The Circuit Writer            

A monthly  newsletter 

of Tryon United 

Methodist Church


       Phone: 828-859-9218



      August 2022




Live Pono

On my first Sunday back from my sabbatical (July 24), my prayer that Sunday included a saying I learned while in Hawaii: Live Pono. “Pono” is not a word that translates easily from Hawaiian to English. But it is fair to say that it is a small word that covers a lot of territory.


If I only told you that “pono” means “righteousness”, then I would only be giving you a very limited definition. “Pono” is more of a way of life that asks each person to respect human life. Beyond that it asks us to respect creation—the world and all that inhabits it. “Pono” writes Rick Bacigalupi, Emmy Awardwinning producer of Toward Living Pono, “ is living righteously, with a conscious decision to do the right things in terms of self, others, and the environment.” There is a focus on being positive and supportive of others and in ways that don’t negatively impact the world around us. It’s about living moral and ethical lives because of the respect we have for others, our world and ourselves.


I stayed in a hotel in Kihei on the island of Maui and the hotel was near an elementary school. I passed by this school every day and on one of the walls at the entrance of the school is a sign that reads “LIVE PONO.” What a great message for children to see every day when they come to school.


What a great message for us all! Living pono seems to me to be exactly what Jesus had in mind for us. I sensed in my travels around the island and in my encounters with native people on the island that in very real and deep ways the Hawaiian people knew this long before anyone ever explained who Jesus was or why Jesus mattered. You can imagine what a joy it was to find my tired and weary self surrounded by the incredible beauty of that island and to feel in very powerful ways the message of “live pono” as a follower of Christ.


On the first full day I had in Maui, I met Elizabeth after she got off work and she took me to an overlook to see Honolua Bay, which is a very popular place on the island to snorkel. And then we walked down a little trail to the edge of the ocean and we sat and took in the beauty of that place, enjoying every minute of peace offered there. Knowing of my enjoyment of scouring beaches in search of shells and other interesting things that wash ashore, Elizabeth said to me, “don’t take the rocks. The people here consider them sacred and they don’t disturb them.” You can pick them up and look at them, but out of respect, put them back where they were.


I don’t worship rocks, or trees (contrary to what some people say about those of us who live in Asheville), but I do try to live with a respect for God’s creation and to respect what others believe to be sacred. I was a guest there and as such, I did not mess with the rocks.


Maybe it would be good for those of us who profess our faith in Christ to add a little more “living pono” into our life with Christ. Wonder what difference that would make for us?


Thank you all for the time away and for the time needed to rest, breathe deeply, read, see new places and do new things. Thank you for respecting my sabbath time and for the prayers and good vibes you sent my way. Thank you for being who you are. I am glad for the time and now glad to be home. And I give thanks for you, my dear brothers and sisters in Christ.


May God Bless and Keep You.I wish you peace.

Pastor Lynnette





                        Picture of Kamalii Elementary School, Kihei, Maui County, Hawaii

    Page Turners Book Club




On Wednesday, August 24th, the Page Turners will discuss the novel The French Gift by Kirsty Manning. Fresne Prison, 1940: A former maid at a luxury villa on the Riviera, Margot Bisset finds herself in a prison cell with writer and French Resistance fighter Joséphine Murant. Together, they are transferred to a work camp in Germany for four years, where the secrets they share will bind them for generations to come. Paris, around about now: Evie Black lives in Paris with her teenage son, Hugo, above her botanical bookshop, La Maison Rustique. Life would be so sweet if only Evie were not mourning the great love of her life.


We will meet in the church library at 2:00 that day. Come join us!

News and Notes

                                 Church-wide Meeting

                        and Potluck Lunch                          Sunday, August 7, 2022     



Please plan to attend lunch and hear a report from Pam Monterisi, who is serving as our lay delegate this year at the WNCCUMC Annual Conference. This will also be an opportunity for you to ask questions about Annual Conference and learn more about what business was conducted.


