Cook’s United

Methodist Church

January 2023 Newsletter

From the Pastor

In 2004, the Oxford English Dictionary started a new practice, modeled after Time’s Person of the Year. The magazine looks back over the spent year and names an individual who is, in many ways, synonymous with the events or flow of the year. (For 2022, Time named Volodymyr Zelensky, President of Ukraine; no doubt the choice was made because of the Russian invasion which began in February and Ukraine’s valiant defense under Zelensky’s leadership.) Over nearly 20 years now, The Oxford English Dictionary has been choosing a word that evokes something similar – a summary, of sorts, of the year that is about to close. For their first Word of the Year? Blog. The Word of the Year that we’ll never forget (2020)? Unprecedented. And this year? “Goblin mode.” 


O.K., I had to look it up, too. First, that’s two words. Second, I had no idea what they mean together. Here goes: “A type of behavior, which is unapologetically self-indulgent, lazy, slovenly or greedy, typically in a way that rejects social norms or expectations,” so says Oxford Languages.


There’s an opposite practice I hope you’ll consider trying this new year. Rather than setting a resolution to accomplish a particular goal this year, what about choosing a word that will help change or strengthen your focus on being your best? We’re talking words like “aware” or “calm,” “discipline,” “forgive,” “joy,” or “play.” Even a word like “risk.”


I’ve done this before with success in fits and starts. I’m driven to try again because of the corporate impact on all the people of my life.  Maybe a corporate focus is the key to the discipline of renewing our minds and changing our lives.


My word for 2023? Endure. Many consider endurance to be like white knuckling it through, say, a dental appointment or doing whatever you must just to get through _________; fill in the blank with what you just hope to get through fairly unscathed. But, for Jesus Followers, endurance is much more. “Endurance” is remaining under or sustaining a load of miseries, adversities, provocations and doing so in faith and patience because we are empowered for such by the power of the Holy Spirit.


I said in my 4th Sunday of Advent sermon that this call to endure is a constant one throughout the New Testament, and right alongside the encouragement to live into this call. Check this out:

Matthew 24:13 -- The one who endures to the end will be delivered.

Mark 13:13b -- Whoever stands firm until the end will be saved.

Romans 12:12 -- Be happy in your hope, stand your ground (ENDURE) when you’re in trouble and devote yourselves to prayer.

James 5:11 -- We count those blessed who endure … And you have seen what the Lord has accomplished, for the Lord is full of compassion and mercy.

1 Peter 2:21 -- You were called to this kind of endurance, because Christ suffered on your behalf.


For me, this endurance we’re called to is not “doormat” status and not just getting by, but instead, discovering what yieldedness to God and His power at work in us will accomplish. This endurance is the conviction that the circumstance of the moment is not the period at the end of our life’s sentence, but a comma or a dash or a semi-colon, signaling there is more to come. And it’s really good!


Will you endure with me? I’ll be sharing some tools and tips on how to keep God’s call and equipping for enduring in this life as we move through the year. I am so grateful we get to travel this path with and toward Christ together!


Volunteers Needed

To take down all the Christmas Decorations in the church

on Thursday, January 9 @ 11:30 pm. 

We’ll pack everything up and put it away for Christmas 2023. 

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.

Current Information

The most recent Newsletter, Financial Statement, and approved Church Council Minutes can be found in the metal rack by the restrooms in the Friendship Hall.

Backpack Program

The Church at Pleasant Grove is sponsoring the Backpack Program for 5 schools in our area: Springdale Elementary, Stoner Creek Elementary, West Elementary, Mt. Juliet High School and Wilson Central High School. They need help in 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). There will be a cart in the back hallway at church for your donations. 

There are wallet size cards available to take off the carts in the back hallway. 

One side of the card has Cook’s SALT food items needed and the

other side has the food items needed for the Backpack Program. 

Keep one of these in your wallet to have handy each time you go to the store.

SALT (Serving at the Lord’s Table)


Needed from Cook’s

Canned Mixed Vegetables

Rice (1 or 2 lb. bags)

Canned Beans (e.g., northern, pinto, black, kidney, pork & beans)


All donations can be left on the cart in the back hallway.

There are wallet size cards available to take off the carts in the back hallway. 

One side of the card has Cook’s SALT food items needed and the

other side has the food items needed for the Backpack Program. 

Keep one of these in your wallet to have handy each time you go to the store.

Monthly Memory Verse

"Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer." Romans 12:12

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.

Home Centered

Dot Creasman,

Billie East,

Judith Mabb,

Phil & Gladys Pennington,

Norman & Ruby Walker

February Newsletter Deadline

Get your submissions for the January newsletter to the church office by January 25, 2023.

