Cook's United Methodist Church

May 2024 Newsletter

We exist to make followers of Jesus Christ who love God and others.

The United Methodist Church’s General Conference 2024 is drawing to a close after eight days of conferencing with about 36 hours remaining. Some things you may not know about the significance of this gathering to our history and for our future as a denomination:


  • The first such Conference occurred in 1784, forming the Methodist Episcopal Church in America. (The second General Conference meeting was held in 1792 and the four-year-cycle of meeting began at that time.)

  • This General Conference, though happening in 2024, is actually the postponed 2020 Conference.

  • While we were once the far majority of both lay and clergy delegates, now the U.S. delegates make up about half of the nearly 1,000 delegates (half laity, half clergy) from around the world because of the growth of United Methodism globally.


  • ‘Holy Conferencing’ is the phrase by which John Wesley referred to the discernment and decision-making communication in the Methodist Church’s gatherings toward the shaping, understanding, and living out of Christian ministry. It is a clarion call to seek the Holy Spirit’s guidance in our decision-making and, so, to employ prayer individually and corporately throughout the entire conversation.


  • Imagine how necessary HOLY conferencing* was and is to navigate the changes, development, and tumult throughout the world as it relates to a life of faith in God: growing discord between and separation from our home country, the yellow fever epidemic, the continued growth of our new country, assassinations of government leaders, disagreement about issues like slavery and women’s rights, war on our own turf and our participation in war on other lands, industrialization and growth of technology as well as medical advancements and responsible use of such, responding to natural disasters like earthquakes, tsunamis, hunger or famine and disasters of our own making such as human trafficking, terrorism, Chernobyl’s meltdown, the North Pacific Garbage Patch, and the prominence of division, suspicion, and the vitriolic way we speak to and of one another today.


Our prayers have been our own participation in the General Conference work being done to determine best ways for us to move forward in our life of faith together – ministry in the name of and by the power of Christ. And they are the best way for us to respond to that work even though the last Amen! has been spoken.


Somethings we’ll need to remember as we begin to process all that happens and doesn’t happen at General Conference 2024/2020:


  • Even intended to be objective, each report about the “whats” of General Conference and the implications of such probably carries a bit (or larger) of the writer’s preferences. Listen wisely and trust the Spirit’s revelation as you read or listen. 

  • Before any changes to the Discipline of the UMC are enacted they will be tested two ways: one, the Judicial Council will review all the ways the “approved” legislation will impact our Discipline for constitutionality and two, each Annual and Central Conference will review and receive/reject the approved changes (as a test of fair representation by delegates)


May we be at peace regardless of what we hear around us and continue in the privilege and power for ministry with which we’ve been entrusted by the God of us all.


* Bishop Sally Dyck of the UMC wrote a guide to Holy Conferencing in 2012 while she was serving as the Resident Bishop of the Minnesota Annual Conference. You can find these principles printed elsewhere in this newsletter; each of us would be wise to employ them always.


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, May 5. 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.

8 Principles of Holy Conferencing

Written by Bishop Sally Dyck, edited

1. Every person is a child of God (even those with whom you disagree)

2. Listen before speaking

3. Strive to understand from another’s point of view

4. Strive to reflect accurately the views of others

5. Disagree without being disagreeable

6. Speak about issues; do not defame people (when speaking about conferencing progress)

7. Pray, in silence or aloud, before decisions

8. Let prayer interrupt your busy-ness

(prayer when friction is high is always a good idea!)

United Methodist Men's Club Breakfast

Everyone is encouraged to attend the breakfast and stay for the meeting.

NEXT Breakfast Sunday, May 12 @ 7:45am

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).



They should have known. They should have known! Peter, Andrew, James and John, Philip, Matthew, Thomas, James the Lesser, Thaddeus, Bartholemew and Simon had witnessed the blind seeing, the lame walking, the set-aside restored, and the dead raised! The sight of dancing flames over everyone’s head, the sound of a great wind that leaves the atmosphere still and peaceable, even if electric would have been their clues that something amazing was afoot. They should have known.


After the falling of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, an amazing thing does happen – the building of a kingdom in number and spiritual presence. Rather, it begins …


“ACTS Continues” is a curriculum built for small groups and classes to consider the on-going work of the Holy Spirit in each heart, in each congregation of our Tennessee Western Kentucky Annual Conference. Bishop Bill McAlilly and the leadership of our Annual Conference are asking each congregation of our area to work with this material leading up to Annual Conference.


All study resources will be provided for your small group or class; simply let the church office know how many Participant Workbooks and Small Group Leader Guides you need. These resources include:


* a weekly reading guide

* scripture study helps

* discussion questions

* links to some of John Wesley’s writings

* suggested hymns for reflection

* coloring pages

* Visio Divina exercises w/ instructions

* links to more videos and helps to know Biblical and United Methodist History better


What more could we need to help us explore how to recognize the Holy Spirit’s work within and among us then and now?!


