Dear Westview Family

The following announcement was made during our Sunday service May 10th” Bishop Bill McAlilly and the Nashville Area Cabinet of the Tennessee/Memphis Conferences worked prayerfully together to make missional appointments to every church in our Annual Conference. As Chairperson of the Pastor Parish Relations Committee, I give thanks for the ministry of our pastor, Tom Pierce, who has been a servant leader among us. As he moves to his new appointment, we will continue to pray for him. Our church will receive Rev. Todd Kelly as our new pastor. He will lead us in worship for the first time on Sunday, August 2. Let us pray now and through these coming weeks for this transition in our church. I have enjoyed serving as your pastor for the last five years. We have had our ups and downs but I truly believe that Westview UMC is in a position to explode into the future. Numbers may be down but Spiritual growth has been taking place. Westview UMC has never been more involved in the community than it is now and we are becoming known for that. While attending a soccer game, last fall, a person asked me where I pastored. When I told him Westview UMC he replied, “The Boy Scout Church!” Others have complimented me on how involved we are in helping people and organizations. We’ve paid bills, counseled, hosted, and loved all we could. We have become the hands and feet of Christ in our community. Then COVID-19 happened. The isolation made us realize that we are the church! The building is simply where we meet. We go forth and serve and that has continued throughout this period of social distancing. We have gone to the store and shopped for people with compromised immune systems and those at risk. We have worked with people struggling with the anxiety of the times. We have continued to reach out in love offering a new food pantry box. These are all signs of the Spiritual growth that has taken place within our congregation. I will miss serving as your pastor yet I am excited for the opportunities God is providing as I go to a new charge. I will continue to pray for you and ask that you pray for me. I hope that you will continue to grow spiritually and numerically into the future under the skilled leadership of Rev. Todd Kelly. Move date is currently set for July 28th and Rev. Kelly’s first Sunday will be on August 2nd .

With God’s Blessings, Pastor Tom

April 2020

Dear Westview Family and Friends,

We are living in a very strange and troubling time. Anxieties are high, people are worried, and we are unsure what to do. God tells us not to worry. We need to remember that God is in control and set our sights on what we can do to love God and love our neighbors. Right now loving our neighbor looks different for people in various positions. Doctors, nurses, and medical workers are working very hard to treat sick folks and that is their love. For most of us our way of showing love is to keep a social distance from each other so that we do not spread the virus to those most vulnerable to complications.

With this in mind, Bishop Bill McAlily has asked us to not have in person worship through the end of April. This has broken my heart as I truly enjoy seeing you all in worship and believe that we are better together. We have had virtual worship online for the past several weeks and are working on ways for more people to see the services. Currently if you do not have internet you need to call 312-626-6799 and when prompted enter 964764271.

I am praying for each of you. If you have specific prayer concerns please feel free to email me at pastor@westviewumc.org or call 615-799-0250 and leave a message.

Blessings,

Pastor Tom

Planning Center Giving

Planning Center Giving

Did you notice there’s a new way to do your tithes and donations? We’ve launched new relationship software to make staying connected easier! Just click the heart, or this link –
https://wumcfairview.churchcenter.com/giving to use the secure form to give.

We encourage you to make decisions about your gifts to the church when you make your budget, not right before the time of offering. Consider setting a recurring donation to simplify the process.


You can also download the Church Center App for iPhones or Android here:

App Store

Google Play

Look for Westview UMC of Fairview.

A Church For Everyone

Hi, I’m Jill. I am the current Lay Leader of Westview United Methodist Church, and I welcome everyone to our congregation.

However, I need to make a few things clear before you come.

We are a church for everyone. If that makes you uncomfortable, you might want to seek fellowship elsewhere.

What does it mean that we are a church for everyone? It means that we don’t believe in drawing up battle lines and picking sides. We believe the body of Christ is strongest when we are together in all our beautiful, messy diversity, loving each other even when we disagree.

What does it mean that we are a church for everyone? It means that if you need an accommodation that we don’t currently have in order to fully participate in our services and ministries, we will do everything in our power to understand your needs and make our church accessible to you.

