Dear Family and Friends of Hermitage Church of the Nazarene,

Our love and care are extended to Kathy Orrick; Brian and Dorinda Biggs, Dakota, Emmy, and Atalaya; Jennifer Lee, Tristan and Brianna; in the death of Mike Orrick, husband, father, and grandfather. Mike died around 6:30 AM on Friday, April 12, 2013, at home under the care of hospice. Mike was a beloved member of the Genesis Sunday School Class and HCN since April of 2007. He was 63 years old. A memorial service is scheduled for today, April 15, 2013, at 12:00 Noon at Spring Hill Funeral Home in Madison. Mike was a kind, thoughtful man, who was generous and loyal to friends and family with his time and whatever anyone needed. He was a talented musician who could play the guitar, mandolin, dulcimer, and cello. His last employment was at the First Baptist Church of Joelton. The First Baptist Church office closed for the day to attend Mike's service. Dr. Rondy Smith and I led that service.

Jerry Keener directed the yard work at HCN on Saturday, April 12, 2013. He was there before 8:00 AM. When I arrived at 8:15 AM, there were already a host of people trimming, cutting, and weeding the campus. Thanks to Bob and Joyce Clevenger, Jerry and Marilyn Keener, Tom Bontrager, Robert Parrish, Paul Stonecipher, Ken Willis for the labor. It refines an already beautiful property.

Thousands of teenagers from across the Southeastern USA descended on the Trevecca Nazarene University Campus on Thursday-Saturday, April 11-13, 2013, for competitions in Bible quizzing, sports, art, music, speech, technology. Each district sent their best. As members of the Tennessee District, HCN teens competed in the mix. These are the results: Daniel Magee (1st place in Quizzing A), Cole Jackson and Nolan Magee (3rd place in Quizzing B), Kensley Hutchings and Ashlee Harrison (2nd place in Women's Basketball), Trevor Hunt (Men's Basketball), Josh Johnson and Josiah Magee (1st place in Beach Volleyball), Abbie Winfree (Women's Softball), Jonathan Mowry and Josiah Magee (1st place in Ultimate Frisbee), Bryson Fox (3rd place in Table Tennis), Trevor Hunt (1st place in Senior High Men's Tennis), Grant Reigard (5K Run). The Women's Soccer Team which included Chandler Scott, Marileigh Mabry, Sarah Carter, Destini Oldham, Morgan Houser, and Karah Sharp won 1st place. Three of the HCN Teens were MVPs on their team: Josh Johnson in Beach Volleyball, Jonathan Mowry in Ultimate Frisbee, and Marileigh Mabry in Women's Soccer. Chandler Scott was a member of the All-Tournament Team for Women's Soccer. The Tennessee District took 1st place in the White Division (large districts). Kristi Mabry and Jody Scott were chaperones for the weekend.

John Mannen and Bob Ward represented The Gideon's International organization on Sunday, April 14, 2013, in both morning services. John and Bob told us real life stories of redemption because Holy Scriptures were distributed throughout the world by The Gideons. They gave us statistics telling us that the most heavily concentrated area of the world for Muslins, Hindus, and Buddhists is the 10/40 Window in Africa and Asia. The window includes 68 countries. Gideons currently place Bibles in 50 of those countries. The retiring offering totaled $2,476 with more given to John on Sunday night. It was a good day for investing in missions.
I want to continue to offer information regarding the naming of the HCN Sanctuary and the HCN Center through a congregational vote on Sunday, May 5, 2013. The Church Board and I recommend that the Sanctuary be named The Hendershot Chapel and the Center be named the Shankle Center. The Sanctuary was constructed under the leadership of Dr. Harvey Hendershot, who served as the HCN Pastor from 1983-1986. Dr. Hendershot not only led that project but invested financially in its construction. Dr. Hendershot was the visionary who led in the planting of HCN in 1977. He died in September of 2009. The Center was constructed by Alexander and Shankle Construction Company with Bobby Shankle as a primary partner in that firm. Bobby joined HCN in September of 1995. HCN was the place and the people who helped Bobby to find life in Jesus Christ. He loved this church and put all of his resources into creating the facilities that allow us to be the church we are today. His construction company built HCN projects in 1996, 1997, and 2003-2005. Bobby died in January of 2008.

I also reported last week that the Church Board had approved my request to hire Hunter Steinmetz as a Summer Intern in Youth Ministries. I asked with the understanding that I would raise the fifteen weeks of pay of $150 per week. After one week, I have seven families who have spoken for or already paid for one of the weeks. I need eight more families to help. Would you email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call me at 847-3335 or tell me face-to-face or hand me a check made out to HCN with a Hunter Steinmetz memo or hand me cash in an envelope? One family wrote me a personal note stating they considered this one of their investments in something that matters.

