September 21, 2022

Dear Friends,

One of the spiritual disciplines that I enjoy is reading the Bible. I am so glad that there are over 200 folks in McEachern’s Daily Word Facebook group reading the New Testament together again this year. 

Right now, we are reading Paul’s letter to the Colossians. In chapter 3 Paul writes about putting aside the old nature and putting on the nature of the Lord Jesus Christ. He lists things to put off:

greed, sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires, anger, malice, rage, slander, lying to each other, and filthy language. Paul then writes of things to put on: “as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” (Col. 3:12-14)

In a world that seems to run on anger and winning and losing, imagine putting on Christ and living with Christlikeness all the time. That’s a world I want to live in. How about you?

It begins with you deciding that you will live in Paul’s second list rather than his first one. When you and I live in the second list, then we will discover that the peace of Christ dwells in our hearts and minds and love and joy will flow from us to bless a contentious world.

I look forward to seeing you Sunday in worship. 

I love you all,

Dr. Doug

 

September 14, 2022

Dear Friends,

As most of you know, I had knee replacement surgery 3 weeks ago. Much of my time since has been working in Physical Therapy, doing exercises, stretching, icing, and other things to help my knee recover from the surgery and to maximize its effectiveness for the future. I’ve encouraged myself during this time with phrases like “No pain, no gain” and “celebrate small victories.” Selena Prado told me that her Mom’s phrase when she was recovering from knee surgery was “Motion is lotion.” 

The bottom line is this: the work of rehabilitating the knee is sometimes slow, sometimes painful, but if you want the knee to function properly again, you gotta go through it.

I believe there is a parallel between my personal work to get healthy and the work that McEachern is doing on the Path Forward. The work we are doing is sometimes slow and sometimes painful. But, if we want the church to function properly, we have to go through it. I also believe McEachern will be stronger on the other side.

This coming Sunday evening we are having another informational forum regarding the Path Forward. At 6 PM in the Sanctuary we will have two guests with us: Rev. Dr. Alice Rogers who currently serves as the Director of the Office of Clergy Excellence, and Rev. Glenn Hannigan, who serves as Pastor of Ebenezer Church in Roswell, GA. They will be presenting different theological perspectives on the stay/ leave decision. They will also be answering questions that have been submitted either at our last forum or through the website. I believe it will be an interesting and informative conversation. We will stream the presentation for those who might not be able to attend. 

I want to encourage everyone to treat one another with love and humility. I read Philippians 2 today and believe it would be scripture for each of us to read again and again.

I look forward to seeing you in Worship Sunday morning!

I love you all,

Dr. Doug


 

September 7, 2022

 

Dear Friends,

I continue to thank you all for your prayers. The knee is continuing to get better—I’ve got a new trick! I can walk upstairs like a normal person alternating feet on each step! I’m looking forward to seeing everyone Sunday as we finish up our series on The Apostles’ Creed. 

What follows is an update on our Path Forward process.

We are rescheduling the Theology Session from Sunday, September 11th to Sunday, September 18th in the Sanctuary at 6 PM. It is necessary to make this adjustment to accommodate our two presenters: Dr. Alice Rogers and Rev. Glenn Hannigan. They will be presenting theological points of view as well as answering moderated questions that have been submitted prior to Sunday night. We already have received some questions and they will be answering them on the 18th as well as others that you may submit through our website

We will also be rescheduling the Practical Considerations Session, originally scheduled for September 18th. It will now be held in the Sanctuary on October 2nd at 6 PM. This will be more of a panel answering practical questions related to staying UMC or leaving. 

I also want to invite you to watch our website. By the end of the week, there will be a number of FAQs posted. You will find a lot of helpful information there. 

I have missed seeing you all. Truly the Body of Christ is a magnificent thing to behold. I have been excited to hear of the wonderful things that are continuing to happen at McEachern. I believe God is using the church in a wonderful way.

I love you all,

Dr. Doug

 

 

 

 

August 31, 2022

 

Dear Friends,

I had an interesting conversation with my wife, Debbie, this morning. She was sharing with me that she reads all sorts of things on Facebook concerning the debate going on in United Methodist churches. The interesting thing she shared was that people on Facebook label folks who think differently from their point of view as “un-Christian.” That conversation prompted me to write this to you today. 

People become Christians by believing in their hearts and confessing with their lips that Jesus is Lord. No one is born Christian. We all become Christian through the profession of our faith.

Through the years there have been many disagreements within Christianity on many things. The Creeds that we use came about as various heresies emerged to challenge the Christian faith. The Protestant Reformation resulted in war and persecution for many, many years because some believed differently regarding the Bible, the Sacraments, and the nature of the church. Racism has caused division within churches. And now, questions regarding human sexuality have become hot-button issues that are challenging churches. In every one of these issues, the cry of “un-Christian” has been heard by proponents on either side of whatever the issue at the time was.

We should be better than that. We should be able to face the issues in front of us and pray and discern without demonizing and accusing a person who disagrees with us as being “un-Christian.” We might consider Paul and Barnabus. 

