SLA Info

Next week is SLA week! On November 10-12, we are heading to the mountains for a weekend of intentional worship, fellowship, study, and prayer.  It is one of the highlights of the year for many of us!  Please use the info below to prepare your hearts and minds for the days ahead. If you have any questions at all, email Jenny at!



5:30 — Arrival at Church Street (Youth Area) & Load Trailer

5:45 — Dinner in Youth Area

6:15 — Brief group meeting

6:30 — Departure for Camp Bays Mountain (Kingsport, TN)



12:00 — Lunch at Bays Mountain

12:30 — Pack & Clean Up

1:00 — Depart from Locust Springs

2:30 — Arrival at Church Street


Packing List 

A printable/saveable version of this packing list is available below.  That way you can have your own checklist as you get ready!

  • sleeping bag or twin sized linens
  • pillow
  • Bible
  • water bottle
  • warm clothes, casual clothes (bring a flannel if you have one)
  • pajamas
  • shoes for walking & hiking
  • coat, gloves, & hat
  • rain jacket (just in case)
  • towel
  • toiletries
  • snack to share (individually packaged please!)
  • chargers

Packing List


Additional Info

  • Late Arrival/Early Departure — If you have a conflict and need to either arrive late or leave early, please let Jenny know the specifics by Wednesday, November 8.
  • Release Form — Everyone must complete release forms for both Church Street & Bays Mountain.  Please use the links below to access them.
  • Rooming — Students will be sleeping in bunk rooms with 8 individuals per room. We will all be in one lodge.
  • Sickness Policy — If a student becomes ill while we are at SLA, we will contact parents and ask that you plan to come and pick them up.

Church Street Youth Annual Release Form

Bays Mountain Waiver

Preparing for SLA

Our prayer for this weekend is that it would be one of restoration, connection, and hope.  SLA stands for Spiritual Life Advance, and we are believing that God will grow our faiths as we spending time with Him away from the pressures of everyday life.  Here are some ways you can intentionally prepare your hearts and minds for this special time.

  • Prayer — Spend time in intentional prayer leading up to SLA.  Ask God to be with you and protect you, to help you learn and grow, to heal brokenness, and restore joy.  Lift up anything on your heart to Him!
  • Worship — We have a worship playlist of all the songs we will be singing over the weekend.  Listen to it over the next couple of weeks! Listen here.
  • Reflection — Consider where you find yourself at this point in the school year.  Worn out? Excited? Hopeful? Discouraged? Disconnected? Stuck? Energized? Bring those things to Him and come to SLA aware of where you are in your life.

Sunday Schedule
Worship – 8:30AM & 11:00AM
Sunday school – 9:45-10:45AM
NightLife – 5:00-7:00PM (begins 8.27)

At a glance…

  • Regular NightLife this Sunday!
  • We need more parking help this season. Especially for the 9/30 game – 7:30 kick-off and LOTS of open volunteer slots.
  • SLA final registration is due October 3!


NightLife is back in action! We are starting our new study “The Superpowers of Jesus” this week. We will study the miracles of Jesus during his years of public ministry.

Join us from 5:00-7:00 in the Youth Area for a $5 dinner, fellowship, study, and worship.

If you are new to NightLife, we hope you’ll consider taking the NightLife Challenge and commit to being with us 4 weeks in a row to see if it’s a good fit for you. (We think it will be!)

SLA Registration

Fall is nearly here which means one of our favorite weekends of the year is just around the corner! SLA (Spiritual Life Advance) is our annual fall retreat. We spend a weekend away at camp to renew and reset – taking time to worship and study with intention and hope.

SLA Registration is officially open! Check out the info below to learn more and head to the link to sign-up!

When: November 10-12

Where: Camp Bays Mountain

Cost: $115 (early bird), $135 (final)

Earlybird Registration: September 17

Final Registration: October 3

SLA Registration

Football Parking Fundraiser

For each of Tennessee’s home football games, we have the incredible opportunity to park cars on our campus and raise money for our Youth Department and Youth Choir. Each weekend, we tithe (give 10%) of our earnings to a Parking Lot Maintenance Fund, and the remaining is divided evening between the two groups.

It requires a significant amount of volunteer support to make this fundraiser work, and we ask all families to volunteer for at least two shifts during the season. Please use the link below to sign up and learn more.

We need lots more hands to make this season happen. Please check out the sign-up and find two shifts to serve.

