From the Pastor

Midweek Message - March 2, 2016

Dear Friends,

This week our worship will center on FOCUS – the 4th essential element of the Daniel Plan.  We live in a stressful, fast-paced time when we are pulled from one thing to the next with scarcely time to breathe.  The Daniel Plan calls out to us to Focus on what it important and to Focus in such a way that we pay attention to what keeps us healthy and whole – and thus better able to parent and live in community with healthy relationships. 

As we approach Palm/Passion Sunday, please note that on March 20, our services will begin on the front lawn if the weather cooperates.  (If the weather does not cooperate, we will begin in the Narthex.)  Whether we begin inside or out, there will be about 20 chairs in the Narthex for those who find it difficult to stand for roughly 15 minutes.  We will enter the sanctuary singing, following the reading of the story of the Palm Sunday Procession. 

During Holy Week we will again walk through the drama of Jesus’ last week on earth with services on Holy Thursday and Good Friday at 7 pm as well as a community service on Good Friday at noon.  On Easter we will again have 3 services, the first at 7:30 am with an informal breakfast, led by the praise band.  At 8:30 and 10:30 am, the services will be spirited traditional, with several choirs participating, including the brass, youth, children and handbells.

Don’t miss the youth group’s Star Wars Theme Spaghetti Dinner on March 12 (see below for ticket and other information) and the Chili Cookoff on the next day after church!

See you on Sunday!

Blessings on you,

Posted by Vivian McCarthy with

Midweek Message - February 24, 2016

Dear Friends, 

Many, many thanks to all who helped with the Wes Moore visit last week.  Brian Holsonbake set up the Internet link and showed the program in the sanctuary, and he told me we had about 20 people here.  A number of folks have told me that they watched from home, and there were 4 whole rows of our youth and their parents at the school, plus about 15 more folks scattered around the auditorium.  It was a wonderful event that moved the hearts of many people in our community.  Thank you to the Turnbaugh Trust Team for having the vision to make this event possible!  And thanks to the Franklin High School staff and faculty for introducing the young people of this community to a charismatic man who is an amazing role model for them all.  Wes spent almost 2 hours after the presentation, signing books, posing for pictures with everyone who wanted one, and talking to each person who came to the table as if he or she was the only person in the room.  The last 3 young men did not even get to the table to talk with Wes until after 10 pm.  I don’t remember exactly what they said, but it was something like, “we wouldn’t miss this for the world.”  The gathered community that night was diverse in many ways – age, race, ethnic groups, male/female.  You made it possible to bring this community together in a very significant way, and I am grateful to be your pastor!

This coming Sunday, our Essential focus will be Fitness, one of the 5 essentials in living Fulfilled and Free.  We’ll be having a little fun with this one – watching a great clip from The Twilight Zone and moving just a little – something we can all do!  Don’t miss it!

During worship this Sunday, we will also dedicate a new octave of handbells given in memory of Winnie and Bud Garman by their daughter Peggy and her husband Ross Merryman and by Rev. Frank Trotter.  Frank will be with us for the whole morning and will take part in the dedication. Then, during the Grow Hour, from 9:45 to 10:15, the Joyful Noise Handbell Choir will share a concert which will include Winnie’s favorite hymn, On Eagle’s Wings.

There are quite a few events coming up in the next few weeks that offer the opportunity to build our relationships with each other – and with God.  Please take a serious look at the information in each week’s bulletin and in the emailed weekly news update.  The events are also featured on our website, both on the “Featured Events” page ( and the Calendar with all events and meetings page (  Please note that the calendar page is “real time” and is updated constantly.  You can click on any single event to reach the details for that event and to add it to your own calendar!  The church’s events offer an opportunity for us to BE the church as we build relationships with each other.  On February 14, we were reminded by Rick Warren that “Jesus gives a beautiful illustration of [depending on God’s spirit]” when he says, “I am the vine, and you are the branches.  If you stay joined to me, and I stay joined to you, then you will produce lots of fruit.  But you cannot do anything without me.”  The branches in that image are also connected to each other, and our church leadership has made a commitment to work in such a way that we get connected – related – to each other, by planning special opportunities where we share with each other.  I hope you will consider participating in a few of those events throughout this year and on into the future!

Blessings on you!

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