One of our favorite things about the spring semester each year is celebrating our graduating seniors.  And this year, we’re a special Senior Spotlight series on our blog.  Our seniors answered interview questions earlier this spring and it has been so much fun learning their answers! Check back in each week to get to know our seniors better and help to cheer them on as they wrap up high school and prepare for their next steps!

Meet Anna Grace Cathey!

What high school are you graduating from?
Webb School of Knoxville
What are your plans for next year?
University of Tennessee Knoxville
What is your favorite bible verse?
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16
If you could choose one meal to eat for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Mac and cheese
If you could give some advice to your younger self, what would it be?
Stand up for your beliefs
What is your favorite Church Street memory?
Children’s worship with Miss Sue
What are you most excited about going into the next season of your life?
Going to college!

Daily Lent Devotions from Church Street UMC

Thursday, April 1, Morning

By Mrs. Elizabeth Reagon, March 28, 2018

Do You Wait for an Answer?

Read John 18:38, 17:17 (KJV), Matthew 24:35, 7:7 (KJV)

Pontius Pilate’s life may have been dramatically changed had he waited for an answer. The crucifixion scriptures tell us, “Pilot saith unto him, What is truth?” But the Scriptures continue, “and when he said this, he went out . …”

Jesus answered this very question a few hours earlier. As He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane for his Disciples, he asked his Father, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy Word is truth.” The Word is also eternal in Matthew 24:35 when Jesus said, “… my word shall not pass away.”

Jesus told us in Matthew 7:7, “Ask, and it shall be given; seek and ye shall find …” But do we ask and fail to wait for an answer or do we ask as Pilate did and then move on? Perhaps more important, do we wait expectantly? Do we anticipate an answer?

Do we allow time to sit quietly and meditate on God and His Word and give God a chance to communicate to us? Wouldn’t we give a friend a chance to respond to an inquiry?

No answer, yet; perhaps God prefers to reply through his Holy Word.

Scripture speaks and can deliver definite messages when we are attuned.

Reverently peruse the Scriptures, read slowly, prayerfully, frequently, meditating on it and you will have answers and also a light to direct your life.

Prayer

Righteous God, sanctify us, enable us to love you and your Word more, in Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Have a Prayer Request?

Submit your prayer request confidentially by clicking here.

BINDING SOUL AND SOURCE

Prayers for the Church Street Family

March 31, 2021

Rev. Dr. Jan Buxton Wade

Under soggy skies we make our way homeward, thankful that a dry dwelling is waiting to welcome us in the evening hours. Shapeless clouds have lingered low throughout the day, providing none of the inspiration of the yellow sun.  Within the dullness, however, we have sensed your working on our behalf, Forever Friend, particularly in these instances: . . . . . . . . . .  And as you have been cleansing and revitalizing the earth with your spring droplets, you have been widening impassable avenues and opening doors shut tight. Praise be to you!

Suffering Servant, these final days of Lent are hardest for us, for as we draw closer to your suffering, we realize we need more Lenten time to conquer our own weakness. We still lack the courage to stand up to the naysayers; we fear our own rejection by the crowds; and, deep down, we know that we too are capable of deserting you in your final hours. In the end, though, we remember you did not forsake your fickle friends, but strengthened them and turned them into faithful disciples. By the immensity of your grace, transform us also into strong and useful vessels, we pray, pouring out courage and fortitude to all timorous ones, that together we might boldly proclaim you to the world as Redeemer and Savior.

As Mary stood weeping beside the empty tomb, you know all those whose tears still flow today.  Touch those everywhere, we pray, who are too traumatized to even utter your name. Steady those who are shaken by natural disasters and those whose dreams are shattered. You are in the business of making all things new, so implant your assurance in each hurting soul, we pray, that this Easter Season may be a time of rebirth for all. Have mercy, O Christ, upon all who are in need of your presence, especially your children at Church Street UMC:

  • Prayers appreciated: Hip replacement was successful
  • One grateful for visit with out-of-town daughter
  • Gratitude for a new housing arrangement
  • Family thankful for vaccine made possible by church
  • Thankful that initial visits with specialists in Nashville were promising
  • For a miracle to heal a painful leg ailment
  • Proper diagnosis for intestinal malady
  • Solace for families who mourn
  • Healing of violence in our communities
  • Healing for one suffering with fractured shoulder
  • Member in treatment for lymphoma
  • Courage and strength for friend with intestinal cancer
  • Guidance for one involved in a new course of study
  • Young family broken by alcoholism
  • Continued prayers for healing after eye surgery
  • Courage for one transitioning to new home
  • Continued healing for an alcoholic
  • Dear friend having medical tests

May your holy rest encompass us this night, and all whom we love, Dear Lord, for we turn over to you all our cares and anxieties. And somewhere in the shadowed hours, remind us that we still belong to you, no matter what we may have done or failed to do. In that assurance, we shall sleep soundly, praying as Christ himself taught us:

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.

