Rejoice on Purpose!

Philippians 4:4-7, New International Version

Anxiety is a major problem in the lives of people.  Everyone experiences some form of anxiety.  The church of Philippi was experiencing anxiety and from prison Paul offers some direction.  We can live anxiety free lives but it takes intentionality.

“Rejoicing is Contagious!”

“Check your Alignment to Christ!”

Hear the W.O.W., the Words of Wisdom
“Always Remember Your Connection to Christ!”

What’s Happening, April 5, 2018

McKENDREE MINISTRIES!

SUNDAY WORSHIP SERVICES  are regularly at 9am and 11am.  (On April 29 we will have one combined worship service at 10am.)  Our April Sermon Series is called Be Anxious for Nothing: Stay Calm!” Most of us at some point in our lives become overly anxious. Anxiety takes up residence in our hearts. Anxiety can be deadly if it goes unchecked. As Americans the cost of anxiety is over 300 billion dollars in medical bills and lost productivity in the workplace annually. Paul, in his letter to the church in Philippi, offers not only good advice, but also a way to overcome anxiety by staying calm.  Life is worth living without anxiety and is possible because Jesus Christ is no longer in the tomb!

BAPTISM  If you are interested in being baptized, please contact Ruth in the church office at mckendreeinfo@gmail.com.

ENCOUNTER MINISTRY  We invite you to join us Sunday afternoons at 12:30pm at the offices of the United Methodist Publishing House at 2222 Rosa L. Parks Blvd, for our Encounter service.  The Encounter is an alternative service for those who feel “church” is not for them.  We are disrupting the passive model of Christian gathering and building bridges of hope around tables where we encounter God in and with our neighbor and engage the neighborhood.  For more information on our Encounter Ministry, you may contact Rick Quinn at mckendreerick@gmail.com.

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

APRIL 29 IS FIFTH SUNDAY!
We will have one combined worship service at 10am

Worship without Walls will follow!
(See Opportunities for Service)

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McKENDREE GROUP MINISTRIES!

WEDNESDAY NIGHT BIBLE STUDY  We are in a study of the book The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis.  This is a classic work of religious satire and shows us how we are unknowingly tempted to stray from our faith, and how we can triumph!  This book is written from the perspective of Screwtape, one of Satan’s highly placed assistants, as he mentors his nephew Wormwood in the ways of demonhood.  We are finding this book to be humorous and enlightening and it pushes us to think from a different perspective.  On April 11, we will discuss Letters 13-14, on Personal Pleasure and Humility.  We welcome everyone to join with us for this study series.  We meet each Wednesday at 6pm in Pastor Stephen’s office.

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OPPORTUNITIES FOR SERVICE!

DOWNTOWN HOME TOUR, APRIL 15  The Nashville Downtown Partnership will be hosting the Downtown Home Tour on Sunday, April 15, from 12-5pm.  As people walk down the street, we hand out cookies and a flyer with information about the church and talk with them.  We also invite them to come inside and see the church.  We need volunteers who will be outside to give out cookies and flyers and talk to people.  We also need volunteers inside the narthex who can tell people a little about the church and show them the sanctuary.  The tour is from 12-5 pm, but most of the foot traffic will be over by 3pm.  If you can help either inside or outside, from 12-3pm, please contact Ruth Baggett in the church office, mckendreeinfo@gmail.com.

We also need cookies, lots of cookies!  Homemade or packages from the store, either is fine.  They can be brought to the church office ahead of time or on April 15.

The construction is over, the sidewalk is open and The 505 condo tower is open!  This will be a new destination on the Downtown Home Tour, and we especially want people to know that they are welcome at McKendree Church!

BUENA VISTA ELEMENTARY VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY  The 3rd/4th grade students at our Pencil Partner, Buena Vista Elementary will take the state assessment, TNReady, in just a few short weeks.  Students will sit for a portion of the exam each day – each section lasting anywhere from 45-80 minutes.  We are looking for volunteers who are interested/willing to assist as test proctors in our four 3rd/4th grade classrooms.  In this role, you’ll be “teacher back-up” when it comes to handing out materials, ensuring that students have what they need during the test, watching the classroom in case the teacher has to step out with a student, etc.

If you’re curious about what sitting in a room full of quiet students looks like, this is the volunteer opportunity for you.

If interested, please use this link to see the schedule/sign-up for one of the days/times:  https://www.volunteersignup.org/PEQHW.  If you sign up for a slot, contact Rick Quinn at mckendreerick@gmail.com for information on location and sign in procedure at the school.

