The Circuit Writer             

      A monthly  newsletter

             of Tryon United  

           Methodist Church


                Phone: 828-859-9218



September 2021


Reflections Reprised

Summer vacation: On our way to the Greek town of Kalabaka and the area of the great Meteora Monasteries, Alex, our guide, told my daughter Elizabeth and me that when we arrived, he had a surprise for us. He drove us through the town, which was located at the foot of these huge and towering rock formations called the Meteora. These rocks are remnants of river sediment


      that were deposited on what was once part of a prehistoric sea. They were formed some 25

       million years ago and within them are caves, which were used as early as the 10th century

       by what’s described as religious hermits. Eventually great monasteries were built on the

        tops of these rock formations. At one time there were 24 different religious communities

        located at the top of these rocks. Now, I believe, there are only eight and we visited three of them.                 


           But, as stunningly beautiful as the rock formations are — they were not the                                                      


surprise Alex had in mind. The surprise was at the foot of the Meteora. We wound our way up some very narrow side streets and stopped in a parking area outside of a small church, the Byzantine Church of the Assumption of Virgin Mary. The locals call it the Church of the Panagia. It was built between the 9th and 11th centuries on the ruins of an early Christian basilica that was built in the 4th century. Before that, an ancient Greek Temple of Apollo was built on that site. The frescoes that were painted on all the walls and the ceiling of the church

were painted between the 12th and 16th centuries.



Alex wanted us to take in, with all of our senses, the beauty and the sacredness of this ancient small church at the foot of those towering rock formations. And so we stood in that 1,000 year old structure and quietly walked about, looking at the beautiful frescoes and the carefully painted words written in a calligraphy style that is a preferred style of writing in Greek Orthodox churches.

We would see other churches and holy sites that were larger, more ornate, with more icons and candles and incense burners. But, I must tell you that as soon as we walked into that small church, I could feel with a powerful certainty that we were standing in a holy place and that God was very much present with us. At one point that feeling was so strong I was moved to tears. I am still awed by the thought of being in that place.

I am so grateful that we were given the gift of being brought to this place and discovering the gifts that were waiting there for those who wished to enter and receive them. Our entire trip was filled with moments such as these. Each place we went offered us an opportunity to discover something new and different, something we could not have known we would find before arriving there. And, as I’ve thought of the time we spent in the Church of the Assumption and in the other sacred spaces we found ourselves in, I’ve thought over and over again about the abundance of these gifts that were given to us each day. The first verse of our text today (James 1: 17-27) is the truth: ”Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”

Truly, the Father of lights was present and offering to us in abundance the rich and invaluable treasures that awaited us each day. I hope that we can all step forth today knowing that gifts await us and that they have been generously given by God for each of us to discover and claim as God’s beloved children. Step forth today knowing that you are, indeed, a beloved creation of the Father of lights, and that you can be a blessing to others when we share the Good News and the love of Jesus Christ.

I wish you peace.


We asked permission from Pastor Lynnette to draw excerpts from her most recent sermons. The  problem comes with deciding which segments to select! This one is from the August 27 sermon titled “Discovering Generous Gifts.”


                                      News and Notes                        



Congratulations, Erica Sullivan Erica graduated in May with honors from UNC-Greensboro, where

she earned  a  BS  degree  in  Nursing.

She begins work this week in  the

Emergency Room at Moses Cone Hospital in Greensboro.

The Sullivan Family  


Longtime members of Tryon UMC have fond memories of

Dan and Charlotte Sullivan and their sweet young daughter, Erica.

Although the family has maintained its membership at TUMC (look for them in the 2021 Directory), Charlotte and Dan spend most of their time now in Asheville, where both of them currently work. “Little Erica” left home for college four years ago.

(How did that happen so quickly?)

Some of us had a chance to see Dan when he was volunteering on the chain crew during Polk County  football games. He brought us up to date on Erica’s recent accomplishments and we’re impressed! Congratulations,














Linda Robison’s mother, Bonnie Lee, had a wonderful 100th birthday celebration. She and Linda send thanks to everyone who sent a birthday card.

Page Turners



Page Turners will be discussing the novel Anxious People by Frederic Backman at their meeting on Wednesday, September 22nd. The story begins with an everyday apartment open house. Then a bank robber bursts in and takes the group of
strangers hostage. Each member of the group bares his or her own anxieties, not just about the hostage situation, but about their individual lives. We meet at 2PM in the church library. Come join us!
--Lynn Montgomery

Clara Biswas, the missionary we have supported for over 10 years, is retiring August 31st. She has had a ministry with the children and families who live in poverty in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Our contributions have helped her spread the love and knowledge of Christ to the least of those in this far-away place. Since Clara will be moving back to Bangladesh where her family lives, the Mission Committee has chosen a missionary family for us to help support.


