Health & Wellness Team

Yawn. Stetch. It is early in the morning and the muscles are stiff. The tummy is grumbling and the endless list of daily tasks are ahead of me. The warm fall sun and the tickling of allergies tells me that autumn is right around the corner, and I begin to wonder about my health going into the cold winter months: Where will I encounter God in my daily routine? Must I wait for a crisis before I consider my physical needs in my spiritual practices?

“Don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you? Don’t you know that you have the Holy Spirit from God, and you don’t belong to yourselves? You have been bought and paid for, so honor God with your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Honoring God with excellent care for our bodies is part of our spiritual discipline. The Health & Wellness Team at Christ Church works to provide education, timely information, resources, and programs to encourage our community in our spiritual duty to physically care for the Spirit’s Temple. In response to a church-wide survey last fall, the team, under the leadership of Beth Burt, has embarked on various healthy initiatives for you:

  • Did you know you can check your blood pressure when you are at church? Visit the Connection Point Desk to check out one of the automated cuffs. You may take it to a quiet space like the Chapel or Health & Wellness room and use it at your leisure. Be sure to record your results to share with your physician on your next visit.

  • Each month, members of the team write timely, health-related announcements with links to trusted resources to be published in the newsletter. These articles have touched on diet, Alzheimer’s disease, nutrition, strokes, blood pressure issues, vision, summer safety, immunizations and more. Watch for these nuggets of wisdom in your Messenger.

  • Through a Partners in Health & Wellness grant, Mona Flynn is leading a “Yoga for Healthy Aging” class, introducing ways to use yoga to build resilience in the body.

  • Karen Ritter led an initiative to make assisted devices readily available to members of our congregation. You can check out crutches, canes, walkers, and many more tools from the Health & Wellness Room for personal use. To learn more, stop by the Connection Point desk.

  • AED, first-aid kits, large-print resources, and hearing assistive devices continue to be a part of the tools the Health & Wellness Team makes available for all at CUMC.

Thanks to Beth Burt (chair), Mary Alice Austin, Karen Ritter, Carol Watters, Mona Flynn, Carly Kirkman, and Susan Miller for their leadership and vision in reinventing this ministry. As the Health & Wellness Team enters its new season, we are inviting new perspectives and members. Do you have an interest in helping to strengthen our physical bodies so that we might be healthy temples for God? To learn more, contact Carly Kirkman at

Pilgrimage Retreat 2018

Thu, Oct 11–Sun, Oct 14, King, NC | Are you searching for a way to energize your spiritual life—maybe something that could change your life and desire to serve the Lord? If you are interested, please contact anyone who has been on a Pilgrimage retreat for more information: Helen and Carl Phillips ( Susan and Steve Miller (; Barb Liccardo, Brenda Madden (; Ron and Betsy Eberhardt (; Lynn Long (; or Dan Boswell (

Young Adult (20s/30s) Ministry

Adulting is hard. Adulting alone is impossible.

Saying yes to one invite changed my life. Before finding a solid community of like-minded individuals, I was floundering, tossing and turning in the dark, stormy waves—fearful of sinking to its murky depths. Sometimes, I still feel the threat of storms on open water. Every Tuesday at 7pm, an island of refuge with resources and supplies appears in the form of laughter, profound conversation, and food at Tuesdays on Tap. After a long day at work or an even longer week crashing through the waves, it’s fun and refreshing to discuss subjects that affect our congregation and the greater United Methodist Church. Topics range from “Millennials in Church” to “Miracles and the Supernatural”—and we get pretty heated and passionate about each topic (so much so that it’s common for someone to joke that I’ll flip a table like Jesus in the market).

My favorite small group meetings are the evenings where we just talk, and conversation takes on a mind of its own. For example, one night, we were planning to discuss predestination but ended up exploring if we were to make our own church, what would we include? It was riveting.