Football Volunteer Sign-Ups

Kick-Off Follow Up

On August 20, we celebrated a new year of Youth Ministry altogether in Parish Hall. We shared a meal, worshipped together, and heard about what we have in store for this year.

Below, you’ll find the links to our forms/surveys. Please take some time to fill those out (it won’t take long!) to help us plan for the year ahead.

As always, if you have any questions, reach out to Jenny at

Annual Release Form

Student Survey

Parent Survey

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!

Youth Breakfasts

Youth Dinners


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

Jenny Cross, Youth Director

Weekly Prayers for the Church Street Family

Week of June 14, 2023

Rev. Tim Best

God of Abraham,

We thank you for the many blessings you pour out upon us. We are thankful for summer camps for children, sunny days outside, rainy nights that seem to leave the world refreshed the next morning. We are thankful that you desire to bless the world, and draw each of us close to you. Help us to hear the ways you are calling each of us. Help us to name our blessings and to share them with the world.

We pray for those who do not feel blessed. We pray for those who are struggling. For those who struggle with sickness, with loneliness, with relationships, and those who are facing any sort of trouble. We pray for those who are oppressed or ignored. You called Abraham from of his home and promised him a future. Be with those who have no home and worry about their future. May we see the blessedness in all people, and share the promise of your future with all the world. Abraham and Sarah trusted in you as they left everything they knew. Help us to trust in you and  be willing to follow you wherever you call us.

How wonderful it was to see our future, the youth of Church Street, lead the music in worship this week. We are truly a blessed community to have dedicated staff, volunteers, and students, committed to praising and glorifying you through song. We are so thankful that our youth returned safely from their choir tour. We know that many others were blessed by their performances last week, just as we were blessed to hear them this past Sunday. Continue to bless and teach our youth and children through all of our programs this summer. We have already been so richly blessed by our children and youth, watch over them as they continue to bless and teach us as a church family.

Gracious God, we know that Jesus Christ is the fullest revelation of your love for Abraham and for the world. Through Jesus the whole world is blessed by Abraham. In Jesus the whole world is invited into Abraham’s family. In Jesus we see that you keep your promises and that even when it seems that only death remains, your love bursts forth into newness of life. Grant that we may always cling to the hope of your mercy and grace.

We pray for ….

  • A daughter who is having a difficult pregnancy; prayers for her family. Prayers that migraines will cease and/or that docs can offer alternative medication.
  • A member who had surgery for broken leg; prayers for healing and patience
  • A young mother
  • So many in our church family who are dealing with a variety of diagnoses, waiting on tests, sorting out medical lingo; prayers that they not be overwhelmed by info but surrounded by God’s Calm.
  • A friend who had spinal surgery on Monday.
  • A mother/grandmother who had knee replacement on Tuesday.
  • A father in ICU at UT hospital; prayers for strength and healing
  • Couples in our church who are wanting to have children and who are waiting …
  • A mother in the unexpected death of her son; prayers for his work colleagues also.

We give thanks for ….

  • Excellent rehab after surgery; so thankful for the good options we have!
  • Friends who have shown support since injury.
  • Answered prayers on cancer surgery! Thankful for the wonderful medical team and good friends!

Help us to always see the blessings in our lives, as we pray that prayer the Jesus taught us…

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.

Have a Prayer Request?

Submit your prayer request confidentially by clicking here.

Almost Summer!

It’s hard to believe this school year is coming to a close and summer is nearly here. We have lots of exciting things going on this summer — MAD in the City, Operation Backyard, Bible studies, Hang Times. But before we jump right into what is next, let’s take a moment to pause, reflect, and give thanks for the year we are finishing.

Here are some questions to help you look back and practice gratitude for all God has done this school year.

  1. Where have you experienced growth this year?
  2. Can you think of a time when you experienced peace even though your circumstances were stressful? What was that like?
  3. How has your faith changed since August?
  4. What are you thankful for that happened this school year? Pause and make a list. And add to it as things come to mind over the days ahead.
  5. What is something you are hopeful about in the summer ahead?

If you would like to reflect alongside the Psalms, here are some recommendations:

  • Psalm 23 – The Lord is My Shepherd
  • Psalm 27 – The Lord is My Light and My Salvation
  • Psalm 46 – God is Our Fortress
  • Psalm 61 – Lead Me to the Rock
  • Psalm 80 – Restore Us, O God
  • Psalm 91 – My Refuge and My Fortress
  • Psalm 95 – Let Us Sing Songs of Praise
  • Psalm 103 – Bless the Lord, O My Soul
  • Psalm 139 – Search Me, O God, and Know My Heart

More details for summer are coming. But for now, let us pause, pray, and praise. God is good and worthy of our worship.

