Serve One Another

serve one another

MESSAGE. God calls every member of his family to ministry. In the Bible, the words “servant” and “minister” are synonyms, as are service and ministry. Life of service demonstrates whether we have a relationship with God. Tomorrow morning I’ll continue the “Be My Disciples” series. Please, read Ephesians 2:10.

MINISTRY. Last Sabbath afternoon the church Fellowship Hall was filled to capacity. The Parenting seminar presented by Don and Ruthie Jacobsen drew more participants than we could have expected. I would like to express sincere appreciation to Linda Kulik and the Family Life ministry team for their excellent work in planning the event. The Child care team showed true spirit of creativity and service. We planned for up to 15 children, but instead had to provide care for almost 50 children. Thank you Becky Denton and your team, thank you Rosa Lee and the OAKS staff for your tremendous help. Rhonda Hicks and her hard working team served over 200 meals. They did it efficiently and with a happy spirit. God bless you for your dedication and hard work. Lucas, thank you for the excellent promotional package for this event. Many visitors came because they heard about this program via the flyers, posters, radio ads, and of course Facebook 🙂 . I could feel the presence of God there through the whole program. I heard many great remark from the seminar participants. It was truly helpful. PARENTING

COMMUNITY. This Sunday is our Church Yard sale event. Our church has been buzzing all week long with preparations. Some of you have already delivered boxes with the items donated for the yard sale. If you have not yet had a chance to sort through the items you would like to sell this Sunday don’t wait too long. You still have Saturday night and Sunday morning. The Yard Sale will start at noon. There is no charge for the tables. You are not required to donate your money to the church. However, any donation towards the church renovation Nehemiah project will be greatly appreciated. Help us to promote this event by passing out flyers (available at the church office) or by liking this event on FACEBOOK. Here is the link The more LIKES we have the more people in the community will learn about this event. Also, SHARE it on your own Facebook page.


OAKS WEEK OF PRAYER. I was absolutely blessed by the OAKS week of prayer. This time there was no invited speaker. All the messages were prepared by our own students. Most of them were not reading their notes. They were speaking from their heart. What a great idea it was to invite students to speak to students. Thank you, Mr. Marshall, Wess, and Rosa Lee.


THE HOUSE OF WORSHIP. A portion of the Nehemiah project fund has already changed the look of our church. Flat and leaking sections of the roof have been made sloped, insulation material has been added to the whole sanctuary part of the roof. New shingles made our church look well taken care of. Thank you, church for showing your love to our House of Worship. Next step is to replace the sanctuary chairs with new church pews!!! Sounds exciting, right!? Please, continue to pray about your part in the Nehemiah project fund. We are close to 50% of the set goal of $200,000.


CONNECTINGIN TOUCH MINISTRIES TRAINING THIS SABBATH, MARCH 28: from 2-4 PM If you have a heart for reaching out to missing church members, please come and join us for training on how to connect with those who no longer attend.  We have sent out letters to all those who have been missing for a year or more and we have received around 50 responses, most of which have been positive.  More responses continue to come in. We are now ready for the next steps.  If at all possible, please attend the “In Touch” Ministries training this Sabbath.  We will have lunch together and then Pastor Bissell will share helpful, practical information on how to reach members (including family members) who no longer attend.  Elders, Board Members, Deacons and Deaconnesses are especially encouraged to attend.  Please let us know if you cannot make it so we will know how to plan for lunch.  If you have questions, please contact me for further information.

SHARE THE BLESSING. Thank you, dear church family for being supportive of our local church budget through the first three Sabbaths of March. Tomorrow is our last Sabbath of the month. I trust that motivated by God’s goodness to us we ALL will assume responsibility for the many wonderful ministries of our church. True Christian stewardship is a privilege given by God to believers in order to demonstrate genuine love and victory over selfishness and covetousness. As ambassadors of Christ, we represent Him here on earth by our faithful stewardship to the gospel commission. It is important for Christians to understand that we are stewards, not owners, Almighty God owns everything, and Christians are managers (Psalm 24:1-2).