Everyone needs a group to plug in to, a social network that supports you emotionally and spiritually. I realized a couple of weeks ago that my answer to many questions we pose is a variation of “God’s love.” God’s love is all encompassing and awe inspiring, and I have found that love in my young adult small group. It has allowed me to question and explore many facets of my self and my spirituality. It has introduced me to different people and has strengthened the relationships and friendships that I cherish and crave (special shout out to Catie Travis and Lucy Shank). One of my favorite sayings is: To love another person is to see the face of God. I love my small group. I love being a part of Tuesdays on Tap. I love being a part of Christ Church. And because I love, I see God.

Maybe this adulting thing is not so hard.

Making the Connection

When Nan Sipe starting working a weekday shift at the Connection Point Desk, she had spent her nearly 38 years at Christ Church serving in various capacities, from working in the nursery and assisting with preschool ministries to serving on Nominations and Senior Adult Council to ringing bells. When her husband, Richard, became sick, Nan stepped away from her involvement to take care of him. After his death, she suddenly found herself looking for something to do.

“Anne Dooley knew Richard and I well, and she knew I was floundering after he died. She looked and me and said, ‘I have something that will be good for you. All you have to do is answer the phones,’” Nan remembers. “Anne, bless her heart—you can’t tell her no, not if you look her in the face.”

After working her first shift more than 2.5 years ago, Nan quickly found herself serving once a week—and then more, filling in when fellow volunteers could not or picking up extra shifts just because she enjoyed it.

“I was doing it a lot! It got me out of the house, and I was able to meet new people, and learn what was going on at the church. I get to know other people in the congregation and members of the staff. I go to 11am, so I don’t always see people who go to the other services,” she says of the benefits of working at the desk—and the reasons she’s stayed. She’s also met some of her dearest friends in her fellow volunteers:  “Kathie Barker trained me, and from that, we have become very, very dear friends,” she said. “You never know what doors saying ‘yes’ to an opportunity might open: I doubt that Kathie and I would even know each other had we not both worked at the Connection Point Desk.”

“[Serving at the Connection Point desk] has become a real part of me,” Nan said. “I miss it when I’m not able to be there.”

For those who are debating serving at Christ Church, Nan says, “Start out at your convenience. Just try it once—you don’t have to continue to do anything if it doesn’t suit your fancy.”

The Blessings of a Small Group

My husband and I joined CUMC about 30 years ago, and like many parents of young children, our motivation was about them. Both of us had grown up in a church environment, and we just figured we needed to start getting our children involved. Little did I know that I was beginning a journey for myself—a journey that drew me towards a real and meaningful relationship with God, a journey that continues today.

Like many parents of young children, we immediately got involved with the church—teaching Sunday School, and participating in Vacation Bible School and preschool—but I began to feel that something was missing. I didn’t know what I was looking for, so I truly think that God led me to seek out a small group. Anne Dooley helped us to connect with an existing sharing group, and fortunately they were open to letting us into their established group, and I thank God every day for that. I was seeking connection, and through this group, we did feel connected. Also, through the various studies we did together, our faith grew and so not only were we relating to friends, but we were relating to God in a more meaningful way. What a gift!

With the help of this group, I learned that knowing God takes work—but when you are in fellowship, it really doesn’t feel like work. The love we feel for each other mirrors the love that God feels for us. I learned about sharing, acceptance, and growth. Of course I am still learning—are we ever finished learning?—but I am so happy that I am learning with my friends, who know and love me.

Due to my positive experience with my sharing group, I made the decision to participate in other small groups—Bible study being the most important. I remember taking Disciple 1 with Lillian Sharp, my first experience with learning about the wisdom of the Bible. Wow!! With each group, I became close to the members, and through those relationships and a growing understanding of the wisdom of the Word, my love for God and my desire for a personal meaningful relationship with Him keeps getting stronger.

Am I still with my sharing group? Absolutely! Most of the original members are still with us, and we have added others—each one a blessing. I want to take this opportunity to thank each person in my sharing group for all that you have done for me. My Church, my Faith, and my Love for God are all connected to you. Thank you.

