A Twofer: Preparing for Worship Aug. 24 and 31

Peter, who gets it, eventually.

Peter, who gets it, eventually.

The next two Sundays in Luminary UMC’s worship services, we’ll be looking at stories in Matthew where Jesus and Peter have some very revealing dialogue. On Aug. 24, we’ll look at Matthew 16:13-20, where Peter declares, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Then on the following Sunday, we’ll see how the story continues in Matthew 16:21-28, where Jesus has to say to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan!” As you read these passages, you might want to speculate on what Peter is thinking. Does he fully understand what he is saying to Jesus?

Spreading the Good News

Several people affiliated with Luminary UMC have expressed an interest in learning how to tell others about Jesus Christ. We’ll be meeting in the fellowship hall after the 11 a.m. worship service ends Sunday, Aug. 24, to discuss how we might grow in this important skill, one dependent on the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Lunch will be provided. Please let Pastor Chuck know if you plan to attend. Your RSVPs will help us plan lunch and better determine what approaches we might use as we learn together about sharing the good news.

Altar Guild Forming

Please prayerfully consider whether you might be called to serve in Luminary’s Altar Guild, which is re-forming under Sharon Conway’s guidance. The Altar Guild takes responsibility for the appearance of the chancel area during worship, including the setup for communion. People with artistic talents often enjoy being part of an Altar Guild, helping with the decoration of the altar and chancel area during particular church seasons. It also helps to have volunteers who enjoy paying attention to detail as they follow the worship traditions of the church through its seasons. For more information, contact Sharon at (865) 376-3382.

To seem some examples of altar decorating at one Methodist church, click here.

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 SermonShorts.org.

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.