3389 Thomas Jefferson Parkway, Palmyra VA 22963 CunninghamUMCPastor@gmail.com 434-591-1363

Week of January 20, 2019

Dear Cunningham Family:

It is a beautiful Friday in central Virginia. What a change from just a few days ago! I am sorry that the weather did not permit Jeff Butcher to share his sermon with you last Sunday. When I invited him to share it with us this week, he told me that his message was very specific to the calendar, so it wouldn’t quite fit; but he promises to save it for another day!

I am thankful for Jeff, for Jim Chandler, and for all who so that Carol and I could spend a couple weeks in rest, restoration, and discernment. And I am looking forward to all that God has in store for us in the coming months.

This Sunday, we will be looking at what the Gospel of John calls the first of Jesus’s signs—when he attended a wedding feast at Cana and turned a huge quantity of water into wine. If you would like to read this story ahead of time, you will find in in John 2:1-11.

I like to put myself into the middle of stories such as this. For example, imagine being a servant at this wedding feast. You have been told to take the ceremonial jars used for ritual cleansing and fill them with water. There is nothing particularly unusual about that. Did the servants have any idea that when they filled those water jars, they were taking part in a miracle?

As we get ready for Sunday, we have the gift of participating in God’s miracles that are taking place all around us. What miracle will you take part in today?

See you in church!

Grace and peace,
Pastor Tom


January 20, 2019

Sunday, January 20:
9:30 am          Worship Service & Children’s Sunday School
11:00 am          Trustees Meeting
11:15 am          Adult Sunday School
5:00 pm         Hand Chimes
Monday, January 21:
6:15 pm         Fellowship Supper
7:00 pm         Bible Study
Tuesday, January 22:
10:00 am          UMW Workday
Wednesday, January 16
7:00 pm         Choir Practice

Other Announcements

Connecting with Cunningham: Thank you for using Cunningham’s Connection Cards. These cards are not just another way of taking attendance—they are a way for you to connect with us about changes in your contact information, a prayer request, a joy that you would like to share, a request for information or visit from the pastor, or just an easy way to say “hello.” Do you have news to share? Let’s connect!

Prayer Team: Do you feel called to participate in a more organized prayer ministry at Cunningham? Please consider joining our “prayer team” of people who commit to lift up in prayer the prayer requests that we receive on our Connection Cards and in our worship, to pray for the pastor and all who serve at Cunningham, to pray for our community. Please indicate your interest on your Connection Card!

We Want to Connect with You! We hope we successfully reached everyone last week when the weather forced us to cancel our service. We recognize that a number of people in our church do not have access to a computer and rely on telephone calls or text messages to communicate. We would like to experiment with using a messaging service as an additional way to notify people about important developments. If you would like to be contacted in this way, please confirm this on your Connection Card. Please be sure to indicate which telephone number we should use and whether you prefer to receive your messages as a text or a voice message.

Gathering Place Dedication Sunday: Please make plans now to attend our worship service on February 10. We will begin our worship in the Sanctuary, but we will process to our new Gathering Place to conclude our worship and to share in our first church meal.

Marriage Study: We plan to offer a time of small group sharing using Adam Hamilton’s book entitled Love to Stay: This book by Adam Hamilton offers realistic, down to earth guidance for couples of all ages wishing to enhance their marriages. This class will continue for six weeks. The day and time will be determined based on preferences of those who wish to participate. Two couples already have expressed interest. You can let us know of your interest by leaving a note on your Connection Card.

The Decor Committee: New donations continue to come in. The latest is a gift to help buy round tables (page 3) to enhance your dining and small group meeting experiences. We will not be placing this order immediately to accommodate other donations that could allow us to qualify for quantity discounts. If this is an item you are considering buying, please let us know. We will be glad to help you make your purchase.

Monday Night Bible Study: Our Monday Night Bible Study will get back into gear on Monday, January 21, to study the second half of the book of Romans. We will begin with chapters 9. Copies of the Study Guide by N. T. Wright are on the shelf in the Fellowship Hall. This group is open to everyone—we meet on Monday evenings in Fellowship Hall. Supper is served at 6:15, and Bible Study begins at 7:00 pm. Please send an RSVP to Carol Frost (cifrost@aol.com or 571-213-4286). We hope you will join us!

Mission Outreach Food Collection: The Mission Outreach Committee will be collecting nonperishable food items in the next two weeks to complete Emergency Food Bags that Meals on Wheels provide to their clients when meals cannot be delivered because of inclement weather. Please choose an item from our “clothesline” of items and bring them to church on the next two Sundays (1/27 and 2/3 ). We will take care of getting the items to MOW.
Remember – food should be purchased in single serving containers if available, with expiration dates of July 2019 or later. We were told the Dollar store has small jars of peanut butter and single fruit cups can be found at Costco in 20 package bundles.

Congregational Care: Kim Conboy has taken on the task of organizing our Congregational Care Ministry. We need people with the grace of compassion and the ability to make telephone calls, write notes, make visits, and pray to help in this ministry. We plan to meet on January 31 at 7:00 pm for orientation and training. Please take a few moments to let us know of your interest—you can add a note on your Connection Card. Thank you for caring!

Looking for Help: We still are trying to fill several positions including: Assistant Treasurer, Sunday School Co-Superintendent, Mission/Outreach Chair and Trustee. These positions (among others) are described in the January edition of The Messenger (copies are available in the narthex). Is God calling you to serve your church in this role? Please speak with Pastor Tom or leave a note on your Connection Card.

Partners in Ministry Update: as of January 13, 2018:


Amount Committed


34 Pledges (6 increased)



Other Contributions







Spending Time with the Bible: Center yourself for a moment, asking God to speak to you through the scriptures. Then read slowly. To give you a roadmap, we offer reading suggestions based upon the Daily Office contained in the Book of Common Prayer. You can also find these readings online at www.BibleGateway.com/reading-plans/bcp-daily-office/today. Don’t rush—it is more important that you take time to hear the voice of God than it is to finish all of the readings on any particular day. As you read, take note of words or phrases that draw your attention, and meditate on the meaning that those words or phrases hold for you. Here are the readings for this week:


Old T.





Isa 43:14-44:5

148, 149, 150

Heb 6:17-7:10

John 4:27-42


Isa 44:6-8, 21-23


Eph 4:1-16

Mark 3:7-19a


Isa 44:9-20

26, 28,

Eph 4:17-32

Mark 3:19b-35


Isa 44:24-45:7


Eph 5:1-14

Mark 4:1-20


Isa 45:5-17


Eph 5:15-33

Mark 4:21-34


Isa 45:18-25


Eph 6:1-9

Mark 4:35-41


Isa 46:1-13

30, 32

Eph 6:10-24

Mark 5:1-20

Save the Date:
January 31    Congregational Care Training
February 10 Dedication of our new “Gathering Place”
February 16 Family Concert with Chip Richter in our “Gathering Place”

Food for Thought
         “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:17 (NRSV)


Where have you seen an ordinary miracle today?

What is Jesus asking you to do today?
How are you responding?