Sunday Schedule
Worship – 8:30AM & 11:00AM
Sunday school – 9:45-10:45AM
NightLife – 5:00-7:00PM ($5 dinner)

At a glance…

  • NightLife – We are studying the parables of Jesus! Come and join us for our LAST REGULAR NIGHTLIFE of the school year!
  • Mark your calendar for some special upcoming events!
  • Final registration for summer is May 15!


We are in our last NightLife study of the school year. How on EARTH did that happen? This semester has flown by.

We are doing a study on the Parables of Jesus. This Sunday is our last regular NightLife of the year. We are closing out our Parables study with the Prodigal Son. This is a story that most of us are familiar with, but it is always good to revisit and draw near to the teachings of Jesus.

Special Events

We have several special Sundays and events coming up over the next few weeks. Please mark your calendars and plan to attend!

  • Monday, May 6 – Senior Banquet (6:30 PM – a time to celebrate our graduates, all are invited!)
  • Sunday, May 12 – Senior Sunday (both services)
  • Sunday, May 19 – End of the Year Party (5:00-7:00)

*We will need volunteers to help us make the Senior Banquet really special! If you are willing to help, please let Jenny know!

Senior Banquet Registration

Summer Newsletter

Summer is just around the corner! We’d love for you to join us for all our summer programming. Use the link below to check out our newsletter and register.

  • Operation Backyard – June 28-29
  • Ocoee Rafting – June 30
  • MAD in the City – July 7-11
  • Smokies Game – July 28

Final Registration Date: May 15

Summer Info

Youth Ministry Meals

Each Sunday, we serve our students breakfast and dinner. We ask families to volunteer to help make these meals happen! The sign-ups are below. If every family signs up for one breakfast and one dinner each, we will have nearly every week covered!

Sunday School Breakfasts

NightLife Dinners

Have you viewed our page on Church Street’s website? Check it out!

Jenny Cross, Youth Director

Lent Devotions from Church Street UMC

Sunday, March 31, 2024 – Easter Sunday

By Rev. Catherine Nance


Read: Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

“Now I would remind you, brothers and sisters, of the good news that I proclaimed to you, which you in turn received, in which also you stand…”

We all know the scripture reading for today – “He is not here. He has risen.” The next line of good news we hear is, ‘He appeared.’ We think of Cleopas and his friend in Luke’s Gospel and Mary Magdalene in John’s Gospel. We could think of these as stand-alone stories; events that happened in the past to someone else. But, we claim that WE are an Easter People. In the Epistle reading for today, Paul reminds us that the appearances keep happening. “Now, I would remind you,” he begins,” of the Good News that I proclaimed to you.” He reminds us that Jesus died, was buried, and raised on the third day. Then, the thens begin. Yes, the THENS. 

THEN he appeared to Cephas, 

THEN to the Twelve, 

THEN to more than five hundred, 

THEN to James, 

THEN to all the apostles. 

In dramatic storytelling style, Paul concludes, “Last of all, he appeared also to me.”

This is where we get to interrupt the story and say, No, Paul; you were not last of all, because THEN he appeared to me!

When we say we are Easter People, we are not simply retelling a story that happened over two-thousand years ago. We believe Resurrection continues to happen and Jesus appears to us! I have seen Jesus in your faces when you speak of your hope. I have seen Jesus in a hospital room. I have seen Jesus when a child served me communion on Christmas Eve. I have seen Jesus when someone offered grace.

THEN, he appeared to me. Where have you seen Jesus? 


O God of Resurrection, thank you for being alive in our hearts and in our world today. Help us to see you and THEN, to tell others the Good News! Amen.

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Lent Devotions from Church Street UMC

Saturday, April 30, 2024 – Holy Saturday

By John Eldridge


Read: Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

“To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.” (NKJV)

I love Springtime; but then I love all the seasons. The earth warms and all the plants and trees begin to come alive again. All different shades of green begin to appear. 

