Friday, June 19, 2020

Dear Church Family,

I am not sure I had ever heard this song before but I heard it this week and was so touched by it I wanted to share it with you.  It’s message seems timely given the loss (I am participating in three memorials this week), cancer, COVID-19, and riots, and the like.  I hope it touches you like it did me.  When He comes, He will be right on time!!

In the news:

  1. Here are the arrangements for Sabbath School this week which begins at 9:30 A.M.:
    1. All the Children’s divisions will have their regular Sabbath School programs this Sabbath.
    2. Preliminaries will begin at 9:30 A.M.
    3. There will be a joint lesson study in the Sanctuary led by David Green.
    4. Ken Mathews will lead his class in a larger classroom in the fellowship hall so as to allow for social distancing.
    5. For those not able to attend right now, Milton Siepman will lead out in a lesson study via ZOOM at 9:30 a.m.
  2. Sabbath School Quarterlies can be picked up from the Literature room before Sabbath School starts and 15 minutes after worship service.
  3. This Sabbath Pastor Jared will be speaking as well as baptizing his son, Gabriel during the worship hour.
  4. Note that the worship service will be live streamed and can be accessed via the Live Stream button non our church home page.
  5. No fellowship meal due to COVID-19.
  6. There will be no AYA this week.
  7. It was a special evening last night as GAA celebrated their first annual Senior Graduation. We had four seniors and are thankful and blessed to have a full k-12 program in our community.

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  8. GAA will be having a yard sale on July 26 and they are accepting donations at this time. All donations can be dropped off at the Pathfinder room next door to the Community Services Center. Please contact Lee or Kirstin Elliott to arrange for a time for drop off. Also, they are looking for volunteers to help set up on the 26th.
  9. Diane Emde’s memorial service will be tomorrow at 4 p.m. at the church with live streaming of the service.  Please keep the family in your prayers.
  10. The church camp out is still planned for this summer. Remember that for those who would like to participate, the dates are July 31-August 2. Please reserve your campsite at Cades Cove beginning with the A and B sections.
  11. Here’s one more presentation that Rhoda, our health ministries leader wanted me to share with you.
  12. Sandra Lawing requests your prayers as she prepares for surgery next Friday.  She is classified as high risk she said and is a little apprehensive but trusting in the Lord.   The reason for her surgery is because it was discovered she has uterine cancer.  Next Friday is also Shawn’s 23rd birthday.

Blessings as you prepare for the coming Sabbath!

In His Service,

Pastor Jeremy

Friday, June 12, 2020

Dear Church Family,

A beautiful reality:

A knowledge of the truth depends not so much upon strength of intellect as upon pureness of purpose, the simplicity of an earnest, dependent faith. To those who in humility of heart seek for divine guidance, angels of God draw near. The Holy Spirit is given to open to them the rich treasures of the truth.  COL 59

In the news:

