Friday, October 01, 2010


Tinney Talk, October, 2010

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TINNEY TALK, Observations by Joe Dan Boyd

It was reminiscent of lions and lambs dining together, singing hymns, discussing theology, actualizing age-old prophecy. Ten-dollar dinners in cardboard boxes, appropriately blessed to unplugged, acoustic sounds (Crying Holy Unto The Lord) supplied by Cuthand UMC’s old-time string band, Cuthand Creek, kicked off the North Texas Conference’s (NTC) only continuing annual Laity Celebration—with a healthy sprinkling of clergy--at Greenville’s Wesley UMC Family Life Center on Sunday evening, Sept. 12.

That would be the old/new East District, which combines all the old Paris-Sulphur Springs District churches, plus all the new additions from NTC’s Strategic Plan reorganization, adopted at Annual Conference in June, for a grand total now of 91 churches, most of whom, including Tinney Chapel, viewed a PowerPoint presentation here of “Ministry Moments” during the past year from their own congregations.

By the time everyone had consumed superior sandwiches of sliced cheese and cold cuts, sipped gallons of iced tea and heard heavenly sounds by Cuthand Creek (Mansion Over The Hilltop), guitarist/singer Kolton Hall (How Great Thou Art) of Mulberry UMC (near Bonham) and an impressive District “combined choir” (We Are Your People, O God) directed by Joan Wright of Wesley UMC, the mood was clear, and would be repeated several times by this Celebration’s keynote speaker, Bishop W. Earl Bledsoe: “The blessing is in the room!”

It was the Bishop’s way of speaking to his selection of Scripture, Ephesians 4:4-8, 11-16, which dwells on the Body of Christ and His gifts of the Spirit which equip and empower us to do the work He calls us to do.

“Each of us receives a particular gift,” emphasized Bishop Bledsoe, whose primary concern appeared to be one of encouraging cooperation between laity and clergy. “We need each other,” he added. Bishop Bledsoe quoted Conference Lay Leader Richard Hearne’s suggestion that all of us attempt to mentor a young person, which he acknowledged as a good idea. However, the Bishop countered that with another suggestion, from Rev. Jim Ozier, NTC Director of Church Transformation, who believes that all of us should try to find a young person who is willing to mentor us, and help adults better understand the needs of young people!

After the Bishop’s charge, Associate District Lay Leader David Stanton of Tinney Chapel UMC dedicated the congregational offering of time and treasure, to the healing and Hope of God’s people in Africa though the “Imagine No Malaria” campaign: It’s a ministry of the people of the world-wide UMC to eliminate death and suffering from malaria in Africa by 2015,” explained Stanton, who called on the leadership of the East District to set the example for all of NTC. Tinney Chapel is proud to see David Stanton setting the example for our District & Conference!

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