Paul and Barnabus were good friends. Barnabus had stood up for Paul after he was converted to Christianity and presented him to the Jerusalem Council as one who had been converted. They worked together for years, traveled together on the first missionary journeys, preached together, and suffered together. But, they eventually came to a point where Paul felt called to go to a new mission field and Barnabus felt called to return to the previous places they had been in mission. So, they blessed each other and each went his own way. Neither ever called the other “un-Christian.”

We need to follow that example. At McEachern, we are in the midst of a far-reaching discussion regarding the future or our congregation. We are not all in agreement on certain issues, and they may in fact cause us to reach a point where some will go a different way than others. But, hear me on this, every person who professes Jesus as Savior and Lord is a Christian – a follower of Jesus Christ. 

Let us never fall into the trap of demonizing one another and calling another “un-Christian” for believing something that we do not. Instead, let us embrace one another so that all may know that we are Christians by our love.

I love you all,

Dr. Doug

 

 

 



 

 

 

August 24, 2022

 

Dear Friends,

In the book of James, we read, “Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well.” (James 5:13-15)

I’m living that scripture right now. Surgery on my knee was yesterday and your prayers have surrounded me. Recovery is ongoing, and your prayers sustain me. Thank you. 

It is a great privilege to pray for one another in any and every circumstance. It is a great responsibility to pray for the church to be one in Christ and engaged in ministry as the Lord leads. Fortunately, the Holy Spirit is with us to encourage, guide, comfort, and inspire us. 

Let us, as followers of Jesus, be unceasing in our prayers. And may God bless us with His amazing presence.

I love you all,

Dr. Doug

 



 

 

 

August 17, 2022

Dear Friends,

This coming Sunday we will be continuing our Sermon Series,  “Basic Training: The Apostles Creed.” I’ll be preaching on Jesus again this week. I look forward to seeing you at church!

At Church Council Sunday night our Path Forward Task Force presented a report on their work thus far. You can find that report on our Church Website by clicking on the Path Forward button on the Home page. Included in the report is a schedule of informational events related to the Path Forward.

The first event will be Sunday evening, August 21st, from 6 PM – 8 PM in the Sanctuary. There will be two presentations representing two different points of view on the issue of staying in the UMC or disaffiliating. Randy Hardy and Jeff Jernigan will be our presenters Sunday night. Pray for them as they prepare. There will be some opportunity for moderated questions on Sunday night. I hope you will attend and listen to all that is being shared.

On a personal note–my knee replacement surgery is scheduled for Tuesday morning on August 23rd. I would appreciate your prayers for a good result from the surgery and all the Physical Therapy that will follow. Also, keep Debbie in your prayers as she will have to put up with me!

I love you all,

Dr. Doug

 

 



 

August 10, 2022

Dear Friends,

This Sunday Morning in Worship we will be continuing our series called “Basic Training – The Apostles Creed”. I look forward to continuing to explore basic beliefs that we have as Christians as revealed to us through the Apostles Creed.

This Sunday evening our Church Council will be meeting in the Sanctuary at 6:30 PM. This is a regular Church Council meeting and we will be hearing reports from the various Committees of the church as well as hearing about what has been happening in all the various ministries of the church this Summer. We will also hear a report from our Path Forward Task Force. They will be sharing with us the work they have been doing and their recommended process to follow as we consider the question of staying in the UMC or disaffiliating from the UMC. The Task Force will be distributing information at the meeting which will then be posted on our church website. If you are unable to attend in person, we will be streaming the Church Council meeting.

Everyone is invited to attend and learn more about what is happening at McEachern. I want everyone to be clear that this is a meeting of the Church Council and, as such, only the Church Council will be voting on anything needing a vote. We will not be voting on anything related to the stay or leave question on Sunday night. 

I look forward to seeing everyone Sunday!

I love you all,

Dr. Doug

 



 

August 3, 2022

Dear Friends,

It is good to be back after a two week break. We spent one week at the beach with children and grandchildren and a second week at the beach dealing with COVID. I’m glad to be back and feeling better.

This coming Sunday is Rally Day! We will have lunch on the grounds up at Higher Ground, play games, and enjoy fellowship with one another. It is promotion Sunday, so children and youth will be moving into new learning settings as well. Come and bring your friends!

We are also beginning a new sermon series this Sunday. We are calling it “Basic Training” and over the new 6 weeks we will be focusing on basic beliefs of Christians as found in The Apostles Creed. In these uncertain times, it is important to know what we believe in order to be effective witnesses for Jesus. 

While at the beach, I really tried to disengage with all the concerns of the world and engage with Debbie and my children and grandchildren. It was a wonderful time and I am thankful for it. We are all blessed by God with a truly wonderful world. Praise God!

I love you all,

Dr. Doug

 

July 27, 2022

Dear Friends,

At McEachern UMC, we have a lot to be thankful for and also to look forward to. It seems like there`s always something going and something coming up!

On August 7th, Dr. Doug will begin a new 6-week sermon series. The theme will be “Basic Training”, using the Apostles Creed as the basis of his teaching and preaching. 