Have a Prayer Request?

Submit your prayer request confidentially by clicking here.

Daily Lent Devotions from Church Street UMC

Wednesday, March 31, Morning

By Laura Still, April 20, 2019

Affirmation of Faith

Read John 13:1

“Now before the festival of the Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.”

If you begin a sentence with who, what, where, or why, then the sentence should end in a question mark. We all learn that. During the season of Lent, there are many questions we ask. Why did Jesus have to die? Why did Jesus pray? Let this cup pass? What happened to Jesus’ body? Did Jesus always know he was going to be crucified? Why did Jesus cry out, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ These are questions asked in every Lenten study I have been a part of, and I have attempted to answer questions to the best of my ability in sermons and in lessons.

One of the first Lenten hymns I remember learning is “What Wondrous Love Is This” (#292 in the United Methodist Hymnal). It was just a decade or so ago that I paid attention to the missing question mark! The title is not a question but an exclamatory sentence! An affirmation.

What wondrous love is this!

This discovery coincided with my own spiritual growth and understanding. I had worked so hard to explain all the different atonement theories and make sense of the crucifixion. I wanted to be able to answer satisfactorily the questions people would ask in studies.

There is a freedom to accept God’s love and grace when we can exclaim, ‘What wondrous love is this!’ I encourage asking questions and I know full well that is an important and necessary part of our spiritual development. But, at some point, it became more important to me to be embraced by God’s love than being able to explain it.

What wondrous love is this!

Prayer

O God beyond all reason yet so accessible, we thank you that you love us and call us into a new understanding of life through your love. Amen.

Have a Prayer Request?

Submit your prayer request confidentially by clicking here.

Daily Lent Devotions from Church Street UMC

Wednesday, March 31, Morning

By Laura Still, April 20, 2019

Among Us

Read John 1:14

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

I confess this is my favorite verse of the Gospel, but I am still finding out what it means. When I was young, I daydreamed about what it would be like to be one of the people who met Jesus during his three years of ministry on earth. Surely if I had actually seen him, in the flesh, all my questions and doubts would disappear and I would have become one of the disciples, leaving everything behind to follow him.

However, as a teenager and young adult, my certainty faded as all the complications of the living damaged my self-confidence, and failures ate away my faith. How could I follow Jesus in a world that pulled me apart? There was no sudden blinding light for me, but there were tiny flashes: kind words, laughter, the soaring trill of birds at the moment of twilight. Little sparks sent to remind me he did not leave us alone; he promised he would always be with us. In the gray winter days, the sun is hidden, but we can feel it above the clouds. Lent comes to remind us the Spirit is with us every day, still among us, still full of grace and truth.

Prayer

Dear Lord, give us eyes to see your light when it is hidden and hearts to feel your presence within us. Let us be led by your Holy Spirit in all we do.

Have a Prayer Request?

Submit your prayer request confidentially by clicking here.

BINDING SOUL AND SOURCE

Prayers for the Church Street Family

March 30, 2021

Rev. Dr. Jan Buxton Wade

Here in the shadowed silence, our thoughts turn to you, Blessed Lord.  Another day of grandeur you have provided out of your own benevolence.  There were moments when we were speechless when we beheld the spring glory.   And even if we passed by the marvels of the daylight, Brother Moon, round as a saucer, has kept watch from his chosen corner these first evenings of Holy Week. We praise you for your visible presence, Unfailing Friend, though we long to be those who live by faith alone and not by sight.

Anointed One, in your final days in this realm, we member how Mary stole soundlessly into the home of Simon, and how, out of her deep love for you, she poured the costly ointment upon your feet at suppertime. Hers was an extravagant gesture of risk, yet she boldly demonstrated where her devotion lay.  Her courageous actions are a template for the cost of discipleship. As we move through these sacred days, may we be bold enough to ask ourselves if we would give up our most precious possessions, our status, our independence and control to follow our Savior.  We pray that our private meditations this hallowed week might lead us to answer with candor and humility, and that our communal worship services might be counted as fragrant offerings to you.

