Praying for Healing



This Sabbath I am starting a new sermon series: “Seven Prayers”. The first sermon is about our need to pray for healing. Our nation is wounded and bleeding. Our churches are crippled by the Pandemic. Political and social tension pulls us apart.  It is time for us all to get united in prayers for healing. “Pray for one another, that you may be healed” James 5:16


On July 11 we celebrated a beautiful baptism at Harrison Bay. Kayla Coon joined our church after completing a full course of Bible studies. Cindy Young shared with me the following sweet story: “Back when Kayla was in kindergarten the pastor gave the name of each student to a church member who wanted to be a prayer partner for a student.
Sharon McKee was given Kayla’s name. She began praying for her then, and has never stopped. She has been there for each milestone in Kayla’s life … quietly being involved, and always praying. When Kayla texted her inviting her to come to her baptism, she wrote back that she had tears of joy. The power of unceasing prayer!”

Tomorrow, during the first worship service we’ll celebrate Katie Rose’s baptism. Karina Young will also be baptized tomorrow, but @ 2 pm. Praise God for every decision!

The Conference Pathfinder/Children’s Ministry Dept under the leadership of pastor Fernando Verduzco has been staying busy with their EPIC Summer online honors. These virtual events are being broadcasted from our church. Here are a few photos from the “Pin Trading” honor taught by Cory Goss and Mike Haughee.

We need your help to get OAKS ready to welcome back our students in August! Please plan to join us for the annual OAKS Work Bee on Sunday, July 26 from 8:00-12:00. Socially-distanced jobs are available for anyone who prefers it. Those who are working in close proximity to others should bring a mask.
If you are able to attend, please consider filling out this RSVP form so we know who to expect:


PRAYERS. Please continue to pray for the Pandemic to stop; for those who were diagnosed with COVID19, for those who are in the hospital and for our healthcare workers.

Howard Kennedy is facing health concerns. Currently at Parkridge hospital.

Ellie Penagos is battling cancer. Currently at Erlanger East.

Darlene Turner is recovering after her surgery.

Judson Jamieson is in weak health.

Betty Chastain needs help with pain management.


Online giving: click here

Digital weekly bulletin: click here


Last week Galina and I flew to Oregon to help our daughter Dasha, her husband Kevin and their one-year-old baby Mila with their move from Atlanta to their new home in Eugene. Our week of vacation was full of diverse activities: helping a one-year-old with three flights and two long layovers, unloading and carrying boxes and furniture, replacing faucets, installing safety gates at the bottom and the top of the stairs, driving to the foggy, rocky but breathtakingly beautiful ocean shore, cooking perogies, sleeping on the floor next to an open sliding door and enjoying the cool 50F temperature outside at night (hoping nobody will accidentally roam in from the apartment complex). Overall, it was an absolutely wonderful experience. Here are a few photos from our trip:

Happy Sabbath! See you tomorrow morning.

Pastor Peter

The Aroma of Christ



If our good words are not proved and supported by our actions they discredit the message. Paul reminds us that we are expected to be the sweet aroma of Christ’s spirit. My life and my actions can bring life or death to those around me. Draw people to Life by your sincere Love. (2 Cor 2:15-16)


July 4th Sabbath was not limited to two worship services. At 8 PM about 35 people came back to sing and to play musical instruments. COVID 19 awareness kept the group outside. Chairs were spread apart on the church parking lot. Everyone felt safe and happy. Thank you, Ron, for your passion for Singspirations!

After the Singspiration a large group of our members came to help at the Samaritan Center. We started at 9:30 PM. Fireworks were lighting up the sky as volunteers were carrying heavy furniture items, bags with clothing and  massive fifty-year-old TV sets 😉 inside the warehouse. It was hot and humid but with that many hands the work was finished by 11 PM. Everyone felt tired, but happy that we could help our community. This is how we prove that July 4th is about love for those people who live next to us. I feel bad I did not take any photos. By the end of the project Galina spotted an old chest in the pile designated as “trash”. With the permission of the person-in-charge she pulled it out, loaded it into my tiny Z350 trunk and triumphantly brought it home! It may take a few years to clean it from all the rust and mold, but she believes it is worth it! Meanwhile, every time I open the garage door, the moldy smell of the old chest reminds me of the fun night at the Samaritan Center with our caring and hard working church. Thank you, volunteers!

