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Worship

Our worship service starts at 10 am, directly after the 9 am Sunday school.  We have an interim pastor, Reverend Scott Huie, who has been leading us since the latter part of 2016.  Pastor Scott is pictured below as he welcomes two new elders to serve on the leadership team.

We have a pot-luck dinner after service on the first Sunday of every month.   This past Sunday we held it outside under our pavilion.  The skies threatened rain but the weather held off during the times we needed it to, during set up and clean up.  In conjunction with what we call our "First Sunday Fellowship" we also have a Change for Change collection during service.  At this time, the children reach out to the congregation for pocket change, which is then given to GraceWorks West.  It is a small step in teaching the children to pass our good fortunes to those who have less.  Anyone is welcome to join us; for service, or dinner, or both!  We would love to have the opportunity to meet you. 


The "From up Front" sections below are written by our Interim Pastor, Scott Huie, and are first distributed in our Wednesday newsletters which can be seen on the "newsletter" drop down tab under "About Us"


From up front…


June 11, 2017  From up Front:


Oh how I miss Dad!  This will be my second Father’s Day without him, and I still feel his absence deeply.  He loved both God and people passionately, and he was an extraordinary mentor for me as a preacher, a Christian, and a father.

This Sunday in worship, I’ve decided to tackle the Fifth Commandment, “Honor your father and your mother….”  This one hits so close to home.  The previous commandments all essentially deal with our relationship with God: worship God alone, accept no substitutes, don’t make wrongful use of God’s name, remember the Sabbath, all commandments about divine authority.  Now we come to the commandment which is a bridge between the divine and the human—between the first four and last five.  We move from dealing with our relationship with God to our relationship with each other. 

How do we all get along, and where does it all begin?  If we read our Bibles correctly, I think it begins in the home.  What does it mean to “honor your father and mother”?  I think this is an appropriate subject with Sunday being Father’s Day.  So bring Dad to worship, and, while you are at it, Mom too, and anyone else within your sphere of influence.  See you in worship.

 

In God’s Gracious Grip,

Scot

 

O God, help us to always honor our parents, whether we are children dependent upon them or we are independent adults ourselves.  While we at times might not agree with them or even in moments not like them, help us to show reverence for them in their role as parents.  And according to your will help us to become faithful parents as well.  May we honor our moms and, especially this week, our dads in new ways.  Amen.



May 3, 2017  From up Front:


One of the most profound metaphors in all of Scripture is that we as God’s people are sheep and Jesus is our “good shepherd.”  The words of Psalm 23 echo throughout eternity.  Because we have God as our shepherd, we lack nothing!  Well, no matter how “good” Jesus may be, if we are somehow his “sheep,” then perhaps that means at some point we have to lay down our life for his sake.


Moreover, if Jesus is our shepherd, one thing so evident is that he will go to whatever extreme measures are necessary to keep us in the fold.  Jesus will search us out however far we roam, which is truly a source of great comfort.  This Sunday in worship we will be visited by Sam Sheep, our “guest preacher,” who will share what it means to be rescued by God.

Also we will be joined in worship by contemporary Christian artist, Josh Wright, a former finalist on American Idol as well as a graduate of Belmont University.  Josh is touring in support of his debut EP, “What You Could Do with Me.”  Don’t miss this special day of worship—and as always, bring your family and friends.

 

                                                                                                                                  

 This Saturday is “Faith and Family Night” with the Nashville Sounds, and Emmanuel, we are going.  If you let me know right away (as in today), I can still get more tickets at the discounted rate of $10, including the pre-game concert by Jason Gray.  Come join us.

 

Today, I am especially grateful for all the faithful volunteers in our church who so quietly work so hard to make this place a truly sacred space.  I think of Art and Lee, who this weekend worked hard to clean up the playground area for the benefit of our kids.  I think of Elizabeth, who at this very moment is pulling up weeds around our church.  I think of Spenser, who often is the first to arrive at church on Sunday to get the place ready for worship. I think of Faith, who compiles this newsletter every week and, along with Jan, put together our new name tag system.  There are many more I could name.   When I look around here, I think of all the wonderful saints of Emmanuel, and I give thanks to God.  See you in church!

