Today we welcome Amy Blumberg to share the message and help us celebrate District Czech Missions, our ministry to the people of the Czech Republic, who are overwhelming atheist. The fall of the Communist regime in Czechoslovakia in 1989 provided Christianity in the Czech and Slovak Republics with a unique opportunity to renew its strength. The task is daunting. Two generations have been indoctrinated with the Marxist idea that religion is the opiate of the masses, leaving the area with the highest rate of atheism in all of Europe. Surveys show that about 70% of the population of the Czech Republic claims no religious affiliation. Nearly 60% of the 1500 members of Methodist churches there have become Christians since the fall of Communism in 1989. The Church is considered by many to be a cult, and Christians are often viewed as lunatics. We and our fellow 65 district United Methodist churches are involved in this ministry through our Johnson City District. Amy is a member of Gray UMC and has served on several mission teams to the Czech Republic.
During our offering, we invite you to give a special offering to go toward our district mission efforts in the Czech Republic. Make a check payable to “Bluff City UMC” and write “District Czech” in the memo line.
Thank you for your ideas and votes about the naming of our new mobile soup feeding ministry. You have determined to name the new ministry: Cups of Love. Most of our volunteer opportunities with this ministry will take just a few hours a week on Saturday. Perhaps you could give that time at least once per month or more. If you would like to volunteer, please talk with Nancy Forrester, our volunteer coordinator, about how you would like to be involved.
Today in worship we celebrate graduates connected to our congregation: John Thomas Ryan.
Leadership & Vision Team meets Tues., May 19, from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm in the Fellowship Hall. Team members are: Nancy Forrester, Lelia Perry, Bobbie Warden, Beverly Smith, Lydia Thompson, Alicia Ronquillo, Jin Lane, Samantha Gray, Kim Lundin, Dan Perry, Tony Lundin, Jack Hurlbert, Bobby Thompson, and Dan Gray.
On Sunday, May 24, we will receive a special missions offering to be given at Annual Conference on behalf of our congregation by Lelia Perry, our Lay Member to Annual Conference. This Annual Conference Mission Offering will be used in ministry with children in poverty in our Holston region. Our conference goal is to raise $10 per person for each worship attendee. See the bulletin insert for more information. Please give generously to share God’s love. In addition, each person is asked to give 10 hours of service this year to children in poverty in our community. One way to fulfill these 10 hours of service is through Cups of Love.
Hands On Mission Project. This year, our district churches will send school kits to Liberia. This is a great project for individuals, families, or small groups. School kits and the $5 shipping donation must be to the church office by 4:00 pm, Tuesday, June 2. Make checks payable to Bluff City UMC. Please see the bulletin insert for more info about the school kits. You can also help by loading the transport truck at the District Office, beginning at 10:00 am on Thursday, June 4.
On Pentecost Sunday, May 24, we will have a combined worship service in the Sanctuary at 10:30 am, and Sunday School at 9:15 am. It will be a special worship time celebrating baptism and Confirmation. Throughout the history of Christ’s Church,
Pentecost has been an important time for baptisms and confirmation. We will remember the significance of our baptisms and baptize anyone not previously baptized who desires to receive the sacrament of baptism. If you are interested in receiving baptism or believe God is leading you to have your infant/child baptized, talk with Pastor Dan.
An Opportunity to Love Your Neighbor. If you care about the 280,000+ Tennesseans who do not have access to health care, it is not too late to help them. A Town Hall meeting is scheduled for May 20, 6:00 in the Fellowship Hall of Munsey Memorial UMC. The issue is not dead; it will come up in the next legislative session. This is an educational event as well as an opportunity to let our representatives in state government know what we are not giving up on providing access to health care. A decision for expanding Medicaid could also save hospitals, as we have already seen hospital closures and cut-backs due to the decision not to expand Medicaid This town hall is one of the many being planned throughout the state.