As you may recall from last week`s Wednesday Word, I made a BIG announcement – Rally Day is coming back that same day – August 7thAnd I promised that there`d be more information coming out. In addition to our picnic lunch, you can also join us for some “Sundae” fun and participate in our ice cream churn-off at the Rally Day Picnic on Sunday, August 7th! You can find more Rally Day information and the ice cream registration link here on our website. Please bring your homemade ice cream submissions, labeled with your name and ice cream flavor, in a disposable pan/dish and place them in the CLC freezer. Entries may be brought to the CLC during the week leading up to Promotion Sunday or on August 7th by 10 am.

In addition, please feel free to contact me with any questions, or if you`d like to volunteer to help. Also, while you are logged into our website checking out the details for Rally Day, I encourage you to click around on some of the other links as there are many additions, updates, and upgrades. 

Finally, I encourage you to pray for one another within our congregation and others beyond our walls.  Pray on a daily basis. I believe in the power of prayer!

Blessings,

Rev. Cindy

 

 

July 20, 2022

Dear McEachern Family,

Have you ever been SO excited about something that you couldn’t find the words to adequately express your excitement?

Well, I`m there… Rally Day is back!

First a little history:

For years and years, — decades in fact, when our church was much smaller, McEachern UMC enjoyed an annual luncheon called “Homecoming Sunday”. It was a very special day for the congregation primarily due to the combination of three things: A beloved pastor from the past was usually invited back to preach, each family brought a covered dish to share for lunch, and our people would sit together to just enjoy one another`s company.

In 2001, we decided to resurrect the spirit of Homecoming Sunday but modify it logistically to suit the numbers of people needing to be fed and socialize. We also wanted to use it as a catalyst to usher people back into the routine of church life — Worship, Sunday School, bible studies, small groups, etc., as school started back.  We called it “Rally Day”. Our congregation loved the new format. It worked as we had prayed it would — a portal of re-entry back into the church. But as cycles ebb and flow, after about 17 years Rally Day yielded to other ways that could minister to people; we changed formats again.

You`ve probably already guessed why I am so excited…due to popular demand, requests, and endorsement by Dr. Doug and the rest of the staff, we are bringing Rally Day back this year!

Many more details to come, but please SAVE THE DATE OF August 7th, right after church for food, fun, fellowship, and Jesus!

See you Sunday and at Rally Day 2022!

Blessings,

Rev. Cindy



THE PATH FORWARD UPDATE – July 11, 2022

I will be sending out regular updates to help keep the congregation informed as to what is happening in the church related to The Path Forward, which is our congregation’s process for considering the question of staying in the United Methodist Church or disaffiliating from the UMC.

A Path Forward Task Force has been established to manage McEachern’s process for staying in or leaving the UMC. The members of the Task Force are Randy Hardy, Jeff Jernigan, Diane Moeller, Devin Gordon, Cindy Teate, Ginny Coalson, and Josh Orton with Dr. Doug guiding the Task Force, and Kat Byers acting as Consultant.

The Task Force met and has laid out a timeline for the church’s process. It is as follows:

  • August 14 – September 25

  • A series of workshops, discussions, and handouts presenting information from the full range of perspectives regarding McEachern’s decision on staying or leaving the UMC.

  • September 25 – October 9

  •  A survey of the congregation to determine opinions and attitudes of the congregation on staying or leaving.

  • October 23 Church Council Meeting

  •  to hear from the Task Force on survey results and feedback from the congregation through our period of education and discernment. Church Council to consider whether or not to request a Church Conference (official church-wide meeting) to vote on the question of staying or leaving.

  • October – February

  •  Continued efforts by the Task Force to present educational opportunities for the congregation as well as to update and present new information as it becomes available,

  • January 1 

  • If the Church Council votes to request this special Church Conference, then the formal request is submitted on this date.

  • March 1 –  May 

  • If the Church Conference is requested, it will be held on a date to be determined by the DS within this time frame.

  • June 2023 

  • If the Church votes to Disaffiliate from the UMC, it would receive final approval at the North Georgia Annual Conference.

The Task Force is going to make every effort to provide a more than adequate amount of information concerning any and all issues surrounding McEachern’s decision on disaffiliation from the full range of perspectives to the congregation in order that every member will be able to understand the issues at hand and ask the questions they might have. The Task Force’s goal is that everyone will “Be heard, Be loved, Be Blessed, and Be informed”.

During the next few months, we will explore Theological issues, Practical issues, and explain what Disaffiliation would mean and what staying UMC would mean.

This is a big decision and the Task Force asks that everyone pray for McEachern and God’s leading as we consider it.

I love you all,

Dr. Doug

 July 6, 2022

Dear Friends,


I’m excited that McEachern sent out its first mission team to Key West this past week and I’m looking forward to hearing from them. This Sunday we will have that opportunity as the Missioners share with us how God used them working with the Haitian refugees. In addition, this Sunday we will Commission our second Mission Team this Summer focusing on our Family/Intergenerational Mission Team that is traveling to Camp Collinswood to do a variety of projects. They will be leaving Sunday afternoon.