We also want to use this time for you to offer any questions, thoughts, concerns, suggestions on our work as a congregation and how we can work together in the coming year to serve God and our community as a church.


Please plan to bring a side dish or dessert. The church will provide meat and drinks.


Summertime is Pick-up Choir time.

Sing familiar hymns and anthems in the company of other music lovers. No tryout, no long-term commitment. Just show up in the choir room promptly at 10:30 Sunday morning. You’re always welcome!


Here’s how you can join us for worship

at Tryon UMC:


   In-person worship is held each Sunday at 11:00 a.m.

      in our Sanctuary.


 View our recorded worship service on our website at Use the dropdown menu and select

     “Worship Video.”


  Recorded services are available on our Facebook page at                  



    Click the menu item “video”


                      Support the Ministries at Tryon   


    Your offering and gifts to Tryon UMC make it possible for us to do the work and ministry God calls us to do in our community, as well as continue the day-to-day operations of the church.



  Here’s how you can give:


  In-person during Sunday worship services.


  Drop off your offering in our locked mailbox outside the church office.



  Give on-line with your credit card through our website at Click on the “giving” link to make your offering.


Regular Gatherings



   Men’s Group meets in the library every other Sunday at 9:45 a.m. Upcoming meetings: July 31st & August 14th. Contact Jim Holly (803-221- 4276).


  Comfort Shawls meets in person every 2nd and 4th Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. If you don’t know how to knit or loom, someone will be happy to show you. Contact Jane Armstrong if you have questions. Upcoming meetings: July 26th, August 9th, & August 23rd


  AA Meetings: Meets on Monday evenings at 5:30 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall.  


  Living Clean: Meets on Thursday evenings at 6:00 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall.


   Sisters in Service meet on the 2nd Monday of the month at

1:00 p.m.












                                                                                                       Christmas in July

                                                                                                        Breanna Cochran, piano


                                                It all began at Christmastime last year, when the LA (Living

                                          Alone) group was invited by Chairpersons Pat and Wallace Patrick                                                                          to attend a Christmas piano concert performed by high school senior,

                                           Breanna Cochran. Breanna was ready, the Patricks were ready,

                                          and then COVID raised its ugly head again, causing the concert

                                          to be cancelled, or “postponed,” as Pat Patrick optimistically described it.
































School Supplies Distribution

Partnership with Outreach

Last week a total of 30 volunteers from TUMC and other area churches spent three days in our fellowship hall packing over 350 bags and backpacks with school supplies for Polk County students, as well as assembling boxes of classroom supplies for their teachers.

A message from the United Methodist Church



With some congregations considering leaving The United Methodist Church or just wondering about its future, “Ask The UMC” offers a series of questions and answers to help clear up some common misperceptions or misinformation around disaffiliation.


This is the first of a series of articles we will present to offer accurate responses to such misperceptions or misinformation. This article focuses on matters relating to theology, pensions, and benefits. The next article in the series will focus on matters relating to human sexuality.



We welcome your questions, and invite you to contribute to future articles in this series by sharing what you are hearing about the process of disaffiliation or the future of The United Methodist Church. Write to (Graphic by Laurens Glass, United Methodist Communications).


Is The UMC really…

1.   Splitting at this time?


No. The term “split” applies when there is a negotiated agreement within the denomination to divide assets and resources. No such agreement has been made in The United Methodist Church. The earliest point at which such an agreement could be made would be at the next General Conference to be held in 2024.


A more accurate term, as suggested by the Rev. William Lawrence, retired dean of Perkins School of Theology and former member of the Judicial Council of The United Methodist Church, is “splintering.” What is happening is that some traditionalist leaders have decided to create their own denomination (the Global Methodist Church). Leaders of that denomination and other unofficial advocacy groups, such as the Wesleyan Covenant Association, which created it, are encouraging like-minded United Methodist

congregations and clergy to disaffiliate from The United Methodist Church and join their denomination instead.


