Wednesday Night Bible Study — Matthew

We’re studying our way through the Gospel of Matthew!  Our adult Bible study group meets in Pastor Stephen’s office on Wednesday nights, from 6 to 7pm.  We are going through the Scripture itself using various Bible translations, and we are supplementing our study with the book Be Loyal: Following the King of Kings by Warren Wiersbe.  This is an informal group; we have great discussions and we’d love to have you join us!

Christ will never leave or forsake us!

Greetings Holy, Healthy and Happy People of God,

As I write this eNote to our faithful and devoted community of radical and responsible followers of Jesus Christ, I reflect upon last Saturday’s assembly as our United Methodist delegates to the Special General Conference gathered in a full day of prayer.  God’s amazing grace was fully present as everyone in the room prayed together.  During the next three days, both sides, conservatives and progressives, treated each other with condemnation, disdain and hatred.  Emotions were extremely high.  I thought about the words of Paul, There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1  Part of our baptismal covenant question, Do you accept the freedom and power God gives you to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves?” and we responded, “I do!”

The United Methodist delegates, representing a global church, voted 54% to 46% to maintain its historical stance as recorded in our Book of Discipline, “The practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching.  Therefore self-avowed practicing homosexuals are not to be certified as candidates, ordained as ministers, or appointed to serve in The United Methodist Church.”  Although the Special General Conference was designed and invited to discuss human sexuality and to determine the best “Way Forward” from two plans presented, human sexuality was actually never discussed.  Fear crept in and held us captive!  No wonder Jesus told the disciples in the midst of the storm, where uncertainty had set in, to fear not!  Fear is debilitating and can cause us not to see the humanity in each other.  Contrary to belief, this Special General Conference was never about human sexuality, it was about power, money and control.  Sound familiar?  These themes ran rampant in the gospels with Jesus and these themes ultimately got him crucified.

Two plans were developed, proposed, and voted on.  One plan was called The Traditional Plan (which kept the traditional language of homosexuality), which was supported by conservatives.  And the other, The One Church Plan (offered the ability for same-sex marriage if your pastor chose to exercise their conscience) that was supported by progressives.  Because we are a grace grounded people, I expected more grace from both sides.  However, each side treated the other with disdain and hatred.  The LGBTQ community left spiritually and physically wounded, which goes against Matthew 22:36-40, “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?”  He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’  This is the greatest and first commandment.  And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’  On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”  To anyone who left more broken and to those who said we won, my prayers are for God’s unity in the church.  Law never comes before Love because Love is the Law!

On Saturday evening, I return to Nashville and I cannot wait to see everyone this Sunday in church.  Thanks for your prayers!  I am humbled by the various comments I have received about McKendree while here in St. Louis; from remarks about being a diverse church that reflects the beloved community to meeting with the Chief Operating Officer of The Connectional Table who’s hoping that her team can soon tour the ministry and mission at McKendree.

Please don’t allow this diversion to distract us from the mission and ministry of Jesus and keep you from McKendree.  We are the beloved people of God and we need each other in this moment.  It is easy to walk away.  Satan wins when we walk away from the body of Christ.  But I’m glad that Jesus Christ never walked away from the cross and our salvation!  The church, the body of Christ, is so much greater than any denomination.  Don’t walk away.  Hear these words of good news from Isaiah 61 The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners.”

Hear the W.O.W., the Words of Wisdom,
“Christ will never leave nor forsake us!”

Remember to pray The Lord’s Prayer every day at 12 Noon!

Be God’s Shalom,
Stephen

What’s Happening, February 22. 2019

McKENDREE MINISTRIES!

SUNDAY WORSHIP SERVICES  are regularly at 9am and 11am.  Our current sermon series, “The Evidence of Grace!”  is in two parts.  Using the Prodigal Son parable, we will explore how grace is evident in three ways: Prevenient Grace, Justifying Grace and Sanctifying Grace.  These three descriptors of grace are distinctively Wesleyan.  Each one offers a helpful understanding of how God’s grace works in our lives and how grace worked in the lives of both sons of the Father.  We will conclude the series this Sunday.

NEW SACRED SPACE TEAM!– Information Session at 10 am on March 3.  We are looking for artists, poets, people with an eye for design, photographers, people who like to create spaces of beauty, people who pride themselves in yard sale or online finds, and more who would love to use their creativity in worship.  Or even people who don’t have any of those gifts, but just believe worship can (should) be more than just singing and speaking.

We believe in curating worship…which means that Jesus uses all our gifts to create engagement with Him.  We are building a team to create and curate worship experiences and help create experiential worship, meaning praying with all our senses.

Join us Sunday, March 3 between the services in the fellowship hall to learn more!

BAPTISM  If you are interested in joining the church or in being baptized, please contact Ruth Baggett in the church office at 615-271-2600 or mckendreeinfo@gmail.com.

