Spiritual Priorities


MESSAGE. “Look! Here I stand at the door and knock. If you hear me calling and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal as friends” (Revelation 3:20. NLT). God needs us as His friends. He is actually waiting for us to call Him back. We are busy with work, families, school, even church work, but He simply wants to eat with us as His friends. Where is God on your schedule? Where is He on the list of your priorities?

“Action expresses priorities.” -Ghandi



I just returned from the OAKS Gradparents’ Day program. There was nowhere to park! The Fellowship Hall was full to its capacity. Lots of happy faces. Smiles, kids, music…the new Handbells sounded simply perfect! We are blessed with a wonderful school, students, teachers, and staff. Thank you, OAKS for leading our children to Jesus.


Father-Son Retreat is starting today. The weather seems to be just right for the bonding experience. I do not have the final count on those who registered for the retreat, but as of last week it was over thirty. We’ll miss many of our church members tomorrow, but I have no doubts that we all want our families to get stronger under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Last weekend our Pathfinders had a wonderful time at Howe Farm. It was their regional campout. Aaron Brewer reported at the Board meeting last Monday that in spite of cool weather and strong winds they all had a great time packed with training, learning and uplifting spiritual messages by our own pastor Matthew.


Season of Change met Thursday with a delicious menu of Garden Salad, Swiss Steaks, Corn and Broccoli Cornbread Casserole, Rolls and  yummy Pumpkin Bars that Janet Goss made. We had about 60 with 4 new widows attending.

Tomorrow afternoon at 5 PM we start the Discipleship Training seminar. Please, plan on attending. This will be an excellent opportunity to learn what practical Discipleship is all about. I hope to see many of you tomorrow afternoon.

Tomorrow night is a big event which we’ve been anticipating for months! Our first church-wide International Food Festival. The program starts at 7PM. You’ll definitely regret it if you miss out 🙂 The program is open for everyone, even if you are an American 😉 Invite your family, neighbors and friends.


Looking a few weeks ahead. Steve Darmody shared great news with me! Here is a quote from his message: “The Ooltewah SDA Church choir will be singing an 8 minute medley of Handel’s Messiah for both services, Saturday, Dec 22, 2018. If you would like to get the music and practice mp3 so that you can learn it and come that morning to sing with us, please let me know. Email your contact info along with your vocal range to steve@morningsong.org. You will be sent the url link for the sheet music and the mp3 rehearsal audio.”


Have a blessed Sabbath Day!


Remember the Sabbath Day


MESSAGE. “To all who receive the Sabbath as a sign of Christ’s creative and redeeming power, it will be a delight. Seeing Christ in it, they delight themselves in Him. The Sabbath points them to the works of creation as an evidence of His mighty power in redemption. While it calls to mind the lost peace of Eden, it tells of peace restored through the Saviour. And every object in nature repeats His invitation, “Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” Matt 11:28.” (EGW)


The Prayer Ministry group got together at our home last Sabbath for their quarterly meeting. Almost twenty five members of the Prayer Chain attended the meeting. Sondra Chilson believes this was a record number. Praise God that we have these Prayer Angels who pray about the needs of our church day and night. Thank you, Sondra Chilson, for your leadership.

That same afternoon a group of children from our church went to visit the elderly at one of the area nursing homes. Here is a report and photos sent to me by Melita Palmer:

“Last Sabbath, eleven kids from Junior\Earliteens S.S. class brought their instruments to play and sing for the residents of Country Haven Retirement Center. The music was beautiful coming from a variety of instruments- guitar, flutes, clarinet, recorders, and a ukuele. The residents joined us by singing and one resident accompanied the kids on his organ. The kids passed out cards they made to the twelve residents. Later, we met at Imagination Station. The kids played and adults were able to socialize. This is our first monthly outreach\sabbath outing for the S.S. class. The next class outing will be November 10th at 3pm. walking/biking at Riverpark. We will be meeting at the dam.”

Over two hundred people came to our church last Sabbath night to hear the Kings’ Heralds Quartet. Their contagious singing charged everyone who came with an extra portion of divine energy. Don’t we all want to sing like them? 🙂 Thank you, Larry Otto, for inviting the Quartet to our church. It was a perfect ending to a beautiful Sabbath day.