My wife Phyllis and I have, through the years, planted a number of perennial flowers. We love to watch their progress as they shoot up through the mulch, coming out a little more each day until there is a Hosta or a new flower. It’s all a miracle! A miracle that unfolds right before our eyes. 

My Methodist minister father once preached a sermon about the Surprise Lily. The Surprise Lily is called that because there is nothing there until one day the Surprise Lily is suddenly a gorgeous flower. 

Lent is like that. Slowly we begin to “wake up” to the coming of Spring and soon know the joy of the Gospel reining in on us. Also a miracle. Then comes Holy Week and God’s greatest surprise – the Resurrection of Christ. Easter then comes and we celebrate.  


Help me, Lord, to see the miracle of Spring, when the world comes alive after a season of sleep. Help me to know and feel that I am a special child of God. Amen.

Have a Prayer Request?

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Lent Devotions from Church Street UMC

Friday, March 29, 2024 – Good Friday

By Rev. Tim Best, Senior Associate Pastor

God With Us

Psalm 22

I was in college when I learned that Jesus’s “cry of dereliction” was from Psalm 22. It shouldn’t have been a surprise that Jesus relied upon scripture to express himself in a moment beyond words. In the midst of suffering Jesus relies upon the wisdom and words of scripture. When we fail to acknowledge that Jesus is invoking scripture, we think he is just invoking raw emotion. Rather, Jesus is interpreting his own experience of suffering through the language of the 22nd Psalm. Any doubts that lingered about Christ’s humanity are dashed upon the hard edge of his cry of anguish. Yet, because he invokes this Psalm, we see that his trust and obedience to the Father remains steadfast. 

In his suffering Jesus shows us the way to encounter our own suffering, and how to seek God in the midst of that suffering. First, Jesus shows us that scripture gives us the words to be honest. It is not faithful to pretend as if our suffering isn’t real, or that it is not truly suffering. Jesus voices a sense of abandonment, calling out “My God, why have you forsaken me?” When we feel abandoned or dejected, we too can cry out to God truthfully. Second, Jesus demonstrates how thoroughly scripture can be a source of vocabulary and language for us. When we do not have words, we can pray through scripture. 

All this week it has been tempting to rush towards the victory of Easter. Yet, their is no victory if there is no Friday. We all experience suffering and pain. In Christ’s own suffering we see a solidarity with our humanity, another lived example of what “God with us” actually means. 


O God, You who sent your Son into the world to know and endure our suffering; grant that in the midst of our own suffering we would know you hear our prayers and care about our plight. Prepare our hearts for Easter that we may know the joy of your love in the good times and the bad. Amen.

Have a Prayer Request?

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Lent Devotions from Church Street UMC

Thursday, March 28, 2024 – Maundy Thursday

By Dan Kelley

Turn Around and Repent

Read: Psalm 139

In January 1994, a 6.7 earthquake hit the San Fernando Valley of California centered on the Los Angeles suburb of Northridge. There were two major 6.0 aftershocks and hundreds of smaller ones. The quake had the highest ground acceleration measurement ever taken in an urban area.

The quake did major damage in the cities of Santa Monica, Hollywood, and Santa Clarita. It was felt as far away as San Diego, Las Vegas, and Phoenix. But most damage was done in Northridge. At between $13 and $50 Billion dollars of damage, it was one of the costliest natural disasters in US History. Fifty-seven people were killed and 9000 injured.

A young student at Cal State Northridge named Carl lived in the Meadows Apartment Complex. When the quake hit Carl’s apartment was destroyed. He was knocked down and trapped in the kitchen. He awoke hours later when he heard sirens blaring nearby. His hope rose. If he could free himself, he could be saved. But the room was full of dust and smoke from nearby fires. He could not see. He struggled from under the fallen cabinets that had pinned him to the floor and crawled to the front door. If he could get through the west facing door to the outside he could be saved. 

