News


24
Nov 2020
Leading in a Pandemic

We are about to begin the Advent Season. This is one of the best times of the church year. Our leadership retreat with Susan Beaumont was excellent. She spent time with the Board, Elders, Deacons, and Staff. She is encouraging our church to “lean in” to this time and “reinvent” how we do church. We must keep moving forward responsibly, and let people choose what they are comfortable doing. Beaumont was very clear that this pandemic will last for a while (well into 2021) and things will look different on the other side. Digital church is not......

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17
Nov 2020
Our Culture's Struggle for Truth

The election is over. It appears that Joe Biden has received enough votes to become the 46th President of the United States. Lawsuits are pending in multiple states. Recounts are happening in certain places. We have ongoing accusations of voter fraud, ballot manipulation, and foul play at the polls. The President has not conceded and may never do so. What has become very clear to me in the aftermath of this election is not just that we debate winners and losers, that the pollsters were wrong again, or that there was no......

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03
Nov 2020
November Update - Advent is Coming!

We have now moved into the month of November, so I wanted to write and give you a few general updates of plans we are making here at the church. Health and safety continues to be a top priority in everything we do. At the same time, the church must press on and live out its mission. • Rev. Susan Beaumont will lead our Virtual Fall Leadership Retreat this year. The first session is on Saturday morning, Nov. 14 at 9 a.m. and the second is on Monday evening Nov. 16, at......

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29
Oct 2020
7 Life Lessons from the Pandemic

We have entered the eighth month of what feels like a pandemic that will not end. Many of us are tired of it and long for life to be “normal” again, whatever normal is. It has disrupted every aspect of our lives including family, work, education, social gatherings, church, community, politics, government, voting, health care and friendship. Silver linings exist but it’s now hard to see them through the high levels of stress and emotional exhaustion. We should heed the advice of Victor Frankl who famously said, “Everything can be taken away......

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21
Oct 2020
The Gift of Family

Our family just returned from a fall break trip to the beach. It was good to get away and relax for a few days. Of the many hats I get to wear – minister, pastor, preacher, counselor, professor – the most important roles that I have are that of husband and father. On the trip, I started reading an insightful new book by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks titled Morality: Restoring the Common Good in Divided Times. Sacks is a well-known British rabbi and a public intellectual. In the fourth chapter, he talks about......

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16
Oct 2020
Civility Should Help Us Navigate Faith and Politics

My undergraduate course this fall at Vanderbilt is called “Faith, Politics, and Polarization in American culture.” We are closely studying the research of NYU’s Jonathan Haidt and Harvard’s Arthur Brooks. Haidt is a social psychologist who has done significant research on morality and the basic moral foundations of liberals and conservatives. In his book The Righteous Mind, Haidt defines moral systems in the following way: “Interlocking sets of values, virtues, norms, practices, identities, institutions, technologies, and evolved psychological mechanisms that work together to suppress or regulate self-interest and make cooperative societies possible.”......

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02
Oct 2020
Turning Anger & Pain Into Hope

I recently sat with a heartbroken family who tragically lost their husband/father to suicide. It came out of the blue – no hints, no warnings, no signs whatsoever. I was there because I lived through the same thing years ago with my own mother. The only difference was, we knew she was sick and had done everything in our power to help. This family didn’t have that chance. There is comfort, I believe, in talking to others who have been through similar tragedies in their own life. We don’t suffer alone. We......

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21
Sep 2020
Is Covid Making America More Secular?

I want to continue to encourage all of you to remain engaged in the life of the church during this time. We are working very hard to carry on the mission and ministries at Woodmont during this pandemic. Lots of exciting things are happening. We are thinking outside the box. Before Covid-19 started, secularization was well underway in America. For years, church attendance has been declining, especially outside of the Bible belt. Younger generations do not seem to be as interested in organized religion as their parents and grandparents. Statistics show that......

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11
Sep 2020
"5 at 5" Groups this Fall

I invite you to join us Wednesday nights for our Racial Reconciliation conversations.  Here is the Zoom link: https://zoom.us/j/96103564378. This series is being sponsored by Woodmont’s Task Force for Racial Reconciliation as an educational opportunity. We hope these conversations will be meaningful and beneficial. The invite is open to friends and neighbors as well. Anne Marie Farmer (our Connections Director) and I are proposing a new small group concept for this fall called “5 at 5.” We are encouraging Woodmont members to gather on porches and patios outside in small groups of......

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08
Sep 2020
New Fall Sermon Series: ”Common Ground“

This Sunday, September 13th, I will begin a new fall sermon series called “Common Ground: Unity in a Polarized World”. We will be studying Jesus’ most famous set of teachings known as The Sermon on the Mount (Matthew chapters 5-7). As you know, this is a challenging text. The bar is high. Jesus is very concerned with our hearts, motives, and our intentions. Since its inception, the Christian Church (DOC) has always been about unity. It is our polar star. We are a movement for wholeness in a fragmented world. We believe......

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