Celebrating 78 years
Birthday Sunday, July 11
This Sunday, July 18
"When Everything Changed"
Acts 11:19-26
Rev. Justin Gung

9:15 AM Informal sanctuary service
9:30 AM The Bridge service in the chapel with livestream
10:45 AM Traditional sanctuary service with livestream
Antidotes to Cultural Contempt
by Clay Stauffer
Sigmund Freud famously remarked, “Life as we find it is too hard for us; it brings us too many pains, disappointments, and impossible tasks.” Freud says, “We are threatened with suffering from three directions: from our own body, which is doomed to decay; from the external world which may rage against us with overwhelming and merciless forces of destruction including earthquakes, floods, and other natural disasters.” But finally, he says, “we are threatened with suffering from our relationships to other human beings. The suffering that comes to us from this source is perhaps the most painful of all.” The suffering that we inflict upon each other can be the worst, most difficult, and most painful.

Perhaps the greatest spiritual challenge facing American society at this moment in history is contempt. Harvard’s Arthur Brooks writes extensively on this subject and puts it this way in his most recent book Love Your Enemies: “Believing your foe is motivated by hate leads to something far worse; contempt. While anger seeks to bring someone back into the fold, contempt seeks to exile. It attempts to mock, shame, and permanently exclude from relationships by belittling, humiliating, and ignoring. While anger says, ‘I care about this,’ contempt says, ‘You disgust me and are beneath caring about.” Contempt quickly becomes toxic in relationships, marriages, businesses, families, and communities.

How did we get to this place? Civility and decency did not just disappear overnight. One answer is that as a society, we have lost our moral and spiritual center. Self-centeredness abounds. We have lost respect for our common humanity. We have elected leaders who fan the flames of anger and contempt which causes us to think it is acceptable to behave that way. Political and ideological divides are not new. What’s new is the way we disagree and our inability to rationally discuss competing ideas in a civil manner.

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks articulates it this way in his book Morality before passing away: “Something new is happening: the sense that the other side is less than fully human, that its supporters are not part of the same moral community as us, that somehow their sensibilities are alien and threatening, as if they were not the opposition in a political arena, but the enemy full stop.” Sacks talks about multiple factors that have played a role: deepening western individualism, expansion of the internet, toxic social media, and the expanding gap between the “haves and the have nots.” During the pandemic, that gap has only widened.

What’s the solution? That’s complicated because we are all complicit and we have all played some role in getting to this point. Four important concepts come to mind. First, community. The pandemic has fractured and isolated our communities in ways never seen. We need to be around each other more in real time and space and not just on a screen. Secondly, friendship: we must be intentional about becoming friends with people who see and experience the world differently. Every person’s life experience is unique. We all have our own lens and background. Third, morality. Part of living a moral life is listening to others and treating them with dignity and respect. Being religious is not a prerequisite to being moral. Lastly, forgiveness. Our cancel culture has lost sight of what it means to practice forgiveness. We are all flawed and imperfect creatures. We all say and do things that we regret. Our inability to forgive each other has become a major problem. Judging people by their worst moments or actions is simply unfair. We must look for the good in each other.
Summer Gospel Sing-Along & Potluck Supper continues Wednesdays at 5:15 PM in Room 105

Due to popular demand, our Summer Sing-Along & Potluck Supper has been extended and will continue every Wednesday through the end of July.
All Shall Be Well
by Jenny Simmons
There were 500 of us packed into a gym, singing our hearts out when suddenly a clap of thunder shuddered the building and the power went out. Without missing a beat, the worship leader continued, switching to an acoustic guitar, and for some unknown reason the teenagers in that room didn’t erupt into laughter or crazy noises, but sincere worship. The adults began to find candles from other parts of the building and the room slowly filled with the warm glow of changed plans and unexplained mystery. I was 16-years-old and still remember it like it was yesterday. Sometimes the veil between heaven and earth feels so thin you, it’s as if you are in both places at once.

Next week Chris Cox and I will lead a group of 50 Woodmont students and adults to camp in Fountain Run, Kentucky. We will do all the camp things. Cyril Stewart is charged with telling the story of Love around the bonfire. Moriah Domby will sing and lead us in worship. EA Cox will be the momma bear on campus. And Chris will teach Bible stories with passion and lead insane camp games which, if you do not know, is his not-so-secret-talent. True story: two weeks ago the staff at Fall-Hamilton loved Chris’ field day games so much that they begged him to come back and lead their field day during the school year! We will zipline over a lake, jump on blobs, swing through the trees, play in the creek, roast marshmallows and stay in treehouse villages. We will do all the campy things.