Interested in becoming part of a small group or Bible study at Christ Church? Want to learn more about what we have to offer? Join us on Sunday, September 9, for Start Up Sunday. In addition to worship, we’ll have food and entertainment, a special Sunday school session for adults, a Connect Fair where you can learn about all the exciting things going on this fall, and more! View all details at

—Connie Leonard

Looking Back At Our Second Quarter

Often, people think that the summer is the slow season at the church, but that certainly hasn’t been the case at Christ Church! Our youth served others on multiple mission trips, our children learned about God through Vacation Bible School and camps, and adults deepened their faith through a variety of classes and studies. In addition, this summer brought the merger with Glenwood and the addition of Rev. Carter Ellis to our pastoral staff. A number of people have already gotten deeply involved at the new Glenwood campus as we prepare for the launch of new ministries there this fall.

We finished strong in the Second Quarter in 2018, with giving exceeding projections and spending remaining in budget. In terms of the Boundless Initiative, we continued to fund our ministry and mission budget, while the Trustees worked on plans around Facilities Improvements. They have upgraded our security capabilities to better ensure the safety of the 1000+ children, youth, and adults that use our campus each week, while also working to freshen the appearance of some of our common areas and, in particular, our children’s ministry areas. We are excited for you to see the results by Start Up Sunday on September 9! The Trustees have also created a Renovations Committee to work with an architect on some of the larger facilities improvement goals, which will include a master plan for our Holden Road campus that will help us make smart, strategic decisions for years to come. We look forward to sharing updates with you later this Fall on this process!

Finally, the Missional Engagement Leadership Team has been working diligently and prayerfully to discern how Christ Church can grow as a missional leader that impacts our community and our world in significant, sustainable ways. The Boundless Initiative dramatically increased our budget resources for missional engagement, and this team has developed comprehensive strategies to use those funds for maximum impact. As the Missions Café is installed in early September, it will become a hub for learning more about that impact and finding ways to get involved in serving others.

For more information on all of this, check out the Second Quarter Generosity Report, available at and in the Information Walls at Christ Church. Paper copies will also be mailed out with quarterly giving statements over the next couple of weeks.

Security Updates

As a community of faith, we strive at Christ Church to practice Christian hospitality so that all might find a place where they belong and can experience the boundless love of God. In our current world, an important part of hospitality is providing a safe environment for people to love, grow, and serve together. Each week at our Holden Road campus, more than 1,000 people walk through our doors—and around 500 of those are children and youth. Their safety is of the utmost importance.

For the past six months, the Security Task Force—made up of staff, Trustees, and church members with relevant experience—has been consulting with experts and working to develop strategies for our Holden Road campus that balance safety and hospitality. (The process is ongoing, and Glenwood will be a consideration moving forward.) In the first major phase of security upgrades as a part of the goals of the Boundless Initiative, the Trustees have added hardware to many of our primary entrances that allows for keypad access and scheduling of when doors are unlocked. The Security Task Force and Trustees have also developed a set of policies to guide the management of these doors. These policies will take effect at the Holden Road campus on September 9.

  • On Sundays, primary doors will be open during set times to allow entrance for worship and Sunday School, then locked when those areas of the facility are no longer in use. Some lesser used doors will be locked and traffic redirected to another nearby door. The goal is for no door to be left unlocked and unobserved. Refer to posted signage over the coming weeks to help you adjust to the new flow. For the majority of people, this won’t affect your Sunday rhythm.

  • On weekdays during business hours (M-Th, 9-4 and F, 9-1), you’re encouraged to use the Main Entrance facing Holden Road. When there are scheduled activities (Bible studies, etc.), these doors will be unlocked. If they are locked, the volunteer at the Connection Point desk or the office staff will be glad to let you in using the intercom near the door.

  • On weekdays after business hours and on Saturdays, doors will be locked. Any regular groups using the space will be given a group-specific code allowing  access to the areas they use. During special events, appropriate doors will be unlocked.

