First chapel service
Sunday, Feb. 14, 2021
Online-only! Ash Wednesday 2021 service"Tired of the Wilderness?"

Wednesday, Feb. 17, 6 PM - homily by Clay Stauffer.

Due to inclement weather, tomorrow's Ash Wednesday service will be online-only. We will send out the YouTube link tomorrow evening via email.
“The Life of Jesus: A Journey Through Mark's Gospel” Lent sermon series begins this Sunday, Feb. 21 in the new chapel

Clay Stauffer
"Following Jesus in a Self-Centered World"
Mark 1:14-20 1-8a  

In-person worship
We will have our 9:15 AM and 10:30 AM services in the new chapel this Sunday with our safety protocols in place


Watch Clay's preview video for Lent sermon series
Choosing Love in a Selfish World 
by Clay Stauffer
Rev. Michael Curry serves as the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church and recently published a timely book called “Love Is the Way: Holding on to Hope in Troubling Times.” We are certainly living in troubled times. 

Curry rose to fame in 2018 when he was asked to preside over the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in London at Westminster Abbey. Billions watched from around the world. On that day, Curry discovered that his core message resonated across the globe, in every nation, with all people. 

Curry says, “Beyond our national identities and loyalties, beyond our political sympathies and ideologies, beyond our religious and spiritual convictions and commitments, there is a universal hunger at the heart of every human being: to love and to be loved.” 

It is upon this universal desire that Christianity is based. When asked by a lawyer which teaching in the law is the greatest, Jesus responded this way: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. And you shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments, hang all the law and prophets” (Matthew 22:38-40) 

In essence, Jesus is saying nothing is more important than these two commands. Curry points out that in Greek, the original language of the New Testament, we find three different words for love. First, we have Eros or romantic love. This is the love that is celebrated on Valentine’s Day, romance, passion, attraction, sex. 

Second is Philia or fraternal and brotherly love. This is the love of friendship and community that makes us fond of each other.

But Jesus came to teach agape love, a sacrificial love that seeks the good and well-being of others, of society, and the world. It has been described before as “Unconquerable goodwill towards other people.” Agape love is what often seems to be missing in our broken world. 

We look around and see a pandemic, a second impeachment trial, raging polarization, economic strife, hostility, resentment, and what often feels like chaos. We see anger, fear, and many who live depressed and hopeless, unsure about the future or if anybody cares about them. Many who do not love were never loved themselves so the vicious cycle gets perpetuated. 

The opposite of love has never been hate. The opposite of love is selfishness often grounded in fear. If love focuses outward on others, selfishness focuses inward. According to Bishop Curry, “Selfishness is the most destructive force in all the cosmos, and hate is only its symptom. Selfishness destroys families. Selfishness destroys communities. Selfishness has destroyed societies, nations, and global communities, and it will destroy the human race by laying waste to our planet. If we let it.” 

The good news is that we don’t have to let this be the case. We can choose love. We can choose compassion. We can choose sympathy and benevolence. Romantic love is great, but romantic love often fades and must give way to a deeper partnership. Couples who have been married for decades have learned to honor the friendship and avoid contempt. What our world and country need now is more agape love, where we begin to look beyond self to the needs and hurts of others. 

Curry says, “Where selfishness excludes, love makes room and includes.  Where selfishness puts down, love lifts up. Where selfishness hurts and harms, love helps and heals. Where selfishness enslaves, love sets free and liberates.” 

Every day, we have a choice to make. Will we live to love others, or will we live only for self? When we are stressed, tired, lonely, and in the wilderness of life, it may seem difficult. But choosing to love is always the right choice.   
Online Community Groups for Lent

Looking for a practice for Lent that lets you connect with others from the comfort of your home? We’re forming online community groups for a short weekly time of spiritual focus and small group fellowship. These groups are Lent-focused, so they will conclude by Palm Sunday, when our church family focuses on Holy Week.

Sign up online www.woodmontchristian.org/community and indicate what day and time works best for you.

You’ll receive an email with a Zoom link for that day and time and use that link to gather with others once a week for a brief 30-minute time of spiritual focus. Each group will have a facilitator - All you need to do is log in!
Lent Devotional Introduction
by Rich Sanderson, Worship Committee Chair
The Lenten season we are coming upon to celebrate became a Christian tradition close to 1700 years ago. Lent was and is to this day a 40-day period of reflection, sacrifice, and preparedness before the celebration of the resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

But, let’s ask ourselves, is Lent a period of celebration or a period of commitment to self-betterment?