But I hope we do more than just campy things. I hope one day or night our own version of thunder will strike and we will find ourselves strangely near to that thin veil that gets us awfully close to the mystery and nearness of God’s tender, loving, presence.

In his sermon this past Sunday, Chris asked, “When was the last time you were awed?” I immediately thought of Isaiah, when he sees God sitting on the throne, high and lofty and the angels are gathered, worshipping God, saying over and over again “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God almighty, the whole earth is full of his glory” ((Isaiah 6: 1-3). Isaiah is so awed that he responds, “Woe is me…my eyes have seen the king.”

I hope you will pray for us while we are away at camp. That every student might have a moment or two or twenty where they are quiet enough, still enough, unguarded enough, and open enough that they might hear God and experience the mystery of the Holy Spirit. I hope one day, when they are 40-years-old, they might still remember that time when they were 16 and they knew without a shadow of a doubt that they were close to something holy and transcendent, something animated by love and peace and mystery.

While we are at camp, we will pray the same thing for you, too.

That in the midst of your trips to the beach and the mountains and vacations; in the midst of home renovations, and welcoming people into your homes or perhaps being in your home, alone; in the midst of new life and death and illness and heavy burdens; in the midst of work and schedules and back-to-school shopping (already?!) and duties and responsibilities; in the midst of life, that you would know Life abundant. The kind that Jesus offers. The kind that Jesus is. The kind that doesn’t come from anything in this world but comes when we get quiet and still enough to notice we are dancing on the thin veil between heaven and earth.

The truth is, we all need the gift of camp. The pause and escape and quiet that has the power to uniquely remind us of the words of Julian of Norwich, that near the great mystery of God, “all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.”  
Dr. Dick Hamm, former President of the Christian Church, preaching in all three services next Sunday, July 25
Dick Hamm served as a minister of Disciples of Christ congregations for 23 years before becoming Regional Minister of Tennessee and then General Minister and President of his denomination, a post he held for ten years. He is now serving as Executive Director of Christian Churches Together in the USA, a new ecumenical organization.

As General Minister and President, Dick led the Christian Church in the United States and Canada in developing "2020 Vision" to be a faithful, growing church that demonstrates true community, deep Christian spirituality, and a passion for justice. The vision also called for the achievement of the following goals by the year 2020: to establish 1,000 new congregations, to revitalize 1,000 congregations, to develop the leaders necessary to make this possible, and to become an anti-racist, pro-reconciling church.

Dick has written three books, From Mainline to Front Line, 1996, Lexington Theological Seminary; 2020 Vision for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Chalice Press, 2001; and, Recreating the Church: Leadership for the Post-Modern Age, Chalice Press, 2007.

Dick writes and speaks extensively on the subject of church renewal and transformation. He is a Ministry Partner of The Columbia Partnership, a coaching/consulting organization for church leaders, congregations, and other church organizations, www.thecolumbiapartnership.org.

Dick has served as a member of the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches and as a Vice President of the National Council of Churches. He has served as a trustee of Christian Theological Seminary for ten years and recently completed service as a trustee of the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California. He and his wife, Mindy, live in Indianapolis, IN.
The Nehemiah Project, an outreach of Woodmont Christian Church, has a home available in East Nashville

In an effort to promote affordable housing in Nashville, The Nehemiah Project is offering a home at lower than market rate (rent to be determined) at 905 Ward Street, Nashville, 37207.
 
Qualification criteria:
  1. Applicant must be a family with children
  2. Maximum 6 occupants
  3. Applicant should qualify for $1600 a month rent (rent will be lower)
  4. Criminal background check required
  5. Security Deposit required

Questions? Contact nehemiahproject@woodmontcc.org or call Karen Conrad at (615) 298-3735
Heart for Africa diaper drive continuing through July 30
It's that time of year again!

Each year we open a baby registry on Amazon for our friends to purchase diapers, wipes, and other needed items for the Project Canaan Children. With over 280 children now living at Project Canaan (and more to come), this is an easy opportunity to support our kids in a very big way!
 
Click the link below to shop and thank you for your support!
Donate a rocking chair to Heart for Africa

In addition to the diaper drive, we are also supporting Heart for Africa by raising funds for the famous Woodmont rockers that we send to Project Canaan!

