Cook's UMC Newsletter

October 2023

Jesus was known to use parables to teach eternal truths and, in the process, got folks thinking hard about their “possession” of that truth. Take the Parable of the Dishonest Manager, for instance (Luke 16:1-11). The hypothetical scenario is this: a business owner discovers that his top manager has been dishonest in dealings on behalf of his boss’ business. The owner demands an accounting of the deals for which the manager has been responsible. He cheats his boss even further by asking each client to agree to a lesser amount owed rather than the actual. Jesus closes this parable with two statements – one about the boss and manager and one about you and me. In verse 10, Jesus says, “And his master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly …” When Jesus tells a parable, I’m looking for the God-character and for the me-character in the tale. If the most authoritative character is the God-character, it seems like “God” is commending shrewd, if not dishonest, dealings here! But what if the boss is NOT the God-character? What if the boss is simply representing behavior and words that reflect how the world handles dishonest dealings with what does and does not belong to us?


The second statement is pointing to us: “Whoever is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much; and whoever is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much. If then you have not been faithful with the dishonest wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches?” (Luke 16:10-11) What do you think Jesus means by ‘true riches’? Well, we can know that “true” in the Greek (alethinos) means true to a thing or person’s inner make up, real (or true) because it is the full revelation of God’s faithfulness. Riches (mammonas, in Greek) is not just the word for riches or possessions or property. It carries with it the inference that one trusts in that ‘stuff.’ One’s riches, then, are the treasure in which a person trusts. Jesus said that if we are not faithful in the stuff of life that has little value, we will not be trustworthy with treasures with lasting value – all the blessings and opportunities and responsibilities from God.


True riches? Salvation, gifts of the Spirit, invitation to follow which leads to service of others. Also, relationships, the capacity for worship and devotion, the authority and name of Jesus Christ, the power of the Holy Spirit. A list of true riches could go on forever! Let me flip the question? Instead of asking about dishonest wealth in our life experiences, let’s be bold enough to ask and answer honestly: have I been trustworthy in the stewardship of the true riches that God has entrusted to me? My relationships, my worship, my agency, my capacity for intentional living, and so much more.


Stewarding God’s deep riches entrusted to us really is the core of the issues we will address as we study 1 Corinthians 12:12-27 these next few weeks. How you and I are designed is, in effect, how the Body of Christ is designed. If you and I are trustworthy then we – as the Body of Christ, Cook’s UMC – will show integrity and trustworthiness in the way we steward the true riches of God entrusted to us as His Body. The first week of our study we set our anchors: every person is created in the image of God and, so, valuable, to be respected. When folk are honored and respected more than others, the advantages as such are experienced as privilege. It is the work of the WHOLE Body of Christ to correct that imbalance. It is the work of those who are privileged because of race or gender, socioeconomic standing, age, or position or standing or anything else and always the work of those privileged to be confident in the gift of grace by faith in Jesus Christ that saves us and calls us to love others as surely as we love God.


We hope that you will join us in October as we learn how to recognize and use our privilege to be allies with those from whom honor, respect, and privilege has been withheld or denied. We will discover the beauty in our differences and power in our interconnectedness. And we will bear witness to the glorious good of suffering together and rejoicing together as we grow in our stewardship of God’s truest riches.


Communion Sunday

We will be celebrating the sacrament of Holy Communion on Sunday, October 1. 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.

Pastor Appreciation Month

October is National Clergy Appreciation Month. A time set aside to recognize the contributions and service of pastors. Daily Sandra prepares weekly messages and participates in the highs and lows of our lives (marriages, baptisms, funerals and prays over us when we’re sick). It is not a 9 to 5 job Monday thru Friday but a 24-hour 7 day a week 365 days a year job. Let’s show her just how much she means to us by leaving a card outside her office door, putting one in the mail, or emailing one to her. 

Molly Alspaugh; Mark Cashman; Julie David; Ethan Fesler; Lynda Gentry;

Gwen McCoy in death of sister, Amy Peterson; Paul McCulloch;

Debbie Radar; Danny Ray

The ministry and witness of Cook's UMC.

Our ministry with neighbors. First Responders.

Family Health.

Trunk or Treat

Saturday, October 28 from 1:00 – 3:00 pm

Congregational Care will be hosting a "Trunk or Treat" event in Cook's parking lot on Sat., Oct. 28, from 1-3pm. We would love to have donations of individually wrapped candy/gum to be given out. There is a tote in the central hallway for donations.

Donut Volunteers

Thank you all for providing donuts for our church social time! Donut volunteers are needed for October, November, December and beyond! (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

West Elementary

Cook’s has partnered with Everyone’s Wilson to provide service and support to West Elementary and you can be involved! The 2023/2024 School year has begun, and we are in full swing. We have met with the school administration to identify specific needs in their school and seek hands and hearts to join us in serving West Elementary. There is a place where you can plug in your particular gifts and talents.


