This week’s Feed the Hungry offering is for Local Missions.
This mission helps members of our church family and other immediate local mission needs.
From the Pastor’s Pen . . .
I find that honesty serves me a lot better than hyperbole or half-truths, so I’m going to be straight with y’all about this weekend coming up: I’m more excited about what goes on outside the main floor of Resurrection than I am about what happens inside the main space.
If that’s offensive, please forgive me.
Resurrection is like Annual Conference or Minister’s Convocation for me. It’s a chance to catch up with folks I haven’t seen for a while, to explore different ministry opportunities, to see what goes on in other places.
And at 41 with the experience I have under my belt, I’m much more comfortable with a quieter, more intimate worship experience than I am in a dark theater with a bright stage and music blaring so loudly that I can’t hear the person next to me sing.
But other stuff happens at Resurrection. I’ll gravitate repeatedly to the Conference Camping display and spend time helping my CRM friends get other folks pumped up about one of the most life-changing ministries Holston has going on. I’ll connect with the Appalachian Service Project, if they’re there. I’ll see what’s up with the Conference Council on Youth Ministries, Defining Moments, Discovery, Assembly, and all the other ministries who are tasked with the ongoing work of discipling our young persons.
You see, one thing that we pretty consistently fail to highlight at Resurrection is that we have a fantastic connectional church that has great tools to keep the momentum going that our young people take on during this weekend. We fail at that and then we bemoan that our kids come home on a spiritual high and, within the time it took Jesus to defeat hell and death, fall not only back into the same destructive patterns and attitudes they had previously, but often dive deeper into the ugly for which middle and high schools are notorious.
Blame it on the devil if you’d like. I blame it on our lack of connecting with the tools and structures we have in place to actually support and disciple our young people.
Oh, you may say, they’re young! They’ll bounce back! Young people are surprisingly resilient. They’ll be vibrant and well-adjusted adults and will be thankful for this experience.
I should remind us that cynicism is only growing stronger among our young adults. Vibrancy isn’t particularly characteristic of millennials. Well-adjusted isn’t necessarily a way I’d describe them or anyone else who has had to look back and try to be thankful for the roller-coaster of a spiritual life through which we put young persons today.
We have a lot of folks in the Holston Conference who want to help disciple our young people into the incredible leaders God is preparing them to be, and most of them will be in Pigeon Forge this weekend. What we need to do is help them stay connected, and there’s probably something you can do to make that happen. If you’re interested in becoming invested in our young people, who aren’t just the future of the Church, but who are the right now leaders God is calling, then step up! Get connected! Get in prayer and get in touch!
FUMC young persons, “mascots”, and leaders on a recent visit to Cambridge Nursing Home to carol and to deliver
homemade cookies to the residents.
I can help you do that. I want to hear how God is calling you specifically, what you have on your heart to share, what’s inspiring you. I can help get you connected.
And if you’re not quite in that place, then please, please pray for our young people this weekend. And pray for them as they come home. And pray for them in the classrooms and hallways and stadiums and everywhere else they go. You know you need prayer. They do, too.
And give your prayers feet.
Our young people are today’s and tomorrow’s disciples. It’s time to focus some serious effort on getting them connected in the ways that’ll help them grow.
It’s a hard time to be young, y’all. Please help make it easier, and help our young people find meaning and connection in a really disconnected world.
The time has finally arrived!
FUMC Young Persons will be attending
Pigeon Forge, TN
We will leave from the church at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, January 19
and return on Sunday, January 21
Please keep all of our youth and their leaders in your prayers.
Wednesday, January 24
Awareness of others, disabilities, and of our blessings
Mission of the Month
The Soup Kitchen
Were you aware that every December some 20 volunteers from our congregation help
The Soup Kitchen
workers prepare freshly made soup for those in need?
Many thanks to Carol Taylor, who coordinates our yearly participation!
He built walls! He gave the exiles homes! He brought the law back!
We are offering two sessions of this four-week study so that you may join the study at the time most convenient for you:
Sunday evenings at 7:00
Wednesday mornings at 11:00
I’m looking forward to exploring the world and experience of Nehemiah with you! Come ready to dig in!
(Due to inclement weather on Wednesday, January 17, Session 1 will begin on January 24.
On Sunday evening, January 21, we are ready to begin Session 2.)
Tuesday, January 23, Noon
A light lunch will be provided.
Pastor Brandon joined the Martin Luther King March from the YMCA to the Train Station
Monday in Downtown Bristol, TN.
Last Sunday was Baptism of the Lord Sunday
Matthew 1: 4-11
Living into God’s Call
Pastor Brandon shows our children the baptismal font.
Great is thy faithfulness, O God my Father; there is no shadow of turning with thee;
thou changest not, thy compassions, they fail not; as thou hast been thou forever will be.
~Thomas O. Chisholm, 1923
He leadeth me; O blessed thought!
O words with heavenly comfort fraught!
What’er I do, where’er I be,
Still ’tis God’s hand that leadeth me.
Lord, I would place my hand in thine,
nor ever murmur nor repine;
content, whatever lot I see,
since ’tis my God that leadeth me.
~Joseph H. Gilmore, 1862
First United Methodist Church welcomed our newest member, Karoline Berg,
whom we already had received into our hearts.
Go, then, as God’s beloved children,
siblings of the Son, inheritors of grace,
and be grace and mercy in every corner of creation.
In Children’s Church Last Week . . .
Our story was about how Jesus got separated from his parents. When they finally found him,
he was in the Temple, in his Father’s house.
The children made scrolls.
A Thank You Letter from Beth Rhinehardt, Librarian, Anderson Elementary School
Dear Friends at First United Methodist Church,
On behalf of the students and staff at Anderson Elementary School, I am writing to express our most sincere thanks to you for your recent generous donation to our Scholastic Book fair “All for Books” Program. This donation provided an opportunity for many of our students to select a book from the Book Fair who were not financially able to purchase a book. I wish you could have seen the smiles on their faces when they heard their name called on the intercom that they had won a “Wild West: Saddle Up And Read” book coupon and the sparkle in their eyes when they selected their book at the Book Fair.
We are truly thankful and blessed to have your organization as part of our community. We appreciate your generosity, support, and desire to assist us as we motivate students to discover the joy of reading.
Coming April 30 – May 2, 2018
MainStay Suites, Pigeon Forge, TN
A retreat for adults (50+) who desire to explore and enhance their
relationship with Christ.
We have this hope as an anchor for the Soul, firm and secure. It enters the inter sanctuary behind the curtain. Hebrews 6:19 NIV
Sponsored by Holston Conference United Methodist Church Foundation.
Branch House Family Center’s mission is to advocate for and empower survivors of abuse and exploitation through unified community engagement, education, and collaboration.
Who Will They Help?
The victims and survivors of intimate partner violence, child abuse sexual assault and exploitation, elder abuse, and human trafficking. They will also provide services for the children of these victims.
As a centralized hub for victims’ services, the Center will make it physically and psychologically easier than our current system for victims navigating the family violence circuit. Victims will have one location where they can meet with law enforcement and prosecutors, receive information about shelters and public services, get medial treatment and counseling, and receive civil legal assistance – instead of having to search for multiple avenues of help on their own.
The SCFJC will be the first FJC to open in Tennessee as a standalone non-profit, without funding from the local government. They are committed to finding a way to fund the FJC that does not put a burden on the city and county governments at the expense of law enforcement and other existing government agencies. They will be governed by a carefully selected board of directors that is in touch with the needs of our community and the family violence victims here.
Last Week’s Great Dismantling of the Christmas Decorations