Not a part of a Sunday School Class or Small Group? Come, join us on Wednesday evenings from 6:15-7:30pm from May 15 through June 26 in the Youth Room for a short-term class that will explore how the Acts of the Apostles (AND the Holy Spirit, of course!) continues in and through us! (You can sign-up through the Church Office to ensure materials and space are ready for you!)


All materials will be available no later than May 5 so we can start together.  We’re excited for you to join us!

Fellowship Donuts

Volunteers needed to bring donuts for our fellowship time (between first service and Sunday School). There is a sign-up sheet on the wall next to the donut table across from the coffee pots by friendship hall. 4-5 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.

Thank you so much for the prayer/comfort shawl! Thank you for thinking of me! Thank you for the thoughts and prayers! I continue to get a little stronger each day!

Love, Anna McIntire


Thank you for supporting us and our Outreach Program. You and your church family make all this happen. I’m excited for all we can do in the future.

Your friends at Cumberland University Wesley Foundation

Thank you so much for our amazing lunch at West Elementary on Monday! Your congregation is always so good to us, and we appreciate you! Love, Jennifer Terhune, music teacher

The General Conference gathering this year is a big deal even beyond the high voltage issues around which most legislation for change centers. Wanna know why? I’ll tell you …


“Normally,” General Conference happens, the testing process of approved changes happens next, then a revised Discipline of the United Methodist Church is printed/issued. Leadership at every level, both clergy and lay, are expected to be aware and respectful of the changes.   


In 2016, General Conference ended with a huge block of legislation left “on the table” as undecided. A special General Conference gathering was authorized and held to handle that unfinished work in 2018. This appropriate kink in things is that vetting proposed changes hasn’t happened so a “new” Discipline is not ready. Complicate things further with a COVID-19 epidemic and we can’t meet in 2020 to finish our work from 2016, so it’s further put on hold.


Here we are, in 2024 having a General Conference that was supposed to happen in 2020 and the scope of that work includes the unfinished business of 2016. See why things feel so heavy yet so up-in-the-air at the same time!


We invite you to continue to be in prayer for our denomination down to each local church family and each clergy leader around the world.  And we hope that you will join us mid-May to learn all that results from this historic General Conference. Please take note of the shifts in regular meetings to accommodate this special privilege/opportunity.


Sunday, May 12, 7:45 am

United Methodist Men (UMM) will hold their monthly breakfast meeting a week early to celebrate Mothers with a great breakfast. You and the ladies in your life are invited!


Sunday, May 12, 11am – Noon

Congregational Care is hosting a Mother’s Day Lunch-to-Go!    


Sunday, May 19, 3-5 pm

Cook’s Delegates will attend a District Meeting to hear a recap of General Conference and to prepare for Annual Conference (mid-June)


Sunday, May 19, 5:30 pm

FINANCE COMMITTEE, Lamplighters Room, all are invited


Sunday, May 19, 6:00 pm

CHURCH COUNCIL Meeting and Dinner (provided by church)! We will share a meal and hold our regular monthly Council meeting, concluding with a recap of General Conference and such implications during the ‘new business’ portion of our gathering.


To make sure we have enough food for dinner,

please RSVP for the Council Meeting no later than 4:00 pm, Monday, May 13

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.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED Our next Mobile Pantry is May 11 at the SALT Food Pantry behind Leeville UMC. Please plan on arriving by 8 am. If you can help, please email me, or sign up through the We had a big turn-out for people needing food at the March Mobile Pantry. I expect an even larger crowd this time, so we'll need your help! You can call, text, or email me to sign up or ask questions! Looking forward to seeing you!


Joyce Gaines 615-513-4318

For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10

Trustees Team

Monday, May 6 @ 5:30pm

Youth Room

Missions Team

Wednesday, May 8 @ 6pm


Men's Club Breakfast

Sunday, May 12 @ 7:45am

Youth Room

CareGivers Connection

Wednesday, May 15 @ 1pm

Youth Room

Discipleship Committee

Thursday, May 16 @ 5pm


Finance Committee

Sunday, May 19 @ 5:30pm

Lamplighters Room

Church Council & Dinner

Sunday, May 19 @ 6pm

Friendship Hall

Worship Committee

Monday, May 20 @ 3pm


Congregational Care

Wednesday, May 22 @ 10am

Lamplighters Room

Church Office Closed

Monday, May 27

Memorial Day Holiday

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.