If you would like to donate, you can write a check to Woodmont Christian Church and put Heart for Africa in the “for" line or contact Mary Welsh Owen at mwowen1123@gmail.com. Items must be in Atlanta by Friday, July 31, 2021.
Help Alameda Christian Church buy a new garden shed & greenhouse for food outreach program

Our sister church on Ashland City Highway, Alameda Christian Church, has a wish list of needs. They have a garden on their campus and distribute the produce to people in the community who are food insecure.  

Alameda needs a new storage shed for tools and equipment. The dollar amount for this need includes a new shed and the cost of demolition and removal of the old shed, which is in disrepair.  

Their second need is for a greenhouse in which they could start plants and then move them to the community garden. The total dollars needed to fund these two initiatives is approximately $7,000.  

If you are interested in donating to help Alameda continue this outreach, contact Rob Quinn at robquinn@comcast.net
A Gift from God
by Anne Marie Farmer
Recently, we took a drive to the Rural Area Rescue Effort in Maury County. A few months had passed since we said goodbye to our dear Buster, and we were ready to consider welcoming another dog. We brought home a beautiful lab mix whom we have named Wanda, replacing her unfortunate original name of Cornbread.

Immediately, Wanda has changed everything. Slow morning starts are now 100 miles per hour jumpstarts. We now understand why the shelter described her as a “Velcro dog,” as Wanda is constantly attached to someone in the house. I am grateful that God created this sweet creature and brought her into our lives. She brings new energy and a new perspective. This morning, I looked around our house and saw things to be cleaned, work to be done, and a long day ahead. I watched Wanda, and she clearly saw with more joyous eyes – people she loves, things to discover, and an appreciation for the delight of home.

Now, pets certainly bring their share of hassles and headaches. But the special bond between people and animals is truly a gift from God. It offers an opportunity to love, to learn, and to fill our hearts. Interacting with a pet brings us into the present moment and reminds us of much joy can be found in the simplest of delights, like a sunny day or a warm hug. We recognize this bond in our Blessing of the Animals service. The Psalmist recognizes it when he tells us, “The righteous care for the needs of their animals.”

Whether a dog, a cat, a guinea pig, or a turtle, I hope we all thank God for our animal companions and do not miss the lessons He shows us through them.
Do you have a collection of these?

Our church office is looking for two editions of our historical church rosters: the 1953 edition and the 1968-69 edition.

If you have one of these editions in your collection, please contact Jan Anderson jan@woodmontcc.org to help us out!
Watch sermon "Tomorrow" by Chris Cox
Watch sermon "78 Years a New Testament Church" by Roy Stauffer
Prayers for our church family

CONGRATULATIONS TO:
  • Emily & Daniel Patten on the birth of their daughter, Kathryn Ivy Patten (Kate), on July 6. Grandparents are Kathy & Tom Patten.
  • David & Tessa Stewart on the birth of their son, Henry Cyril Stewart, on July 8. Proud grandparents are Cyril and Fran Stewart.
  • Mari-Kate Hopper and Brent Miller, who were married July 10 at Woodmont.


SYMPATHY TO:
  • Kimmy Bennett and family on the death of her grandmother, Rita Poling, in Lancaster, Ohio. 


NEW CONCERNS:
  • Deborah Danker's brother on Amelia Island - cancer


CONTINUING CONCERNS:


FAMILY/FRIENDS OF MEMBERS:
  • Connie Schmutz's brother, Michael Smith - recurring prostate cancer (undergoing radiation)
  • Connie Schmutz's cousin, Debbie Fuson, stage 4 breast cancer
  • Dorothy Stewart's brother, Jerry Greer 
  • Doyle and Virginia Rippee's daughter, Stephanie Rippee - Richland Place
  • Ann Luther's father, Rhuel Patterson
  • Donovan McAbee's father, Donnie McAbee 
  • Caleb Graves' father, Wayne Graves – Kansas City 
  • Pam Groom's brother, Brad Jones - Nolensville, TN 
  • Rita Baldwin's daughter, Debbie McPherson in Houston, TX 
  • Pam Groom's father, Gary Jones - Louisville, KY
Our elders invite you to join them in prayer

  1. For our church leaders to have wisdom to help in all situations.
  2. For a community coming out of a long Covid year.
  3. For the children and youth, who are the future lights unto the world.
Giving

June 20: $50,088 
June 27: $15,405 
July 4: $57,259
July 11: $30,802
Woodmont Christian Church
3601 Hillsboro Pike | Nashville, TN | 37215 | www.woodmontchristian.org 
Growing disciples of Christ by seeking God, sharing love, and serving others.