WORSHIP WITHOUT WALLS!  On Sunday, April 29th, 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 projects will be at Scarritt Bennett Center (yard work: weeding, mulching, and indoor work: cleaning tables and chairs), here at McKendree Church (clothing closet, and also cleaning/polishing pews) and possible Buena Vista Elementary School.  A sign-up sheet will be on the tables at the front and back entrances.  For more information, you may contact Debbie McCormick at dmccormick1@gmail.com.

CREATION CARE MINISTRY  On Saturday, May 12th, McKendree Church will co-sponsor in Creation Care Recycling Day at West End UMC, from 9am-12pm.  This will be an opportunity for:
Document shredding – bring paper and photos in an untied garbage bag or open box
Electronic recycling – computers, monitors, DVD players, electronics, printers,
televisions and more.  There is a $10 charge for CRT monitors and a $25 charge
for all televisions.
Batteries – dry-cell batteries, disposable and rechargeable and others
Medications – dispose of over-the-counter and prescription drugs, pills, liquids,
lotions, inhalers
Donations for Goodwill – clothing, household items, furniture, books, working                             appliances

As a co-sponsor, we need volunteers to help at West End UMC on May 12.  Volunteers will direct cars through the parking lot and help unload items from people’s cars/trucks.  We need to fill 3 slots from 8:30-12:15.  You can volunteer for all 4 hours, or for 2-hour shifts (8:30-10:40/10:30-12:15).  If you have questions or can help on May 12, please contact Karasheila Jackson at krochellenoskcaj@gmail.com.  Thanks for your help!

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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).

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

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

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

God is leading us!

Greetings Holy, Healthy and Happy People of God,

As I write this eNote to our faithful and devoted community of radical and contextually conscious followers of Jesus Christ, I’m reminded that on this day 50 years ago, Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis at 6:01pm.  Emotions today for this nation are all over the place.  People are marching in honor of Dr. King while others are doing public service work.  How will you remember and reflect on Dr. King’s work?

During my devotion time this morning, I was reading in the book of Joshua and stopped on the following verse, Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (NIV)  The Israelites find themselves in the in-between.  Moses has died and Joshua has taken over the leadership mantle.  He’s uncertain and God’s people are uncertain.  Then God speaks through a question, Have I not commanded you?  And then God answers the question, Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

At this time in our nation’s history, we need more than one leader.  We need leaders like Moses and Dr. King who have the eyes and ears of God to see the Promised Land.  We need everyone to play a role in the unity of this country and live into God’s promise.  We can no longer spectate as if this were a sports event.  No longer can we just talk about it and offer our personal opinion.  No, we need spiritual leaders who are both strong and courageous.  Humanity, God’s people, were designed to do this work.  So let’s not be afraid or discouraged.  What makes us so strong and courageous?  God concludes his answer to Joshua, “for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”  Then God literally drops the mic and walks off the stage.

What else do we need?  “If God be for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31(b)  So let us lead by love and let’s extend extravagant grace to people who are struggling and in the struggle.  This is our time under God!  So let us RISE UP and do this work together!  Remember the tomb of Christ is still empty!

Hear the W.O.W., the Words of Wisdom,
“God is leading us!”

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

Poor People’s Procession!

Mark 11:1-11, The Message

Everyone had gathered for the Festival of the Passover.  But who was invited to the public procession and display of liberation?  People who needed hope were gathered to remember their deliverance from the oppressive acts of Pharaoh.  God had intervened then and was about to intervene again.

The Roman Empire was in control and Pilate would have demonstrated a position of power in the city.  Warhorses, chariots and weapons would have been highly visible to remind the Jews that the Roman Empire was still in control.

Then Jesus rides in on a colt.  By entering Jerusalem, Jesus is making a statement against the Roman Empire.   On the road would have been a group of poor people who would be remembering the stories of God’s liberation from the past.  Those gathered would be looking for an alternative to their current state of oppression.

Joining the non-violent, poor people’s procession requires a risk, but it comes with eternal rewards!

Jesus needs us to do our part!
When they were nearing Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany on Mount Olives, he sent off two of the disciples with instructions: “Go to the village across from you.  As soon as you enter, you’ll find a colt tethered, one that has never yet been ridden.  Untie it and bring it.  If anyone asks, ‘What are you doing?’ say, ‘The Master needs him, and will return him right away.’”   Mark 11:1-3

Join the chorus of Hosanna!
The people gave him a wonderful welcome, some throwing their coats on the street, others spreading out rushes they had cut in the fields.  Running ahead and following after, they were calling out, “Hosanna!  Blessed is he who comes in God’s name!  Blessed the coming kingdom of our father David!  Hosanna in highest heaven!”   Mark 11:8-10

Hear the W.O.W., the Words of Wisdom,
“Jesus Saves!”