ENCOUNTER MINISTRY    Our Encounter Ministry is an alternative service for those who feel “church” is not for them.  We meet at 12:30pm at the offices of the United Methodist Publishing House, at 2222 Rosa L. Parks Blvd.  We are meeting on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of the month.  For more information on our Encounter Ministry, you may contact Rick Quinn at mckendreerick@gmail.com.

ASH WEDNESDAY SERVICES   March 6 is Ash Wednesday.  We will have two services – at 12:00 noon, in our first floor chapel, and at 6:30 pm, in the sanctuary.  Everyone is welcome!

CHANGE FOR RWANDA  McKendree Church is sponsoring a United Methodist Pastor in Rwanda for a year.  Currently the United Methodist pastors in Rwanda do not receive an adequate salary to support their families.  It takes only $34 (U.S. money) a month to support a pastor in Rwanda.  Thank you for your generosity!

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LENTEN STUDY

As we move toward the season of Lent, many Christians around the world prepare their hearts and minds for forty days of contemplation and preparation for Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection.  We remember Jesus being tempted for 40 days in the desert as we reflect on our own spiritual wellness and our interactions with the world around us.

This year through the Lenten season, a group will gather weekly to learn more about our relationship with Judaism as Christians—our shared roots, our tumultuous history, and the possibility of reconciliation and interfaith collaboration.  To support our study, we will use Amy-Jill Levine’s book, Short Stories by Jesus: The Enigmatic Parables of a Controversial Rabbi.  Over the course of our five sessions, we will be hearing a brief history, learning about the Jewish context of Jesus’ parables, scoping out obvious and not-so-obvious anti-Semitism in our world today, and talking about how all of this affects us as Christians.  We will also focus on rituals and practices that come out of this shared history and may enrich our own spiritual lives.  Many of the rituals we practice in the church today, including Baptism and Communion, have their roots in Judaism!  We will learn a new spiritual practice each week, hearing about its origins and having the opportunity to practice together and on our own.

We can enrich our lives as Christians by seeking to build bridges of understanding and reverence with our neighbors of different religions.  Join us at 6pm on Mondays during Lent to begin our immersion into this rich and exciting topic.

We will meet the following dates: March 11, 18, 25 and April 1, 8.  We will gather at 6pm at the United Methodist Publishing House (2222 Rosa L Parks Blvd, Nashville, TN 37228).

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McKENDREE GROUP MINISTRIES!

UNITED METHODIST WOMEN  We will be celebrating on March 9th in Fellowship Hall:

  • That women, children and youth have found faith, hope and love through this wonderful organization for 150 years (1869-2019)!
  • That the first Women’s Foreign Missionary Society in Tennessee was formed by six ladies here at McKendree in 1872!
  • That only five years later over 100 women at McKendree were members!
  • That by 1878 they sent a missionary to China.
  • That the determination and effort to make missions happen has never ceased at McKendree United Methodist Church.
  • That on the National level the ministry of United Methodist Women’s organization has extended to missions throughout the United States and in many countries.

Now that is one way the love and sprit of Jesus Christ is being spread “into all the world.”  And that is why we are excited and have so much for which to be thankful for and to celebrate!  Come celebrate and share our excitement and joy with us on March 9th!

 ADULT STUDY GROUP—10am Sunday mornings  We meet in the Community Room (near garage entrance).  We invite everyone to join us as we grow together in Christ!

WEDNESDAY NIGHT   Our Adult Bible study group meets each Wednesday at 6pm in Pastor Stephen’s office.  We are currently studying the book of Matthew.  On February 27 our reading and study will be on Matthew chapter 17.  We have some great discussions as we go through the Word of God.  We’d love to have you join us!  NOTE: We will not meet on March 6, as we will attend the Ash Wednesday Service.

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WE NEED MEN’S WINTER CLOTHING!

            sweat shirts/pants             flannel shirts                    jeans                        shoes/socks
jackets and coats                hats and gloves                blankets

Also we need men’s black dress pants and white button down shirts (many jobs require these.)

If you have any of these items, please consider donating them to the church clothes closet.  All donations are greatly appreciated!  Items don’t have to be new, but clean and in good condition.

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CHURCH FAMILY NEWS

PRAYER WALL  Our prayer wall is located on the table at the back of the church.  You may take a tag (in a box on the table), write out your prayer need, and place it on a nail in the wall.  On Tuesdays and Thursdays the Lead Team and Prayer Team pray over all the concerns submitted.  We welcome people from our congregation to submit concerns and to read and pray over the concerns of our church body.  You may also share your concerns with the church staff by phone (615-271-2600) or email (mckendreeinfo@gmail.com).