But the door frame was jammed and no matter how hard he pounded it would not open. He yelled. He cried but no one heard him. The fear of fire burning him frightened him. The smell of gas caused anxiety. The irrational thought of earthquakes causing a tsunami that might drown him drove him to panic. He smashed on the door again and again but to no avail.

Then he bargained with God. He negotiated what he would do for God if only He would save him. He made promises. He would atone for all his sins. With this hope, he again pushed on the door with all his might. But the door did not move. He cursed God in the dark. Why won’t you save me? He collapsed in exhaustion and despair. He felt totally abandoned.

Early the next morning Carl felt sunlight on his face. In confusion he turned around to see that the eastern wall of his apartment had fallen away and he could walk out to safety. 

The word repent means to turn around. When Carl turned around and opened his eyes he could see the light. He could see the way God had prepared for him to escape those things in his life that had trapped him.


Dear Lord and Savior, You have prepared the Way for us with your own blood. Help us to turn away from the traps of the world and see the light of your love. Amen.

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Weekly Prayers for the Church Street Family

Week of March 27, 2024

Written by Rev. Tim Best

Holy God,

During this Holy Week we seek your strength and your compassion. In each of the stories that we encounter about this week of your ministry which culminates in your passion and death, we see that when our love, our understanding, our patience, and our courage fails, you remain steadfast. As we read and remember the stories of your journey to the cross, open our hearts that we might be renewed in our discipleship. As our lenten journey comes to an end, prepare us to proclaim the hope and mystery of our faith after Easter.

As you taught in the temple, and prophetically challenged the powers of your day, challenge in us our love for the way things are. Where we have used talk of you to benefit ourselves and those close to us, lead us to repent. Help us to remain steadfastly committed to you, that we would abandon the appearance of devotion for the sincere commitment to you and the path you set before us. Make us mindful of those in our midst who suffer and are vulnerable. We pray for those whom we have ignored, those whose suffering has benefitted us, and those who have yearned to know your love, but have not found in us compassionate friends. Guide us that we may see the suffering of others and respond with the mercy and grace you have shown to us.

As you greeted those who arrived to arrest you with peace, help us to face our enemies with confidence in your kingdom and a resolve to greet force and violence with patience and trust in the final triumph of your kingdom. We pray for those who suffer from violence. We pray for all peoples afflicted by war. We pray for the ongoing war in Ukraine. We pray for Israel, for Gaza, for all those who are suffering. As your disciples we know that your desire is for all creation to be gathered into a peaceful and even joyful existence under the Lordship of Christ. Help us to treat our enemies as Christ treated those who saw him as an enemy. Soften hard hearts and direct the powerful so that your peace may reign.

Through your own suffering on the cross you teach us that we might cry out to you in our own trials. Deepen our faith that we might be so bold to name our suffering before you and before the world. We praise you that we are not required to hide our pain and suffering. We pray for those who are suffering. Our hearts are broken as we continue to learn details of the tragic bridge collapse in Maryland. In such moments we feel limited by words and our inability to undo such suffering. Hear us when we pray and hold those who suffer in your care.

As we come to the end of another day in this Holy Week, grant us peace and rest this night. Take from us the burdens of the day, and help us to recognize the simple mercies we have experienced throughout this day. Where we have failed to fully obey you today, help us tomorrow. In humble trust we offer all the cares of our hearts to you, including these joys and concerns of our church family….

We pray for ….

  • The city of Baltimore and all those affected by the bridge collapse. Praying especially for the families of the six workers. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer!
  • A sister who is going through divorce mediation; may all be calm and respectful.
  • A member’s nine grandchildren; may they know th ey are all loved by God and family.
  • One who is having trouble sleeping while looking for work; pray that someone would call for an interview!
  • Praying for family and friends who are going through difficult times; God knows the need.
  • Family and friends who are grieving the death of a special lady who taught us all about perseverance, hope, and trust in God.
  • A mother who has been hospitalized at Vanderbilt; thankful doctors are able to bring her relief
  • A colleague who is having health concerns; may she make good decisions
  • One who is waiting to hear results from MRI
  • Those who are prisoners of human trafficking
  • Family in Indonesia
  • A husband who has broken nose and and cannot sleep well
  • A family having to make decision about putting their mother in nursing home. Prayers for this 88-year old.
  • A cousin’s wife who has advanced kidney cancer; she begins treatments soon. Please pray for healing and peace.
  • The husband of a close friend whose throat cancer has returned. Prayers for him and for his wife who is caregiver.

