Friday, May 1, 2020

Dear Church Family,

In this time of social distancing, it’s a good reminder that there is a sacred circle around every family.  This time of sheltering in place has reminded us of the blessings inherent in family, of the joy that is found in the family circle.   It is unfortunate that social customs and traditions in our culture often discourage family time while at the same time heralding its importance.  May this time prove to renew our sense of need for maintaining balance and boundaries with regards to the family circle.  photo-of-woman-baking-near-her-family-3807219May our families move forward from this experience as missionary teams fitted for service for Christ.  For a well-ordered family is one of the greatest missionary units the church can have.  With big and little hands clasped in prayer at family worship, with Christ in the center of the sacred family circle, there’s no telling what great things God can and will do.

There is a sacred circle around every family which should be preserved. No other one has any right in that sacred circle. The husband and wife should be all to each other. The wife should have no secrets to keep from her husband and let others know, and the husband should have no secrets to keep from his wife to relate to others. The heart of his wife should be the grave for the faults of the husband, and the heart of the husband the grave for his wife’s faults. Never should either party indulge in a joke at the expense of the other’s feelings. Never should either the husband or wife in sport or in any other manner complain of each other to others, for frequently indulging in this foolish and what may seem perfectly harmless joking will end in trial with each other and perhaps estrangement. I have been shown that there should be a sacred shield around every family. 

The home circle should be regarded as a sacred place, a symbol of heaven, a mirror in which to reflect ourselves. Friends and acquaintances we may have, but in the home life they are not to meddle. A strong sense of proprietorship should be felt, giving a sense of ease, restfulness, trust.    AH 177

In the news:

  1. Tonight we continue with our Hope Awakens series with John Bradshaw. Here are some stats regarding the series thus far from IIW:  On opening night, we had about 16,000 viewers in spite of the platform crash (that’s because we redirected people to other viewing platforms).  This past weekend we had over 14,000 and 11,000 viewers on Friday and Saturday night respectively. On Friday night, over 1,600 people filled out a decision card via texting. Slider opt 2
  2. This Sabbath our schedule will be bumped up by 15 minutes. So here is the schedule as follows:
    • 9:15 a.m. Prayer Line
    • 9:45 a.m. Sabbath School begins.  (Fred Myers will be teaching.)  Remember to check the church web site for other SS resources for the lower divisions.
    • 10:45 a.m. Announcements & Prayer Time.
    • 11:00 a.m. Our worship service will feature the Hope Awakens Program which will be live-streamed at Hopeawakens.org. You will be able to easily transition from our ZOOM time to the program by clicking the link provided in the chat window.
  3. Remember that Hope Awakens is each Tuesday & Wednesday evening as well as Friday & Saturday evenings at 7 p.m.  It Is Written has suggested that one way that would be helpful in reaching out to your friends on Facebook is to consider holding a watch party on Facebook.  Here is how to set up a watch party via Facebook.
  4. Just a reminder to keep up with your Testimonies for the Churchegw-testimonies_9vol-set_large reading plan. Even if you are behind like our family is, the key is to not give up.  There are so many blessings to be had in these volumes.  Keep reading as God seeks to refine and prepare His remnant people!
  5. We are excited to report that we not only met our goal for the month of April with regards to church budget but it was exceeded by $6,590 dollars which means our year to date budget deficit is only $414 dollars.  May God’s blessings continue to pour forth.  All we can say is praise God!
  6. We have a couple of readings for this Sabbath, one of which we will vote on tomorrow via ZOOM at 10:45 a.m.
    • 1st Reading – Jeremy Wetmore to be Associate Superintendent
    • 2nd Reading Transfer Out – Samantha Spillman to Riverview Community Church, Greeneville, TN
  7. Our church board meeting is scheduled for Monday, May 11, so if you have an item for the board, please contact me or the church office this Monday or Tuesday.  The church board will meet via ZOOM.
  8. Did you see the story in the paper that included a segment featuring our Community Services Center? If you missed it, click on the images below to read more.  Thank you to the awesome team of volunteers that make our CSC such a wonderful light to the community.
  9. Yesterday I joined the Smith family as we laid to rest Brent Smith, Keith Smith’s brother.  While an indoor funeral wasn’t allowed due to COVID-19, we were able to have a service at the graveside with family scattered around the grave.  Please remember the family in your prayers.
  10. Our landscaping in front of the house was dying and overgrown so it was time for a refresh.  The boys planted new bushes in front of the house and mulched it this week.

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Blessings as you prepare for the coming Sabbath. Sabbath begins tonight at 8:19 p.m. and will conclude tomorrow night at 8:20 p.m.

