The Seed of Salvation

 

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MESSAGE

“Then he put another parable before them: “the kingdom of Heaven is like a tiny grain of mustard-seed which a man took and sowed in his field. As a seed it is the smallest of them all, but it grows to be the biggest of all plants. It becomes a tree, big enough for birds to come and nest in its branches.” (Matthew 13:31-32) “The germ in the seed grows by the unfolding of the life-principle which God has implanted. Its development depends upon no human power. So it is with the kingdom of Christ. It is a new creation. … So the work of grace in the heart is small in its beginning. A word is spoken, a ray of light is shed into the soul, an influence is exerted that is the beginning of the new life …”. (COL, 78)

MINISTRY.

The Adventurer Club spent last Friday night and all day Sabbath participating in the Georgia Cumberland Conference’s virtual Family Fun weekend. We earned the Camel honor, His Word and Children of the Bible honors while enjoying good food and fellowship. Our club may be small this year but we are doing a lot of fun things as we learn to be Champions for Jesus; this year’s theme. Thank you church family for your prayers and support for our Tiny Timberwolves!

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This week OAKS students are on break. Here are some fun photos and a brief update from the school principle from a couple of weeks ago:
“OAKS is facing our current challenges head on and having some fun in the process. We had a Hat Day Spirit Day recently where teachers and students alike wore fun hats to celebrate school spirit. Students are also preparing for a new national test that will be given 3 times a year on a computer. This will give teachers real time data on student growth for the whole school year. We are excited by the potential flexibility this will give us in adjusting instruction to meet student needs. OAKS is healthy and united. Thank you for your prayers. -Ms.Caswell”

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Our Sabbath School Council showed me again what a dedicated group of leaders we have in our different divisions and classes. They are willing to do whatever is necessary to encourage more members to attend. Some classes are requiring masks while others are having a zoom alternative, along with in-person attendance. Overall attendance has continued to steadily grow. We have decided to continue collecting for Sabbath School Expenses during this Covid time.  Another thing we decided to do is have a 13th Sabbath Program probably in the New Year. So we are asking parents to please help the little ones to learn their Memory Verses.  A particular need right now is for a couple of pianists in the lower divisions to alternate with the two faithful ones coming each week. Thanks to all who help to make our Sabbath Schools a success!
Connie Reynolds, Sabbath School Coordinator

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Good news! New air purification systems have been installed in every room of the church including the sanctuary and Fellowship Center hallways. 

The iWave-C is a self-cleaning, bi-polar ionization generator that actively treats air quality in light commercial systems up to 12 tons. As the air flows past the iWave-C, the device emits positive and negative ions, creating a plasma region that actively purifies the supply air, killing mold, bacteria and viruses in the coil . The ionization process also reduces allergens, smoke and static electricity, as well as controlling odors (cooking, pet, VOCs) and other particles (no more sunbeams) in the air without creating ozone or any harmful byproducts.

PRAYERS

Our sincere condolences to Easter Fowler with the passing of Gene Fowler. Our thoughts and prayers are with the whole family. Read here more about Gene Fowler https://www.heritagechattanooga.com/tributes/Gene-Fowler

RESOURCES.

I hope you remembered to register for the Health Ministry event taking place this Sunday at our church. Here is a link taking you to the Health Ministry page: https://www.ooltewahchurch.org/healthministry

Last Sabbath Worship Service is available here.

Church Weekly bulletin.

Online Giving: Tithe and Offerings

Three worship services tomorrow, October 17, – 9 AM and 11:30 АМ (masks recommended) and 5 PM (masks required).

Let the peace of Christ enter into your hearts and minds.

With prayers for you and love to you,

pastor Peter

The Value of the Kingdom of God

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MESSAGE.

“The kingdom of God begins at the heart. Look not here or there for manifestations of earthly power to mark its coming. The works of Christ not only declared Him to be the Messiah, but showed in what manner His kingdom was to be established…. It comes through the gentleness of the inspiration of His word, through the inward working of His Spirit, the fellowship of the soul with Him who is its life. The greatest manifestation of its power is seen in human nature brought to the perfection of the character of Christ…. ” OFC, 225

MINISTRY.

A heartfelt Thank You to all who came to help at the Samaritan Center last Sabbath night! I couldn’t join the team, but I heard from Pastor Matthew that a good number of our church volunteers participated in this important community project. Please, make plans in advance for the first Sabbath of November.  If you have questions about this or other community projects contact Lucas Patterson.

Last week I was happy to see that some of our church members who didn’t feel safe attending the morning services since March, joined our first-ever Sabbath Evening Worship Service where face coverings were a requirement for all who wanted to attend.  Our church will continue with the Sabbath Evening service weekly through the month of October. 