Just in case you haven’t noticed, we have been distributing Summer lunches and breakfasts partnering with MUST Ministries to approximately 170 children every week this Summer. A big thank you to the volunteers, especially all the Youth who have been helping on hot, humid afternoons. Also, some of you may have noticed we had a dog in attendance this past week. One of our Sunday School classes has sponsored Hope’s training and several members of the classes have trained Hope to be a comfort dog. What an exciting ministry!

I love the fact that McEachern is so involved with missions locally and around the world. This is impossible without your generosity in supporting our budget and Faith Promise giving. Thank you.

I’ll see you Sunday!

I love you all,

Dr. Doug


 June 29, 2022

Dear Friends,

This coming Sunday we will be celebrating Independence Day as part of Worship. Please note that we will only have one Worship Service at 10:30 AM this coming Sunday and no Sunday School classes will be meeting. I love the music and traditions surrounding the 4th of July and am looking forward to it. Wear your red, white, and blue to join in the celebration!

I also want to remind you that we continue to have Wednesday Night Prayer Services at 6:30 PM each Wednesday. During these services, we pray for McEachern’s ministry, for our country and world, for revival, and for many other things. I appreciated Bomi’s sermon this past Sunday in which she talked about how McEachern had taught her the importance of prayer in the church. We need to gather and pray regularly as a congregation. I remember that Dr. Charles Spurgeon, that great 19th-century preacher, called the prayer ministry the “power plant of the church.” Come join us.

During the month of July, we will be focusing on McEachern selects. Last year you submitted a number of subjects and scriptures for us to preach on. We will be preaching during the month several of these that we were unable to get to last year. Make plans to be a part.

Please remember to be in prayer for our Mission team in Key West. They are scheduled to come back this weekend. Let’s pray they have no trouble doing so. 

 

I love you all,

Dr. Doug



 June 22, 2022

Dear Friends,

This month has truly been a month of transitions. We’ve had Carolyn Black step back, Pastor Tony receiving a new Appointment beginning next week, and, as I wrote last week, Pastor Bomi will be moving to California. We will miss them all very much.

This Sunday is Pastor Bomi’s last Sunday. Bomi has only been here two years but has forged a place in our hearts and we will miss her very much. She has been instrumental in restarting our Women’s Ministry, has been a big part of our ministry of welcoming new people to McEachern and has been very involved in helping people get connected to ministry through our Every Member in Ministry efforts. We will be shifting some of these responsibilities to existing staff and will be filling other responsibilities with new staff.

Our SPRC will once again be hosting lemonade on the lawn between the 9:30 and 11:00 AM Worship Services as well as after the 11 AM Service in order for people to speak to Bomi and Brian and wish them well. They want to encourage you to bring cards expressing your appreciation and including gift cards would be very appreciated.


Let’s send her out in a great loving McEachern way. I’ll see you Sunday.

I love you all,

Dr. Doug

 June 15, 2022

Dear Friends,

I am writing to update everyone on our progress with respect to the Path Forward. We have decided to call our discussion and discernment on the issue of staying in the UMC or disaffiliating from the UMC the Path Forward.

Almost 90 of our church members met on Sunday, May 22 to discuss the Path Forward process. We discussed ground rules such as sharing facts, no rumors, speaking truth, staying off social media, and some others.

We discussed issues that would need to be discussed including teaching on the differences between progressive and orthodox beliefs, the full picture of what staying in the UMC or disaffiliating from the UMC would mean, what it would mean regarding Appointed Clergy, what does Scripture say, and should we bring this issue to a vote by the congregation or wait.

We decided we would like for there to be a Task Force to lead the process of educating the congregation. Names were submitted by those present and 7 people have been asked to serve on the Path Forward Task Force: Randy Hardy, Jeff Jernigan, Cindy Teate, Diane Moeller, Devin Gordon, Ginny Coalson, and Josh Orton. I will also be participating with the Task Force, as well as Kat Byers.

Tonight, I am asking anyone who is willing to be present and participate in our Wednesday Night Prayer Service which will focus on the Path Forward for McEachern and also pray for those who will be leading the Path Forward Task Force. The service is in the Chapel at 6:30 PM.

On Sunday night, June 26th at 6:30 PM everyone is invited to our next general meeting about the Path Forward. Please come as you are able.

The North Georgia Conference has set the period of January 1, 2023 – February 28, 2023, to submit requests to hold a Church Conference for the purpose of voting on the issue of leaving or staying in the UMC. We have plenty of time to learn everything we need to learn as a congregation before being faced with making a decision.

I look forward to faithfully praying with you this week.

I love you all,
Dr. Doug

P.S.
We have just learned that Rev. Bomi Kim, her husband Brian, and baby Jun will be moving to California at the end of the month. Rev. Bomi has decided to accept an Appointment as Pastor of a congregation in the California Pacific Annual Conference. This decision was not an easy one, but Rev. Bomi told me that Brian’s company is asking that all its employees return to the office rather than work remotely. In addition, Jun’s grandparents (Brian’s parents) live in California and she and Brian want to be closer to them. We will miss Rev. Bomi very much. Her last Sunday will be June 26th.

