August 2022 Newsletter
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July 2022 Newsletter

Last fall I planted a little hydrangea bush at our home. Because they are deciduous, they undergo abscission. Sorry. I wanted to show off my new words. That just means they lose their leaves in the winter.  We have had another one for years, so I expected this to happen. But this spring when the original one was growing new leaves rapidly, the new one remained leafless, dead looking twigs.

I finally decided it had not survived the winter, so I bought yet another hydrangea to replace it. As I stood over it with a shovel, I noticed the smallest nub of green poking through the ground. Could it be that it had made it after all or was this just a weed or something? My first hydrangea leafed out from the previous year’s branches, not the ground. I decided to wait a bit and see what happened. Lo and behold, it began to grow and was soon recognizable as a hydrangea. Now it has pretty pink blooms, and I am so glad I did not dig it up. I posted a photo on Facebook for those who want to see the result.

One of my main understandings of the church is that it’s a living thing. There are Sundays when I look out from the pulpit and cannot help but feel a little discouraged as we have still not completely rebounded from the last couple of years. But then we hosted something like Camp in the Community last week and I see signs of life. It reminds me of the great truth that we can work and nurture, but

GOD GIVES THE GROWTH. Witnessing this is one of life’s

great joys for me whether with actual gardening or in ministry. It calls to mind Paul’s words to the Galatians 6:9 – “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”





It will be time for this outreach effort before you know it. While we do not have a specific list of needs yet, we can likely count on basic school supplies being needed if you happen upon good deals or sales or tax-free incentives. We will share more details once we hear back from the Lion’s Club.


As this is being written, our Youth Minister Zach Smith has 10 teenagers at Senior High Assembly being held at Tennessee Wesleyan College in Athens, TN. The cost per individual was $335 for food and lodging, fees, etc., of which each person was required to pay a $50 deposit.  Zach received donations toward the fee, and there is money in the church budget to help.  The church wrote the needed checks in spite of a shortfall. If you would like to help replenish those funds, that would still certainly be welcomed. We look forward to hearing about their experiences when they get back.


Camp In The Community was a great success last week. We had on average 35 kids in attendance and by all accounts they had a great time. I was happy to see a diversity that reflects our Inskip community also.

Many thanks to everyone who supported this outreach effort financially or through prayer. Special thanks to the volunteers who worked diligently to provide breakfast, snacks, and lunch for everyone all week. Rose Baker lead a team of volunteers including Faye Kinney, Doris Dennison, Tony Whaley, Edie Hall, Alicia McMillan and Pat Newman.


There will be another “All Ages” Game Night on July 27 at 6:30 p.m.  We hope to have these be outdoor games with weather permitting.  We also plan to have a campfire and make S-mores. We could use donations of Hershey chocolate bars to this end. Plan on joining us for the fun!


As you hopefully recall, we removed the expense for mowing from the regular budget a couple of years ago. We rely on specific donations for this effort. We are a little short so far this summer so please consider an offering towards this. Thank you.


At a called Church Council meeting on June 19, Trustees Chairman Charles Gault discussed the church cemetery lot prices and fees.  We received notice of a $50 price increase in the opening/closing fee from Mynatt Funeral management.  The digging is serviced to us by Mynatt.  There is also a chance of further increases. 

We currently charge $750 for opening/closing and pay $550 for the service.  When selling a cemetery lot to non-members, we receive $1,300 of which $100 goes toward the purchase of corner stones and another $25 toward setting the stones.  We sell lots to church members for $700 and incur the same expenses.  The last price increase was in 2014. 

The suggestion is to charge $900 for open/close, $1,600 to non-members for the lot, and $1,000 to church members for the lot.  After a brief discussion, the proposal passed by consensus.   The change starts immediately.



June 2022 Newsletter


As a believer, when I feel the most helpless and hopeless, I pray. I am sure you grieve with me about the senseless and horrible events in Texas last week. Two teachers and nineteen children were shot dead at Robb Elementary School in the small town of Uvalde. For days I avoided looking at the photos of the victims, but today I made myself do so and it literally makes my heart ache.
I am praying for the parents, teachers, the community, law enforcement and anyone impacted by this tragedy. I pray, but I am not sharing this on any social media because it has become synonymous with an empty and meaningless gesture. It reminds me of a favorite “proverb” that you can’t lean on a shovel and pray for a hole.
This keeps happening. Children keep dying. Nothing seems to change. Children keep dying. Everyone is entrenched in their opinions in the matter. Children keep dying. Impotent and disingenuous politicians and pundits argue about what to do. Children keep dying.
Full disclosure: I am a gun owner. I enjoy and respect all my weapons. So don’t discount me as some bleeding heart liberal when I say for God’s sake, something needs to change. So please sincerely pray for wise and discerning leadership that can find ways to help prevent such tragedies in the future. Ways we can all support. For the children. Because actual prayers are not empty and meaningless. I pray the power of God brings something to pass so our children are safer to be children.


We ended up putting together 10 food buckets for Zimbabwe this year. Thanks to Judy Nelson who put one together herself. Hats off also to Ken and Mary Mahoney who took financial donations and shopped to fill the other 9 buckets (which were donated by Home Depot in Powell with Gary Evans assistance.)


On Sunday May 15, Bookwalter UMC welcomed Todd Spangler as our new pianist. Todd’s primary occupation is as a Hearing Office Chief Administrative Law Judge with the Social Security Administration in their Knoxville office. His wife’s name is Joyce. Todd has a Master’s in Music and his mastery of the piano has already been on display in worship. We are thankful to have him join our team.


Camp In The Community is just around the corner starting June 20th through the 24th. It is for those entering kindergarten through those entering eighth grade. We will start serving breakfast at 8:30 and children need to be picked up at 3 o’clock. There will be all kinds of activities and fun games and events.
Please share and invite with all your friends and family. There are fliers and pamphlets at the church for you to hand out.
If you would like to volunteer and help with food, please contact Edie Jo or Ms. Alicia. Also, if you know anyone in high school in need of community service hours, they can help with Camp In The Community
but will need to go through a short training session to be a Junior Counselor. Let us know and we can get them signed up. If you have any questions, please ask Edie or Alic