Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019 at 10:45 a.m. you’ll step back in time to the 1800’s and meet a remarkable woman, Fanny J. Crosby. Born in 1820 and blinded at the age of 8, opportunities seemed very limited for this little girl. Who could guess she would grow up to write some of the best-loved hymns ever penned? Seven of the more than 8,000 hymns she wrote are still in the Methodist hymnal today. They include “Blessed Assurance,” “To God Be the Glory” and “I Am Thine, O Lord.”
Fanny exceeded expectations from a very young age. Raised by her mother and grandmother, she was taught to memorize five chapters of the bible each week from the age of 10. Just before her 15th birthday, she entered the New York Institution for the Blind. There, she learned to play the piano, organ, harp and guitar. She was taught to sing and had a fine soprano voice.
Playwright Dr. Shellie O’Neal was inspired to write a one-woman show about the inspiring life of Fanny J. Crosby. She first learned about her in a Sunday School class and never forgot about her astonishing life journey. O’Neal has written 26 plays, two of which won Texas state play writing competitions. For the past 18 years she has served as Director of Theatre at Navarro College in Corsicana TX, where she has directed over 70 productions. O’Neal has performed this one-woman show 140 times in 134 locations including a performance on her 40th birthday at the Bowery Mission in New York City where Fanny Crosby often spoke and sang.
“Jesus’ hands were kind hands, doing good to all, healing pain and sickness, blessing children small, washing tired feet, and saving those who fall; Jesus’ hands were kind hands, doing good to all.”
The words of this hymn written by Margaret Cropper in 1975 provide the perfect musical backdrop for events at Tennison UMC in October 2019.
We will host the annual community Health Fair on Saturday, Oct. 12 from 8-11 a.m. in the TMAC activity center on our campus. Free health screening will be provided to anyone in the community. Blood sugar, blood pressure, vision, spinal and osteoporosis screening will be available from medical professionals. Information will be distributed on topics ranging from stroke prevention, heart disease, diabetes and cancer to children’s health and safety. Church volunteers will serve water and snacks in addition to guiding visitors and staffing the event.
Sunday, Oct. 13 at 10:45 a.m. in the sanctuary presents a unique opportunity for inspiration by being present to hear the remarkable true story of Fanny J. Crosby. Born in 1820 and afflicted with blindness due to an infection in childhood, Crosby succeeded in becoming a teacher and social worker with a deep and sustaining faith. During her long lifetime of 95 years, she wrote over 8,000 hymns and gospel songs. She became known as the “Queen of Gospel Song Writers” and was a household name by the end of the 19th century.
Crosby’s story of unshakable faith and determination will be performed by Dr. Shellie O’Neal who wrote the one-woman play and has performed it more than 140 times. For the past 18 years, O’Neal has served as Director of Theatre at Navarro College in Corsicana TX where she has directed over 70 productions. O’Neal has written 26 plays, two of which have won Texas state playwriting competitions. Her performance at Tennison UMC is free and open to the public.
Finally, a special Healing Service is scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 27 at the 10:45 a.m. worship service in the sanctuary. Anyone who wishes to come forward during this service will be prayed for, anointed with oil and blessed by Rev. Mike Cline. If your loved one who is in need of healing is unable to attend the service, you may stand in for that person.
Woohoo! Ramp-building marathon weekend was a success! Three new ramps were built by Tennison volunteers. Three homeowners regained the freedom to enter and exit their homes safely. A huge thank you to our wonderful volunteers who gave their time unselfishly to this important ministry in our community.
The first ramp benefited a woman with macular degeneration who was prone to falling on her porch steps. At the age of 83, another fall could be devastating. A crew of three volunteers provided a safe new way to leave her home and re-enter the world.
Our second ramp delighted a retired schoolteacher who was forced to miss her doctor appointments for fear she couldn’t climb the steep steps into her home. After falling a few times, she decided to simply withdraw into her house. Tennison volunteers changed that by building a big new ramp that she can navigate with her wheelchair. Her great grandson said, “Nan, I like your new bridge!” and she thought to herself, “That’s exactly what it is. A bridge over troubled waters.” She was delighted to make a donation to the church to help buy materials for someone else’s ramp.
The third and final wheelchair ramp of the building marathon was the biggest project with the greatest engineering challenges. In spite of threatening rain clouds, the crew built a 36 foot ramp in 2 1/2 hours. Steep steps won’t keep 79 year old Mr. Minter captive now!
If you would like to help build ramps in our community, contact the church office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 903.572.5341. You can also send donations to the church for lumber and hardware needed to construct ramps. The mailing address is Tennison Memorial United Methodist Church, PO Box 967, Mt. Pleasant TX 75456.
Sewing class ends with a party and certificates. Sign up at the church office for a new class starting in September for ages 8-12.