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 

         I love it when a sermon sparks conversation, and last Sunday’s sermon on “Love Your Enemies” led someone to ask me, “When is it a time to fight and when is it a time to forgive?”  It’s a good question and as I thought about it, my mind went to the scripture in Ecclesiastes 3:1, 3 and 8 which says, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.”  So, when is it a time for war, and a time for peace? Micah 6:8 gives us one answer to that question when he says that God requires us to act justly.  In defense of justice is the time for war, if war is necessary, and yes, some peace can only be found on the others side of war, but peace, not war, must be the goal.  Micah tells us justice is associated with mercy and balancing both requires a humble walk with God.  I will explore this topic more substantially in sermon, as we begin our Lenten season of spiritual introspection during Lent.    

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.

Martha Kennedy - Mary Lee Adkins w/ breast cancer and surgery Thursday
Emilee Little - Johnny Moore, open heart surgery 2/10/20
Jean Holt/Dennis Zollinger - Don Hunston friend
Debbie Russell - Niki Judy, appointment w/ cardiologist Monday
Debbie Russell - Robin Whipple (sister) battling breast cancer
Debbie Russell - Rodney Russell checkup at Vanderbilt this week
Debbie Russell - self  oral surgery on Thursday

Cards need to be sent to the following:
Karla Wood - Gilda Burkett friend
Gilda Burkett
  861 Hickory Tree Rd.
  Bristol, TN 37620

Dawn Ford - Beth Medlin friend
Beth Medlin
  613 Kings Ridge Rd.
  Blountville, TN 37617

New Prayer Request
From Emily Wood for Brian Boggs
From Melissa Evans for Jesse Brock



Thank you for your prayers.

News and Events

Join us for our Ash Wednesday Service!

February 26 at 6:00 pm in the Praise Chapel.

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


"Baffled By the Bucket"

 The world goes out of its way to provide us with everything we could ever need while we expend great time, energy, and resource preparing ourselves to receive it all.  What happens if we are attempting to receive from a finite source?  Does Jesus provide us another alternative?

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 connection time is sponsored by  The Mary and Martha's Sunday School Class. 

The worship guide for this week is Eric Barnes, 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

John 4: 1-30    " Baffled by the Bucket"

February 23, 2020
Ushers: Darrell Tegtmeyer, Lynn Walker, Collin Wood, Randy Humphries
Greeters:   At Kitchen Door: Lynice Broyles
                 At Bottom Ramp Door: Sandra Bumgarner
                    At Doors A & B: Richard Dennison
Crossing Guard:  Terry Smith
Facility Monitor: Bart Smith, Allan Bridges
Nursery:  Taylor Davenport
Meals on Wheels for 02/25: Randy and Cathy Humphries
Food Pantry:  Monday, February 24: Randy and Cathy Humphries
                       Friday, February 28: Bryan Orchard

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!

Trustees Committee Meeting

The Trustees Committee will meet Sunday, February 23 at 4:00 pm, in the office conference room.

Administrative Board Meeting

Sunday, March 1 @ 4:00

There will be an Administrative Board Meeting Sunday, March 1, 2020 at 4:00 pm to review the 8 weeks of having 1 worship service during January and February.  This will be an open meeting and the Administrative Board wants to hear your comments.  Do you like it?  Do you not like it?  Why?  Do we continue with 1 worship service or look at going back to 2 worship services?  We want to hear from you.  We will meet in the Praise Chapel.
Thank you

There are no words adequate to express our sincere thanks and appreciation to our loving church family for the calls, cards, and more importantly, the many prayers lifted up during the past 5 months of Kenny's hospitalization and rehabilitation  after his massive stroke, as well as during Sandy's long, but successful, battle with leukemia.  

Special thanks to Pastor Dennis and Pastor Bryan for the many visits and prayers with them both.  We certainly have evidence that we serve a loving and faithful God who hears and answers our prayers.  We have seen and continue to see miracles in Kenny's healing.  We believe that God will continue His healing in the coming months and we covet your prayers during this time as Kenny works with therapists for physical, occupational and speech.  
Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!
With love and blessings,
The Helton family

Three Week Sermon Series

For Everything There is a Season
Ecclesiastes 3:1 – 8 
       Pastor Dennis will begin a new sermon series on the book of Ecclesiastes 3:1 – 8 called, “Seasons of Faith.”  It begins on Sunday, March 1st and will last three Sundays, being March 1st, and 8th, and 15th.  Sermon topics and texts will be listed as follows:

March 1st -           A Time for War, A Time for Peace
March 8th -           A Time to Seek, A Time to Lose
March 15th -         A Time to be Born, A Time to Die

       Each of these sermons will address specific issues of faith that can cause us to pause and ponder God’s place in our lives.  Lent is a time of preparation and spiritual introspection and should include moments where we self-examine our motives in life, our goals we’ve set for ourselves, our relationship with the world around us, and most importantly, our relationship with the God who created us and, in Christ, redeems us for new beginnings.

