Anderson County hosts National Day of Prayer at Courthouse on Thursday

Anderson County Courthouse

Anderson County will participate in the National Day of Prayer on Thursday, May 7. It’s scheduled from noon to 12:30 p.m. Thursday on the front steps of the Anderson County Courthouse on North Main Street in Clinton.

The Anderson County Mayor’s Office said the Courthouse will remain open but with limited staff during the ceremony, and officials ask residents to be patient if they have business to conduct. All Anderson County citizens are invited to attend the local ceremony, a press release said. Prayers will be offered for county officials, the nation, education, the U.S. military, community relationships, and churches and families, the release said. Local pastors will lead those assembled in prayer, and local residents and students will provide musical selections.

The press release said the National Day of Prayer provides Americans an opportunity to come together to pray for matters concerning present-day America and the nation’s future.

Guest column: Imperial religion has no place in the Kingdom of God

Preparing for the greatest day of the year, Easter, was a bit harder this year than last. On Thursday, the night we remember how Jesus was betrayed and handed over to both the religious and political empires of his day, I happened to read of the new bill that seeks to designate the Bible as the state book of Tennessee.

There are a ton of ways to scream “no” to this legislation, starting with the both the Tennessee Constitution and the United States Constitution. There is also the objection that the bill places the transcendental and eternal qualities of the Bible on the same footing as the lily (our state flower) or the raccoon (our state animal). Of course, then there’s just downright common sense: The laws I use to influence my neighbor’s religion (or lack of) can easily be the same laws by which my neighbor one day attempts to subjugate me.

Those are fine ways to oppose this bill, but they are of lesser concern to me as a Christian pastor of 25 years. I am most deeply concerned at the way in which an action like this stands in stark opposition to the actions and words of the Bible itself, most especially as revealed in the person of Jesus. [Read more…]

Kern Church has Pancake Breakfast, Plant and Rummage Sale on Saturday

Kern Church Pancake Breakfast

The Kern Church United Methodist Men, assisted by Kern Youth, will host a Pancake Breakfast on Saturday, April 11, 8 a.m. until noon in the church Family Life Center. Alora, left, and Haley Rejman are pictured getting ready to enjoy the breakfast. A Plant and Rummage Sale will also be held that day. (Submitted photo)


The Kern United Methodist Men’s group, assisted by Kern Youth, will host their annual Pancake Breakfast on Saturday, April 11, in the church Family Life Center. Pancakes with sausage, juice, and coffee will be served from 8 a.m. until noon for the cost of $5 for adults, $3 for children 3-12 years, and under 3 free.

The Men’s Group will also take orders for carpenter bee traps and beautiful handcrafted desk pen holders made from Tennessee red cedar donated and harvested by Kern members. Proceeds from the Pancake Breakfast finance the valuable work the Men’s Group does around the church.

In conjunction with the breakfast, a Plant and Rummage Sale will be held. [Read more…]



Concert of Darkness at Unitarian Universalist Church on Good Friday

The annual Concert of Darkness at the Oak Ridge Unitarian Universalist Church will feature a variety of choral, instrumental, and solo selections that offer a time to reflect on the somber occasion of Good Friday, a press release said.

The concert starts at 4 p.m. Friday, April 3, at the church, which is at 809 Oak Ridge Turnpike in Oak Ridge. [Read more…]

Easter services at Grace Evangelical Lutheran include Sunrise Service, Breakfast

Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church will provide four services on Easter Sunday, including a 7 a.m. Sunrise service, in addition to its regular services at 8:30, 9:30, and 11:15 a.m. The men of the church will provide breakfast following the first three services, a press release said.

Also, there will be a Good Friday service at 6:30 p.m. Friday, April 3.

“Everyone is welcome,” the release said.

Easter is Sunday, April 5.

The church is located at 131 West Gettysburg Avenue in Oak Ridge. Call (865) 483-3787 for more information.

Central Baptist has Easter Resurrection Celebration, Egg Hunt on March 28

Central Baptist Church will have its Easter Resurrection Celebration and Egg Hunt on Saturday, March 28, at 1:30 p.m. There will be carnival games, bouncy houses, an egg hunt, prizes, and snacks, a press release said. The children will be told the story of the resurrection.

The celebration and egg hunt are for children two and older.

Central Baptist Church is at 130 Providence Road in Oak Ridge. Call (865) 483-7495 for more information.