Now, I need to report on the Remodeling of the East End of the HCN Facilities. The Sanctuary was completed and occupied in 1986 on Easter Sunday. That was 27 years ago. Today, it has the original carpet, seating, lighting, etc. that was present in 1986. The mauve is faded and outdated and needing to be replaced. It needs a fresh make-over. It needs to be renewed in a way that makes it available to more than one hour and style of worship on Sunday morning. I need all of us to think beyond ourselves on this remodel. The first phase actually takes place outside the sanctuary, foyer, and balcony. We need $12,000 to replace carpet in several hallways, nurseries, choir room; to remove one wall in the Middle School Suite; to put fresh paint on all the walls in Phase I and Phase II Buildings. Those buildings house Sunday School for all children and teens, downstairs and upstairs. The remaining cost for the Sanctuary, Balcony, and Foyer will approximate $125,000. I believe the completion of the first project will encourage us to tackle the second piece.

Lastly, the Tennessee District Church Year runs from June to May. That means six Sundays remain in this church year. We are working to complete the payment of our responsibilities to others in mission during these weeks. That means giving to the church needs to be at its finest. I will work over the next weeks to explain all that those missions include. Just be thoughtful about how you might be involved in meeting the needs. All are investments.

I look forward to preaching on Sunday. I love you and I love our church.

In Christ Jesus,
Pastor Howard

April 8, 2013

Dear Family and Friends of Hermitage Church of the Nazarene,

Welcome to the thirteen newest members of Hermitage Church, the Atkins family and the Dillon family. The Atkins family is composed of Randy, Joy, Emma, and Luke. They came to HCN through Emma's connection with MJHS friends. The Dillon family is composed of Donnie, Sr., Angela, Sadie, Lila, Donnie, Jr., William, Mary, Amanda, and Jessie Rae. Donnie, Sr., said their family visited and stayed at HCN because of the way the church embraced each of their children. We are better people because these families are now a part of us. We pray they will be better people because we are a part of them.

Congratulations to Bret Henry Washing for earning his Eagle Scout Award and for receiving that award in a Court of Honor on Saturday, April 6, 2013, at 5:00 PM in the Sanctuary of HCN. Brett is a member of Scout Troop 263. Freddie Stroupe declared the order of the court. Mark Washing read the charge to his son. Senator Mae Beavers presented declarations from the State of Tennessee, including a flag flown over the state capitol on April 1, 2013. Shane Tarter spoke on Bret's behalf. I prayed the invocation and benediction.

Congratulations to Lori Dalton for winning 1st place in her age group for the Tennessee Wesleyan College 5K Run on Saturday, April 6, 2013, in Athens, Tennessee. All proceeds from the run went to the Sports Science Department at the school where Logan is a scholarship player on the Baseball Team.

NextGen Ministries sponsored a combo lock-in/retreat for LiveWire and B1 Students on Friday-Saturday, April 5-6, 2013 at HCN. Female participants included Katie Grace Russell, Ali Johnson, Clarissa Davis, Sarah Griffith, Ashlee Harrison, Alexis Long, Rachel Jones, Mikayla Wurth, Kensley Hutchings, Jessica Perkins, Cameryn Walls, Madison Trotter, Kelli Rose, Shelby Jackson, Maddy Rouse, Camille Reigard, Julia Mowry, Haylee Gold, Avie Joyce, Keely Dozier, Wendy Anderson, Kailey Perkins, Caroline Brasfield, Carly Earnhardt, Lilly Heskje, Bella Agee, Lydia Foster, Jessie Joyce, Ellie Hutchings, Shelby Thompson, Becca Waller, Brielle Fox, Sara Matthews, Annie Cater, Kristina Lynn, McKenzie Curtis, Taylor Gonyea, Lila Dillon, Abby Elkins, Vivenne Heskje, Anna Waller, Sara Waller, Summerlyn Hysell, Addi Falcone, Chandler Scott. Male participants included Cole Jackson, Braden Wurth, Jeffrey Matthews, Josh Cater, Josh Pilarksi, Johnny Pilarski, Donnie Dillon, Josh Johnson, Matt Bown, Wes Gibson, Teddy Joyce, Grant Reigard, Maxwell Mullins, Evan Gamble, Grant Render, Jacob Brown, Evan Flint, Cameron Davenport, Carson Davenport, Anthony Mannen, Jared Mannen, Zach Gonyea, Luke Atkins, Jack Gold, Christopher Reitz, Carter Poole, Bryce Poole, Reid Swoner, Connor Allen, Josh Elkins, Evan Gibson, Will Rueger, Bryson Fox, Colton Dilts, Carter Jones, Henry Griffin, Austin Coleman, Colbe Earles, Zach Hinkle, Chase Buscherfeld, Chris West, TJ Hysell, Sam Dewald, Michael Mathias. Female chaperones were Sadie Dillon, Sarah Jo Bouton, Heather Michael, Brittany Webb, Robin Crowell, Katie Bridges, Kimberly Potts, Cassidy Nelson, Jody Scott, and Beth Fox. Male chape-rones were Eddie Witkowski, Shane Tarter, Rob Mathias, Tanner Webb, Taylor Steinmetz, Hunter Steinmetz, Doug Gold, Tony Dozier. All males stayed the night at the church and all the girls stayed the night with the Dillon family, Waller family, Foster family, Perkins family, or the Maphet family. The event was a great success but young people were still yawning in church on Sunday morning. Middle School Students wanted to know how often they could do this.

