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Sharing Shop Needs

With the second location of the Sharing Shop now up and running at Vestal UMC as part of the Beacon of Hope Ministry, there are several current needs for donations.

-Size 8 men's tennis shoes
-Diapers-sizes 5 and 6
-Children's hangers
-Dishwashing liquid
-Toilet paper
-Men's summer shirts and pants

You may bring these items to the Sharing Shop donation bin located in the hallway outside the kitchen, across from room 118. Thank you for your continued support of the Sharing Shop!

Posted: April 29, 2014 01:25 PM
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Join Us For Evensong

Please join us for a time of worship and music, presented by our Youth and Children?s Choirs on Sunday, May 4, at 6 p.m. in the Nave. The service will include hymns, prayers, ure and anthems. Prior to the service, dinner will be served at 5 p.m. in Parish Hall. Please make dinner reservations by calling the church office at 524-3048 or e-mailing by Thursday, May 1.

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Posted: April 28, 2014 11:23 AM
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Small Group for Moms Meets Tomorrow

The new small group for moms will meet on Friday, April 25, from 9:45-11:45 a.m. in the Parlor (room 103). Our guest speaker will be registered dietitian Sarah Griswold so be sure to bring your questions about your child?s nutrition.

Our first playdate will be on Monday, April 28, at 10 a.m. at The Cove Park on Northshore. For more information about the group, please contact Marissa McConkey at

Posted: April 24, 2014 12:00 PM
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Hunger Helper Market

The Hunger Helper Market will open for the season on Sunday, April 27. The market will be open from 8:15-11:15 a.m. each Sunday and will once again offer an abundance of lettuce, onions, tomatoes, squash, radishes, and cucumbers, along with a variety of plants, flowers and herbs. Also returning this year will be fresh baked breads, bread starters, apple pies, pimento cheese, fudge and cookies, along with seasonal soups, rubs, jellies and butters.
Sunday School classes and other various Church Street groups are encouraged to help in sales on Sundays. This looks to be another banner year for our Hunger Helper Market. All proceeds will benefit Wesley House. Please give generously of your talents and support to this important mission in our church. If you have questions or would like to help in our efforts, please contact Kathy Ernschwender at

Posted: April 23, 2014 09:30 AM
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Hands-On Mission Kits

This year, we at Church Street have a goal of sending 50 buckets of food to Liberia as part of the annual Holston Conference Hands-On Mission Project. Items requested include:

1 bag sugar (4 - 5 lb.)
1 powdered milk (10 oz. or less)
1 box old-fashioned oats (18 oz. or less)
1 bottle cooking oil (48 oz. or less)
1 bag rice (2 lb.)
1 bag dried beans (2 lb.)
2 cans meat: ham, spam, or tuna (12 oz. each)
$5 donation for packing and shipping
Beginning this Sunday, April 27, buckets will be available in the breezeway. Complete buckets will be returned to the church on Sundays, May 25 and June 1 in CLC 13. This is an easy way to get involved and to help make a difference in the lives of others. Please consider filling a bucket as a family or doing several as a group or Sunday school class.

If you are unable to fill a bucket, please consider giving to the Holston Conference Mission offering for education in South Sudan. You can donate now by clicking Here.

Posted: April 22, 2014 08:32 AM
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First Aid Class

Summer vacation is approaching! Be prepared for life's emergencies by brushing up on your first aid skills. Join us on Tuesday, May 6, at 6 p.m. in room 204 for the American Heart Association's Heartsaver First Aid Course taught by Janis Maynard from Knox County EMS. The class will cover first aid basics such as decision making and rescuer safety, as well as medical emergencies, injuries, and environmental emergencies. To sign up for the class, please call the church office at 524-3048 by Monday, May 5. Cost is $20 per person, payable on the night of the class.

Posted: April 21, 2014 07:28 PM
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Lenten Devotion: Easter Sunday

Read Revelation 7:9-17

Many of you will know that my eyesight is very poor without glasses but even then I sometimes have trouble seeing. A few weeks ago I was walking to my car on Market Square following dinner and met one of our homeless friends. He was more excited to see me than I was to see him so he couldn't wait to share what I had missed. He had noticed that I was not at the church for a recent Soup Kitchen. When I asked what we had served that day, he said, "Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, pinto beans, and real cornbread." I'm not sure what "fake" cornbread is but I got the message that our church had done something special on that day (actually we had done our usual meal but his response made it special). When he paused for a moment, I asked him how many people were there that day. "Too many to count," he said, "Must have been hundreds, all eating!" His excitement was real (like the cornbread) and I thought about how he saw what he wanted to see. In the brokenness that is homelessness, there was hope in a banquet of meatloaf, mashed potatoes, pinto beans, and real cornbread.

John of Patmos, the writer of Revelation, could see that hope and invites us to see it too. The voice told him to write down what he saw: the great multitude, the tribes, the people, the angels, and the elders, all gathered around the throne of God. Who are they? They are people, ordinary people, who have hungered and thirst, and suffered from the scorching heat of the sun. That sounds like being homeless. And John sees them and invites us to see them too.

