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

Week of January 27, 2019

Dear Cunningham Family:

We often look closely at “firsts”–a baby’s first steps or first words, an athlete’s first game, first hit or first pitch, a preacher’s first sermon.

We do this in the church, as well. Last Sunday, we looked at Jesus’s first recorded miracle. This Sunday we will look at Jesus’s first sermon.

If you were to preach your first sermon, what would be your theme, your message? What lasting impression would you want to make? What would you hope to change?

I think Jesus designed his first sermon with that very intention–not just hoping to change his listeners, but inviting them to hope for change, for freedom. Not wishful thinking, but hope.

Perhaps this Sunday, Jesus will invite you to change. What would that change look like for you?

I hope to see you this Sunday to hear Jesus’s invitation to freedom!

Grace and peace,
Pastor Tom


January 27, 2019

Sunday, January 27:
9:30 am          Worship Service & Children’s Sunday School
11:00 am          Blood Pressure Checks
11:00 am          Adult Sunday School
5:00 pm         Hand Chimes
6:00 pm         SPRC Meeting
Monday, January 28:
6:15 pm         Fellowship Supper
7:00 pm         Bible Study
Tuesday, January 29:
10:00 am          UMW Workday
Wednesday, January 30
7:00 pm         Choir Practice
Thursday, January 31:
7:00 pm         Congregational Care Meeting
Saturday, February 2
4:00 pm         Parents’ Night Out

Other Announcements

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! When urgent news breaks affecting our church community, we want to connect. If you do not have access to a computer and would like to receive a message via telephone calls or text messages, please let us know 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 proceed 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. Several couples have already expressed interest. You can let us know of your interest by leaving a note on your Connection Card.

The Decor Committee: Thanks to additional donations, we were able to buy 5 round tables and 16 chairs last week. That is a great start on the tables/chairs that will be needed to accommodate large dinners and auditorium style seating for larger events. There are also other items in the Decor Pamphlet that members of the Decor Committee will be glad to discuss with you and help you purchase. Please feel free to talk with Dana Hawks, Bridget LaRochelle, Mike Luniewski, Linda Mehar, Betty Meyer, Nancy Sindy, Bill White or Richard Payne. February 10th is coming soon.

Reaching Out to a Member of Our Community: The Fluvanna County High School Student Government Association is raising funds to help long time teacher, Mrs. Jane Ford and her husband, Bill, who lost their home and belongings in a fire last week. On Monday, February 4th from 4:30 pm to 7 pm, we will be holding a benefit dinner in the Fluvanna County High School Cafeteria. The cost of the dinner is $5 per person. If you are unable to attend the dinner, but would still like to make donations, there are monetary donation drop off locations throughout the county. Donation sites will be available January 28th – February 8th. Checks may be made out to FCHS. Maggie Wentz, one of our youth, is a Student Government Representative.

Monday Night Bible Study: Our Monday Night Bible Study is back in gear on Mondays, to study the second half of the book of Romans. 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). Please join us!

Mission Outreach Food Collection: The Mission Outreach Committee will be collecting nonperishable food items in the next few 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 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: 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!

Looking for Help: We still are trying to fill several positions including: Assistant Treasurer, Sunday School Co-Superintendent, and Mission/Outreach Chair. 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 20, 2018:


Amount Committed


34 Pledges



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 47:1-15

63:1-8, 98

Heb 10:19-31

John 5:2-18


Isa 48:1-11

41, 52

Gal 1:1-17

Mark 5:21-43a


Isa 48:12-21


Gal 1:18-2:10

Mark 6:1-13


Isa 49:1-12


Gal 2:11-21

Mark 6:13-29


Isa 49:13-23


Gal 3:1-14

Mark 6:30-46


Isa 50:1-11

40, 54

Gal 3:15-22

Mark 6:47-56


Isa 51:1-8


Gal 3:23-29

Mark 7:1-23

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

He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free … Luke 4:18 (NIV)

What would it mean for you to be set free?