“Our theme this year at OAKS is “HOPE,” focusing on the hope that we can have not only through all of life’s circumstances and challenges, but ultimately the hope we have in Jesus’ second coming. The text that guided the selection of our theme is Jeremiah 29:11-14. This week was our Fall Week of Prayer and we were blessed to have former Ooltewah SDA Associate Pastor, Aubrey Toup as our speaker. Our students were blessed by her daily stories and practical tips for how they, too, can have hope. Thank you, Pastor Aubrey, for making the time to connect with us throughout this week. You were a blessing!” – Aaron Hall

This Sabbath evening all Sabbath school leaders and teachers are invited to attend the Sabbath School council at 6 PM in the Fellowship Hall. Connie Reynolds, the SS Superintendent will chair the meeting. She has a lot to share. I hope you’ll make an effort to attend. Here is a link to the ZOOM option of the meeting: Topic: Sabbath School Council Meeting Time: Oct 10, 2020 06:00 PM  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84436928528?pwd=MVdVYkU0U2NCMVFNNzFkNmRiS2xxUT09 Meeting ID: 844 3692 8528 Passcode: 7fMLDL

In my previous blog I promised to post a few photos from Julianne Palmer’s baptism. Please see below:

PRAYERS. 

I was very grateful to the administration of Morning Point for allowing me to visit Barbara Kraner. She is feeling weak but her spirit is strong. She loves her church and she is very grateful for your prayers.

Prayers for Julia Easter (health related concerns).

Sharon Harrell is going through some serious tests and needs our prayers. 

This week was a tough one for Galena and me. We lost our close friend and partner in ministry who died of COVID19 in Russia. Here is a link to the tribute posted by Elder Ted Wilson on his Facebook page. The second link is from the Adventist World site . For the last thirty years we worked together sharing the Gospel over radio, TV, local and satellite evangelistic meetings in hundreds of cities across Eastern Europe. Pastor Daniel Reband was 67. Two weeks ago he was asked to lead at the communion service in a local church. It was there that he was infected with COVID19. Five days later his lungs were fully destroyed by the virus. I was on the phone with him last Sabbath afternoon. He could barely talk, but still sounded positive. He died the next day. Please, pray for his dear wife Luda, his children and precious grand-children. 

As I am grieving Daniel’s death I feel the burden to ask all of you to be extremely cautious with this virus. I don’t want to lose another person I love. Please, know that I love you; you are my special friends. Let’s do all we can to keep one another safe. 

RESOURCES

Christian Stewardship refers to the responsibility that Christians have in maintaining and using wisely the gifts that God has bestowed. God wishes human beings to be his collaborators in the work of creation, redemption and sanctification. Increasingly this has referred to environmental protectionism. This also includes traditional Christian Ministries that share the resources of treasure, time and talent.

 

 
“The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.” (Psalm 24:1)
~Steve Bremner Stewardship Director
 
Weekly church bulletin link.
 
 
October 3 Sabbath morning worship service archive
 
Health Ministries event on October 18 @3 P.M. Learn more

Put on the New Self

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MESSAGE.

“The heart must be renewed by divine grace, or it will be in vain to seek for purity of life. He who attempts to build up a noble, virtuous character independent of the grace of Christ is building his house upon the shifting sand.” ― Ellen G. White, Patriarchs And Prophets

MINISTRY.

A brief report with pictures from David Reynolds: “Sept 18-20 the Ooltewah Timberwolves Pathfinder Club joined the GCC “Changed” Cyber Camporee right here in our own front yard. We had evening and morning worships, honors and activities, and even a 5K run on Sunday morning. Here are some pictures to help you visualize the good time we had.” 


Two weeks ago our Youth and their parents had a great time on a kayaking outing on South Chickamauga Creek. Pastor Matthew shared with me the following photos: 


On Monday night we had our monthly Church Board meeting. The Board voted new Church Operating Guidelines during COVID19. Here is the link to the updated document.  The Board also considered changing mask requirements for one of the Sabbath morning services. After a thorough and passionate discussion 😉 we agreed not to implement this change at this time. Meanwhile your pastors will experiment with the Sabbath evening worship service. This will help us evaluate the need and see the number of people interested in attending the 5 PM worship service where a face covering will be required. This will be the same service as in the morning with some slight modifications. We understand that some of our members do not feel safe attending church where masks are optional, and we want to provide the in-person worship service opportunity for them also. This is a temporary arrangement, and we’ll share the report with the Church Board at our next meeting at the end of the month. 

Evening Worship Service


Baptism. This evening we’ll celebrate Julianne Palmer’s baptism at Harrison Bay! Ron Malloch completed Bible Studies with Julianne and she is giving her life to the Lord today through a beautiful outdoor baptism. Today is also Julianne’s birthday! Happy two birthdays, Julianne!!! I’ll share pictures with you next week. 


Community Service. Last month we had very few volunteers at the Samaritan Center. Those who came had to work harder and longer 😦 Unfortunately, Galena and I  will not be able to help tomorrow 😦 Can some of you take our place, please?  If you can, please, text or email me before the sunset tomorrow. Thank You!!! 

Here is more from Lucas Patterson: 

VOLUNTEERING AT SAMARITAN CENTER: The Samaritan Center in Ooltewah needs our church’s help sorting donated items at their outdoor loading dock this Saturday, October 3, beginning at 7:45 p.m. Many hands make light work, so please consider joining us even if you can’t stay the entire time. Community service credit is available for students looking to fulfill school requirements. For more information, call/text Matt Geraghty (423) 206-0394.

