Pastor Tammy Talbert

Tammy leaves in June 2016

Tammy Talbert.  Please call me Tammy.  I am your Canaan UMC denton nc pastor, sent to you by Bishop Larry Goodpaster through the direction and promptings of the Holy Spirit.  Just so you know, I will have my office in the office of the parsonage.  You can find me there most mornings.  I plan to be taking Fridays as my day off.

  I am a pastor who is married to a pastor.  The conference calls us a clergy couple.  My husband  David has been sent to serve Bethany UMC and we’ll be celebrating 17 of marriage years this August.

  We have 2 children, Grace who is 13 and will be attending South Middle and Aaron who is 10 and will be attending Denton Elementary.  We have 2 Italian Greyhound dogs, Trinity and Orlando.

  I am an ordained United Methodist elder who has been in ministry for 15 years.  I was born and raised in King William County, VA.  I graduated from Virginia Wesleyan College in Virginia Beach and graduated from seminary at Duke Divinity School where I met and married David. I first served a 2 point charge in Farmington, NC for 4 years.  The next 5 years we lived in Maiden where I took a family leave to be at home with our young children.  David and I then co-pastored a church in Weaverville and most recently co-pastored Trinity Memorial in Trinity for the last 5 years.

  On my own, I don’t spell well and I don’t navigate well.  I enjoy scrapbooking and baking Ghirardelli double chocolate chip cookies.  I am only 5 foot 2, but so was John Wesley, father of Methodism.  And just so you don’t have to ask or guess, I did turn 29/11 (40 years old) this year.

Words From Pastor                                           Administrative services Talbert, Tamela R.

2/26/2012 - Jesus' Cross Words: "Father Forgive Them" Luke 23:26, 33-34a. First Sunday of Lent message by Rev. Tammy Talbert on YouTube Here....

The Last Tuesday of June 

       After moving up to the mountains in Asheville one June seven years ago--changing churches, changing schools, leaving friends—and then moving back down the mountain the very next June—changing churches, changing schools, leaving friends--we started hold a “We’re not moving this year” party.   Over our last 5 years spent in Trinity, we held one of these parties.  We usually made Cheerwine ice cream.  It was always on the last Tuesday of June:  moving day for United Methodist pastors of our Western North Carolina Conference.  Last year, though, we did not get to hold such a party since we were once again moving.

       This year, we look forward to being here the last Tuesday of June and once again holding a “We’re not moving this year” party.  No U-hauls and boxes and bubble wrap for us.  Just some ice cream and some time to celebrate this last year as we begin to look ahead to another.

       This year at Annual Conference, there will be lots of voting.  Ballots will be taken for delegates to General Conference (this is where United Methodists from all over the world come together to make decisions concerning our denomination).  Ballots will be taken for delegates to Jurisdictional Conference (this is where Bishops are elected).  Then on the last day of Annual Conference, as the last order of business, the Bishop will “fix” the appointments.  All the appointments involving moves will be made official.   All the appointments not involving moves will be made official.  There will be sadness, there will be joy, but as for me and my house, we welcome the chance to have a “We’re not moving this year” party this summer in Denton.  Thank you for receiving me back.

       Please be in prayer for our Annual Conference as it meets June 9-12 and be in prayer for all of the pastors and their families who will be on the road—changing churches, changing schools, and leaving friends—on the last Tuesday of June.

Peace, Pastor Tammy

Journey to the Cross - March 1,2011

As March begins,it is Transfiguration Sunday…a day in the Christian year that bridges the seasons of Epiphany and Lent.  Today is a day of crossover if you will-- a moving from the revelation of God as Savior to the Gentile wisemen (Epiphany) to the journey to the cross (Lent).

But before we make this move toward the cross, we are given fuel for our journey through Jesus’ transfiguration.  This amazing story of Jesus’ glory becoming momentarily visible can be found in Matthew 17:1-9, Mark 9:2-9, and Luke 9:28-37.   As you make your way to the cross, remember the glory he showed you.  As things turn bad, very, very bad, remember the glory he showed you.  Transfiguration Sunday says to us, “With God, there is always more than meets the eye.”  “With God, there is always more going on than we can see.”  “With God, all things will turn out right in the end.”