Prayer: All-seeing God, help us to open our eyes to the reality of your hope that is gathered around us in the people we meet. In the name of Christ we pray. Amen.
-Darryll Rasnake

This devotion is from the 2014 Church Street Lenten Devotion Book.

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Posted: April 20, 2014 05:44 AM
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Lenten Devotion: April 19

Service and Sacrifice
Read John 15:14-17

We know that Jesus should be our role-model in service, but it's often difficult to know just which Jesus we're supposed to follow. The teacher, the healer, the broken, dying man - or the Christ and Son of God, Lord of Heaven and Earth? Some of these roles are easier to imitate than others, and we struggle to hold them all together. Jesus' disciples, too, often struggled to understand just what it meant for their wise and compassionate teacher to be both Messiah and bound to die.

But on their last night together, Jesus' intimate words and actions finally began to crystallize. He began with an act of service, stooping down to wash his disciples' dirty feet - Jesus the Servant. Then, he gave them a new and simple commandment, "to love one another as I have loved you" - Jesus the Master. Next, he gave them the bread and wine as a symbol of his Body and Blood, about to be broken and spilt out of that love - Jesus the Sacrifice. Finally, he showed them the place in which Servant and Master meet and Love and Sacrifice kiss - Jesus the Friend.

Despite our best efforts to welcome service and sacrifice, they can often seem burdensome. We grumble about their impositions or avoid the more "dangerous" sorts of service that cause us discomfort. Jesus' friendship offers us a model of service that transcends these burdens and fears. In the deep bonds of his friendship, to serve is an eager pleasure and to sacrifice is a welcome blessing.

O Lord Jesus, we remember now the pain and death you suffered as our servant. Grant us the grace to be with you, as you are present with us in your Body and Blood, a memorial of that sacrifice. As your friends may we receive this token of your Love and gladly keep its commandment, for by your service and sacrifice, you have made its burden easy and its yoke light.

-Nathaniel Campbell

This devotion is from the 2014 Church Street Lenten Devotion Book.

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Posted: April 19, 2014 08:19 AM
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Lenten Devotion: April 18

Broken to Resurrected
Read Psalm 34:18-19

For many, the season of Lent is an opportunity for introspection as we prepare for the events surrounding Easter. Often we practice some form of fasting by giving something up for the 40 days of Lent in hopes that we can focus more fully on Christ's suffering, death, and resurrection. I met some amazing friends in Mississippi after hurricane Katrina, people who know something about suffering and doing without. Because of that trip, lifelong friendships were formed.

I met Rev. Jackson and his wife through the Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church in DeIberville, MS. When I met Rev. Jackson, he was a broken man. His house had endured significant damage during the storm but far more significant was his loss of hope. Prior to the storm Rev. and Mrs. Jackson lost a grandson in a car accident where Rev. Jackson had been driving. He was a broken man when we were introduced to him. However, when folks heard about Rev. Jackson's despair, his family, friends, church, and many volunteers rallied to lift his spirits and begin repairs to his home.

After that first meeting it was as if a huge weight had been lifted from Rev. Jackson's shoulders. He stood taller and he smiled more often. There is no doubt in his mind (or mine) that God put us in the path of one another. Out of his suffering grew resurrection both physically and spiritually. Our relationship with the Jacksons continued over several years. He went from being a broken man to a resurrected spirit that couldn't wait to tell you his story. I will forever be grateful that God put me in the path of Rev. and Mrs. Jackson. I now have a living example of what it means to live as resurrected people.

Prayer: Gracious God, make us aware of the suffering around us and equip us to be your hands and feet. Empower us to carry your message of hope, through Christ, to all of those we meet. Help us live fully in your Resurrection. Amen.
-Marc Gamble

This devotion is from the 2014 Church Street Lenten Devotion Book.

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Posted: April 18, 2014 08:05 AM
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Lenten Devotion: April 17

The Gift of Time
Read Romans 12:4-8

Am I a person who lives in this moment and cherishes the gift of life? Is my time well spent? Relationships take investment; do I devote the mindfulness to forge those bonds that make life a joy? Lent is a season in the church to reflect over our past and to prepare our hearts for the future - the hope and promise of Easter. For Christ to rise and shine for the world, what do I need to do to help make that happen?

These are questions to challenge myself with during this period. Rather than bemoaning my lack of time while succumbing to the temptations of minesweeper, spider solitaire, and free cell with the bombs exploding, fireworks, and the flutter of cards falling into place, please let me focus and give the gift of my time to something useful. The opportunities to serve are bountiful!

Our minds and bodies are intricately connected. With both mind and spirit, I think a path of balance between activity and rest, service and reflection, contemplation and being with others, will move us toward fulfillment and being the beloved children of God. There is contentment in finding that gift of time well spent.

Prayer: Dearest God, help us find our gifts and with wisdom use them in service to others. Let us be transformed by the infusion of your Spirit as we journey toward Easter.
-Elaine Ralston

This devotion is from the 2014 Church Street Lenten Devotion Book.

Posted: April 17, 2014 08:50 AM
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