CONGREGATIONAL PRAYER  Remember that we as a church are praying the Lord’s Prayer every day at Noon.  Wherever you are at noon, we invite you to join us in prayer.

PASTOR’S SERMON  You may hear Pastor Handy’s latest sermon by going to https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/mckendree-united-methodist/id962978531?mt=2

McKENDREE GIVING  Your financial gifts and donations are always appreciated.  Consider adding McKendree UMC to your bill pay account.  Our address is: 523 Church Street, Nashville, TN 37219.  Online giving is available at www.McKendreeNashville.com/give/financialgifts/.   You may also text your giving!  Just text the amount you would like to give to 615-375-4049.

As always, remember God’s will for us is good, we must do the rest!
Pastor Stephen

What’s Happening, February 8, 2019

McKENDREE MINISTRIES!

SUNDAY WORSHIP SERVICES  are regularly at 9am and 11am.  In our Winter Sermon Series “Made For More!” Paul, the Apostle of Jesus Christ, reminds the people of the Ephesus community to unite under the sovereignty of Jesus Christ!  Christ has reconciled the whole of creation to himself and to God.  Paul is writing from prison to the church in Ephesus that they have a responsibility because humanity was Made For More in this world.  God has invited humanity to participate in this transforming act of salvation through Jesus Christ.

People of all nations are united to Christ and to one another in the church, through the working of the Trinity.  Paul uses several word pictures to describe the church: body, temple, mystery, new creature, bride, and soldier.

Christians should lead holy lives that give honor to God.  Paul issues specific guidelines for right living because humanity was Made For More!

SCOUT SUNDAY  This Sunday (February 10) is Boy Scout Sunday.  We welcome the members of our Scout Troop 219 and their families to our services today.  Our Scout Troop was organized in 2004 and to date 18 young men have accomplished the rank of Eagle Scout.  We are proud of all our young men!

BAPTISM  If you are interested in joining the church or in being baptized, please contact Ruth Baggett in the church office at 615-271-2600 or mckendreeinfo@gmail.com.

ENCOUNTER MINISTRY    Our Encounter Ministry is an alternative service for those who feel “church” is not for them.  We meet at 12:30pm at the offices of the United Methodist Publishing House, at 2222 Rosa L. Parks Blvd.  We are meeting on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of the month.  For more information on our Encounter Ministry, you may contact Rick Quinn at mckendreerick@gmail.com.

CHANGE FOR RWANDA  McKendree Church is sponsoring a United Methodist Pastor in Rwanda for a year.  Currently the United Methodist pastors in Rwanda do not receive an adequate salary to support their families.  It takes only $34 (U.S. money) a month to support a pastor in Rwanda.  Bring your change to create change!

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McKENDREE GROUP MINISTRIES!

UNITED METHODIST WOMEN  Our UMW regular meeting will be this Saturday, February 9th at 10am in the Community Room.  The program will one of our Special Programs, The 2019 Call To Prayer and Self-Denial.  Debbie McCormick will be the program leader.  We will be learning more about the difficult circumstances children and youth face around the world, how United Methodist is promoting their well-being and equal opportunities for them, and how members can support children and youth through the Call to Prayer and Self-Denial Offering, which will be collected at this meeting.  All women, youth and children are welcomed.

ADULT STUDY GROUP—10am Sunday mornings  We meet in the Community Room (near garage entrance).  We invite everyone to join us as we grow together in Christ!

WEDNESDAY NIGHT   Our Adult Bible study group meets each Wednesday at 6pm in Pastor Stephen’s office.  We are currently studying the Gospel of Matthew.  On February 13 our reading and study will be on Matthew chapter 15.  We have some great discussions as we go through the Word of God.  We’d love to have you join us!

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WE NEED MEN’S WINTER CLOTHING!

            sweat shirts/pants             flannel shirts                    jeans                        shoes/socks

jackets and coats                hats and gloves                blankets

Also we need men’s black dress pants and white button down shirts (many jobs require these.)

If you have any of these items, please consider donating them to the church clothes closet.  All donations are greatly appreciated!  Items don’t have to be new, but clean and in good condition.

*********************************

CHURCH FAMILY NEWS

PRAYER WALL  Our prayer wall is located on the table at the back of the church.  You may take a tag (in a box on the table), write out your prayer need, and place it on a nail in the wall.  On Tuesdays and Thursdays the Lead Team and Prayer Team pray over all the concerns submitted.  We welcome people from our congregation to submit concerns and to read and pray over the concerns of our church body.  You may also share your concerns with the church staff by phone (615-271-2600) or email (mckendreeinfo@gmail.com).

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CONGREGATIONAL PRAYER  Remember that we as a church are praying the Lord’s Prayer every day at Noon.  Wherever you are at noon, we invite you to join us in prayer.