Our journey to the cross each year offers us a time for reflection, self-examination & self-denial.  A time to confess our sins and repent.  A time to die to our old selves and become new.  Some people choose to give up something during Lent, something that will enable them to be more attentive to God with its removal from their lives. (For example, some choose to fast from foods or TV or other distractions in their lives).  Others choose to take on something extra during Lent, something that will increase their faith like daily Bible readings or extra prayer times or increased worship attendance.

The following are worship opportunities that will be happening throughout our Denton Sub-District during the season of Lent.  Mark your calendars and plan to attend as many as you can as we all make our way to the cross together this year.

Shrove Tuesday Pancakes March 8, 5-7 @ Central UMC

Ash Wednesday Worship  March 9, 7pm @ Clarksbury UMC

Noon Lenten Services

       Wed. March 16           @ Central w/ Rev. Benny Clodfelter

       Wed. March 23           @ Central w/Rev. Bill Foust

       Wed. March 30           @ Central w/Rev. Chris Smith

       Wed. April 6            @ First w/ Rev. Kelly Creekmuer

       Wed. April 13           @ First w/Rev. Doug Rowe

       Wed. April 20           @ First w/ Rev. Tammy Talbert

Maundy Thursday Service April 21 @ Piney Grove UMC, 7pm  w/Rev. Bill Foust

                            or @ Bethany UMC, 7pm w/Revs. David & Tammy Talbert

Holy Week Drama  “Is It I, Lord?”  Palm Sunday , April 17 @ Central, 7pm

                 Second performance, Good Friday, April 22 @ Central, 7pm

Easter Sunrise  April 24, Time TBA @ Canaan with breakfast to follow

Easter Morning Charge Worship  11am @ First  (no Sunday School today)

**At each Lenten service, an offering will be collected and given to the South Davidson Family Resource Center.  The pancake supper proceeds will benefit the Denton Elementary Backpack program.

See you at the cross, Pastor Tammy

What’s Your Plan?    Feb. 1, 2011

       You know the old saying, “There’s more than one way to skin a cat.”  Now having 2 cats of my own, I don’t so much appreciate the subject of that saying, but I have to agree with its meaning:  there are lots of ways to do things right.  And in order to be most effective with the way we have chosen, we have to have a plan, commit to the plan, and follow the plan.  No matter how spontaneous you are, some things require a plan, and daily reading of the Bible is one of those things that requires a plan.

       Perhaps that was one of your New Year’s resolutions:  “To read the Bible daily.” And I suspect that you started out with great gusto.  But by this point in February, if you don’t have a plan, it becomes harder and harder to stay on track.  By the time you encounter the book of Leviticus, if you don’t have a plan, it becomes harder and harder to stay on track.

       So I would like to suggest a few plans to you to aid you in your daily Bible reading.  If this was not your New Year’s resolution, I encourage you to adopt it as something you will commit to anyway, right away.  Daily Bible reading gets us into God’s Word and gets God’s Word into us in such a way that opens us up to a deeper relationship with God --and who among us does not hunger for that?  It also provides God another avenue through which to speak to us.  As Christians, we believe that the Bible contains everything necessary for life and salvation, so why wouldn’t we want to search it and encounter it daily?

       Last year I purchased The Bible in 90 Days, and for me, it provided a wonderful structure for reading through the entire Bible in just 3 months.  What I most appreciated about that Bible was that it was written in big print and formatted in such a way so that you read 12 pages of the Bible every day.  For me, it worked.

       But as you know, there’s more than one way to skin a cat.  Some other plans include reading through the New Testament in a year by committing 5 minutes a day, 5 days a week.  There are also schedules available to guide you through the Bible in a year cover to cover, or by reading various chapters of various books in various orders.  The important thing in selecting a Bible reading plan is to choose one that best suits you and to commit to it.  Also helpful is finding a friend who will follow the same schedule so that you can encourage one another.

