Sharing God’s Light

The Vacation Bible school was a true blessing for many children from our church and from the local community. Cory Goss and his team put together a perfect program. So creative, fun and inspiring. Every segment of the VBS had dedicated volunteers who were radiating love. What a wonderful church we have. Thank you everyone! On top of everything else the kids and their families raised $1,459.30 for the refugee children in Ukraine. What a great testimony to the loving spirit of our Ooltewah children and their families!

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Last Sabbath we were all excited to see how our Cornerstone Building Fund increased by over $500,000!!! What a great blessing. God is truly taking our mustard seeds and turning them into a big tree. Thank you, church! Please mark your calendars for a church Vespers/Social/Business meeting on July 30 starting at 7:30 PM. There will be music, food and prayers for the future of our church ministry.

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On Friday, July 15, many of you attended the Ukrainian Vespers. It was so good to see how there was practically no room in the Fellowship hall. We all enjoyed delicious Slavic food, authentic live Ukrainian music, reports from Ukraine, and a ZOOM interview with pastor Lev Vertylo, the Conference president from the war zone region of Ukraine. Many of you contributed generously. Over $105,000 was raised for the refugee children’s camps, orphanages and a new generator for the orphanage in Chernihiv region. Thank you, everyone! I couldn’t hold my tears when Cathi shared me with the financial report. This is the Spirit of Christ at work.

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On July 9 our church hosted the first Ministry fair since the beginning of the Pandemic. The Connect committee under the leadership of Mike Haughee planned this very important event. This was intended to help our church members to learn more about the existing ministries, and to find their own place in serving our church and the community. Here is a quote from Mike: “We had a good time last Sabbath evening networking with other Ministry Leaders and getting members signing up to help our ministries. We will have another one late fall or early winter. Thanks to everyone who came out to support our ministries.”

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This Sunday, the Children’s Ministry will have a fun event on our church campus. The event will take place in the OAKS gym. Check out the flyer below and bring your family!

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From my heart. This week we had all of our grandchildren in town. What a fun (and exhausting πŸ˜‰ ) time! Thank you, Jesus, for our families.

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Happy Sabbath! I plan to seeing you this Sabbath morning.

Pastor Peter

Small but Powerful

Nuclear energy can be used to create electricity, but it must first be released from an atom. In the process of nuclear fission, atoms are split to release that energy. Jesus shared this same idea with His listeners two thousand years ago when He told them about the potent power of a tiny mustard seed. For that seed to turn into a big bush it needs to split and to break. The power needs to be released. The seeds of God’s power planted in our minds have the potent power of bringing an explosion into our existence; the explosion of grace and love toward every human being. Don’t store these seeds. Let them break your hardened hearts and cold minds.

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After I sent my blog post last Friday I was hit by a merciless cold virus. I felt very upset that I had to stay home on a Sabbath day filled with many important events and activities. I am very grateful to our elders stepping in and leading throughout the day. Thank you also for your prayers. By Sunday afternoon my fever was gone and I felt absolutely fine. This was a busy week with visitations, meetings and planning activities. We are about to start another big weekend.

This evening, Friday, July 15, I invite you to come to Ukrainian Vespers. There will be food (borsht, potato perogies, buckwheat with mushroom gravy, blintsi and lots of desserts… don’t you feel hungry already? πŸ™‚ ), authentic Ukrainian music and reports by Barby and Dana, who recently returned from Ukraine. Our featured presenters will be pastor Leo Vertylo (over ZOOM) who is the East Ukrainian Conference president and Victor Czerkasij, who often travels to Ukraine. You are not expected to contribute anything except for your prayers. Just come, be informed and enjoy the food and the music. This will be a short and a dynamic program. The Vespers starts at 6 PM.

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Sabbath night will be all about the VBS set up. The VBS is starting on Sunday. Invite your families and friends. Cory Goss and his team prepared an excellent program for the whole week.

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Congratulations to Christina and Justine Stone. They welcomed Colton Thomas Stone at 3:11 on July 11. 8 lbs 5 oz. 21 inches long. Here is a quote from their Facebook post: “He’s absolutely perfect and we are all so in love!”

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Happy Sabbath. I hope to see many of you tonight.

pastor Peter

Soaring to New Heights

“They will soar on wings like eagles;” (Isaiah 40:31)

“We look at our burdens and heavy loads, and shrink from them; but as we lift them and bind them about our hearts, they become wings, and on them we rise and soar toward God. There is no burden which, if we lift it cheerfully and bear it with love in our hearts, will not become a blessing to us. God means our tasks to be our helpers; to refuse to bend our shoulders to receive a load, is to decline a new opportunity for growth. –J. R. Miller

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It’s been three weeks since my last blog post. The month of June was packed with many important activities and trips. It started with the Collegedale camp meeting, followed by the Ministerial convention in Lexington, KY. Right after the convention we had our WHAT’S NEXT? Bible seminar. I thoroughly enjoyed those four nightly sessions where we were studying the current events in Europe in the light of the Bible prophecies. The Bible gives us a solid foundation for our faith. The world is in crises, but we don’t need to lose heart. God has a plan and He will carry us through these rough waters.

After the seminar I had a short trip to Europe to meet with the administration of the media ministry in Russia. The political events in Russia bring some serious challenges for the radio and TV work in Russia. We do not know what to expect in the nearest future, but while it’s still possible the Light of Hope will continue to support Russian evangelism for Eastern Europe and Asia. I came back safely on July 4. Thank you for your prayers.

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This weekend will be packed with many important activities at our church. Here is the outline of what to expect:

Pastor David Machado will preach for both worship services at 9 AM and 11:30 AM.

Potluck is right after the second worship service.

Evangelism seminar with Pastor David Machado at 2 PM in the Sanctuary. This seminar is planned for everyone; leaders and lay members are encouraged to attend. Pastor David will be our speaker for our local evangelistic meetings in 2023.

Ministry Fair is at 6:30 PM in the Fellowship Hall. The Ministry Fair is intended to help our church members learn more about various church ministries and to find a place where you can serve. Please plan to attend.

Memorial service for Barbara Kraner is at 11:30 AM on Sunday at our church.

Ukrainian Vespers in next Friday, July 15, at 6 PM in the Fellowship Hall.

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I have a few photographs from the Men’s Ministry project a couple of weeks ago. “Mens ministry helped Patricia Bullock pack up for her move back to Florida. Glad to have some strong help. As well as a guest appearance by the Orsburn ladies too! Thank you!” – Matt Geraghty!

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See you this Sabbath morning and all day πŸ™‚

pastor Peter