We give thanks for ….

  • A daughter who has found a wonderful full-time job after years of being stay-at-home mom!
  • The beautiful musical offering on Sunday night, St. John’s Passion
  • For all the people who read these prayer requests and offer their time to pray.

We continue to pray for ….

  • A grandson who is healing from surgery on tibia and fibula
  • Those who have had surgery
  • One who is recuperating from leg surgery; praying that pain will be gone.

We offer our prayers in the name of Jesus, our Lord, who taught us to pray, saying:

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.

Lent Devotions from Church Street UMC

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

By David Lineberger

A Time of Introspection

Read: Jeremiah 29:11

“Return to the LORD your God, for He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love.”

The first time I remember hearing about Lent I was amazed that there was a religious time to concentrate on belly button dust. Of course, I was 8 years old at the time. Later, I was curious to learn that this was not a celebration like Christmas or Easter, but something very personal and introspective, and that it was different for every person.

Historically, new Christians were baptized and confirmed at Easter. Leading up to that was a period of preparation centering around your relationship with God, how you were living your own life, and how you were sharing God’s love with those less fortunate. Doing these things gave you a renewed perspective of your faith and an appreciation of God’s love.

Today, we use the season of Lent to emphasize these same spiritual ideas. To focus on how important various things are in your life, imagine a blank piece of paper. Imagine there is a circle in the center of the page with your name on it. Now place  things or people that are most important to you nearest the circle in the center. Continue with other less important parts of your life and place them farther from the center, depending on their importance to you. Once this is complete, put God where He belongs in your life, being honest and not where He should be, but is in reality. This mental exercise should give you a picture of your life currently, and how important God is to you. Do you see anything that should change? Does God deserve better?

Now look at the paper and ask yourself how many of the items nearest you reflect selfishness or greed, or harm to yourself or others. Are there items that should move away from you in the center, or items near the edge of the paper that belong nearer the center?

And last, realize how many of your items focus on the needy or those who are desperate for help from those more fortunate. How close are they to the center of the page? How much are you sharing God’s blessings and love with others?

In doing these things, Lent can become a personal celebration of your faith in God and a renewal of what it means to be His disciple. Lent can also be a time of a renewed appreciation of His greatest gift to all of us. What could be better than making our lives all about sharing His love instead of all about ourselves?


Dear Heavenly Father, forgive our selfishness and greed, our tendency to exclude you from our lives, and our willingness to look the other way when needs of others cross our path. Help us to see You in others,  and help to show You to others! In the name of your precious Son I pray, Amen.

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Lent Devotions from Church Street UMC

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

By Steve Richardson

Go. And Do.

Read: Luke 10:29-37

“Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

These days, with all the turmoil happening across the world, there are times I just want to hunker down and hide inside a bubble. Everything seems safer that way.

But when looking at Biblical examples of Jesus, Paul, Peter and other God-led role models, self-preservation was nowhere near the top of their lists of priorities. In fact, self-preservation wasn’t even on their lists at all.

Maybe it’s amid social and cultural commotion that God looks to us to contend with it, and to use such times as opportunities to be God’s agents for peacemaking, advancing justice and building community.

At crossroads of hesitancy in my life, sometimes I’ve been nudged by a snippet of wisdom from St. Thomas Aquinas: “If the highest aim of a captain were to preserve his ship, he would keep it in port forever.” Like ships are made for sailing, we as God’s people need to be out in the tumultuous world sharing and living lives reflective of God’s grace and love. 