PACKING LUNCHES FOR HOMELESS. Our church purchases supplies and packs 150 sack lunches for the homeless twice each month. A team of 6-8 volunteers assembles the lunches in our church fellowship hall before delivering them to staff at the Chattanooga Community Kitchen for distribution. Our next packing session is Monday, October 5, at 8 a.m. For more information, call/text Lucas Patterson (423) 582-1678.

PRAYERS.

My lifelong friend and colleague in evangelism in Eastern Europe, pastor Daniel Reband is hospitalized in Russia with COVID19. He is in the ICU in critical condition. Prayers for Daniel, please. 

Prayers for President Trump and First Lady Melania as they overcome their COVID19 infection. Let the Lord be with our nation during this trying time. 

Prayers for Sharon Harrell. She has several health concerns.

Prayers for Fred Turner. Health concerns. 

RESOURCES

Here is a link to the APOCALYPSE online Bible Seminar. Read more here

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Would you like to know what you can do to EFFECTIVELY take charge of your own health and happiness? Join us at our fellowship hall to learn the ABC’s of the immune system so you can feel hopeful and empowered! Soup and bread will be served. $5 donation at the door. Seating will be spacious, face masks optional. This event will also be livestreamed on ZOOM and YouTube. Pre-Registration Required by Oct. 14th Online Registration  Questions? Call 423-708-8186 and leave a message. 

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Online church bulletin.

Online Giving


FROM MY HEART. Last weekend Galena and I visited our children in Flagstaff, AZ. The weather was absolutely wonderful. The landscapes around Flagstaff are breathtaking. Our Sabbath family service was sweet and uplifting. Here are a few photos from that trip 🙂

See you tomorrow.

With love and Hugs,

Your pastor Peter

The Grand Appearing

The Grand Appearing

 

MESSAGE.

Christ was looking into our days when he told His disciples: “People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.” We can be among those who “faint from terror”, or we can “stand up and lift up our heads”. This Sabbath morning I invite you to learn more about the Grand Appearing of our King, Jesus Christ. 

MINISTRY.

Both services last week were well attended. I did see some of our church members who came for the first time after we closed in-person services in March. Practically all Sabbath school classes resumed their studies. I walked through almost every SS class last Sabbath morning and was very encouraged with the level of participation. I believe it was the first time since March that the Cradle Roll and the Kindergarten classes were opened. The men’s class was very active with about ten participants. The women’s class is also meeting in the OAKS library and they hope for more ladies to join them in the weeks to come.  I deeply appreciated the teachers cautious approach to in-person participation. We want everyone to be safe and healthy. Thank you, Connie Reynolds, for the guidance you provide to our Sabbath school program.

Virtual VBS. Online VBS starts this coming Monday at 7pm! Make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel to get notifications when new videos or livestreams are posted https://www.youtube.com/c/OoltewahAdventistChurch

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Memorial Service for Howard Kennedy, Sr is planned for September 19, Sabbath afternoon. Visitation starts @ 3 P.M. and the service is @ 4 P.M. 

Here is a link to the Heritage Funeral Home tribute. Howard M. (Sr.) Kennedy


Pathfinder Club will be camping on our church campus this week. The weather looks just perfect for their event, which is rather unusual 😉 You’ll see their tents when you come to church on Sabbath morning. Thank you, David Reynolds, for your leadership.

Youth and their families are planning on a canoe trip. We’ll be praying for their safety. It is wonderful to see that the church youth is back to spending time together.


Women’s Ministry believes in sharing love. Here is a brief update from Sharon Harrell: “Dear Church Family. What a loving and giving church we have! I am always amazed at your willingness to give to others in their time of need. Thank you so much to all of you who helped out with the Gibson family and their little baby Zach. He is home with his family. You all have made a big difference in the lives of this family. They really appreciated what you did for them!” unnamed-3

Sharon also forwarded to me the following note from Sarita Staup, baby Zach’s grandmother: “Dear church family. I am amazed and deeply touched by the love and support you have given to me and my family.  The birthday bouquet is gorgeous and it really lifted my spirit when I needed it the most. I’m so glad to be part of our family of God. God bless each of you.” Sarita Staup

If you want to learn more about the Women’s Ministry follow this link. Thank you, Sharon, for updating your ministry’s webpage. It looks cool and professional! 


PRAYERS.

Barbara Kraner is feeling weak. She is missing her church and she’s sincerely grateful for your prayers.

Amy Goss is recovering after surgery on her knee. Prayers for Amy please.

Sharon Bremner’s job position was abruptly eliminated by her company. The family is seeking your prayer support.

RESOURCES.

