Meeting Times at 4th United Presbyterian Church

Cafe' Worship: 9:15 a.m. each Sunday in Gathering Hall (activities provided for children; coffee; snacks)
Adult Sunday School: 10 a.m.

Sunday Worship: 11 a.m.

Bible Study: each Thursday at 6 p.m.

Community Forum: last Thursday of each month at 6 p.m. with meal (no community forum in November, 2011)

About the 4th United Presbyterian Bible Blog

Posts on this blog are from me, Rev. George H. Waters, one of the two organizing co-pastors of 4th United Presbyterian Church. Our other organizing pastor was Rev. Sonya McAuley-Allen, who is now pastor of a church in Charlotte, N.C. Since June of 2011, Rev. Elizabeth Peterson has been our parish associate pastor for new church development. The earliest posts are sermon notes from the few I have typed the last two years. Then, there is a series of notes posted on the book of Romans. After that, it varies from week to week, sometimes church news, sometimes reflections on a happening, a passage of scripture, or even some pictures. This blog is meant to open the conversation we have going on in our church to others in our community.

The picture below is of our church's sanctuary, built in 1913.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

new church development at 4th United Presbyterian

As we begin our 16 week series of meetings at 4th United Presbyterian, I am looking out the window here at the Public Defender's Office in Blount County. Our office just closed early along with the Blount County Courthouse. And, as I look out the window, it is snowing pretty hard here at 2:35 p.m. on January 7. We are scheduled to have our first new church development meeting this evening at 6 p.m. As the last post says, our passage from Scripture is Matthew 9:35-38.

And, we decided not to cancel our meeting tonight even though the weather might be bad. Of course, the roads might be fine as well. We are encouraging everyone to use their own judgment about whether to come out or not.

Something about having snow on the first scheduled meeting of this new church development - well, something about it just seems fitting. Nothing about this new church called 4th United Presbyterian Church has been that easy from the start. From the ceiling tiles falling from the sanctuary the first week of the new church, to wood panelling also coming down that week in the sanctuary to losses of members who had come from 4th Presbyterian, to having to file a lawsuit to get access to a trust fund to fix many serious problems in the building, there have been a number of challenges for the church's members, pastors and session members.

But, there has been a persistence, a quality of toughness to this new church, that just refuses to take problems too seriously. Because we believe the future is so bright for this mission on the corner of Glenwood and Broadway in Knoxville. And, our Presbytery really revived our spirits with its overwhelming support of our new church by appointing a four person team to work with us and by allocating funds to support our development.

And, here we are on January 7, 2010 getting ready to hold our first official new church development meeting. New church development team members from Presbytery will meet with pastors at 5 p.m., and then our new church development Bible Study series begins at 6 p.m.

Here is a prayer for the occasion:

"O God of all people, open our hearts and minds and lives to the coming of your Spirit. Your Spirit that heals and helps and awakens and corrects and makes us sing songs of joy even when we had thought there was nothing to rejoice in.

"Let your Spirit wash over us clearing away the residue of pain and bitterness, and awakening springs of hope and love within us and among us and between us.

"O God you have bound yourself to all humanity in Jesus Christ, our Lord to whom we cling and whom we follow for your sake.

"O, Lord of mercy and truth, help us to look into our own lives and understand who we have been and who we are called to be. Help us to look at our community, and understand who our neighbors are and with them work to understand who you are calling them to be together with us.

"O God, relieve us of our presumption; relieve us of our critical eye; restore the kindness of your Spirit in our hearts.

"All of these things we pray in your holy name, God above all gods, Hope above all hopes, Truth beyond all truths, and Love that gives life to all true loves. Amen."

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