time of encouragement or just a place to meet and have coffee, desert and conversation please know you are welcome to meet with us. If you have any questions, call Judy at 615-417-9002.

NEXT Meeting Wednesday, February 21 @ 1pm.

United Methodist Men's Club Breakfast

3rd Sunday of each month @ 7:45am

Cook's Youth Room

Everyone is encouraged to attend the breakfast

and stay for the meeting

to see what new and exciting things our Men's Club is up to.

NEXT Breakfast Sunday, February 18 @ 7:45am

Calendar of Events

Trustees Team Meeting, Monday, February 5 @ 6pm (Youth Room)

Missions Team Meeting, Wednesday, February 7 @ 6pm (Library)

Lay Leadership Meeting, Thursday, February 8 @ 6:30pm (Seekers Room)

Finance Team Meeting, Sunday, February 11 @ 3:30pm (Lamplighters Room)

Church Council, Sunday, February 11 @ 4pm (Youth Room)

SPR Team Meeting, Tuesday, February 13 @ 6pm (Youth Room)

Ash Wednesday Service, Wednesday, February 14 @ 7pm (Sanctuary)

Discipleship Team Meeting, Thursday, February 15 @ 5pm (Library)

Men’s Club Breakfast, Sunday, February 18 @ 7:45am (Youth Room)

Friendship Hall Reserved, Monday, February 19 @ 9am-Noon

Worship Team Meeting, Monday, February 19 @ 3pm (Library)

CareGivers Connection, Wednesday, February 21 @ 1pm (Youth Room)

Friendship Hall Reserved, Monday, February 26 @ 10am-Noon

Cook’s Staff Meeting, Tuesday, February 27 @ 1:30pm (Library)

Congregational Care Team, Wednesday, February 28 @ 10am (Lamplighters Room)


Mondays @ 9:30am Bible Study (Youth Room)

Wednesdays @ 11:45am Taking Sabbath Small Group (Seekers Room)

Wednesdays @ 6:00pm Women’s Ensemble Practice (Seekers Room)

Wednesdays @ 7:00pm Choir Practice (Seekers Room)

Thursdays @ 6:00pm Boy Scouts (Youth Room & Shine Room)

Tues. & Thurs. 9am-3pm Oliver Academy

Mondays, Tuesdays & Fridays @ 6:00pm TKD (Friendship Hall)

Good Neighbor Bag

The Discipleship Committee has put together a Welcome to Cook’s neighborhood bags. They are made to help us reach out to new persons in our area and family members who are new to us or are looking for a church home and family. They have information about us as well as a pen, letter opener (with Cook’s on it), small wooden cross, activity sheets for children and box of crayons, an Upper Room and even a coupon for a free doughnut at Gourmet doughnuts! If you have someone, you’d like to give a bag to they are available in the church office. We hope we have helped to make it a little easier for all of us to be the body of Christ! Your neighbors, Discipleship Committee

Home Centered

Dot Creasman, Billie East,

Gladys Pennington,

Norman & Ruby Walker

Current Information

The most recent Newsletter, Financial Statement, 2024 Officers / Committee Members Listing, and approved Church Council minutes can be found in the literature rack in the back hallway (just outside the Friendship Hall).

Prayer Shawls

Have you ever wished for a visible way to show your love, care and concern for a family member, friend or neighbor who is suffering? Something they can hold onto and feel your prayers? There is a way, and your church family can help. Members of our church family are making prayer shawls for anyone who asks for one. They are prayed over before starting and completion of each one. Would you like a prayer shawl, have it prayed over by the congregation for the need of your family or friend? They are available with love from us. Contact me (615-516-2439, text, or email ). Blessings, Edna. We are looking for persons to help with this ministry who can crochet or knit. If you are interested, please contact me.  

Are You on Facebook?

You can help us spread Cook's news! It's easy: first, be sure to "Like" Cook's Facebook page ( Then keep your eye out for announcements, inspiration, and invitations to worship. When they show up in your FB feed, "Like" or "Share" the posts. The more who do, the more people see it, even if they're not yet members and/or don't “Like” the CUMC page. Have photos from a church event or something you want to promote on social media? Send info/photos to Alison Nash or to the church office.

In Person Giving

An offering plate is passed around during traditional worship service in the sanctuary and an offering basket is available at the back of the Friendship Hall during “The Well” worship service, or you can drop your offering off by the church office during regular business hours.

Online Giving

You can give online at or text cumc to 73256


Standard text message and data rates may apply. Message frequency varies. Text HELP to 73256 for help. Text STOP to 73256 to cancel.

Electronic Bank Draft

If you are interested in this easy and convenient way of giving, please contact the church office.

7919 Lebanon Road, Mt. Juliet TN 37122


Sunday Schedule

8:45am Traditional Worship (Sanctuary), Facebook Live & YouTube

10:00am Sunday School

11:00am “The Well” Worship Service (Friendship Hall), Facebook Live & YouTube