Grace and peace,


One of our favorite things about the spring semester each year is celebrating our graduating seniors.  Welcome to the Senior Spotlight series for the graduating class of 2023!  Our seniors answered interview questions earlier this semester and it has been so much fun learning their answers! Check back in each week to get to know our seniors better and help to cheer them on as they wrap up high school and prepare for their next steps.

Meet Clara Suters!

What high school are you graduating from?
L&N STEM Academy
What are your plans for next year?
Going to Belmont University to study publishing
What is your favorite bible verse?
Lamentations 3: 22-23
If you could choose one meal to eat for the rest of your life, what would it be?
If you could give some advice to your younger self, what would it be?
Don’t worry about what everyone thinks of you, do what you think will make you happy.
What are your top 3 favorite movies?
Knives Out, Pride and Prejudice, and Murder on the Orient Express
What is your top book recommendation?
I would have to say the The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson. I love the world building and how the plot is intricately woven.
What is your favorite Church Street memory?
My favorite church street memories are all the ones where I am a hanging out with some of my best friends. Whether we were at nightlife, choir practice, on a retreat, at Panera at 7:00 am, or on a bus together for 10 hours, I always had some really meaningful, or just entertaining, conversations and experiences.
What are you most excited about going into the next season of your life?
I am excited to be able to learn more things about myself and am excited to meet new people. However, I am also extremely excited to decorate a dorm room.

Daily Lent Devotions from Church Street UMC

Holy Saturday, April 8, 2023 — Morning

By Verna McClain

Beneath the Cross

As a youth, I would walk to my church on Sunday evenings for my MYF, as it was then called. It was safe to walk around our small town, even at night. I always sang in a choir, so music was a part of my daily life. “Beneath the Cross of Jesus” spoke to me; especially parts of the second verse: “Upon that cross of Jesus mine eyes at times can see the very dying form of one who suffered there for me.”

I have dedicated myself to serving Christ throughout my life in whatever form I was called on to serve. I was a short-term missionary for the Methodist Church in Brazil after college and as a social worker in Knoxville for over 50 years, I was serving God in helping children, youth and adults to have better lives. So I still find myself singing or humming this song written back in 1872.


Beneath your cross, Jesus, I fain would take my stand; the shadow of a mighty rock within a weary land. Amen.

Have a Prayer Request?

Submit your prayer request confidentially by clicking here.

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

Seniors: your Senior Info form is due this Sunday, March 24!!

Lenten Worship Night

This coming Sunday night, we will have a Lenten Worship Night to prepare our hearts and minds for Holy Week and the coming of Easter. This will take place during our regular NightLife time (5:00-7:00). We will begin with dinner in the Youth Area followed by a time of worship, reflection, and prayer in Parish Hall and the Nave. Pick-up will be in the Welcome Center at 7:00 PM.

P.S. Bring your prayer beads!

Summer with Church Street Youth

Last week, our summer newsletter went out with all our info for events for summer break! We’re so looking forward to spending the summer together.  Below, you’ll see the links to the newsletter and our registration form.  Please contact Jenny if you have any questions!

Earlybird Registration: April 16 | Final Registration: May 7

Summer Newsletter

Summer Registration

Lent at Church Street

NightLife – During Lent, we are meditating on the senses and using them to draw us back to our faith on a daily basis. One of Church Street’s clergy will join us each week to share how

Palm Sunday – April 2 (Youth Lenten Worship Night during NightLife)

Maundy Thursday – April 6

Good Friday – April 7

Easter – April 9

Senior Info

It’s hard to believe it is already time to be looking toward graduation for our graduating seniors! What a joy it is to see you learn and grow. You should have already received this email via mail & email, but reminders that deadlines are coming up! Mark your calendars and be sure to submit your information. Let Jenny know if you have any questions!

Sunday, March 24 – Senior Info Due

Sunday, April 2 – Scholarship Application Due

Tuesday, May 2 – Senior Banquet

Sunday, May 14 – Senior Sunday

Senior Info

Scholarship Application

High School Prayer Breakfast

This year, we are rotating locations of our High School Prayer Breakfast. Hopefully, this will allow more students to participate! Here is this month’s schedule:

  • February 7, Chick-fil-A West Hills, 7:20 AM
  • February 14, Panera Fountain City, 7:20 AM
  • February 21, Chick-fil-A West Hills, 7:20 AM
  • February 28, Panera Fountain City, 7:20 AM

Parent Sign-Ups

Meal Sign-Ups: Each Sunday, we serve our students breakfast and lunch. 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!

