Weekly Update!

Welcome to our weekly update, which is planned to arrive weekly on Tuesday or Wednesday. If anyone you know would like to receive the update, please direct them to
Join us on Sunday mornings!
The Sunday morning schedule is:

 9:00: Sunday School Classes
10:00: Connection Time
10:30 :: Worship Service


Join us each Sunday for Connection from 10:00 to 10:30 in the Family Life Center.  Enjoy free breakfast while meeting others in the church and building Christian relationships.  Come and go anytime during the 30 minutes.  

From Pastor Dennis 

Prayers for Nashville, Tennessee

       Like many of you I woke up this Tuesday morning on March 3rd to find out that a tornado had wreaked havoc across Nashville and middle Tennessee.  Early reports did indicate at least 25 people died from the tornado.  Please pray for the people in Nashville and middle Tennessee, pray for those now grieving their loved one that died, the ones still in the hospital, the ones who lost their homes, businesses, property.  Pray a prayer of thanks for the first responders.  Let us employ Galatians 6:2 to… “carry each other’s burdens, and in this way fulfill the law of Christ.”   

Pastor Dennis


Our Prayer Requests for the Week.

These prayer requests were collected by our prayer team, and we ask that you include them in your prayers this week.  Prayer is very important in our lives, and we believe that praying together as the body of Christ is essential.

Please remember these people as often as you can this week.

The prayer requester is listed first, followed by the person they are requesting prayer for.

Sandy Eagle - Baby Kendrick family - baby found unresponsive last week
TR Barnes - Kimberly and children healing relationship
TR Barnes - Cliff Keesee - home bound
TR Barnes - Emmaus - upcoming walk and TR as director
Lynice Broyles - Stephen Cantrell death - keep family in prayers
David Frost - Sonya Pierce - ER visit
David Shipley - himself - echo cardiogram on 3/4/20
David Frost - himself - CT scan

Added after Sunday

Melissa Evans - Ronda Parvin- Fall

Pam - (794-7614) - Daughter and Kim (friend) -
  Daughter w/ drug addiction
  Kim - recent mastectomy w/ additional cancer found - wisdom for doctors and treatment
Tom/Joanne Chambers - Thomas III w/ brain blood clot in Denver
Judy Holden - Dr. Danny Smith friend - @ MD Anderson getting cancer treatment


Thank you for your prayers.


To Church Members

I want to thank everyone who came out for our Administrative Board meeting on Sunday. I appreciate everyone’s interest and concern for our church and how best we can move forward.
The purpose of that meeting has always been to evaluate our current service and let the congregation give input as to what they like or dislike about the service and schedule. It concerns me that some comments indicated members feel they were misled about the current church service and some wanted to go back to our previous schedule.  

 On the second page of the minutes from the December 8 church conferences, it reads, “the church’s 3 current pastors would rotate on a preaching schedule.  This new schedule would begin January 5 for an 8-week trial basis.  After this 8- week period it would be reevaluated. “ 

On the last page of the minutes it reads “After 8 weeks the Administrative Board, Vision Team leaders, and congregation would meet to reevaluate.”  Nowhere in the minutes does it state we were going to meet after 8 weeks to change the schedule or return to three services.   We can change the current worship service only through a church called conference with the District Superintendent conducting the meeting.  After the discussion last night, no one called for a church conference so there was no vote on that proposal.  

If I misled any member about the 8-week trial period I apologize.  It was certainly not intentional.

I do want to thank the members for all the input at last night’s meeting.  I feel those who expressed their feelings were heard and we can all work together toward addressing them.  I know every member wants this church to survive and thrive. 
May God bless our Church.   
Bob Denney

News and Events

“Meet the Youth Director”

Youth, Parents, Volunteers:  Mark your calendars for a meeting on Sunday, March 8 at 6 PM in the Student Ministry building.  This is an opportunity to meet Adrian Torres and discuss his plans for the youth ministry at Gray UMC as he begins his new role.   The Staff Parish Relations Team will provide food for this meeting so please RSVP to Debbie Sexton at 423-794-6986 or

What to expect
during our Worship time on
Sunday February 18th


Sunday, March 8st –  “A Time for War, A Time for Peace” … Ecclesiastes 3:8

Connection time is sponsored by "The Wanted" Sunday School Class.

We hope to see you in the Family Life Center for a light breakfast during the Connection time from 10-10:30 am.  Do not feel rushed to get to worship "on time."  If you are having a great conversation with your church family, take the time and finish it, then come to worship together.

The worship guide for this week is Tyler Allender, and he will guide us through the service.

Praise and Prayer

Want to be prepared to sing the music for Sunday? Click Here

Offering will be taken up during the third song this Sunday.