       I am placing copies of various Bible reading schedules on the back pew in hopes that you will take one to make a part of your life over the next months or the next year.  And when you are done, plan to start all over again so that you never find yourself out of God’s Word.  Let me know the plan you have chosen and how it is going.

Peace, Tammy

As we enter 2011, what is our mission?  1/1/2011

“To make disciples of Jesus Christ.” According to our Book of Discipline, this is our mission as United Methodist Christians. As United Methodist Christians of the Western North Carolina Conference, our mission statement is this: “To follow Jesus, make disciples, transform the world.”

But what constitutes a mission statement exactly? Well, in the words of

Wikipedia, a mission statement is a formal, short, written statement of the purpose of an organization. It guides the actions of the organization, it spells out its overall goals, it provides a sense of direction and it guides decision making. As we enter 2011 and consider what the mission, purpose and vision of Canaan United Methodist Church is, reflect on the following mission statements of other churches and organizations.

*Changing lives, transforming communities, & renewing the church.

--The UM Church of the Resurrection, Kansas

*Leading our generation into a transforming relationship with Jesus and authentic

community with each other so that everyone in our area can flourish.

--Menlo Park Presbyterian, CA

*To bring people to Jesus and membership in his family, develop them to

Christlike maturity, and equip them for their ministry in the church and life mission in

the world in order to magnify God’s name.

--Saddleback Church, CA

*To be a community of faith where the Gospel of Jesus Christ is embraced,

encountered, and embodied. --Christ UMC, Greensboro, NC

*Daily striving to praise God, make disciples, and love and care for others.

--FUMC, High Point, NC

*To be America’s best quick-service restaurant at winning and keeping customers

that we might glorify God by being a faithful steward in all that is entrusted to our care

and that we might have a positive influence on all we meet.

--Chick Fil A Restaurants

As we live in the present with purpose and look toward the future with vision,

how can we best express who we are in ministry as Christ’s church in our community?

Think on it and we’ll talk .   Peace, Pastor Tammy

Much to Do  12/1/2010

       There are always things to do, to get done, to be done… and so we must choose how to best and most faithfully spend our time.  As we experience this season of Advent with its call to intentional waiting and hoping and reflecting, may you make plans to choose to be a part of things that will be life-giving and life-renewing and even life-stretching.

       Here are a few of those kinds of opportunities that will be coming up over the next month and into the new year.

       December 11 at 5:30pm at First, Widow’s and Widower’s Night Out.

       December 12 at 7pm at Central UMC, Community Love Feast with Tammy Talbert preaching.

       December 19 at 6pm at Canaan UMC, Canaan’s Choral Cantata:  “Beautiful Star.”  Refreshments will follow.

       December 24 at 11pm at Central UMC, Community Christmas Eve Service.

       January 2, pulpit exchange with Rev. David Talbert preaching at Canaan & First.

       January 2011 in First Fellowship Hall—date TBA—Beth Moore’s “Esther, It’s Tough Being a Woman”  See Tammy to sign up and order a book.

       January 29 at First Baptist Indian Trail in Charlotte, Men at the Cross Conference.  See  Rev. Benny Clodfelter for info.

       January 30 from 2:30pm-5:30pm at First UMC, Lexington, District Leadership Conference.  See back table for listing of workshops.

       January 30 from 3-5pm at First UMC, Lexington, Youth Packing Event for Stop Hunger Now where youth will be packing dehydrated meals in an assembly line process.  Everyone participating is asked to bring $10 to pay for the meals.

       February 11-12, Lock-I n at Shiloh UMC Basic Youth Lay Speaking Class for youth 9th-12th grades.  See Tammy if interested.

       Tuesdays 7-9pm in February & March at Wesley Heights UMC, Lexington District Adult Lay Speaker Training.  See back table for information.