Home Centered

Ralph & Miriam Appleby, Dot Creasman, Billie East, Gladys Pennington, Norman & Ruby Walker

Calendar of Events


Trustees Team Monday, May 6 @ 5:30 pm (Youth Room)

Missions Team Wednesday, May 8 @ 6pm (Library)

Sanctuary & Youth Room Reserved Saturday, May 11

Men’s Club Breakfast Sunday, May 12 @ 7:45am (Youth Room)

RSVPs cutoff date for dinner Sunday, May 19

CareGivers Connection Wednesday, May 15 @ 1pm (Youth Room)

Discipleship Team Thursday, May 16 @ 5pm (Library)

Finance Team Sunday, May 19 @ 5:30pm (Lamplighters Room)

Church Council & Dinner Sunday, May 19 @ 6pm (Friendship Hall)

Friendship Hall Reserved Monday, May 20 @ 11:00 - Noon

Worship Team Monday, May 20 @ 3pm (Library)

Congregational Care Wednesday, May 22 @ 10am (Lamplighters Room)

Church Office Closed Monday, May 27 (Memorial Day Holiday)


ACTS Continues Small Group Wednesdays @ 6:15pm May 12 – June 26 (Youth Room)

Mondays @ 9:30am Bible Study (Youth 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)

Last two Wednesdays of the month Women’s Ensemble Practice @ 6pm (Seekers Room)

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, May 15 @ 1pm.

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.

I want to thank each of you for the support you’ve shown me in furthering my knowledge and making connections to improve my skills in serving others at Cook’s and in our community. I am the vice-president of the Tennessee Western Kentucky (TWK) PAUMCS (Professional Administrators of the United Methodist Connectional Structure) Chapter. 

Early April our chapter hosted our PAUMCS Annual Conference in Memphis. Planning and executing an event 3 hours away were a challenge but we pulled it off. People attended from all over the United States. Some from as far away as Alaska. 


Bind Us Together!! That is exactly what we did!!! In this stressful and disheartening season of disaffiliation may we grow stronger together, lean on one another, and be bound by the promises of Christ that the best is yet to come!


Our team arrived a day early to unload and set up for this event. That afternoon we were treated to a Taste of Downtown Memphis Food Tour with a sampling of Memphis culture and history. I discovered the BEST cheeseburgers are at Dyers on Beale Street and I learned I do NOT like the taste of gator. YUCK!!!


We were blessed to have Bishop McAlilly open our conference and Rev. Keith Caldwell from Centenary United Methodist Church in Memphis close our conference both with worship and communion. Music was led by Joyclyn Wilson of Memphis, and she is amazing. 


Our speakers included:

Dr. Ashley Boggan, General Secretary of the General Commission on Archives & History. In this role, she ensures that the UMC understands its past to envision a more equitable future for all Methodists. 


Todd Cox (he made this momma very proud) is a higher education professional and a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach. We all completed the Gallup Strengths prior to conference and Todd taught us how to apply that to our daily living / jobs.


Ms. Clara Ester a native of Memphis and present when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. She shared her very emotional and powerful story of being at the Lorraine Motel when Dr. King was shot and killed.


Dr. Cynthia Bond-Hopson assumed the role of Interim President and CEO at Philander Smith University on July 1, 2023. Before taking that position, Dr. Hopson held the role of Chief Equity Officer and Assistant General Secretary at the United Methodist Church's General Board of Higher Education and Ministry's Black College Fund. In this capacity, she played a crucial role in promoting and managing the funding that provided support to the denomination's 10 Historically Black Colleges and Universities.


Each PAUMCS Conference selects a mission to support. This year we picked Soul Force Initiative. This organization seeks cooperation among all religious bodies, non-profit agencies, local community groups and law enforcement. Each neighborhood can become a “Zone of Shalom” where love and peace prevail. We picked this mission in memory of District Superintendent Dr. Autura Eason-Williams who was gunned down in her own driveway during a carjacking.


As part of our conference, we attended the National Civil Rights Museum located at the former Lorraine Motel where civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated. It gave us a chance to walk through history and learn more about a tumultuous and inspiring period of change. If you’ve never visited the Museum, I would encourage you to make a special trip to Memphis. 


During breaks many of us made our way to The Peabody Memphis to see the duck walk at least once before leaving. These famous ducks have been marching into the lobby fountain every day for decades, assisted and escorted by The Peabody Memphis Duckmaster. At 11am each day, they descend from their rooftop penthouse via the elevator and march through the lobby into the fountain. They spend six hours each day in the fountain in the center of the hotel lobby before ceremoniously returning to their rooftop quarters at 5pm each day.


Our conference ended with a “Southern Soiree”. We all dressed up and recognized those who were certified since our last conference, shared a meal, and said goodbye to friends we won’t see again until next year. 


Much love, Monica

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" Service (Friendship Hall), Facebook Live & YouTube