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

Friday, March 27, 2020

Dear Church Family,

Fear is on the hearts of many right now.  Inspiration speaks of a proper and improper fear.  Here are a couple of helpful statements as they pertain to fear and the faithful.  tonik-hAZ3TNzQP6w-unsplash

The Lord would have his people trust in him and abide in his love, but that does not mean that we shall have no fear or misgivings. Some seem to think that if a man has a wholesome fear of the judgments of God, it is a proof that he is destitute of faith; but this is not so.

A proper fear of God, in believing his threatenings, works the peaceable fruits of righteousness, by causing the trembling soul to flee to Jesus. Many ought to have this spirit today, and turn to the Lord with humble contrition, for the Lord has not given so many terrible threatenings, pronounced so severe judgments in his word, simply to have them recorded, but he means what he says. One says, “Horror hath taken hold upon me because of the wicked that forsake thy law.” Paul says, “Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men.”  RH Oct 21, 1890

And then she writes:

The shortness of time is urged as an incentive for us to seek righteousness and to make Christ our friend. This is not the great motive. It savors of selfishness. Is it necessary that the terrors of the day of God be held before us to compel us through fear to right action? This ought not to be. Jesus is attractive. He is full of love, mercy, and compassion. He proposes to be our friend, to walk with us through all the rough pathways of life.  RH Aug 2, 1881

Let the heart that is fearful run to Jesus.  Let us spend these hours of social distancing and sheltering in place in beholding more of Jesus and less of the news.  Let us behold His grace and beauty that it might provide hope and comfort and security amidst the chaos and fear.

In the news:

  1. Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, all services continue to be provided online only. See below for more details or visit the church website where you can access all the links and materials.
  2. Pastor Jared has a Family worship talk prepared for your family for this Sabbath.  You can find that devotional by clicking here.
  3. PRAYER SESSION: This Sabbath morning, there will be a prayer session via a telephone conference at 9:30 a.m. for the church family. I will lead out in this time of prayer.  Please note that you should call in a minute or two prior to 9:30 a.m. and identify yourself when welcomed.  However, if you join at 9:30 a.m. or later, please listen in to see what is being discussed and join in as prompted.  Lastly, one item that makes this run smoothly is to mute your phone until you are ready to speak and then resume mute after speaking.
  4. SABBATH SCHOOL will begin at 10 a.m. with a look at Daniel chapter 12. Ken Mathews will lead in this study and discussion via ZOOM.   Online the church website, you will find a whole list of resources for your family that are accessible online.  There are also some personal messages from some of the Sabbath School leaders for their students.  These can be found on our church website later this evening or in the morning.
  5. THE WORSHIP SERVICE will begin this Sabbath at 11 a.m. following the Sabbath School program.  Pastor Jared will be sharing the morning message with a look at Romans 1:18-20 and Les & Ann Andrus will be sharing the music.  Glenda Dale also has a special story for the children.
  6. MID-WEEK STUDY: Our Bible study series began on Romans this with week via ZOOM. We had a nice group gather for this past Wednesday for our first study.  We left off at verse 7 of chapter 1 so we will pick up from there beginning next Wednesday at 7 p.m. via ZOOM.
  7. I wanted to share what looks like a useful tool for families trying to distribute equitably the chores in the home.  It’s called Chorebuster and this free online application allows you to list your chores and then assign chores or have it divide up the chores for you based on the level of difficulty that you assign them.   This way the computer can determine who does what on any particular day and yet it keeps things fair for everyone by rotating assignments if you ask it to.  It’s pretty sophisticated yet simple to use. We had a family discussion about it the other night and are looking to give it a try.
  8. NEWSTART has a lot of good material coming out daily on how to build your immune system. I highly encourage you to keep checking their site daily for ways to build your immunity during this Pandemic.  Here are some of the recent videos that have come out.
  9. Pastor Don Macintosh gave a helpful sermon last Sabbath that included an interesting look at the Spanish influenza and how the Adventists responded and the way in which God blessed their efforts. You can watch it below or listen via audio verse.
  10. You may also like to listen to this COVID-19 presentation with Dr. Roger Seheult on Audioverse.  Dr. Eric Nelson did a ZOOM presentation this week as well on the topic of protecting yourself from COVID-19 and his presentation can be accessed by clicking here.
  11. This was an interesting news piece that stated that due to “grave necessity,” the Pope says that followers can, if unable to go to a priest, go directly to God with their sins. I am thankful I don’t need a pandemic to have permission to go to God but I am free to approach him anytime and anywhere.
  12. The school will begin online learning this coming Monday and this will continue through April 24. Please keep the school in your prayers.