For those who did not get training last year, Everyone’s Wilson is offering Volunteer Training in Lebanon in October. Register now for Volunteer training! As we walk this together, the Lord will do a great work! Register here:


If you took the Everyone’s Wilson training last year, there is no need to repeat this year. 

Church Kitchen

There are several dishes, trays, bowls, etc. on the kitchen counter that have been left after events. Please check to see if any of these items belong to you. Anything remaining on the counters on October 2 will be incorporated with the church’s items. 

Habitat for Humanity Build

Saturday, October 14

Cook’s has partnered with Lebanon 1st UMC again this year to work with Habitat for Humanity. Volunteers are needed to help with the build and provide food for the workers. Please see Eric Alspaugh or Brooks Harper if you are interested in helping with this great mission.

Join us for The Blessing 0f the Animals event on Sat., Oct. 7 from 10am– 2pm church driveway and area near Pavilion. This outreach event is sponsored by your Discipleship Committee. Invite your friends, neighbors, and family to come and join the fun! If pets are too large, ill, not safe being out of the car we offer a drive-through blessing option or bring a picture of your pet for blessing. Starting at 10:30 and every hour and half hour there will be a gathering in the pavilion for a group blessing time and visiting. Pets will receive a gift bag with treats, church information and a small gift from Cook’s UMC.


We need volunteers to make this possible!! please call/text 615-516-2434 or 615-516-2439! We need driveway entrance/exit sign greeters, people to work at Pet Blessing stations (we will train you), handing out treat bags and most important being the face and hands of Jesus for our congregation and neighborhood. Volunteer by 2 hours slots or all day. This is a rain or shine event. Will be fun!

Cook’s Charge Conference

Sunday, November 19 @ 3pm

Youth Room

Rise Against Hunger

Saturday, November 11

Cook’s Friendship Hall

Trustees Team Meeting

Tuesday, October 2 @ 6pm

Cook's Library

Blessing of the Animals

Saturday, October 7 @ 10am

Cook's Parking Lot / Pavilion

Finance Team Meeting

Sunday, October 8 @ 3:30pm

Lamplighters Room

Church Council

Sunday, October 8 @ 4pm

Youth Room

Staff Parish Relations Team

Tuesday, October 10 @ 6:00pm


Habitat for Humanity Build

Saturday, October 14

Men's Breakfast / Meeting

Sunday, October 15 @ 7:45am

Cook's Youth Room

Worship Team Meeting

Monday, October 16 @ 3:30pm

Cook's Library

Caregivers Coffee Connection

Wednesday, October 18 @ 1:00pm

Cook's Youth Room

Discipleship Committee

Thursday, October 19 @ 5:00pm

Cook's Library

Congregational Care Team

Wednesday, October 25 @ 10:00am

Lamplighters Room

Trunk or Treat

Saturday, October 28 @ 1:00 - 3:00pm

Church Parking Lot

The Sacred Slow

Small Group

Mondays, Oct. 9 & Oct. 23

from 12:30 – 2:00 pm

Seeker’s Room

Cook’s Church, we cannot express how grateful we are to this church! You all were Jesus’ hands and feet to our friends and family. We appreciate all your efforts, support, and food! It will never be forgotten.

Gods Blessings on you all, Lisa, Hannah & Sam Mummert


Dear Saundra London, thank you for volunteering your time to read with the children at Matthew’s Memorial. They loved you!


Dear Penny Franklin, thank you for coming to read with the children. They said reading with you was their favorite part of the day.

Project Transformation Tennessee

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 on the cart in the back hallway.

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. 

Home Centered

Dot Creasman, Billie East,

Gladys Pennington,

Norman & Ruby Walker

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.

October Calendar of Events

Trustees Meeting, Monday, Oct. 2 @ 6pm

Blessing of the Animals Service, Saturday, Oct. 7 @ 10am

Boy Scout Leaders, Sunday, Oct. 8 @ 2pm

Finance Team, Sunday, Oct. 8 @ 3:30pm

Church Council, Sunday, Oct. 8 @ 4:00pm

“Sacred Slow” Study, Monday, Oct. 9 @ 12:30pm

SPR Team, Tuesday, Oct. 10 @ 6pm

Habitat for Humanity Build, Saturday, Oct. 14

Sanctuary Reserved, Saturday, Oct. 14

United Methodist Men Breakfast/Meeting, Sunday, Oct. 15 @ 7:45am

Worship Team, Monday, Oct. 16 @ 3:30pm

CareGivers Connection, Wednesday, Oct. 18 @ 1:00pm

Discipleship Team, Thursday, Oct. 19 @ 5:00pm

Girl Scouts Parking Lot, Sunday, Oct. 22 1:00 – 4:00pm

“Sacred Slow” Study, Monday, Oct. 23 @ 12:30pm

Congregational Care Team, Wednesday, Oct. 25 @ 10:00am

Trunk or Treat, Saturday, Oct. 28 @ 1:00pm


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

Wednesdays @ 7:00pm Choir Practice

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

Tuesdays & Thursdays 9:00am – 3:00pm 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

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.