What does it mean that we are a church for everyone? It means if you are LGBTQ+ you are welcomed fully into our fellowship, as brothers and sisters in Christ. You may participate in ministries and in all levels of local leadership, but you must understand that the United Methodist Church is still wrestling with your full inclusion. That means we as a denomination do not currently ordain individuals that are openly gay, nor do we marry same sex couples. Individual congregations take different stances on these issues, and things are changing fast, but as a denomination, these are the current policies and we understand you need this clarity upfront.

What does it mean that we are a church for everyone? It means that we respect your right to follow your own deeply held convictions on matters that divide us, and trust that we can hold our beliefs while behaving in a loving and grace-filled way. We believe that God is the only judge of our sin, and we encourage each other to live holy lives within our own personal understanding of what God has called us to. We ask that people on both sides of any issue use their differences to show the world the power of Christ’s love, rather than conflict and hatred.

What does it mean that we are a church for everyone? It means that you don’t have to figure out how to be “like” us to fellowship, worship and grow with us. We want you to come, and bring everything you have, your strengths, your weaknesses, your flaws and your complications, your openness and your bias, and lay everything at the foot of the cross so we can grow together into the diverse body of Christ we are meant to be.

October 2019

Dear Friends of Westview,

I was talking to a group of people, at the rec center, the other night and mentioned that I was a pastor at the church across the street. One of the parents said, “Oh you are the pastor at the Boy Scout Church!” That is a great way to be known. The Boy Scout Church, the Meals on Wheels Church, the FCE Church, the A.A. church, and many more names are great ways to let God be known. We reach out into our community in so many ways and that reaching out is an awesome way to witness to the love and generosity of God. We have opened the building that God has provided to the community as a way of reaching the people God wants us to reach. Is it enough?

The short answer is no, it is not enough. It is a start but ministry is as passive as letting others do things. So we must do more than opening our spaces to people. We need to talk with people and develop relationships that are deep and meaningful. As these relationships develop we share what and how God has blessed us. We share what we know about God and listen to how God is blessing the other person. The important and great thing about this is that we can do this with all of the people we encounter. People that do not look like us, act like us, believe like us, love like us, vote like us, and are different from us can teach us a whole lot about the power
of God’s love, grace, and mercy.

To that end I ask that you go forth from your comfort zones and talk to your neighbor or the clerk at the store and invite them to church so that they can join our family and be a part of something that is great and wonderful.

Blessings in Jesus’ Name,
Pastor Tom

Online Giving

At Westview, we want to encourage you to give intentionally, with prayerful consideration of what God is asking of you, in line with your planned family budget. (We have many resources from Dave Ramsey in our library, that you are more than welcome to check out!)

To make intentional giving a little easier, we’ve added online tithing, via secure website portal or app. You can even set up your giving as a recurring debit so it will always be the priority it should be.

If you are getting receipts emailed to you, we are transitioning to this new system as the old application is no longer supported. You can always opt out of these emails by clicking the button in the email. Send questions directly to me! Thanks!

https://wumcfairview.churchcenter.com/giving/to/general

Keep it Positive!

Our Staff Parish Relations Committee recently

At Westview UMC we believe that gossip is detrimental to our church family and the world around us. We ask everyone involved at Westview to refrain from bringing negative issues to anyone who isn’t directly involved or who can’t solve the problem. We expect our staff and leaders to refrain from gossip.

How do you deal with the negativity in your life?

August 2019

Dear Westview UMC Family and Friends,


Pastors often hear, “I’ve done my time.” This is most commonly said in response to a request for volunteers. “I’ve done my time.” It seems that this saying equates volunteering and Kingdom Work with jail. I’ve done my time now I’m free to do whatever I want. I wonder what would have happened if Abraham had said to God, “I’ve done my time.” What if Mary, Moses, Noah, or any number of others had used this loophole?

Kingdom Work is work that we do to build up the Kingdom of God, to add to God’s family, and Good Works. These are behaviors that we as Christians should engage. At Westview we claim to be the hands of Christ right here for our community. God’s hands are anything but idle. God’s actions are purposeful and loving. Therefore as God’s hands we too must act with purpose and love.

“I’ve done my time.” Abraham and Sarah were around ninety years old when God moved them to and fro. They responded, “Here I am!” even though the how of what was to happen remained a mystery. Mary also responded with, “Here I am!” even though she was a young girl facing an uncertain path. Noah, Moses, David, and many more all responded, “Here I am.”