Blessings as you prepare for the coming Sabbath!

In His Service,

Pastor Jeremy

Friday, March 20, 2020

Dear Church Family,

These are certainly fascinating times we are living in.  As we watch the dramatic and sudden changes taking place before us, we are reminded of the Bible’s prophecies and promises.  We have nothing to fear if we are daily surrendered to Jesus.  His power and presence will sustain us as we are reminded that nothing can harm us outside of His will for our lives when we abide in Him.  We are His and that should fill us with great peace amidst this storm.   This peace can and should serve as our greatest witness at a time like this.  It serves as the platform for the everlasting gospel of which the Sabbath is a sign.

Amidst all the news, I appreciated this succinct statement from Dr. Nick Miller from Andrews University.  He wrote:

Closing churches to stop coronavirus isn’t yet Revelation 13.

 It’s Leviticus 13.  So act like 1 Corinthians 13;   Til Romans 13 runs its course!

 

In case the above isn’t clear, I encourage you to read the chapters  But in short, allow me to explain: Revelation 13 – Union of Church & State, Leviticus 13 – Social Distancing, 1 Corinthians 13 – Selfless Love, Romans 13 – The government may serve as God’s minister.  More explanation may be found by clicking here.

In the news:

  1. Until further notice, all services, meetings, and gatherings at the church are either canceled, postponed, or moved online. Any service referenced at this point with regards to the church is, therefore, referring to an online or telephone venue. We are simply seeking to follow recommended guidelines by our government and church leaders.
  2. I have secured a ZOOM video conferencing license for our church to use for conducting online meetings.  To learn more about this app and how to use it, click here.  I highly encourage you to check this out as it will be a very effective means of staying connected.  We will try to send invites out to the church body prior to the meeting so you can simply click on the link and join in via your computer, tablet, smartphone or you can call the number to join by telephone.  If you don’t see an email, you can always check the church website for the required information. 
  3. Our board is connected now through a free but secure application called TELEGRAM which the school board has been using for some time. This way the board can have quick and unobtrusive access to one another quickly to address matters if and when necessary.
  4. PRAYER SESSION: This coming Sabbath morning, there will be a prayer session via a telephone conference at 9:30 a.m. for the church family. Pastor Jared will lead out in this time of prayer.  To join the session, dial (425) 436-6360 and when prompted, enter access code: 654615.  Please note that you should call in a minute or two prior to 9:30 a.m. and identify yourself when welcomed.  However, if you join at 9:30 a.m. or later, please listen in to see what is being discussed and join in as prompted.  Lastly, one item that makes this run smoothly is to mute your phone until you are ready to speak and then resume mute after speaking.
  5. FAMILY WORSHIP: Pastor Jared has put together a video that will be available under the worship link at 8:30 a.m. on our church website tomorrow morning. It is a family worship resource and challenge that you will want to look at as a family.
  6. SABBATH SCHOOL: Sabbath School will be provided online via ZOOM at 10 a.m. with Ken Mathews leading out in the lesson study on Daniel 11. The invitation and instructions can be found via the church web site or you can just join by clicking here.    A link for our cradle roll program will also be made available there.
  7. SABBATH WORSHIP: Worship service will begin at 11 a.m. via the church website. The worship service will include prayer, a children’s story, an offering appeal and a special musical number followed by a morning message which I will share.
  8. MID-WEEK BIBLE STUDY: Our Mid-Week Bible study will begin this coming Wednesday at 7 p.m. via ZOOM. We will begin our verse by verse study on the book of Romans.  All are invited to join in on the study and discussion by simply clicking here or visiting the church web site.
  9. During this pandemic crisis, I felt it might besebastian-hietsch-RUJYUXwj3s0-unsplash beneficial to make sure we know who lives near us from the church. I have placed a password protected map of our church directory on the church website.  With this map, you can zoom in and out, search, and click on any red pin to see who lives where and who lives around you.  It’s a lot of fun to use.  Simply contact the church office or text me for the password.  The link can be found on the home page or in a drop-down menu under the ministry tab or by clicking here.