HAPPY EATING. Here is a good article published by CNN this week. I love my cereal, especially with almond vanilla milk :-). What about your breakfast? Still sausage (Morning Star 🙂 ) with egg? Sounds delicious, but I want to live longer for there is still much work that needs to be done before Christ returns to take us home.


WEB-STREAMING. Finally, our church can stream live during the worship service. Anyone can access the link on our church webpage by clicking WEB-STREAMING in the main menu. Are any of you are planning on staying home tomorrow and watching the service online? You better not, as you’ll miss my Russian bear hug.


Happy Sabbath. See you tomorrow morning. Pastor Peter

Life of Service


Hi, my friends!

This Wednesday night our parsonage smelled like roses. Beautiful cards and bouquets from our church friends turned Galena’s birthday into a colorful mosaic of Christian love. Galena is very thankful for your gracious spirit and loving care. What a wonderful blessing it is to be part of the Ooltewah church family.


NEHEMIAH PROJECT. Roofing materials were delivered to our church property on Monday. If not for the rainy weather we could have already seen some serious work on the roof of our church. It looks like next week we’ll have more sunny days. Let’s pray for the progress of our Nehemiah project. Thank you for every contribution towards our church renovation.  “Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and glory are in his sanctuary. Ascribe to the Lord, all you families of nations, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering and come into his courts.” (‭Psalm‬ ‭96‬:‭6-8‬)


OAKS. David Denton and John Turner worked on repainting the OAKS gym. Looks fantastic, David and John! Huge Thank You to both of you.


EVANGELISM. Thousands of the Ooltewah Spring Event cards have been designed and ordered by Lucas. Over the next few days these cards will be mailed to almost every house in the Ooltewah-Collegedale area. This Wednesday, Steve and Sharon Bremner worked together at the church office all day long sorting and organizing all these cards for bulk mailing. I was sincerely touched by their hard work. Thank you, Sharon, for your many hours volunteering at the office! Your hard work is greatly appreciated. Thank you, Steve, for always being ready to “walk an extra mile”.

Besides bulk-mail we have close to 2,000 cards to share with our friends, co-workers, and neighbors. Please, pick up as many as you can tomorrow or any other Sabbath in the next few weeks.


EVENTS. Tomorrow night The Emmanuel Quartet is presenting a concert at 7 pm at our church. What an excellent witnessing opportunity. Come with your family and friends.

TRAINING. Our church phone has been ringing rather often this week as people were calling to register for the Parenting Seminar scheduled for March 21st. Please, take note that there is a Friday night Vespers program on March 20, presented by Ruthie Jacobsen, North American Division Prayer Ministries director. The program starts at 7 pm.


CHURCH FAMILY. I was heart broken yesterday when I learned about pastor Ray Kelche’s death. After 40 plus years of ministry, Ray was just starting his retirement. I pray that Jesus comes soon and gives Ray the crown of glory for his wonderful life and devoted ministry. Marian appreciates all the prayers and loving support from our church family. Visitation is scheduled for Monday, March 16 from 5:30 to 8 pm at our church. The Memorial service is planned for 2 pm next Tuesday, March 17, in our sanctuary. The burial will take place at the Collegedale cemetery followed by a reception in our church Fellowship Hall. 1 Thessalonians 5:9-11, “For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,  who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”

Your prayers are needed for Adam Garrett who is currently undergoing treatment at the Wildwood Health center; Jerry Johnson, prostate cancer; Bradley Hyde, cancer treatment plans. “The salvation of the righteous comes from the Lord; he is their stronghold in time of trouble. (‭Psalm‬ ‭37‬:‭39‬ NIV)

SABBATH WORSHIP. Both services tomorrow morning were planned by Daniel De Silva and Marlon Wallace, our externs (Southern Adventist University theology students). My message will continue the “Be My Disciples” series. Tomorrow is part 3, “Life of Service.” Please, read John 12:24-26.

A WILLING HEART. Our last Sabbath church budget offering was under $4,000. With the weekly goal of $5,500 we’ll need to do some catching up tomorrow morning. “Nothing is impossible to a willing heart.” I pray that we all show how much we care about God and His ministry through our church.

