From the Pastor's Desk
I’m struggling. A few of you have recognized that and reached in consolation, even thoughts of solidarity; I am grateful for your tender care and courage to say, “I see you.” I’ve never imagined that I would hear that a friend, a colleague had been murdered. Even more, that her death came at the hands of juveniles. In the Church – the Body of Christ – we are not unaccustomed to journeying through the valley of the shadow of death. Who hasn’t been touched by illness? accidents? addiction or divorce or other breeches in relationship? any and all manner of darkness? Yet, as people of faith, we know (because we have experienced it for ourselves) that God is faithful; God’s mercy is new every morning; God is a constant companion, never failing us. We are loved and the darkness will not last. The darkness will not win. All Biblical truths that we can go to even when are spirits want to question …
With regard to a personal experience with the shadow of death, most of us have discovered that God’s love and God’s ministry of presence is stronger than anything we meet in the darkness. Oh, but when the darkness shows itself to be deeper or stronger, more violent than we imagined, we feel something akin to what I hold inside right now. I am not spending myself trying to reconcile the existence of a God who IS Love with the happening of such a terrible, terrifying loss of a faithful child of God. Bad things have been happening to “good” people since the beginning of time (i.e., Abel). Our goodness doesn’t ensure that darkness, even violence won’t touch us. The goodness of God – as we experience that gift – does change how we see the darkness, how we think about journeying through it, and what we believe about the eternity of our lives gifted in Christ.
So, in full confession. This is what I’m seeing in the darkness of Autura’s murder and the pain through which her family, all of us, are journeying. I did not see, until July 18, 2022, that 51% of juvenile victims of violent crime faced a juvenile offender, someone much like them. And, I didn’t not see, until July 18, 2022, that 9% of adult victims of violent crime were looking into the face of a kid when violated. I did not see, until July 18, 2022, that the Parkway Village neighborhood in which I grew up is now one of the deadliest zip codes in Memphis. (That’s saying something because Memphis is ranked the #1 most dangerous Metro area in our nation … and my old neighborhood is far from what would be considered Metro.) I did not see, until July 18 that Tennessee has the 6th highest murder rate among U.S. states – almost twice the national average! 
I nodded as if I knew, but really did not see until July 18, 2022, that the families and friends, colleagues, and neighbors of 663 people in the state of Tennessee held – and maybe still hold – what I hold right now. (The most recent full stats that we have are from 2020.) I nodded as if I knew, but really did not see until July 18, 2022, that young men and women, even children, are so broken and broken by this world that they are not only being consumed by the darkness, but they are participating in, choosing the violence of it all. I mean, how did those 15-year-olds who killed my friend arrive at the decision that they could and would do what they are accused of doing? What kind of pain must those kids have been carrying to believe that causing such pain for another, for another’s family was a viable choice? Did they have no advocate or companion (like Autura) in their lives to tell them that they are precious sons of God, not beyond redemption, known and loved by the One who created them, and joint heirs with Jesus if they’ll trust in God’s promise? If that’s a “no,” then, where is the Church in their lives, in the communities they call home? Now, they’ll only discover – if then – in her death, that they had in Autura an advocate, a cheerleader, a sister companion even through the valley of the shadow of death. She was all of that and more to any who would allow her, all because of her conviction of the glory of God around us and within us. Who will love them now?  
This world needs us to turn the other cheek. To give away our coats and our cloaks. God’s world needs His people to walk with folks who are headed in the wrong direction and tell them that hope, and freedom really can be found. Our world needs us to love young thugs who think their power is in their meanness and their threats because they haven’t met the power of God in mercy and grace. May they meet that transforming Love soon. Now that Autura’s gone from this life, I guess it’s up to me. And you.
Communion Sunday
We will be celebrating the sacrament of Holy Communion Sunday, August 7, 2022. 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.
Thank you to Boy Scout Troop 246 for the much-needed new picnic tables. They did an amazing job. If you’ve not had a chance to see them stop by the pavilion to see what a great job they did. THANK YOU!!!
SALT Needs
Variety of Canned Goods: canned meats, soup, mixed vegetables, carrots, beef stew, SpaghettiOs’s. PLEASE NO GREEN BEANS. 

Boxes: The size needed is about 14"x14"x10", although other sizes can be used if they are roughly the same in volume. Depth is one of the more critical dimensions -- at least 8".  We use over 350 boxes a month. Please take a Cook’s tote from the rack by the door for your donations and place them on the cart in the back hallway.