Lenten Bible Study, Week 6, Final Study

March 25-31   Mark 15-16

Mark 15  As part of the Crucifixion, the scene is absent of many of the disciples, but the women are present.  The women were willing to publicly affiliate with Jesus all the way to the cross.  What compels you to follow Jesus even when it’s extremely difficult?

Mark 16  Mark’s gospel originally ended with verse 8.  “They said nothing to anyone because they were afraid.”  What fears keep you isolated and afraid from sharing the good news of Jesus Christ’s resurrection with others?

Later verses 9-20 were added over time which includes Jesus appearing to Mary Magdalene.  She goes to the disciples and shares that Jesus has risen from the dead, but they don’t believe her.  Then Jesus appears to the disciples and instructs them to believe, to be baptized and to share the good news.  Where is God calling you to go and the share the good news of Jesus Christ?

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This year for Lent we have been encouraging everyone to read through the Gospel of Mark.  Each week we will have reading suggestions and questions for you to think about.  This is for your personal devotional time and spiritual growth.  This is the last week of our Lenten study.

Thanks again to Stephen Handy, Robert Johnson and Rick Quinn for our study questions!

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Week 1, February 18-24 – Mark 1-2

Mark 1  Mark’s gospel appears to want to keep the secrecy of Jesus as the Messiah until the appropriate time.  Every time Jesus performs a miracle or makes a claim, Mark tries to keep it quiet.  During this Lenten Season, how are you preparing for Jesus Christ to shine through you at the appropriate time?

Mark 2  The observance of Sabbath is a commandment from the Old Testament as a time for rest and reflection.  For followers of Jesus Christ, the Sabbath is also considered a spiritual practice.  Mark’s gospel tells us that Jesus is the LORD even of the Sabbath.  How will you intentionally incorporate the Sabbath as a spiritual practice during this Lenten Season and beyond?

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Week 2, February 25-March 3 – Mark 3-5

Mark 3  This chapter begins with the story of a man with a withered hand.  What would it look like for you to “stretch out your hand” toward God?  How can healing happen for you during the next 5 weeks of the 2018 Lenten season?

In Mark 3:13-19 Jesus makes an “investment” in the lives of 12 people by appointing them as apostles.  In whose lives have you invested in the past year?  Celebrate this!

Mark 4  Jesus directs us to plant seeds in anticipation of fruitful outcomes.  Whom do you see yourself planting seeds for, and what growth do you hope for this year?

Mark 5  As you read Chapter 5, get out a piece of paper and make a list of words you would use to describe the character of Jesus.  After you finish, look at your list.  Meditate for a few moments on 1) who God is and 2) your commitment to “let your light shine”!

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Week 3, March 4-10 – Mark 6-8

Mark 6  This chapter begins with the story of Jesus visiting his hometown, only to face rejection of his authority.  When have you recently felt rejected by others?  When have you rejected someone’s advice and then regretted it later?  Pray a short prayer for patience, knowing that God understands your needs.

In Mark 6:30-44 we hear the miraculous story of the feeding of the five thousand.  In addition to helping our brothers and sisters alleviate physical hungers, think of another, invisible hunger that you can help others with.  Make a commitment to explore an opportunity to help someone in this way.

Mark 7  The opening of Chapter 7 includes these stirring words: “This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.”  Can you think of a spiritual goal in your life that you’ve paid “lip service” to, but have yet to put into action?  How will you put more “heart” into it next time?

Mark 8  In the second feeding miracle, once again the disciples seem more focused on roadblocks to success instead of trusting in God’s plan.  What negative attitudes most often hold you back?

In Mark 8:31-38 Jesus gives his iconic command to “take up your cross and follow me.”  Did you promise to “give up” anything for the season of Lent?  If so, reflect on your progress and how these words of Jesus might inspire you.  If not, think of a sacrifice that you can make between now and Easter that helps renew your focus on what’s truly important in your life right now.

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Week 4, March 11-17 – Mark 9-11

Mark 9-11  This week’s reading starts with two contrasting stories.  The first is the Transfiguration story.  Transfiguration moments happen in life when, in the journey of discipleship, our stories become one with the story of God’s Kingdom.  The second, and contrasting story, is the disciples’ failure to help a young boy afflicted by demons.  Each of us as followers of Christ probably has a similar story of experiencing failure or defeat.  How has your discipleship been impacted by moments of transfiguration and/or moments of defeat?  What is God calling you to in the midst of these experiences?

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Week 5, March 18-24 – Mark 12-14

Mark 12-14  What does it mean for us to discern the times today and to retain hope in the face of so much violence and discouragement?  In the midst of the troubles of our world, where is God calling you to deeper prayer, new or renewed action, or to particular changes?

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