JULY 3, 2024


I recently read somewhere that people have a love-hate relationship with change. We often desire the end result but hate the process. For instance, I would love to lose 10 pounds, but I don’t want to stop eating my M&M’s and Raising Cane’s chicken for the next 10 weeks to achieve it. I’m a mess, y’all. I know!


Our church is journeying through the change process. We have officially exited The United Methodist Church, but we have not arrived at the end result. You will notice when you visit the campus this Sunday that a few things have changed. The church sign just reads “Church” with a cross on it. The pews are empty of hymnals and Bibles. The bulletin even says our church’s name is “CMC Clinton.” What in the world is that? We’re kind of in the wilderness making our way to a land we can’t fully see. How are we going to get there? When will we start to feel as my daughter often says, “Put together?”


I am writing on behalf of our transition leadership team to help you understand what some of these next steps will be. 


Step One – “CMC Clinton.” This is the name our new church has registered with the Mississippi Secretary of State and the Internal Revenue Service for legal purposes so we can operate as a non-profit organization. This non-profit status is so important to ensure that your tithes and contributions remain tax deductible. Be assured this status remains intact. Furthermore, this legal name is a placeholder during our transition period until we eventually spell out what the abbreviation “CMC” represents - Clinton Methodist Church. This is the historical and original name of our church when it was founded in 1831. We intend to return to our founding name. We signed a legal contract with the Mississippi Conference when we disaffiliated stating that we would not use the name “Methodist” until we officially joined a Methodist denomination, association, or network. This was a legal and necessary step so we could be permitted to leave the UMC. Until we have had time to adequately discern such an affiliation, we will act with integrity and refrain from using this name publicly. I believe we will have a transitional Methodist association that we can join within a couple of weeks so we can begin using our name. By all means, please feel free to refer to yourselves as Clinton Methodist Church or CMC as many churches use their abbreviation. 


Step Two – “Don’t stop believing and don’t stop giving.” The Finance Committee has put together a wonderful document to give you some guidance on your giving to CMC. These are available in the office and the worship spaces. Remember, make your checks payable to “CMC Clinton.” We need you to give to the General Fund, and give now. This is our number one priority. This is how we fund our ministry, pay our insurance and staff, and pay off our debt (more about that in a moment.) We are walking through these changes together. It is going to take all of us working together and moving in the same direction to get to the end result of this change process. 


Step Three – “Transitional Leadership.” Many of you don’t see the church from my perspective; therefore, I want you to know how hard your church staff has worked to quietly and tirelessly implement on a practical level our transition to a new church. There are so many steps that will never be known to anyone but those staff members. They have taken these steps on their own using their gifts and sacrificing their time. Other steps have been taken carefully to guide you along on the journey answering your questions and helping to serve you. When you see our staff, hug them and thank them for their leadership. They are experiencing a lot of the effects of change too. 


Some great laypeople have been guiding us up to this point as well. When you see Randy Bledsoe, David Langston, Mike McGuffie, and Les Howell, hug them and thank them for their leadership. They have faithfully carried the baton up to this point, but now it is time to expand the Transitional Leadership Team to complete the implementation of the changes. Our Lay Leadership Committee will meet in the coming week to add the following transition teams: Doctrine, Affiliation and Church Networking, Communications, Vision and Strategic Planning, Stewardship and Debt Retirement. The Finance and Trustee Committees will continue to play a vital role as well. There will be plenty of opportunities for you to get involved and help our church move forward.


I am most excited about the Vision and Strategic Planning Team. Starting next month, I will be preaching a series of messages helping to paint a picture of the future all of this change will create. In addition, I will be hosting a few home gatherings to allow you to share your visions and dreams of what you hope our future looks like. Add all of this to the prayerful work of the Vision Team and we will start to have a missional GPS of sorts to guide us going forward. 


Step Four – “The borrower is slave to the lender” (Proverbs 22:7). I hate debt and so did the writer of Proverbs 22:7. I bet many of you agree. Our church had to take out a loan to pay our disaffiliation expenses so we could keep our property and separate from the UMC. We now have a $5,400/month expense to pay off this debt. Nobody was happy about this. Meanwhile, I feel better knowing that nearly half of the money we paid the Conference will fund the retirement for pastors who have faithfully served our church over the years. You should feel good about that too! A big portion of the other funds will be used this year and next year to support several United Methodist camps and ministries that we have partnered with over the years. We can feel good about that too! Those places are doing fantastic ministry.


The Stewardship and Debt Retirement Team will be tasked with coming up with a plan for our congregation to retire this debt as soon as possible. If you have a desire to help pay off this debt and are eager to help us get a jump start with a donation immediately, I encourage you to reach out to David Langston, Finance Committee Chair, or Randy Bledsoe, Ministry Council Chair, to let them know. More information will be made available in the coming weeks about how everyone can get involved in some way. I urge all of us to prayerfully consider what generous gift we will offer. 


Many steps have been completed on this journey. There are many more that lie ahead. Each one of us is needed right now more than ever. I don’t know about you, but I am energized and eager as I make this journey. Sure, I have plenty to do and working harder than ever. Yet I am excited about the future waiting for us. It is hope and faith in Christ that pull me toward that future! I don’t like change very much as I get older. However, if I keep the end result in sight, I can endure the process a little easier. The patchwork sign and bare pews are just waiting to be made something new. The “new” is coming. Be patient. Rome wasn’t built in a day.


Our transition team looks forward to sharing more updates with you on a regular basis to keep you informed and in the loop of what is happening. Happy 4th of July weekend, everybody!


Peaceful Journeys,





Hey kids! Are you interested in serving

your church and don't know how?

We are in need of more acolytes to serve

during the Traditional service each Sunday.

Acolyte training sessions will be held on

July 14th and 28th

for children entering 2nd grade

through 6th grade. Parents may take

their children directly to the

sanctuary at 8:15. Feel free to contact

Nikki Parsons or Lauren Beckmann

if you have any questions. 


With less than

three weeks of

summer left for

most of our youth,

a time of fun and fellowship was

a must this week!

Dinner at


and trampoline

time at Safari Park,

were both big hits

with our crew!

We are thankful

for our youth

committee and

parent volunteers

who have taken

the time to

ensure our youth

have these

special fellowships during our time

of transition.



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Secure Online Giving

JUNE 2024


June 2nd Giving: $13,110

June 9th Giving: $21,529.52

June 16th Giving: $9808.70

June 23rd Giving: $5,678.78

June 30th Giving: $13,881.78

Other Income: $8,300.00

Total Income: $72,308.78

MAY 2024

May Giving: $74,180

Other Income: $8,125

Total Income: $82,305

Attendance Report June 30, 2024:

Traditions Worship: 162

Connections Worship: 67

Online: 27



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