Cook's UMC

November 2023


From the Pastor

From the very beginning, God was clear about the purpose (and meaning) of life. Take time to read Genesis 1:26-31 and Genesis 2:4-9, 15-25 and take note about what is said of God’s dream and intent. (Did you realize that there are TWO accounts of creation and that some details are different in each?!) God’s love and intent in creating humankind was and is:

  • To be a reflection of the Divine as we live in God’s world.
  • To know (i.e., to experience) the world and all that fills it, and to care for all of creation.
  • To be a helper, a partner for one another
  • To manage the working and interworking of God’s garden-world


We also know from scripture that the Holy Spirit of God has entrusted every one of us with specific gifts for our kingdom work of stewarding life and love. (Check out 1 Corinthians 12:7-11 and Romans 12:4-8 to get an idea of what some of those gifts are.) God wired us so that the lessons we learn from hardship and mistakes, the passions we develop, and the skills we hone help us live out our purpose and invest meaning in the living.


Humans focus so much on the place and the title – our office or platform, the ladder we’re climbing, whether we’re over or under others and if we’re advancing. All the while, God cares less about whether we are butchers or bakers or candlestick-makers and cares more about how my baking and your candlestick-making serve the purpose of:

  1. Reflecting the image and nature of God.
  2. Partnering with each other to accomplish #1 with joy and strength.
  3. To steward our responsibilities and opportunities (that come with baking and candlestick-making BUT ALSO with being a spouse or a parent, with being a neighbor and a friend, etc.) toward the health and wholeness of the world and all that fills it.


Stewards, we are. Aaannd, insert eye-rolls and say to yourself, “Here they go with the money talk.” Well, yes, it is that time of year. And, yes, Jesus has plenty to say about money so it should be no surprise that the church will teach about our attitude toward it and our use of it. And, yes, money is only ONE entrusted treasure that God is expecting us to manage well. Some others besides money? Our time and energy, our thought life and mental health, our relationships with those who are loved and to whom we feel close AND our relationships with those we don’t like and with whom we feel great distance AND every other relationship in-between those two.


From October 29 through November 19, we will dig a little deeper into God’s intent and purpose for our lives as reflections of the Divine in everything we do; we will discover ways to live more freely, released from the pull of gravity of expectations and a sense of scarcity, and more generously, knowing that we are conduits of God’s goodness and abundance!


We hope you will join us for this invigorating search of scriptural truth and prayerfully consider how you can grow in the way you follow Jesus by being a better steward of all God has entrusted to you. Watch your mailbox and your inbox, listen online and in-person for the voices of experience of your friends and church family. And, together on Sunday, November 19 we will prayerfully commit ourselves to a new year of growing in our stewardship and responsibility of partnership with God and with one another.


If you want to follow along more closely, grab Tom Berlin’s book, Defying Gravity, and read along with me. Or, challenge your Sunday School class or small group to work through it together.  As we journey together, how about some fodder for thought about our work as stewards?


How a steward evaluates things: 

I judge all things only by the price they shall gain in eternity.  

– John Wesley


In the biblical understanding of giftedness, gifts are never really ours or for ourselves. We have nothing that was not given us. Our gifts are ultimately God’s, and we are only “stewards” – responsible for the prudent management of property that is not our own.   – Os Guinness


The cornerstone of stewardship is gratitude. 

Do you have radical gratitude or perpetual dissatisfaction?   

- Mary Joe Letty


Steward, my advice to you: Live simply, give more, expect less.  – E.G. Link


Communion Sunday

We will be celebrating the sacrament of Holy Communion on Sunday, November 5. 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.

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.

Welcome to the Cook’s Family!!!

Rachel Ward and her family moved to TN in October of 2017 from Barboursville, WV. She is very passionate about music and sharing her talents with others. She currently works with the State of TN in the Department of Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services as the Administrative Assistant to the Assistant Commissioner of the division of Substance Abuse Services. Before coming to Cook’s United Methodist church, she was the organist/pianist at Bellevue United Methodist Church in Nashville, TN. She has over 20 years’ experience working in the church music ministry and has been playing piano and organ since 2nd grade. She holds a bachelor’s degree in music with an emphasis in organ and piano from Montreat College in Montreat, NC. She also holds a master’s degree in music from Morehead State University in Morehead, KY. Rachel grew up in the Methodist church and has a strong passion for playing music in the church. She is married to Keith and has two children, Benjamin, and Jacqueline. In her spare time, she enjoys playing with her children, shopping, going to see movies, traveling, making crafts/event planning, and hanging out with friends. She is very excited about joining Cook’s music ministry!