As we step forward into the 40 days, we solemnly reflect on the days Jesus was alone, in isolation. During those days he was extremely hungry, cold, and tempted to challenge his Father’s will. But Jesus did have a purpose that helped him prevail... “to take his newly found spirituality” and to use it in his earthly ministry ahead of him.

Let’s take a moment to think about Jesus’ wilderness experience. Ask ourselves: have we not been experiencing isolation, away from community, starving for what was, faith challenged, in fear of succumbing to illness? In our lifetime of Lents, this Lent should be like no other in identifying with the suffering Jesus experienced.  

From my heart, I ask you to join me in using this year’s Lenten season to nurture your spirituality through prayer of renewal and sacrifice of acknowledgement. As we approach the beautiful day of resurrection, may we carry the same purpose as Jesus did – committing to our faith and sharing our spirituality with our brothers and sisters.
Almighty God, we ask that you prepare us for our 40-day journey in which we will acknowledge that sacrifice and hardship leads to spiritual renewal. May you remind us throughout Lent that your son, Jesus, suffered in many ways for our salvation and commitment to follow his teachings. We ask this in your son’s name.

Amen.
Welcome new members!

Beth & Hart Weatherford with Hart Jr., Helen, & Evie
Joined Feb. 7, 2021
Shelton & Drew Kitchen with Charlie & Grace
Joined Feb. 8, 2021
Upcoming online events
Bible Study on Mark's Gospel with Dr. Rubel Shelly begins next Wednesday, Feb. 24, at 6:30 PM on Zoom

Coinciding with Clay's sermon series, Dr. Rubel Shelly is leading a Wednesday night class during Lent on Mark's gospel.

  • Feb. 24 - "The Gospel in a Word” - Mark 12:28-34
  • March 3 - “The Extravagance of Love” - Mark 14:3-9
  • March 10 - “Eating with Jesus” - Mark 14:12-26
  • March 17 - “Semper Fidelis” - Mark 14:27-31
  • March 24 - “Your Will Be Done” - Mark 14:34-42 & “L-O-V-E: Written in Red" - Mark 15:16-41
Team Tallu Virtual 5k is Feb. 27

Team Tallu invites you to participate in a virtual 5k race to outpace glioblastoma on Saturday, Feb. 27! 

We invite anyone to participate including children and adults. For everyone’s safety, this will be conducted virtually, so participants can complete the event on their own time frame. Please visit the following link for registration details: give.vanderbilthealth.org/teamtallu.

During this special day, tag us on social media using #TeamTallu. Please visit our Team Tallu Facebook Page to share pictures, race times and comments with the Quinn family.

Contact Team Tallu with any questions at abbie.giompoletti@gmail.com
Next YP & Couples meeting is March 2 on Zoom
by Lauren Beuerlein
The Young Professionals (YP) & Couples ministry is gathering for Bible study and you are invited! So far this year, we contemplated the practical and spiritual meanings behind the practice of Sabbath. We did a deep dive into the Biblical theme of the Water of Life throughout the Old Testament, when God gives us great hope even in the midst of the desert, and how this story leads to Jesus. As we approach Lent and Holy Week, we will be looking at those themes in our upcoming gatherings. 
 
Please join us if you think this might be a good fit for you! We are a group of mostly post-college aged professionals who enjoy growing in our spirituality and spending time together through Bible study, spiritual growth conversations, and enjoying special guest speakers.
 
Our next gathering is Tuesday, March 2nd from 7:30 PM to 8:30 PM. Join us at the Zoom link and passcode below. Or email me at lauren@woodmontcc.org so that I can send you a reminder with the link closer to time. 
 
Passcode: Together
 
We hope to see you soon!
We need your help with our next edition of The Gathering!

ATTENTION! ATTENTION! We would like your family’s questions about Lent! Wondering what Lent is all about? Why it’s 40 days? Why some people fast? Whatever it is, we want your questions to answer on the next edition of The Gathering. Send your question (or record a quick clip of your student or child asking a question) to youth@woodmontcc.org by February 18.
Fall-Hamilton's Mathew Portell named Metro Nashville's Principal of the Year
Congratulations to Fall-Hamilton Elementary's principal, Mathew Portell, who has been named Metro's Principal of the Year! 

MNPS Coat Drive

There is an immediate need for coats of all sizes. Sign up to participate in the MNPS Coat Drive at https://bit.ly/MNPSCoatDrive. You can drop off new coats between 8:00 AM and 4:30 PM Monday through Friday at the Central Office Family Information Center at 2601 Bransford Ave.
Woodmont outreach partner United for Hope is hosting a trauma-informed care workshop on Feb. 23 & March 9

COVID-19 has put a spotlight on equity gaps in our community and emphasized the importance of holistic community care. United for Hope is one week away from the start of their first trauma-informed care workshop on Feb. 23 and Woodmont members are invited to participate.

