This week’s Feed the Hungry offering is for Bristol Faith in Action.
BFIA is a cooperative outreach ministry of the churches of Bristol and the
local community,formed to serve any persons whose circumstances
leave them with significant physical, social, emotional or spiritual needs.
Mission of the Month
The Soup Kitchen
This service delivers a lunch of hot, freshly prepared soup to those who are not as mobile and who may have fallen by the wayside from other programs.
Approximately 1,000 meals are delivered daily to those in need Monday through Friday, 52 weeks per year in Bristol, VA.
Check out next week’s newsletter to see how
our congregation participates in this vital program, and how you can join in!
We gratefully acknowledge these gifts in memory of Dollie Cartwright:
Dick and Beverly McCallum to the Memorial Fund
Larry and Kathy Wagner to Meals on Wheels
From the Pastor’s Pen . . .
At Annual Conference in 2017, the organizers of our 5K run around Lake Junaluska decided to give water bottles instead of t-shirts to all our participants. The water bottles were cheaper, which meant that more of the proceeds could support the annual mission offering. The organizers also have a lot of race t-shirts, so we thought a water bottle would be a nice change. We printed the slogan for last year’s Annual Conference on the front: “behold!”
Shortly after the race, Rebekah looked at her water bottle and observed:
“If you take the ‘h’ out of ‘behold,’ it says, ‘Be Old!'”
And we thought of the hundreds of people who surround us, gathered quietly and reverently (for the most part) in Stuart Auditorium; and we thought of the demographic of churches across the Holston Conference and across America…
and we guffawed.
And the Reverend Dennis Loy and my wife and I conspired to walk into Stuart Auditorium during one of its vacant hours and make away with the “H”.
We conspired, but we chickened out.
So I’ve asked Rebekah McGrady to do it for us.
What I really love about that particular image is that Doug Grove-DeJarnett and Brenda Carroll are two of our clergy who are keenly aware of the way the Holy Spirit is continually revealing new aspects of God all around them. While much of the church around us is stuck doing old things in old places, wondering why our communities are in decline but refusing to change anything and even reverting to other old, failed practices in hope of a different outcome; people like Doug and Brenda are trying to lead our churches into new visions and new practices. They see God still saying to us today, “Behold! I am doing a new thing! Don’t you perceive it?”
I think that’s fundamentally what Epiphany is about. We tend to think of God appearing in human form once upon a time in ancient Judea, a done deal that is perpetually unchanging.
But God doesn’t just self-reveal once. God appears to us in every moment of all time.
Once upon a time is only a fairy tale.
God is still present in creation, and creation is still being redeemed and transformed in reaction to God’s presence. If we want to get the meaning of Epiphany right, we’re going to have to open ourselves to the possibility that God is still doing something new today, and will continue to do something new until all creation is made new, and all souls are reconciled to God.
Epiphany may just be the opposite of “Be Old”.
It’s that time, Charlie Brown
Calling all members…
The sanctuary Christmas decorations will be
coming down on Wednesday, January 10.
If you can help, please join us at 10:00 am next Wednesday. The more hands the less work.
Nehemiah, the Renewal Expert
He built walls! He gave the exiles homes! He brought the law back!
On Wednesday, January 17, we will start a four-week study of the book of Nehemiah. For your convenience, I’d like to offer both a morning and an evening session. It would be helpful to know how many people I might expect, so let me know which session you’d prefer to attend.
I’m looking forward to exploring the world and experience of Nehemiah with you! Come ready to dig in!
has been cancelled
Sunday, January 7
Looking for Messiah
Joy to the world the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare him room,
and heaven and nature sing!
~Isaac Watts, 1719
How many days are left in The Twelve Days of Christmas?
They looked up and saw a star
shining in the east, beyond them far;
and to the earth it gave great light,
and so it continued both day and night.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel,
Born is the King of Israel.
~traditional English carol
9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Wednesday, January 10
Plan food for Resurrection
and a Movie
Princess Bride? (as you wish)
In Children’s Church Last Week . . .
We had a great lesson with Mr. Mike about
Anna and Simeon.
Sarah did a great job Reading!
Mr. Mike brought great snacks.
It is the seventh day of Christmas, and next Sunday begins Epiphany!