Gracious Lord, as you touched so many with your grace during your final days of your earthly walk, we ask that you would ease the hearts of those who suffer this day, and particularly accept the gratitude and the concerns and offered by members of our church family:

  • Family offer thanks for church support in bereavement
  • Thankful for prayers: Eye is healing
  • One expresses gratitude for a faithful friend
  • One celebrates promising medical report
  • Gratitude: God’s guidance in a career move
  • For a miracle to heal a painful leg ailment
  • Prayers for member having hip replacement surgery Wednesday
  • Solace for families who mourn
  • For community to work together to end violence among our vulnerable youth
  • Healing for one suffering with fractured shoulder
  • God’s healing: Young couple’s miscarriage
  • Courage and strength for friend with intestinal cancer
  • Gratitude: Son’s Covid test was negative
  • Guidance for one moving into a new course of study
  • Young family broken by alcoholism
  • Continued prayers for healing after eye surgery
  • Continued healing for an alcoholic
  • Dear friend having medical tests in Murfreesboro
  • Sustaining family of ill 6-year-old

As we close our day, we thank you, Most Holy God, for gathering us into a beloved community, for in your wisdom, you knew we would need one another as we traveled this long Lenten journey. Cast your warm moonlight over us as we rest this night, anointing us with its creamy glow. We would be made whole for Christ’s sake, and we offer these prayers in his name, praying as he taught us:

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.

Have a Prayer Request?

Submit your prayer request confidentially by clicking here.

Daily Lent Devotions from Church Street UMC

Tuesday, March 30, Evening

By Nancy Thompson, April 16, 2019

The Love of God

Read Hebrews 13:13

You may remember the story of the “The Three Trees” accredited to folklore of long ago. Three trees grew up together on a hillside. They often shared their dreams of what they wanted to be when they were grown.

The first wanted to be a beautiful decorative treasure box in which to hold precious and priceless treasures and jewels of the king. He was made into a manger from which animals would be fed. The manger became a crib which held the Christ child – the most precious treasure ever to be known.

The second wanted to be a huge ocean craft on which he would carry many people across the seas to see God’s creation. He was crafted into a small fishing boat which carried Jesus as He taught His disciples. It held them as they rested and slept, and from which Christ calmed a dangerous storm.

The dream of the third tree was to grow to be the tallest, strongest and largest tree in the forest so he could stand erect and daily point people to God. The woodsmen came and downed the third tree and sawed it into two large square type logs with which they formed a cross. It was from this tree that our Savior was hung as the painful crown of thorns was placed on His head and the dreaded swords pierced His side until He said, “It is finished”. This tree has pointed people to Christ through the centuries.

Christ gave His perfect life on the cruel cross for us – for you and me. This realization comes particularly close during communion when the server hands us the bread and says, this is Christ’s body given for you – followed by the juice and the server says, this is Christ’s blood shed for you.

“…the love of God is greater far than tongue or pen can ever tell…”

Hymn by Frederick M. Lehman

Prayer

Oh God, thank you for your Son, Jesus Christ. Thank you for the faith with which to believe, for your love which we witness and feel every day, and for the hope of eternal life. Amen.

Have a Prayer Request?

Submit your prayer request confidentially by clicking here.

Daily Lent Devotions from Church Street UMC

Tuesday, March 30, Morning

By Dr. Charles Wender, March 30, 2018

Why Must Jesus Die?

Read Genesis 15:6-18

Jesus, Paul and Peter assure us that the Bible is the word of God written and spoken by human authors chosen by God. In the last analysis, however, some of that which is recorded has more to teach us than other parts. The early chapters of Genesis are most informative dealing with creation, mankind’s fall, and the emergence of Abraham. God witnessed to Abraham. Abraham’s belief in the nature and character of God resulted in his being declared righteous.

Abram, as he was first named, sought reassurance and God enacted a covenant with mankind with Abraham as its representative. This describes the blood path covenant that requires a perfect walking of this path without a breach of the law; God in symbolic fashion walks the path as both a fire pot and a torch. Abraham recognizes that he is unable to walk this path without suffering, bleeding, and dying. This is delayed-action fulfillment until one of his descendants is compelled to walk this path.

The understanding of this ancient covenant brings clarity to our understanding of Good Friday and Easter. Fulfilled prophecy makes it clear that Jesus of Nazareth is the long-awaited Messiah. It is Jesus the son of Abraham, fully human, but also fully God, who comes to walk the blood path for those who have violated God’s covenant. The sinner can take advantage of Jesus’ willingness to die in the sinner’s place provided he or she grieves their sin, confesses such and willingly picks up their own cross and follows Jesus’ direction. Despite the many other attempts of worship of other supposed saviors, Jesus is the only one who can take us into the presence of God in eternity.