Scripture and Message

“A Time for War, A Time for Peace” … Ecclesiastes 3:8

Ministry Servants for March 08, 2020
Ushers: Darrell Tegtmeyer, Lynn Walker, Collin Wood, Randy Humphries
Greeters:   At Kitchen Door: Phil Sells
                 At Bottom Ramp Door: Helen Armentrout
                    At Doors A & B: Scott Boyd
Crossing Guard:  Junior Little
Facility Monitor: Alex Beverly, Eric Barnes
Nursery:  Taylor Davenport
Meals on Wheels for 03/10: Lynn and Sharon Walker
Food Pantry:  Monday, March 09: Alex Beverly, Wendy Brock 
                         Friday, March 13: Bob and Sandra Denney


Communion at Gray UMC


Your Worship Committee chair, your Senior Pastor and I met this week to discuss communion at Gray UMC. Together we discussed how to keep communion sacred and orderly on Sunday mornings.  The main issue was how to get people out of the pew.  While the “come as you are led” model worked great for those on the ends, the tight fit of the pews made it hard to get out if you had to go past people to get to the aisle.  We have a plan to implement during the next communion and you will hear more about it soon.
The other item we wanted to visit is style.  At Gray UMC we have three styles of communion which we have used over the years.  Here they are:
Traditional Table:  When we worshiped in the chapel, we used this model. This is at least as far back as we can remember.  If any of our historians can give us some dates, we would love to know them.  Congregants would come to the altar, kneel or stand in prayer, and wait to be served the elements by a pastor and his assistant.  The Heritage service and LifeSong service kept this tradition alive over the intervening years.  This is the most traditional communion service offered at Gray UMC.
Communion Stations: This style became the standard for the 11am service when we moved into the new sanctuary around 2003.  In this model the congregation walks up to a set of communion servers and are served the elements, then return to their seat to pray or sit in quiet contemplation.  This style was quicker than the Traditional Table service for the larger number of people.
Personal or Family Table:   This is the most recent addition to the style of communion offered at Gray UMC.  This style was added in 2020 at the request of some of our younger families.  At this station, the individual or family interacts with the elements on their own, with no server to intermediate between them and the body and blood.  Each person or family takes a quiet intimate moment to consider the sacrifice of Christ as they partake of the elements.  After their contemplation and partaking of the elements, they return to their seats to pray or sit in quiet contemplation.
We will give more details of the implementation of communion over the coming weeks. 
Peace and Love,
David Frost
Director of Music/Worship

Co-Ed Softball

Adult Co-Ed Softball (ages 16 and older) games will begin in mid-late April and will go until the end of June. Games are played at Winged Deer Park and historically have been on Monday evenings. Sign-ups will start on Sunday, February 16, and continue until the end of March. Please sign-up on the roster located in the hallway near the church offices.  If you have any questions, call or text Jill Wireman (423-956-3187) for more info. 
We will be celebrating 
MARCH 21st, 2020.

Come and honor this precious lady who've you've come to know and love and meet some of the family.  We are celebrating in our church's Family Life Center starting at 2:00 PM and like always will do an "Open House" type of gathering. So even if you only have a few minutes to spare that day stop by; she will be thrilled to see each and every one of you.  We  are asking people to bring their favorite finger food instead of a gift...(she only has just so much space in her room )  : ) When you see Rodney or myself (Debbie) let us know if you plan on coming so we have an idea of how many tables and chairs to set up.  
Ministry/ Outreach

PLEASE TAKE NOTE: The Mission/Outreach team is working to identify each ministry in our community of faith that impacts those outside our walls.  If you head up any such ministry please take a moment to email by Monday March 1st with a simple description of the ministry and your contact information.  Soon after, we will all come together to better familiarize ourselves with the various ministries, how they overlap, how we can share resources, and collectively work to identify any gaps in our ministry to our neighbors.  Thank you for all you do!
Learn More About our Food Pantry Ministry!

Join Us!:  If you are currently a part of our Food Pantry Ministry or would like to find out more about how this ministry works and is blessing our neighbors, we invite you to join us Tuesday, March 3rd @ 6pm.  
During this gathering we will share ideas of how to strengthen the wonderful work already being done.  See you there! 
UMW Meeting

The UMW enjoyed a soup lunch prior to their meeting on Feb 23. Sandra Denney gave a devotion on “Generosity” which was also the theme of our Call to Prayer & Self-Denial service. She briefly explained how our offering will help missionaries serving women and children around the world.  Laura Weaver then led all in a fun discussion activity on generosity with supporting scriptures.  Our next meeting will be hosting the Three Rivers District event, A Day Apart, on March 29 at 2:30. All our women invited to attend. Details will come later. 
TWRA Hunter Education Class @ Gray UMC

There will be a TWRA Hunter Education class at the church the week of March 16, 2020. For more information go to the TWRA web site or contact Steve Jones.

4Gs will meet on Tuesday, March 10, at 6:30.  We will have a St. Patrick celebration with some fun trivia and games. We will also discuss the ideas that each of you who attended the January meeting submitted. We continue with a pot luck supper and 4Gs providing drinks.  Come for a night of fun and fellowship as we continue to learn more about our 4Gs family.  If you need a nursery, please call the church office at 477-3792. 