  10. In connection with the mapping software, I would encourage us as a church family to think of those who are alone or elderly during this time, that we may be vigilant to keep a check on one another that no one is overlooked who is in need of assistance. Some in our church family are more vulnerable to the threat of COVID-19 and perhaps could use some assistance at this time in running errands and the like. Prayerfully consider what you might do to encourage and possibly assist someone in the church family or a neighbor in the coming weeks.
  11. Remember if you don’t have instant church directory, our online church directory, please visit this link to register.  You must use the same email address you shared with the church.  If you need assistance with this, please contact the church office.
  12. Just a reminder that during this pandemic, it’s a great time to get caught up in your reading of the Testimonies for the Church.  My apologies for the delay in sending out Sunday and Monday’s email to those participating in the reading plan.  I will try to avoid missing future emails.  Here is the reading for today. egw-testimonies_9vol-set_large
  13. During this time of COVID-19 you may be concerned about how to give your tithes and offerings each week. I would encourage you to use online giving as it is very simple to use. I would encourage you to consider giving via electronic check instead of a credit card as it keeps the church from having to absorb credit card fees.  You can select the Giving tab on our web site to begin giving or simply download the app onto your phone and select Greeneville for your church.   I use online giving and have come to really appreciate this service.  Of course, if you feel uncomfortable with this, you are free to mail your tithe and offerings to the church or drop it by the office during the week and it will be put in the safe.  Here is a video explanation that someone put together that may help you in seeing how this works. 
  14. As many of you have been reminded, hydrotherapy is a key way to boost your immune system and encourage greater resistance to this virus. Recently Dr. Wes Youngberg gave a demonstration that you might want to watch and share with your friends and neighbors.  Remember, this proved highly successful during the Spanish Flu in 1918. 
  15. When I have time, I will be posting more helpful resources on our web page like the one above. For now, I am simply linking the resource tab to a new site that ASI put up that seeks to accomplish the same thing.   The site is called, godcareseveryday.org
  16. Cancellations and schedule updates:
    • The school mission trip that was scheduled for early April has been postponed. At this point, we have no other details as to when it will be.
    • All school programs and activities have been put on hold at this time until further notice.
    • GAA will remain closed next week and distance learning will begin March 30 through at least April 3.
    • The Community Services Center will only be open on Tuesdays from 9-12 for food assistance. The Clothing, Utilities, and Yard Sale Room are closed until further notice.  The food is provided via a drive through process but all documentation is still required for the assistance.
    • All church services have been put on hold and all online service information can be found via our church website at Greenevilleadventist.org.
    • Some have inquired about the Oaks Retreat with Pavel Goia. At this time, it is still on the calendar, however, the likelihood of having the retreat seems remote. We will keep you posted.  The orchestra will not play that weekend as it seems too unlikely we will have the retreat to move forward with all the practice and work it would require.
    • In case you haven’t heard, General Conference Session has been postponed and the session will be held in May of 2021 with a shorter schedule and smaller venue. Only delegates will be invited. Our current president and officers will serve until next May.
  17. SUMMARY OF VIRTUAL OPPORTUNITIES COMING UP:
    1. Family Worship Feature at 8:30 a.m. via greenevilleadventist.org website.
    2. Prayer Session this Sabbath at 9:30 a.m. via a teleconference.
    3. Sabbath School at 10 a.m. via ZOOM
    4. Cradle Roll at 10 a.m. via greenevilleadventist.org website.
    5. Worship Service at 11 a.m. via greenevilleadventist.org website.
    6. Mid-Week Bible Study at 7 p.m. via ZOOM

Blessings as you prepare for the joy of the Sabbath rest that is soon to come.