Weekly church bulletin: link

Online Giving: tithe and offerings link


I don’t have any church photos this week, so I’ll share with you a couple of pictures from my phone 🙂 As I mentioned in my sermon last Sabbath our daughter Dasha and her one-year-old daughter Mila were forced to escape the Oregon fires. They flew to Flagstaff, AZ where they are staying with the family of our daughter Stacey. Dasha’s husband is still in Eugene, OR. His job requires him to stay there. Prayers for Kevin, please.

See you this Sabbath!

pastor Peter

Pray for Living Hope

MESSAGE. A “living hope” is my assurance that I’ll get through this day. My friends may turn away from me, people may judge me, stock markets may fall, my health may fail me, but I keep looking forward with confidence. Christ will not fail me. His presence is real; He is my “my present help in troubles (Ps. 46). I’ve seen His miracles in the past. My future is guaranteed by His promise: “I will come again”.

Tomorrow morning is my last sermon from the “7 Prayers” series. Let us learn to pray for the living hope!

MINISTRY.

We have some exciting news! Although we were not able to have our usual VBS program this summer, we have been hard at work on a virtual VBS. It will premiere on our church YouTube channel September 21-25 at 7pm each night. Join us on an adventure with Katie and Indy the archaeologists as they learn from David the shepherd how God is our Good Shepherd!

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Our Outdoor Sabbath School under the trees was well attended. We had a Primary Zoom class at one table and Cradle Roll youngsters at another. We were happily surprised when Ava brought her 3 young chickens to class. 
Here are a few pictures from that Sabbath shared by Connie Reynolds, the SS Superintendent.

Sabbath School classes. Here is more from Connie: “After a two week hiatus we are back to “regular” Sabbath School classes tomorrow. That may be fully in person or a hybrid with some members on Zoom. As time goes by, we hope to reclaim more of our members. Let’s do our best to stay in touch with those not yet attending.  The secretaries should be bringing your materials for 4th quarter as well as the offering envelopes.  I will be around to keep track of our numbers as we discussed. Hopefully I won’t interrupt. Because of that two-week break, we will have SS Council in October. Date to be determined. Please let me know if I can be of assistance in any way. Thank you for your dedication and enthusiasm!

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Community service. Sincere words of appreciation to all those who came to help at the Samaritan Center last Sabbath night. There were very few who showed up. I am especially thankful to those ladies who volunteered to help and worked hard until late. You, ladies, know who you are. I hope next time we’ll get better participation from our church.

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Worship Services. The last two Sabbaths we were blessed with great weather which was a blessing for our outdoor worship services. Tomorrow, September 12, we’ll resume our regular worship service schedule. The 9 AM service will be held in the Sanctuary and the 11:30 AM service in the Fellowship Hall. Sabbath School program starts at 10:20. Out of love to others, please follow the Guidelines voted by the church board.

Last Sabbath a group of your SAU students beautified our service with special music. Let me encourage you to get to know these young people personally and help them feel welcomed to our congregation.

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Many of you attended the Memorial Service for Bettie Chastain last Sabbath afternoon. Over 250 people watched online throughout the week. The burial service took place on Sunday morning. I am very grateful to the Bradford family for uplifting our spirit that morning with beautiful music.

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It is with a heavy heart that I share with you the sad news about Howard Kennedy‘s passing. Howard was one of the pillars of the Ooltewah Seventh-day Adventist Church. He served as a school principle for many years, and provided an Adventist education for hundreds of children. Howard was a loved and a respected elder of our church until he stepped down from the leadership position due to his weakening health. A memorial service for Howard is being planned for Sabbath afternoon on September 19. The specific details of the service are still being worked out by the family. Please, continue to pray for June and the whole Kennedy family.

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PRAYERS. Julia Easter, health concerns. Darlene Turner, chemo treatment.

RESOURCES.

Weekly church bulletin: access here

Online giving: tithe and offerings

Last weeks Worship service and SS recording: watch here

September 12 Worship service streaming link is here. The link will go live @ 9 AM on Sabbath morning.

Pray for your church

MESSAGE. The church is the body of Christ. Paul makes a strong emphasis on the concept of church members needing one another. In 1 Corinthians 12:27 he states: “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” Church without you is not complete; you without the church are just a torn away and dying member. Staying together through rough times is the only way we can demonstrate to the world the power of God’s Church. Working together – is the only way we can fulfill the mission of Christ’s church. This mission is to become “friends of tax collectors and sinners” and to lead them to Jesus. Pray for your church today; pray about your essential function in the body of Christ.

MINISTRY. Last Sabbath morning about fifty five brave souls gathered at 9 AM under the car port of our church for the worship service. Many of us expected rough weather that day, but the Lord gave us peaceful skies with partial sunshine. The Bradford family uplifted our spirit with beautiful music. However, there were hundreds who joined our service online. To watch last week’s worship you can simply click on the following link https://youtu.be/BvxnS-asGfw

The weather forecast for September 5 looks very promising; cooler weather and no storms. There will be only one outdoor service at 9 AM. You can join that service from your home by clicking the following link https://youtu.be/Hn5bY5aDMiw The link will go live at 9 AM on Sabbath morning. Of course you are most welcome to join the outdoor service in person. Our Pathfinder Club, the Timberwolves, worked till late on Wednesday night setting up an additional seating space in a tent next to the car port. Thank you for your hard work! I hope to see many of you this Sabbath morning.