Coming SOON is getting a new look!
Look for the unveiling of our revamped website coming soon. 
The Congregational Care team has been cleaning out their storage area and found several things that they will not have a use for. All the items will be placed on a table outside the youth room on Sunday, July 31st, through Sunday, August 7th. Please feel free to take whatever you would like to have. There is no charge, but any donations would be welcome!
Random August Holidays
3 Watermelon Day
6 Fresh Breath Day
7 Lighthouse Day
15 Relaxation Day
 16 Tell a Joke Day
17 Thrift Shop Day
20 Chocolate Pecan Pie Day
26 Dog Appreciation Day
28 Bow Tie Day
30 Frankenstein Day
Oliver Academy
Supply Move In
Monday, August 1 @ 6pm
Oliver Academy
Teacher Tour
Tuesday, August 2 @ 9:30 am
Missions Team
Wednesday, August 3 @ 6pm
Seekers Room
Trustees Team
Monday, August 8 @ 6pm
Youth Room
SPR Committee
Tuesday, August 9 @ 6pm
Youth Room
Finance Committee
Sunday, August 14 @ 3:30 pm
Lamplighters Room
Church Council
Sunday, August 14 @ 4pm
Youth Room
Girl Scouts
Tuesday, August 16 @ 6:30 pm
Lamplighters Room
UMM Breakfast
Sunday, August 21 @ 8:15 am
Youth Room
Oliver Academy
Parent / Student Tour
Tuesday, August 23 @ 7pm
Congregational Care
Thursday, August 25 @ 10am
Lamplighters Room
Discipleship Team
Thursday, August 25 @ 5pm
Cook’s UMC Charge Conference
Sunday, August 28
4:00 pm @ Cook’s
Cook's Leadership Loving & Learning
Cook’s leadership team sharing a meal,
getting to know one another all while having fun!
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.
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.
Dot Creasman,
Billie East, 
Judith Mabb,
Phil & Gladys Pennington,
Judy Smith,
Lorraine Stadelman,
Norman & Ruby Walker,
Jim Webster
Social Media
We would love to showcase the activities of Cook’s and our families. If you, your Sunday School Class or Small Group would like to share news of upcoming events or pictures of your events on Cook’s website, Facebook page, Instagram or Twitter please send those to Alison Nash [email protected] or to the church office [email protected] or [email protected]

August Trivia Questions

1. Of the six days of creation, on which day did God stock the waters with animal life? 
a.  2nd
b.  3rd
c.  5th
d.  6th
2.  After the rain stopped while Noah and his family were on the ark, how many days passed before the waters subsided?
a.   30
b.  90
c.   120
d.  150

3.  Moses’ Mom gave him up (in a pitch-covered basket) in hopes he would be found and raised by an Egyptian. What water was he “set sail” in and who drew him out?
a.   Miriam, Nile River
b.   Jochebed, Nile River
c.   Bithiah, Nile River
d.   Puah, Tigris River
4.   When the Israelites came to the Red Sea, fleeing Egypt, what did God instruct Moses to do (that resulted in the parting of the waters)?
a.   Raise his staff and stretch out his arms toward the water
b.  Raise his staff and strike the surface of the water
c.   Strike the surface of the water with his staff and step into the waters himself
d.  Raise his staff and usher his leadership into the water
5.  How many times did God enable Moses to get water from a rock when the Israelites were without?
a.   4
b.   3
c.    2
d.   1
6.  Naaman, Commander of the Aramean army, contracted leprosy and was told by Elisha that healing could be found by doing this:
a.   Soaking himself in the Dead Sea
b.  Dipping into the Jordan River seven times
c.   Being sprinkled with water from the Jordan River
d.  Being sprinkled with water from the Temple/Tabernacle Basin
7.  Which of the following tribes of Israel was not located on the Dead Sea?
a.   Reuben
b.  Judah
c.   Benjamin
d.  Naphtali
8.   The Sea of Galilee is connected to another body of water by yet a third body of water; name those two bodies:
a.   The Red Sea and the Jordan River
b.  The Red Sea and the Dead Sea
c.   The Nile River and the Jordan River
d.  The Dead Sea and the Jordan River
9.   All four gospels mention the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist; in only one is the event told indirectly. Which gospel is that?
a.   Matthew
b.  Mark
c.   Luke
d.  John
10. The River of Life mentioned in John’s Revelation is described after the New Jerusalem appears from God in heaven. What is the source of the River of Life?
a.   Throne of God
b.  New Heaven
c.   The source isn’t named
d. Beyond New Jerusalem