 June 8, 2022

Dear Friends,

This coming Sunday, June 12th, will be Rev. Tony’s last Sunday with us before going to his new Appointment at Bethany in Smyrna. He will be preaching both Sanctuary Services and there will be lemonade on the lawn after each Service to give people a chance to greet Tony personally. Our SPR Committee is encouraging everyone to bring a card or note to share with Tony some way that he has touched your life and to wish him well. They also encourage everyone to enclose some type of gift card as we send him forward in ministry.

I want to say that I have very much appreciated Tony and his ministry here. He has a wonderful ability to relate to anyone and Tony preaches a true message of salvation. I appreciate how he has worked to get McEachern’s prayer ministry going and I plan to work with that ministry going forward.

The Higher Ground Worship Service has planted seeds for the launching of a new Contemporary Worship Service soon. We are pausing Higher Ground and contemporary worship until then. I look forward to how God will lead us in this.

I look forward to seeing everyone at Worship this coming Sunday!

I love you all,

Dr. Doug

 June 1, 2022

Dear Friends, 

I’m looking forward to this Sunday and celebrating Pentecost, the 90th Anniversary of the Chapel, and Carolyn Black’s service for 39 years to McEachern as our Finance Director. That’s a lot of celebrating! I want to remind everyone to wear “fire colors” (red, orange, yellow) in celebration of Pentecost. Please make plans to stay for lunch as we celebrate together! 

Summer is here, and McEachern is moving into Summer Ministry in a big way. 

McEachern Kids is celebrating Soul Food Summer in lots of ways: Thursday Food Truck Drive-Ins 5-7 PM. Food at the GaGa Pit each Sunday in June, and an overnight Family Mission Trip in July. 

McEachern Student Ministry meets on Monday nights for dinner on Wednesday nights to assist in the food distribution for MUST and have Youth Week June 13-17, and will be gone on a Mission Trip June 25-July 2. 

Worship is in the Sanctuary only this Summer as we pause Higher Ground and make plans for a new Contemporary Worship Service to begin this Fall. 

Missions continues partnering with MUST to distribute food each Wednesday night. They also are participating in our first overseas Mission trip since COVID first appeared Preaching will focus on the Book of Acts in June and we will again ask for congregational suggestions for sermon topics for the month of July. 

I know that people are in and out during the Summer as folks travel on vacation and have other family activities, but I want to encourage you not to take a vacation from the church this summer. It’s a great time to relax, get to know people, worship in exciting ways, and serve our Lord together. 

I’ll see you Sunday as we celebrate! Wear your “fire” colors! 

I love you all, 

Dr. Doug

 May 24, 2022

Dear Friends, 

If you were to visit me in my office, you will immediately notice my collection of chalices. I began collecting chalices 40 years ago on vacation with my wife, Debbie, as a way to remember different places and events in my life. I have chalices from near the Sea of Galilee, Russia, England, Honduras, Egypt, and Bethlehem. They remind me of trips to each of these places. I also have chalices from cities where I have served churches and one from Lake Junaluska that I picked up when I was there for DS “Charm School” six years ago. And, I also have chalices that people have given me from all over the world. 

The reason that I started collecting the chalices was that I view the chalice as one of the symbols of my ministry. I am reminded each time I look at them that I serve as a priest of the Lord Jesus Christ. The word “priest” is literally translated as “Bridgebuilder.” I understand my ministry as one of building bridges between God and people through preaching and the sacraments. 

Yet another reason that I collect the chalices was inspired by the movie Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. In that movie, Indiana Jones and his father are trying to find the Holy Grail which is the cup Jesus used at the Last Supper. It is set during World War II and the Nazis are also racing to find the Grail. Indiana Jones and two Nazis find the room where an ancient Crusader guards the Grail. The room is filled with chalices. The Crusader tells them to choose the one that they believe is the Grail (which holds with it the promise of eternal life.) The Nazis choose first and choose an elaborate jewel-covered cup and drink from it and die an awful death. The Crusader speaks and says “He chose poorly.” (To get the full effect you must elongate the word “poorly” when you say it.) Then, Indiana Jones chooses a very simple cup and drinks from it and the Crusader smiles and says “You chose wisely (elongated pronunciation). 

So, I collect the chalices to remind myself to ask the question: am I choosing poorly or wisely whenever I am faced with decisions that must be made. Am I making decisions based on facts or feelings? Am I making decisions based on the truth of God’s Word or on what I think or want? Am I choosing poorly or wisely? 

Are you? 

I love you all, 

Doug

 May 18, 2022

Dear Friends,
Many of you already know, but for those who don’t, we welcomed a new Student Ministries Director on Sunday. His name is Michael “Moose” Mosteller. He has served as a Student Minister for the past 14 years and comes to us with his wife, Karen, and his three daughters, Elisabeth, Alanah, and Rebekah. We are excited to have him here!
I sat down with Moose (yes, he prefers to be called that), and asked him to share some things about himself and his family to help us get to know him.

 
1) Where did the name “Moose” come from?
Moose began playing football in 4th grade and his father gave him the nickname “Moose” thinking that it would make him act tougher. It didn’t, he says, but he still played football throughout High School at Brookwood and was a part of the Brookwood team that won the State Championship in 1997 and lost in the semifinals in 1998. He has a ring.