Breakfast Sign-Up

Dinner Sign-Up

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

Jenny Cross, Youth Director

Daily Advent Devotions from Church Street UMC

Tuesday, December 20

By Dan Kelley

Cowboy Bob

Read: Genesis 45:7a

“God sent me before you to preserve you.”

My mom loved to tell the story about me when I was a small boy and my friend, Cowboy Bob. Mom had lost my older brother Timothy in childbirth about two years before I was born. She was afraid that she could not have any more children. So when I was born she was very happy and very, very protective.

My dad had built a large family room across the whole back of our house in St. Louis. It was a great place to play when the weather was too bad to go outside. And my favorite games to play were Cowboys: Cowboys and Indians, Cowboys and Bank Robbers, Cowboys and Rustlers, and Cowboy posse helping the Sheriff. 

I had jeans with a leather belt and a silver buckle. I had boots and a cowboy hat. I had a vest and a two-gun holster. I had a cardboard horse that I could ride. I watched all the cowboy shows on TV. I loved playing Cowboys.

What I did not love was taking a nap. (I apologize to naps for my rude behavior toward them when I was young. I have since learned what a wonderful thing they are.) I objected that the Indians, Bank Robbers, Rustlers, and other Bad Guys would sneak up on me while I was asleep. I was afraid that they would get me. No amount of discussion with my mom would convince me otherwise. It was an ongoing battle.

One day my mom gave me a bag and asked me to open it. Inside was a bedspread with a tall man on it. He had jeans with a brown belt and silver buckle. He had cowboy boots and a white hat. He had a red vest with a star on it. And he had a two gun holster. His name was Bob, Cowboy Bob. Mom said that he had been deputized to stand watch and would protect me when I took my nap. He looked dependable, so I agreed to this solution and never argued again.

We are living in uncertain times of turmoil and change. Wars and rumors of wars fill the news. It is difficult to sleep because the bad guys are up to no good and are threatening us. Cowboy Bob was an outward and visible sign of my mother’s love and protection for me. The birth of Jesus the Christ is an outward and visible sign of God’s love and protection for us.


The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies; Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Amen.

Have a Prayer Request?

Submit your prayer request confidentially by clicking here.

Daily Advent Devotions from Church Street UMC

Monday, December 20

By Ann Reego

When Things Don’t Turn Out as Planned

Read Matthew 2:13-15a

“Now after they had left, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, ‘Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.’ Then Joseph got up, took the child and his mother by night, and went to Egypt, and remained there until the death of Herod.”

I am looking forward to Christmas so much this year! Jim and I haven’t seen our Tampa daughter, son-in-love and two grandchildren since Christmas of 2019. It’s a long story, but the root of all the evil is Covid. And to make it even better, my Knoxville daughter, son-in-love and the four girls will be in Tampa with us. It’s the first time all of us have been in the same house since June of 2018. I can’t wait. It will be truly the best most blessed time in two long years.  

Not being with my Tampa family has been hard and frustrating for all of us. Watching Emily and Evan grow up on Zoom has broken my heart. I confess, I have whined A LOT! So, picture Joseph when he had this dream with an angel telling him to take Mary and the baby and flee to Egypt. He had dealings with angels about this baby before, so I guess it wasn’t too hard to believe. I wonder how Mary felt, when Joseph told her about his dream and his plan? I’m sure she had plans to take Jesus back to Nazareth and show him off to her family. But again, she had listened to an angel once before, so off they went to avoid Herod’s wrath and the killing of all male children under two.  

Are you waiting for me to tie this all together? Well, here goes. Mary and Jospeh listened to the angels and saved their lives and the life of their child. And by doing so, they blessed us beyond words.  

Jim and I listened to the words of the CDC and Dr. Fauci and have been without seeing part of our family for two years. We are still alive and healthy, and grateful for science, and also for a church who protects and cares for us in all ways.  

Mary and Joseph must have looked forward to going home, but they spent 3 years in Egypt waiting for Herod to die. It’s only been 2 years for us, so I guess we are lucky!


