TN Conference Bishop to shave head if $20,000 is raised for YSF
Nashville Episcopal Area Bishop Bill McAlilly has officially issued the Tennessee Annual Conference a challenge…plus a bit of a reward if that challenge can be met or exceeded. After an offering of $1234.06 was given by TN Conference young people at Summer Sizzler in Beersheba Springs this July for the Youth Service Fund, McAlilly called on the Conference to “expect greater things” and set a goal to raise $20,000 for YSF.
The reward? Bishop McAlilly has promised the Conference a “Bald Bishop” by getting his head shaved if the goal of $20,000 can be met by February 2, 2014. TN UMC Dir. of Young People’s Ministries Brad Fiscus was the lucky recipient of a youth-led head shaving ceremony at Summer Sizzler, the annual Conference young people’s gathering, after the initial $1,000 was raised by the students in time for the summer meeting.
The Feb. 2 deadline date falls in line with the closing of Warmth In Winter 2014 in Murfreesboro, TN, the TN Conference winter youth retreat and the largest Conference-wide event of the calendar year annually. DOWNLOAD a tracker poster on the resources page, keep track of your church’s an/or youth group’s donations, and bring your poster to be presented on the wall at Warmth In Winter.
Want to experience our appointed Bishop getting the ultimate hair cut in front of an audience of 3,000-plus cheering Conference youth and guests? Please give toward the TN Conference Young People’s Ministries goal of $20,000 for the Youth Service Fund using the info below:
> DONATE ONLINE through PayPal (please remember a 2.9% service charge is applied when processed)
> Drop off a designated donation or mail one to:
TN Conference UMC
ATTN: Brad Fiscus
304 S. Perimeter Park Dr. Suite 1
Nashville, TN 37211
(checks payable to “TN Conference UMC,” memo: “Youth Service Fund” and/or “Bald Bishop”)
* All donations will receive a letter of acknowledgement. Donations of $500 or more will receive an autographed picture of the prospective Bald Bishop if the goal is achieved.
> Digital materials for your websites and social media outlets
> Print materials for worship bulletins, newsletters, etc.
> Friendly URL: http://www.BaldBishop.tnumc.com
> Twitter: #baldbishopUMC
About Youth Service Fund | YSF provides grants to youth and young adults serving in mission throughout the world as it is described in Acts 1:8. Each year the Tennessee Conference Council on Youth Ministry meets in early May to distribute YSF grant money to youth and young adult teams who submit applications by April 15. Please visit TNUMCyouth.org/ysf/
My Brothers and Sisters,
August 24, 2013 at Calvary United Methodist Church we have an opportunity to deepen our understanding and commitment to our shared life by attending the Stewardship Seminar planned and offered by our United Methodist Foundation for the Memphis and Tennessee Conferences.
If you are looking for a seminar where practical tools will be provided which offer helpful ways to create congregations of generous people, you will not want to miss this opportunity!
Workshops will include:
- Alternative ways of giving
- Using traditional and emerging media,
- Creating Christ-oriented year-round stewardship emphasis,
- Fostering giving in the Wesleyan tradition,
- Personal financial programs,
- Gifts that keep on giving: endowments and planned giving,
- Capital campaign: why, what, when, and how.
Registration will begin at 8:30 am in the Christian Life Center at Calvary UMC followed by the opening plenary at 9:00 am called “Creating Passionate Givers” by Bishop McAlilly. Address: Calvary UMC: 3701 Hillsboro Pike Nashville, TN 37215 (615) 297.7562
The closing plenary at 2:15 pm titled “Covenant to Start a Fire” will include an address by the new president of the UM Foundation, Rev. Dr. Phil Jamieson.
I am asking leaders, Lay and Clergy, to be in attendance Saturday, August 25 at Calvary. We welcome lay and clergy from the Tennessee and Memphis Conferences to join us!
I look forward to greeting you,
Youth at Martin First UMC show us all how it’s done! There is still time to raise $87,500 to build parsonage in East Congo.
Wow! The youth at Martin First United Methodist Church know how to respond to a challenge.
My request at the 2013 Memphis and Tennessee Annual Conferences in early June was for an additional $250 contribution per church to help us meet the Nashville Episcopal Area goal of $87,500 to build a parsonage (home and office) for the Methodist bishop of the East Congo Episcopal Area in Africa.
It seems youth delegates from Martin First UMC in the Dyersburg District were paying attention. Their youth pastor, Rev. Rebecca Alexander, reported to me this week that they raised more than $5,000 for this project!
Want to know how they did it? Alexander said the youth delegates heard me speak at Annual Conference in Collierville and then returned to Martin with “passion and conviction” to do their part … and more!
“(Martin First UMC) youth chose to raise $5,000 – not only the $250 for our church, but also $250 for 19 other small congregations that might not have the means to give,” said Alexander.