       Over these next several weeks, may you make intentional choices that will put you in a place where God can bless you and grow you.

Peace, Tammy

What are “Apportionments” and What in the World Are They For? 11/1/2010

As United Methodists, we are a “connectional” people through our sharing.  Among other things, we share pastors through our appointment process and we share money through our apportionments.

“Apportionment funding is a method of giving that proportionally allocates the churchwide budget to conferences and local churches.”  Think of it this way:  apportionments are simply “a portion meant for others”.  Just as we tithe as individuals, we also tithe—in a sense—as a local church through our apportionments.  Each year, our Western North Carolina Conference uses a formula that calculates the amount of apportionments each local church is responsible for paying so that our United Methodist Church can be in ministry throughout the world.  In essence, the formula works like this:  for each dollar we spend on ourselves--our staff, programming, property—a portion of that amount is apportioned for us to give toward ministries of The United Methodist Church for others.

For United Methodists this method of giving has become a strong, generous tradition to which we commit when we join The United Methodist Church.

Together, through our connected congregations, we accomplish what no single church, district or annual conference ever could hope to do alone. In this way, each individual, each family, each congregation gives a fair share for the church's work. We combine our prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness to make a significant difference in the lives of God's people.

Some of our money from Canaan supports ministries of our Lexington District, some money supports the operating costs and ministries of our Western North Carolina Conference, and some money supports ministries that our general church or denomination engages in.  Here is a brief overview of how some of our money  apportioned for the General Church is spent (for more details you can go to

General Fund  Develops principled Christian leaders for the church and the world, creates new places for new people and renewal of existing congregations, engages in ministry with the poor, stamps out killer diseases of poverty by improving global health.

The Ministerial Education Fund provides scholarships to those students studying for ministry in United Methodist seminaries

The Episcopal Fund pays the salary, office operations, heath insurance, pension, travel and other expenses of the Bishop.  Our Bishop, Larry Goodpaster, is the overseer of all of the churches and pastors of our Western North Carolina Conference.

Africa University Fund supports the only United Methodist University on the continent of Africa.

Black College Fund supports our 11 historically black colleges (Bennett is our NC University)

As the Western North Carolina Conference our apportioned funds also support the following ministries:  The Conference Resource Center & Mission Response Center, Camp Tekoa, Yokefellow Prison Ministry, The Children’s Home, Retirement Homes, Homes for the Mentally Challenged, Deaf Ministry, Methodist Counseling Centers and many others.

As we continue in our commitment to giving, I, as your pastor, will do my best to keep you informed of where your money is going.

Peace, Pastor Tammy

                   Words from your Pastor                    

Winning Is Losing   10/1/2010

       Have you seen the latest blooper on the internet?  Google “Australia’s America’s Top Model” and you can watch the video.  Apparently, last week was the season finale of this TV program that airs in Australia.  As is customary with these sorts of reality programs, this season’s winner was announced on live TV.  It was Kelsey verses Amanda.  After a brief pause, Kelsey’s name was called out by the host and declared winner.  Balloons were released, confetti fell, the crowd cheered and victory music played.  Kelsey stepped up to the microphone and made her acceptance speech.   Amanda then stepped up to the microphone and thanked those who supported her.  In the middle of Amanda’s speech, the producer radios into the host’s ear “Wrong one.  Amanda is really the winner.”  The host stops Amanda mid sentence and says, “Oh, my gosh.  I’m so sorry.  I’m feeling sick about this now.  This was a complete accident.  I’m so sorry, but Amanda is our real winner.”

       Come to find out, in the end the loser won.  And you know what?  This is how it is in God’s kingdom, too.  Those who lose their lives, who surrender to God, who confess that they are sinners in need of saving are the winners in God’s kingdom.   Jesus told us that is the way things work with God.  “I have come to seek and save the lost,” he said (Luke 19:10).  The losers.  “Many who are first will be last, and the last will be first” (Mark 10:31)   In the end, losers win.  Paul explains that “Christ died for the ungodly” (Romans 5:6)…for the losers.  Luke records Jesus saying, “There will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over 99 righteous persons who need no repentance.”  (Luke 15:7) No matter how we try to work it out, with God the party always turns out to be for the loser…for the loser who has turned winner in the kingdom of God.  May you ever seek to lose in order to win.