Three Week Sermon Series

For Everything There is a Season
What Time is It?
         The only thing that is constant in life is change.  The writer of Ecclesiastes knows this and in his famous 3rd chapter the writer declares to his readers that change is coming, and change, like the seasons fall, winter, spring and summer will come and go.  So, does anybody really know what time it is?  Come and join Pastor Dennis in the first three Sundays of Lent as we explore this topic!

Sunday, March 1st – Pastor Dennis Flaugher on “A Time to Seek and A Time to Lose” … Ecclesiastes 3:6
Sunday, March 8th – Pastor Dennis on “A Time for War and A Time for Peace” … Ecclesiastes 3:8
Sunday, March 15th – Pastor Dennis on “A Time to Love and A Time to Hate” … Ecclesiastes 3:8
Rev. Mike Sluder preaches March 22nd

The Rev. Mike Sluder will preach March 22 here at Gray United Methodist Church.  Mike is the Director of the UMC Connectional Ministries for the Holston Conference of the United Methodist Church.  Many of you know Mike better as the son of Bill and Pauline Sluder, members of our church.  Mike grew up in Gray and Gray UMC still has a special place in Mike’s heart.  He is very mission minded and has a big heart for God, God’s church, and the people we all seek to serve in Christ.  Let’s make plans to welcome Mike home March 22.



Children’s Ministry News
Children’s Sunday Evening Group meets each Sunday evening at 5:00 pm.  Join us for play, music, snack and lesson!


Youth Sunday School

Joey Torres would like to invite all youth to attend Sunday school class.  Joey will be leading students in a Bible Jeopardy.  He kicked off this new format last Sunday and wants to extend an invitation for more to join.  Joey was part of the student ministry at GUMC before moving away for some time and getting married.  He has returned to the area and has a desire to share his love for Jesus with you all.  Please make an effort to join him at the Student Center (red barn) this coming Sunday!  You will be glad you did!
Emmaus Meeting

There will be an Emmaus Meeting for everyone at our church who has been involved with the Emmaus Community on Sunday, March 8 at 5:00 pm. in the Open Fellowship Classroom.  Please talk with T.R. Barnes if you have questions or would like more information.

Lenten Study with Scholar N.T. Wright
The New Testament You Never Knew: Exploring the Context, Purpose, and Meaning of the Story of God
Most of us know the story of the New Testament.  We summarize it in the words, “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.”  But did you ever want to know the rest of the story?  If so, then join Pastor Dennis as he leads this eight-week video study on N.T. Wright and Michael F. Bird’s, “The New Testament You Never Knew.”  N.T. Wright is perhaps the most prolific, and respected evangelical scholar in New Testament studies today.  In this class you’ll discover things you may never have known about the biblical stories. Class starts Sunday, March 8 and ends Sunday, April 26.  There will be no class on EASTER SUNDAY.


Join us each Sunday for Connection from 10:00 to 10:30 in the Family Life Center.  Enjoy free breakfast while meeting others in the church and building Christian relationships.  Come and go anytime during the 30 minutes.  
2019 Contribution Sheets

Anyone who would like their 2019 contribution sheet, please sign the sheet on the table in the narthex (where our bulletins are).  You can also contact Connie Helton or the church office (, 477-3792).  Thank you!

Pastor Dennis'
Bible Study

Tuesday Morning Bible Study with Pastor Dennis is “12 Faith Journeys of the Minor Prophets”.  Classes meet at 10:00 am on Tuesdays in the Gathering room behind the church kitchen.  (Door G will be unlocked.)  

Food Pantry

Food Pantry News:
The most urgent needs for our Church Pantry this week are mayonnaise, cooking oil, canned meats, small bottles of juice, and toilet paper.  Thank you for all your donations!

Thanks again to all of our volunteers!  If you’d like to get involved, simply email


The Food Pantry Volunteer Schedule for the remainder of February and March is:
Friday, February 21st – Dennis Zollinger/Jean Holt
Monday, February 24th – Randy/Cathy Humphries
Friday, February 28th – Bryan Orchard
Monday, March 2nd – John/Joanna Baker
Friday, March 6th – Laura Weaver/Becky Oltermann
Monday, March 9th – Alex Beverly/Wendy Brock
Friday, March 13th – Bob/Sandra Denney
Monday, March 16th – Connie Ripley/Connie Helton
Friday, March 20th – Dennis Zollinger/Jean Holt
Monday, March 23rd – Randy/Cathy Humphries
Friday, March 27th – Bryan Orchard
Monday, March 30th – John/Joanna Baker
Upcoming Events
Sunday Morning Schedule
9:00 – 10:00: Sunday School Classes
10:00 – 10:30: Connection Time
10:30 – 11:30: Worship Service

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