 

 In God’s Gracious Grip, 

Scott Huie

 

“I am the good shepherd.  The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep…I am the good shepherd, I know my own and my own know me.”                      John 10:11, 14



April 26, 2017 From up Front:


Last spring, I had a fabulous, unforgettable trip with my daughter Madison all over Spain visiting wonderful sites, experiencing a rich culture, and delighting in hospitable people. Of particular interest to me were the cathedrals and palaces, especially the gorgeous Alhambra Palace in Valencia.  Originally constructed as a Roman fortress in the 9th Century, it was renovated and rebuilt by Muslim rulers in the 13th Century and then expanded upon toward the end of the Renaissance in the late 15th Century. 

 

 

The palace architecture amazingly combines a mix of Christian, Muslim, and even Jewish influences. One of the Islamic features is a limestone etching written in Arabic and pictured below.  Translated, it reads, “There is no conqueror but Allah.” It is inscribed a whopping 17,000 times throughout the palace.   I suppose they wanted to convey a message.

 

 

As Christians, we proclaim that the message of Easter is that God in Jesus Christ is the ultimate conqueror, who through his son’s death and resurrection actually conquered all forces of darkness and evil, including death itself.  For the past two Sundays of Easter, we first considered our risen Lord’s earth-shattering victory through the image of an angel on the stone and soldiers on the ground and then last Sunday considered how doubt can be a stepping stone to faith as seen through the disciples’ encounter with the risen Lord.

 

This Sunday I will be preaching on Paul’s version of the resurrection and the promise it conveys.  The question for us to ponder this week is, do you actually believe the promise?  And if so, so what?  Come join us, one and all, and bring your friends. 

 

In God’s Gracious Grip,

Scott

“For Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep...For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.  The last enemy to be destroyed is death.”                  1 Corinthians 15: 20, 25, 26

 

 Thank you, O God, for the promise of resurrection, for the promise that we can live with you forever.  By your Holy Spirit, help us to believe the promise, and may our lives be transformed and made new.  Amen.

 


April 19, 2017 From up Front:


    Poor Thomas.  The man has always gotten a bad rap.  Probably from the beginning of time, he has carried with him the rather unflattering nickname, “Doubting Thomas.”  I sense the lesson many learn here is: don’t be like Thomas.  Don’t have doubts.  Just believe.  That is what it means to be a good Christian.  That made sense to me as a fourth grader.  I’m not sure it makes quite as much sense today.


     The more I live, the more I discover that doubt is a universal trait; we all have it.  We all lie on a continuum between belief and unbelief. The key question is: do we live in the house of doubt, or is doubt our doorway into the house of faith?  A fabulous question to ponder.  I believe that doubt, in fact, can be very healthy, and even hold a vital place in our Christian faith.


    Without someone having the courage to doubt, we might still think that the world is flat today and Earth is in the center of our solar system.  Without someone having the courage to doubt, we might still be cave dwellers.  Without some hockey players having the courage to doubt, the Predators might not right now be up three to nil in the NHL playoffs!  Doubt can be very healthy, whether we are talking science, sports, or religion.  Where are you in your doubt?  Come to worship this Sunday and bring a friend, and together let’s wrestle with the topic of doubt as we come face to face with the last original disciple to encounter the risen Christ.


     By the way, I thought Easter Sunday was simply glorious as church was packed standing room only.  Thank you all who worked so hard in pulling it together, and thank you, church, for letting me be a part of this congregation.  It is pure joy in leading you, the saints of Emmanuel as together we say, “He is risen; He is risen indeed.”  May the Easter celebration continue!


 

In God’s Gracious Grip,


Pastor Scott


Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”  Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me?  Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.”       John 20:28-29


 


O God of Mystery, help us by your Spirit with our doubts and questions and may they lead us not toput you at arm’s length, but rather to welcome you into our lives.  Amen.                                              Carravagio’s Doubting Thomas                                                                                             (1602)