In His Service,

Pastor Jeremy

Friday, March 13, 2020

Dear Church Family,

There is a lot of fear and rumor going around during this Coronavirus pandemic that is affecting everything from Amusement Parks, to Church, to Bathroom tissue to Oil prices and the list goes on.  Certainly, these are interesting times but what an opportunity to demonstrate our rest in Jesus!   Let us be like Jesus in the boat when he rested in the faith of HIs Father amidst the storm.   Here is a list of coronavirus related items that you may want to familiarize yourself with:cdc-bkc-m0iZ4Sk-unsplash

  1. Our church board met this week and discussed how we might respond to the Coronavirus. A subcommittee was appointed and here is a document that has been put together to address our local church response as it currently stands.  More info can be gleaned from the CDC.
  2. We will have our regularly scheduled Sabbath School class time and Worship service tomorrow.
  3. We have elected to cancel all fellowship dinners for the remainder of March.
  4. Greeters, Pastors, and members are encouraged to avoid shaking hands and hugging this Sabbath but simply stick with verbal greetings.  I share this simply to remind people that we are not being stuffy but merely considerate given the circumstances.
  5. Cradle Roll leadership informed me yesterday that they have canceled their classes for the remainder of the month as well.
  6. Adult Sabbath School classes are being spread out more so that people won’t be in such close proximity. Milton Siepman’s class will join the Sanctuary class with Lee Elliott leading out. Then Ken Mathew’s class will have some added room to spread out with an extra one or two sections available so that attendees will have more room between each other.
  7. We will be taking up the morning offering at the door on Sabbath so as to avoid passing plates around the sanctuary.
  8. Communion has been canceled this month as well.
  9. At the recommendation of the Georgia-Cumberland Conference, our school has elected to extend spring break by an extra week. Thus students will return to school on March 30.
  10. Our new Bible study series on Romans will be postponed until further notice. We will begin after the threat of COVID-19 diminishes.
  11. The “How to” class regarding the Coronavirus and building your immune system that was scheduled for March 26 has been canceled.
  12. School Board has been rescheduled from Monday, March 23 to Monday, March 30.
  13. The International Food Fair has been rescheduled for April 21.
  14. Kindergarten Roundup has been rescheduled for April 8.
  15. The SAU Gymnastics team program scheduled for the evening of March 28 has been canceled.
  16. I found the following two segments to be the most helpful to me beyond the obvious suggestions of hygiene and social distancing. The 1st segment was from Dr. Wes Youngberg several weeks ago & the 2nd is from a piece that came out this week from Dr. Neil Nedley.   I highly recommend that you check these out as they have practical advice and tips on how to boost your immunity.

In other news:

  1. This Sabbath marks the conclusion of the prophecy series with a message from Pastor Marcus Bates entitled, “Avoiding the Point of No Return.”
  2. As stated above, fellowship lunch has been canceled for this Sabbath.
  3. There will be a memorial service this Sabbath afternoon at 4 p.m. at the church for Art Kanna, the father of Arvo Kanna. All are invited to come.
  4. AYA will be this Sabbath evening at 6 p.m. with singing and ole timey music. Contact Dan if you are interested in participating in the music.
  5. The prophecy series has gone very well with many eager attendees and positive responses to the message. There have been some requests for baptism or rebaptism and those will transpire over the course of the next several months as their study progresses in personal and small group Bible studies.   We praise God for this wonderful response to the messages and for everyone who helped and for those who are helping in giving follow up studies.  Please keep the interests in your prayers.

Blessings as you prepare for the coming Sabbath!

In His Service,

Pastor Jeremy

Friday, March 6, 2020

Dear Church Family,

From my readings this week:

It is the love of self that destroys our peace. While self is all alive, we stand ready continually to guard it from mortification and insult; but when we are dead, and our life is hid with Christ in God, we shall not take neglects or slights to heart. We shall be deaf to reproach and blind to scorn and insult. . .  

