Like Father

I became a father when I was twenty years old. It was at that time that I realized the joy of having a child, but along with that the I felt the huge responsibility of being a Dad who should lead and teach by example. When we were teaching our daughters to say the Lord’s Prayer I realized that they see the Heavenly Father through the person of me, their earthly father. If I am rude and not caring my children will unconsciously develop the perception of a cold, distant and revengeful God. This is a huge task on all of us fathers. God chose to be known and called “Abba” or Dad. In Deuteronomy 1:31, Moses uses a metaphor in which he portrays God as the father of Israel. He says, “… and in the wilderness. There you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place.” Again in Jeremiah 3:19-20, God says through the prophet, “How gladly would I treat you like my children and give you a pleasant land, the most beautiful inheritance of any nation. I thought you would call me ‘Father’ and not turn away from following me… ” My children are all grown ups, but I still learn daily from my Heavenly Father how to be a Dad who is always full of mercy and love. What a great honor! What a huge responsibility.

_____________________________

The nominating committee has completed its task and is presenting the report for the first reading this Sabbath morning. It’s been a good committee. It consisted of the individuals who you elected for this not so easy task. There were young people and not so young; new members and those who have been with our church for many years; women and men; leaders and lay members. Every meeting was preceded by devotions and prayers. I was impressed with the spirit of unity. The committee didn’t want to simply rubber-stamp the previous list. It gave detailed and prayerful consideration to every position. This is just the beginning. You’ll see many vacant positions where you may be interested to serve. Please, do not hesitate to talk any member of the nominating committee about your interest in joining one of the ministries. If you have concerns or corrections, please contact the committee chairman, Mike Haughee or committee secretary, Summer Bradford. Click here to access the digital version of the report.

______________________________

Vacation Bible school preparation is going full steam! Thank you, Cory Goss and Amy and Laura Standish for leading in this important ministry to our children. “HAPPY VALLEY RANCH” is the theme of the VBS this summer. The dates are July 18-22 | 6 Pm – 8 PM. You can register your child online. The registration form is on our church website under the MINISTRIES menu tab. Or you can access it directly by clicking here.

________________________________

Several exciting programs and activities are in the works for the children of our church and our community. There will be several pool parties, movie and popcorn gatherings, a Chattanooga zoo trip, etc. The finalized dates will be posted next week.

_________________________________

From Edymar Penagos and Matt Gereghty: “

Happy Father’s day! Love in Action Report:
“On Sunday June 13th the men’s ministry got back to work with a beautiful deck project. With the project living entirely in the mind of Aaron Brewer we embarked on the journey towards building the deck as he envisioned it.  With the HOA regulations in hand, a trailer full of wood, charged drill batteries and a few boxes of nails we were ready to work. Under the shade of a pop-up canopy, provided by Kevin Hicks, our group was able to get right to work. Step one was to move a set of concrete steps, luckily, they were hollow and not too difficult to push down to the other end of the patio. After that the frame and posts of the new deck quickly took shape. With the skilled and willing hands of the group the majority of the deck project was completed before lunch, including the roof, which had been put up by Alexander!  But, as anyone who’s build a deck before can attest to, the stairs and railings can be the toughest part of the project, and it was!!!  However, Aaron and Kevin were able to use their experience to help guide both Edymar and myself towards its completion!”  Matt Gereghty.


Guys, all in all, we had a great time building a simple deck for some sweet ladies, but why are these types of jobs so important? In this case, one of the sisters is fighting cancer and this simple deck provides them with place to sit outside in the shade and enjoy God’s nature. And sure, it will help keep the rain out when they answer the front door (the carpet was getting soaked). It will even make it easier when the time comes and they need a handicap ramp. But that is not all. There are many reasons why they needed this deck but the one that was addressed even without saying it was Love In Action. Their church contacted us to help build them a deck because they were loved. These sisters needed to know they were not alone. They now know there’s a community of folks who care for them, who love them, and want to encourage them. So why did a group of guys take a Sunday to build a deck? It’s because this group of guys and a church family wanted nothing more than to be used by God to demonstrate brotherly love to two of His daughters. “We love because he first loved us” 1 John 4:19

Thank you, gentlemen! What a wonderful example of of Christ’s love and service.

__________________________________

Our first church Fellowship meal is scheduled for Sabbath, July 3 @ 6 PM. If the weather is good we can do it outside on the church lawn. We can eat, visit and sing together. If its raining or too hot we’ll do it in the Fellowship Hall. I am so excited that we’ll finally be eating and mingling together as a church family. Please mark that event in your calendars.

Don’t forget to visit the church website www.ooltewahchurch.org for the weekly bulletin, online giving and other helpful resources.

Happy Sabbath! With hugs and Christian love,

pastor Peter

Following Jesus

To be a Christian one must follow Christ. “Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone wants to become my follower, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24). To follow Jesus means to be His student, His disciple. He is the One setting the schedule of the classes and the curriculum. You either accept His terms or quit and go some place else. It is only by following Jesus today and every day that you become transformed into His image and reflect His character. Come this Sabbath and we’ll study more about the meaning of Christian discipleship.

