The Promise of Divine Disruption

Luke 1:26-38, Common English Bible

That’s impossible!  How many times have we heard those two words and agreed or said those words with a strong belief?  We all know and have heard or witnessed that the impossible with God often becomes the possible!

Elizabeth, who was barren, is now pregnant with John the Baptist.  Now Mary, described as a virgin and engaged to be married to Joseph enters the story.  Gabriel, the angel of God, visits Mary with a prophetic announcement of the promise of divine disruption.  You are pregnant with God’s Son!

Mary must be thinking, “How is this divine disruption possible?”  Can you hear the voice of disbelief?

Let’s look at the pattern for a divine encounter!

Feels like God is absent!
Mary said to the angel, “But how?  I’ve never slept with a man.”   Luke 1:34

Words of reassurance become evident!
The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
the power of the Highest hover over you; Therefore, the child you bring to birth will be called Holy, Son of God.”   Luke 1:35

God’s promise is accepted and fulfilled!
 “Nothing, you see, is impossible with God.”  And Mary said, “Yes, I see it all now: I’m the Lord’s maid, ready to serve.  Let it be with me just as you say.”   Luke 1:37-38

Hear the W.O.W., the Words of Wisdom,
“God is a Promise Keeper!”

Make Your Worship Matter Today!

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 love the way David pens Psalm 103:1.  It says, “Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name.”  Our desire for worship should always be to please God and bring God glory from the depths of our hearts and the sounds of our voices.  Worship is a gift of God’s own grace, mediated by the Son and dependent upon the Holy Spirit.

Worship is all about God!  If we believed and practiced that theological reality of worship how would our lives be different?

Think about being in love.  What are you willing to give away in a relationship grounded in love?  True love gives itself for the simple pleasure of the other, not to coerce or manipulate the other’s love in return.  True love knows nothing of payback, ulterior motives or a return on the investment.  Worship that is “holy and acceptable” to God (Romans 12:1) is what matters.

Hear the W.O.W., the Words of Wisdom,
“Make your Worship matter today!

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

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

What’s Happening, July 20, 2017


SUNDAY WORSHIP SERVICES  are regularly at 9am and 11am.  (On July 30 we will have one combined worship service at 10am.)  Our sermon series is “Intentional Disruption!”  At times, God intentionally disrupts our lives.  In the book of Acts, the Holy Spirit is a disruptive force for the advancement of God’s Kingdom.  So let’s not fight disruption but rather join God in the journey of renewal.  Disruption helps us change by testing us so that we gather in communion before God and with neighbor.  Disruption strengthens our faith and faith is the only way to please God.  What in your life needs disrupting?

BAPTISM  If you are interested in being baptized, please contact Ruth Baggett in the church office at

VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL  A huge thank you to all who volunteered and participated in VBS last weekend.  It was a great success and it wouldn’t have been without everyone that helped.  I hear my moose impression is still being talked about.  🙂

Thank you to my right hand assistant for leading our Music and More opening and closing.

Thanks to all the station leaders/helpers — the children learned so much in such a little time!

Thanks to all my crew leaders/helpers for leading, guiding and controlling (ha, ha) all our McKendree kids.

Thank you to my behind the scenes people, for taking great photos, helping in the nursery, and for your prayers.

Also thank you to the amazing lunch crew for putting together a delicious camp out lunch on Saturday!  You are the best!

And a big thanks to anyone who let us have fun with your children, prayed over VBS, and donated to VBS.  It takes a village and we have one of the best at McKendree UMC.

Please join us on Sunday, July 30 at our combined 5th Sunday service as the children present a short program about what they learned camping out with God.
— Alison Weakley

CHILDREN’S MINISTRY   Promotion Sunday will be August 6.  Children going into Kindergarten will receive an engraved Bible.  Children who have graduated 3rd grade will be receiving a special gift also.  In August we will be starting our new 4th-5th grade Sunday School class.  Children’s church will be for children age 3 through those in 3rd grade.  The 4th-5th graders will stay in the church service and have their Sunday School class after the service.

REFRESH! is our mid-week gathering.  We meet in the first floor chapel each Wednesday, 12:00-12:30pm.  Our worship includes prayers, hymns, a message and Holy Communion.  Everyone is invited to attend.

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.

WEDNESDAY NIGHT ACTIVITIES   Our Wednesday Night Bible Study and our Chancel Choir are not meeting in July.  Both groups will begin again on August 2.



VOLUNTEERING AT BUENA VISTA ELEMENTARY – MENTORS AND READING CLINIC,  Informational meeting this Sunday morning at 10:15am THIS SUNDAY MORNING  McKendree UMC is working to deepen and broaden a partnership with Buena Vista Enhanced Option Elementary School located in North Nashville on 1531 9th Avenue North.  Buena Vista Elementary is designated a priority school in the state of Tennessee which means that it falls in the bottom 5% of schools throughout the state in student performance.  Nearly 100% of the student body are from families who live at or below the poverty line with an average family income for the school of $9,000/year.  Only 20% of the student body is reading at grade level and there is a 40% mobility rate (4 out of 10 students who start the year won’t finish the complete school year at Buena Vista) because the school serves two homeless shelters.  There is a great need for mentors and reading clinic volunteers who could dedicate an hour a week to making a difference in the lives of some amazing children.