Peace, Pastor Tammy

Words from your Pastor

9/1/2010 - Leaving Something Around the Edges

   If you were able to gather with us at our 5th Sunday charge worship service at Canaan, then you heard the words of Leviticus 19:9-10.  For those of you who were not with us, a quick reading of that passage would be in order.

  This passage reminds us to leave something at the edges of our “fields”-- our tables, pantries, gardens or freezers.  “Don’t gather it all up for yourselves.  Leave some behind on purpose, for you never know who might come along and benefit from your generosity.”  And the way we can do that best is simply to use less ourselves and give more to others.  Others who the Leviticus passage identifies as the poor and alien.  Those who are nearby and those who are far away.  The people down the road AND those caught in famine half way around the world. Our responsibility to provide from our “fields” is not to be limited to those we know or to those who are nearby.   Notice too how the Leviticus passage makes no reference to those in need having to earn or deserve our help.  As pastor Jan Brittan puts it, “Our response to their need has nothing to do with their character, and everything to do with ours.” And when we are willing to share, God will bring all kinds of people to the edges of our tables.

  So the question that I would like for us to be pondering between now and our next Administrative Board meeting (Tues. Sept. 7 at 7pm) is this:  What more can we do in Denton to help the hungry of Denton, and what more can we do from Denton to help the hungry in the world?  Between now and then, I will be talking to the folks at the South Davidson Family Resource Center to find out what the needs are in our community and how we might help to meet those needs and you be thinking of some simple, concrete, specific ways that we who have can share with those who have not.

  Bring your ideas to our next Administrative Board meeting so that we can get started on setting an extra place at our tables for those who are hungry.  For as Jesus clearly told us, “When I was hungry, you gave me food…just as you did it to the least of these who are members of my family—to those who are on the edges—you did it to me.” (Matthew 25:31-46)

Peace, Pastor Tammy

"Words from Your Pastor"


Signs of Hospitality 7/28/2010

 A deli tray from Lanier’s, a pecan pie, a beautiful plant.  Bojangles’ chicken, freshly painted bedrooms, help carrying boxes and sofas off of a U-haul.  Garden fresh tomatoes, cucumbers and cantaloupes; a breakfast out at Rick’s.  All of these and more have been expressions of kindness that you have offered to me and my family as we have entered your life and community.  They may appear simple and ordinary, but to us they have communicated a welcome with a capital ‘W.’  “Welcome to our lives!  Come on in!  Be a part, take part, and find your place among us.”

  Before you ever met us, you were making ready for us, for us strangers, people you did not choose but yet accepted as ones sent your way by God.  Welcoming the stranger, the art of hospitality, requires at least two things of us, I think.  First it takes intentionality.  It takes effort to approach a stranger (one who by definition is “strange”) and invite that one in, into our lives, into our circle of influence, into our stories and relationships and homes.  And two, welcoming the stranger takes memory.  What was it God told the Israelites over and over again (5 times in the book of Deuteronomy)?  “Remember that you were a slave in Egypt.”  Don’t forget that there was a time that you didn’t belong, when you were new, a stranger, an outsider, and therefore be sure to welcome other strangers just as you would want to be welcomed.

  Each time that we welcome a stranger, we do so in hope.  In hope and belief that God has a reason for our lives to intersect.  I remember walking into a new church several years ago and reading an inscription on the back wall:  “Strangers are friends who have not yet met.”   As God continues purposefully to connect us as friends, may we never forget what it was like to be a stranger.  And in remembering, let us together pray that God would send to our church “friends we have not yet met” and may we be ready to welcome them as those God has sent to us for a reason.


Peace, Pastor Tammy