Happy Sabbath. I’ll see you tomorrow morning.

Pastor Peter

In His Presence…

Finally it feels like spring is around the corner! This will be a gorgeous weekend with plenty of sunshine and warmer temperatures. I expect that Christ’s love will also shine in our church as we’ll gather together to worship our Savior tomorrow morning.

A birthday party for Ina Longway who turned 90 was a wonderful time for everyone who came last Sunday. Ina is a missionary, a nurse, a poet, a Pathfinder leader, a sabbath school class teacher, and a loving mother of 8 children. Happy birthday, Ina! You are loved and appreciated by the Ooltewah church family. Thank you, Pathfinders for your hard work.


Friendly church. Every Sabbath morning I see some new visitors. I trust that we all do our best to help them feel welcome in our church. Showing love and care towards the church visitors is the most overlooked key to church growth. Here are a few helpful tips from the “Now Go Forward” book:

“- Every church member is a host and not a guest. Making visitors feel welcome is primarily the responsibility of members, not the nebulous “church.”
– The most important person for a visitor to talk to in order to feel at home in a new church is you. It is not the pastor, or the greeter, but a regular attender…
– Smile at everyone and offer your hand.
– Look people in the eye and smile.
– Take the initiative, don’t wait for visitors to initiate conversation with you.
– Learn people’s names and remember them.
– Ask questions and learn about your guests. It is better to express interest in them than it is to try to “sell” your church.”

Prayer Ministry. Last Wednesday night many were blessed listening to the reports of our church members who attended the Prayer Conference a couple weeks ago. Thank you, Cynthia, Sondra, and Linda. Your presentations helped us see a direct link between our prayer life and our spiritual growth. We often deprive ourselves of the blessings when our prayers turn into the routine repetition of memorized phrases. Let the reviving sap of the Vine bring life and vibrancy into our daily spiritual walk.

Next week, we will continue Jacob’s Ladder Prayer Seminar. I hope you’ll make an effort to be there to study and to pray together with your brothers and sisters. There is power in praying together!

Our church Youth is preparing to go out into the neighborhoods around the church with flyers for the Parenting Seminar. Thank you, Sarah, Edymar, and Louis for inspiring our people to be mission oriented. If any of you would like to help with the flyer distribution please talk to Linda Kulik. She has almost 2,000 flyers that need to be passed out in the next 10 days.

My message tomorrow morning will be Part 2 of the “Be My Disciples” series. Sermon title: “In God’s Presence”. We grow in discipleship only when we develop intimate communion with God in prayer.

Prayers are needed for Jim Estes. He was taken to the hospital on Thursday with congestive heart failure. Adam Garrett also needs our prayerful support due to some serious health concern. Adam will stay at Wildwood for another week. His email is

Stewardship. Thank you for your faithful and generous support of our local church budget. To meet our budget in March we’ll need about $5,500 every Sabbath. Let the Spirit of God use us and our resources for advance of the Gospel proclamation. “We would accomplish many more things if we did not think of them as impossible.” – (V.L.)

The Emmanuel Quartet will be presenting a gospel concert in our Family Fellowship Center on Sabbath evening March 14, at 7:00 PM. You will not want to miss this event. The Emmanuel Quartet’s home base is located right here in our own community but have presented concerts throughout the USA. They have many loyal followers around the country and sing with Spiritual fervor and commitment. They love Jesus and are dedicated to spreading the Good News through beautiful arrangements of hymns and gospel songs. No tickets are necessary. We will take an offering to help with their expenses and CD’s of their music will be available after the concert. Your Ooltewah Church Music Ministry participants are asking that you let people know about this concert. Let’s make this event a part of our evangelistic outreach to our community

Light of Hope Mission. I know that many of you are praying about our Light of Hope mission to Ukraine in May of this year. Here is a brief update.

On a personal note… Barby and Sean’s engagement is off. There will be no wedding in May. It’s a heartbreaking situation for us all, but we believe that God has a plan for both of them. We believe in His providence and guidance. There are new adventures ahead.

Have a Blessed Sabbath day. I’ll see you tomorrow morning.

Your friend,