Far better would it be for us to suffer under false accusation than to inflict upon ourselves the torture of retaliation upon our enemies.  MB 16-17

In the news:

  1. This Sabbath we will continue our prophecy series with a look at America in Prophecy with Pastor Marcus.  The service will again be streamlined to accommodate the morning message.
  2. We will have a church-wide fellowship dinner following the worship service. I would encourage you to join us as we fellowship with each other and the guests from the meetings.  It’s such an exciting time.  Remember we are in need of more volunteers and leaders as we seek to preserve this important ministry in our church.
  3. AYA will be at 5:30 p.m. this Sabbath and Ken Mathews will be leading out. The question that will be addressed is How do Christians relate to the upcoming Presidential Election?  The evening will include a short video chat by Walter Veith on political parties and their aims with a discussion following the short video on how the Bible tells us what is going to happen.
  4. Everyone is invited to a wedding reception for Patti Cohen & Dr. DeWayne Butcher. The reception will be this Sunday, March 8 at 4 p.m. at the Riverview church. They request no gifts.
  5. We will resume our mid-week service soon with a new study on the book of Romans. This series will begin Wednesday, March 18 at 6:30 p.m. in the youth room.
  6. Due to the prophecy meeting schedule, our church board meeting will be this coming Wednesday at 7:15 p.m.
  7. I am SO EXCITED to report that we have had several requests for baptism and re-baptism so far in this series. Several stated their desire to keep the Bible Sabbath.  This can be a very challenging time for some as they wrestle with these decisions and the ramification such choices will hold.  Let us lift up these precious souls as they seek to take their stand for Jesus and HIs calling upon our lives. I was inspired by what one guest wrote on that back of their response card: “I’ve never been happier than I am right now! Thank you for all your help.”  Praise be to God! unnamed (1)
  8. With the scare over the Coronavirus, health ministriescdc-bkc-m0iZ4Sk-unsplash is preparing an upcoming how-to class for the community that will teach ways in which to improve our immunity as we seek to avoid being infected.  More details will be forthcoming.
  9. Carolyn Coolidge, the wife of Bert Coolidge, passed away last week and was laid to rest this week here in Greeneville.  The family appreciates your prayers.
  10. Just a reminder that sign-up is currently taking place for the Waldensian trip planned for the afternoon and evening of Sabbath, August 8. To sign up, please do so by using the clipboard in the foyer.   We are looking to see if we have sufficient interest to take the bus.  We will leave after church for a picnic, tour and evening play in Valdese, NC. Pricing is $14 dollars for the play and the tour is $10 dollars for adults, $8 for seniors and $6 for students.  So the total cost for an adult is $24, seniors are $22, and students would be $20.  In order to get a discount on ticketing, you will need to sign up through the church though you can meet us there if you prefer not to ride the bus.  You can secure your spot on the bus and the discounted group rate by signing up on the clipboard at church.  Only 50 slots are available for the bus.  Payment will need to be provided to the church office by Thursday, March 12.
  11. I found this story from one of our schools in August, GA rather inspiring.   They began to tithe on all their fundraisers and the Lord has richly blessed.  Here’s their story.  
  12. Looking ahead:
    1. Tues, March 24 from 5 – 6:30 p.m. – International Food Fair at GAA
    2. Wed, March 25 from 8-12 p.m. – Kindergarten Round-Up at GAA
    3. Tues, April 14 at 6:30 p.m. – Dinner with the Doctor
    4. April 17-18 – Church Retreat at the Oaks
    5. May 2 – Pathfinder Sabbath
    6. May 20 – GAA 8th Grade Graduation
    7. May 21 – GAA Senior Graduation
    8. May 24-30 – Carolina Camp Meeting
    9. May 27-30 – GCC Camp Meeting
    10. June 25-July 4 – GC Session
    11. July 31 – Aug 2 – Church Camp Out at Cades Cove
    12. August 8 – Waldensian Tour & Play

In His Service,

Pastor Jeremy

Friday, February 28, 2020

Dear Church Family,

We cannot afford to let our spirits chafe over any real or supposed wrong done to ourselves. Self is the enemy we most need to fear. No form of vice has a more baleful effect upon the character than has human passion not under the control of the Holy Spirit. No other victory we can gain will be so precious as the victory gained over self. 