We have had a great response so far and there will be a brief information meeting this Sunday morning between services at 10:15am in the Archives Room across from the church offices.  Stan Weber, Executive Director of United4Hope will join us.  United4Hope facilitates and supports strong church-public school partnerships.  For more information, please contact Rick Quinn at

CAROLING ON THE FRONT LAWN!!   To celebrate our Christmas in July, we’ll be singing Christmas Carols on the front steps/lawn on Saturday, July 29, 10am.  You do not have to be a member of the choir or praise band to participate.  We’ll gather at the church at 9:45am, and sing from 10-11am.  We’ll give out bottles of water to passersby, and invite them to our special Christmas in July service on July 30.  Everyone is invited to join us!  Donations of bottled water will be greatly appreciated!  Come join the fun!

CHRISTMAS IN JULY, July 30  The Weather Channel says this is the hottest week of the year so far.  It may be hot outside, but we’re having Christmas inside!  On July 30, we’re celebrating Christmas in July!  The Evangelism/Mission/Social Justice Ministry Team and the Worship Ministry Team are joining together for this celebration.  We are requesting spiral notebooks, composition notebooks and pencils for Buena Vista Elementary School.  (This is a correction from Rose Park School.)  You may bring your gifts to the church ahead of time or on July 30.

We are trying to top last year’s giving – 1500 pencils, and over 400 notebooks.  We believe we can! Watch for the sales!  The Tennessee Tax Free Weekend will be July 28-30, a great time to buy these school supplies!  Gift wrapping of supplies is not necessary!

WORSHIP WITHOUT WALLS!  On Sunday, July 30th, we will have a Worship Without Walls experience.   We will come together for a short worship service, then we will serve God by helping others.  Our work project will be at Buena Vista Elementary School (1531 9th Avenue North).  We need 10 volunteers to help with outdoor work on their grounds.  A sign-up sheet will be on the table at the back entrance.  For more information, you may contact Rick Quinn at


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.


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  You may also text your giving!  Just text the amount you would like to give to 615-375-4049.  The first time you give you will be prompted to visit a secure URL.  Just follow the prompts and enter your information.

PASTOR’S SERMON  You may hear Pastor Handy’s latest sermon by going to

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

The Disruptive Wilderness!

Exodus 3:1-12, Common English Bible

Everyone has the capacity to hear from God!  It may not be audible, but God gains our attention in a variety of ways.  Being available is the prominent position we must take to have the opportunity to respond to God especially while we are in the wilderness.  Out in the wilderness, we find Moses stumbles upon “the mountain of God” known as Mount Horeb.

Experience the wilderness lately?  In the ancient world, mountaintops were the traditional dwelling places for the divine.  There, at the mountain, Moses encounters an undeniable and unquenchable burning bush.  Fire is a common biblical symbol of God’s divine presence.  The fiery, yet unconsumed, bush is an icon of the divine, a material or sacramental window into God’s presence that both reveals and hides.  In part, the ever-burning shrub out in the wilderness signals God’s merciful accommodation.  God comes down from the mountain of God to meet Moses in the bush.

Why does God cause such an intentional disruption?  Every divine disruption has a deliberate order.

First, there is the call!
When the Lord saw that he was coming to look, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!”  Moses said, “I’m here.”   Exodus 3:4

Second, there is clarity!
“Now the Israelites’ cries of injustice have reached me.  I’ve seen just how much the Egyptians have oppressed them.”   Exodus 3:9

Finally, there is the cause!
 “So get going.  I’m sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt.”   Exodus 3:10

Hear the W.O.W., the Words of Wisdom,
“Disruption causes new direction!”

“Do It Again!”

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 think about the scene of what we do as a people, Worship God!  Worship is our response to God for rescuing us from our sinful nature and allowing grace to now lead us.  But as followers of Jesus, I often wonder how do we know when our worship to God is good?

Have you ever played with a 2-to-4 year-old child?  If you ever do something they really enjoy, it quickly becomes routine because the child will say constantly, “Do it again!”  And after hearing, “Do it again,” the routine or game can go on and on forever.  And although we get tired, the child never does.

In the same way, worshiping God should work along those same lines.  Since worship is directed at pleasing God, it would be wise for us to listen for God’s response to our offering of worship.  God never gets tired of good worship.  It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again” to the moon.  And surely God desires to respond to our worship by saying, “Do it again!”

Paul the Apostle records in the book of Romans, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sister, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.”  Romans 12:1

Hear the W.O.W., the Words of Wisdom,
“Great Worship is hearing God say, “Do It Again!”

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

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