ORUUC has live, silent auctions on Friday, March 20

ORUUC Auction Quilt

This quilt is one of the items in a live auction on Friday, March 20, at Oak Ridge Unitarian Universalist Church. (Submitted)


Oak Ridge Unitarian Universalist Church is having its annual silent/live auction on Friday, March 20.

The auction starts at 6 p.m. at the church, which is at 809 Oak Ridge Turnpike. It is $5 to participate in the live auction starting at 8 p.m. with auctioneer Bear Stephenson. The quilt pictured at left is one of the live auction items. Organizers said there will be 25 more items, mostly by local craftspeople as well as cabin rentals and more.

There will be food and live music from 6-8 p.m. during the silent auction, which starts at 6 p.m. [Read more…]

Church Women United seeks support in Blankets+ Campaign

CWU 2015 Blankets+ Campaign

Church Women United participants Fay Martin (from left), Gay Marie Logsdon, Clara Chambles, Carolyn Mayes, Goldie Kennedy, and Laura Robbins encourage individuals, organizations, and churches to collect blankets and donations in support of the 2015 Blankets+ Campaign. (Submitted photo)


Church Women United in Oak Ridge invites area individuals, organizations, and church groups to join its spring 2015 Blankets+ Campaign benefiting disaster victims locally and worldwide. People are asked to support the campaign in two ways: by collecting bedding for Ecumenical Storehouse in Oak Ridge and by collecting cash donations for CWU to send to the Blankets+ Program managed by Church World Services.

Ecumenical Storehouse serves displaced individuals and families from Anderson, Campbell, Morgan, Roane, and Scott counties who have lost their homes because of fire, flood, or other emergencies and have been referred to the storehouse for support in setting up a new household. The storehouse offers basics such as bedding, towels, dishes, and furniture regardless of the client’s color, race, faith, gender, or handicap. Ecumenical Storehouse is located at 134 East Division Road in Oak Ridge and can be contacted at (865) 481-0274. [Read more…]

Church Women United kick off ‘Blankets+’ drive on Friday

Church Women United will meet on Friday to kick off the 2015 “Blankets+” drive benefiting disaster victims around the world.

The February 6 meeting will be at Kern Memorial United Methodist Church at 451 East Tennessee Avenue in Oak Ridge. The public is invited. Fellowship begins at 11:30 a.m., followed by a brief meeting and the program at noon.

CWU is a national volunteer faith-based women’s movement that brings together women of diverse races, cultures, and traditions in closer Christian fellowship, prayer, advocacy, and action for peace with justice in the world.

For more information, contact Gay Marie Logsdon (483-7940).

Photos: Community leaders sleep outside to raise awareness of homelessness

Pastor Steve Sherman with Homeless Sign

Pastor Steve Sherman of First Christian Church is pictured above at a camp-out on a cold Thursday night at First United Methodist Church that was intended to raise awareness of homelessness. (Photos by James Lewis) 


Several community leaders camped out Thursday night at First United Methodist Church to raise awareness of homelessness. The volunteers also collected linens and personal care items for the upcoming Warming Center project and brought attention to the need for volunteers to help with the Point in Time Count.

Here are photos by James Lewis.

The community was invited to come out to support the sleep-out participants from 6-7 p.m. Thursday (January 15), and local homeless providers were expected to talk about their agencies and what they are providing to homeless individuals in the community. [Read more…]

Christmastide Choral Festival at Grace Covenant on January 4

The Fifth Annual Community Christmastide Choral Festival will be at the Grace Covenant Church at the Trinity Center on Robertsville Road on Sunday evening, January 4.

It’s been organized by the Rev. Rodney Parrish of Grace Covenant Church of Oak Ridge. Everyone is invited, a press release said.

“The celebration of Christmastide begins at Christmas Eve and ends 12 days later on what is traditionally called Epiphany, hence the 12 days of Christmas,” the press release said. “Many churches during this season will present choral programs of excellence. However, it is difficult for the community to be able to attend them all no matter how much they may want to. The purpose of this festival is to give the community an opportunity to close out the Christmas season with one last service of music while being able to appreciate the offerings of multiple church choirs. [Read more…]

Service of memory, hope at First Presbyterian Tuesday

A special Service of Memory and Hope will be held in the sanctuary at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, December 9, at First Presbyterian Church, located at the southeast corner of Lafayette Drive and Oak Ridge Turnpike.

“The candlelight service is especially for folks who find the holiday season difficult because of the loss of a loved one or other struggles,” said the Rev. Sharon Youngs, who will conduct the service.

The third annual service at the church will include music and readings designed to bring comfort and solace to worshipers, a press release said.