Early Monday morning our church was not sleeping, but was engaged in making sack-lunches for the homeless in Chattanooga. Praise God for all who came. Here are a couple of photos from that morning. This ministry will continue for the next three months. I encourage you to speak to Lucas Patterson about participating in this wonderful service to our community.

It is hard to keep the Juniors SS class apart. Every week they come to the church parking lot and hang out with their friends. A parking lot is certainly not the ideal place for any socializing when it is 90 F outside. This week, however, they had a better idea. They came to the swimming pool in our neighborhood! With pizza and watermelon the day proved to be great.


Youth SS class will have two options tomorrow morning. Pastor Matthew will teach the class online via ZOOM. I’ll study with those who choose to come in person. The plan is to have as many of our youth participate as possible. Please, pray for our youth! It is hard for them to cope with life being “quarantined” from theor friends and classmates.

Also, Pastor Verduzco is having a live stream program for our young people called “Epic Summer” beginning tomorrow. These programs will be at 3:00 p.m. on the GCC Children/Junior Youth Ministries Facebook page for 3 Sabbaths. I hope our young people can take advantage of this special program designed just for them. However, the page is open for anyone who is young at heart!

Last Sabbath during the children’s story, paper was handed out so that our children could draw what they thought Heaven would be like and bring it back the following Sabbath. There is still plenty of paper left by the fellowship hall’s lobby and we would like to encourage anyone including adults to pick one up and let your imagination lose! We want to display these drawings all over church so we all can enjoy each other’s  creativity and think of God’s wonderful promises.  Jaime & Jaude Barboza

Prayer time for OAKS. On Wednesday July 15 at 6:15 pm please join us at the school for a special prayer time. All are welcome to come and pray for our students, teachers and staff. Masks and social distancing will be observed.

BAPTISM. There will be a baptism on the lake tomorrow at 2 pm. Kayla Coon (a former OAKS graduate) will be baptized at Harrison Bay. I am super glad that Kayla made this important decision after she completed her Bible studies. Many of Kayla’s family members will join this celebration.


Please continue to pray earnestly for the Lord to stop COVID 19 from spreading. We need a miracle! Please pray for one another as we continue to worship in person. We want everyone to feel safe coming to our church. Wearing a mask is a sign of our caring spirit.

Judson Jamieson was taken to Erlanger for heart failure. Prayers for Judson please.

Richard Johnson had to have an emergency surgery late last night. He is recovering well. Prayers for Richard.

Please uplift in your prayers Howard Kennedy.

Prayers for Mike Haughee. He has several medical procedures scheduled in the next few days.

Praying for Darlene Turner. She is scheduled for surgery on Friday morning.

CHURCH BLUEBERRY GARDEN is absolutely beautiful. Connie Jones is doing a superb job in keeping that garden in perfect shape. The proceeds from the picked blueberries go to support the Student Aid Fund. How sweet 🙂 in all senses of this ministry. Our granddaughter Mila loved the blueberries and was happy to support OAKS 🙂



Online weekly bulletin: click here

Online giving: click here

Women’s Sabbath School class is 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


Living in Victory


It is easy to concentrate on the problems and on the dark side of our daily life. Our eyes see the faults, our ears tuned to harsh words. We lose sight of the blessings. Our hearts sink in despair. Let this weekend be the turning point in the way we live and relate to the reality around us. This is still God’s world. I see His goodness in kind smiles of people who I meet daily at church, at gas stations, or at grocery stores. I see God’s grace in the selfless acts of our young and elderly church members who help the needy, feed the hungry, pray with the discouraged. I see God’s power in providing us with the freedom to pray, to read the Bible and to share the Good News of salvation. This July 4th let’s speak of God’s love, share His grace, celebrate His faithfulness to all of His daughters and sons! Happy 4th of July!