July Trivia Answers

1. How many “versions” of the Creation story are there in Scripture? 3 (Genesis 1, Genesis 2 & John 1:1-5)
2. Of the Ten Commandments that God gave Moses (to give to the Israelites), which one comes with a promise? # 5: Honor your father and mother . . . (Exodus 20:12)
3.  What kind of oil was to be used for the lamp just outside the Holy of Holies and how long did God say it was to burn each day? Pure olive oil; evening to morning – Exodus 27:20-21
4.  Of the sacrifices that God instituted (burnt, tribute, peace, sin, and/or guilt offerings), which one left no portion for the priest(s) to eat? Burnt offering (completely consumed) Leviticus 1:9, 13, 17
5.  Which three bodies of water are integral to the Promised Land: Red Sea, Dead Sea, Sea of Galilee, Jordan River, and/or Euphrates River? Dead Sea, Sea of Galilee & Jordan River
6.  Which King of Israel was actually “in line” for the throne as King of Judah by virtue of birth? Jehu, served as King of Israel (842-815, BCE) but was the son of Jehoshaphat, King of Judah
7.  Which prophet was so furious at being mocked that he cursed the kids who made fun of him? Elisha
8.  Of the following, _________________ is not a type of psalm we find in the Bible: community, enthronement, imprecatory, lament, and thanksgiving? They’re ALL in the Bible . . . and more types, too!
9.  Why is “Wisdom” characterized as female by Solomon in the proverbs he wrote? In the Hebrew language, nouns either masculine or feminine; the word for “wisdom” (chokmah) is a feminine noun.
10. Which of the following kinds of Biblical literature are not found in the Old Testament: Law, History, Wisdom Literature, Prophecy, or Epistle(s)? ** Epistles (or, Letters)
Bonus Question #1: Whose job was it, as a kid, to keep the lamp trimmed/burning in the Temple when he heard God call him to a different kind of service? Samuel, Leviticus 4:1-4
Bonus Question #2: Apocalyptic literature is found in both the Old and New Testaments; which Old Testament book(s) and New Testament book(s) are apocalyptic? Daniel (OT) & Revelation (NT)
August Calendar of Events
Oliver Academy, Supply Move In, Monday, August 1 @ 6pm
Oliver Academy, Teacher Tour, Tuesday, August 2 @ 9:30 am
Missions Team, Wednesday, August 3 @ 6pm
Trustees Team, Monday, August 8 @ 6pm
SPR Committee, Tuesday, August 9 @ 6pm
Finance Committee, Sunday, August 14 @ 3:30 pm
Church Council, Sunday, August 14 @ 4pm
Girl Scouts, Tuesday, August 16 @ 6:30 pm
UMM Breakfast, Sunday, August 21 @ 8:15 am
Oliver Academy, Parent / Student Facility Tour @ 7pm
September Newsletter Deadline, Wednesday, August 24
Congregational Care Team, Thursday, August 25 @ 10am
Discipleship Team, Thursday, August 25 @ 5pm
Charge Conference, Sunday, August 28 @ 4pm
Mondays @ 9:30 am Pastor’s Bible Study (Youth Room)
Thursdays @ 6:00 pm Boy Scouts (Youth & Shine Rooms)
Mondays, Tuesdays & Fridays @ 6:00 pm TKD (Friendship Hall)
Current Information
The most recent Cook’s Newsletter, Financial Statement,
and approved Church Council Minutes can be found in the
metal rack by the coffee station in Friendship Hall.
In Person Giving
An offering basket is available at the back of the Friendship Hall during all worship services 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
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
Cook’s Vision
To be a welcoming congregation dedicated to worshiping God, growing disciples in Christ, and serving the community through the Holy Spirit.

Cook’s Values
*Vital Worship *Selfless Mission
*Genuine Care
*Growth in Discipleship

Cook’s Strategy
*Engage   *Connect
*Equip   *Send

Cook’s Mission
To know Christ and to make
Christ known.
Sunday Schedule
9:30 am Traditional Worship (Friendship Hall), Facebook Live & YouTube
10:45 Sunday School

Daily Devotionals
Monday-Thursday 8:30am on Facebook Live