Well, my best days are prayerful throughout, like the ancient Jewish practice of praying blessing for every action, from waking to sleeping. But my days get off to a strong, peaceful start when I take the time to step aside and speak and sing Morning Prayer intentionally.
I began Tuesday morning that way and was delighted to find that it was the feast of Mary, the mother of Jesus. I’m not really very good at keeping track of holidays, or any days, for that matter. You can ask Karoline about that. I opened my daily office book on Tuesday morning to find that wonderful celebration, that feast day that comes around every year on August 15. As I sang and prayed my way through the service, I came upon the Old Testament reading for the day, Hannah’s song, which begins:
My heart exults in the Lord;
my strength is exalted in my God.
and continues to become the model of Mary’s song, speaking of how
The bows of the mighty are broken,
but the feeble gird on strength.
So, to honor Mary this week; whom the angel named “highly favored”, the Western Church calls the Blessed Virgin and the Mother of God, and the Eastern Church designates Theotokos, God-bearer, a role that each of us takes on as well; I’d like to offer one of the most beautiful examples of Biblical poetry, and one of the most powerful.
And as headlines spin across your news feed, I’d also invite you to see how this song speaks to you and to all of us, societally, culturally, today.
Magnificat (Luke 1:46b-55):
With all my heart I glorify the Lord!
In the depths of who I am I rejoice in God my savior.
He has looked with favor on the low status of his servant.
Look! From now on, everyone will consider me highly favored
because the mighty one has done great things for me.
Holy is his name.
He shows mercy to everyone,
from one generation to the next,
who honors him as God.
He has shown strength with his arm.
He has scattered those with arrogant thoughts and proud inclinations.
He has pulled the powerful down from their thrones
and lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things
and sent the rich away empty-handed.
He has come to the aid of his servant Israel,
remembering his mercy,
just as he promised to our ancestors,
to Abraham and to Abraham’s descendants forever.
Last Sunday . . .
Come; worship the Holy One who meets you where you are.
Come; open yourselves to the God who lifts us up.
We are here to worship; we are here to surrender to God.
Bella Shea gets tickled and laughs when
Pastor Brandon says something funny.
Kelly Logan and Betty Curtis beautifully share
Jesus, Lover of My Soul
on piano and trumpet.
Matthew 14: 22-33
Message from God’s Word:
Don’t Be Afraid
God comes to us, often in ways we can’t understand;
Give us calm, Lord, when your visage frightens us.
God calls us out into impossible situations;
Give us faith, Lord, to trust your power.
And in the face of overwhelming circumstances, God rescues us;
Give us courage, Lord, to grasp your hand.
Our “Feed the Hungry” offering this week is for Local Missions.
This program helps members of our church family and other immediate local mission needs.
If you have interest in being an at-large member to the
2018 Holston Annual Conference (June 10-13),
there is a form to complete,
See Pastor Brandon for details.
Paul Lee has moved back to Greeneville, TN, where he is living closer to family (several nieces) and long-time friends. He misses all of his friends from First United Methodist Church and would welcome your cards and visits! Paul can no longer drive, but his niece, Sharon, who lives in Morristown, plans to bring him to our Sunday services when she can.
324 Mt. Bethel Road
Greeneville TN 37745
Driver needed for approximately 1 and 1/2 hours the fourth Tuesday of every month to deliver Meals on Wheels.
For more information, contact Brenda Hobbs at 423.968.4391.
There is still time to attach your Kroger card to the
Community Rewards Program.
Third quarter begins in September.
Join Us for the Next
Family Board Game Day
Sunday, August 27th
2 p.m. – 6 p.m.
We are pleased to introduce to you First United Methodist Church’s newest employee, our Events Coordinator, Hyacynth Barbera.
Hyacynth recently moved to Bristol from Van Nuys, California, where she worked as Events Coordinator for Electro Rent Corporation.
For each publication, information is needed by noon on Wednesday.
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Calendar & Events Schedule
Week of August 17 – August 23
Thurs, Aug. 17: 8:00pm-AA
Fri, Aug. 18: 5:30pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
6:30pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
Sat, Aug. 19: 9:00am-12:00pm-Holston Quilters Guild-TH
Sun, Aug. 20: 9:30am-Sunday School Hour
9:30am-The River Service, TH
10:00am-Common Ground Service, Chapel
11:00am-Traditional Worship, Sanctuary
(childcare is provided from 9:30am to 12:00pm; children may be picked up at any time)
1:00pm-5:00pm-NA Regional Meeting-TH
Mon, Aug. 21: 6:00pm-Belly Dancing Class-Yoga Studio
7:00pm-Hispanic Congregation PVUMC
Tues, Aug. 22: 8:00am-Men’s Prayer Group-TH
8:00am-11:00am-Meals on Wheels-Kitchen
Wed, Aug. 23:6:30pm-Youth Event-Hide ‘n Seek and the Church