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Lenten Devotion: March 16
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Ready to Serve
Read Romans 12:11-13


Our family often travels to middle Tennessee to visit my husband's parents several hours away. My youngest daughter, Allie, is only four years old and the long car ride to see her grandparents is frustrating. She wants to be there immediately and experience time with them right away. My older daughters, however, have learned that the drive will be long and often take off their shoes in the car to make the ride more comfortable. On a recent trip they encouraged their sister to do the same. Allie became quite distressed and shouted, "I don't want to take off my shoes! I want to be ready!"

We as Christians need to be more like Allie. We need to forget about comfort and be ready to go at a moment's notice. We need to have our shoes on, our sleeves rolled up, and our hearts open to meet need wherever we experience it. In this season of service I encourage you to reflect on how you can serve our living God. Set aside time to volunteer as a family or as an individual. But also remember that part of serving God is being ready. Being ready to go where He calls. Being ready to step outside our comfort zone and serve in a way we might never have imagined.

Prayer: Loving God, prepare us to serve at a moment's notice. Give us open hearts and open minds to be your hands and feet not only in our community but also around the world. Amen.
-Caroline Lamar

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

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Posted: March 16, 2014 07:34 AM
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VBS Needs Volunteers
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Our annual Vacation Bible School is looking for fun-loving adults to shepherd our classes of children June 16 - 19 from 9 a.m. to noon.

Our theme this year is "Weird Animals: Where Jesus' Love is One-of-a Kind" and it's all about being unique and finding our place in God's family.

Since VBS follows a rotation format, adults spend most of their day simply escorting children from activity to activity where other leaders handle the instruction. Only about 20 minutes each day is spent in classroom or free time, when children arrive and when they are preparing to leave each day.

We currently need leaders for our 3 year-olds, 4 year-olds, kindergarteners, first graders and second graders. Each class needs two adults. Youth helpers will also be assigned to each group as a support team. You don't have to have children of VBS age to help. If you would like to volunteer please contact Sue Isbell at sisbell@churchstreetumc.org or 521-0282.

Posted: March 14, 2014 04:15 PM
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Season of Service: Why I Serve
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During Lent we are focusing on A Season of Service. Each week on the blog several Church Street members will share why they serve in a particular area of ministry and how you can get involved. Today's post comes from Nathan Rowell.

Wesley House was founded in 1907 by the women of Church Street to care for the children of workers at nearby Brookside Mill. After school, the children of the women who worked there would congregate under a large tree waiting on their mothers, the older children looking after the younger.

107 years later, Wesley House is a national mission of United Methodist Women, one of only 100 in the country. But it is still in the same neighborhood, taking care of children.

I was drawn to serve at Wesley House because I believe in the importance of education. My parents were both professional educators, and I have personally benefited from several caring teachers in my life.

Although Wesley House has many programs, its core has always been the education of inner city youth. Wesley House is not an after school care center. It is an educational program, designed to help children from very poor families succeed in school and life.

Each day after school, the kids arrive, have a snack and devotion, and then are off to the classroom where their first priority is completing their homework. They work with trained counselors on an after-school curriculum custom designed to compliment their school curriculum. Teachers in the 11 schools Wesley House draws from are in regular contact with Wesley House, and individual lesson plans are created. Counselors and our program director are always discussing each participant?s academic success with their school teachers. Often times, our program director meets with the teachers because the parents cannot.

During the full time summer program, each day contains 2.5 hours of education in math, reading, science and social studies, so the educational process does not stop. Also each day, 30 minutes are dedicated to ?Drop Everything and Read.? Afternoon field trips are designed to coordinate with the lessons learned that week.

I volunteer at Wesley House because these academic programs work. In 2013, Wesley House received the Tennessee Education Association?s Friend of Education Award.
Last semester, 74% of the students improved their grades, and 56% received an A in behavior.

I serve at Wesley House because I believe in the importance of education, and I see the results that Wesley House gets. I invite you to learn more about Wesley House and see if this might be a place for you to serve. We will have an open house at our new location (1719 Reynolds Street) on Saturday, March 29, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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Posted: March 13, 2014 08:49 AM
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Community Lenten Service Today
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Each year, the Downtown Cooperative Ministry sponsors a series of mid-week Lenten Services. Today, Church Street will host the Community Lenten Service at Noon. Join us for worship and then stay for lunch at 12:30 p.m. All are welcome!

Posted: March 12, 2014 08:31 AM
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Season of Service: Why I Serve
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During Lent we are focusing on A Season of Service. Each week on the blog several Church Street members will share why they serve in a particular area of ministry and how you can get involved. Today's post comes from Kathy Ehrnschwender.

I grew up in a neighborhood on Miami Beach, on that spit of land between the Intracoastal Waterway and the ocean. So needless to say, nature-wise, I was mostly exposed to water, water, and more water. And not much gardening.

My Dad did have some banana trees, and later on, an orange and grapefruit tree, so I guess I had a little exposure to gardening.

But it wasn't until my family moved to North Carolina, that as a young adult, I really found out about gardening. About actually growing food. I was amazed!

Therein lies my beginning, and continued interest, in planting seeds and watching the process of growth and fruition.

But, as life passes, it has been important for me to find more meaning in my endeavors; especially, and as many can relate, as our children leave home.

The Hunger Helper Market aat Church Street has become purposeful for me, transforming a hobby into an opportunity for service. Not only does the market donate all proceeds to charity, but it is a multifaceted function in our church, both serving and receiving.

Church members share the produce they've grown, or the food they've baked.
Church members work the market and engage with other church members.
Church members buy the goods, and enjoy them. Everyone wins!