  1. After nearly 3 months of having church online, we will finally gather at the church this Sabbath for Sabbath school and worship.  As we prepare to gather back together for fellowship and worship, here is a helpful document from our COVID-19 subcommittee and below are some general principles to remember.  No one is out to police this but we ask for your helpful cooperation so that as many as possible can feel safe and welcome at church during this pandemic.
    • Everyone is asked to practice social distancing which means we need to sit at least 6 feet apart in the sanctuary from others families or members.
    • Avoid hugs and handshakes for the time being.
    • No fellowship lunches.
    • Masks are suggested but not required.
    • The board has elected to avoid congregational singing now.  Here is a story that illustrates why.
  2. This Sabbath we will resume our regular schedule of services at the church.  This will be the schedule for Sabbath:
    • 9:30 a.m. – Sabbath school begins in the sanctuary and children’s & youth divisions will resume in their various classrooms with the exception of Kindergarten which will not resume this week. There will be one joint lesson study in the sanctuary following the preliminaries this Sabbath.
    • 9:30 a.m. – Milton Siepman will lead out in an online ZOOM Sabbath School lesson studyfor those who are not able to be at church this Sabbath.
    • 10:45 a.m. – Marva Wente will share a brief organ concert between Sabbath School and church.  Note that this and the worship service will be streamed via Youtube.  You can access this via our worship link on the church homepage.
    • 11:00 a.m. – We will share in morning worship in the sanctuary which will also be streamed for those who are unable to attend. Again, visit the church webpage and click on the worship link to access the stream.  We will continue our series on Elijah with a message entitled, “Faithful Rebuke.”
    • 4:00 p.m. – Lisa Johnson will be baptized this Sabbath at Paint Creek. We hope you can come out and join us for this special celebration.
    • 8:00 p.m. – AYA will resume with Dan Sanford and friends sharing beautiful gospel music.
  3. Kathy Bumgardner passed away in her sleep this past Wednesday morning and we are all still in a bit of shock. A memorial service has been planned for next Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the church.  In lieu of flowers, the family is asking that donations be made to our Community Services Center. As you know, Kathy was our CSC leader and so the whole CSC team has been greatly affected. The CSC will be closed next week.
  4. Our mid-week prayer meeting service via zoom will therefore not meet this week due to the scheduled memorial service on the same night. We will resume our study on Romans the following week.
  5. Our first senior graduation at Greeneville Adventist Acadewoman-in-black-long-sleeve-dress-standing-on-brown-concrete-3186386my will be held at the school gym on Thursday, June 18, at 6:00 P.M. Everyone is invited, and masks are encouraged.  Congratulations to our seniors Shoshanna Grenti, Camille Martinez Ortiz, Nicolas Miller, and Raimey Talbert!
  6. The church camp out is still planned for this summer. Remember that for those who would like to participate, the dates are July 31-August 2.  Please reserve your campsite at Cades Cove beginning with the A and B sections.
  7. The Waldensian tour and play is still being planned for. However, the bus will not be an option for us.  So we will need to carpool.  We are currently still planning for August 8 but will confirm this in a week or two when I get confirmation from the staff.
  8. We had a great turn out for dinner with the doctor this week with around 50+ people I am estimating.  While there was no dinner, guests got to go home with a nice sack lunch.
  9. Here is another helpful video from Adventist World Radio regarding COVID-19:

In His Service,

Pastor Jeremy

Friday, June 5, 2020

Dear Church Family,

With all that’s been in the news lately, I found this article by Wintley Phipps to be very powerful and sobering.  As a white man, I have no clue.  I remember in seminary when one of my African American friends shared with me what it’s like to be pulled over while driving just because of the color of your skin.  I couldn’t believe my ears as he relayed his experience.

As we approach the 4th of July and celebrate our independence, may we remember that freedom is still not fully realized by many, regardless of color, and according to inspiration, slavery will still be with us in the last days?

In the news:

  1. The schedule for this Sabbath is as follows:
    1. 9:30 a.m. – Prayer Line
    2. 10 a.m. – Sabbath School with Milton Siepman leading out.
    3. 11 a.m. – Worship hour with part 2 in our Elijah series entitled “Make Ready”
  2. Our health ministries leader, Rhoda Kanna asked that I share another helpful video presentation with you from AWR.  Please take some time and check it out.:
  3. Greeneville Adventist Academy will be having a yard sale on July 26 for our PFE program that benefits our worthy students. They will be looking for donations of items and volunteer labor.  Information on where items can be brought will be provided in the next couple of weeks.
  4. The church board will be meeting via ZOOM this coming Monday evening at 7:15 p.m. to discuss several matters including the matter of when to re-open for services.
  5. Dinner with the Doctor is scheduled for this coming Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.  Everyone who would like to attend is asked to register by calling the church office this Monday morning. The reason for the registration is because even though there will not be a dinner that evening due to COVID-19, they hope to send home sack lunches to participants.  IMG_20200528_125452065
  6. As we try to ascertain what kind of attendance we may expect as we consider when to re-open, we would like to gain your input. Therefore at 6:30 p.m. or shortly thereafter this Sunday evening, we will send out a church-cast to survey how many would attend services if we were to open in the next week or two.  Please respond to the phone vote by pressing 1 if you would consider it, or 2 if you would not be able to come due to COVID-19. The 1 question phone survey will be taken on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. or shortly thereafter.  Please participate. 
  7. Each Wednesday evening we are sharing in prayer time and a study of the book of Romans via ZOOM. All are welcome.  We will look at Romans 3 this coming week.
  8. Our church budget ended in the negative in May with a $5,168 deficit for the month. Our YTD deficit is $5,582 dollars.
  9. Early last Sunday morning, Diane Emde passed away after her battle with ALS.  Thankfully she passed away in a peaceful manner and was able to enjoy time with the family as recently as Memorial day.  There will be a memorial service at the church on Sabbath, June 20 at 4 p.m.  All are invited to attend.  Please remember the family in your prayers.
  10. Dr. Norman McNulty who has been to our church a couple times recently began a series on Last Day Events that is being shared via Audioverse. I heard the first presentation and it is very well done and solid.  I am looking forward to the coming presentations.   I would encourage you to check it out. Click here to learn more.
  11. Also on Audioverse is a story entitled, “NOW!”  This story about the final days might be something you would like to listen to as a family for worship as you consider and discuss what is coming.   I remember hearing it at school when I was a kid and the deep impression it had on me.   Our boys just heard it and were deeply moved.
  12. Have you been enjoying some garden time this Spring?  We’ve been enjoying greens lately and had such an abundance that we went around and shared with the neighbors. The boys came up with the idea of letting them pick which greens they wanted out of the wagon, Kale, Cabbage, or Broccoli Greens.

