News and Announcements for the Week of March 16

Lent is a season of forty days, not counting Sundays, which began on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday, the day before Easter Sunday.  Lent comes from the Anglo Saxon word lencten, which means “spring.”  The forty days represents the time Jesus spent in the wilderness, enduring the temptation of Satan.  Lent is a time of repentance, fasting and preparation for the coming of Easter. It is a time of self-examination and reflection.  In the early church, Lent was a time to prepare new converts for baptism.  Today, Christians focus on their relationship with God, often choosing to give up something or to volunteer and give of themselves for others.  Sundays in Lent are not counted in the forty days because each Sunday represents a “mini-Easter” and the reverent spirit of Lent is tempered with joyful anticipation of the Resurrection.

During our worship services in Lent, our children will be collecting change to give to Change for Children, one of our Holston Conference ministries.  Each year, churches give loose change to benefit children’s ministries in our Holston Conference region and in Africa.   And each year, several groups receive that pocket change in the form of grants.  Change for Children grants support new and existing ministries with economically disadvantaged children, from birth to age 12, and their families.  Holston churches and related United Methodist agencies are eligible for these funds.

30 Pieces of Silver.  During Lent, you are invited to set aside your silver coins in a bag, jar, or whatever container you wish, and then bring the container full of silver coins to the altar during worship on Easter Sunday, April 20.  You generosity will support the missions of our congregation.

Join us for lunch TODAY following the 11 am worship service, for a delicious meal and good time in the Fellowship Hall!  The lunch is being sponsored by the youth group as a fundraiser.

The Cowan Property Ad Hoc Team meets TODAY at 1:30 pm in the Willing Worker Classroom.  Team members are Beverly Smith, Nancy Forrester, Mike Miller, Jack Hurlbert, Tony Lundin, and Dan Gray.

Witness Team (formerly known as Evangelism Team) meets Monday, March 17 at 6:30 pm in the Willing Worker Classroom.  Team members are: Mike Miller, Dan Gray, Herman Carrier, Joan Williams, Jin Lane and Carole Miller.  Bobbie Warden is the 2014 Chair.

Staff Parish Relations Committee meets Tuesday, March 18 at 6:30 pm in the Willing Worker Classroom.  Team members are: Alicia Ronquillo, Frosty Sweet, Herman Carrier, Kathy Hurlbert, Ike Fleenor, Bobby Thompson, Linda Rader, Michael Forrester, Mike Miller, Nancy Forrest, Dan Gary.  Judy Finney is the 2014 Chair.

Life Group meets Thursday, March 20 at 6:30 pm.

We hope you have noticed the beautiful new flooring in the Wesley Center and the Christian Life Center entrance, which is part of our Hospitality – Inward, Outward & Upward campaign to become a more welcoming congregation.  As part of this effort, our Church Council decided to rename the Education Building to Christian Life Center.  We think this new name sounds more inviting and better represents a more holistic approach to spiritual growth, i.e., that growth toward spiritual maturity is broader than education.  Thanks to the many people who have put in hours and hours of volunteer work into renewing our facilities!  And thanks to all who have contributed financially to our campaign.  Our next phase of the Hospitality campaign is to replace the old marquee outside of the Sanctuary with a new electronic marquee.  Please consider your contributions to helping us improve our facilities to become a more welcoming congregation.  You can make a check payable to the church and mark “Hospitality Campaign” in the memo line.

At the February 16 Church Council meeting, the Council approved pursuing purchase of the neighboring Cowan property, 476 Cedar St., Bluff City.  We will have a church-wide meeting as a called Church Conference on Tues., March 24 at 6:30 pm in the Fellowship Hall to consider purchase of the property; financing options available including the possibility of a mortgage of existing church property; and your thoughts about the best use of the property.  All professing members of our church who are present may vote.

Previous Church Council action approved a memorial gift policy which provides that a memorial gift may be designated by the donor to a particular designated fund; and that any undesignated memorial gift will go into our General Fund to support our budgeted ministries.

Thank you so much for helping send us to the Holy Land!  It was truly an amazing experience to be in the places that Jesus walked and taught, lived, was crucified and resurrected.  We will forever remember this trip and its profound impact on our faith, and your part in making it happen.  With much gratitude and love, Pastor Dan and Samantha

May Graduates, high school or college, please see Meghan Burke by Sunday, March 30.

 

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