News and Announcements for the Week of March 23

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.

Evangelism/Witness Team will meet to finalize Easter Egg Hunt plans on Monday, March 31 at 6:30 PM in the Willing Workers Classroom.  Members are:  Melissa Perkins, Herman Carrier, Mike Miller, Jin Lane, Joan Williams, Carole Miller and Shaun Stanz.  Bobbie Warden is the 2014 Chair.

CHILDREN’S EASTER CELEBRATION will be held Saturday, April 19, 2014 from 11:30 am to 2pm.  Please donate non-chocolate and peanut-free candy.  There is a box at the Wesley Center and one in the Communication Center for candy collecting.

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 Monday, 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.

Cluster will meet Sunday, March 30 at Elizabeth Chapel UMC at 6:00 PM.

Rental of our parsonage is being handled by T. C. Lewis Property Management.  If you know someone interested, have them call 423-467-0005.

Graduates—If you have a child who will be graduating from high school or college  this year,  please give their names to Meghan Burke by Sunday, March 30.

Learn About Our Sister Camps—  On Sunday, March 23 at 2:30 PM, meet the staff from Camp Dickenson and Camp Wesley Woods at Munsey UMC.  While Buffalo Mountain Camp is being renovated, now would be a good time to experience one of our other camps.  Come hear and see what makes each one of these camps special .  This summer, transportation will be provided to these camps from Johnson City.

United Methodist Men—Day with the Bishop—Saturday, March 29th, 9am-2pm, Middlebrook Pike UMC, Knoxville, TN. Bishop Mary Virginia Taylor will be there for a day of celebration, fellowship,

encouragement, and worship as we meet to reflect on the past year and focus on our opportunities and challenges in the year ahead.  This event is for everyone who is involved in ministry with or for men in their church or want to learn how to begin to be.  The event includes a catered lunch.  For information and registration go to:  http://umm.holston.org.

 

 

 

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