 
2) How did you and Karen meet?
Moose and Karen met working at the Dairy Queen located at 5 Forks/Trickum Road. They dated for 6 years before marrying and have been married 20 years this year. He can still do Dairy Queen swirl with the Dairy Queen ice cream.

 
3) What do you and your daughters enjoy doing together?
He, Elisabeth, Alanah, and Rebekah enjoy board games. One of their favorites is a card game called “Moose Master.”

 
4) Do you have any unusual talents?
Moose has a super special ability to pack luggage and other things in a car/truck/van/etc. He attributes the ability to playing a lot of Tetra as a teenager.

 
5) What do you listen to in the car?
Moose does not listen to anything on the car radio. When he was dating Karen in college, he would drive from Valdosta (graduated from Valdosta State) to visit Karen at the University of Georgia (Go Dawgs!) Once someone had broken into his car and stolen his stereo, so to keep himself awake, he prayed. He found it so refreshing that he continues to use time in his car to pray and never turns the radio on.

 
Welcome, Moose!
I love you all,
Dr. Doug

 May 11, 2022

Dear Friends, 

This Sunday during our 11:00 AM Sanctuary Worship Service we will be celebrating our Graduates from both High School and College. These young people are to be congratulated on achieving their degrees and, I believe, we should celebrate with them and let them know how proud we are of them. Please make every effort to be present. 

For your information, the Graduates will also be recognized at the 9:30 AM Sanctuary Worship Service and I am hoping that we will hear from one of them on Sunday. Come and be a part of Worship this week! Higher Ground will meet at 11 AM and the Hispanic Service will meet in the Chapel at 11 AM also. 

Graduation is a truly exciting time in life. It marks the completion of something a person has worked very hard for. It is also the beginning of a new chapter in life. I remember my excitement at all the graduations I have been a part of and the great joy of being a part of my children’s graduations from High School and College. Those were great days! 

I want to thank everyone who has been a part of the lives of these Graduates. Whether you taught them in Sunday School, or coached them on a ball team, or helped them with a project, or sang with them in a choir, or shared a mission trip together; there are so many people at McEachern who have touched our Graduates’ lives. 

My prayer is that each of these young people will remember how they were loved and nurtured in the Christian faith. I also pray that they will not forget Jesus when they go to college or to a job. May the light of Christ shine brightly in them always! 

I love you all, 

Dr. Doug

 May 4, 2022

Dear Friends,

 

My Mom, Helen Thrasher, passed away eight years ago at the age of 94. She never drove a car, stayed home with the children, ran our household, was a really good cook, loved my Father (she always referred to him as your father), loved all five of us, and loved God and the church.

I remember her as hard-working, caring, generous, committed, disciplined, and loving. Much of who I am today, I learned from her.

  • I learned that I should always do my best in anything that I do.
  • I learned that there are different ways to solve problems and sometimes you just have to keep working till you find the right way.
  • I learned to turn stumbling blocks into stepping stones.
  • I learned how to make doand the difference between need and want.

She also had phrases she liked to use:

  • Because I said so.
  • If youre too sick to go to school, youre too sick to play outside.
  • Furniture is not made for jumping on.
  • Always wear clean underwear in case you get in an accident.
  • You have more money than sense.
  •  People do what they want to do. (My favorite)

This Sunday we will be celebrating Mothers Day at both the 9:30 and 11:00 AM Sanctuary Services, as well as our other services. Its a day we remember Moms, but also all the Mother figures in our lives. Where would any of us be without teachers, friends, relatives, counselors, etc. who have influenced us so very much?

I look forward to worshipping with you Sunday.

I love you all,

Dr. Doug



 May 4, 2022

Dear Friends,

 

My Mom, Helen Thrasher, passed away eight years ago at the age of 94. She never drove a car, stayed home with the children, ran our household, was a really good cook, loved my Father (she always referred to him as your father), loved all five of us, and loved God and the church.

I remember her as hard-working, caring, generous, committed, disciplined, and loving. Much of who I am today, I learned from her.

  • I learned that I should always do my best in anything that I do.
  • I learned that there are different ways to solve problems and sometimes you just have to keep working till you find the right way.
  • I learned to turn stumbling blocks into stepping stones.
  • I learned how to make doand the difference between need and want.

She also had phrases she liked to use:

  • Because I said so.
  • If youre too sick to go to school, youre too sick to play outside.
  • Furniture is not made for jumping on.
  • Always wear clean underwear in case you get in an accident.
  • You have more money than sense.
  •  People do what they want to do. (My favorite)

This Sunday we will be celebrating Mothers Day at both the 9:30 and 11:00 AM Sanctuary Services, as well as our other services. Its a day we remember Moms, but also all the Mother figures in our lives. Where would any of us be without teachers, friends, relatives, counselors, etc. who have influenced us so very much?

I look forward to worshipping with you Sunday.