In a span of 72 hours, the youth sold baked goods, washed cars and gave out bottled water for donations. They promoted their events via social media and on a local radio station. They even knocked on doors.
I am so proud of these youth. I want to thank them on behalf of Bishop Gabriel Unda Yemba whose East Congo Episcopal Area in Africa so desperately needs this parsonage to continue to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
As I’ve shared before, the East Congo Area includes three conferences, 17 districts and more than 349,000 members. By comparison, the Nashville Area is two conferences, 14 districts and 201,000 members. This $87,500 is obtainable. Unfortunately, as of July 31, our collective total is just $47,000. That’s an approximate figure based on money received and more gifts we know are on the way.
The youth of Martin First UMC have set a stellar example of hard work and devotion to a most worthy cause. I appreciate them and all who have made and will make contributions.
The Memphis and Tennessee Conferences have each been operating with different deadlines on this initiative, but today I want to announce we are extending the deadline for more donations through Sept. 15. Please, if you have not contributed so far OR if you are able to make an additional gift, read below how you may do so in your conference (online or by mail).
TENNESSEE CONFERENCE DONATION
Online: CLICK HERE
By Mail: Make out checks to “TN Conference UMC” with “East Congo Episcopal Area” in the memo line. Mail to Tennessee Conference Treasurer, 304 South Perimeter Park Drive, Suite 6, Nashville, TN, 37211.
MEMPHIS CONFERENCE DONATION
Online: CLICK HERE
By Mail: Make out checks to “Memphis Conference Treasurer” with “East Congo Parsonage” in the memo line. Mail to Treasurer’s Office, Memphis Conference-United Methodist Church, 24 Corporate Blvd., Jackson, TN 38305. Churches should use line 50 of the remittance form. Personal checks should include church name to receive Advance Special credit.
~ Bishop Bill McAlilly
With the permission of Bishop Ken Carter (Florida Conference), I wish to share the following post.
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The county seat town of Sanford, with a population of about 50,000, lies in the heart of the Florida Annual (regional) Conference, between Orlando and Daytona Beach.
Ordinarily, Sanford would be of little interest to the major media markets of the United States. All of that changed with the death of Trayvon Martin and the trial and subsequent not-guilty verdict for George Zimmerman, which has sparked reflection, debate, and outrage across our nation over the past weekend.
One can set aside the verdict of the Trayvon Martin death, giving the jurors the benefit of the doubt, and still find the events in Sanford deeply disturbing.
One man is dead, another is free.
The deceased was an unarmed young black man. The killer was armed and claimed self-defense, against the background of Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law. The toxic brew of economic scarcity, racial profiling, escalating violence and community destabilization is at the heart of the experience.
We dare not waste the moment
What we make of this event is likely shaped by the media source that has crafted the narrative of this human drama for us. Regardless, I would invite my fellow Anglo citizens to listen to the voices of our African American neighbors — they will hear lamentation, unbelief, rage, pathos, and resignation.
This is a teachable moment, and we dare not waste it.
Beyond the civic conversation, United Methodists are called to reflect on what this means for disciples of Jesus Christ who are called to transform the world.
We can return to the core teachings of Jesus, the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) and explore the roots of our own inner violence.
We can read the passion narratives and recall that we follow a Lord who was non-violent.
We can listen again to the last words of Jesus, about the gift of peace that he would leave with us.
We can rediscover the teachings of this Jesus who inspired Mahatma Gandhi and E. Stanley Jones, Martin Luther King, Jr., and the women of Liberia.
The peace of Christ is, in the words of Parker Palmer, our “birthright gift,” and if United Methodists are to make a difference in a violent and fractured world we will learn again, in a countercultural way, what it is to be his disciples.
Claiming the source of our hope
On the Sunday morning following the George Zimmerman verdict, I asked the pastor of First United Methodist Church in Sanford to read a letter that I had written to the congregation. I wanted to encourage them, and I wanted to remind them of the connection that we have as United Methodists. But in a deeper way, I wanted to claim the source of our hope, expressed in Ephesians 2:13-16: “(13) Now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. (14) For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us. (15) He has abolished the law with its commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new humanity in place of the two, thus making peace, (16) and might reconcile both groups to God in one body through the cross.”
I am praying for people of The United Methodist Church in Sanford. I am praying that they will be an outward and visible sign of God’s peace, justice, reconciliation and healing in the days ahead. I am praying that they, and we, do not waste this teachable moment.
My own commitments are these: to encourage the many congregations in the Florida Conference that reflect the multicultural diversity of their communities, and there are many; to question more publicly the “Stand Your Ground” law of our state and its incompatibility with our General Rule to “First, Do No Harm;” and to bear witness to the cross, which has broken down the dividing wall of hostility that is between us.
This is the peace of Christ, which the world can neither give nor take away. This is our birthright gift. The world is in need of it now.
* Carter is the resident bishop of the Florida Conference of The United Methodist Church.