  • Preschool and afterschool ministries will continue using their current entrances and will issues codes that allow families and teachers access during program hours.

  • A general church code will allow leaders, volunteers, and members access to the church during other times, with the exclusion of the preschool and afterschool areas during their operating hours. While, for security purposes, we won’t publish these codes in public communications, we will share them so that all who need access to the facility outside of Sundays and business hours will have it.

Introducing the Missions Café

Have you ever been interested in learning more about missions at Christ Church, but didn’t know where to go?  Have you ever wondered how you might get involved in a mission project, but didn’t know how to do it? Have you ever wanted to encourage someone to participate in a life-changing mission opportunity, but didn’t have an effective way to do it?  If you answered “yes” to any of these questions you’ll be excited to know that we’re launching an exciting new way to inform, inspire, and invite people to serve our community and world through missions. It’s called our Missions Café!

During the month of August, the Missions Café is being constructed in the CUMC-HR Gathering Space where the Information Wall is currently located. When the Café opens on Sunday, September 9, it will be a centralized place where folks who enter Christ Church Holden Road will have the opportunity to be served a hot cup of coffee or tea as they learn about missions, become inspired by stories about the impact of missions at Christ Church in our community and world, and learn how they can become involved in missions.

So, how can you help? First, you can spread the excitement about this new way to tell the story of missions at Christ Church. Second, you can consider becoming a coffee barista who helps prepare and serve those who come to the Missions Café a hot cup of coffee and a warm Christ Church welcome.  Finally, you can pray that through this new ministry missions at Christ Church will move to the next level as we seek to serve our neighbors, community and world in the name of Christ!

If you have an interest in becoming a coffee barista or helping spread the word about missions at the Missions Café, please sign up at

Glenwood and St. Timothy's Worship Times

We are thrilled to have Rev. Carter Ellis on our pastoral team as we add the Glenwood campus. Over July and August, our pastors and some guest preachers will be rotating as preachers for worship at the Glenwood Campus and St. Timothy’s UMC (our partner church). Beginning September 9, STUMC will change its worship time to 9am and Glenwood’s service will remain 11am, so that one pastor can preach at both STUMC and Glenwood on Sundays. Pastor Carter will be the primary preacher for these services, but our other pastors will rotate in on occasion so that Carter can be present some at Holden Road.

Medical Equipment Available for Loan

The Health and Wellness Team has set up a medical equipment loaning system for members of Christ Church. Available items include wheelchairs, walkers, bedside toilets, shower chairs, crutches, an overbed table, IV pole, adjustable chair, bed rail, and more. These may be checked out from the Connection Point Desk (CUMC-HR) during weekly business hours and on Sundays in the Health and Wellness Room (CUMC-HR), located between the Gathering Space and the Sanctuary. If you have any assistive devices in excellent condition you would like to donate, please contact Virginia Reynolds (

Welcome Glenwood Staff!

With the merger of Christ Church and Glenwood UMC, we also added some critical members to our staff. Serving at our Glenwood campus, June Bennet is the Music Director and Karen Dove is the Organist. Both of them help with the planning and leadership of the 11am Sunday service at that campus. Evans Williams is the custodian for the Glenwood campus. Jennifer Oliver, who previously served as the Secretary for Glenwood UMC, has moved to Holden Road and will assume a new role assisting Missions and Youth Ministries. We will publish a revised Leadership Guide as we approach the fall, but please join us in welcoming these new members to our team!

2018 Youth Choir Music & Mission Trip

We have known each other our whole lives, but something special to us that has contributed to our friendship is the Youth Choir Music and Mission (M&M) Trip. The M&M Trip is all about building and strengthening relationships with not only God but each other as well, through music, mission, and fun! This year we traveled to Myrtle Beach, singing at nursing homes and volunteering at a thrift shop and preschool. On the way down, we stopped at Sandy Ridge Memory Care. My (Ella) favorite part about singing here is that some people who don’t remember much might remember the words to a song and sing along with us. While waiting to sing, Reid Lorenz, Andi Leigh Waldrop, and I walked around and stepped in one room to say, “We just came to say hey and see how y’all were doing.” The pure joy on their faces just touched my heart.