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Blessings as you prepare for the coming Sabbath!

In His Service,

Pastor Jeremy

Friday, May 29, 2020

Dear Church Family,

As we see the news unfolding before us, we are reminded of Christ’s soon coming.  But let us remember, God is looking for a faithful people. He could have already come by now but His people were not ready.  May we learn from our past and earnestly seek Him rather than allow ourselves to be distracted by the news around us.  With all the news and commentary on the internet and social media, it is tempting to allow it to direct the thoughts of our lives but we must be vigilant to keep our eyes focused on Christ and His glory.  We are counseled:

The mental faculties must be kept under the control of the will and the mind not allowed to wander or become distracted with a variety of subjects at a time, being thorough in none.  4T 414.

Ministry of Healing 246 says:

The power of the will is not valued as it should be. Let the will be kept awake and rightly directed, and it will impart energy to the whole being and will be a wonderful aid in the maintenance of health. It is a power also in dealing with disease. Exercised in the right direction, it would control the imagination and be a potent means of resisting and overcoming disease of both mind and body.

Yes, let us be careful stewards of our minds understanding the promise of Romans 12:2 – And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God

In the news:

  1. This morning I enjoyed sharing a vespers message with the Pasay Central Church in the Philippines where we visited a couple of years ago in a mission trip with It Is Written. I shared via ZOOM at 7:30 a.m. this morning as they are 12 hours ahead of us.
  2. This Sabbath our services will again be on the telephone and ZOOM. Here is the schedule.
    • 9:30 a.m. – Prayer Line
    • 10:00 a.m. Sabbath School with Harry Nelson leading out.
    • 11:00 a.m. – Worship Time with Pastor Jared sharing the message.
  3. This Sunday beginning at 7 p.m., a new prophecy series is beginning with Adventist World Radio entitled, “Unlocking Bible Prophecies.” This is a great follow up to our recent Hope Awakens series. I would encourage you to share the information with your friends and neighbors.  More information can be found at https://bible.awr.org/   
  4. Dinner with the Doctor will be offered on Tuesday, June 9 at 6:30 p.m. at the church. Note that there will not be a dinner that evening due to COVID-19 but there will be a presentation offered in the sanctuary.IMG_20200528_125452065
  5. Remember that our Georgia Cumberland camp meeting is currently taking place online via this link. There are evening presentations at 7 p.m. as well as the Science Zone and crafts for kids.
  6. Prayer Meeting resumed this week and will continue next week as we continue our study of chapter 2.  We meet via ZOOM which can be accessed by our email or the link on our web page.
  7. Kathy Seeley shared with me that LaVonna Gillham passed away a week ago last weekend.  She both taught and served as a principal at GAA for a time back in the 1980’s and was well-loved.   Please remember the family in your prayers.
  8. I learned this week of a special offer at Sam’s Club that some of you may be interested in. If you are not a member but would like to be one, you can join for $45 dollars and immediately receive a free $45 dollar in-store credit making your year membership virtually free. I just wanted to pass along the savings to those who might be interested.  Here is a link for the offer.