It’s been a good week at OAKS. On Wednesday the students enjoyed their annual “water fun day.” Shelly Caswell shared a video with me below. I have to say that the day before I offered to help Shelly and Margo with testing the “water bottle shooting.” It did not end that well: while I was pumping air the water poured out all over my white shirt. I am glad it worked fine for the OAKS kids. See for yourself 🙂

This morning OAKS had their weekly Chapel. Here is a fresh photo from our school.


Men’s Ministry update. Here is what I saw on Edymar Penagos’ Facebook page: “

Ooltewah men’s group demonstrating love in action. 💪😃Congratulations on the new home! @srivera1129. God’s finger prints are all over this blessing. 🙏Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.Philippians 2:3‭-‬4 NIV

Community Service. Once again this Sabbath night we can demonstrate where our heart is. The Samaritan Center needs our help. Last time we had close to 40 volunteers; young and not so young. We were finished in just over an hour. Will you consider joining this awesome group of people this Sabbath @ 8:30?

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PRAYERS.

We are saddened to share the news that Bettie Chastain has passed away. Bettie was one of the charter members of our church and was dearly loved. Her funeral will be held at the Ooltewah Adventist Church on Saturday, September 5 at 4pm; the service will be livestreamed at the link below. Viewing will precede the funeral at 3pm. A graveside service will take place at Collegedale Memorial Park on Sunday, September 6 at 11 am. We ask for your prayers for Bettie’s family and loved ones during this time. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Ooltewah Adventist Church’s student aid fund.

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Fred Turner is soliciting your prayers for his wife Darlene. Darlene is going through a rough time with chemo therapy.

Julia Easter is needs our prayer support as she is preparing for a knee surgery.

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RESOURCES.

Health Ministries update: Human Lungs

Online church bulletin: click here

Online giving: tithe and offerings

September 5 Worship service live stream link

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See you tomorrow! Happy Sabbath.

pastor Peter

Praising God in Difficult Times

MESSAGE.

I will praise the Lord at all times; his praise is always on my lips.” (Ps. 34:1) When dark clouds cover the sky we pray for help; we cry for safety. Prayers of praise seem to be more appropriate when we get a pay raise, when our children are well and safe, when surgery went well. This was not David’s perspective. He was attacked by his family; surrounded by enemies, betrayed by friends, but he was determined to praise the Lord “at all times”! Praising God through pain and in moments of darkness requires strong faith and an intimate relationship with Christ. Don’t allow your mind to be sucked into the sewers of the media propaganda. Open the Word of God and allow praise to be always on your lips.

MINISTRY.

Worship Service on August 29 will be held outside @ 9 AM. There will be no 11:30 AM service. The weather forecast is not very supportive of our outdoor service plans, but per the Church Board vote there will be no indoor service on August 29 or September 5. If you are brave enough to join the outdoor 9 AM service tomorrow morning you may want to bring an umbrella. Chairs will be set under the carport by the sanctuary entrance. Possible COVID19 exposure may keep us outside for two weeks, but no weather will keep us from worshiping the Lord this Sabbath morning. Thank you for your understanding. Clouds will pass, Coronavirus will die, but we’ll stay together united by the Blessed Hope! If you haven’t received my email sent on Tuesday here is a link to that communication: Tuesday Letter from pastor Peter

Sabbath school classes are available on ZOOM and YouTube. Please contact your Sabbath school class leader to receive a ZOOM meeting ID and password. YouTube Sabbath school class can be accessed via church website http://www.ooltewahchurch.org or on the church YouTube channel. Here is the link https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCn7JBKBbM_ulSpseE11zWdw

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No natural disasters or political battles can keep men of our church from serving people in the community. Here is the latest update with pictures from Edymar Penagos:

Love in Action:
Thank you John, Edwin, Rick, Lucas, Aaron, Edwin, Kevin and David for your help. Your love in action made a big difference at the house but more importantly demonstrated God’s love to our brother. With all the growing self interest in the world, your selflessness helped mend a hurting heart. (see attached photos)
Also, if you or anyone you know have been impacted by COVID19, PLEASE let me know what we can do to help. IF one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. 1 Corinthians 12:26
Request for assistance: Our brother Luis Rivera needs ourt help! They are moving out of their friends basement and into their new home in Cleveland! If you would like to help, we are planning to meet this Sunday in the morning. Please call, email or text me for the details.  
Mens SS Class tomorrow: Due to possible COVID exposure, we will not be meeting in our normal class this sabbath or the next. And because of the weather predictions for this Saturday, we will not have class outside. This means that the official mens class is cancelled. With that said, some of the guys from our class are gathering at Kevin Hicks house to watch the video and talk . If you would like to join, please reach out to me, my cell number is below. 
We will be finishing up the 2nd volume of the 33 series called “A Man and His Story”. We are on session #6 titled, Heart. This is the last session of this volume. (available to watch beforehand on RightNow media) Continued prayers for you all, your brother in Christ, Edymar Penagos 813-541-2184″

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PRAYERS.

