Our Communion with Christ

No one can love God and fellowship with Christ without loving others. Thus, our true love, devotion, and service to others in the name of Christ is an authentic demonstration of our communion with Christ.

This Sabbath we will have the worship service which we call “communion.” We are so used to that term that we often do not think about it’s deep spiritual meaning. Communion with Christ implies that we “abide” in Christ. We live in His presence. We seek Christ in prayer. We listen to His voice. We obey His words. We love and follow Him. However, “communion” with Christ leads us into a wider circle of His people. One cannot abide in Christ without being in communion with His followers. These followers may be weird and wild, annoying and troublesome, wayward and confused… It does not matter. If Christ needs them then I need to be in “communion” with them.

Christ was proactive in building His community. He has the same expectation when it comes to us, His followers. Seek connections. Extend love. Show grace. It is easy to love those who love us back. I invite you to show the spirit of Christ. When you participate in the “communion” service tomorrow find someone who is not on your list of your close family or friends. Show them love by washing their feet. Pray with them. Connect with them. Let this be the “breakthrough moment” in your relationships with the family of God’s children.


We are in the second week of the “Finding Healing in Jesus” prayer calendar. We are seeking healing for our broken souls. Last year brought frustrations and grief to millions of people around the world. Some of us lost our closest friends or family members. Peace in our soul was shattered. Do not ignore that pain. Seek healing in Jesus. Offer to pray for someone who may be struggling with grief and confusion. Christ is strong to heal. He gave us the promise: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matt. 11:28-29)

We are six weeks away from our evangelistic meetings which will start on September 10. Our community needs hope. Share hope. Disseminate the darkness by spreading the light.


If you cannot participate in the communion service this Sabbath our elders will be happy to visit you at home. Please call or text me if you would like a “communion” in your home with one of our church elders.


The Youth and Young Adults are invited to participate in a pool party this Sunday. You can register online on the church website: www.ooltewahchurch.org

Additional helpful links and resources are also here www.ooltewahchurch.org

Happy Sabbath.

pastor Peter

Black dots or musical notes

“We once saw a man draw some black dots. We looked and could make nothing of them but an irregular assemblage of black dots. Then he drew a few lines, put in a few rests, then a clef at the beginning, and we saw these black dots were musical notes. On sounding them we were singing,

“Praise God from whom all blessings flow,
Praise Him all creatures here below.”

There are many black dots and black spots in our lives, and we cannot understand why they are there or why God permitted them to come. But if we let God come into our lives, and adjust the dots in the proper way, and draw the lines He wants, and separate this from that, and put in the rests at the proper places; out of the black dots and spots in our lives He will make a glorious harmony.” Let us not hinder Him in this glorious work!
–C. H. P.


This week was all about the children. Children were all over our church campus. They were singing, clapping, running, learning… This was the Vacation Bible School week. Huge Thank You to Cory Goss and his incredible team of volunteers! To God be the glory for the excellent program where the children were learning how to be happy in Jesus. Here are just a few photos of the VBS activities:


We are glad to offer a virtual Sabbath school class to those who cannot attend our church in person. Here are the links:

Topic: Sabbath School
Time: Jul 24, 2021 10:20 AM every week on Saturdays through Sep 4, 2021 10:20 AM

Weekly: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/tZMvc-GurjkrGNFLWV4_1onsuarbmv46g_CG/ics?icsToken=98tyKuGvrD8iHNSXsRuCRpwEAI-gWe7ziHpcjY17sCjTVx8CbQ3lI-NQML9pRI7X

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 872 4860 2125
Passcode: heidi0824


This Sabbath both services will take place in the Fellowship Hall. VBS celebration continues for everyone. Happy Sabbath!

Additional information and links are available on our church website www.ooltewahchurch.org

pastor Peter

New Life in Christ

When I first met Vasiliy he was a gangster in an Eastern European city. His wife and two daughters would hide under their beds when he came home. They prayed for him to become a different person. My visit with Vasiliy was in a restaurant closed to other customers and with two bodyguards standing at the door. Our lunch lasted for over an hour. The conversation was direct and to the point. Vasiliy wanted his life to be changed but he did not believe that there was any hope for him. He asked me to pray for him at the end of that meeting. Several years later I came back to that same city. One of the first families I met in the foyer of that church was Vasiliy, his wife and two teenage daughters. It was the same Vasiliy, but his smile reflected a totally new person inside of him. His two daughters were happily clinging to their dad. That change was clearly the result of God’s transforming power. This is why apostle Paul affirms that, ” if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Cor. 5:17)

This Sabbath morning I’ll share Part 2 of the Spiritual Makeover sermon series with you.