I love you all,

Dr. Doug



 April 27, 2022

Dear Friends, 

I am so excited for this upcoming weekend and our Global Impact Celebration! McEachern’s work in the area of Mission and Outreach is truly amazing and far-reaching. This weekend you will get the opportunity to get an idea of just how amazing and far-reaching it is. 

You’ve probably seen the schedule, but here it is again: 

Friday 

  • 1- 4 PM Local Missions set up displays in the gym 
  •  7 – 9 PM Trivia for Missions with MMUMC Youth 
    •  Everyone is invited to join in the fun. Bring dollar bills for desserts, drinks, and mulligans.
    •  Meditation with Sonji Pass, TMS Global 

Saturday 

  •  8-10 AM Continental Breakfast with Mission Representatives Mission Team, Pastors, and Staff 
  •  12 – 2 PM Church-wide luncheon (reservations required) when missions will share impactful stories. 
  •  2 – 3 PM Mission Project: Assembly of MUST Lunches. All are invited to participate. 

Sunday 

ONE WORSHIP SERVICE IN THE SANCTUARY AT 11 AM 

  •  Joy Griffin, co-founder of International Leadership Institute as our speaker. Cynthia Giles, Ross Boone and Tapp Middle School Chorus 
  •  FAITH PROMISE AND MY LIFE COMMITMENTS TO BE MADE 

Just a word about Faith Promise and Life Commitment cards. Faith Promise is a commitment of money that is beyond your normal income. Basically, you are committing to give money to Mission work that God gives to you through the course of the year. 

The Life Commitment Card gives you the opportunity to offer yourself in service to Mission and Evangelism work in a variety of ways. These will be included in your Sunday Bulletin. 

It will be a great weekend and I hope to see you there! 

I love you all, 

Dr. Doug

Click Here for the GIC Webpage

 April 20, 2022

Dear Friends, 

I am thankful today for all the wonderful worship experiences we have had over the last week. From the Message and Music on Palm Sunday to the Living Last Supper on Thursday to the Tenebrae Service on Friday, we were truly blessed. And Easter Sunday was glorious! Sunrise in the fog to Joyful Worship in the Sanctuary and at Higher Ground and in our Hispanic Service. All told, our attendance Sunday saws over 750 people who shared in the joy of the Resurrection! 

The next several weeks are weeks of Celebration. This week, our Youth will be serving breakfast of Grace and Eggs to raise money for the Youth Mission Trip to Key West this Summer. Breakfast begins at 8:30 AM. We also are welcoming this year’s Confirmation Class into the church. We have four in the class that will be Baptized by Immersion, which we will do on the front lawn at the beginning of the 11:00 AM Service. We have 13 Confirmands this year and this is also Membership Sunday and there are others who will be joining as well. Let us know if you are ready to become a member of McEachern! 

Next week is our Global Impact Celebration. We have events scheduled for Friday night, Saturday Morning and afternoon, and one united Service of Worship at 11:00 AM on Sunday, May 1. There will be no 9:30 AM Worship Service and no Higher Ground Worship that day. Come be a part of the celebration! 

Click Here to Learn More

May 8th is Mother’s Day and there will be special recognition that day and May 15th is Graduate Sunday when we will honor our Graduates. You’ll hear more about those in the days to come. 

For me, I simply want to celebrate the privilege of serving the McEachern congregation. To see the work God is doing through this congregation is a breathtaking sight to behold. May God’s Holy Spirit flow through our church community as we seek to follow as Christ’s disciples! 

I love you all, 

Dr. Doug

 

 April 13, 2022

Dear Friends, 

I have often said that for a person to make his or her Easter Celebration really special that he or she needs to worship on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. I hope to see you both nights at 7 PM. 

Easter is very special to me. I love the music and the flowers and the beautiful clothes and the big crowds of Easter. But that’s not what makes it so special. What makes it special is the deep understanding of the love and power of God that I have as a result of Jesus rising from the grave. 

God really loves everyone, and that love does not change. He loves you so much He sent Jesus into the world to die as an atonement for our sins. We are saved by grace through faith in Jesus because God loves us so very, very much. 

God also demonstrates His power. God enables Jesus to rise from the grave demonstrating His power over death and the sure promise of life eternal. We need to grasp the power of God that can bring the dead back to life. God did it for Jesus and can do it for everyone who asks Him into their heart and life. 

This Sunday, invite your friends to come and celebrate the gifts of God’s love and hope and faith and power and wonder! I can’t wait to sing the words, “Christ the Lord is risen today!” Hallelujah! 

I love you all, 

Dr. Doug

 

 April 6, 2022

Dear Friends, 

Next week is Holy Week. During the week, we will remember and celebrate Jesus Christ in many different ways. This coming Sunday is Palm/Passion Sunday. We will begin the service with a Procession of Palms by McEachern Kids celebrating Palm Sunday when Jesus entered Jerusalem. This will be followed by the Choir joining me in “Message and Music” focusing on the Crucifixion. I’m looking forward to a great day of worship! 

Next Thursday, April 14 at 7 PM a group of men from our church will be presenting the “Living Last Supper” in the gym. This will be our celebration of Maundy Thursday and the play will be followed by the celebration of Holy Communion. 