Prayer

Holy and Righteous God, we bow before you knowing the magnitude of your love for us. Amen.

Have a Prayer Request?

Submit your prayer request confidentially by clicking here.

BINDING SOUL AND SOURCE

Prayers for the Church Street Family

March 29, 2021

Rev. Dr. Jan Buxton Wade

Evening Presence, you slip in so quietly we sometimes miss your deepening footprints across the sky. Indeed, it is difficult to bid farewell to a day of sunshine and glory, so reflective of your own essence, O Holy One. Scripture tells us that one day whispers its secrets to the next, and perhaps those secrets are carried by the night breezes over the mountain of darkness, and into the hands of the awaiting patient dawn. Constant One, your message of grace goes out through all the earth and you come to us again and again.  May we become wise enough to watch and to wait.

At eventide this Holy Monday, we set aside the buzzing of the world and turn our thoughts to you, O Christ, remembering the lonely journey you chose to take out of your immense love for all people.  The cheering of the palm-waving crowd had already stilled by the time you took those first steps through Jerusalem’s gates. We marvel at the depth of your courage and your compassion.  And soon enough we stragglers would learn the truth you carried inside yourself: that weakness and vulnerability form the solid base for spiritual strength.

Day to day and night to night you bring us mercy and hope, Loving Lord. Even today, when our vanities got in the way, you penetrated them to touch our souls.  Especially we remember these particular graces you made possible. . . . . . . . . .

Scatter away all those false expectations we have of you, that we might open ourselves to whatever you have to teach us.  Through heartbreak and remorse, through calamity and even death, rich lessons are to be learned; and it is you, Invigorating God, who waits to breathe new life into us.  Breathe upon all these souls, we pray, who find themselves at a crossroads.  Breathe upon all who place their praises at your feet:

  • Thankful for prayers: Sister-in-law with double mastectomy will not be required to undergo radiation or chemotherapy
  • Prayers appreciated: Lymphoma treatment will not be invasive
  • Family thankful for safe weekend travel
  • Gratitude: Latest scans show no spread of cancer
  • Thankful for prayers: Knee repair is healing well
  • Thanksgiving for church’s remarkable music ministry
  • Grace and healing for member having prostate surgery
  • Comfort for family mourning death of beloved uncle
  • God’s healing: Young couple’s miscarriage
  • Courage and strength for friend with intestinal cancer
  • Son awaiting Covid test results
  • Healing for family of toddler who drowned a few days ago
  • Young family broken by alcoholism
  • Continued prayers for one following serious eye surgery
  • Continued strength for son fighting alcoholism
  • Dear friend having medical tests in Murfreesboro
  • Sustaining family of ill 6-year-old
  • Husband facing third hip replacement

As we take our rest, Blessed Cup of Mercy, bathe us with forgiveness and pour out peaceful rest upon us. The coming days of your passion will be heavy, but your showers of mercy will restore our strength. And when morning comes, we will seek you early and serve you in the name of our Savior, who taught us to pray:

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.

Have a Prayer Request?

Submit your prayer request confidentially by clicking here.

Daily Lent Devotions from Church Street UMC

Monday, March 29, Evening

By Kathryn and Sidney H. Everett, February, 1981

God’s Marvelous Alarm Clock

Read Romans 8:11

“If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.”

“Our Lord has written the promise of resurrection, not in books alone, but in every leaf of springtime.” – Martin Luther

If you have been wandering in your yard, even as early as December, you have seen a wondrous calendar at work. Daffodils were peeping out; just a tip perhaps, but they were there. Looking further you saw Crocuses, Hyacinth and early Tulips.

Regardless of the weather, all of them have a date to keep, even through the ravages of snow and ice.

The countdown to Spring is underway.

Just what is the “magic” that brings on this beauty regardless of the weather? Light.

For years it was believed that the return of warm weather was the magic trigger. But heat is not dependable, as evidenced by the many changes of weather all through the season.

Bulbs planted in the Fall are seemingly dead, but through the combined magic of light and rain a wondrous resurrection takes place.

This resurgence of breath-taking beauty strengthens our hope and faith in the resurrection of our Lord and in our own resurrection.

Prayer

Because of the beauty and abundance of Thy good earth, oh, God, may we have a rebirth both spiritually and physically this season. Amen.

Have a Prayer Request?

Submit your prayer request confidentially by clicking here.