Led By the Spirit



A broken GPS may easily bring us to the wrong destination. A faulty spiritual compass will keep us going in circles. Christ is offering us the Spirit of Truth, the only safe guide to a whole life. “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.” (John 16:13)


On Monday the church board met in a hybrid format. Some joined the meeting in person, while others participated over ZOOM. The finance committee report was accepted with prayers of praise! Our May numbers showed strong support of our local church ministries. This is a clear sign of our unity and commitment to the Gospel proclamation. The board voted to amend the previous policy of the ministries allocations. For the new fiscal year all departments will be receiving a fixed monthly amount which is built into our overall church budget for the new year.

It was noted that the 9 AM worship service attendance reached the recommended capacity. To adhere to social distancing guidelines you may choose to attend the 11:30 AM service. Be advised that the state of Tennessee is reporting increasing numbers of new COVID 19 cases. Please, exercise caution and show your love to others by wearing a face covering.

Board members expressed a strong concern regarding the lower Sabbath school division’s  needs. ZOOM may not always be the best option for the children or youth. It was recommended that Sabbath school leaders of the lower divisions start actively looking for more creative ways of reaching out to the children of our church. I’m glad to report that there have already been some good steps made in that direction.
A “gift packet” has been delivered to all the children of the Kindergarten class. Teacher Pat lovingly organized study guides for all the kids; our summer intern, Jaime Barbosa and his wife Jaude, purchased small gifts and personally delivered them to all the class members. Cradle Roll class leader, Becky Denton, has just now called me from the ABC store. She is gathering her own “gift packets” for the kids in her class. They will be delivered to the homes of the Cradle Roll class early next week. Becky has also started recording bi-weekly videos for her class. They are available on the Cradle Roll Facebook page and on the church website under the Children’s Ministries menu tab. To watch teacher Becky’s latest study click on the video below:

Pastor Matthew and Emmalee started recording Bible Study lessons for the Kindergarten-age children. They did a great job and the first lesson is on the church Facebook page as well as on the church website under the Children’s Ministry tab. Here is the video:

Next week I’ll share more updates with you on the other lower division Sabbath school classes.

Pathfinder Club had the Investiture service on Wednesday night. Thank you, Director David Reynolds, and all the staff, for giving so much of your time and guidance to the youth of our church this year.


Please remember Bill Chilson in your prayers. He needs additional tests as he’s having some lung issues.

Prayers of praise for Nancy Smiley. Her surgery went well and she is back home on the path to full recovery.

Prayers for Julia Easter as she’s undergoing chemotherapy.

Prayers of praise for Amy and Cory Goss’ grand-baby Meilani.



Online weekly bulletin: click here 

Online giving: click here

Women’s Sabbath School class has started meeting in the Early Teens classroom until the children return back to church.

Online Sabbath school classes: 

Leaders: Mike & Sharon Harrell

To be part of an exciting and energetic 1-hour discussion of the current Quarterly Sabbath School lesson, sign onto Zoom at 10:30 on Sabbath mornings. Mike Harrell facilitates the discussion. Everyone is given the opportunity to participate if you would like, or to listen silently if that is your preference.  Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 863 8150 6419
To Join by Phone: 929 436 2866   
Meeting ID: 863 8150 6419 Wait for prompt, then enter the # key (no password required) *6 to mute or unmute.

Friendship class

Leaders: Mike Haughee, Edwin Reynolds, Barry Tryon, David Hartman

Topic: Friendship class Sabbath School
Time: Jun 13, 2020 10:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Every week on Sat, until Jul 4, 2020, 4 occurrence(s)
Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 764 9985 5133
Password: heidi0824

From my heart:

The last week has been full of exciting events in our family.

A. Our granddaughter Mila Crawford turned one!

B. Our son-in-law Kevin Crawford has successfully completed his residency and fellowship at Emory Hospital in Atlanta.

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C. Our youngest grandson Caspian Arocho made his first steps!

D. Today I thank God for the amazing thirty-six years of my “heaven on earth” marriage with Galina!


Happy Sabbath, my friends! See you tomorrow morning.

The Power of Unity



Christian unity begins with me allowing my brothers and sisters to be different from me and celebrating their uniqueness. Then the world will believe that we are sent by God (John 17:20-21).


The Church Board met virtually last night and unanimously voted on two important items:

A. Effective tomorrow (June 13) we are starting two in-person worship services. At 9 AM in the Sanctuary and at 11:30 AM in the Fellowship Hall. First service will be streamed online. The recording will be available online for the rest of the week.

B. Adult Sabbath school classes are free to start in-person meetings in the church building or at school. Each class will make their own decision about the format, time, and the location of their meetings.

Several SS classes chose to meet at church tomorrow. These are: Fellowship Hall class (Larry Otto), Sanctuary class (Mike Doucames), Men’s class (Edymar Penagos). The Women’s class will make their decision later today. The Fellowship Hall class study will be streamed on ZOOM and on the church YouTube channel @10:20 AM. To join the ZOOM study follow the instructions in the RESOURCES section of my blog below. The YouTube link will be posted on the church website and on Facebook.

Last night I was once again impressed with the spirit of unity among the leaders of our church! Praise God for leading our church family through this difficult time.

Community Services. Special words of appreciation to Lucas Patterson and his boys. Last Sabbath they moved tons and tons of donated items at the Samaritan Center. They were the only ones who showed up. I am sure we’ll do better next month. Can you please email/text or call me if you are available to help on July 4 after sunset? I will add your name to the sign up sheet. The actual sheet is available in the church lobby.