Betty Chastain fell again this week. She is at Erlanger hospital downtown. Prayers are needed and appreciated.

Prayers for a church family overcoming COVID19.

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RESOURCES.

STEWARDSHIP – “Every good thing of earth was placed here by the bountiful hand of God as an expression of His love to man. The poor are His, and the cause of religion is His. The gold and the silver are the Lord’s; and He could rain them from heaven if He chose. But instead of this He has made man His steward, entrusting him with means, not to be hoarded, but to be used in benefiting others. He thus makes man the medium through which to distribute His blessings on earth. God planned the system of beneficence, in order that man might become like his Creator, benevolent and unselfish in character, and finally be a partaker with Christ of the eternal, glorious reward.” (CS 15.2)

~ Steve Bremner

Weekly church bulletin: bulletin

Online Giving: tithe and offerings

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Have a blessed Sabbath day. See you tomorrow.

Pastor Peter

Pray to Withstand Evil

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MESSAGE.

We are in a daily battle with evil. Some of that evil is an actual enemy, while some is simply a phantom we created. Don’t waste your time and energy on battles with enemies you have imagined. Start wars against the only real evil, “your enemy the devil [who] is always about, prowling like a lion roaring for its prey.” Learn to pray to withstand evil. This Sabbath I continue my “Seven Prayers” sermon series.

MINISTRY.

Sharon Harrell has been asked by the church board to serve in the position of the Women’s Ministry director. This nomination is being presented to the church body for the final vote of approval. I am glad that Sharon is already actively engaged in this important ministry. She has asked me to include in my blog the following invitation: Join Women’s Ministries for a dynamic online presentation, August 22, from 3:00-5:00 pm. For more details click on the picture below:

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Thursday was the first day of school at OAKS. The path to this day has not been easy for the school administration and teachers. I am sincerely grateful to our awesome OAKS team for putting together a great plan for this school year in the new reality of COVID19. School principle, Shelly Caswell sent me lots of great pictures for the blog post. Enjoy the photos below and keep our OAKS teachers and students in your prayers daily. Please.

Here is a message from Shelly: “OAKS started a new school year this week amid many changes and safety procedures. We were blessed with a crowd during the work bee so the building sparkled with many updates. New air purification systems were installed Tuesday, outdoor picnic tables assembled, hand washing stations primed and the front of the building was decorated with cheerful bible verses to greet the returning students. OAKS was granted a set of Nathan Green’s creation paintings. These 7 portraits now hang in the front hallway as a visual reminder of each step God took as He created this wonderful world for us. Our spiritual theme for the year is HOPE, based on Jeremiah 29:11. The students will sport sharp looking new t-shirts with this theme pointing them to plan for Jesus to come again. Thank you for your prayers for the safety of our students and staff as we dive into a new year of learning.”


Men’s Ministry is always on a mission of sharing Christ’s love. Here is an update from Edymar:

Love in Action:
We are getting close to finishing the love in action project and need a little more help to cross the finish line. A big THANK YOU to Edwin, John, Aaron, Rick and Lucas for your help. We will be heading back this coming Monday and Wednesday evening to hopefully wrap up the job, God willing. Please text or email me if you would like to help. No special skills are needed.
The world is hurting right now, the evidence of this can be seen by the violence and hurtful words all around us. As Christ followers, our mission is simple. We must love our brothers, sisters, love our neighbor and love our enemies.
Men’s ministry is not in the business of fixing things, we are in the business of demonstrating love, as our Lord Jesus Christ commanded us, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” John 13:34-35.
THIS is why we do what we do, it’s always been more about the people than the project. To God be the glory!
Mens SS Class tomorrow: 
We’ll continue our SS class discussion based on “33 The Series.” We are in the 2nd volume called “A Man and His Story”, session #4, titled Healing (available to watch beforehand on RightNow media).
We will meet at the school in our old classroom at 10:15 am. If you have never been, it’s the 2nd class room on the left when you walk into the school building.
Join us, we will watch the video in class! Please text or email me with questions.
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Connie Reynolds is now officially serving as our Sabbath School Superintendent. She scheduled the first SS Council meeting for this Sabbath afternoon. The meeting will be in-person with a ZOOM option. Meeting Time: Aug 15, 2020 05:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada) https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87810606990?pwd=MDlrY2tPbTMzeDdJKzZGamFNTzRpUT09  Meeting ID: 878 1060 6990 Passcode: 1pz8b3

We hope for great participation. Meanwhile, many Lower Divisions teachers are going the extra mile to help our kids feel loved and connected with the church. Here is a text message I received on Thursday from Natalia Joshephs: “Hello Pastor.  This is Natalia Josephs a member of Ooltewah Church. I just wanted to say how thankful I am for the wonderful Ministry Ms. Patricia Young has done at church with the kids, and in particular with our son Kaleb Josephs. He has a learning and cognitive disability and they have accommodated for him in Sabbath school class when we were in session. Recently during quarantine and the past months she has sent him weekly letters with notes and stickers, activities. They even left a gift bag at our door step with wonderful trinkets and his lesson. Even though we have not been able to attend church due to health concerns for his safety we have truly been blessed by all the materials we have received . Please pass that message on to her. And once again we are grateful for the time and evidence of Gods love through her work!” 

