I have some great news to share with you. Our search committee for an “Operations Manager” has completed its search and our Administrative Committee, per church policy, has chosen to unanimously endorse the committee’s recommendation to ask Dr. Lyle Ailshie to join our staff. Lyle will be joining us in late June or early July. He will give leadership in our finance, operations, building and computer dimensions. He brings a wealth of experience to us. Many will remember the good work he did in leading our Kingsport City Schools. Since that time he has been Associate Commissioner of Education, and later Acting Commissioner of Education, for the state of Tennessee. In addition to all this, Lyle has a heart for ministry. He has served as a bi-vocational youth minister in years gone by. In addition, he has served in our church as a deacon. His wife, Vanessa, is also active in our congregation. I want to thank our search committee, led by Dr. Mack Patton, and composed of Melissa Clemmons, Billy Gilliam, Andy Hatfield and Norris Sneed for a job well-done.
This Sunday we will continue to look to the prayers of Jesus as we think about “How do I pray when I have been hurt?” That is the harsh reality for many of us, isn’t it? Join us on Sunday as we ponder together how to deal with our hurts and “take them to the Lord in prayer.” I look forward to seeing you then!
Thank you for your good attendance in worship on a soggy Sunday! One never knows what the weather will do to attendance. I once heard a pastor say that we should always pray for gray Sundays with a chance of rain because people may not explore options that would exclude worship. I am not sure if that is worthy of prayer or not! But I am happy that so many of you slogged through the first of many days of rain to join us as we sang praises to God on Sunday.
This week we will continue to think about issues we need to overcome. This week we will consider how we can “overcome discouragement.” So many places we go now provide discouragement, don’t they? One can hardly turn on the news without being discouraged, either by the nature of the news of the tone of discourse in our country these days.
We will consider whether or not the church should be a place of “encouragement” or “discouragement.” I think the New Testament offers a clear answer. Join us Sunday as we think about it together!
See you then,
An Encouraging Word
I can’t remember a weekend exactly like the last one. The “Battle at Bristol” brought international attention to our region and a massive influx of people and traffic. Fortunately our friends from Virginia Tech were most generous with the ball! I saw thousands of Hokie and Vol fans and most seemed reasonable and considerate before the game. Since I left at halftime to be ready for church I can’t comment on post-game behavior!
As I watched the spectacle of more than 156,000 people in one place I was amazed by the logistics of it all. How much planning went into the traffic, security, concessions, performance and other issues related to the game? As I watched it all unfold I wondered how that sort of logistical planning might benefit our church. What sort of lessons could we learn from this moment? If you have any thoughts please let me know!
Sunday was a special day as Terry Ellis spoke to us from his heart. Terry is a gifted preacher who happens to be in recovery. He has a gift of relationship. I was glad so many of you were able to hear him and meet him. Pray for Celebrate Recovery as it moves into its 12th year. We are hoping, praying and planning for renewed strength for this valued ministry.
This Sunday I will begin a sermon series on “Building Strong Character.” We will consider how to “Control our Thoughts.” I look forward to seeing you then,