Blessings as you prepare for the coming Sabbath.

In His Service,

Pastor Jeremy

 

Friday, May 22, 2020

Dear Church Family,

Ken Mathews shared the following with me this week and I thought I would pass it along. Beautiful when remembered as a promise!

Those who believe on Christ and obey His commandments are not under bondage to God’s law; for to those who believe and obey, His law is not a law of bondage, but of liberty. Everyone who believes on Christeveryone who relies on the keeping power of a risen Saviour that has suffered the penalty pronounced upon the transgressor, everyone who resists temptation and in the midst of evil copies the pattern given in the Christ-life, will through faith in the atoning sacrifice of Christ become a partaker of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

Everyone who by faith obeys God’s commandments, will reach the condition of sinlessness in which Adam lived before his transgression.  {ST, July 23, 1902 par. 14}

Let those who feel inclined to make a high profession of holiness look into the mirror of God’s law. As they see its far-reaching claims, and understand its work as a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart, they will not boast of sinlessness. “If we,” says John, not separating himself from his brethren, “say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” “If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.” “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:8, 10, 9.  {AA 562.2} 

In the news:

  1. This Sabbath we will resume with our regular online schedule for prayer, Sabbath school and the worship hour.
    • 9:30 a.m. – Prayer Line via telephone.
    • 10 a.m. – Sabbath School with Kevin Finley via ZOOM.
    • 11 a.m. – Worship time with Pastor Jeremy sharing the message via ZOOM.
  2. This Sabbath we will begin a new sermon series entitled, “Make Ready!” If we as a people have been given an Elijah message, surely the story of Elijah is relevant to our lives today.  Indeed, his story is rich with typology and lessons for us living in these last days.  Yes, it is time to “Make Ready!”  Picture5
  3. Under normal circumstances, we would be going to camp meeting next week but due to COVID-19, there will be no Junaluska or Georgia-Cumberland camp-meetings.  However, Georgia-Cumberland has elected to have a condensed version online.  The 2020 GCC Called to Serve Online Camp Meeting  will gather online each evening, May 28-30, at 7 p.m.! Featured speakers will be Gary Rustad, Chester Clark III, and Victor Maddox. Click the below link for more details on the program and how to watch the live stream.
  4. It was a graduation like no other I have ever been to.  The GAA 8th graders had their graduation service this past Wednesday and while family and faculty were the only ones permitted to attend due to COVID-19, Pastor Jared, Pastor Jason, & myself were able to attend as well.  Everyone wore masks and sat in rows that were distanced apart.  It was a special evening.
  5. Just a reminder that due to the fact that all our services are online right now and there are no services at the church, please utilize our online giving for your tithes and offerings or simply bring your offerings by the church where they can be placed in the safe.  Here’s our current financial picture for the month of May:
                  Actual             Budget           Needed
    May      $12,101           $27,275             $15,174
    YTD       $120,787         $136,375         $15,588
  6. Our health ministries leader, Rhoda Kanna asked that I share this helpful video presentation with you from AWR.  Please take some time and check it out.
  7. GAA will be having a yard sale on July 26 for our Partnering For Eternity (PFE) program that benefits our worthy students.  They will be looking for donations of items and volunteer labor.  Information on where items can be brought will be provided in the next couple of weeks.
  8. Now that Hope Awakens has concluded, we are beginning a Hope Awakens Community meeting tonight via Zoom for those who showed interest from the community.  It will be at 7 p.m. via ZOOM and Pastor Jared will be leading out. Our volunteer Bible Workers have helped us in getting the word out to their interests. Your prayers are appreciated.

Blessings as you prepare for the coming Sabbath!