We usually volunteer at a preschool, and this year we helped with one-year-olds who warmed our hearts, especially little Hazel and Evelyn. We spent all morning carrying them everywhere! I asked a teacher how she did this every day. She answered, “It is amazing to see kids grasp ideas and learn things. Ones are learning to walk and mumble a word or two, twos can talk and somewhat communicate, and fours are learning how to process ideas and actually converse!” Just a few hours with these kids exhausted me, and she does this every day!

My (Izzy) favorite memory was at Magnolia Assisted Living. After we sang, Emma Tillman and I were talking to a man with tears in his eyes. He took my hand and said, “Young lady, that was absolutely beautiful.” I learned that his family doesn’t come around much anymore, and he doesn’t have any visiting grandkids our age. He was so moved by our performance, and all we did was sing God’s word. I walked back to our group and people just kept saying “Izzy, Emma, why are y’all crying” and all we could say was “That man was just so happy we came to sing for them.”

Youth Choir has been a huge part of our lives at CUMC. We have met some incredible people and have been able to find our voices. Without it, we wouldn’t have been able to be a part of such an amazing family. Everybody knows you are accepted for who you are: No matter what clothes you wear, if you’re head cheerleader or like to read at home, if you have both parents at home or not—we all get along. As rising seniors, this was one of our last M&M trips, and every second is a cherished memory. When we sing, whether at a retirement home or just singing on the bus, we connect with others through music. It’s a feeling not many of us get to experience very often, but when we do it is pretty astonishing.

End of Summer Block Party at CUMC Glenwood

And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.—Matthew 22:37-39

As Christians, we are called to love our neighbors, a commandment that can have many meanings.  It’s often interpreted broadly, and vaguely: the person we pass at the grocery store, the driver of the car next to us on the highway, every person with whom we cross paths during our life. Sometimes, though, the definition of a neighbor is more straightforward: the people we live near.

As we continue to explore our identity as the merged Christ United Methodist Church, we have the exciting opportunity to meet and love our new neighbors in Glenwood. Just as you would introduce yourself to your neighbors when you move into a new home—perhaps bringing freshly baked cookies—we want to make a similarly good impression on those we will be loving, growing, and serving with in the years to come in the Glenwood neighborhood. More than just a building that’s busy on Sunday, we want Christ Church Glenwood to be a place where boundary-spanning relationships are formed, people are loved, and lives are transformed. Our first step? To say hello.

To do this, we’re gathering on the Glenwood campus (1417 Glenwood Ave.) and throwing a neighborhood-wide End Of Summer Block Party on Saturday, August 25, from 11am-2pm, complete with food, live music, bounce houses, lawn games, board games, face painting, a magician, a dunking booth (with Morris Brown in the hot seat!), and more.

Have you been waiting for an opportunity to serve at Glenwood? Are you excited about the chance to meet our new neighbors in this community? We are praying for an excellent turnout for this event and are in need of your help to make it happen! Whatever your skill set, there is an opportunity for you—from logistics, parking, and publicity to yardwork, set up, and serving food to hosting or playing games, making our neighbors feel welcome, and just having fun! Commitments start as short as 45 minutes. Can’t be there August 25? There are opportunities to help beginning August 1. Mark your calendars, check the list, and help us say a big, welcoming, loving “Hi!’” to the Glenwood neighborhood this summer.

See all the ways to serve and sign up at

Live Ready: Stories from SCMT Part 2

“Oh my gosh, guys, it’s your first mission trip! Are you ready?!” I asked my rising ninth graders the morning of send off. These bright-eyed, bushy-tailed 14-year-olds were not so bright eyed that morning. The look of trepidation and wariness was apparent on their sleepy faces. They had spent the last couple of months peppering me and other mission trippers with questions trying to gauge what the South Carolina mission trip is like.