Early Sunday afternoon the Social committee worked hard to beautify our Fellowship hall for a Baby Shower for Heidy Pino. I was shocked to see sweet Liberty, Dina’s daughter, moving chairs around with a big dolly which was twice her height. 😦 We have awesome ladies on our Social committee always willing and ready to do something special for our church families. Here are just a few photos of their celebration. Congratulations to Heidy and Ed Pino! The baby is due in just a few weeks!

https---cdn.evbuc.com-images-50138275-45401425775-1-originalOn October 26-28, several fathers and sons from our church will be at Booker T. Washington State Park here in Chattanooga for a fun weekend of rest and recreation during the Ooltewah SDA Church’s annual Father-Son Retreat. So far we’ve got around 30 people signed up to stay in our cabins with bathrooms/showers just steps away and hot meals prepared in the kitchen. It’s true … we’re not roughing it. But that doesn’t make it any less manly! Join us for boating, biking, campfires, and camaraderie. There’s even a little friendly competition: anybody up for tandem sawing, pumpkin bowling, or cornhole? Step away from your screens and busy schedules for intentional time with your son. It’ll be a blessing. Register online today.

Kids all grown? No kids yet? Have daughters instead of sons? We would still love to see you join us at Booker T. Washington State Park. We are always in need of extra hands to assist with activities. So clear your calendar, invite your neighbor/coworker to bring his son, and join us in prayers for a successful weekend. For more information, please contact Lucas Patterson @ email lucaspatterson@southern.edu or call 423.582.1678.

Last week we all watched the devastation caused by Hurricane Michael. People lost homes, businesses, income. I know that many of your are wondering how can we help? Here are some helpful facts for your information:


1. Drop a donation in your local church offering plate marked “ACS Disaster Response”.
2. Call 1-800-381-7171
3. Mail a check to:
Adventist Community Services
9705 Patuxent Woods Dr.
Columbia, MD 21046
4. Online – Click on ‘Donate’ button – communityservices.org

If you prefer to donate goods rather than money, there are two sources you can use to send needed items to those affected:
SHOP ONLINE: Amazon and Walmart
1. Print the “needs list” – communityservices.org
2. Go to the site of your choice and start shopping.
3. Choose a Distribution site you want your donations to be shipped to.

The Pathfinder Club is camping this weekend. I won’t be surprised if it rains tomorrow. I invite our church to pray for safe travels for our children, their parents and the club staff. Stay dry and warm :-).

22780547_1496675770399923_6493604467930965097_nThis Friday afternoon our church is joining hands with the GYC SE in a community project. Almost a hundred young people from the GYC will be heading to the area around the New Life SDA church. They will be weeding lawns, offering water and cookies, and of course, praying with the discouraged. Our church is helping with transportation and equipment. Edymar Penagos is coordinating the event. He needs more helpers. If you can help for two hours between 3:30 and 5:30 this afternoon please call Edymar or me @ 678-571-1743.

PRAYERS. Beth Best is at Erlanger East hospital for observation and tests. Please pray for Beth.

RESOURCES. Pastor David Bissell prepared a Church Business Directory. Thank you, David, for this super helpful resource. Follow the link for the new Business Service Directory.



1280x1280MESSAGE. “In Him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace” (Ephesians 1:7). Many Christians have never experienced the joy of salvation. They continue to carry the burden of past or present sins. They know about Jesus, but have not learned how to accept His simple words “Your sins are forgiven” (Luke 7:48). This is what grace is all about. This is where one can find the source of joyful living. Your sins are forgiven. Christ has died for you on the cross. He is not holding grudges. Come to Him today to celebrate your forgiveness!

MINISTRY. Last Sunday a group of our church members participated in the Out of the Darkness community walk.  Hundreds of residents walked Enterprise South Nature Park to bring awareness and funding to suicide prevention. Thank you, Lucas Patterson, for this initiative. Here are a few photos from the walk event:


OAKS students learned a lot about fire safety last Wednesday when a few fire trucks and lots of firemen came to their campus. It was a fun morning. Shelly Turkenkopf sent me a few great photos:


Ooltewah Cereal Barrel is getting great support from our church members. This week I witnessed as Nubia brought several bags of cereal boxes. She actually needed Steve’s help to carry them to the Barrel. This is why Ooltewah church is so awesome. Our church family truly cares about those who are struggling financially. All these food donations are being distributed in our own community through the Samaritan Center.


There is a lot happening at our church this Sabbath. Dr. Duane Covrig will be our guest speaker for both services. He is Leadership Department Chair at Andrews University and
Professor of Leadership and Ethics. In the afternoon, Prayer Ministry group is gathering at our home for their quarterly lunch. Later that afternoon church elders will get together for the monthly meeting. Sabbath school council will follow that meeting.

