THE VISION: In Christ’s service, AFUMC is learning to be faithful to both the Great Commandment (“love God and love your neighbor”) and also the Great Commission (“go and make disciples”). WHAT IS THE GREAT COMMANDMENT? The Ten Commandments described in Exodus:20 that God delivered directly to the people of Israel at Mount Sinai collectively define God’s Law and reflect God’s standard of holiness for everyone. Because no one can perfectly follow God’s law, everyone is a sinner and is subject to condemnation. However, God did not intend condemnation for all his children. To provide a method for redemption from sins, God gave Jesus Christ as a sacrifice to cleanse for all time those of us who believe that Christ died for our sins. Centuries later, as told in Matthew 22, Jesus was questioned by a Pharisee lawyer regarding which was the Greatest Commandment in the Law. Jesus provided an answer that did not change or abolish any of the Ten Commandments, but identified two that contained them all. God’s Law, initially stated as the Ten Commandments, is restated in total by Jesus in one commandment that states the law for man’s relationship with God and a second that states the law for man’s relationship with one another. These become the Great Commandment, the basis of our sins for which Christ’s death on the cross provided us redemption. From God – Exodus 20 Reworded by Jesus – Matthew 22:36-40 NIV ““Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”” Here at AFUMC, we are actively trying to put this commandment into action. We seek to love the Lord our God with everything we have, for He is the worthy one. We also seek to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. As a minimum, this means that we care about the various challenges that others face, and we do what we can to help. WHAT IS THE GREAT COMMISSION? The Great Commission is Jesus’ declaration to his followers that He has a mission for them to carry out and that this mission remains his focus until its completion. Jesus lays out the mission in Matthew 28:18-20. Other biblical passages indicate the mission will last until Jesus comes again. With God’s authority, Christ has communicated His expectations to His disciples very clearly and consistently. Christ expects His disciples to deliver His message worldwide to all nations, using their God given gifts and resources together as the body of Christ to make disciples among all the peoples of the world. The consistency and eternity of the Great Commission to us as Christians is captured in the following Bible verses. From God – Genesis 28:14 NIV “Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring.” Through Jesus – Matthew 28:18-20 “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” To us by the Holy Spirit – Acts 1:8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Always, Now, and Forever – Revelation 1:8 NIV “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty. Therefore, all Christ’s followers have an undeniable assignment from Him to fulfill the Great Commission, using our gifts and resources to communicate the gospel and to grow the number of Christ’s disciples worldwide.
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Ministries where we invest our time and money
United Methodist Missions Holston Home
The ministry of Holston Home began in 1895 when a single woman took a step of faith and founded an orphanage in Northeast Tennessee. From those early beginnings, the "Home" has grown to serve more than 400 children and their families on any given day with family service centers located throughout East Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. holstonhome.org
The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is an organization dedicated to alleviating human suffering around the globe. UMCOR's work reaches people in more than 80 countries, including the United States. They provide humanitarian relief when war, conflict, or natural disaster disrupts life to such an extent that communities are unable to recover on their own. umcor.org
Henderson Settlement began as a Methodist outreach to an isolated mountain community in Kentucky. Today, they serve a four county area of Kentucky and Tennessee, bringing hope through various ministries. hendersonsettlement.com Our United Methodist Women's group has had a long relationship with Henderson Settlement.
Habitat for Humanity
Habitat of Blount County's vision is to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness by providing simple, decent, affordable and stable housing for those in need in Blount County. blounthabitat.org Our church has been helping build homes with Habitat for a number of years.
Family Promise of Blount County is an interfaith, non-profit network of local congregations and hundreds of volunteers working together to provide shelter, meals, and support services to help homelesss families achieve lasting independence. blountfamilypromise.org We are a Supporting Church, helping to take care of the guest when they are housed at Green Meadows Methodist Church.
The Community Food Connection is a local food bank serving the hungry in our community.
Louisville Christian Center
A few years ago, several churches came together to start this ministry which today serves the community with food assistance as well as clothing, cleaning supplies and other items. In addition to other support our church provides this ministry, we support it through our
Faith-Promise Fund as well.
Trinity Dental clinic is a Christian, non-profit, non-denominational organization which provides dental care fro low income, uninsured and underserved adults in Blount County. trinitydentalclinic.org Our church supports this ministry through our Faith-Promise Fund.
Pregnancy Resource Center
The Pregnancy Resource Center helps women cope with unplanned pregnancies and consider their option in a compassionate, supportive environment with the help of trained peer counselors. The center was established by caring individuals to provide Christian mercy to women in need. prcbctn.com Our church supports this ministry through our Faith-Promise Fund.
Mr. P's Helping Hands
This fund was started to honor the memory of Dennis Pershing. Dennis was a teacher who impacted lots and lots of kids. This fund is used to help kids and their families with many kids of needs - any need that might stand in the way of a child being a successful student.
A number of years ago, our church wanted to reach out to this village in Haiti which is inhabited by some of the poorest of the poor. We established this fund to sponsor a pastor and begin a school. Today we still support Pastor Jean Simone fro tis fund. Early in 2013, this fund was also able to provide $8000 towards our $20,000 investment in building new school building in the village to serve the 100+ children who attend.
This fund was started to help folks in our larger community with various material needs. We use these funds to help folks with utility bills, rent, prescriptions, groceries, gasoline, etc.
The Faith-Promise Fund is a special in-house fund which supports a wide variety of ministries. This is the fund which grows out of our mission conference each year. You'll notice that we support several of the above ministries from this fund. In addition, this fund is used to financially support the following missionaries:
Fogelman Lynn and Sharon, both medical doctors, serve with The Mission Society themissionsociety.org in South Sudan, the newest nation in the world. They are involved in a variety of community health initiatives, everything from training mid-wives to malaria prevention. They are also actively involved in evangelistic work, hoping to help start churches in areas where there is no church presently.
Bob and Patty Meredith Bob grew up in our church and is very special to many folks here. He and Patty have served with The Navigators navigators.org/us/ in East Africa for years. Currently they live in Nairobi, Kenya, and work in Kenya and serval surrounding countries to encourage discipleship ministries and grow leadership.
Graham and Sharon Nichols serve with The Mission Society themissionsociety.org in Ecuador. They are working with the National UMC in Quito (capital of Ecuador) to start a church among some of the country's poorest in the coastal region. The Nichols have a special burden for the children and youth of this area. They minister through weekly VBS programs, small group Bible Studies, music, and teaching English as a second language using a Bible based program.