Dale Smith had surgery on Thursday. Prayers for Dale.


Church bulletin – click here.

Online giving – available here.

Virtual Sabbath School classes:

Leaders: Mike & Sharon Harrell

To be part of an exciting and energetic 1-hour discussion of the current Quarterly Sabbath School lesson, sign onto Zoom at 10:30 on Sabbath mornings. Mike Harrell facilitates the discussion. Everyone is given the opportunity to participate if you would like, or to listen silently if that is your preference.  

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 863 8150 6419
To Join by Phone:
929 436 2866   
Meeting ID: 863 8150 6419 Wait for prompt, then enter the
 # key (no password required) *6 to mute or unmute.

Fellowship Hall Class with Larry Otto:

Topic: Fellowship Hall Sabbath School – We will be singing this Sabbath . Tune in time for Zoom: Jun 13, 2020 10:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada). Sabbath School actual start time: 10:15/10:20 Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 423 883 2558 Password: 0411

Ken and Bodil Kirkham shared this picture with me last Sabbath. They joined our virtual service 🙂


Let Jesus In



I cannot cure cancer, but a good physician can. I cannot solve the problem of sin in this world, but Christ can. Let Christ into your hearts. Hatred will be dissolved by the power of His grace. Pride will give way to mercy. Love will take the place of selfishness. All other efforts will fail. Only Christ can bring victory.


Last Sabbath about fifty church members gathered on the church lawn for the 9 AM worship service. The weather was absolutely perfect. The spirit of those who came to worship was wonderful. A special Thank You to Pastor Matthew for his hard work on providing the sound system. The highway noise was not bothering anyone. Here are a few photos taken from Sarah Penagos’ Instagram 🙂

On Monday morning about twelve volunteers got up early and came to church to prepare sack lunches for the homeless. With that number of hands the work was done in about 45 minutes. Thank you, Lucas, for your dedication to this ministry. Christ called us to feed the hungry. I am glad that our church can be a part of this service to the community. Here are some photos from that day.

Tiny Timberwolves Adventurers:  while our year ended earlier then planned, we had an outstanding year none the less.   With 28 kids, a dedicated staff and supportive parents, we made the best of our shortened time together.  We learned that Jesus is Our Forever Friend during Investiture and through fun activities including a chilly camp-out, fall fun festivities, Christmas crafts and regular class time.  Check out the pictures on the Fellowship Hall bulletin board.  Thanks to ALL who supported our club through participation and prayer.   –  Laura Standish

Men’s Sabbath School class met “under the tree” last Sabbath. It it always inspiring to see our men study God’s Word. It is my understanding that they will meet outside again this Sabbath.


SABBATH SCHOOL. Several online Sabbath school options are available tomorrow. Please, contact your Sabbath school class leader to find out how you can join their study. Our plan is to open the church and the school buildings for the in-person Sabbath school classes as soon as possible. I’ll keep you posted. There will be no YouTube Sabbath school study from church tomorrow.

Worship Service tomorrow, June 6. Finally we’ll have our first in-person worship service tomorrow. The service will start at 9 AM in the Fellowship Hall. Don’t be surprised to see how the chairs are spaced out. We have to follow the CDC guidelines. As you enter the lobby you’ll need to follow the instructions of our friendly deacons. You are not required to wear a mask. There will be no printed bulletin, but you can print one at home. The online bulletin is available here.

The Worship Service will also be streamed online. Links on Facebook, the church website and Youtube will be updated by 8:55 tomorrow morning.

HEALTH MINISTRY. Shared by Diana Dodd:

So what’s the best way to start the day? Today I managed to start off with quite a positive bang!  I went to bed last night and woke up today with the purposeful intention of FIRST and FORMOST spending time in the Word… In the presence of Jesus Christ… Shutting out the world and its noise. 
As you can see… I ended up with a whole table full of positivity! Just had to share a picture of the beauty around me.  What a difference this time in His presence has made!!!
Yesterday started off quite differently… I inadvertently flipped open Facebook and was slammed in the face with the horrors going on. The almost unbelievable turn of events in our country.  The hatred… the violence… the confusion… the clash of ideals and philosophies.  This nation seems to be unraveling at the seams. 
Snakes. Remember the snakes in the desert that attacked the Israelites as they were fleeing from Egypt?  In his wonderful sermon a couple weeks ago, our Pastor Peter likened the current pandemic, the political differences and all the opposing points of view on how to handle things, as being like snakes that were attacking us and distracting us from what is truly important – Jesus.
There is only one thing that is important. Only One who can lift us up out of this muck and mire.  As He promised in Isaiah 61:1 “The Lord has appointed Me to bring good tidings to the afflicted;  He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound.”
So I just want to encourage each and every one of us to take a moment to spend some time in His wonderful healing presence.  Perhaps many moments today and through all the days ahead. 
“Now may the Lord of Peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.”  2Thessalonians 3:16


Prayers of praise for Betty Chastain. She is back home.

Please continue to pray for Howard Kennedy, Sr. He is at Parkridge Hospital.

Here is another sweet prayer request from Orlinda Wilson: “We are so thankful for our new great great nephew’s safe arrival 5/28/20 Kylan Lace Daniel 8lbs 20inches.”



Online giving – click here.

Online bulletin – click here.

Very helpful thoughts on Stewardship shared with me by Steve Bremner. Click here to read.

See you tomorrow at 9 AM!

Happy Sabbath.