October 29, 2023 – November 19, 2023

Prayer Shawls

Have you ever wished for a visible way to show your love, care and concern for a family member, friend or neighbor who is suffering? Maybe with an illness, or loss of family, or any type of emotional struggle? Something they can hold onto and feel your prayers? There is a way, and your church family can help. 


Prayerful members of our church family are making prayer shawls for anyone who asks for one. They are made with prayerful hands and prayed over before starting and completion of each one.


Would you like a prayer shawl, have it prayed over by the congregation for the need of your family or friend? They are available to you with love from us.


You can contact me (615-516-2439, text, or email ).

Blessings and peace, Edna


We are also always looking for new persons to help with this ministry who can crochet or knit. If you are interested, please contact me. Blessings.

Donut Volunteers

Thank you all for providing donuts for our church social time! Donut volunteers are needed for the remainder of 2023 and all of 2024! (individuals or class/committees)

There is a signup sheet on the hallway counter leading from the sanctuary to the classrooms.

Helpful Hints!

3-4 dozen are needed. 

Call your provider ahead of time and reserve them so you can make one stop for pick-up. 

Many stores will do a standing order for a month, very handy!

Keep your receipt if you wish to be reimbursed for donuts.

Tax free letters are available in the office. 

Average price is $10.00 a dozen.

Good Neighbor Bag

We have just heard in Sandra’s sermon series, “Anatomy of a Christian”, how we are the body of Christ and together we function as the body of Christ to the world. Do you find it easy to say, “Yes, I am” but maybe a bit difficult to reach out to our neighbors? I am an introvert and not comfortable reaching out. It takes a lot for me to reach out to strangers, to offer them the opportunity to become a family in my church or welcome them to our neighborhood and be there when needed. Once I do, it seems so “silly” that I hesitated!! It is taking that first step into the world around me. Seeing it and welcoming it and offering Christ to them.


The Discipleship Committee has put together a Welcome to Cook’s neighborhood bags. They are made to help us reach out to new persons in our area and family members who are new to us or are looking for a church home and family. They have information about us as well as a pen, letter opener (with Cook’s on it), small wooden cross, activity sheets for children and box of crayons, an Upper Room and even a coupon for a free doughnut at Gourmet doughnuts! If you have someone, you’d like to give a bag to they are available in the church office. We hope we have helped to make it a little easier for all of us to be the body of Christ! Your neighbors, Discipleship Committee

Rise Against Hunger

Saturday, November 11

Cook’s Friendship Hall

Saturday November 11th will be our annual meal packing event at Cook’s. We will be packing over 15,000 meals (same as last year) at a cost of less than 40 cents per meal. This includes the shipment of this food to an area of greatest need somewhere in the world. There is a need for 50 volunteers for meal packing, there are spots available for set up and clean up as well. There is also a need for donations to cover the cost of the meals. You can volunteer for the shift, or shifts, of your choice, or make a donation, by clicking on the link:

You can also donate through the church by noting Rise against Hunger on a check. You can also volunteer by calling or texting Eric Alspaugh (615)299-6601. Thank you for all you do to support Cook’s Missions.

Cook’s Charge Conference

Sunday, November 19 @ 3pm

Youth Room

Congregational Care

Annual Christmas Luncheon

Saturday, December 2, 2023

1:00 – 3:00pm


Turkey & Stuffing

Mashed Potatoes & Green Beans

Rolls & Dessert

Coffee, Hot & Cold Tea

Cost $12 adults; $5 children under 5

MUST make reservation by November 2, 2023

Take out is available.