So, during this Lenten Season and beyond, I pray we can all find purpose and service in our personal endeavors. I also encourage you to get involved with the Hunger Helper Market. For more information, please e-mail me at katheaze@gmail.com.

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Posted: March 11, 2014 10:38 AM
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Master Arts Concert Tomorrow
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Join us on Tuesday, March 11, at 7:30 p.m. in the Nave for a Lenten Organ Recital featuring organist Edie Johnson. This concert for the Lenten Season will include works by Johann Sebastian Bach, Herbert Howells, Louis Vierne, Charles-Marie Widor and Craig Phillips.

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Posted: March 10, 2014 08:58 AM
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Lenten Devotion: March 9
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Sing to the Lord
Read Psalm 104:33

When I was a little girl growing up in rural Pennsylvania I always looked forward to my summer visits with my mother's parents. They lived in the big city of Pittsburgh and it was always exciting to go there. My grandmother was always singing and she had a superb voice. She sang various hits of the 40s but she preferred to sing hymns. Every Sunday we attended an elegant gothic-style church that seemed so fancy to me. It was almost like a castle compared to the rustic red brick church where my father preached. It was the same church where my mother and her brothers had grown up. It was where my parents were married and everyone was welcoming plus seemed excited to see "Eileen's girl." The building had gorgeous carved wood inside; some of it polished like glass from years of hands passing over it. The windows were exquisite stained glass; a few of them round like a circle with all the colors of the rainbow, filled with magnificent angels and animals. Although that church was Lutheran and much smaller than Church Street, it still shared that prevailing feel of beauty that surpasses the marking of the time. At Church Street we sing many of the same songs that I grew up with and sometimes, if I listen carefully, I can hear among so many others, the sound of my grandmother's voice.

A house of worship like Church Street is not simply a collection of wood and stone. It is the people who attend, generations of families bringing their children and then their children's children. It is the people who come each week, who show their faith by making a joyful noise and by serving others in the name of the Lord. I did not receive the gift of song that my grandmother possessed. Notwithstanding, my daughter, Hannah Rose did. She loves music and even as a toddler she would sing commercial jingles in her sleep. For that reason she was very excited when she became old enough to join our church's choir for the young. Hannah Rose, now 16, still enjoys singing with the choir, seeing it as a way to serve God while appreciating the friendships that are found in a group of dedicated young people. Although Grandma Doris did not live long enough to hear her great-granddaughter sing with all the other brilliant youth in the choir, I know that Grandma would be very pleased.

Prayer: Father of Mercy, thank you for allowing us to serve you. May our Service be an act of love and an act of gratitude. As we perform it, may it be something we can enjoy, for God has allowed us to render it and make our joy complete!
-Beth Cooper-Libby

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

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Posted: March 09, 2014 08:33 AM
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UMW Call to Prayer
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We hope you will join us on Tuesday, March 11, for the UMW Call to Prayer and Self-Denial Service. We are looking forward to a time of inspiration and encouragement as our speaker shows us the ways in which our UMW financial contributions are used to transform many lives in our region and around the world. Jettie Hess, the Vice President of the Holston Conference United Methodist Women, will join us as we meet in the Chapel at 11 a.m.

Ms. Hess's presentation is entitled ?An Everlasting Legacy of Love,? and she says, ?In a world filled with texting, tweeting and emailing, let us pause to think about the dynamic legacy we?ve inherited, and the one we will leave behind.?

Lunch will follow in Parish Hall at noon. Please call the church office at 524-3048 by Friday, March 7, with your reservation.

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Posted: March 06, 2014 09:24 AM
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Lenten Devotion: March 5
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Is Serving A Duty?
Read Colossians 3:20-24

Take a minute to think about what the word ?serving? means in today?s world. Serving is the process of giving aid to others, assisting others, helping others in any unimaginable way. We think of our men and women serving our country in uniform, or I am not very good at serving a tennis ball, or my memory serves me well and on and on. Serving can mean to give obedience and reverent honor to God and so it does. This is what we most often think service to mean, to help meet the needs or satisfy the requirements of others who are unable to help themselves in our society. This is the kind of service we should treat as a duty as instructed by our Lord.

All of us have God-given talents to use in the service of our Lord. We are instructed to make the best use of them. These talents can appear in our personality in how we treat others. Giving of one?s self to others can make their lives more enjoyable. The folks who come to our Kay Senior Center each day very much appreciate the little things like stopping by to say ?hello? and giving your time to make their lives a little happier. It is just one service opportunity we have here at Church Street. All of us have that duty to use our talents to serve others. There are so many ways that one can serve within our church as well as outside our church. You will always be glad you did. I can only hope that if that need comes my way, there will be room at the Kay Center for me!

Prayer: Dear Lord, help us to be willing to use our talents and serve you in whatever capacity you choose. Amen.

-George Dominick

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

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Posted: March 05, 2014 08:22 AM
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Gardening Workshops
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Please join us on Sunday, March 9, at 5:30 p.m. for a Container Gardening Workshop, hosted by David Craig and the Hunger Helper Market. Get an early start on your spring and summer planting and learn container gardening skills and tips. Instructions, handouts, tools, seeds, fertilizer, and containers will all be provided. A children's/family container gardening class will be offered on Sunday, March 30, at 4 p.m. Both classes will be held in the Magnolia Parking Lot and adjacent lawn. Please sign up by emailing Kathy Ehrnschwender at Katheaze@gmail.com. All ages welcome!

Posted: March 04, 2014 07:53 AM
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