This week the Cradle Roll class kids received a sweet gift from their teacher Becky Denton. Not being able to meet in person is not keeping Becky away from her precious students. She found a way to enter into their homes through recorded videos. These video lessons help the kids to sing, to study and to pray with their teacher. Parents can access these recordings through the church website. Here is the link.

Several of the Primary SS class students met with their teacher Cory Goss last Sabbath morning. Cory is experimenting with a hybrid class where “in-person” and Zoom options are being offered to the members of his class.

It was nice to see the Juniors SS class children working on the church landscaping (Sarah and Katherine). Thank you, young ladies! Later that same day several other kids from that class were playing together and enjoying ice cream 🙂

Samaritan Center needs our help this Sabbath after the sunset. Yes, I am aware of the fact that this will be the 4th of July 🙂 However, if we have good participation we can move everything inside the warehouse in less than an hour. If you plan of helping, please text or email me. We’ll count you in! Thank you in advance!

This Sabbath we’ll have a Special Patriotic feature with Larry Otto leading in singing a few of our favorite hymns. If you join the service online don’t hesitate to sing along :-). We’ll have two services, 9 AM and 11:30 AM. The early service will be streamed live. The recording of the service will be available on the church website and the YouTube channel.

Sabbath school study from the Fellowship Hall will be streamed at 10:20. The link will be updated as soon as the class meets after the first service.


Howard Kennedy is in the hospital after another fall. Prayers please.

Please, continue to pray for our community. The number of new COVID 19 cases in Tennessee is growing significantly. Follow the safety guidelines. Stay healthy; pray for one another.


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

Happy 4th of July! Happy Sabbath!


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.


Dying to Live



A grain of wheat that is harvested, remains hard and has no growth until buried in the soil. Our natural heart is hard and selfish. When we surrender our mind into Christ’s hands, soft blades of kindness and care begin to sprout. Anger and evil die; gentleness and love break through the concrete layer of egotism. I invite you to pray for our nation. It will not overcome its hardness until we all individually die to selfishness “so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.” (2 Corinthians 4:11)


On Sunday, May 24, a group of our church volunteers went out to Art and Heidi Lopez’ property to help with cleaning after the tornado damage. Thank you, Kevin and Rhonda Hicks, Aaron Brewer, David Reynolds, Kent and Seth Robertson, Laura Herren. I know I am missing one more name… Very sorry 😦 God bless you for your love in action ministry!

SACK LUNCHES FOR HOMELESS. Our church is volunteering on the first and third Mondays of May, June and July to purchase supplies and pack sack lunches for the homeless. We’ll assemble 150 lunches during each shift in our church social hall and deliver them to staff at the Chattanooga Community Kitchen who then pass the lunches out at various homeless encampments around town. This project is directly connected to COVID-19; the homeless would normally come to the Chattanooga Community Kitchen for meals in its dining hall, but the dining hall is closed to encourage social distancing for this highly vulnerable population. Our next packing session is Monday, June 1, at 8 a.m. Volunteers are needed. To sign up, contact Lucas Patterson: 423-582-1678,

On Wednesday, May 27, Ken LuePhang’s family gathered at our church for a small memorial service. Elder Edwin Reynolds officiated the service. Below is a photo shared with me by Connie Reynolds and her comments. Please continue to remember Julia (Ken’s wife) and her children as they are grieving the loss. “Thank you for providing the food. It was the exact number of boxes for everyone there including Kent & Marlene.  Julia was so thankful it worked out to be indoors. There was a nice, cozy environment for the family. They stayed afterwards to visit and eat together. Bradley & Sylvia Hyde had cleaned, set up tables & chairs, and decorated a bit along with Steve. Julia expressed her gratitude several times for what the church had done. We came home after 7:00 feeling happy & blessed for having served a hurting family.