Last Sunday many parents brought their kids to a pool party in our neighborhood clubhouse. The weather did not look promising, but it turned out to be a fun morning. Thank you, Earl Sigsworth and Pastor Matthew for coordinating this event for the little ones from our church and their friends. Here are a few photos that Earl shared with me:

There will be another pool party for older kids on August 1. Please contact pastor Matthew if you are interested in participating.


On Sabbath afternoon over twenty “prayer warriors” gathered at the Chilson’s residence. This was the first time they came together after the Pandemic interrupted their gatherings about 18 months ago. Sondra shared with me that they had a wonderful time eating and planning their prayer ministry for our church and the community around us. Below are a few photos from that event:

We are grateful to our “prayer chain” members. They are like blood cells keeping us united in love and care for each other. This large group believes in the power of prayer and they have a place for you in this important ministry.


VBS is starting this Sunday! Cory and Amy Goss need your help. I am glad that many children have already registered for this program online. If you have not done that yet for your kids or grandchildren here is the link.


Please remember to pray for the Cornerstone Building Fund. There is nothing impossible for the Lord. There are many who the Lord can and will bring into His church if we are ready and willing to receive them. Don’t forget to reserve November 7 for a special church banquet.


More resources are available on our church website: www.ooltewahchurch.org


pastor Peter

Spiritual Makeover

Not many of us can give ourselves a good haircut. If you can you are a rare genius. Most of us, including myself, go to a hairstylist with a good reputation. (In my case, I call my wife, Galena 🙂 ) Just as makeovers with hair require that we spend some time with a good hairstylist, makeovers of the heart require that we spend time with our Heavenly Father. My desire to become more like Christ will only be realized as I set aside time to listen to Him and study His word. It is during those times that He will shape my heart and my will to conform to His. “… put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” Ephesians 4:24

This Sabbath I am starting a 3 part sermon series entitled “Spiritual makeover.”


Pathfinders is vamping up again for the coming year so be thinking about registering and participating. Plans are in the works for a great year of activities and trips. Events are opening up and no virtual activities are planned conference-wide. Watch for more news!
If you are interested in getting involved or have questions about the coming year please don’t hesitate to call Director David Reynolds (423)505-6658 or send an email the following address: David.Reynolds20@gmail.com


Last Sabbath night was a wonderful social and spiritual experience for those who attended the evening event. Actually, there were several events: fellowship dinner, a concert and Singspiration. The initial setup was planned for a hundred people. A few minutes after 6 PM our deacon team had to bring more tables and chairs for another 100+ people. The ladies serving dinner started to look a bit stressed when the food started disappearing from the serving tables. It was absolutely great to see all of you eat and visit at the long tables set in the Fellowship hall. The concert was an absolute blessing. Below are a few photos I took during the concert. Thank you, all who participated. Many also stayed for Singspiration. I hope we’ll have these gatherings more often as we all hunger for the spiritual and social reconnection after COVID19.


With many activities taking place on our church campus there are others who go out and visit our elderly members. Last week Nancy Smily invited Sarah and Katherine Bremner to put on a concert for the Lopes at LifeCare of Collegedale. Thank you, ladies, for your ministry to those who cannot attend church due to their health issues.

Here is more about these young ladies. Steve shared a poem with me that Sarah wrote. The America Library of Poetry would like to publish this poem in a special book of student poetry called “Expressions.” Congratulations, Sarah!


Every time I walk through the church lobby I feel excited about our church’s future. There is a drawing of the new church sanctuary and Sabbath school classes displayed there on a tripod. Our Cornerstone fund is growing because of your faithful support. Don’t forget to put November 7 on your calendar. There will be a big church banquet that night. I am sure you wouldn’t want to miss it. Thank you for showing faith and bold vision as you continue to contribute to this fund.


We will not be able to continue with the Sabbath school sanctuary class livestream. Discipleship SS class also discontinued their ZOOM option. But Friendship class offers weekly ZOOM study. Here is the info:

Topic: Sabbath School Zoom
Time: Jul 10, 2021 10:20 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
        Every week on Sat, until Jul 17, 2021, 2 occurrence(s)
        Jul 10, 2021 10:20 AM
        Jul 17, 2021 10:20 AM
Please download and import the following iCalendar (.ics) files to your calendar system.
Weekly: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/tZEvdOutpj4rHdEKDaOYzZU7sMwALTO7SyTk/ics?icsToken=98tyKuGtrDgoH9yQsR6CRpwMAIjCa-_xiCVcgqd4tzvkLBlJWDahJc9VE55LP4_j

Join Zoom Meeting

Worship service streaming will continue on YouTube as always.