Glorious and Loving God, thank you for protecting us and telling us how to remain safe from harm. Thank you for the leaders of Church Street UMC who prioritize our health and safety.  Thank you for the birth of your Son, and in His name we pray. Amen.

Have a Prayer Request?

Submit your prayer request confidentially by clicking here.

Weekly Prayers for the Church Street Family

Week of December 8, 2021

Rev. Jan Buxton Wade

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.

I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled,

and do not let them be afraid. 

(John 14:27)

We await your coming, O Promised One, for you arrive with the spirit of wisdom and understanding, extending your counsel and peace.  We, your wandering children, long for these qualities; yet today we especially seek your holy peace, O God of Calm.  Despite your gracious bounty and mercy, our hearts remain restless this time of year.  Those ancient threats of wars and rumors of war still color our era.  The destitute, who have long waited for reprieve, remain in want. Evil and anger walk our streets, ready to pounce upon innocents who dare to voice differing views. Our youth are too often estranged from family, church, and community, living in danger within the boundaries of their neighborhoods and schools.  We travel an uneasy road, O Lord; therefore, we still rely on the word of the prophet who shares the good news that, even today, every mountain and hill will be made low and the rough places will become a plain. 

O God of Promise, come to us with your peace.

In our yearning, we indeed realize many of our present troubles are of our own making. As we linger here for you, could it be that you are also waiting — waiting for us to set things right? Surely you long for us to repent of our selfish ways, and to earnestly become part of that transformation we so desire.  We confess that we have been reticent to become involved when our efforts could make a real difference.  There are persons we have refused to love, harmful habits we have not bothered to alter, and doorways we have neglected to open.  Courage lies at the heart of peace-keeping, so give us resolve and boldness through the power of your Spirit, we pray, to will and to work for the good of your kingdom. Forgive our reticence, Good Lord, and fortify our efforts that they may be those that prepare the way of the Lord!

O God of Promise, may we strive for your peace.

We remember, Abiding One, when Jesus offered his words of solace to his disciples, it was in a time of tremendous turmoil.  Though he knew his own death was imminent, he spoke of that lasting peace that he himself embodied. Help us to know that the charge before us is to work in our temporal realm; yet may we also take hold of that most sacred gift of a lifetime: that unflappable peace of Christ. Set us on that path this season, we pray.  

O God of Promise, we yearn for your abiding peace.

The storms of life have overwhelmed so many, O Lord, and raging winds have broken even the strongest among us.  May the words of Christ the Comforter resound in the spirits of those who are lonely, confused, ill, grieving, and dying:  “Peace be still!” Soothe the souls of those who are frightened in every corner, we pray, and bring your light of hope to each darkened corner.  And receive also these earnest prayers of petition and praise brought to you by your people at Church Street:   

  • Gratitude for prayers: Sister’s cancer scans negative
  • Thankful that a mother’s dangerous infection has cleared
  • Joy shared during the Advent Crafts Festival
  • Grateful for generosity – many gifts delivered to Beacon of Hope families
  • Thanksgiving: Ongoing mission work of the UMW
  • All who are contributing to the Stewardship Campaign
  • Gratitude: Meaningful Spiritual Life Advance Retreat for 70 youth
  • Thankful: A stroke victim is much improved
  • Prayers for safe delivery of first grandchild today
  • Prayers for church couple recovering from Covid
  • Young man suffering from PTSD, healing prayers please
  • Solace for members grieving recent death of a brother
  • God’s healing presence with members ill at home
  • Relieving anxiety of daughter, estranged from her ill mother
  • For doors of employment to open for a talented professional man
  • Patience and healing for mother following colon surgery
  • Beloved husband undergoing chemotherapy
  • Church families grieving during the holidays
  • Member enduring physical and emotional trials
  • Healing of a family’s broken relationship
  • Wisdom and strength for young mother enduring a painful separation 
  • Solace and strength for one – end of long-term relationship
  • God’s guidance and healing for a mother with cancer diagnosis 
  • Continued strength for four members in cancer treatment 
  • Four members struggling with harsh effects of Parkinson’s
  • Healing prayers for adult daughter suffering dire illness

How blessed we are by the Prince of Peace! In the midst of our flaws, our misunderstandings, and our distress, he offers us that unshakable promise that we are never alone.  His hand is outstretched, as it was for his disciples so long ago, and he shares that peace that will never let us go.  In the name of the One Who Was, Who Is, and Who Is To Come, we make our prayer:

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.

Have a Prayer Request?