We should not allow our feelings to be easily wounded. We are to live, not to guard our feelings or our reputation, but to save souls. As we become interested in the salvation of souls we cease to mind the little differences that so often arise in our association with one another. Whatever others may think of us or do to us, it need not disturb our oneness with Christ, the fellowship of the Spirit. “What glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.” 1 Peter 2:20.

Do not retaliate. So far as you can do so, remove all cause for misapprehension. Avoid the appearance of evil. Do all that lies in your power, without the sacrifice of principle, to conciliate others. “If thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath aught against thee; leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.” Matthew 5:23, 24. 

If impatient words are spoken to you, never reply in the same spirit. Remember that “a soft answer turneth away wrath.” Proverbs 15:1. And there is wonderful power in silence. Words spoken in reply to one who is angry sometimes serve only to exasperate. But anger met with silence, in a tender, forbearing spirit, quickly dies away.   HDL 25-26

In the news:

  1. Remember that tonight we have a prophecy series meeting at the Crescent school to make up for what we missed last week. Note that this will be the last meeting at the Crescent school.  Beginning next week, we will meet in the fellowship hall at the church each Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday evening. unnamed (1)
  2. We will have Pastor Marcus 67773158_372439053440358_8727598258160926720_nwith us for the next three Sabbaths as we feature the prophecy series during our morning service. This means that the service will be dramatically altered to feature more prominently the message. That said, we are excited this Sabbath to welcome through a profession of faith, Todd & Samantha Lewis.  We also will have a baby/child dedication for their children.
  3. We will have a fellowship meal this Sabbath with the Cover team-leading out.  Being that we are inviting guests from the meetings to join us for lunch, we would invite you to consider joining us for fellowship lunch over the next 3 Sabbaths as we seek to welcome and become better acquainted with the guests who are coming.
  4. As an additional note, we could use some additional volunteers to join our potluck teams.  We could use some more team leaders as well.  This is a wonderful weekly ministry that benefits our church and guests alike.  Please contact the church office if you wish to get involved.
  5. AYA this week will be at 5:30 p.m. this week. Clarice and Joseph Diaz will take you with pictures on the Reformation and Great Controversy Tour with Dr. Gerard Damsteegt. They will retrace the Adventist heritage in Europe from its roots in Early Christianity, through the Dark Ages, to the Reformation. Experience what it was like to worship in the Waldensian caves and stand where the martyrs died this Sabbath evening at 5:30 p.m.
  6. We are being bombarded with news about the coronavirus.  I found this short video helpful and couldn’t help but think of the many analogies that can be drawn from his concluding remarks.  For instance, gossip is in many ways spread in the same manner and can be squelched in a simlar manner. 
  7. Just a reminder that sign-up is currently taking place for the Waldensian trip planned for the afternoon and evening of Sabbath, August 8. To sign up, please do so using the clipboard in the foyer.   We also are looking to see if we have sufficient interest to take the bus.  We will leave after church for a picnic, tour and evening play in Valdese, NC. Pricing is $14 dollars for the play and the tour is $10 dollars for adults, $8 for seniors and $6 for students.  So the total cost for an adult is $24, seniors are $22, and students would be $20.  In order to get a discount on ticketing, you will need to sign up through the church though you can meet us there if you prefer not to ride the bus.  You can secure your spot on the bus and the discounted group rate by signing up on the clipboard at church.  Only 50 slots are available for the bus.  Payment will need to be provided to the church office by Thursday, March 12.   Here is a video about the place and the play itself.
  8. We had a nice evening of fellowship, food, and worship out at the Murray’s place last Sabbath evening for AYA.  IMG_20200222_183149049_HDR
  9. The school had its accreditation visit this week and received a glowing report with only a few recommendations from the visiting team.  Sharon Garner, the team leader, shared how impressed she was with our program, teachers, and principal.  Praise be to God!  IMG_20200225_171331651_HDR

Blessings as you prepare for the coming Sabbath!  Hope to see you tonight.