This Sunday the kids are invited to a pool party. More info is on the church website. Don’t forget to register online www.ooltewachurch.org


Last Monday I celebrated the 4th of July by visiting my mom in Greeneville, TN. Here is a photo from that day.


See you this Sabbath.

pastor Peter

In God We Trust

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in Him.
 They will be like a tree planted by the water
    that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
    its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
    and never fails to bear fruit (Jeremiah 17:7-8).”

While in darkness we get confused and disoriented. We readily put our trust in those who offer us their way out. King David experienced his fair share of anxiety, sorrow, and pain. Just because he loved the Lord doesn’t mean his life was easy. David wrote Psalm 56 while fearing for his life, and in Psalm 56:3, he shares the key to overcoming danger and difficulty: “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you [God].”

Fear turns into faith when we place our trust in God. Turning to friends, family, and experts is not a bad thing, but turning to God is the best thing. Our perspective changes as we stop focusing on how big our problem is and start looking at how big our God is. Like David, we’ll find that our faith grows as we remember God is for us, praise God’s goodness, and recall His promises (Psalm 56:3-4, Psalm 56:9-11).

As we prepare to celebrate July 4 let us ask ourselves who we trust. A politician? a preacher? a blogger? or the only One who can keep us safe and free, the Almighty God of the Bible?


This Sabbath, July 3, I invite you to celebrate God’s goodness to the USA not only during our worship services, but also in the afternoon, at 6 PM in the Fellowship Hall, where dinner will be provided for you. After the meal there will be a concert followed by Singspiration. Everyone is welcome to attend.


Last Sunday many of you came to help with the work bee at school and a kitchen renovation project at church. Here is a brief report and photos from Shelly Caswell: “OAKS had a strong turn out for our summer workbee Sunday. Many families came to join the fun as we assembled new furniture and cleaned out old closets. Thank you to all the kids who carried chairs and old equipment and to the adults for the grunt work that was required to get the building ready for the new school year. OAKS feels so very blessed to see such strong support from our church community. Only 44 days until school starts!”

At that same time a few tough men were removing old and rotten kitchen cabinets. If any of you had doubts that the kitchen needed renovation you should have to come last Sunday to celebrate this project. Old kitchen furniture and cabinets served their purpose well for many years, but the time has come when they need to be replaced. Thank you, all who came to help!


The church board had a meeting last Monday night. Among many important items the Board put a strong emphasis on our preparation for the September Evangelistic meetings. The opening night of the meetings is September 10. I invite you to start praying about your part in this ministry to our community. If we are Christ’s disciples we’ll be leading others to Him.


The Board expressed sincere appreciation to Rita Rogers, who served as church treasurer for about 10 years. Rita was an example of a faithful leader and an administrator. Presently Rita is considering a new role of leadership for our church. I’ll keep you posted.

We are grateful to Aaron Brewer, who served as Finance committee chairman for the last two terms. Aaron will continue serving as Building committee chairperson. We need his full concentration on this immense project.

For many years Nancy Smiley was our Greeters’ coordinator. For many visitors coming to our church she was a symbol of a smiling and hugging church. Nancy loves to serve, and I am happy that she’ll continue to be on the deaconesses team. Thank you, Nancy

Steven Bremner is our beloved church leader who needs time to recover after his surgeries. We’ll continue daily prayers for Steve as he continues weekly treatments. We certainly want Steve on the elder’s team as soon as his health improves.

We’ll all miss Lupina Haney who was leading the Season of Change. This was one of our most active ministries. Covid19 put a pause on their activities last year. Thank you, Lupina, for being an inspiration to many ladies in our church and in our community. We’ll always consider you a part of the Ooltewah church.

Prayers for Lisa Patterson who is taking the Season of Change under the Women’s Ministry wing. She is putting a team together to restart regular meetings and activities.

Please pray for the new leaders who are starting their term this week. These are the servants of the Lord willing to serve God’s church.


I am excited to share with you that Young at Heart resumed their monthly lunches. We will be having our first event on July 7, 2021 @ 1 p.m. at Thai Chili Asian Bistro located at 9203 Lee Hwy #12, Ooltewah, TN. Please contact Willis Adams at 937-609-3070 for additional details.

Don’t forget to register your kids for the church Pool Party scheduled for July 11. Learn more here. Register here.

VBS info and registration links are here.

Online Giving and weekly church bulletin links are right here.

Happy Sabbath! Happy 4th of July!

See you tomorrow.

pastor Peter