Pastor’s Message

As we welcome a new year, my prayer for each of you and for all of us is to experience the presence of God in a changing way every day. If you have been a part of any of the conversations hosted by the Long-Range Planning Team, you know that discipleship – our understanding and pursuit of it – is crucial to a unified community life. Maturing discipleship doesn’t just happen over time without intentional pursuit. Spiritual practices make it possible for us to grow in not only understanding, but also experiencing the God-centered life. As we welcomed the last four new years together, I have challenged us to be more intentional about reading Scripture by suggesting a daily reading plan and to be more self-reflective by suggesting Wesley’s Holy Club (small group and class meeting) Questions as a check-point for your/our attentiveness to the ways of Jesus.

Reading scripture and self-reflective/evaluation are just two spiritual practices that can move us along the maturing path of discipleship. The common denominator between those two and any other practice (from fasting to generosity, from service to reflection or meditation, etc.), for the sake of maturing as a follower of Jesus, is the regular discipline of choosing to yield ourselves to the work of God’s Holy Spirit. 

As we welcome 2019, I want to challenge you to craft a discipleship plan that will help you grow as a follower of Jesus. I would suggest that you/we focus on four practices: prayer/meditation, study of scripture, service, and worship. Some of you are well-practiced in one or more of these, and all of us struggle with one or more. It’s the nature of our personalities and our limitations as a human being. I want to encourage you to not shy away from the practices that are harder for you, but use the ones you enjoy to fuel you for the harder challenges. 

As you begin to craft your own plan for maturing in discipleship, I want to encourage you to consider that each of the four practices we’ve identified has both a personal and a corporate expression. Maybe corporate worship for you is easy, but personal worship throughout the week is not. For some of you, study of scripture in a small group is easy, but personal study including preparation for those small group experiences is not. In crafting your discipleship plan for 2019, perhaps you’ll focus on one of these four practices each week of a given month attending to both the personal and corporate expression. Or, maybe you’ll make a way to engage with all four each week.  

Need some suggestions for exactly how you can practice each area of new discipline? You can find a handy-dandy list of resources in the pocket beside Pastor Sandra’s door. Need more than that? I would love to help you craft your own discipleship plan and help you know the power of God’s Holy Presence in the most ordinary moments of our lives.

Will you join me in praying for the spiritual and relational health of our Body? Will you join me in choosing discipline as we follow Jesus more fully every day? Let’s make this New Year coming one of becoming more like Jesus!
United Methodist Women
The first meeting of the year will be
Tuesday, January 8 th at 10:00 am.

Leadership Training
Our first organizational meetings of 2019 are scheduled for Sunday, January 13 (Finance Team will meet at 2:30p and Church Council, including the Leadership Training, will meet at 3:00p). We trust that you will make every effort to be present with us especially if you have been elected to serve in any ministry capacity. All meetings of any ministry team are open to all, with the exception of SPRC (Staff-Parish Relations Committee) which functions much like a Personnel Committee. That said, we encourage any and all who would like to be a part of this important work of the church to join us at any time. If you plan to be with us for the January start-up, please “register” with the church office so that we will have adequate resources for everyone. We look forward to you joining us and to a great beginning to God’s New Year for Cook’s UMC!
Our deepest sympathy goes out to Jim Webster and family in the recent loss of Mary Elizabeth. Visitation with the family will be Saturday, January 19 th from 12:00 – 3:00 pm in Cook’s UMC Sanctuary with memorial service to follow at 3:00 pm.  
United Methodist Men
The first United Methodist Men’s Club Breakfast of the year will be Sunday, January 20 th at 8:15 am in Cook’s Friendship Hall. 
Wednesday Night
Fellowship Meals
Resume Wednesday, January 9, 2019.  Cost $5.00 per adult, $2.00 for ages 5-11, ages under 5 years eat free. Please pre-order and pay for your meals using the envelopes in the sanctuary pews or on the shelf in the main hall. Place the envelopes with money in the offering plate or turn into the church office no later than noon the Tuesday before. There will be a limited amount of food for those that don't pre-pay. JANUARY MENU: 9 th Fried Chicken, Green Beans, Mashed Potatoes, Rolls & Dessert; 16 th Soup & Sandwiches & Dessert; 23 rd Meatloaf, Green Peas, Mac ‘n Cheese, Rolls & Dessert; and 30 th Ham, Hash Brown Casserole, Corn, Rolls & Dessert.
College Student of the Month
John Forth
3010 Fieldstone Court
Mt. Juliet TN 37122

John is a sophomore at Volunteer State
Community College in Gallatin, TN

Dick Estes              Martha Gatlin 
Cook’s Inclement Weather Policy
If Wilson County schools are closed due to inclement weather all activities at church will be cancelled for that day. If Wilson County schools close early due to inclement weather all church activities will be cancelled for the remainder of that day. Sunday worship schedules will depend on the weather / road conditions on those mornings. A decision will be made as quickly as possible on those days and will be posted on Facebook as well as email communication sent. Please use your own discretion on those days.
Your generosity is overwhelming and I want to say "thank you" for my Christmas gift. I have a lot of words, but none seem adequate in response to your loving gift. I appreciate your thoughtfulness and carry your love in my heart, always. 
Thank you, Sandra

Thank you for all the thoughts, prayers, cards and gifts but most importantly your friendship and love. I feel truly blessed to have each and every one of you in my life.
Blessings, Monica
Electronic Giving Available
Electronic giving helps you stay current with your planned giving especially when on vacation or traveling. All records are locked in the church office, increasing confidentiality, while paper checks (which contain the same information) are part of the weekly counting process with rotating money counters. Contributions continue to be reflected on your year-end contribution statement, and contributions can be canceled or altered (such as the amount or change the bank account) at any time by simply contacting the church office. If you are interested in this easy and convenient way of giving please contact the church office.
January Meetings / Activities
Trustees Team Meeting - Monday, January 7 th 7:00 pm
United Methodist Women – Tuesday, January 8 th  10:00 am
Finance Team Meeting – Sunday, January 13 th  2:30 pm
Church Council – Sunday, January 13 th  3:00 pm
Mary Elizabeth Webster Visitation – Saturday, January 19 th  12:00 – 3:00 pm
Mary Elizabeth Webster Memorial Service – Saturday, January 19 th  3:00 pm
United Methodist Men’s Club Breakfast – Sunday, January 20 th  8:15 am
Church Office Closed – Mon., Jan. 21 st  (Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday)
If there is a meeting/activity not listed, please notify the church office.
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7919 Lebanon Road
Mt. Juliet TN 37122
Sunday Schedule
9:30 am Traditional Worship in our Sanctuary
10:45 am Sunday School Hour
5:30 pm Acoustic Worship in our Sanctuary