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                              Women in the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament)


Donald Schmidt has begun a small series of books addressing the powerful and wonder-filled stories of women in the Bible. In this first volume, he invites us to explore the stories of several women from the Hebrew Scriptures (formerly referred to as the Old Testament.)


Like most ancient texts, the stories in the Bible are told from a male perspective. Although women often play a crucial role in the most significant events in the Bible, they are usually cast as secondary characters who are less important than the male lead. Or they are cast as mere bit players, as “extras,” not even deemed worthy of being named. Yet these are strong women and we do an injustice to the biblical narrative, and a disservice to ourselves, if we gloss over them, or worse, ignore them. This guide explores the stories of fourteen women from the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) – including Hagar, Sarah, Shiphrah, Puah, Miriam, Ruth, and Esther – whose faith and actions changed the destiny of all who followed after them, men and women alike.  This Faith Development is not only for women to attend, but for all genders in our church family, as well as anyone in the community (men are encouraged to participate!).


The best place to purchase Schmidt’s book is at his website:

We will meet in the Fellowship Hall, 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm, for a group discussion. 

Please bring your personal Bible.




May 8.   Read Ch 2 of book, Bathsheba and Vashti in the Bible. (Canceled due to weather)

May 15.      Read Ch 3 of book, Tamar and Esther in the Bible.

May 22.      Read Ch 4 of book, Rahab and Ruth in the Bible.

May 29.    Read Ch 5 of book, Hagar and Sarah in the Bible.

June 5.    Read Ch 6 of book, Puah, Shiphrah and Miriam in the Bible.

June 12.    Read Ch 7 of book, Deborah and Jael in the Bible.

Want to ask questions to the Author?  He will be joining the Study June 5th!!

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Witness at the Cross

In her short book Witness at the Cross, Dr. Amy-Jill Levine (Professor of New Testament at Vanderbilt University) offers readers an uncommon and fascinating approach to studying the Gospel accounts of Jesus’s crucifixion.
She invites readers to see the Crucifixion and consider anew its significance through the eyes and ears of those who watched it happen and heard what was said by Jesus and those around him, according to the four New Testament Gospels.  This approach allows readers to experience in fresh and frequently surprising ways the Crucifixion’s power to shake preconceptions about who we are, who God is, and the shape our life in God’s presence takes.
You may secure Levine’s book on your own or the church office can order you a copy for $16.00.  Order by February 5.  Financial help for book purchase is available if needed.  
Contact Julie in the office.
We will meet in the Fellowship Hall, 4:00pm – 5:30pm.  We will watch a 10-minute video presentation followed by group discussion led by Pastor James.  Please bring your personal Bible.
   February 14.  Read Ch. 1 of book, Mark 15:29-32, and John 19:19-22. 
   February 21.  Read Ch. 2 of book, Mark 10:35-45, and Luke 23:39-43.
   February 28.  Read Ch. 3 of book, Matthew 8:5-13, and Mark 15:39.
   March 6.  Read Ch. 4 of book, John 13:21-26, 19:25-27, and 21:20-24.
   March 13.  Read Ch. 5 of book, Luke 8:1-3, and 23:27-31.
   March 20.  Read Ch. 6 of book, Mark 15:42-46, and John 19:38-42.

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Watch for the next Faith Development Series beginning on January 3rd, 2024

"Everything is Spiritual"

The December Faith Development will be a presentation and group discussion of a video

by Rob Bell called

"Everything is Spiritual"

We will watch, and discuss afterwards, the first half of the video presentation on December 6th, from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., in the Fellowship Hall.  This will be followed by the second half of the video presentation on December 13th, again from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall.

No book or any other reading material is required.

Please come and join us, just as you are!!

The Next Faith Development Series

September 13 - October 18 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

It will be a Bible study using the book "Breaking the Code - Understanding the Book of Revelation" written by Bruce M. Metzger revised and updated by David A. Desilva as a guide.

In addition to the study book and your Bible, you are encouraged to have a spiral-bound notebook for a journal or an electronic means of journaling such as a tablet.  You may secure the study book on your own or the church office can order you a copy for $12.00  Order by September 1st.

The first session will cover the prefaces and chapters 1-2 of "Breaking the Code".  Revelation 1:1-20 will be the focus of the first week.  

                                                                           Richard Garrett

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FAITH DEVELOPMENT: A Bible Study of the Book of Genesis

(The Flawed Family of God: Stories about the Imperfect Families in Genesis by Carol Helsel & Suzie Park)

Read carefully, there are fascinating stories in the book of Genesis involving families. The issues these stories raise―married vs. single life, sibling rivalry, infertility, family relocation, blended families, and the like―are startlingly relevant to families of today. This Bible study examines the families of Genesis, starting with how the Adam and Eve story encompasses far more ways of being family than most of us think. It looks at the sibling rivalry of the Cain and Abel story, pointing to the jealousy and violence to which the whole human family seems addicted. It uses the ups and downs of the relationship between Abraham, Sarah, Hagar, and Ishmael to help us understand the complicated dynamic of blended families. This Bible study will be guided by the insights of Carol Helsel, Professor of Preaching, and Suzie Park, Professor of the Old Testament, both at Austin Presbyterian Seminary in Austin, Texas, in their book, The Flawed Family of God: Stories about the Imperfect Families in Genesis.  This engaging Bible study includes questions for individual reflection or group use. 

The Church Office can obtain the book for those who wish to participate in this Bible study.  The cost of the book is approximately $15 (the cost of a sandwich at Stonehenge).  The deadline to request a book from the church office is July 19.  Of course, anyone can also obtain the book on their own.

This Bible study will be four Wednesdays from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm in the Fellowship Hall:

August 2: Read Genesis 1:1 thru 3:24; 4:1-16.  Read pages 1-35 in the book.

August 9: Read Genesis 6:5 thru 9:28; 12:1-20; 16:1-16.  Read pages 35-73 in the book.

August 16: Read Genesis 21:1-21; 22:1-19.  Read pages 73-101 in the book.

August 23: Read Genesis 23:1 thru 24:67; 25:19-34; 27:1-45; 29:1 thru 30:24; 32:22-32; 33:1-7; 35:16-20.  Read pages 101-142 in the book.

For further information and questions, please contact Pastor James.


Trip to Hindu Community Center of Knoxville June 7
Please join Pastor James on a visit to the Hindu Community Center of Knoxville on June 7, located at Hickory Creek Road, Lenoir City.  The Hindu priest will host us, educating us about the Hindu religion and the temple.  The presentation, tour and Q&A will start at 9:30 am, Central Time at the Hindu Community Center.  A carpool from our church parking lot will depart promptly at 8:15 am.  After our time at the Hindu Community Center, we will go somewhere to have lunch.  For more information, please contact Pastor James.  

We will have a Hindu guest speaker on June 22 from 
6:30—8:00 p.m., in Fellowship Hall.  All are invited and encouraged to attend if you would like to learn more about Hinduism.  Ms. Fenil Patel, our guest speaker, is a lifelong Hindu originally from India.  She now lives in the Crossville area, where she is the owner of Peavine Wine & Spirits, Cumberland County’s first liquor store.


Planning Sabbaticals: 
A Guide for Congregations and 
Their Pastors, By Robert C. Saler

  May 3rd  from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall there will be a discussion held on this book.  Everyone is invited to attend and encouraged to purchase the book to read.  It is only 67 pages and provides an introduction for the sabbaticals.  We will discuss the book and I will share my plans to sabbatical. 
Please contact the church office if assistance is needed on where to purchase the book.

Pastor James Janecek

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