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.

December Trivia Answers


Which gospel tells of the birth of Jesus?

a. Matthew

b. Mark

c. Luke

d. John

e. All the above


Who did Gabriel appear to with the news of a baby-to-come?

a. Mary

b. Joseph

c. Zechariah

d. Elizabeth

e. All the above

f. a, b, c

g. a, b, d


Why did Mary and Joseph go to Bethlehem?

a. To participate in a required census

b. To see family

c. To observe a religious holiday

d. None of the above


Which Old Testament prophet predicted that Jesus would be born miraculously?

a. Isaiah

b. Jeremiah

c. Joel

d. Zechariah


Immanuel is one name the Old Testament prophesies regarding Jesus. What does that name mean?

a. God provides

b. God hears

c. God is with us

d. God redeems


How many angels spoke to the shepherds?

a. A host

b. One hundred

c. one

d. two


What sign were the shepherds told to look for when they searched for Jesus?

a. A baby swaddled, resting in a manger

b. A star over a stable

c. Joseph outside the inn’s stable

d. An angel choir singing in the heavens

Who was the first to spread the news of Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem?

a. Zechariah and Elizabeth

b. Angels

c. Shepherds

d. The Innkeeper


How many days after Jesus was born did Mary and Joseph officially name him?

a. 3 days

b. One week

c. 8 days

d. 30 days


Who else was present at the Temple that day?

a. Simeon and Anna

b. Simon and Elizabeth

c. Zechariah and Elizabeth

d. Only the High Priest


How did the Wise Men find Jesus?

a. Prophecy, a star, and directions

b. A star and prophecy

c. Only a star

d. A star and directions


What gifts did they bring the newborn King?

a. Gold and other forms of money

b. Clothes and food for the whole family

c. Gold, Incense, and Myrrh (an ointment)

d. Rugs and goods for their home


Jesus’ family lived “out of country” for a part of his childhood? Where and why?

a. Egypt; Joseph was hiding them from Herod.

b. Mesopotamia; Joseph found better work there.

c. Philistia; It was closer to the Mediterranean Sea.

d. Babylonia; It was a common place for Jews to move.


How much time passed after Jesus’ death and resurrection before Christmas was first celebrated?

a. Hardly any at all

b. 10 years

c. 100 years

d. 300+ years

The colors, red and green, are associated with Christmas but have no religious significance.

a. True: Coca-Cola introduced red and green as Christmas colors in an ad campaign in the early 1930’s

b. False: Red and green are the colors of holy used to adorn church and homes, reminding us of eternal life through the blood of Christ

c. True, but “a” is not a valid explanation

d. False: both “a” and “b” are true explanations

January Calendar of Events

Saturday, Jan. 7 Friendship Hall Reserved All Day

Sunday, Jan. 8 @ 3:30 pm Finance Team (Lamplighters Room)

Sunday, Jan. 8 @ 4:00 pm Church Council (Youth Room)

Monday, Jan. 9 @ 6:00 pm Trustees Team (Youth Room)

Monday, Jan. 9 @ 6:30 pm Girl Scout Troop (Lamplighters & Shine Rooms)

Tuesday, Jan. 10 @ 6:00 pm Girl Scout Leader Meeting (Youth Room)

Tuesday, Jan. 10 @ 6:00 pm SPR Meeting (Seekers Room)

Saturday, Jan. 14 SALT Open Pantry (Leeville UMC)

Sunday, Jan. 15 @ 7:45 am UMM Breakfast (Youth Room)

Monday, January 16 Church Office Closed – Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday

Tuesday, Jan. 17 @ 6:30 pm Girl Scout Troop (Lamplighters & Shine Rooms)

Wednesday, Jan. 25 @ 10:00 am Congregational Care (Lamplighters Room)

Thursday, Jan. 26 @ 5:00 pm Discipleship Team (Library)


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

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

Tuesdays & Thursdays 9:00 am – 3:00 pm Oliver Academy

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

Handbell Practice Schedule

(Wednesdays in the Youth Room @ 6pm)

January 11 & 18

February 1, 8 and 15

March 8 & 22

April 5, 12 & 19

May 10, 17 & 24

Choir Practice Schedule

(Wednesdays in the Sanctuary @ 7pm)

January 11, 18 & 25

February 1, 8, 15 & 22

March 1, 8, 22 & 29

Saturday March 11 Cantata Practice in Friendship Hall 9:00 – 1:00

April 5, 12, 19 & 26

May 3, 10, 17 & 24

June 7 & 14

Giving Options

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.

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

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

10:00am Sunday School

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