In His Service,

Pastor Jeremy

Friday, February 21, 2020

Dear Church Family,

In speaking of how to observe the Sabbath with children we read in 2T 583-4:

During a portion of the day, all should have anlukasz-szmigiel-jFCViYFYcus-unsplash opportunity to be out of doors. How can children receive a more correct knowledge of God, and their minds be better impressed, than in spending a portion of their time out of doors, not in play, but in company with their parents? Let their young minds be associated with God in the beautiful scenery of nature, let their attention be called to the tokens of His love to man in His created works, and they will be attracted and interested.

In the news:

  1. This Sabbath I will share the morning message with a sermon entitled, “Forgetting to Remember.”
  2. There will be a fellowship meal this Sabbath as well with the Rojas team hosting. I hear that at least one of the guests from the meetings might come this Sabbath to worship with us.
  3. AYA will be at Mark & Esther Murray’s home at 6:00 p.m. with vespers. Afterwards, there will be a bonfire with roasted vegan marshmallows and veggie hotdogs. If you are planning on attending, call or text 281-352-5651 to RSVP that you are coming and to coordinate what sort of food items to bring. There will also be games such as ping pong and basketball later in the evening.
  4. Last night we canceled the prophecy meeting due to snow. While I notified everyone that the makeup would be on Tuesday night, in further dialogue with the speaker, we elected to instead make it up on Friday night next week.  We have some big topics coming up this next week and didn’t want to crowd too much in on Tuesday night. Thus the meetings will be on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday night this coming week at the Crescent school.  Your prayers and support are much appreciated.unnamed (1)
  5. Remember to catch up on missed presentations, you can visit allaboutprophecy.com.
  6. GAA will be receiving their accreditation visit this coming Monday & Tuesday. Your prayers are appreciated.
  7. Ben Hastings is back home from his successful surgery at the Mayo Clinic and is thankful for all your prayers. Robert is thankful to be done with his chemo and for all the prayers and support he’s received along the way.
  8. Arvo Kanna’s dad who had been battling cancer for some time, passed away at noon today. Arrangements will be announced at a later time.  Please keep the family in your prayers.
  9. Looking ahead, AYA next week will be at 5:30 pm and will feature a program that seeks to relive the history of the Great Controversy. Clarice and Joseph Diaz will take you with pictures on the Reformation and Great Controversy Tour with Dr. Gerard Damsteegt. They will retrace the Adventist heritage in Europe from its roots in Early Christianity, through the Dark Ages, to the Reformation. Experience what it was like to worship in the Waldensian caves and stand where the martyrs died.
  10. Sorry for the error in Wednesday’s email egw-testimonies_9vol-set_largefor the Testimonies reading plan.  Here is the correct link.  Remember, don’t be discouraged if you are behind, just keep reading and let us read through these valuable books.   Ellen White in a dream was instructed with these words regarding the Testimonies God gave to her:“Your success is in your simplicity. As soon as you depart from this, and fashion your testimony to meet the minds of any, your power is gone. Almost everything in this age is glossed and unreal. The world abounds in testimonies given to please and charm for the moment, and to exalt self. Your testimony is of a different character. It is to come down to the minutiae of life, keeping the feeble faith from dying, and pressing home upon believers the necessity of shining as lights in the world.
    “God has given you your testimony, to set before the backslider and the sinner his true condition and the immense loss he is sustaining by continuing a life of sin. God has impressed this upon you by opening it before your vision as He has to no other one now living, and according to the light He has given you will He hold you responsible. ‘Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.’ Lift up your voice like a trumpet, and show My people their transgressions, and the house of Israel their sins.” 2T 608
  11. Also remember that the date for the Waldensian tour and play will be Sabbath, August 8. We will leave after church for a picnic, tour and evening play in Valdese, NC. Pricing is $14 dollars for the play and the tour is $10 dollars for adults, $8 for seniors and $6 for students.  So the total cost for an adult is $24, seniors are $22, and students would be $20.  In order to get a discount on ticketing, you will need to sign up through the church though you can meet us there if you prefer not to ride the bus.  You can secure your spot on the bus and the discounted group rate by signing up on the clipboard at church.  Only 50 slots are available for the bus.  Payment will need to be provided to the church office by Thursday, March 12.

Blessings as you prepare for the coming Sabbath!

In His Service,

Pastor Jeremy