McKENDREE GIVING  Your financial gifts and donations are always appreciated.  Consider adding McKendree UMC to your bill pay account.  Our address is: 523 Church Street, Nashville, TN 37219.  Online giving is available at www.McKendreeNashville.com/give/financialgifts/.   You may also text your giving!  Just text the amount you would like to give to 615-375-4049.

PASTOR’S SERMON  You may hear Pastor Handy’s latest sermon by going to https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/mckendree-united-methodist/id962978531?mt=2

Be Shalom!
Pastor Stephen

What’s Happening, January 18, 2019

McKENDREE MINISTRIES!

SUNDAY WORSHIP SERVICES  are regularly at 9am and 11am.  In our new Sermon Series “Made For More!” Paul, the Apostle of Jesus Christ, reminds the people of the Ephesus community to unite under the sovereignty of Jesus Christ!  Christ has reconciled the whole of creation to himself and to God.  Paul is writing from prison to the church in Ephesus that they have a responsibility because humanity was Made For More in this world.  God has invited humanity to participate in this transforming act of salvation through Jesus Christ.

People of all nations are united to Christ and to one another in the church, through the working of the Trinity.  Paul uses several word pictures to describe the church: body, temple, mystery, new creature, bride, and soldier.

Christians should lead holy lives that give honor to God.  Paul issues specific guidelines for right living because humanity was Made For More!

BAPTISM  If you are interest in joining the church or in being baptized, please contact Ruth Baggett in the church office at 615-271-2600 or mckendreeinfo@gmail.com.

CHANGE FOR RWANDA  McKendree Church is sponsoring a United Methodist Pastor in Rwanda for a year.  Currently the United Methodist pastors in Rwanda do not receive an adequate salary to support their families.  It takes only $34 (U.S. money) a month to support a pastor in Rwanda.  We are taking a change (coin) offering each Sunday.  Bring your change to create change!

COME INSCRIBE OUR NEW ALTAR PRAYER CLOTH!  As a gift in honor of our young people who have recently completed Confirmation, we have received a new handmade patchwork prayer cloth for our altar.  The Confirmands have written on this altar cloth their prayers for peace, hope, joy, love, or bridge building—for our church, their schools, our city, our country, or our world.  Everyone is invited to join these wonderful young people in prayer, writing your own short prayer on an empty patchwork block.  Once it is filled with the prayers of our congregation, this altar cloth will be a visual representation of our individual and communal hopes, stitched together by our belief that God will continue to work wonders in our world.  Look for a table with the altar cloth and fabric markers set up inside the sanctuary!

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 McKENDREE GROUP MINISTRIES!

ADULT STUDY GROUP—10am Sunday mornings  We meet in the Community Room (near garage entrance).  We invite everyone to join us as we grow together in Christ!

WEDNESDAY NIGHT   Our Adult Bible study has started back with our study on the Gospel of Matthew.  Our study group meets each Wednesday at 6pm in Pastor Stephen’s office.  On January 23 our reading and study will be on Matthew chapter 13.  We have some great discussions as we go through the Word of God.  We’d love to have you join us!

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WE HAVE A NEED!

WE NEED MEN’S CLOTHING!
          sweat shirts/pants         flannel shirts                  jeans                 shoes and socks
jackets and coats           hats and gloves              blankets

We haven’t had any ice or snow yet, but the possibility is predicted for this weekend!  We are in great need of warm clothing for men!  All donations are greatly appreciated!  Items don’t have to be new, but clean and in good condition.  Donations may be brought to the church on Sundays or to the church office during the week.

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PRAYER WALL  Our prayer wall is located on the table at the back of the church.  You may take a tag (in a box on the table), write out your prayer need, and place it on a nail in the wall.  On Tuesdays and Thursdays the Lead Team and Prayer Team pray over all the concerns submitted.  We welcome people from our congregation to submit concerns and to read and pray over the concerns of our church body.  You may also share your concerns with the church staff by phone (615-271-2600) or email (mckendreeinfo@gmail.com).

*********************************

CONGREGATIONAL PRAYER  Remember that we as a church are praying the Lord’s Prayer every day at Noon.  Wherever you are at noon, we invite you to join us in prayer.

THE CHURCH OFFICE AND DAY CARE WILL BE CLOSED ON MONDAY, JANUARY 21 FOR MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. DAY

McKENDREE GIVING  Your financial gifts and donations are always appreciated.  Consider adding McKendree UMC to your bill pay account.  Our address is: 523 Church Street, Nashville, TN 37219.  Online giving is available at www.McKendreeNashville.com/give/financialgifts/.   You may also text your giving!  Just text the amount you would like to give to 615-375-4049.

PASTOR’S SERMON  You may hear Pastor Handy’s latest sermon by going to https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/mckendree-united-methodist/id962978531?mt=2

As always, remember God’s will for us is good, we must do the rest!
Pastor Stephen