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Welcome, Pastor Dyan!

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From Our New Pastor, Rev. Dyan Dietz


Greetings to my new church family!

I am so excited that July 1 is finally here and we can begin our ministry journey together. I am looking forward to meeting and getting to know each one of you. These are strange times to be going through an appointment change, so we may have to be creative as we look for ways to get to know one another. Your emails and zoom invitations have made me feel very welcome, and as I have said to many of you, I feel like I am coming home.

My husband Mike and I have six children, three boys and three girls. We moved to Texas in 1994, and bought a house on the Lake Dallas side of Hickory Creek, near Lake Lewisville. Coming from Minnesota, we were immediately attracted to this beautiful lake area. Also, the Minnesota North Stars had just moved to Texas to become the Dallas Stars, which made moving here all the better. At the time, our youngest child had just turned one. Our children are grown now. Three of them are married with children of their own. In fact, our fifth granddaughter is due in September! Our youngest, who took her first steps in Texas, graduated from A&M five years ago. (Two of our kids were Aggies and two were Longhorns so we had several interesting Thanksgiving dinners watching A&M play UT!) That being said, it seems like only yesterday when we were taking them to Eureka park, and I was admiring the beautiful church on the corner…and now, here I am! And I cannot tell you how happy I am to be here! I look forward to the important ministry we will do here together and the wonderful memories we will create.

I have heard from many of you about your concerns regarding opening the church. Let me assure you that your church leadership is working hard to find safe ways for us to gather as soon as possible. In the meantime, let us give thanks for this wonderful church that God has called us to serve together.

Pastor Dyan


“A joyful heart is good medicine, But a broken spirit dries up the bones” –Proverbs 17:22.

I love to laugh, and I try to make others laugh. I read recently in a Psychology Today article that “Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease. Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.”

I made a pastoral visit this week at Medical Cities of Dallas Hospital. I think the last time I was at this paritular hospital was when our youngest son (Jackson, 22) was born there. I knew that it was on Forest Lane, just west of US 75 Central Expressway. I also knew that there was a shorter “back way.” I couldn’t remember that particular route. I turned to one of my favorite and trusted GPS aps, Waze. As I made my way through the snarling rush hour traffic, I found myself becoming just like everyone else — frustrated and upset. I am not an aggressive driver. I don’t tailgate, I use  my blinker, and I drive the speed limit. I know that puts me in the minority. More and more drivers became increasingly upset with me simply because I was following the rules of the road.

While sitting and waiting at an interminable red light, I received a pop-up on my Waze app inviting me to change the voice of my GPS to one of many other voices. One of the options was the “Cookie Monster” from Sesame Street. I couldn’t resist! I switched voices to one of my all-time favorite characters. While mean and aggressive drivers swarmed around me, I found myself laughing uncontrolably in the metroplex traffic. A few people laid on their horn because I was driving 70 mph instead of 95. Many gave me interesting hand gestures. Others shouted out words I never heard in seminary. Each time this happened, I shouted back to them, “I LOVE YOU, TOO!!” I wish I could have somehow communicated to them the invitation to turn on Waze and let the Cookie Monster relieve their stress.

When I arrived at my destination, Cookie Monster said, “You’ve arrived. You’re a great driver! NOW GIVE ME A COOKIE!!”

I don’t care who you are — that’s funny!

While life is a gift, it’s also very hard. Lighten up. Laugh a little. Have fun. There are a lot of people out there whose crushed spirit has dried up their bones. The best medication is a heart filled with joy.

Invite a friend to worship this coming Sunday, December 1st! It will be a wonderful time worshiping God!


Rev. Jim

“Father, Forgive”

As you prepare your hearts and minds for our Thanksgiving worship this coming Sunday, November 24th, please read and reflect upon Luke 23:33-43.

It may seem a bit odd to preach on the meaning and the power of Jesus’ crucifixion the Sunday before all of the Thanksgiving festivities. Upon further reflection, though, what could we be more thankful for than God’s gracious act of self-giving love in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ?

I’ve been hearing the term “crisis” with greater frequency these days.

–Our world is in crisis.

–Nations are in crisis.

–Churches and schools are in crisis,

–Individuals, marriages, and families are in crisis.

How is a crisis defined? What constitutes a crisis?

Consider this definition:

The noun crisis comes from the Latinized form of the Greek word krisis, meaning “turning point in a disease.” At such a moment, the person with the disease could get better or worse: it’s a critical moment. The etymology of the term “crisis” shares a relationship with the term “Christ.”

Life is about choices. If we find ourselves in a crisis, we can choose to embrace the power of the crisis or the power of Christ. I choose to embrace Christ and hold on to his everlasting promises.

The only crisis which has ever existed is the corruption of the human heart. On the cross, Jesus took our disease of sin upon himself, thus offering us the opportunity to be forgiven, loved, and free.

If you ever visit England, be sure to spend time in the city of Coventry, northwest of London.