Our new missionary family, Jamie and Holle Wollin and their three sons (Thomas, Eli, and Luke) have been living in Tirena, Albania  for the past 4  years, where Jamie has focused  on mentoring young men to become followers of Christ. He has built a non-profit car repair business (Litany Motors) that teaches skills and provides jobs for the unemployed. Holle  

 teaches in the missionary school that their   sons attend with other children of   missionaries as well as Albanian children.

Tryon United Methodist is now partnering with the Wollins to provide support for them and the Litany Motor project. Information about how we will do that will be provided soon, but prayers for this ministry would be appreciated. In the meantime, here are some excerpts from their recent newsletter and a photo of a  few of                                                                   the young men they are bringing to Christ

Jamie and Holle Hollin and their

three sons,Thomas, Eli and Luke.


                    Our Church Fellowship- a Kingdom Community

Our church has been meeting at homes the last year and has been developing

into quite the unique community! We are comprised of both foreigner mission

workers and Albanians. We come from a variety of Christian backgrounds and

even some who have been distant from any church community for a long time

and now finding a new and fresh life of faith again.

This church community has been a gift to us and many. And as we grow closer                               to one another, we are actively finding ways to help and serve one another. 

Some of the guys in the church are connecting with Litany Motors during the                         week and coming by to pray and encourage us. Men and women are meeting 

together outside of church to pray for healing for those who are going through difficult 


                    We bid a fond farewell to   

                       Clara Biswas,who is

                       moving back home to
                       Bangladesh, and we send

                       her our love and good






Wollins Mission Fund

We raise our own support through TMS Global to serve Christ in Albania. Financial partnership can happen through regular monthly, quarterly or annual support. One-time gifts are always welcomed! We are so grateful to all our supporters. You enable us to answer this call by God to share the good news of Jesus with the people of Albania.

                 How did you spend your summer?


Pretend it’s September and everyone who receives this newsletter has been waiting eagerly to hear how you are and what you’ve been doing. They have no preconceptions of high excitement or drama, but they’re all hoping for pictures and perhaps a short written account. So please, start sorting through the photos, and if you don’t have any, take a couple of pictures or write a note and send everything to Nancy Hiley ( for the September Circuit Writer.


In truth, you don’t have to pretend. Everyone IS waiting eagerly to learn how you are!


                     The Georgia Sandman’s unique art                                                         

                                exists to glorify God.                                       

Most weekends, Dylan Mulligan can be found surrounded

by skies and sea, relishing all that God’s Hand has wrought,

whistling his favorite hymn, “This is My Father’s World.”


Mulligan builds sandcastles, a hobby the lifelong United

Methodist has pursued for more than three decades. Through the years,                       Mulligan has come to realize that what some might call child’s play is his God-given gift.


“The Lord gives everyone talents,” Mulligan says. “When I realized how much people enjoyed my creations, building sandcastles became about something more than an activity I enjoyed. It became about taking that talent to glorify Him.”


Spending hours building sand structures presents opportunities to talk about his faith, as admirers often question Mulligan on how he can build the intricate castles.







“It’s nothing but the Good Lord’s blessing,” Mulligan always replies. “A human being  professional, he says he occasionally watches videos of professional sandcastle builders. Mainly, though, trial and error were his teachers. “I figured out what worked for me,” adding that his instruments involve water buckets, shovels, PVC pipe to shape towers and carving tools.                                                                                                                       




                           Glennville United Methodist Church was Mulligan’s favorite creation

                            – and story – after it survived a half-hour thunderstorm with only                                      modest damag

Dylan Mulligan, the Georgia Sandman, built a replica of Highclere Castle, known to the world as Downton Abbey. The project took a total of seven hours and contains over one hundred gallons of water.





is favorite creation involves his home church, Glennville United Methodist Church. “This house built of sand unfortunately would not last long,” he wrote on Facebook. “However, that wonderful, beautiful Methodist church built on South Caswell Street in Glennville, Georgia, still stands upon Christ, the solid Rock, and will never sink beneath the waves.”

Relinquishing his sand castles to the inevitable tides each day has taught Mulligan an important spiritual lesson. “Nothing on earth is permanent, especially if you’re building on sand,” he says, referencing Jesus’ parable of building on rock and not sand (Matthew 7:24-27). “When I started making that biblical analogy, it changed my outlook. I’ve come to the point now, when I build it, I just enjoy it. I know the tide is going to destroy it. There’s no point to try to protect worldly things.”


--Drawn from an article by Crystal Caviness for at United Methodist Communications. The full article was originally published August 20, 2020

Page Turners




 On Wednesday, August 25th the Page Turners will discuss the book Finding Chika by Mitch Albom. Chika Jeune was born three days before the devastating earthquake that decimated Haiti in 2010. She spent her infancy in a landscape of extreme poverty, and when her mother died giving birth to a baby brother, Chika was brought to the    Have Faith Haiti Orphanage that Albom operates in Port Au Prince.