It’s hot—sometimes, excruciatingly hot. You ride for hours to the Lowcountry listening to
somebody else’s music. You spend a week sweaty and confined to close quarters, sardined in a gym with 100 of your newest, closest friends. Somebody “volunTELLS” you for things you’ve never even thought of doing. You wake up before the crack of dawn to get out to the worksite before the heat index reaches 107°. You fight, you cry, you lose at Spoons.

But it’s the best thing that will ever happen to you.

It takes a special kind of soul to answer the call to mission, and it takes a special kind of mission trip to foster that burgeoning soul. It is this mission trip that awakens the heart of a youth and teaches them the skills to answer God’s call and prepares them to live ready to do so once they arrive back home. God has used this mission trip in the lives of hundreds of youth to teach us how to live ready to face any challenge, whether it be on a worksite or in our daily lives.

I challenged our youth this year to take the lesson of our mission trip to heart: To live ready.

Live ready to love others, to offer a shoulder to cry on, to celebrate with your friends. Live ready to grow others, to share your faith, to be open minded so you can grow yourself. Live ready to serve others, to volunteer in your local and global community, to push your comfort zone wider for the sake of others.

Live ready, my friends, to make Earth as it is in Heaven. Live ready to for all the challenges and obstacles you will face in this life. Live ready to be the best person you can be.

Live ready. Are YOU ready? Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!” I LIVE READY. See y’all next year!

Stories from the South Carolina Mission Trip, Part 1

The South Carolina Mission Trip was always one of the highlights of my summers when I was in high school. But, as I got older and went to college and graduate school, the chances for me to attend were few and far between with work and school commitments taking priority over the trip. Last summer, with some persuading from Britt Blaylock, I was able to attend as an adult leader for the first time and have not looked back. I was so excited that I could go again this summer I signed up the first chance that I could.

Blood Pressure Cuffs

With the increase in stress and obesity in our society, high blood pressure is more common and may contribute to cardiovascular disease. It’s important to regularly check our blood pressure to help monitor good and bad habits. Additionally, our blood pressure history gives doctors a more accurate picture of our health. Teens and adults may check their blood pressure at Christ Church using one of two automated wrist blood pressure cuffs available at the Connection Point desk. 

A Note from Sharon L. Contreras, Superintendent, Guilford County Schools

“Thank you for supporting Guilford County Schools during the aftermath of the April 15 tornado. The kind members of Christ United Methodist Church donated food, books, school supplies—and their time, as many members served as volunteers at Hampton Elementary, a school that sustained extensive damage during this terrible storm. We are fortunate to have community members like you who came to the aid of our district as we worked through these extraordinary circumstances. Thank you again. Your generosity and support of Guilford County Schools is greatly appreciated.”

Volunteer at the Connection Point Desk

Volunteer at the Connection Point Desk: We have a growing need for volunteers at our Connection Point Desk during the week. Our volunteers are essential to providing guidance and a warm welcome to all who visit our campus. Duties include answering the phone, directing visitors, answering basic questions, and a few small projects. Shifts include Monday-Thursday, 9am-12:30pm; Monday-Thursday, 12:30pm-4pm; and Friday, 9am-1pm. If you are interested in becoming part of the weekly Connection Point team, please contact Sarah Snider (336-299-1571,

Help us stock the VBS Break Room!

Please contact Jaimie Ashby (, 336-292-9060 ext. 0) if you are willing to supply juice, small waters, sodas, bananas, cuties, grapes, small apples, muffins, cookies, brownies, watermelon, cantaloupe, cheese dip, crackers, chips, salsa, pretzels, gumdrops, goldfish, homemade breads, pimento cheese, pasta salad, breakfast casseroles, donuts, bagels, sausage biscuits, or coffee cake for our hardworking VBS volunteers!