During WWII, The Coventry Blitz (blitz: from the German word Blitzkrieg meaning “lightning war” struck the beautiful city with relentless force. The city was bombed many times by the German Air Force (Luftwaffe). The most devastating of these attacks occurred on the evening of 14 November 1940 and continued into the morning of 15 November.

Christians of Coventry took two  charred embers and made the form of a cross with the inscription “Father Forgive.”

While serving a previous church, I would join in a duet with one of our choristers who has a lovely soprano voice. We sang “Give Thanks” every Thanksgiving Sunday. The hymn, written by Henry Smith in 1978 is based on Luke 1:49–53.

Give thanks with a grateful heart
Give thanks to the Holy One
Give thanks because He’s given Jesus Christ, His Son

And now let the weak say, “I am strong”
Let the poor say, “I am rich
Because of what the Lord has done for us”
Give thanks
We give thanks to You

This Thanksgiving as you feast with family and friends at your table, give thanks to the Holy One for giving us Jesus Christ.

Rev. Jim

Wellness Tips We Can Learn From a Dog

Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joy ride.

Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.

When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.

When it’s in your best interest, practice obedience.

Let others know when they’ve invaded your territory.

Take naps and stretch before rising.

Run, romp, and play daily.

Eat with gusto and enthusiasm.

Be loyal.

Never pretend to be something you’re not.

If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.

When someone you love is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently.

Thrive on attention and let people touch you (advisedly/carefully).

Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.

On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.

When happy, dance around and wag your entire body.

No matter how often you’re scolded, don’t buy into the guilt thing and pout — run right back and make friends.

Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.

One of my deepest beliefs is that God gives us dogs (and other domestic pets) to teach us things that God wants for us to know and practice.

The Holidays are quickly approaching. While they can be joyful occasions, they can also be stressful. Love one another as Christ (and your pet) loves you.

Daily prayer: “Dear God, please help me to be just half the person my dog thinks I am.”

In Christian Love,

Rev. Jim

To All The Single Moms!

My maternal grandmother always enjoyed telling the story of my birth:

“Your mother stopped at a drug store, purchased a bottle of castor oil, poured it into frosted glass of iced-cold root beer and chugged it down. I put my sea-sick, wobbling daughter into the car and drove from Aurora as fast as I could to the University of Colorado Medical Center where she had been working as a respiratory therapist. I dropped her off at the Emergency Department and said, ‘I’m going to go park my car. If this baby is born before I get back, and it’s a boy,” he is to be named James Bradley Bowden.”

No sooner had she parked the car and entered the main hospital when she heard the words over the public address system, “Mrs. Yates, James Bradley Bowden has arrived.”

My “Granny” wanted me to have this name because she thought it sounded distinguished. Her vision for me was to have a corner office in a sky-rise office building over-looking the city with big bold letters on my door reading J.B.

It’s funny when I look back. I did become a businessperson; albeit one who would be doing God’s business (Luke 2:49).

I adored my mother. I loved the aroma that surrounded her…a mixture of lavender and cinnamon. She wore bright red lipstick and had the most beautiful blonde hair and green eyes. She lavished me with attention and affection. She told me every day how much she loved me. In turn, I told her the same. During my 1st-grade year, she walked to the school on sunny days to pick me up. She always met me with outstretched arms, a glistening smile, and sparkling eyes. She loved the balloons of primary colors I made for her. She delighted in them. She scooped  me up and kissed me all over my face. For as far back as I can remember I always greeted her by saying, “Hi, Beautiful! She always replied, “Hi, Handsome)!

I remember my mother’s wisdom, guidance, and assurance. I have searched the files of my heart and mind. I cannot remember a single time when my “Maggie” was ever mean toward me or hurtful to me.

I always thought she was so elegant and pretty. She was married to 3 different men, none of  whom who were deserving of her love. All 3 men hurt her, neglected her, and abandoned her. Not one of them ever deterred her strength and determination to maintain her dignity and provide for her children. My mother always made a way. I may have lived in a shack for a few years in rural West Virginia, but I never went hungry. I never knew such a holy, sacred, place for the mothering God of love to express itself. We worked together at a Shoney’s Restaurant. I was a cook; she, a waitress. Each night we would drive the winding country roads back to the shack and count her tips. The next morning we went to shop for the essentials!
God alone knows how much I loved this woman. She has been gathered to her people. I will be with her again.

Here’s to all the single moms!


Rev. Dr. Jim Bowden

Feeding The One Who Fed Me

During the month of January, 2018, I had the privilge of being in Virginia with my mother — the one who gave birth and life to me on January 17th, 1961. During my visit, she was not able to feed herself. I found myself feeding the one who fed me for so many years. She provided me with food, shelter, clothing, and education. She fed me even more by giving to me the Bread of Heaven. She offered to me the knowledge of God’s love fully revealed in Jesus Christ. She planted seeds of faith within my heart which would later be interpreted as a call to ministry. My mother was present to hear my borning cry. She witnessed my baptism, college and seminary graduations, and my ordination.