OAKS graduation on Tuesday night was one I will never forget. Due to COVID19 restrictions the ceremony took place on the church lawn. The weather was just perfect. Graduates were beaming with happiness. Thank you, Shelly Turkenkopf, for the excellent school year in spite of the unprecedented challenges. Thank you, OAKS staff and teachers for navigating our students through the rough waters of the distance learning process. You are our heroes. Here are a few photos taken by the OAKS excellent Vice-Principle, Aaron Hall:

Our office staff and the worship team are actively preparing for the first official in-person worship Sabbath on June 6. We would appreciate it if you familiarize yourself with the GUIDELINES approved by the church board.

This Sabbath, May 30, you are invited to join a Sabbath morning service on the church lawn. The service will start at 9AM and will also be streamed online. If you choose to come, bring your lawn chair, your Bible and a bottle of water.  The weather forecast is gorgeous. This is not our formal “church reopening”, but it is planned as an informal step bringing us closer to our dear church and to one another. 


Bettie Chastain is at LifeCare of Ooltewah. She appreciates your prayers.

Prayers for Howard Kennedy Sr, please. 

Kim Patton is on hospice care. 

Eva Scott feels a bit stronger. The family is grateful for the prayers.

Carol Darmody is recovering after a bad fall. Needs our prayers. 


Sabbath School classes:

Men’s sabbath school class this Saturday: Please read the last chapter of James (5) and be ready to share your thoughts. Since we are having an outdoor service at church this sabbath, the plan is to have our class under a tree afterwards. Service will start at 9am and should end at 10am. If you have access to Wright Now Media, Francis Chan has a series on James that I have found to provide some helpful insight.  Sabbath school class will start at 10:15-30 a.m. and run for 60 minutes. The plan is to wrap up James this week and then in June (6/6/2020), we will start the 33 series. (Edymar Penagos) 

Fellowship Hall SS class is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: Fellowship Sabbath School May 30, 2020
Time: Tune in time begins at 10:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada) May 30, 2020

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 423 883 2558
Password: 0411

Health Ministry info shared by Diana Dodd: Stress is a killer. We’ve all heard that. But did you know studies have actually found stress to be even more damaging to your health than smoking?!  Considering the ongoing concerns regarding the coronavirus, this is a critical time to keep our bodies as strong and healthy as possible. With this in mind, we are all invited to a live meeting this Sabbath on biblical ways to reduce stress!  

Here is the direct link:  

CCMCollegedale Online Camp meeting continues on Friday night and Sabbath night. The program starts at 6:45 PM. Follow this link to access the schedule and the live stream:

Collegedale Online Camp meeting

ONLINE GIVING. Your faithful support of our church local ministries keeps your church and school running. I need to clarify that you are not being charged any fees for using a credit or debit card online. The local church and church ministries are also not paying any fees for these transactions. The fees are paid by the Conference, Union and Division offices. If you are willing to lower their fees you may choose to continue using the ONLINE GIVING but instead of bank cards you may use an electronic check. This will be the last Sabbath of the month. I see that we need a little extra effort to meet our monthly goal. Let us all contribute together as a caring church family. 


Let this be a peaceful and a blessed Sabbath day for all of you. Please accept my virtual hugs.


We Will Never Forget


During the COVID19 quarantine I’ve heard many people complain about the restrictions imposed by the government. These short-term measures have reminded us of the value of personal freedoms. If we are upset because of a few weeks of recommended limitations, let us remember that many nations live under harsh dictatorship regimes all the time. We are blessed with freedoms which many others can only dream about. These freedoms were not bought by billionaires, were not developed by scientists, but were granted to us by those who bled and died protecting our nation from enemies. As we enjoy these blessings let us remember those who are no longer with us. They died so that we could continue to build a nation of spiritually-sound and morally-just people.

Here is a link to a Memorial Day message from our conference president Gary Rustad:


Last Monday night our church board met on ZOOM to pray for our church and to agree on a plan of action for the month of June. Close to forty members attended our online meeting. This level participation was very encouraging. We are still together and we care about our church. Financial reports for the month of April showed a strong spirit of giving in tithes and local offerings. Thank you, church family! Community ministries continue to prepare food twice a month for the homeless in Chattanooga. Lucas Patterson would appreciate broader participation of our members in preparing sack lunches. If you are interested in helping please contact Lucas directly. 423-582-1678, .

