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Dear Church Family,               

It's early Friday morning but I have a lot to tackle today so I want to reach out to you before the various activities begin to cascade.
Let me begin with two specific items of prayer. One is that Elvin Vence had a bit of a procedure this week and all is reported to be well, though he will be moving a little slowly for a few more days. We are grateful that the Lord has gifted some to be able to work with the various challenges that our bodies create.
Secondly, I have two men in my life whom I consider to be my very closest friends. One is #1 and the other is #1a and I honestly can't tell you what order they come in. One of them is an Evangelical Covenant pastor with whom I have intimately journeyed life for more than 25 years. He is a dear brother in Christ.
Richard has an early middle-aged daughter (Shelly), a very sweet kid who has recently been diagnosed with cancer and this is serious. She's already undergone surgery, has started chemo and has radiation on the horizon. This on top of the fact that she is the "mommy" of twins who have had challenges since birth.
I promised Richard that I would solicit your prayers for Shelly. I know you will lift her up.
As I said, the day is going to be a busy one as we try to pull together the last details in preparation for Sabbath and beyond.
Tomorrow we'll have our regular service times and then team #3 (Shirley Watson's team) will serve as our hosts for our fellowship meal. (I'm anxious to see the variety of good foods that we all bring!)
Following the meal we have three scheduled S-OU-L outreach activities planned. Two of them will be creating materials right there at the church campus. And, one of those two will require some cutting of fabric.
If you have good fabric scissors and would enjoy being part of a team to make something very practical and creative for folks in need I know that Carol Goodge would appreciate you bringing the scissors and your willing participation.
Tim Snow will be heading up activity in another room as we create a gift for a low-income senior citizen drop-in center. All you'll need for that is a willing, creative spirit as all the materials will be available to you.
Our third activity will be another Reminiscent Therapy event at a facility in town, one that we've not served so far.
We sincerely hope that many will avail themselves of the opportunity to enrich this Sabbath with more fellowship and mutuality and generosity through these S-OU-L activities.
We want to remind you that tomorrow our Head Deacon will begin to distribute the new "key cards" to those who have a viable reason to need access to the building.  We are now beginning this period of transition.

Sunday morning, as previously advertised, our Elders and various department and ministry heads will be gathering from 9:00-1:00 for visioning and prayer and sharing a brunch. We need to start our 2016-2017 term on the right foot.
We want to remind these folks that we need to park on the side of the "road" around the annex as much as we can so that we leave as much of the regular parking to our friends from Basswood.

Also, for these leadership folks, Sunday morning would not be a bad time to work with Randy Dobrowsky to get your new "key" for the building if your duties demand that you have one.
From Sunday evening to Wednesday mid-day Chaplain/Pastor Micheala, Pastor Andrew and I will be at Cohutta Springs for duties related to our conference office. As a result there will be NO morning Recalibration gathering on Wednesday of next week. The evening group will meet as per normal.
Then, Sandi and I need to make a quick trip to Arizona on some personal matters. We will be leaving very early Thursday morning and return in less than a week. I am appreciative that Chaplain/Pastor Michaela will be bringing you the blessings next Sabbath.
Because of this we need to ask that any and all items that might be considered for next week's bulletin be to the church office by late Tuesday afternoon. Wednesday will be the only day that Sandi has to create this for you so we ask that all keep this in mind.
It's not quite yet 7:00 a.m. and I need to run to Home Depot to get a couple of things to finish preparation for our S-OU-L events. It will be a busy day. But, somehow in the rush it's hoped we all take time to prepare for an excellent Sabbath with Christ. There is one waiting, you know!
I'll close by reminding you that I'd be indebted if you'd keep Shelly in prayer.

'Lord Bless',

Don Pate
Knoxville First Church