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Hunger Helper Market
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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 katheaze@gmail.com.

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

Prayer:
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
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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
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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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Lenten Devotion: April 16
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Out of My Comfort Zone
Read Joshua 1:9


Who would want to go to Nicaragua? Not me. This was my reaction when I heard the plans at my former church. Little did I know, I would later be convinced to step out of my comfort zone and go to a country I knew little about, and really had no interest in seeing.

What I discovered is that Nicaragua is beautiful, despite all of the heartbreaking circumstances, because of its people - they have so little by our standards, yet so much joy! I saw God working in their lives and in their hearts, and I fell in love with the friends we made there.

That one trip changed my life. I went back six times over the years. At home, I sought opportunities to improve my Spanish and to work with students and families of different cultures. I found excitement and a passion that I never knew existed! Years later, God is still showing me ways I can make a difference. Who would want to go to Nicaragua? Knowing what I know now...who wouldn't want to?

What is your comfort zone? For many of us, Church Street is our comfort zone. It's beautiful. We like the tradition. We know what to expect. For the most part, people here look a lot like we do. I want to challenge you to do something out of your norm that makes you a bit uncomfortable. Shake the hand of the homeless person sitting in front of you during worship. Drive to East Knoxville and have lunch at Chandler's Deli to experience soul food at its best. Decide to serve as a mentor for a young married couple in our church. Break bread with our guests at the Soup Kitchen.

Stepping out of your comfort zone might change your point of view on some things, or your comfort with different people or places. And who knows, it might just change your life!

Dear Lord, please help me to step outside of my comfort zone to see the rest of the world as it is and to gain understanding and respect for those who are different than me. Help me to listen to what it is you would teach me through this, and to use me in my strengths and my weaknesses for your Glory. Amen.
-Jenny Herchenrider

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

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Posted: April 16, 2014 08:30 AM
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Lenten Devotion: April 15
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Sharing Shop
Read Matthew 25:40


The Sharing Shop, a mission of CSUMC United Methodist Women, is thriving and continues to be engaged: forming relationships, meeting basic human needs and sharing God's love and message that all people have worth and value. This mission of UMW is one that has evolved and has meant more than we could have ever imagined. When people engage in mission, whatever that mission might be, there is transformation for all involved.

A member of the Susanna Wesley Circle shared with me something that she witnessed during a recent worship service. She watched someone whose daily existence differs greatly from most of our membership's, place a Sharing Shop voucher in the offering plate. (Vouchers "substitute" for money in the SS) This man placed something of value to him in that plate, and I recognize this act of generosity as his way of sharing, of giving what he perceived as valuable to others. That simple act has more meaning than I can even begin to explain. And it reminds me that our Sharing Shop is worth every minute we give to it.

United Methodist Women believes that service is at the heart of who we are as women of faith. As Christians, we are called to be in ministry with the poor and the disenfranchised. In our world today, we are needed more than ever, and there are many, many ways we can serve. The Sharing Shop is love in action and is only one way of engaging in mission and being in service to our brothers and sisters.

Mission work comes in all shapes and sizes and can have such an impact on the life of others as well as your own. I hope during this Lenten season you will reach out and discover the many ways you can be in service with others and for others. It will add joy and meaning to your life and you will be changed forever.

Prayer: Lord, please help us to reach out to others in small ways and in big ways. Keep us centered in the knowledge that in serving others, we are serving you. Amen.
-Pat Bellingrath

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

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Posted: April 15, 2014 08:00 AM
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Lenten Devotion: April 14
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Carriers of Grace
Read Mark 15: 43-46


While driving to work on I-40 one Friday in November 2012, a long parade of semi-trucks hauling power generators passed me. Just days prior in Northeastern states, Superstorm Sandy had claimed more than 80 lives, demolished entire neighborhoods, cut off electricity for millions of people, crippled hospitals, reshaped shorelines, and rendered the region functionless.

Assuming those trucks were headed to the disaster areas, they were stark reminders of the people suffering. Yet I also realized the trucks and cargo were results of actions by people whose hands and hearts halted their normal routines - who likely volunteered their time and opted to forego normal selling of their equipment and services - and instead dispatched the generators to places where victims' basic needs could be met.

The generators were just useless things, of course, while strapped to the trailer beds. But a couple of days later, they would bring light, warmth and opportunities to rebuild lives.

On another Friday about 2,000 years ago, for comfort for people who had followed Jesus and endured the agony of His crucifixion, Joseph of Arimathea hauled a lifeless corpse to a tomb he owned. He had no expectation of anything in return. It just seemed to be the kind and right thing to do.

But a couple of days later, Light which the world had never seen brought a new hope and promise for all God's people.

Opportunities abound around us to respond to God's call by helping others. Sometimes these surface quickly, yet are clearly obvious. Like Joseph, and like generator makers, we all should be ready to act.

Prayer: God, open our eyes and hearts like you did for Joseph, so we may see and respond to opportunities to be carriers of your grace to others in need.
-Steve Richardson

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

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Posted: April 14, 2014 08:12 AM
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