The Board expressed heartfelt appreciation of Lupina Haney’s ministry. For the last several years she served as a head deaconess. Lupina could never say no. She was always willing and ready to help at any of our church programs and functions. Planning potlucks, buying supplies, decorations for the church, organizing communion services, planning receptions for funeral and memorial services, preparing gift bags for new members; these are just a few of the many responsibilities in which she showed her commitment and love. Due to personal life circumstances, Lupina asked to step down from this position. No words can express how grateful we are for your ministry, Lupina! We understand that you need a break, and we’ll continue to pray for you.

The Board has asked Dina Cole to serve as a head deaconess. We are thankful to Dina for accepting this position.

The Board had a thorough discussion of the proposed guidelines for “In-person Worship Services”. These guidelines are posted on the church website here: GUIDELINES.

We hope to be ready for a ‘soft opening’ on June 6. With limited seating capacity (only 72 chairs) we do not want to turn anyone away. June 6 will be our “trial” Sabbath service only at 9 am where we’ll get a better understanding of our congregation’s level of participation . You are welcome to attend, however it is important that you read and follow the voted guidelines. Our emphasis will still be on the online worship services. You may choose to continue to participate in our Sabbath services from your homes until you feel safe to join the “in-person” worship.

Would you do me a favor and answer a few questions in this online survey? Your pastoral staff would like to see where you are on the “church re-opening” path. Click here to access the survey.

ONLINE CAMP MEETING. You are invited to participate in the online Camp meeting starting next week. Follow this link to learn more about the speakers and the broadcasts schedule: CALLED TO SERVE .

MEN’S MINISTRY UPDATE shared by Edymar Penagos:

We are now 1 month and 10 days from the Easter evening tornado. There has been a lot of progress but there are still many who need help and we have a long road to recovery ahead. OAC and Men’s Ministry want to make sure that everyone who needs help has access to help. With large volunteer organizations packing up and FEMA funds draining, we want to make sure that no one is left alone and hopeless with their situation. We want to make sure that we are sharing a message of hope and love through our actions so that our beloved community knows God is with us all.

Below are two links; one to sign up as a volunteer and another to request assistance. Please fill them out if you would like to help with relief efforts or if you know of someone who is in need of assistance. Links:

Tornado Response Assistance Link:

Disaster Relief Volunteer Sign Up Link:

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.  1 John 3:16-18


Betty Chastain is now at LifeCare of Ooltewah. She appreciates your prayers for a full recovery after her fall earlier this week.

Here is a request sent by Steve Darmody: “Please pray for my mom who suffered a fall on Tuesday and broke 3 ribs.  She’s isolated and sad.  Which is much worse than the pain of the breaks.  I’m in Tulsa and my daughter is allowed to visit her twice a day.  But Prayers go such a long way.  I’m sure her heart and soul WILL feel the prayers.”

Requesting prayers for Tom Coleman who was diagnosed with cancer. He is in surgery today.


Sabbath school classes available on ZOOM:

Youth Sabbath School – . Contact Jenny Spicer for the password.

Primary Sabbath School Class – Please text Cory Goss at 423-497-7396 if you would like join the Primary Sabbath School Class.  Kindergarten class is welcome to participate in Cory’s class.

Friendship Sabbath School Class – Please contact Mike Haughee at 423-488-4848 if you would like to join the Friendship Sabbath School Class Via Zoom. 

Men’s Ministry Class The class will start at 10:30 a.m. and run for 40 minutes. If the class goes long, we will log into the second link. The plan is to study James this week and the next and on the first Sabbath of June (6/6/2020), we intend to start the 33 series.
10:30 am meeting link. Text or call Edymar for the password 813-541-2184

Fellowship Sabbath School May 23
Tune in Time Begins: May 23, 2020 10:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
We will begin the discussion when the pastor finishes his sermon. Presenter this week – Larry Otto
Join Zoom Meeting – click here

Meeting ID: 423 883 2558 Password: contact Larry Otto or Carl Bartlett


ONLINE GIVING click here

LIVE WORSHIP SERVICE click on this link at 9 am on May 23


Last week our whole family came together for a couple of days. What a blessing to be together.