In His Service,

Pastor Jeremy

Friday, May 15, 2020

Dear Church Family,

The prophet saw “four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.” Another angel, ascending from the east, cried to them, saying, “Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.” This points out the work we now have to do, which is to cry to God for the angels to hold the four winds until missionaries shall be sent to all parts of the world, and shall have proclaimed the warning against disobeying the law of Jehovah.—The Review and Herald Extra, December 11, 1888. CLD 5.1

I asked my accompanying angel the meaning of what I heard, and what the four angels were about to do. He said to me that it was God that restrained the powers, and that He gave His angels charge over things on the earth; that the four angels had power from God to hold the four winds, and that they were about to let them go; but while their hands were loosening, and the four winds were about to blow, the merciful eye of Jesus gazed on the remnant that were not sealed, and He raised His hands to the Father and pleaded with Him that He had spilled His blood for them. Then another angel was commissioned to fly swiftly to the four angels and bid them hold, until the servants of God were sealed with the seal of the living God in their foreheads.—Early Writings, 38. CLD 5.2

My dear brethren and sisters, let the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ be in your minds continually and let them crowd out worldly thoughts and cares. When you lie down and when you rise up, let them be your meditation. Live and act wholly in reference to the coming of the Son of man. The sealing time is very short, and will soon be over. Now is the time, while the four angels are holding the four winds, to make our calling and election sure.—Early Writings, 58. 

In the news:

  1. Tonight Hope Awakens will continue with a look at the topic of Heaven.  I will be interviewed by Pastor Bradshaw briefly on tonight’s episode about our upcoming Hope Awakens Community group.  See the announcement further below.Slider opt 2
  2. Our services will proceed as such this Sabbath:
    • 9:15 a.m. – Prayer Line. Watch your email for the phone number and access code.
    • 9:45 a.m. – Sabbath School will be led by Mark Murray this Sabbath.
    • 10:45 a.m. – Church news and prayer time.
    • 11:00 a.m. – John Bradshaw will be sharing his testimony at 11 a.m. for this final presentation of Hope Awakens. We will resume our normal ZOOM schedule and worship program on Sabbath May 23.  There will be no services at the church.
  3. The church board met this week and voted to continue our Sabbath school & worship services and other church-related meetings online for now.   Unless circumstances change, we will discuss this matter of when to re-open at our next board meeting on June 8.  For now, we will continue meeting on ZOOM and will provide a stream on Facebook.  A couple of you shared the following story with me which illustrates the need for real caution.
  4. We laid Allen (Buck) Conner to rest this week. After being weakened by cancer, pneumonia proved too much for him and he passed away on Sunday. Please keep the family in your prayers.
  5. Next Friday, Pastor Jared will lead out via ZOOM in a Hope Awakens Community group for those who attended Hope Awakens in our area. Please pray that those in our area who watched Hope Awakens will respond to the invite.   Our first meeting is Friday, May 22 at 7 p.m.
  6. The Community Services Center plans to open up its clothing and other services on June 15 by just letting in a few people at a time but they plan to continue with the drive-through for food pick up as they have been doing since COVID-19 began.
  7. The school will have their 8th-grade graduation this coming Wednesday and while the church and community aren’t invited due to COVID-19, they will still be able to march and have some of their family members attend along with faculty.   Senior graduation has been delayed until June  18.  Both will be live-streamed via the Greeneville Adventist Academy Facebook page.
  8. Due to graduation, prayer meeting will be delayed by one week and will resume May 27 at 7 p.m. with our study on Romans.
  9. I had the privilege this morning of joining in the Pasay Central church vespers program (they are 12 hours ahead of us).   This was the church we worked with a couple of years ago when we did a mission program with It Is Written.   I will be sharing their worship talk on the 29th of May. Pastor Rick Greve shared today.  The Philippine people are such a sweet people group.

Blessings as you prepare for the coming Sabbath!

In His Service,

Pastor Jeremy

Friday, May 8, 2020

Dear Church Family,

While there are lots of theories out there associated with the COVID-19 virus, let us remember that we have a sound message of truth that has stood the test of time and it is the message for the hour.  Let us, therefore, be very cautious at dwelling upon and sharing questionable theories, especially with people outside our faith.  No doubt some so-called conspiracy theories may contain a degree of truth for that is how deception works best.

