Belle Morris Thanksgiving Baskets

basket-2014Please help us collect 100 Instant Mashed Potato and Instant Gravy Packets. This is one way we are able to participate with Belle Morris School and other local churches to provide Thanksgiving baskets to those in needs. Please place the packets on the iCare Table.

Note: You are also invited to help prepare the baskets on Saturday, November 22 from 9 to 11:30 a.m. at Washington Pike United Methodist Church.

On our Pastor’s mind (11-2-14)

Trunk-or-Treat Update and Thank You’s

Church, I want to tell you how proud I was of everyone on Wednesday evening. You all worked like troopers. We had over 100 people from our church helping in one way or another. There were 15 decorated-trunks or booths, a cake-walk, face painting, hotdogs, funnel cakes, lemonade, inflatables, and everyone’s favorite – the train. That means there were lots to do and places to serve.

Some people came and worked their plan. Some came prepared to do whatever was needed. Some came intending to help in one way but quickly changed courses to help solve problems or shore up the event in other areas. We had people registering guests. A bunch of people handed out candy. A crew of people got pulled into the kitchen to help prepare food for an army. We had security people, people making funnel cakes and serving drinks and hotdogs, and all kinds of youth and students helping in all kinds of ways.

Then at the end of the night, it seemed like our whole church went into action, in one fluid movement. Lights were taken down; tables and chairs were put away; trash was picked up, and a massive generator was loaded and hauled away. And that was the labor that could be seen. Behind the scenes were those who gave candy and especially those who prayed for this event to be a blessing and an opportunity to plant seeds.

So to all of you, I am deeply pleased and grateful. I thank God for our church – that we have a desire to reach our community. I thank God for you.


You may be curious to know how many people we reached. The truth is we don’t know exactly; some people did not register. But we do know that we had 549 registered participants. Plus, we had just barely over 100 people from our church came to serve in some capacity. That means that there were over 650 people who came out for a wonderful evening of Trunk-or-Treat. Thank you God!

Bridal Shower/Wedding Reception

On Sunday, November 16, we will honor Scott & Betsy C. from 2 to 4 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall. The newlyweds are not registered anywhere but instead have chosen Lowes, Home Depot, Hobby Lobby, and Walmart since they are fixing up a new house. The happy couple and their families would love to have you come and celebrate with them.

On our Pastor’s mind (10-26-14)

At the Poles this November (part 3)

For several weeks, I have been trying to inform us concerning Amendment 1 on the election ballot in November. This week, I am providing answers to some frequently asked questions from the resources of

How many abortions are reported in Tennessee?

According to the TN Department of Health, for the most recent year available (2011), there were 12,368 abortions performed on women residing in Tennessee. Additionally, 3,747 abortions were performed on women residing from outside of Tennessee bringing the total to 16,115.

Will Amendment 1 ban abortion in Tennessee?

No, abortion would not be banned and remains legal across the U.S. due to the Roe vs Wade U.S. Supreme Court decision in 1973. This Amendment, if passed, would restore the Tennessee Constitution to where it was prior to the 2000 TN State Supreme Court decision by making the constitution neutral on the question of abortion. While not banning abortion, passage of this Amendment will allow passage and enforcement of common-sense policies and regulations.

How does the Amendment process work?

In order to successfully amend the state constitution, a resolution must be introduced and then receive a simple majority of votes in both houses during any given 2-year session of the Legislature. The same resolution must then be reintroduced and passed by a 2/3 “super-majority” of legislators seated during the successive legislative session. Finally, after passing two sessions of the Legislature the language is placed on the ballot for voter approval during the next gubernatorial race.

The SJR 127 was passed by both the TN House and Senate in 2009 and received second passage by the required 2/3 super-majority in 2011. As a result, the language has been placed on the November 2014 ballot for voter approval or rejection as Amendment 1. The language must be approved by 50% of those casting a vote in the Governor’s race plus 1.

From Pastor Gene (10-19-14)

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, and that He was raised on the third day according to the scriptures. (1 Corinthians 15:3-4, NASB)

I came across a Lutheran Hour daily devotion that I believe has merit for us. One of the new “fears” in our country is the Ebola virus that has already claimed the lives of several thousand people in West Africa. People remain fearful because even though health officials continue to try and ease people’s minds concerning the spread of the Ebola virus, new people keep contracting this virus in our country. Only God knows how many people will become infected in the future.

I wonder what it would be worth to the world if some clinic announced that it had an absolutely fool-proof medicine that would instantly cure anyone who has been infected with the virus. I wonder how appreciative people would be if someone would underwrite the cost of the cure so it would be available to everyone as soon as possible. The answers would be obvious.

There is also an illness of epidemic proportion called sin, and it is one hundred percent fatal. The cure is in the shed blood of Jesus Christ, and it is one hundred percent effective. I wonder if we as Christians will be as concerned about the lostness in our community. Again, we have the cure; His name is Jesus.

On our Pastor’s mind (10-12-14)

At the Poles this November

Last week, I shared about the September 2000 radical pro-abortion decision by the Tennessee Supreme court in Planned Parenthood of Middle Tennessee v. Sundquist. With their decision, abortion policies in Tennessee have become “abortion of demand,” meaning Tennesseans can no longer enforce common sense regulations concerning abortion.

In the state election coming soon, Amendment 1 to the TN State Constitution has been introduced to help restore some of the protections and safeguards that were stripped away by the courts. One of the safeguards is to provide adequate information and time to think for women and girls seeking abortion.

This amendment will restore TN laws that are still on the books, including a one-parent consent requirement for minors seeking abortions. The amendment will require the licensure, inspection, and regulation of abortion facilities in our state. (Can you imagine what a restaurant would be like if inspections and proper regulations were not required? Now consider not regulating the cleanliness of a medical facility.)

According to the TN Department of Health, for the most recent year available (2011), there were 12,368 abortions performed on women residing in Tennessee. Since Tennessee now boasts the fewest abortion restrictions of any state in the southeast, an additional 3,747 abortions were performed on women residing from outside the state, bringing the total to 16,115 abortions in 2011 alone.

Remember how devastated we were because 2,977 people were killed in the attack on September 11, 2001. Should we not be more devastated by our own TN laws?

Voting “Yes” on this amendment would not ban abortion; however, securing a “Yes” vote on this amendment would allow passage and enforcement of common-sense policies  and regulations.

(More about the amendment and process next week.)