___________________________

Men’s Ministry had a great start of the summer season. Here is a report from Edymar: “The Father’s Day picnic was such a blessing! It was wonderful to be out with our church family, enjoying food and fun, but more importantly, making connections, fellowshipping and celebrating dads! The rain may have kept some people away, however those that came were truly there to spend quality time with long-time friends and brand-new friends they met that day. Time was spent playing, fishing, chatting, bike riding, trail walking and doing some get-to-know-you activities, completed with a round of everyone’s best dad-jokes! One of the rangers even came by to talk with the kids about local animals, bringing with him animal pelts for kids to feel. It had been so long since we had the opportunity to simply gather as a church family and enjoy spending time in play and conversation. Being able to see everyone engage with one another, laughing and talking and pitching in to make sure all was well in every way was such a blessing! Thank you to all that were able to come!”

_________________________________

The Nominating committee has been working hard for the last several weeks. It looks like their job is almost complete. The full list will be published next week for the first reading at church. Please, do not get discouraged or upset if you do not find your name in the report. Ministry leaders will be building their teams starting July. They will be contacting many of you with the invitation to join their department or ministry. This is just the beginning of a big ministry journey for the next two years. We definitely want you to be a part of it. There is a place for everyone! Thank you, Mike Haughee, for serving as an excellent chairman of this important committee!

_________________________________

The Cornerstone Building Fund committee is working diligently on the steps leading to a major event which will take place on November 7, 2021. Please, reserve that date. We don’t want anyone to miss that church banquet.

_________________________________

More information and helpful resources are available on the church website www.ooltewahchurch.org

See you tomorrow.

Happy Sabbath!

Early this week I had tons of fun playing soccer with a team of my grandkids ( 4 year old Pierce, 20-month old Caspian and 2 year old Mila) against me alone on my team. Of course I lost.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

… in Him all things hold together

Last night Galina and I went for a walk. The air was fresh and delicious after many hours of rain. The birds were happy the clouds went away. The sun was reflected in every drop of rain on the blades of grass and on every needle of the pine trees. Galina was happy to pick and eat ripe wild berries. As she was busy picking these delicious berries I was looking at the gorgeous variety of the filed flowers. They were of different colors and sizes; some were barely visible, others were bright and bold in their beauty, but it was this variety that made that field so breathtaking. They we complementing each other. They were right next to each other. What a great lesson for every Christian! If you want your church to be vibrant and attractive then learn to appreciate each other. Let us learn to sit with those who are different in their theology; eat with those who belong to a different political party and serve with those who may have a lifestyle different from ours. Colossians 1:16-17 – “For in Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.”

_____________________________

Ooltewah Tiny Timberwolves Adventurers. Laura Standish shared with me the following wonderful story: “Another Adventurer year has come to an end but what a year it was!  We weren’t sure if COVID would keep us apart but thankfully it didn’t.   Our small but mighty team of 4 teachers worked hard to ensure our 9 kids had an awesome year:  

·        We maintained our bi-weekly meetings where a combined total of 50 honors were earned, 

·        We participated in our Conference’s virtual Family Fun Weekend, 

·        We went on a hayride and ran through corn at the Ocoee River Maze,

·        We enjoyed Christmas treats and games, 

·        And we ended the year with a fun party and camping trip right here on church grounds.  A special CONGRATULATIONS to our Helping Hands who were promoted to Pathfinders:   Josh Bee, Thomas Harvey, Conner Standish and Aaron Stark.  This year would not have been possible without the encouraging parents, Pastor Matt for his bi-weekly devotionals, the faithful staff who made our year what it was, and to the kids who learned to be Champions for Jesus.    Can’t wait to see what our next year brings!  Until then, have a wonderful summer! “

Thank you, Laura and your team of leaders, for making this a special year for our children!

______________________________

With our kids being out of school we want to plan some exciting events and activities for every age group. I am glad to share with you that Cory Goss agreed to lead the Vacation Bible school this July. Thank you, Cory! We all know how much you love the little ones. Cory is inviting you to start planning this event together with him and your children. “Happy Valley Ranch” is the theme of the VBS. Children will be learning how to be happy in God. The dates are July 18-22.

_______________________________

Here is an invite from Edymar Penagos: “This Sunday Men’s Ministry is inviting you to celebrate our fathers with some family fun at Booker T. Washington State park. So mark your calendars and corral your family! The weather looks perfect, and we will have a blast. There are playgrounds, basketball courts, and water everywhere. You can also hike, mountain bike or just sit and enjoy some good conversations.”

__________________________________

It is very exciting to see our church’s wider participation in the Cornerstone Building Fund. We want to be sure we have adequate Sabbath school classes and a sanctuary for the next generation in our church. As of today the church has received $148,305. Every dollar counts. Please pray about the future of our church.

___________________________________

STEWARDSHIP – “The completeness of Christian character is attained when the impulse to help and bless others springs constantly from within…” (Christ’s Object Lessons pg. 384) 

Additional resources and church weekly bulletin are available online www.ooltewahchurch.org

Happy Sabbath,

pastor Peter