In His Service,

Pastor Jeremy

 

 

 

 

Friday, April 24, 2020

Dear Church Family,

Here is an interesting piece from an article by Ed Reid on what inspiration says regarding the matter of whether one should make restitution on back tithe.

. . . The storehouse can be located and determined by looking at several angles. Evidently, on several occasions folks came to Ellen White asking how to properly make restitution of back tithe. Her experience in Battle Creek was typical: “A decided advancement in spirituality, piety, charity, and activity, has been made as the result of the special meetings in the Battle Creek church. Discourses were preached on the sin of robbing God in tithes and offerings. . . .

Many confessed that they had not paid tithes for years; and we know that God cannot bless those who are robbing Him, and that the church must suffer in consequence of the sins of its individual members. There are a large number of names on the church books; and if all would be prompt in paying an honest tithe to the Lord, which is His portion, the treasury would not lack for means. . . .

“As the sin of robbing God was presented, the people received clearer views of their duty and privilege in this matter. One brother said that for two years he had not paid his tithes, and he was in despair; but as he confessed his sin, he began to gather hope. ‘What shall I do?’ he asked.

“I said, ‘Give your note to the treasurer of the church; that will be businesslike.’

“He thought that was a rather strange request; but he sat down and began to write. ‘For value received, I promise to pay—’ He looked up, as if to say, Is that the proper form in which to write out a note to the Lord?

“‘Yes,’ he continued, ‘for value received. Have I not been receiving the blessings of God day after day? Have not the angels guarded me? Has not the Lord blessed me with all spiritual and temporal blessings? For value received, I promise to pay the sum of $571.50 to the church treasurer.’ After doing all he could do on his part, he was a happy man. In a few days he took up his note, and paid his tithe into the treasury. He had also made a Christmas donation of $125” (Review and Herald, February 10, 1889, in Counsels on Stewardship, pp. 95, 96).

Later, when commenting on this incident Ellen White explained: “He gave his note to the secretary of the conference for the tithe he had withheld and the interest on it” (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p. 643).

“If you have robbed the Lord, make restitution. As far as possible, make the past right, and then ask the Saviour to pardon you” (White, The Faith I Live By, p. 161).

On a very consistent basis Ellen White urged church members to make sure their accounts with God were square at the end of the year. Regarding an experience in Australia, she stated: “One brother, a noble-looking man, a delegate from Tasmania, came to me and said, ‘I am glad I heard you speak today upon tithing. I did not know it was so important a matter. I dare not neglect it longer.’ He is now figuring up the amount of his tithe for the last twenty years, and says he shall pay it all as fast as he is able, for he cannot have robbery of God registered in the books of Heaven meet him in the Judgment.

“One sister belonging to the Melbourne church, has brought in eleven pounds [$54] back tithe which she had not understood that it devolved on her to pay. As they have received the light, many have made confession in regard to their indebtedness to God, and expressed their determination to meet this debt. . . . I proposed that they place in the treasury their note promising to pay the full amount of an honest tithe as soon as they could obtain the money to do so. Many heads bowed in assent, and I am confident that next year we shall not, as now, have an empty treasury” (White, Counsels on Stewardship, pp. 96, 97).

As we might expect, here again, when one wishes to make things right with God, Ellen White counseled to return the tithe to the treasury. She instructed those seeking to make restitution to make a note to the church treasurer or the secretary of the conference in a businesslike manner. She never counseled anyone to just use it for some good cause. . .

In the news:

  1. Remember that tonight marks presentation number 5 in our “Hope Awakens” series with Pastor John Bradshaw. A big thank you to our patient volunteer Bible workers who have faithfully worked through all the technical difficulties and are working to reach out to those who are going through the series. We have 50 interests assigned to our church so far from this effort and our team of Virtual Bible Workers are interacting with them.  You can watch again tonight at 7 p.m. at Hopeawakens.org.   Note that we are using .org now instead of .com.
  2. Remember our prayer line is open each weeknight at 6:30 p.m. and on Sabbath mornings at 9:30 a.m.
  3. Kevin Finley will be leading out in our Sabbath School lesson this Sabbath at 10 a.m. Check your email for the invite or visit the church website to click and join.   Also, note that our Spanish group will be joining us for opening prayer and then will begin their own study discussion in a private break out room via our ZOOM session.
  4. Here is an update for the Kindergarten class. Again, as updates are submitted, I will post them here.
  5. This Sabbath I will be sharing the morning message with another look at the scenes leading up to Christ’s death in part 2 of our series entitled, “A Glimpse Ahead.”   In this series, we are looking at the parallels between Christ’s final hours prior to Calvary and final events preceding the 2nd coming.  Also, Laura Saladino will be sharing the music and John Hawkins will be sharing our children’s story.   If you have trouble at some point with ZOOM during the worship service, you can always utilize our Facebook page or church website to watch the service. We prefer using ZOOM as it is nice to share in the family dynamic of being together in the service.  Last week after the worship program was complete, many of us simply remained online on ZOOM to visit and share in an online foyer type experience. It was a special time. sermon
  6. It’s been asked how long will we continue to not meet together at the church building.  While we are still not sure, I can say that the conference has recommended that at least for now, we not meet until after May 16.  Whether that means the doors will open the following Sabbath remains to be seen.  Only time will tell.
  7. Remember, you can give online via our church website by clicking here.  You will also find a helpful tutorial at this webpage that will guide you through the process of giving online.  Our church budget currently looks like this:churchfinance-4-24
  8. Church Business: 1st Reading Transfers Out: Samantha Spillman to Riverview Community Church, Greeneville TN.  2nd Reading Transfers In: Eduardo & Libia Ines Prada & Eduardo Prada Jr.
  9. Last night I enjoyed leading out in a Bible study via Zoom where two participants were in Jonesborough and one was in Alaska.  I am still amazed by the possibilities that are available to us through the internet.  Speaking of which, soon I hope to share an online version of our Thunder in the Holy Land series where we can lead others in an online Bible study together.  It will serve as a connection to our local church and as a resource for following up with our Hope Awakens series participants.  More details to come.
  10. For those who would like to send some ecards online, Life Talk Radio has some nice options for sharing.  Click here to view their online card gallery.
  11. If you are looking for an easy way to share GLOW tracks and Adventist literature online, here is a helpful resource to consider.
  12. During this stay at home period, we’ve enjoyed working on various projects around the place. Whether it’s sharpening lawn mower blades or trying to get a small engine to run again, it’s been filled with learning opportunities for the boys. One of our projects has been to build a picnic table to replace the old one that collapsed.  After some measuring, sawing, drilling, and assembly, we finished it this week by staining it.  We hope to make many new memories at this table.  Here are a few pictures from life at our place.

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    Blessings as you prepare for the coming sacred hours of the Sabbath!

    In His Service,

    Pastor Jeremy

Friday, April 17, 2020

Dear Church Family,

While we don’t know the future, we have been clearly forewarned that:

There are many who are at ease, who are, as it were, asleep. They say, “If prophecy has foretold the enforcement of Sunday observance the law will surely be enacted,” and having come to this conclusion they sit down in a calm expectation of the event, comforting themselves with the thought that God will protect His people in the day of trouble. But God will not save us if we make no effort to do the work He has committed to our charge.…
As faithful watchmen you should see the sword coming and give the warning, that men and women may not pursue a course through ignorance that they would avoid if they knew the truth.—LDE 127

In the news:

  1. Tonight marks opening night of Hope Awakens. The presentation will begin at 7 pm EST.  However, they will archive the messages if you need to view them later. However, you must register at  HopeAwakens.com to view the presentations, whether live or archived.  Then tonight, you can go to the same site and you will be directed to the site where the program will be offered.  Note that you will sign in for the presentation tonight using the same email address that you used to register for the event.  So please register now if you haven’t done so yet and help us get the word out today.Slider opt 2
  2. Remember that we have a prayer line open each weeknight at 6:30 p.m. for those interested.  We also gather for prayer on Sabbath mornings at 9:30 a.m.  While we use the same number and access code each week, I will send out another email with the information for your convenience.  jack-sharp-OptEsFuZwoQ-unsplash
  3. Some of our SS teachers for the younger ones are providing resources. Here is this week’s lesson from Kindergarten and a nature corner from Primary.  More will be posted online if and when they become available.
  4. Our Sabbath School lesson will be shared by Milton Siepman this Sabbath via Zoom. I will email the NEW ZOOM room link to you via email later today.  If you never got your Sabbath school lesson, you can stop by the church on Monday or Tuesday to pick it up or if needed, call the office to have it mailed to you.  (The reason for the new ZOOM link is because our month subscription was set to expire soon and I was able to create a new account with a discounted rate through our North American Division which offers us extra features.  We had 70 devices logged in to Zoom last Sabbath at one point during the worship service.  That represents a gathering of well over a hundred.)
  5. Pastor Jared will have another family devotional available this Sabbath.  It will be available by clicking on the worship tab on our church homepage.
  6. I will be sharing the message this Sabbath. This Sabbath we will look at the arrest of Jesus and seek to glean there A Glimpse Ahead to the closing scenes of church history prior to the 2nd Coming.  This is the 1st of a two-part series entitled, “A Glimpse Ahead.”sermon
  7. This helpful document from the North American Division lists several helpful online tools that you might like to consider. It was shared by their IT director and something helpful I learned from it is a handy little phone app called SIGNAL.  It is for text messaging and is much more secure than what most of us typically use for texting.  It has the ability to encrypt your messages and having installed it, I really like it and have made it my default app for texting.  It’s a painless transition and imports all your previous messages.
  8. Prayer Meeting will be discontinued until May 20 due to the Hope Awakens series which we are participating in.  Remember, Hope Awakens is at 7pm on Friday, Saturday, Tuesday, and Wednesday each week.
  9. Here is a free sharing resource from Signs of the Times.  Please share it far and wide.
  10. ARISE online training school is offering a free 60-day access to all their training materials which usually requires a fee. You will have over 180 hours of material made available for free. To access the material click here.  This offer expires April 26.
  11. Wildwood has a special offer for those interested in their training program.  Virtual Session ad (1)
  12. Finally, we as a church as of the end of March had a decline in tithe by 22% and our church budget suffered a decline of roughly 3%.  We will be curious to see what the results are for April. Some are perhaps concerned about online giving but this is a preferred method during this time of crisis.  Some are concerned about the security of online giving but the truth of the matter is your information is already pushed through the internet by banks and government.  Some are concerned with the cost to the church of using this method.  While the local church doesn’t bear the cost, the cost is minimal if you use the preferred method of a bank draft.  I personally have my tithe and offering set up for automatic withdrawal twice a month.  The cost associated with such a draft is only 0.45 cents per draft I was told this week by our conference president, Gary Rustad.  While you can use credit card, it’s not preferred because the conference incurs much greater fees.  Click here to learn more about how to use this online option.