2.   Asking traditionalists to leave the denomination?


No. The requests for disaffiliations are coming largely from traditionalists. Keith Boyette, former president of the Wesleyan Covenant Association and now leader of the Global Methodist Church, describes the reasons he and other leaders are asking traditionalists to leave beginning at 13:32 in this video.


3.  About to alter its doctrine to deny the virgin birth, the divinity of Jesus Christ, the resurrection of Jesus Christ, or salvation through Christ alone?


No. All of these positions are bedrock in the doctrinal standards of The United Methodist Church, more specifically in the Articles of Religion and the Confession of Faith. These cannot be altered without a two- thirds vote of the General Conference followed by a three-fourths aggregate approval of all annual conferences of The United Methodist Church worldwide. There is no basis to conclude such majorities can be achieved to alter the Articles and Confession for any reason.


Here is what the Articles and Confession say on these matters. And will continue to say.

Virgin Birth and Divinity of Jesus

Articles of Religion, Article II:

“The Son, who is the Word of the Father, the very and eternal God, of one substance with the Father, took man’s nature in the womb of the blessed Virgin.”

Confession of Faith, Article II:

“We believe in Jesus Christ, truly God and truly man, in whom the divine and human natures are perfectly and inseparably united. He is the eternal Word made flesh, the only begotten Son of the Father, born of the Virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Here is what the Articles and Confession say on these matters. (continued)

Resurrection of Jesus Christ:

Articles of Religion, Article III:   Christ did truly rise again from the dead, and took again his body, with all things appertaining to the perfection of man's nature, wherewith he ascended into heaven, and there sitteth until he return to judge all men at the last day

Confession of Faith, Article II:    "Jesus Christ... was buried, rose from the dead and ascended into heaven to be with the Father, from whence he shall return."

Salvation apart from faith in Jesus Christ

Articles of Religion, Article IX:    “We are accounted righteous before God only for the merit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, by faith.”

Confession of Faith, Article IX: “We believe we are never accounted righteous before God through our works or merit, but that penitent sinners are justified or accounted righteous before God only by faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.”


Is The UMC really…

4.  Intending to change the Bible?

No. The United Methodist Church has no official translation of the Bible and has never sought to alter the Bible at all. United Methodists have always had a variety of views about how to interpret specific passages of Scripture and likely always will.

5.   Allowing congregations that exit the denomination to continue to offer the same pension and health benefits programs to their clergy and staff?


e Book of Discipline does not permit non-UMC entities to be plan sponsors of the Clergy Retirement Security Program. Only a General Conference can change this. Churches that disaffiliate will face changes to the benefits they can offer their clergy. Individual congregations and clergy that join the Global Methodist Church (GMC) will be eligible to participate in a retirement plan offered by the GMC, which will be a Wespath defined-contribution retirement plan similar to a United Methodist Personal Investment Plan (UMPIP).

Elders and deacons who withdraw under Discipline ¶360 will have all assets accrued in CRSP and previous programs in which they may have participated (defined benefit and defined contribution) converted into a cash equivalent and placed into their United Methodist Personal Investment Plan (UMPIP). Future retirement plan contributions may be made to the new retirement plan described above which, like UMPIP, is a personal retirement account subject to the effects of the stock market and other investments on its value.

Nor, at this time, is it possible for individual congregations (whether in the Global Methodist Church or in the UMC) to be plan sponsors for the HealthFlex health insurance programs Wespath offers unless a congregation has more than 50 eligible employees. United Methodist annual conferences are the plan sponsors for congregations with fewer than 50 eligible employees. This means individual congregations with fewer than 50 eligible employees currently participating in these programs that exit The United Methodist Church at this time can no longer offer these benefits to their clergy and employees effective with the date of disaffiliation. Clergy currently covered by HealthFlex, whether they disaffiliate or not, are eligible to continue on the health insurance plan by paying 100% of the costs themselves for up to 18 months. At that point, the HealthFlex plan is no longer available to them. Individual congregations and clergy who join the Global Methodist Church may participate in the health benefits selected by the Global Methodist Church, which may include HealthFlex.


For additional information, see this FAQ from Wespath.



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