Friday, April 3, 2020

Dear Church Family,

Perhaps you’ve seen these two videos (see below) which appear to have been recorded in 2015 and 2018.  Both experts warning that a pandemic is not a matter of if but when and that we must be prepared.  Like you, I can’t help but see an analogy to the warning heralded today in the messages of the 3 Angels.  Some will be faithful to respond but many will wait until the crisis to do so.  Yet such a scenario makes one think of the story of Achan and his failure to truly repent. (See Joshua 7)  Remember, “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Jer 17:9   If we have sufficient warning now, then to wait until the end would be dangerous at best for the heart could become so calloused &  infested with pride and self, that the unpardonable sin may result so that even our attempts at confession will be driven from selfishness and fear rather than love & surrender.  May we respond to the current crisis by looking fully to Jesus now, that we may experience daily His saving grace, while probation remains open.  What an opportunity we’ve been given to draw close to God in study and prayer during this Shelter in Place order from our governor.    Certainly, we are without excuse.

In the news:

  1. With so many churches and schools using ZOOM and other online gathering tools, there have been problems with ZOOM bombers and others joining these meetings uninvited and bombing the online gatherings with profanity and pornography.  So we are trying to be more proactive and at the same time welcoming to any who wish to join us for worship. As you will see below, we are emailing invites.  Please call me if you don’t get the email and need more information on how to participate in our prayer times, mid-week Bible study, or Sabbath School & Worship times.
  2. Each weeknight at 6:30 p.m. there is a prayer line as well as Sabbath morning at adorable-baby-cute-690969:30 a.m.  I will send an email out today and send out another phone call tomorrow morning with the phone number and access code so that you can join the prayer sessions. NOTE: It’s the same number I announced on Monday and last Sabbath.
  3. Our Sabbath Morning prayer time will begin at 9:30 a.m. via teleconference.  Watch for an email invite later today with information on how to join.
  4. Sabbath School will feature Dr. Harry Nelson leading out in a panel discussion for the Sabbath School lesson and will be welcoming your comments via ZOOM.
  5. I hope our families will take advantage of our SS teacher’s video messages to our young people.  You can find these messages of greeting and instruction by clicking here.   Here is one from Kindergarten.
  6. This Sabbath I will be sharing the morning message entitled, “Lost & Found,” which is centered upon the story of the prodigal.  Given our current global situation, it seemed to be a rather fitting theme.  The Elliott family will be sharing the music with us this Sabbath.Picture1kk
  7. Pastor Jared will have another family worship thought on our church website this Sabbath under the worship link.
  8. We sent out letters this week to our guests from the prophecy series with Pastor Marcus to invite them to an online Bible study and Q & A this coming Tuesday, April 7 at 7 p.m. via ZOOM. Pastor Jared will be calling each one on Monday to invite them to the event and we will be emailing them with the invitation as well. Table hosts and attendees from the series are invited to join in via the invitation below.  I will be sharing a study on Revelation 10 and then will have a little Q & A afterward.  We plan to introduce and invite everyone to then register for Hope Awakens,  Please keep this initiative in your prayers.Logo-v-3-white-bg
  9. Greeneville in partnership with Riverview will be participating in HOPE AWAKENS.  We’ve had 18 members from our church volunteer to serve as Virtual Bible Workers.  Training will take place over the next couple of weeks.  Opening night is April 17.  Listen to this explanation from Pastor John Bradshaw. 
  10. Due to COVID-19, the office is only open on Mondays and Tuesdays from 9-3 p.m. If you need to pick up your Sabbath School lesson, please do so at this time.  You can also access the Sabbath School Lesson online by visiting this link.
  11. The Adventist Book Center will be coming to Greeneville on Sunday, April 12 from 10-11a.m. Here is a link to the price list as well as special sales. Call ahead to the ABC to place your order before April 9. To facilitate social distancing at the time of pick-up they are asking people to stay in their cars and drive by the Bookmobile.  They will bring your items to your car and finalize payment with you.  If you give them your credit card info when you call and place your order then, it may speed up the pick-up process.  1146136_621525537892042_1006401732_o
  12. I heard yesterday that the North American Division is anticipating a possible loss next year of 20% in giving due to the pandemic.  May we determine to remain faithful even when we can’t see our way clearly for this is where faith is developed and testimonies are born.  Here is a helpful video that was put together for those who need assistance with online giving which is the preferred method for giving during this time of pandemic.  We would discourage you from mailing your tithes and offerings for security reasons. 
    Adventist Giving from GCCSDA on Vimeo.
  13. We had a nice group gather for this past Wednesday’s mid-week Bible study on Romans.  We got through verse 17 and will continue on with the remainder of chapter 1 next week.  An invite will be sent to you on Wednesday for joining the ZOOM session.
  14. The Dinner with the Doctor that was scheduled for April has been rescheduled for June 9.
  15. Someone asked about the Waldensian tour and play scheduled for next Augusst 8.  We would ask that you hold monies at this time and we are holding what was already given by those who paid.  We will wait and see how things progress and get back with you as soon as we can.
  16. It looks like our church retreat for April 17 is going to have to be canceled.
  17. Also, all camp meetings for this year are canceled, including the one in September at the Oaks.
  18. Summer Camp at Cohutta is still being planned but as with everything right now, it is not certain.  They are hoping to continue even if they have to trim a couple of weeks off at the beginning.  More details to come.
  19. NEWSTART has a lot of good material coming out daily on how to build your immune system. I wanted to share some more of their helpful videos this week with you as you prepare by building your immune system.

Blessings as you prepare for the coming Sabbath!

In His Service,

Pastor Jeremy

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