Happy Sabbath! I’m looking forward to worshiping together at 9 am 🙂

The Peace of Christ



“If we could see the clouds from the other side where they lie in billowy glory, bathed in the light they intercept, like heaped ranges of Alps, we should be amazed at their splendid magnificence.

O child of God! If you could see your sorrows and troubles from the other side; if instead of looking up at them from earth, you would look down on them from the heavenly places where you sit with Christ; if you knew how they are reflecting in prismatic beauty before the gaze of Heaven, the bright light of Christ’s face, you would be content that they should cast their deep shadows over the mountain slopes of existence. Only remember that clouds are always moving and passing before God’s cleansing wind.” from Streams in the Desert Daily Devotional 


I have noticed that lately our society is becoming more and more divided on the issues of face masks, social distancing, opening or staying closed, etc. These have become the highly polarizing subjects of social media posts and news outlets. I feel these discussions are worse than the virus itself. When it all started we were proactive in keeping our spiritual unity. Now we are drifting apart. Let us not allow our personal mindsets and political outlooks lead us into trenches or barricades. Let the Spirit of God teach us to accept one another in our differences. If someone wears a mask, show respect to that person. She/he is trying to keep you safe. If someone refuses to wear a mask, show respect to that person by wearing your own mask. Don’t allow the virus of selfishness or meanness to destroy our unity in Christ.

This coming Monday night the church board will review the current COVID19 situation in our community and will discuss the In-Person Worship Services Guidelines. Our only desire is to make our church a safe place for everyone who is ready and willing to come for the communal services. It may take a few more weeks before we are ready to worship together in-person. Please, pray for God’s guidance in these matters. Continue to participate in our online worship services. Join one of the ZOOM Sabbath school classes; there are several available for you. If you don’t know how to use ZOOM or what class to join, please email or call me or Pastor Matthew, and we’ll be happy to help you.

I was very happy to receive many photos from you showing your participation in the online worship service last Sabbath. Keep sending these photos. We need them for our own encouragement. Your pastors want to know that you see and hear them 🙂

Here are just a few of these photos.

STEWARDSHIP – “Every year, millions upon millions of human souls are passing into eternity unwarned and unsaved. From hour to hour in our varied life opportunities to reach and save souls are opened to us. These opportunities are continually coming and going. God desires us to make the most of them. Days, weeks, and months are passing: we have one day, one week, one month less in which to do our work. A few more years at the longest and the voice which we cannot refuse to answer will be heard saying, “Give an account of thy stewardship.” COL 373.4

Thank you for your faithful and generous support of the local church budget. God bless you for being faithful in giving your tithes and offerings. Let me encourage you to remember the Student Aid account. It is running lower than usual this spring. Were want to be sure every family gets support for the Christian education of their children if they apply for assistance.

PACKING LUNCHES FOR HOMELESS. Our church has committed to purchasing supplies and packing sack lunches for the homeless. We assemble 150 lunches during each shift in our church fellowship hall and deliver them to the staff at the Chattanooga Community Kitchen who pass the lunches out at various homeless encampments around town. This project is directly connected to COVID-19; the homeless would normally come to the Chattanooga Community Kitchen for meals in its dining hall, but the dining hall is closed to encourage social distancing for this highly vulnerable population. Our next packing session is Monday, May 18, at 8 a.m. Volunteer spots are limited. To sign up, contact Lucas Patterson: 423-582-1678,

Attention families who are new to our church after September 2019 and families who were not able to participate in the directories photo sessions in September.
If you have a photo (Jpeg) of your family that you would like to share for the online directory, please contact Mike Haughee by email ( We will take your photo and upload it to the online directory with information about your family (names, address, phone and email) that are in the photo. It might take a couple of weeks for the updates to be finished but you will be notified when the updated directory is ready for viewing.
If you have any questions, please contact Michael Haughee (Hoy) 423-488-4848


Your prayers are requested for Eva Scott, Brenda Miller’s mother.