Granted, Lent is a time for introspection and reflection. This might imply that Lent is a time to pause or retreat, to moor our ship in a sheltered harbor for a few weeks. Likely, though, the full richness of the transformational power of Lent can be best realized when we augment the season by applying our resources and talents to building God’s kingdom, by giving of ourselves to God’s work, by venturing out into a troubled world with acts of kindness, mercy and justice. 


God of fervor, God of opportunities, forgive our hesitancies to respond when action is needed, especially in service to others. Instill in us a passion for going and doing in Jesus’ name. Call us and use us to be conveyors of your Holy Spirit throughout all your creation, especially when everything seems turned upside-down! Amen.

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Lent Devotions from Church Street UMC

Monday, March 25, 2024

By Laura Still

The Presence of God

Read: Psalm 139:7-12

Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?

If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths you are there. If I take the wings of the morning, if I fly to the furthermost depths of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me,” even then the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.

Lent is traditionally viewed as a time a self-denial, as a time when we focus on the dark side of ourselves and try to improve our faith practices through exercises in self-discipline, fasting, study and prayer. It is a time we are meant to move closer to God, but another way to improve our relationship with our Lord is to seek joy—the joy of being loved by God.

One of the joyful things about teaching children is the questions they ask, even the ones that are meant to sidetrack the lesson plan. In a recent discussion of our lesson, which was about the baptism of Jesus, the kids managed to turn the conversation to the omnipresence of God—not that they used that particular phrase. They wanted to know, if God was everywhere, was He here in the room? Was He also out in the hallway? Could He be in the closet? Or in the trash can even? I replied ‘Yes’ to every question, and seeing a certain look in some of their eyes, I went on to say, “I don’t care where you are thinking of, no matter how weird or inappropriate you think it is, God is there. There is no place you can go that God cannot be. He is everywhere, because nothing is impossible for God.”

After that I managed to get them back to our lesson, but their questions are never unwelcome. They always give me the feeling that God wants me to think about something, because I hear echoes of these questions as I go through the week, remembering times I have felt distant from God’s presence, when I have tried to hide myself in the darkness, and forget that God is with me no matter how lonely or confused I am feeling. Whatever is troubling me, God is listening and present, constant and steadfast in his love. I may not see a dove descending or hear a voice from the heavens, but I do hear God speaking in the voices of the children, reminding me I too am his beloved child.


Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Amen. (Psalm 139:23-24)

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Lent Devotions from Church Street UMC

Sunday, March 24, 2024

By Rev. Tim Best, Senior Associate Pastor

Look Around

Read: Mark 11:1-11

“The king shall come when morning dawns and light triumphant breaks,

When beauty gilds the eastern hills and life to joy awakes.

And let the endless bliss begin by weary saints foretold,

When right shall triumph over wrong and truth shall be extolled.”

“Morning Song,” a hymn by John Brownlie, 1907

My first memory of attending a parade was the annual “Jubilee” in mid July in my hometown. I remember the convertibles and the fire trucks filled with smiling people throwing candy. It was a celebration! 

That’s what parades are supposed to be all about. Palm Sunday begins with a celebratory parade. Once Jesus arrives in the heart of the city he goes to the temple. While there, Mark tells us he “looked around.” Every Palm Sunday we focus upon the grand entrance into Jerusalem. We dress our children up and give them palm branches, and sometimes tambourines, and have them march around the church. We shout “Hosanna” and “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” 

Do we look around? As we begin this Holy Week let us take time. Let us look around. We look at the story of each day of this week. We look at the ways Christ’s Lordship seeks to transform and renew our lives. When Christ looks around your life, what does he see? When you look around our church, what, and who, do you see? Keep your eyes open this week. Look around and see where it is that God is leading.


Gracious and loving Lord, as you journeyed to the temple, journey with us this week. Open our eyes and our hearts that we can see and hear where you are speaking and leading in our lives. Give us the courage to follow you through this week and show us how to live with the same love, humility, and compassion that you displayed in your trial and passion. Amen.

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