       I look forward to our time together during Lent.  You will receive more details later about future sermons that will be preached beyond March 15 for the Lenten season. 

Pastor Dennis 
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 will meet at a special time on Sunday, February 23 to go bowling!  We will leave the church at 2:15 and return at 4:30.


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!
THANKS to the hard work and dedication of the Apple Butter Gang, we were able to pay $18,382 against our building debt!  Since 1995, the Apple Butter Gang has raised $ 284,443 for building debt reduction. The gang is now retired and will not continue making apple butter in the years ahead, but our thanksgiving to all who helped in the process. Thank you, Apple Butter Gang!
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

This Lenten season come join Pastor Dennis for a journey through “the rest of the story” as we relate to events around Jesus’ baptism, his journey into the wilderness, the parables he taught, miracles he did, his death and resurrection, and the growth of the early Church in the 1st century.  Along with the Bible we’ll read The New Testament You Never Knew, by N.T. Wright and Michael Bird.  N.T. Wright is one of the world’s leading evangelical scholars still writing today.  The study begins on March 1st and concludes on April 26.  We will not meet on Easter Sunday April 12.  The study will be held on Sunday nights from 5 – 6 pm in the Old Nursery.
Mar 1st       … The Books of the New Testament
Mar 8th       … The World of Jesus and the Apostles
Mar 15th     … The Life and Death of Jesus
Mar 22nd    … The Resurrection of Jesus
Mar 29th     … The Ministry of the Apostle Paul
Apr 5th        … The Early Christians and the Church
Apr 19th      … The Mission of the Church
Apr 26th      … The Creation of the New Testament
Starts Sunday, March 1st, at 5 pm in the Old Nursery


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!
Thank you for giving to last Sunday’s special offering to continue Holston Conference’s ministry with South Sudan.  Our offering was $1,374 and we thank all of you for your generosity.

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.)  
Volunteers Needed!

With the beginning of the new Sunday morning schedule, we need extra volunteers!  If you would be interested in serving as a crossing guard or greeter, or would be available to help clean up after Connection, please call the church office at 423-477-3792  Thanks for volunteering!


Food Pantry

Food Pantry News:
The most urgent needs for our Church Pantry this week are oatmeal, peanut butter, laundry detergent, and dishwashing liquid.  

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
United Methodist Women

United Methodist Women Meeting

The UMW group will meet on Sunday, February 23, immediately following our worship service.  We will meet in the Gathering room. Plan to stay for a soup lunch and participate in our “Call to Prayer and Self-Denial” program.  Invite a friend to come with you this month.  

The United Methodist Women have RADA cutlery and other items for you to purchase.  There is a poster and a catalog in the ramp area that will have descriptions and information about all their items.  

If you have any questions, please ask Sandra Denney, Debbie Russell, Sue Hall, Jill Flaugher or Lynice Broyles or email

Our hope is that we can help make some improvements to the projector so the sanctuary screen can be easier to read.

Want to see the catalogue click here.


The 4Gs dinner gathering was held Tuesday, FEB 11TH  @ 6:30PM in the Fellowship Life Center @ Gray UMC.
Our guest speaker was Rachel Denny, Washington County Program Coordinator for Isaiah 117 House, which is a ministry caring for children awaiting foster placement.  Check out the LIVE video posted on Gray UMC’s Facebook page to hear more about the Isaiah 117 House, how it was started and how you can help support this very important local program.  Or, visit  You may also listen to a video from the founder of Isaiah 117 House, Ronda Paulson, at

Our “mission” this month was addressing Valentine cards for our veterans at the Johnson City VA.  Everyone had a great time doing these – brought back childhood memories!  A simple way for us to make that day special for them.  
Mark your calendar now for Tuesday, March 10, 2020, for our next 4Gs.  Please join us for a great evening of food and Christian fellowship.  Invite a friend to come, too.
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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