Thank you, Natalia, for this kind message. Thank you, teacher Pat, for your dedication to the Kindergarten class ministry and for your love to the kids.


Many of our church members would like to attend church, but cannot due to COVID19 health concerns. I want them to know that they are being terribly missed by the pastoral staff. We are glad that they can participate in our virtual services. Here is a copy of an email message I received earlier this week:

“Hi Pastors Peter and Matt,
I have been meaning to write both of you to thank you for the blessings of the streamed Sabbath services.  It means a lot to those of us who are still at home.  Every Friday I pray for the Lord to help me make the Sabbath special.  The Lord answers my prayers through the work of both of you and many others.  I am really missing my church family and hope I can be back soon.  I appreciate the wonderful sermons, the music, etc.  It is so good to see familiar faces on Sabbath even though I can’t see everybody!  I know it has to be difficult for you in your work right now.  I am blessed with a number of sermons on Sabbath, but my church service comes first!  I can’t imagine what it would be like right now not to have streaming.  I am also enjoying Prayer Meeting on YouTube.  It is a blessing I look forward to every week.  Nothing is normal right now, but I believe that it is all a sign that Jesus is coming very soon and I am excited about that. 

I have watched parts of the Sanctuary Sabbath School, but sometimes it is hard to hear the comments of people.  I can’t help but note that a lot of people are not wearing masks, and some are not social distancing.  I just pray that everybody will stay well.  I don’t get sick very often, but when I do I get really sick and it goes to my chest.  For those reasons I feel it is best for me to stay home until the Covid starts letting up a bit.  But I do hope that I can come back soon.

I know it must be hard for both of you not to be able to run your programs as you normally do, but I just want you to know that the work you are able to do is greatly appreciated by those of us who are not back yet.  I don’t have a TV by choice, but every Sabbath I am in front of my computer before 9:00 knowing that I will be receiving a blessing.  And I always do!!!

So a big THANK YOU TO YOU BOTH from me and many others who appreciate what you are doing to hold the church together during these trying times. May God bless and give you the wisdom to know how to handle all the different situations that arise.  I pray for you every day as these are trying times for pastors. Sincerely, Shirley Bennett.

Thank you, Shirley, for your gracious message and your prayers. We hope we’ll see you back soon!


PRAYERS. This Wednesday the Davis family lost Richard Davis, Ricky’s father. The memorial service is planned for August 23 @ 2 pm at our church. Please, remember the family in your prayers. Richard was attending our church for a number of years.

Betty Jones, who lost her son a few weeks ago sent the following card to the church:

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RESOURCES:

Church weekly bulletin: link

Online giving: link

August 8 Sabbath worship: link

August 8 Sanctuary SS class: link


From my heart: For the last several years my mom has been in our house under our care. Galina and I felt your prayers and your gracious support. It meant the world to both of us. Last week this arrangement changed. My oldest sister, Evangelina, moved to Greenville, TN. With this move and with the new housing arrangements she was able to take our mom into her care. We are glad that Mom is not that far from us, and we’ll be visiting her often.

This summer there have been lots of moves in our children’s families. Three weeks ago we helped one family with a move to Oregon. Now, our oldest daughter’s family is moving from Orlando, FL to Flagstaff, AZ. Guess who will be helping them move? 🙂 Yes, it will be me. I am taking several vacation days next week. Our daughter Stacey will fly to Ooltewah on Sunday with our two grandkids, and will stay with grandma Galina, while I fly that same Sunday morning to Orlando. There her husband Javan and I will load a U-haul truck, attach a trailer, load one of their cars onto that trailer, and the two of us will venture into the desert. He’ll be driving the second car, while I’ll drive the U-haul with the trailer. Lots of prayers are needed! Expect lots of road trip photos on Facebook and Instagram 🙂

Happy Sabbath, church. I’ll see you tomorrow.

pastor Peter

Praying for the Mission

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MESSAGE.

“I have but one passion: It is He, it is He alone. The world is the field and the field is the world; and henceforth that country shall be my home where I can be most used in winning souls for Christ.”
― Count Nicolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf

This Sabbath morning I’ll continue my ‘Seven Prayers’ sermon series. We’ll study what ‘Praying for the Mission’ is all about.

MINISTRY.

Last Sabbath evening about forty volunteers from our church came to help at the Samaritan Center. Many of them were young people. Ice cream was a hot item 🙂 it was all gone in the first 15 minutes. Of course I have no doubts that the majority of those who came were not so much motivated by ice cream as by the willingness to help our community. A heartfelt Thank You to all who participated in this service to the Samaritan Center. We’ll do it again on September 5. I feel bad I did not take any pictures that night.