Please remember to pray for our community and our nation.


Online giving: click here

Online church bulletin: click here

Online worship service from May 9: click here

Online Prayer meetings: Wednesdays at 7 pm on ZOOM.

Meeting ID: 871 8429 3156
Password: 5d0Rxy

Love Your Mother



All Mothers are beautiful. I’m grateful for my mother. She is weak. She needs continuous care, but she is still my Mom who dedicated her life to raising her children in love to God and people. I’m thankful for Galina, the mother of our children. She’s been a great inspiration for our daughters. They learn from her how to be always beautiful and caring. I’m blessed to see how our daughters metamorphose into sweet young mothers. Their passionate dedication to motherhood is a powerful reminder of our Creator/Parent love. Call your mother. Visit your mom. With all their earthly imperfections, they are perfect in their love.


During the last few weeks I see again and again that our church is not a building, but a caring family of Christ’s disciples. Here is a brief report from Lucas Patterson on a new wonderful ministry in which our church engaged: “On Monday morning, seven members of our church came together in the fellowship hall and packed 150 sack lunches for the homeless. It took less than 90 minutes to assemble the emergency meals, which consisted of turkey and cheese sandwiches, chips, fruit, and Little Debbies. After finishing, the group prayed over the food before dropping it off at Chattanooga Community Kitchen for distribution. Our church will repeat this community service effort again on May 18, June 1, and June 15. Volunteer spots are limited. To sign up, call 423-582-1678 or email .”

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CEREAL BARREL MINISTRY. The Samaritan Center is open for business. For our church it means helping them with cereal for the needy families in our community. Throughout the month of May we’ll have the Cereal Barrel outside the main doors on the side of the church office. The barrel will be outside only on weekdays during office hours. Thank you for remembering and helping those who are less fortunate than we are. God bless you for your contributions.

OAKS. This week I personally experienced the new format of the OAKS educational program. I was invited to join a book discussion with the 7th graders over their ZOOM class. It was so good to see how engaged they all were. Thank you, Janel Jensen, for sharing with me this blessing. Our school is doing a wonderful job continuing its ministry in this new reality of a COVID19 world. Please remember to support the Student Assistance fund. Your help is needed and appreciated!

IN-PERSON WORSHIP. Pastor Matthew and I are actively working on the guidelines for the in-person worship services. We are engaging ministry leaders and healthcare experts in the discussion of the draft of this document. After it is approved by the church board we will have it posted on the church website. The exact date of the first in-person worship service will be officially voted on by the church board on May 18. Please continue to pray for God’s guidance in this important matter. We all long to worship together.


We are saddened to share the news that our church member, Ken LeuPhang, passed away this morning. Please keep his wife, Julia, and his family in your prayers.

Please pray for a new precious boy born into the Hall family. “Will”, officially William Dean Hall, born 5/5/2020 at 1:43 a.m., 7 lb. 13 oz and 20.25″ long. (See the featured photo above.)

Let us continue praying for healing in our community after the last devastating tornados. Pray also for the healing to be granted to our nation.

Don’t forget to send your prayer requests to my cell phone number.


Thank you for your generous and faithful giving. I was so encouraged to see that we met our local church budget goal in April. Your support means that you love your church. We’ll be able to fulfill our obligations and support our ministries. The online giving is available at

The digital church bulletin is available right here.

Sabbath morning worship service starts live at 9 am on Sabbath morning. Go to the home page of our church website 5 minutes before 9 am and click on the blue box “SERMONS AND ONLINE WORSHIP SERVICES” at the bottom of the page. Don’t click on it too early 🙂 If you click on that link before 8:55 am you’ll access last week’s service.

FROM MY HEART. Our oldest daughter’s husband is having tests and exams this week and next week. Galina and I made a quick trip to Florida and brought Stacey and her two precious boys to our home to help them during the next two weeks. What a blessing it is to have them with us! See for yourself 🙂


Happy Sabbath! “See” you tomorrow on YouTube 🙂