Stonewall Inn and the significance of June 27

As American attitudes on homosexuality is rapidly shifting, June 27 may become a significant anniversary in our history.

STONEWALL 6.jpgOn June 27, 1969, patrons at the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City’s Greenwich Village, clashed with police in an incident considered to be the birth of the gay rights movement.  Since that time “gay pride” parades have occurred on or near this date.

It’s important you know about this occurrence, because President Barak Obama made history during his inaugural speech in 2013 by equating gay rights with those of women’s and civil rights, by evoking the term “Stonewall.”

ABC news summarized this aspect of the speech on January 2013:

“Obama also mentioned the word Stonewall when citing milestones of the civil right struggle. It was a reference to a riot and subsequent protests over a police raid in June 1969 of the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City’s Greenwich Village. The president mentioned it along with the first women’s rights convention held in Seneca Falls, N.Y., in 1848 and the civil rights march in Selma, Ala., in 1965.

We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths – that all of us are created equal – is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall . . . ” – Barak Obama

See the entire article here

I would imagine that references to Stonewall Inn will continue to be referenced as America works through the complexity of this issue.

I pray Christians will continue to look to Scripture for the source of our convictions and standards, and simultaneously be gracious to homosexuals in a Christ-like demeanor.


family picnic 1-1

Society is changing so rapidly, we need more timeless activities. Hence, the all-church family picnic.

This Saturday (June 28) at 11 a.m., we will have BBQ, burgers, hot dogs, horse shoes, corn hole, a water slide, jump house – join us for the fun!  Lunch will be served around 1:00 p.m.

Jack Oskin will be giving away TEN hickory smoked hams.  That sentence just sounds epic as I type it.

It’s going to be fun!  All are welcomed!



A bad week to be in Presbyterian USA

PC_USA_LogoAs a pastor of a non-denominational church, I typically avoid comments on denominational news.  However, I want you to be aware of major developments when they happen in the American church.  Last week ( June 14 – 21) the 221st General Assembly (2014) of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. (not to be confused with the Presbyterian Church in America or PCA) was held in Detroit, Michigan.

The selected representatives agreed upon two major issues:


1.  Allowing gay marriage ceremonies.  

See USA Today article:

Note, that their conservative members have been leaving since 2000, and especially since 2011, which set the tone for this direction. The USA Today article states, “In 2011, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) approved ordaining clergy with same-sex partners. Since then, 428 of the denomination’s more than 10,000 churches have left for other more conservative denominations or have dissolved. The church now has about 1.8 million members.”

Israel Flag2. Divesting investment in Israel 

The Wall Street Journal reports, “The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is bleeding members. Between 2000 and 2013, almost 765,000 members left the organization, a loss of nearly 30%.”  Yet, they took time to vote on pulling investments from US companies that were considered “pro-Israel” out of protest to the Israeli government.

No doubt the loss of members in the Presbyterian USA over the last ten years have left the more liberal constituents to push through these un-Biblical measures.

As a strong supporter of traditional marriage and the nation of Israel I find last week’s development almost hard to believe.

I pray all God’s people will follow truth as revealed in Scripture, and the good people of the Presbyterian USA church work this out with love within each local congregation.

VBS – Here we go!

VBS Set Up 2014Sunday night, an army of volunteers set up the church to prepare for our 2014 Vacation Bible School.  The theme this year for VBS is “Weird Animals.”

I love all the energy, teamwork and sense of community that happens during VBS.

VBS is Monday – Thursday, starting at 6:00 p.m. each night. Children who can attend are those Kindergarten eligible through 5th grade for the 2014-2015 school year.  We still take registration at the door, so bring all eligible kids to participate in this Jesus-exalting event.

Once again, Pastor Chip Johnson has shown incredible leadership organizing this important event.  What a team he has put together!

Also, don’t forget the All-Church Family Picnic that is happening this Saturday.  All the activities start at 11:00 a.m., and lunch will be served at 1:00 p.m. It will be a great way to celebrate the end of VBS, and enjoy time together.

If you haven’t already, take time to text your reservation to 615-787-7874.

Include your name and the total amount attending in your party.  It’s going to be a lot of fun!


family picnic 1-1


Worship City Prayer at CIL on 6.12.14

worship city prayer june 14

Bob PerryFor the last few months we have been having periodic prayer meetings to participate in a concept called Worship City Prayer. Bob Perry leads this prayer meeting, as we use live worship to focus on prayer, without some of the distractions that happen on a typical Sunday morning.

The prayer meeting will take place on Thursday, June 12 from 7:30 – 9:00 p.m. at CIL, but you can come to any portion.  Feel free sit, walk, pace, kneel or read the Bible while we turn the sanctuary into an atmosphere of prayer.

Here is more language that describes Worship City Prayer:

Worship City Prayer’s commitment is to actively energize, equip and facilitate continuous citywide prayer among diverse leaders, churches and ministry organizations in our community.  To us, that means building regional friendships that will help steward partnerships towards citywide revival.

We will help empower partnerships to move into sustainable, long-term prayer and outreach campaigns that will produce tangible, measurable results. The key to this long-term unification of the body of Christ will be to build meaningful relationships and make our goals big enough for everyone to have a part.


Summer Update

Camp Blast - 2014 - ActionShotHere are some various things going on in our church and my family this summer:

1.  My son Lincoln just returned from CAMP BLAST, and had a great time with other rising 3rd – 6th graders from CIL.  This was the second year we did this camp, and it was a great success under the leadership of Pastor Lee and Amy Moseley.  This camp was organized and led completely by CIL volunteers, and they did an outstanding job!

2.  Abbey (14) and Lincoln (10) are participating in Actor Pointe Theatre Company‘s summer camp led by our very own Greg Wilson (children’s pastor).  this camp culminates in a performance of Children of Eden later in the month at (more details to come).  I’m proud of both of them!

Children of Eden

3. We are planning a lot this summer at CIL.  Important meeting are occurring in regards to CIL Forward, VBS, children’s ministry and youth ministry. I like to plan, and the extra time I have during my summer schedule lets me do so.

Allison Selfie4. I’ll be spending a lot of time in Jackson, TN, in late June working on my doctorate, but will not miss any Sundays.

5.  Luke (12) enjoyed Beech High School’s basketball camp last week and is now spending a week in eastern Kentucky with his grandmother.  He will be back to spend Father’s Day with me, and then participate in Station Camp High School’s basketball camp.

6. Despite my kid’s various activities, summer is actually a good time for us to have more meals together, and have unstructured nights at home.  These nights are so valuable, so we protect them.  Time with the kids is slipping away so fast.

7.  I have never been so grateful for the incredible staff, elders and board members that help me lead CIL.  I couldn’t be more blessed when it comes to health in our leadership team.