Blessings as you prepare for the coming Sabbath!

In His Service,

Pastor Jeremy

Friday, April 10, 2020

Dear Church Family,

No doubt this self-quarantine time has disrupted your 92281561_10221145044997888_1763787702320234496_olife and schedule dramatically but hopefully you are beginning to sense some of the very real blessings and opportunities it has afforded you  I know our family has enjoyed working on various projects around the house and outside and after some yard work shared in a brief time of rest around the burn pile.  I hope you are able to savor these special times with your family during this shelter in place time.

I would like to share a great resource with our families at Greeneville.  Paul & Carolyn Raynes have a great website called The Home Place  where you can discover lots of helpful wisdom and guidance in childrearing and home management as well as other topics.  They also have a Home Place YouTube channel that is helpful for easily picking out what videos you might enjoy watching for inspiration and encouragement  It’s well worth looking at.  Here is an example of one of their videos.

In the news:

  1. Mark Murray will be leading out in a Sabbath school study and discussion of the lesson this Sabbath at 10 a.m. on ZOOM.  Watch your email for the invite. Note it is the same ZOOM room as last week.
  2. I will be sharing the message again this Sabbath with a look at the resurrection as recorded in John 20.  The service will again be via ZOOM.  Here is last week’s message.
  3. Pastor Jared has another family devotional for this Sabbath which can be accessed here or by viewing below.
  4. Kindergarten has another program for the kids this week which can be accessed here or seen below.
  5. Our mid-week study on the book of Romans had a great turn out this week on ZOOM and we shared in some great discussion. I was encouraged to see more participation this week and engagement in the discussion. I think we are becoming more comfortable using this ZOOM platform.
  6. Training began this week for our HOPE AWAKENS series with It Is Written.  We have around 610 churches partnering with IIW in this endeavor with 1300 virtual Bible Workers.   Opening night is just one week away and I would remind all our virtual Bible workers to check their email and complete their online training before next Friday.  Please let me know if you are not getting your emails from It Is Written so I can make the corrections on Monday.  For those who aren’t volunteers but who would like to participate in the series, simply visit HopeAwakens.com and register today.  Also, invite your friends and family to join in by signing up.  Simply copy the picture below and send them an invite with the link or share via Facebook. Slider opt 2
  7. Just a reminder that each weeknight at 6:30 p.m. there is a prayer line. We will send out the email again today along with a phone call with the number.
  8. This was an interesting article about Sunday closure laws that was shared with me this past Sabbath. And then the Pope’s interesting remarks about the environment and COVID-19.  Indeed, these are interesting times.
  9. Just a reminder that our spring retreat has been canceled for this year as have the camp meetings that were scheduled this summer and fall.
  10. Regarding our church camp out as well as our Waldensian tour & play, we will notify you in the coming weeks as to whether we will move forward with it or not.  Those dates are still aways off.  If you have yet to pay, please hold off on doing so for now and for those who already paid, we will simply hold the money until a final decision is made.

Blessings as you prepare for the coming Sabbath!

In His Service,

Pastor Jeremy

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