In the same way, the Spirit comes to help our weakness. We don’t know what we should pray, but the Spirit himself pleads our case with unexpressed groans. The one who searches hearts knows how the Spirit thinks, because he pleads for the saints, consistent with God’s will.
One of Jesus’ disciples asked of him, “Lord, teach us to pray” (Luke 11.1). The Lord must always teach us to pray, “For we do not know how to pray as we ought” (Rom 8.26). Prayer is God’s gift that enables us to long for, seek, and call out to God. Through prayer we are able to answer that we are children of God, not slaves to fall back in fear. (Rom 8.14-15)
Without God helping us to pray, we are left in the world of our own making. But through prayer God teaches us to imagine, experience, and see possibilities beyond ourselves. Prayer is radical openness to God’s possibilities.
If we don’t pray with radical openness, we are limiting what God can accomplish in and through us, and we are limiting the reign of God’s grace and the fulfillment of the creation. Through radical openness in persistent prayer, we can begin to see God’s “greater things.”
Jesus embodied radical openness to God and thus the fullness of God’s mission to save the world. Prayer is the way we grow into Christ to see the missional and evangelistic possibilities before us.
If we allow God to cultivate the mind of Christ in us, then we are habitually in the mindset of mission with Christ.
We are habitually noticing God showing up in suffering, care, hope and transformation.
We are habitually seeing the neighbor as ourselves. And we are joining Christ in the work he is already doing among our neighbors and us.
Prayer: Lord, teach us and help us to pray so that we might not miss the opportunities to serve alongside you.
The Rev. John Collett
Nashville District Superintendent-TN Conference
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REFLECTIONS FOR THE DAY | Use a program on your computer, a traditional journal, or feel free to use the comment section of this blog post to record your reflections as a conversation with others…
READ – What spoke to me as I read today’s meditation?
REPENT – Where is God showing me that I have failed to be obedient to the call to discipleship today?
RECEIVE – What words of redemption and grace is God offering to me?
REMEMBER – Who and what is God calling me to remember in prayer related to today’s reading?
RESPOND – How is God calling me to respond today?
It wasn’t until Hurricane Katrina in 2005 that I came to fully understand and appreciate the true gift of our connectional church. In the early days of the first responders, the United Methodist Church was present. UMCOR –United Methodist Committee on Relief — was there. With the generosity of the people called Methodists across the world, the organization of UMCOR, and the hands and feet and hearts of volunteers, the Mississippi Gulf Coast scrapped its way back. The heart of recovery, the heart of UMCOR, is the people of the United Methodist Church. Early on, people asked, “Where is UMCOR?” My friend Ed Blakesly, the first Disaster Coordinator after Katrina said, “UMCOR is us.”
130,000 volunteers later, there have been 13,000 homes repaired and 130 new homes constructed…all by done by the men, women and students who came for the last 7 years. We came to say, “A storm is a terrible thing to waste.”
Tennessee and Kentucky are no strangers to natural disasters — namely in the form of tornadoes and floods. What we fail to think about is that West Tennessee and Western Kentucky sit on or near the New Madrid Fault. It is not beyond the realm of possibilities that the next disaster could be a major earthquake.
In the 2003 tornado in West Tennessee, Christy Smith oversaw case management, construction and volunteers for that recovery in three counties.
Christy tells this story:
“I stopped at a client’s house several months into the recovery and apologized that it had taken so long for us to get to her. (The storm was in May and this was probably August.) What she said changed my life, ‘That’s okay, Honey. I knew God would send someone!’ What? Me? I knew behind me was the invisible strength of God’s hand and people …praying, giving, organizing, training, preparing. She couldn’t see them…just me. So for her, I WAS the visible evidence that God cares about her. ‘Yes, Ma’am,’ I finally stammered. ‘God sent me.’ I had never really thought of myself in ministry…until that moment. ‘”
Here’s the reality: When there is a disaster, someone…just like that woman…is EXPECTING God to send someone. That’s happening right now all over the country, but particularly in the sorrowing Northeast. When we don’t come, it’s not just survivors we disappoint, it’s the God we love and serve that we disappoint. Christy continues: “That takes me to my knees and makes me want others to have the opportunity to serve.”
There are many places and ways one can serve. I want to appeal to you to consider serving in Disaster Response–now in responding to Hurricane Sandy and in the future as we anticipate the next disaster that will hit Tennessee and/or Kentucky. And one will. An opportunity is just around the corner for you to engage in training. The SEJ Disaster Academy will be held February 18-21, 2013 at Simpsonwood Retreat Center in Atlanta, GA.
For more information contact Christy Smith (firstname.lastname@example.org) – but beware! Christy is relentless. Also, Bill Carr, Memphis Conference Disaster Response Coordinator, and Jason Brock, Missions Team Leader for the Tennessee Conference, can assist you.