Part 1: How Life Experiences and Adversity Shape Brain Development and School Success: Feb. 23 from 12 PM to 1 PM - Many students in our school district bring life experiences of stress, adversity, or trauma into the classroom, particularly given today’s global pandemic. In this presentation, we share a clear neurobiological storyline based on current science to explore healthy development as well as the impacts of toxic stress and adversity on the developing brain, lifelong health and wellness, and school success. We discuss the prevalence of childhood adversity in American schools and how this may affect learning and school success; and introduce how adults can buffer the impacts of adversity and help all children thrive through safe, stable, nurturing school relationships and environments. Register here: http://bit.ly/U4HCEWorkshopPt1

Part 2: Trauma-Informed Practices to Support Resilience: March 9 from 12 PM to 1 PM - Childhood trauma is not just a mental health problem but an educational problem that, if left unaddressed, can derail academic achievement and school success for countless students. We build on the foundational information provided in part 1 of this series by directly applying it to the school setting. We share a practical and applied model of trauma-informed practices adults can use right away to support all students in experiencing greater success at school and throughout life. We focus on adult mindset, building strong relationships and connections, supporting regulation, and promoting wellness for the students we work with and ourselves. Register here: http://bit.ly/U4HCEWorkshopPt2
Hope Springs Eternal
by Roy Stauffer
The poet Shelley wrote, “If winter comes, can Spring be far behind?”
 
I don’t know about you, but the older I get, the more cold weather chills my bones. Oh, I love the season changes. That’s why I don’t live in Florida where I grew up. It’s basically the same season 12 months of the year. But I’m not going to complain when they say we are enjoying warmer winters, and less ice and snow, in the South.

Forget what Punxsutawney Phil said. The blue skies, sunshine, and milder temperatures we’ve been enjoying lately tell me that Spring is just around the corner. (Of course, by the time this column is published, it will probably be freezing cold and snowing!)

I feel the same way about this long winter of the Coronavirus (Covid 19). It’s been a tough year in so many ways, and still is. But, I see all kinds of signs that Spring is just around the corner. The declining rate of infection. The declining numbers of hospitalized Covid patients. The increasing number of people receiving their Covid vaccines. The anti-body treatments they now have to help people with Covid to keep it from becoming severe or fatal. And I’m sure the death rate will soon be falling. (It takes a couple weeks for that to catch up with the other metrics.) There are also signs that our economy is starting to recover sooner than was expected, although it will take a longer time to get back to where we were.

So I’m feeling a lot better about everything than I did even a month ago. But where do we get our optimistic thinking?
 
Alexander Pope wrote in his Essay on Man, “Hope springs eternal in the human breast.”
 
Some say it is human nature to keep on hoping against all odds. I don’t particularly buy that. Just listen to voices around you and you’ll hear a lot of negative thinking. But I do believe it is Chistian nature to keep on hoping against all odds. If you trust in God, if you believe what Scripture promises us – “All things work together for good for those who love the Lord” (Romans 8:28) – then you know there are no hopeless situations (only hopeless people).

We’ve learned … and are still learning … a lot during this winter of Covid 19. Who knows, maybe it is preparing us to be able to handle greater challenges which lie ahead for humanity. But what I do know is that I am a believer! And my hope springs eternal.
Latest sermon "Jesus: Morality & Love in Action"
Watch Feb. 14 chapel service livestream
Watch "Creation & Evolution" part 2 with Dr. David Kidd
Prayers for our church family

CONTINUING CONCERNS:


FAMILY/FRIENDS OF MEMBERS - CONCERNS:
  • Farell Mason's father, John White - spine surgery Feb 8 (Centennial)
  • Susan Hammonds-White's brother, Glenn Hammonds - metastasis of bile-duct cancer, Berkeley, CA. Exploratory surgery 1/29/21
  • Dorothy Stewart's mother, Juanita Greer - congestive heart failure
  • Lindsay Hammonds, sister of Susan Hammonds-White, Kihei, Maui, Hawaii (stage 3 ovarian cancer)
Our elders invite you to join them in prayer

 
  1. For the healing of our country.
  2. That we may grow in our faith through study, prayer, and action.
  3. That we can find new avenues to share our Love of God with others and encourage them to know Jesus.
Giving
Jan. 24: $47,205 
Jan. 31: $64,209
Feb. 7: $106,419
Feb. 14: $44,471
Woodmont Christian Church
3601 Hillsboro Pike | Nashville, TN | 37215 | www.woodmontchristian.org 
Growing disciples of Christ by seeking God, sharing love, and serving others.