The month of May brings the end of Eastertide and the beginning of Ordinary Time. Nestled between these two seasons is Pentecost.

Pentecost is when we celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit and the birthday of the church. It is the annual reminder to the church throughout the world that it is the Holy Spirit that breathes life into the church and animates our faith.

And just like on that first Pentecost Sunday, the Holy Spirit still has a reputation for being unpredictable. Church is that way, too. We never know who will step through the church doors or who we will encounter beyond the church property. We cannot always anticipate the opportunities we will have to be the Body of Christ, nor where we will have them. But we do know that the Holy Spirit accompanies us and empowers us. Beyond that, we are told, in Romans 8, that the Holy Spirit “helps us in our weakness,” interceding on our behalf “with sighs too deep for words.”

So as these East Tennessee Spring winds blow, be on the lookout. For it was with a sound like a loud rush of wind that Pentecost began in Acts 2. It just might be that the Holy Spirit is stirring. And you don’t want to miss out on whatever the Holy Spirit might be up to.


Christ is risen! Christ is risen, indeed!

At the Easter Egg hunt this year, an unnamed pastor’s kid asserted to the group of children that it made no sense that Jesus had defeated death. In that moment, he gave voice to a statement all of us think at some point or another. Many of us have heard the Easter story enough times that we are no longer shocked by the notion that death could be defeated.

That elementary challenge gave voice to the truth of the matter. For as long as humans have been drawing breath, one truth that has applied to all of them is that one day they will stop drawing breath. To say someone could overwrite this truth is unsettling. It shakes the foundation of our understanding of what it means to be human. And, perhaps, that is the point.

Jesus defeated death that we might have life. God resurrected Jesus from the grave that we humans might be reconciled to God. As a result of the resurrection, we can live a full life in the knowledge that this life is not all there is. The grave is not the end. In that sure and certain hope, there is freedom. And when we live in that freedom, it just might happen that someone will see the way we are living and say “that makes no sense.” To which we can reply that it does, because “Christ is risen; Christ is risen, indeed!”


This year, the month of March is almost entirely consumed by the season of Lent, which ends on March 30, the day before Easter. One of the ways in which the season of Lent serves as a microcosm of the Christian life is the challenge to remain in the present. Jesus seemed to know this challenge well, advising in Matthew 6:34 that we should “not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”

In Lent, the temptation is not to look ahead with worry, but to look ahead to the celebration of Easter. However, we have a lot of Lent left to travel before we get there. In the same way that Jesus cautioned the disciples not to worry about the days ahead, we need not jump ahead to celebrating and miss the value of the present. For no matter how hard we try, we cannot live this life in any moment other than the present.

Each day, each hour, each moment is a gift. When we spend too much time focused on moments that are not the present, the present moments silently slip by. (That is not to say that there is not value in reflecting on the past to learn nor in planning for the future.) For the month of March, for what remains in Lent, let’s focus on each present moment – engaging our chosen Lenten practices, pressing forward toward the cross, one moment at a time.

Office Closed. Last WNS of the Year.

  • The church office will be closed on Monday, December 26 and Thursday, December 28 for Christmas and will also be closed on Monday, January 1 and Tuesday, January 2 for the New Year. 
  •  Yesterday was the last WNS of the year. WNS will return on Wednesday, January 10.

We are thinking of you all throughout this season of Advent and are wishing each of you a meaningful holiday. You are loved. Thank you for being a part of this community.