Update: May 22, 2023

Update: May 22, 2023

May 22, 2023

Hello McFarland! Pastor Wayne here!

I start this update with a note of sadness. Kenneth Hays passed away today following a massive heart attack. I spent time with Dot, her son and daughter-in-law at the hospital. As you can imagine, Dot is in shock, but is O.K. at the moment. Funeral arrangements have yet to be made, but will be handled by Wilson’s Funeral Home in Fort Oglethorpe. I will post to our Facebook group and send a congregational email once the arrangements are finalized. Please keep Dot and the family in your prayers.

As I write this update, 22 of our 24 Home Buckets for the Ishe Anesu Project in Zimbabwe have been sponsored. Thank you for your support of this Annual Conference Hands-On Mission Project. While we have several folks who have offered to cover the difference, I invite anyone who wishes to sponsor a bucket for $30 to either write a check and leave it in the offering this Sunday or donate online through by clicking on this link. Any funds left over will be shared with the Common Grounds Free Store. Thank you for your support.

The regular yearly meeting of the Holston Annual Conference will be held June 4-7 at Lake Junaluska, NC. We carry two offerings to Annual Conference each year: an offering to fund grants through Change for Children, and an offering for our designated Annual Conference Mission Emphasis. This year, the emphasis is the Ishe Anesu Project for Underprivileged Children in Zimbabwe. While the Home Buckets in the Hands-On Mission Project provide needed supplies to an area of high poverty, the Mission Emphasis offering for Ishe Anesu is designated to support education and job training opportunities to the students so that they can become self-supporting. We will continue to accept offerings to the Mission Emphasis offering through this Sunday, May 28. If you wish to donate by check, mark it “AC Mission” in the designation line or click here to donate online: choose “309 – Annual Conference Mission Emphasis” in the “TO” dropdown box to designate your offering. Remember, this offering will be taken to Annual Conference on June 4th. Donations will need to be received no later than May 30 so that we can prepare the checks that will go to Annual Conference with Pastor Wayne.

We currently have all of the items that we need to populate the Hands-On Mission buckets. We will need some help preparing and packing the buckets. I propose that we meet on Wednesday following the book study in the conference room to accomplish this. Please let me know if you can help with this by clicking here. Thanks for your support.

Our Adult Sunday School has migrated to a Wednesday Book/Bible Study that meets in the Fellowship Hall at 10:00 a.m. The first meeting was this past Wednesday. All are welcome. If there are any questions, contact Marvin Mills or Vicki Riddle.

This next Sunday, May 28, is Pentecost Sunday. This is the day when the Holy Spirit is unleashed upon the masses. We will celebrate Holy Communion this Sunday instead of the first Sunday as we are accustomed to.

June 4th marks the start of Annual Conference at Lake Junaluska. Instead of worshipping at 11:00 a.m., we will gather for worship an hour earlier at 10:00 a.m. in order to give Pastor Wayne the opportunity to travel to Lake Junaluska without rushing.

Plan to be in worship on June 25th. While Pastor Wayne is taking the day to celebrate his 34th Anniversary, the Reverend Fred Dearing will be sharing about our Holston Conference ministries in Sudan.

Please be in prayer for our outreach to the community. We hope to establish an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting here at the church in the next few weeks.

As we move through the weeks ahead, I encourage you to pray that God would reveal Jesus sized dreams that we can be part of. We are not too old and too tired to be used by God to offer hope, help, and healing to the people of Rossville and East Lake.

The Reverend Reed Shell has served as our District Superintendent since July 2020. He came aboard in the early part of our response to COVID-19. Reverend Shell is retiring at the 2023 Annual Conference. There will be a retirement reception for Reed on May 28 from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM at Brainerd UMC, 4315 Brained Road, Chattanooga, in the Fellowship Hall.

Finally, you inspire me to continue in service to this community. I am blessed to be your pastor.