Senior Fitness Program

Starting Monday, November 13 we will offer a Group Senior Fitness Program (55+ better) for 6 weeks to get you through the holidays. Classes will be Mondays & Wednesdays from 11:00-12:00 in Cook’s Fellowship Hall. Small weights and tubing will be used. If you have these training tools you are free to bring them to class. Mrs. Kelly Forth will be leading the classes. Cost is $2 per person per class.

Caregivers Coffee Connection

Wednesdays @ 1:00 pm

Caregivers Support Group meets on the third Wednesday of the month at 1:00 at Cook’s UMC in the Youth Room. This is to offer respite, support, and connection for those who are caregivers. Our purpose is to surround each other with support and friendship as we encourage the journey of a Caregiver. If you or someone you know would benefit from a loving time of encouragement or just a place to meet and have coffee, desert and conversation please know you are welcome to meet with us. If you have any questions, call Judy at 615-417-9002.

United Methodist Men's Club Breakfast

3rd Sunday of each month @ 7:45am

Cook's Youth Room

Everyone is encouraged to attend the breakfast and stay for the meeting to see what new and exciting things our Men's Club is up to.

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); Toilet paper (4-roll package); Paper towels (single roll-larger package can be divided); Laundry detergent (55 oz. or less); Dishwashing detergent (30 oz. or less); Bar soap (individually wrapped); Shampoo; Toothpaste. All donations can be left in the totes in the back hallway.

Backpack Program

Did you know that everyday hundreds of kids go to school hungry right here in Wilson County? The Backpack program supports our neediest children on the weekends. Students are supplied with food items to bridge the weekend gap during the school year. The Church at Pleasant Grove sponsors the Backpack Program for 5 schools in our area and they need help 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). All donations can be left in the totes in back hallway.

Current Information

The most recent Newsletter, Financial Statement, 2023 Officers / Committee Members Listing, and approved Church Council minutes can be found in the literature rack in the back hallway (just outside the Friendship Hall).

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.

Home Centered

Dot Creasman, Billie East,

Gladys Pennington, Norman & Ruby Walker

Thank You

Cook’s UMC,

We are extremely appreciative for the use of your wheelchair during our trying time. Please accept this donation ($200) to your church as a thank you for being there when we needed help. Tricia & Jeff Barta (friends of Paige Worrell)

Daylight Savings Time Ends

Sunday, November 5, 2023 @ 1:00am

Finance Team Meeting

Sunday, November 12

3:30 pm

Lamplighters Room

Church Council Meeting

Sunday, November 12

4:00 pm

Youth Room

Church Office Closed

Thursday, November 23


Cook’s UMC

Habitat for Humanity Build in Lebanon

Oct. 14, 2023

Trunk or Treat

Congregational Care would like to thank everyone who helped with Trunk or Treat

(decorating their vehicle, giving out and donating candy, dressing up in costume, etc.).

November Calendar of Events

Missions – Wed., Nov. 1 @ 6pm                                    

“Sacred Slow”– Mon., Nov. 6 @ 12:30

Trustees – Mon., Nov. 6 @ 6pm                                                        

SPR Team – Tues., Nov. 7 @ 6pm                                  

Rise Against Hunger – Sat., Nov. 11

Finance – Sun., Nov. 12 @ 3:30pm                                                

Church Council – Sun., Nov. 12 @ 4pm

CareGivers – Wed., Nov. 15 @ 1pm

Discipleship – Thurs., Nov. 16 @ 5pm                                           

UMM Breakfast – Sun, Nov 19 @ 7:45am

Charge Conf. – Sun., Nov. 19 @ 3pm                                           

“Sacred Slow” – Mon., Nov. 20 @ 12:30

Worship Team – Mon., Nov. 20 @ 3:30pm              

Congregational Care – Wed, Nov 22 @ 10am

Church Office Closed -- Thurs., Nov. 23


Youth Room Reserved Every Wednesday from 5:30pm till end of day

Mondays & Wednesdays Nov. 13 – Dec. 27 Older Adult Exercise Class @ 11:00am

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

Wednesdays @ 7:00pm Choir Practice

Thursdays @ 6:00pm Boy Scouts (Youth Room)                           

Tues. & Thurs. 9am-3pm Oliver Academy

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


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