A woman from a previous church taught me a great deal about ministry. She was a cradle Methodist. That is she was born, raised, and grew old in Methodist churches. She was very active. She taught Sunday school, led the youth group, held leadership positions, and was a great Christian. This lady suffered many health issues later in life that caused her to be homebound unable to do the ministries that she loved so much. That didn’t stop her. God put a ministry on her heart and she responded, “Here I am.” She began writing notes of encouragement to the people in the church. She expanded that to the people in her neighborhood. She sent notes to elected officials simply giving encouragement. She wrote thousands of notes.

When she lost her eyesight people thought, “She’s done her time.” This wonderful lady turned that into, “Here I am!” She recruited her granddaughter to write the notes as she dictated them! This was a wonderful bonding experience for them and when this sweet lady passed over to glory her granddaughter continued writing those wonderful notes of encouragement.


Let us all turn, “I’ve done my time” into “Here I am Lord!


Blessings,
Pastor Tom

July 2019


As I was walking through Walmart this past week I noticed the back to school displays and realized how excited the children must be. After all how much freedom, fun, and fresh air can a child take before they go back to school?  It did make me realize that time has kept marching on and maybe even increased pace this summer. It seems that yesterday I was writing about summer vacations and family time and here it is the beginning of the school year.

Most of the children I have talked with are not excited about school. They have been enjoying their time away from a routine that keeps them busy at a school desk. I share with them that they can look at the start of school as a new beginning; a kind of do over. There will be new people to meet, challenges to face, and learning to accomplish. Looking back at the changes in the church I realize that we are very much a new church.

I do not mean that we are a new church start or that things will drastically change. As a new church we face certain challenges. We have people telling us we cannot do things this why or that because “we’ve never done it that way before.” We have people that are unsure how to plug in and get involved because new things can be messy and a bit confusing. We also have people waiting to hear about God and Jesus Christ; desperately needing to fill a void in their lives. Being a new church leaves us with questions. Who are we? What do we stand for? Why are we a church?

The mission statement of the United Methodist Church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Our conference adds lines about empowering leaders to make disciples. Westview’s mission statement is to create, equip and send forth disciples to spread God’s love. How do we do this? Is this who we want to be? Is this enough? As a new church we have the opportunity to explore the answers to these questions and really look at what God is calling us to do in the mission field that is Fairview Tennessee.

God has called us to be the hands and feet of Jesus sent to a hurting world. The leadership of Westview will be meeting to discuss this theme on August 4th after the second service. If you are interested in being a part of leadership, ministry, or involved in a new beginning join us for lunch and conversation to see what Westview UMC will be doing for God in the coming months.

Blessings,

Pastor Tom

June 2019

Dear Westview Family and Friends,

Clergy and Lay Delegate members of the Tennessee Annual Conference met this past week in Brentwood Tennessee. Over the three days we participated in Holy Conferencing, a process of discerning God’s will for the United Methodist Churches of Middle Tennessee. At this Annual Conference we elected delegates to the next General Conference in 2020. We also approved direct billing of health insurance and pension of clergy serving local churches. We acknowledged and apologized for harm caused to LGBTQIA+ individuals by the church. The most exciting aspect of Annual Conference was the vote to form a new conference with the Memphis Annual Conference. Together we will be stronger in our Jurisdiction and the church as a whole. When more parts come together more can be accomplished because the many gifts combine to create a stronger whole. I look forward to working with our kinfolk from across the river.

In addition to Annual Conference news a date has been chosen to go to the Holy Lands. Join Brady Whitehead and me on January 13-22, 2020 as we set off on a life changing trip. We will visit sites like Petra, Qumran, Bethlehem, Jerusalem including the Garden Tomb and Church of the Holy Sepulchre. From Jerusalem we will travel to the Galilee region and visit Capernaum and many other sites! I am truly excited to share this opportunity with you. Brady has a vast knowledge of these sites and we will all learn a great deal from him and the guides as we travel. Brochures will be coming in the next week so keep an eye out and join us for a trip of a lifetime.

Blessings,
Pastor Tom