With no children of their own, the forty-plus children who live, play, and go to school at the orphanage have become family to Mitch and his wife, Janine. Chika’s arrival makes a quick impression. Brave and self-assured, even as a three-year-old, she delights the other kids and teachers. But at age five, Chika is suddenly diagnosed with something a doctor there says, “No one in Haiti can help you with.” Join us in the church library at 2:00 p.m. as we discuss this heartwarming story.


                                                                --Lynn Montgomery

Guidelines and Recommendations for Worshipping and Gathering

At Tryon United Methodist Church Beginning

August 1, 2021


With the Delta Variant becoming the most dominant Coronavirus strain in the United States and its higher level of transmissibility among people, the CDC, Governor Cooper and the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church have issued new guidance regarding masks, particularly for children under 12 and others who are unvaccinated.

These are guidelines and recommendations intended to help individuals and congregations be mindful of the Wesleyan call to “do no harm” and to “love our neighbors as ourselves.” In keeping with the spirit and intent of these recommendations and with consideration of the needs of the members our specific congregation, the following are being recommended beginning August 1, 2021.


. We encourage anyone who hasn’t been vaccinated to consider getting the vaccine if possible. If that is not an option, please wear masks at all indoor ministry activities, including worship.

 .For anyone who is immunocompromised or under the age of 12 who cannot take the vaccine, we encourage you to wear masks while at Tryon UMC.

. For anyone who has been vaccinated, the wearing of masks is recommended, especially to protect others, but will not be required at this time.

. Please keep a healthy distance between you and people who do not live in your household. We have plenty of room in our sanctuary for everyone to socially distance and still participate fully in worship.

. We will assess COVID-19 positivity rates from week to week and use that as a guideline for determining whether or not we continue to have the choir in the chancel area and whether or not we continue to sing during worship.

. Please wear a mask if you are in the office area to help us care well for Kathleen.

.Information for outside groups has been distributed to them and they are committed to keeping their people and their time in our building healthy. Church leadership will continue to monitor the situation in our county and area each week. Changes will be considered as soon as they become appropriate. Please pray that we will be able to continue to gather for worship and for the good health and well-being of this congregation and our community.


If you have any questions, please contact Jim Holly at (803) 221-4276 or

or Pam Monterisi at (828) 817-4674 or while Pastor Lynnette is on vacation.




Recorded service: If you are not able to join us for worship in the sanctuary on Sunday mornings, please remember that recordings of our services are posted to our website and our Facebook page no later than 6:00 p.m. the following day. On our church website,, use the dropdown menu and select “Worship Video”. On our church’s Facebook page,, click on the menu item “Video”.

Offerings: We continue to encourage you to make your offerings to the church so that we can continue to operate and take care of the essential day-to-day things to keep us functioning as a church. In addition to the Sunday morning offering, you can mail in your offering or come by and drop it in our locked mailbox. You can also give on-line
with your credit card. Click on the link on our website under Giving.

Comfort Shawl is meeting in person again every 2nd and 4th Tuesday at 10:00 am. (See the calendar on page 2) If you don’t know how to knit or loom, we will show you.

Contact Jane Armstrong if you have questions.

2021 Church Directories are available in the basket just outside the church office as of this Sunday. Please take one per family.

Thermal Belt Outreach Ministry: This summer, TUMC volunteers joined with other churches and TBOM to provide food, especially fresh fruits and produce, to families in the community with limited resources. In the process, we were all reminded about the vital role Thermal Belt Outreach Ministry plays in our community, and what a blessing it is that they provide avenues for all of us who seek to follow Christ’s call to love our neighbors.

Pack the Bags Week: August 16-20 Thermal Belt Outreach Ministry School Supply Distribution
Pick a day during the week of August 20 to come to the Fellowship Hall anytime between 10 AM - 4 PM. Someone will be available there to show you what’s needed. We expect to finish packing all the bags for a particular school each day and then deliver them to that school. I f you can help with delivery, that would also be great. -To sign up call Kathleen Edberg @ 828-859-9218 or email

Thermal Belt Outreach Ministry Food Pantry Drive: We are once again collecting non-perishable food items and paper products for the food pantry at Thermal Belt Outreach Ministry. Please place your contributions in the blue tub just inside the parking lot door at the church.

Welcome Home Baskets--Another way to give to Thermal Belt Outreach Ministry. Please consider making a donation to TBOM to go towards the purchase of household items for families who will soon be moving into the rental houses that TBOM is making available to clients beginning in August. For more information on the new housing initiative, please contact Pastor Lynnette.

Calling all Women…


Sisters in Service will hold its first meeting of 2021 on Monday September 13th in the church library from 1:00-2:00 PM. Sisters in Service is a group of Tryon UMC women who support ministries which benefit women and children in our church, community

 and around the world.


Nothing to bring but your heart and smile!


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