Thanksgiving is behind us. Yesterday I noticed many nice Facebook and Instagram posts where people shared kind words about their friends and family. What about now? Will this same spirit continue for a few more days or weeks? I certainly hope so. It is easy to see the blessings for a day or two, but it takes some serious effort to learn to see the blessings every day. Yes, that requires learning and determination. Learning to see the rays of light through the dark clouds of pain and disappointment. Learning to find the crumbs of kindness in a world of cruelty and hatred. This way of life requires more than physical eyes which may be clouded with tears. No wonder Jesus said, “Having eyes, do you not see?” (Mark 8:18). It is only through our spiritual eyes that we start seeing what Peter stated: “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” (2 Peter 1:3).
For the last couple of weeks our Pathfinders were actively engaged in helping people in our community. They were collecting canned goods and taking them to the families in need. Here are a few nice photos:
Last Sabbath Afternoon our church Youth went for a nature hike. Thank you Jenny and pastor Matthew for planning these activities.
Our Christmas church potluck is planned for December 4 after the 11:30 Worship service. I hope we will have a great time celebrating the spirit of love and friendship in our church.
The Church Christmas social is planned for December 18 @ 7 PM.
This Sabbath is our big Christmas concert with Steve Darmody!!! Invite your friends and family!
“The colored sunsets and starry heavens, the beautiful mountains and the shining seas, the fragrant woods and painted flowers, are not half so beautiful as a soul that is serving Jesus out of love, in the wear and tear of common, unpoetic life.” –Faber
Last Sunday was a big day for our church. Many of you worked hard to make the Cornerstone Gala a huge success. The venue was spacious . The food was absolutely delicious (a heartfelt Thank You to Rhonda Hicks and her team) . The serving team of our church youth was classy. Music was inspiring. The spirit of unity and excitement was God-given. I felt honored to be a part of such a great church. I have to confess that the level of participation exceeded my usually “extra positive” expectation. It was so good to see many young couples with children. Praise God for the submitted pledges for the church expansion project. We’ll have the total amount of pledges ready by November 27, the Thanksgiving Sabbath. If you didn’t have a chance to attend the event, but are interested in filling out the pledge card you’ll find one in the foyer of the church.
Here are a few photos from the event
The Hall family provided rocks with the Cornerstone fund name artfully written on each one of them. Those who attended the event each took a rock with them as a reminder of their commitment to this project. If you didn’t have a chance to take one of the rocks, please do so after the Sabbath service. These rocks will be later positioned on one of the interior walls of the future building.
Our own OAKS Band played for the Collegedale Veterans Day celebration. Aaron shared this photo with me:
Our church website is fully renovated!I am very grateful to Emmalee Shallenberger for making this upgrade happen. I hope you’ll find this new site user friendly, helpful and elegant. Check it out for yourself:
Growing up in a pastor’s family I hated moving from one city to another. Every move meant losing my friends and starting all over again in a new school. When I started my own family and had my own children I had to take them through the same ordeal every time we moved. Imagine how shocked I was when a few years ago one of my daughters gave me a nice birthday card where she thanked me for moving her from one city to another. She wrote that it helped her to learn and to appreciate people of different cultures and backgrounds. It helped her to learn how to get out of her comfort zone and to move forward. As Christians we also hate the concept of a journey. However, Christian ministry is a journey. Christ did not even have His own home. He was always on the move. We get used to our pew, to our circle of friends and gradually we hate the concept of change even if the Lord is calling us to move forward. The Israelites hated the journey to the promised land. They missed their “meats and pots” in the land of Egypt. Let us ask ourselves if maybe we are too comfortable in our soft church pew? “But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Phil. 3:13-14
I was so excited to receive these photos from last Sabbath’s Game night. Youth and Earlieteens came together to enjoy food and fun activities. There are many more events planned for our children including a Youth Vespers on November 13. Enjoy the photos sent to me by Jenny Spicer.
Matt Geraghty shared the following picture report with me from the recent Men’s Ministry project. I am so glad we have this active group of men in our church. Thank you, Matt, for your leadership.
Late Wednesday night I received a text message from Ryan Matthews. There was a photo of his wife Heidi and baby Asher. Healthy and happy Asher (5 lbs 14 oz) and his mama are doing great. Congratulation to the Matthews family!
This Sunday is our Cornerstone Gala. The banquet will be at 5 PM at Howe Farms. Everyone is invited. If you did not RSVP, no problem. It is not required. Just come as your are. This is your church event. We do not want anyone to miss this very important event. The venue address is 7600 Runyan Road, Georgetown, Tennessee 37336. If you prefer a ride call or email me, and I’ll help you with the shuttle van arrangements. More info is available here https://www.ooltewahchurch.org/copy-of-new-page
Last week Galena and I had a wonderful time in New England. There were eight of us. We spent a few days in Portsmouth, NH and then drove to Woodstock, VT. Here are a few photos from our trip.