One rather compelling video was making its rounds this week which SNOPES & Politifact indicate has many discrepancies associated with it.  I am not here to argue either side of this story but to simply suggest that we be very cautious about associating ourselves with so-called or labeled conspiracy theories. Why?  Because it quickly labels us which weakens our witness for Christ.  Just as date setting endangers our witness, so clinging to fringe theories and such can distract and disrupt our witness.  We’ve been told to herald the Three Angels Messages which first heralds good news and then issues warning.  Let’s stick with Scripture, with truth and not theory, for truth will stand the test of time whereas theories usually evaporate with time.

“Our work is not to make a raid on the Government but to prepare a people to stand in the great day of the Lord. The fewer attacks we make on authorities and powers, the more work will we do for God . . . Do all in your power to reflect the light, but do not speak words that will irritate or provoke.”  EV 173

“I have been shown that it is the device of the enemy to divert men’s minds to some obscure or unimportant point, something that is not fully revealed or is not essential to salvation. This is made the absorbing theme, the “present truth,” when all the investigations and suppositions only serve to make matters more obscure and to confuse the minds of some who ought to be seeking for oneness through sanctification of the truth”  EV 182

Remember, our warning message actually includes an uncovering of one of the greatest conspiracies known to man, of the sinister deceptions of a fallen angel.  Wouldn’t it make sense then that Satan would try to divert the honest-hearted from the truth by introducing and inundating us with new and intriguing conspiracy theories that blend truth with error?  Eve bought into it.  Let us learn from her mistake.   Therefore, let us stick closely to the script of Scripture in heralding our message, and stick with what we do know and not with what we don’t know.  Only the Truth can set us free.

In the news:

  1. Remember that Hope Awakens continues tonight with a presentation at 7 p.m. via hopeawakens.org.
  2. Here is the schedule of events for this Sabbath!
    1. 9:15 a.m. Prayer Line  Watch your email for the phone # and access code.
    2. 9:45 a.m. Sabbath School with Jeremy Wetmore leading out.  Watch your email for the ZOOM link.
    3. 10:45 a.m. Announcements & Prayer Time
    4. 11:00 a.m. Hope Awakens
  3. Church board will meet this Monday evening at 7:15 p.m. via ZOOM. Watch for your invitation to arrive in your email on Monday.  Note there will be NO Finance Committee this time.
  4. This Sabbath we will vote on the following nomination:2nd Reading  Jeremy Wetmore to be Associate Superintendent
  5. You may be wondering when we are going to be opening the church back up for Sabbath School and Church.  Our church appointed a COVID-19 subcommittee back in march and they are preparing a recommendation for our church board which will be meeting this Monday.  We intend to remain closed at least through the 16th of May based on conference recommendation.
  6. Congratulations to all our graduates this year. Some of thewoman-in-black-long-sleeve-dress-standing-on-brown-concrete-3186386 celebrations have had to be a bit constrained due to COVID-19 but it in no way implies that the accomplishment is any less significant.  Here is a list of the graduates for 2020.
  7. Ron Turk shared this update regarding his health. Please keep him in prayer as he undergoes treatment next week:  I just want you to know that my lung cancer has spread to the left lower lobe of my lung according to my last CT scan on April 22. I will receive SABR (stereotactic ablative radiation) for five days next week as I did in August 2019, nine months ago. The  SABR destroyed the cancer in the right upper lobe then and we expect it to destroy the new mass in the left lower lobe. 

In many ways I have been blessed. I have never had any symptoms from the cancer. I had none when diagnosed before I had my surgery in October 2018, none before my radiation to the right upper lobe of the lung August 2019, and none now. I went 10 months before the first metastasis and I have gone 9 months this time. I had no side effects from the first radiation therapy and I do not expect to have any this time.

  1. Sherry Edwards appreciates your prayers as she fractured her right foot about a week ago after falling while trying to get in the car. Her niece who lives with her is caring for her and Sherry is scheduled to see the doctor on Monday.

Blessings as you prepare for the coming Sabbath!

In His Service,

Pastor Jeremy

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