The internationally acclaimed KING’S HERALDS quartet will be presenting another of their exceptional concerts this Sabbath evening (October 13) at 7:00 pm at the Ooltewah Seventh-day Adventist Church. Their variety of style and rich, creative harmonies make them unique favorites, wherever they perform. The concert is FREE and begins at 7:00 PM.


See you tomorrow for a full and exciting day packed with wonderful spiritual activities.
Happy Sabbath!
Pastor Peter

God is My Shelter

tumblr_p48cf1Szct1tjj2sjo1_500MESSAGE. “The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.” Psalm 28:7

Painful experiences help us to trust God more. There are many verses in the Bible that refer to God as our shield. I encourage you to look them up and read them. Here are a few of my favorites. “He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart” (Psalm 91:4). “Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word” (Psalm 119:114).

“For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly” (Psalm 84:11).


IMG_1283Ooltewah church Communications department just printed a fresh church newsletter. To access the e-version  click here or click on the picture.  Thank you, Aaron Hall and your team, for sharing with us awesome photos and important ministry updates. You’ll notice that the emphasis in this Newsletter is on OAKS. During the last week of September our students were participating in a week of prayer. Pastor Matthew Shellenberger was inspiring OAKS kids to Stand for Jesus. At the final meeting pastor Matthew invited the students to fill out the response card. Over one hundred of them responded to the call. Close to thirty students expressed a desire to start Bible studies. Praise God for every decision. Thank you, Matthew, for your inspiring leadership. Now we’ll need volunteers who would be interested in studying God’s Word with the students. Please, contact pastor Matthew or me if you want to be a part of this exciting ministry.

Also, our students need a new roof over the gym. This is a major renovation project where we need to come together and by God’s grace raise $170,000 US. OAKS is our mission field and I’m grateful for your support of this need.  You’ll find more details and photos in the Newsletter.

Men’s Ministry is going full speed. Here is an excerpt from Edymar Penagos’ latest email:

“We had the opportunity to put God’s religion into action right after the breakfast. Mrs. Byrd, who is 92 years young, lost her husband a little while back. She has been trying to move out of her home and into an assisted living facility. This was a monumental task and praise God for connecting her to David Denton. After working for several hours, we put a huge dent in what needed to be done and we will be back for a 3rd time to finish. See attached pictures.

Guys, Mrs. Byrd texted David afterwords and her words just made my heart melt. She was very grateful and to quote her, “you and your helpers live the “word”, you are true Christians”. In a world where words seem to be losing their meaning and used for hate, action is even more important. Love in action can not be debated, it can not be misunderstood or used to hate. No matter how nicely spoken words can be, love is action. So without action, there is no love.”


outofthedarknessheaderWe’re proud to be a participating team in this year’s “Out of the Darkness” suicide awareness and prevention walk in Chattanooga. Join us! We’d love your help meeting our fundraising goal or simply to walk alongside us (for free) this Sunday, October 7 at Enterprise South park. Lucas Patterson, Ooltewah Community services director, is spearheading this program.

Walk Date: 10/07/2018
Walk Location: Enterprise South Nature Park – Chattanooga, TN
Check-in/Registration Time: 12:00 pm
Opening Ceremony/Walk Begins: 1:00 pm
Walk Ends: 2:00 pm

Click here for more information. 

PRAYERS. Please remember the Leavitt and Williams families in your prayers as they are grieving the loss of Martha Williams. The Memorial service for Martha is this Sabbath afternoon at 4:30 pm followed by a reception. Everyone is invited to attend.

RESOURCES. Tithe and Offerings online giving page is available on our church website www.ooltewahchurch.org. No transaction fees are charged. It is easy and convenient. You can do it on your computer or using an application on your phone. The AdventistGiving app is available to download for both Android and Apple phones.

Our services are being streamed via YouTube. Search for Ooltewah ChurchMedia channel on YouTube. Archive of the past services is also on that same channel. You can easily find the channel by clicking the SERMONS tab on our church website.

FROM MY HEART. This week our daughter Stacey and our grandson Pierce came for a short visit from Florida. As you can see by the photos below, Pierce was helping me with some landscaping work around the house, with a sermon preparation in my home office, and was teaching me how to live happily on a fully vegan diet 🙂