On Friday, April 15 at 7 PM we will celebrate Good Friday with a Service of Tenebrae. This is always one of my favorite services of the year as we remember the Crucifixion of Jesus. This Service of Darkness will be held in the Sanctuary. 

Easter Sunday will begin with a Sunrise Service at 7 AM on the field behind Higher Ground. If it rains we will move into Higher Ground. After that, our normal Worship Schedule of 9:30 and 11 AM Sanctuary Services, 11 AM Higher Ground Service, and 11 AM Hispanic Service in the Chapel will be observed. 

I am really looking forward to Holy Week and pray that you will come and be a part. 

I love you all, 

Dr. Doug

 

 March 30, 2022

Dear Friends, 

On Wednesday mornings, I lead a Bible Study, and we are currently studying the Book of Acts. I love Acts for two reasons. First, it gives us a glimpse into the early church and the spread of Christianity during the first century. Think about it. The church had no funding, no property, and no New Testament. It had no organization to speak of and no clergy. Yet, it grew like wildfire. 

And that leads me to the second reason I love Acts. It clearly presents that all Christians share the responsibility of witnessing for Jesus Christ. It is Jesus speaking when He says to His followers: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8) 

During our Season of Lent, we are asking everyone to pray for someone that the Holy Spirit lays upon their heart and then invite that person to worship on Palm Sunday. We call this Operation Andrew after the Disciple Andrew who was always bringing people to Christ. Have you named someone? Have you been praying for that person? Next week will be the week to invite him or her. 

I read a book years ago titled,” Surprising Lessons from the Unchurched.” I had several “Ah-Ha” moments as I read the book, but one of the greatest ones was this: the number one reason, by a great margin, that someone attends a church for the first time is because a member of the church made a personal invitation to him or her. 

You see, the reason the early church, described in Acts, grew despite having no resources or advantages was that believers witnessed to others and invited others to follow Jesus. That’s the same reason that the church today grows. Who will you invite? 

I look forward to seeing you Sunday as we continue looking at the last 24 hours of Jesus’ life. I love you all, 

Dr. Doug


 March 23, 2022

Dear Friends,
Every time I walk through the season of Lent, I find myself humbled and amazed at the love of God demonstrated to us through Jesus. From the indescribable gift of Jesus’ birth when God took human form, to the miracles and teachings during His ministry, to the last 24 hours of His life leading to Jesus’s death on the cross, to the day of Resurrection; God’s love is on display.
It is easy in our present-day world to get so busy and distracted that we do not listen to the Psalmist who directs us to “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). But, as I write this, I am still. And I am awestruck at the wonder of God’s love.
I remember the song I sang as a youth entitled “His Love.”
His love is warmer than the warmest sunshine, softer than a sigh.
His love is deeper than the deepest ocean, wider than the sky.
His love is brighter than the brightest star that shines every night above. And there is nothing in this world that can ever change His love.
And I think of the loves I have shared and lived in this world, Debbie, our children and grandchildren, family, friends, and the people in the churches and communities I have served and I realize that Jesus’ love is deeper and higher and wider than any other love I have known.
I suppose that is why we celebrate a “Holy Lent.” To remember the love of Jesus. Do you remember?
This Sunday we continue in worship to walk through Jesus’ last 24 hours. He has appeared before the Sanhedrin; now Jesus is taken to Pilate. Come and continue the journey.
I also want to remind you of “Operation Andrew.” Has the Holy Spirit laid someone on your heart to pray for and then invite to worship on Palm Sunday, April 10th?
I am praying for you as you experience Lent this year. May Jesus’ deep, deep love be revealed to you in some very special way.
I love you all,
Dr. Doug

 March 16, 2022

Dear Friends, 

What a joy it was to see over 100 people show up on a cold, windy Saturday morning to work at the Great Day of Service this past week. All sorts of projects were done and many people were blessed by the works of service done Saturday. Well done McEachern! 

A special thanks to our Director of Missions Rev. Tamlyn Collins and the Missions Committee for all the preparations done for this day and to Bud Roscoe and his cooking crew for preparing breakfast for us. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! 

I want to make sure you have some of our upcoming things on your radar. 

Operation Andrew: Have you thought about who you will pray for this month and then invite to worship on April 10th? Whenever you see those fish in the Sanctuary, please say a prayer for all of those folks who will be contacted. 

Holy Week: 

Palm/Passion Sunday, April 10th. 9:30 AM and 11:00 AM. A special possession of palms and then “Message and Music” highlighting the Sanctuary Choir. 

 Maundy Thursday, April 14th. 7:00 PM “The Living Last Supper” where Leonardo da Vinci”s painting speaks. We will also serve Holy Communion. 

 Good Friday, April 15th. 7:00 PM. Tenebrae Service – the service of darkness remembering the Crucifixion of Jesus. 

 Easter Sunday, April 17th. Sunrise Service 7:00 AM 

 Sanctuary Worship 9:30 AM and 11:00 AM Higher Ground Worship 11:00 AM 

Just want to get all these on your calendar. We will have a wonderful season of Worship at McEachern! 

I love you all, 

Dr. Doug

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