Archives for March 2018
This week we begin moving toward Easter. But we dare not go too fast. These days called “Lent” are times to remember the sacrificial love which led Jesus to the cross. On Palm Sunday we will take a look at an event which took place not on Palm Sunday, but on Maundy Thursday. We will look at the abject failure of Simon Peter as a friend and disciple. I think we will learn that even “saints” make mistakes. It is what we do after we make mistakes that often defines our future.
Since late last fall we have had an off-duty Kingsport Police Department officer patrolling our campus on Wednesday evenings. Beginning early in April we will add Sunday morning to the rotation. One of our KPD officers will be walking our campus throughout Sunday morning simply to provide a security presence to our facilities. Our neighbors at First Broad Street United Methodist have been utilizing such a practice for some years. I hope you will greet our officers as guests to our campus and help feel “at home.” Our ultimate goal is to provide a safe and secure worship experience for everyone who joins us each Sunday and Wednesday.
Thanks to our Belize and Panama mission teams for excellent reports on Sunday. Have you ever prayed about joining one of our mission teams, whether here or far from Kingsport? We have opportunities for everyone. Let me know if I can help you as you seek God’s will in your life.
I look forward to seeing you on Sunday!
We wrapped up another fine year of Upward Basketball and Cheerleading last night. There are so many people to thank that it would take this entire newsletter just to get a start. I do want to thank Helen Kern who has given joyous leadership throughout the planning and implementation of this Upward year. Great work Helen!
I also want to say a special word of “thanks” to Cookie Greer, who just finished a year of service as our Interim Children’s Minister. Cookie stepped in last year to follow the wonderful work Robyn had done for more than a decade. From day one Cookie threw herself into the task 110%. Every day she was here she was working to bless the children of this fellowship and those who might someday be a part of our church. Cookie put in far more hours than I can imagine to insure our Children’s Ministry did not miss a beat during the interim. She brought her sense of organization along with her passion to help children know the grace and love of our Lord. I am grateful for her willingness to step out of retirement to share her gifts with our church. She did not “stand still” as one might be tempted to do in an interim, but was active and imaginative in every dimension of leadership and service. Our children have been blessed by her enthusiasm, energy and creative ideas. Cookie does not want any public recognition so I hope you will reach out to her personally to say “thanks” for a job well-done.
As Upward concludes and Cookie moves out of her interim position, Helen is now our full-time Minister to Children. Helen is already impressing us with her energy and zeal. One of the greatest gifts we can give to someone who is new in a position is to help them feel the freedom to follow God’s leadership as they seek to adapt to a new situation. Helen will be keeping some of our tried-and-true methods. But she will also be making some changes to respond to a new age of challenges for children’s ministry. I hope you will join me in praying for her, in supporting her as she investigates and implements new ideas and retains some of the best of our on-going ministries. Someone has said the last seven words of the church are: “We never did it that way before.” These are times that demand creativity. Everyone connected with our Children’s Ministry, particularly our SS teachers, RA and GA and music leaders and Upward coaches, wants kids to grow in the grace of the Lord. I am grateful to all of you for your support of all our ministries. None is more important than our Children’s Ministry.
This Sunday we will think about Peter and his equation for forgiveness as we ponder, “Why is forgiveness so hard.” I look forward to seeing you then!