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Great news! Our “Young Disciples” fund has already received $20,300! The goal is to raise $50,000. Every dollar from this fund will go to support students from our church who attend OAKS and other Adventist academies. So, as of today we need to raise $29,700. Let’s all get onboard and support our children. Thank you for your generous participation. The “Young Disciples” fund is added to the online giving site. If you use the paper tithe envelope just enter your contribution to this account in the blank line and mark accordingly.

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Almost 600 people from the community visited the voting center at our church on Thursday. They were offered free drinks and cookies. They did not come to worship, but they could feel the love of Jesus in the friendly atmosphere of our church campus. Thank you, everyone who helped with the setup for this election day.

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Carleen Zalabak, Pastor Matthew and their team completed the recording of the virtual VBS. As soon as the editing is finished these videos will be available for the children of our church. Thank you, all who worked on this wonderful project!


Teacher Becky regularly posts Sabbath school video lessons for the Cradle Roll class. They are available on the Cradle Roll Facebook page. God bless you, Becky!


PRAYERS.

This Sabbath we’ll have two Memorial services. One for the family members of Barbara Smith (Apison church @3pm) and the other one for Judson, Donna Jamieson’s husband, at our church at 4 PM. Visitation starts at 3:30 pm. Please, remember these two families in your prayers.


 RESOURCES:

Online weekly bulletin: click here

Online giving: click here

August 1, Sabbath worship service recording: click here

August 1, Sanctuary Sabbath school class: click here

Praying for God’s Power

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MESSAGE.

I’ve seen communism collapse. I’ve seen thousands baptized in one day. I’ve seen alcoholics become evangelists … All by the power of God. Nothing can stand against that power; no virus, no political chaos, no social divide. Stop fighting with your own weapon. Everything will be different if we start praying for the power of God.

This Sabbath morning I continue the “Seven Prayers” series. Pray with me in person or online.

MINISTRY.

The last Sabbath of July was packed with wonderful events. Katie Rose got baptized during the first service. Many friends of the Rose family came to celebrate this exciting event in Katie’s life. It was great to have pastor Na’a, pastor Mike Pettingill, and pastor Matthew Shallenberger participate in the service.

That same Sabbath afternoon the Young family came to celebrate Karina Young’s baptism. It was a very special moment in the circle of close friends and family.

Two hours after that there was another baptism at Harrison Bay. Joshua Harrison (Rita Roger’s grandson) celebrated his new beginning with the Lord.


Work Bee Sunday was busy with tons of wonderful workers cleaning windows and painting classrooms and mulching the playground. Thank you to all who sacrificed to help get OAKS off to a grand start!


At the Monday night Church Board meeting we acted on several big items.

First, an unprecedented number of adventist academy students from our church presented a serious financial challenge. We certainly want every student to be supported in their Christian education opportunity. The Board unanimously voted to start a Fundraising campaign with the goal of raising $50,000 asap. If you are passionate about Christian education please contribute to this emergency need. All contributions to this fund need to be marked as “Young Disciples Fund”.

Second, the Board voted on the new Sabbath School Superintendent candidate. Connie Reynolds is being asked to serve in this position. Her nomination will need to be approved by the church vote.

Third, Kevin Hicks was asked to serve as the OAKS Board chairman. This nomination also needs to be approved by the church vote.


This Sabbath night, right after sunset our church will be helping at the Samaritan Center. Last month we had a great number of volunteers who were over 55. I hope this time we’ll have a different group of helpers. I am appealing to the parents of high school age children. Let’s make this a community ministry opportunity for our kids. I’ll personally bring ice cream for all the kids and their parents who will come to help. Ice cream by the Samaritan Center deck will start at 8:45 pm. Our mission is to preach the gospel; often actions can preach louder than words. I pray I see many of our church youth there tomorrow night.

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Pastor Matthew is working with Carleen Zalabak and a crew of other families on a virtual VBS program. They are recording a whole series of videos which will soon be available for the children of our church. On the photo are Thomas Turk, Luke Clubb, and Anaya Parker. They’re our cast for the drama scenes. Please pray about this project. We love our kids!

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PRAYERS. Last Sabbath night Judson Jamieson rested in the Lord. Praise for his wife Donna Jamieson and the family. The Memorial service is scheduled for August 8 at 4 pm with visitation starting at 3:30 PM

Prayers for Barbara Smith, who lost her brother and sister in law. The service will take place at the Apison SDA church also on August 8 at 3 pm.

Prayers are requested for Betty Jones who unexpectedly lost her son Stacey (51 years old).

Prayers are needed for Bruce Vogt, Cynthia Weitzel’s dad who had a heart attack. Bruce is at Memorial hospital.


RESOURCES.

I hope you’ll not miss Dinner with the Doctor, an online event happening this Monday. You’ll need to register if you are interested in participating. All details are in the flyer below:

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Online giving. Here is the link.

Church weekly bulletin. Here is the link.


Happy Sabbath! See you tomorrow.

pastor Peter