I will be with her again this  coming Labor Day weekend. She has asked me to be present with her, and to pray with her. By God’s grace, I plan to fly to Virginia on August 28th and return on Sunday afternoon, September 1st.

Rev. Richard Laster has graciously agreed to officiate at all three services of Word and Table. Richard and Susan are yet another gift of God’s unfailing grace and spiritual enrichment to Trinity UMC.

Discover the Many Life-Calming Devices at Trinity!

I saw this sign while making a hospital visit and thought it was funny. I’ve always called these speed bumps!
Join us at Trinity UMC. We have many life-calming devices ahead!
— inspiring traditional and contemporary worship
— Sunday School for all ages
–musical opportunities for all ages
–ministry and mission opportunities for everyone
–THE WELL weekly on Wednesday nights at 5:30 p.m. (Community meal and classes)
–Fun annual events (Pumkin Patch, VBS, Breakfast with Santa/Easter Bunny, and more)!


Please read the following Bible verses:

2 Corinthians 11:25

Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep.

1 Timothy 1:19

Some rejected the message of the Gospel and have suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith.

Do you know the hymn, “Stand by Me?” My favorite stanza goes like this:


“When the world is tossing me like a ship upon the sea, Thou who rulest wind and water stand by me.”

If you are experiencing way too much pain and drama in your life and are feeling overwhelmed, please read from the Book of Acts 27:27 – 28:5. Talk about the raging storms of life! The Apostle Paul weathered many storms: controversy, dissension, discord, and many others. Though he was loved by some, he was despised by others. But one of the most serious natural storms of life he experienced happened via a shipwreck. Please read the story referenced above. You won’t believe what he and others went through to proclaim the gospel of peace and love for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Consider this passage from 2 Corinthians chapter 11:

“I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again.24 Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one.25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, 26 I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. 27 I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. 28 Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches.”

I have endured some rough storms in my life, but never anything like this. So many in our world encounter serious storms: Loss of a loved one, loss of a job, declining health, fractured relationships, and families that have become broken and lost.

Because Paul endured so many “real” shipwrecks throughout his Apostolic career, he often used the metaphor “shipwreck” to describe a person who once embraced the faith, but then when the storms of life came along, they soon abandoned all hope and went shipwreck with their faith.

Please know that during the week of June 17-21, we are going to form young hearts and minds to believe in the One who has believed in them since the day of their birth. God loves our children immensely. We at Trinity UMC love them, too!! We are going to equip them with biblical knowledge and insights about life so that when the storms come they will know who to turn to – Jesus, our Savior!


Rev. Jim

Exercise Self-Control In All Things

“Do you not know that in a race the runners all compete, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win it. Athletes exercise self-control in all things; they do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable one.” — 1 Corinthians 9:24-25.

Trinity’s own Drs. Joel and Lamar Muro recently shared this captivating picture of their beautiful daughter, Eliana. The more I studied this action shot, the more qualities of the Christian life became apparent: knowledge, discipline, determination, competition, and her own God-given athletic skill. Knowing Eliana as I do, I know that she (and her younger brother, Maxwell) are knowledgeable in many areas. The image makes clear that Eliana has complete knowledge of her chosen sport. More importantly, She and her brother have been given knowledge and wisdom from above (Proverbs 4:7). Eliana and her brother are very fortunate to have parents who are nurturing them in the faith community. The image reflects the many hours she spends in disciplining herself in mind and body.

While at Trinity she (along with our other children) learns how to become a disciple (student) of Jesus by learning the spiritual disciplines. God has given her not a spirit of timidity but of power, love, and self-discipline (2 Timothy 1:7). She has strong determination because her parents and her church have taught her that she can do all things through Christ who gives her strength (Philippians 4:13). Eliana is also aware that as a Christian, she (along with all children, youth, and adults) compete against the evil powers of this world. An athlete is not crowned unless [she] competes according to the rules.– (2 Timothy 2:5). Finally, this picture of Eliana in action displays in a powerfully visually way her skillful athleticism.

Trinity United Methodist Church values children. We place a high premium on all of our kids. I am very grateful to God that we have so many parents in our church who take interest in, and are deeply involved in, the lives of their children. Carefully studying this picture of Eliana compels me to ask the same questions about my own spiritual life: Do I have a deep knowledge of the scriptures? Am I rooted and grounded in God’s living Word? Am I a disciplined follower of Jesus? Am I determined to love as Christ loved, to give as he gave, and to forgive as he has forgiven me? Do I reject the evil powers of this world and resist injustice in whatever way it presents itself?

Okay, about my own athleticism…I think we all know the answer to that question! The good news is that God gives to each of us spiritual gifts as God chooses (1 Corinthians 12:4-11).

We are called to teach our children; however, let us never miss out on any opportunity to let them teach us!