Preparing for Sept. 21 Worship

Sermon Text: Matthew 20:1-16
Sermon Title: “Will All Be Saved?”
These Matthew readings in the lectionary just keep flowing from one idea to another very naturally each week. (If you’ve missed a Sunday recently, you can catch up by going to the Sermon Shorts blog, or clicking on one of the links in the right hand column.) This Sunday, we shift our eyes back to God’s action in the world, puzzling over how incomprehensibly tremendous his grace is. In fact, God’s grace is so great it can seem at times to be unfair! Pastor Chuck might also reference the accompanying Old Testament lectionary text, Exodus 16:2-15. It also is a story of God’s overwhelming grace, so you might want to read it, too.

Wednesday Night!

That staple of the church potluck, the deviled eggs. It's okay to eat them as long as you have angels' food cake for dessert.

That staple of the church potluck, the deviled eggs. It’s okay to eat them as long as you have angels’ food cake for dessert.

We continue with our new Wednesday night format, where we want to make guests as comfortable as possible during the meal and also have Bible study. Again, no charge, donations only. The food for the meal will be POTLUCK this Wednesday. Bring a dish—hey, bring a little extra, we expect guests. The meal begins at 6 p.m. Our Bible study at 7 p.m. will focus on the types of stories found in the Bible and what it means to study the Bible “inductively.”

Luminary UMC Receives New Pastor

Luminary UMC, located along Watts Bar Lake a few miles south of Kingston, Tenn., has welcomed a new pastor.

The Rev. Chuck Griffin officially became the spiritual leader of the 350-member congregation July 1. He previously served churches in Lexington, Ky., Jonesborough, Tenn., and Kingsport, Tenn.


Pastor Chuck and wife, Connie, on their first boat tour of Watts Bar Lake.

“Obviously, I have a lot of people to get to know, and I need to grow in my understanding of the congregation’s vision and mission,” Pastor Griffin said. “But I can tell you this—we’re going to root ourselves in that great Methodist tradition of biblically based worship and preaching in all of our services. People should leave on Sunday feeling they’ve encountered the Holy Spirit and received fresh encouragement for the week ahead.”

Pastor Griffin, 48, is supported in ministry by his wife, Connie. They have three children: Pollie, 21, Charlie, 19, and Bonnie Rose, 14. Both Chuck and Connie grew up in Jonesborough, Tenn.

A second-career pastor, Chuck previously worked in journalism and public relations in Knoxville and Atlanta. He was a crime reporter for the Knoxville Journal in the late 1980s before moving to Atlanta to work for United Press International, American Lawyer Media, and Southern Company.

Pastor Griffin holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Tennessee and a master of divinity degree from Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Ky. He maintains a blog at

Luminary UMC has Sunday worship services at 8 a.m., 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. The church building is at 3401 River Road in Ten Mile, Tenn. The 9:30 a.m. worship service is contemporary, while the services before and after are more traditional in worship style.

Throughout the week, Luminary also has several discipleship and fellowship programs, including exercise programs, open to anyone interested.

On a historical note, Methodism began in the 18th century as a reform movement in England, as John Wesley and other leaders tried to draw the Anglican church back to a biblical understanding of Christ as Savior and the Holy Spirit at work in the world. The American Revolution led to the establishment of Methodism as a separate denomination in the United States.

The United Methodist Church today continues to emphasize Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on the cross and his resurrection as the centerpoint of faith, using that truth as motivation to reach hurting people in the world.