Jerry Keener serves as the Chairperson of the Building, Grounds, Equipment Council on the Church Board. He would like to invite anyone who would like to join him, this Saturday, April 13, 2013, at 8:00 AM on the church campus to trim and manicure the church lawn and flower and shrub beds. Bring your own clippers, weed eaters, etc. Work 1-2-3 hours. You decide.

I told you last week that there were several things I needed to talk with you about from last month's board meeting. I had room in the letter to tell you about one. I will try one more.
First, I needed to tell you that the Church Board and I recommend to the congregation that the Sanctuary be named the Hendershot Chapel in memory of Dr. Harvey Hendershot and the Center be named the Shankle Center in memory of Bobby Shankle. An official vote will be taken on Sunday, May 5, 2013, during the Annual Church Elections. All members of HCN who are fifteen years of age and older are eligible to vote.

I would remind you that Dr. Harvey Hendershot served as the Superintendent of the Tennessee District when HCN was organized and the planting of the church was his vision for families with children in the Old Hickory Lake area. He placed his membership here in August of 1977 and it remained here until his death in September of 2009. Dr. Hendershot served the church as pastor from 1983-1986, during which time the sanctuary was constructed. He and his wife loaned the church $75,000 to complete the building and then forgave the loan. He is one of the finest men I have ever known.

I would remind you that Bobby Shankle was the owner/partner in Alexander Shankle Construction Company. Bobby joined HCN in September of 1995 and remained an active, vital part of this congregation until his early death of cancer in January of 2008. Three major construction projects have taken place at HCN in the last two decades: 1996, 1997, and 2003-2005. Bobby led them all. If you attend Sunday School, you meet in one of the rooms that Bobby built. The 38,000 square feet Center was his last major project. We occupied the facility in November of 2005. Phil Jordan, chairperson of the Finance Council, reports that Bobby gave frequent large contributions to each construction project. Those of us who were privileged to know Bobby remember his love for this church and the positive, engaging spirit he poured into the church body. He saw a way through any problem.

Second, I asked the church board to approve the hiring of Hunter Steinmetz as a Summer Intern in Youth Ministries for fifteen weeks. I also asked them to approve me personally raising the money to pay Hunter at the rate of $150 per week. The board approved both. Several board members have already agreed to sponsor one week. Would you consider sponsoring one week of Hunter's summer? Write checks to HCN and memo for Hunter Steinmetz or send me an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or hand me the check/cash and I will get it to the right people.

In Christ Jesus,
Pastor Howard

April 1, 2013

Dear Family and Friends of Hermitage Church of the Nazarene,

Yesterday may have been the favorite Easter of my life. For reasons beyond my knowing, I have possessed a keen sense of anticipation for this Easter. It did not disappoint. It was not perfect but it was close. I am especially appreciative of the many people who made the day work in worship. Robert Luther wrote on facebook that Hermitage Church reminds him of a musical. Everyone has a part. And on Sunday, lots of people had a part. Thanks to Dr. Sam Green for putting together the worship music, recruiting gifted people to sing and play, and then directing the whole service. Thanks to Worship Choir members, Praise Team members, Praise Band members who came early and stayed late and led our hallelujahs. Thanks to Sophie Green for taking an idea and making it happen via video and HCN peeps. Thanks to Andy McCormick for once again playing the soulful saxophone song, "Were You There?" Thanks to the parking lot attendants who assisted parking in the rain. Thanks to greeters who were all hands on deck to greet and distribute bulletins. Thanks to Billie Ragland for preparing the multiple weeks of mass communion service including more than 800 on Palm Sunday and more than 1200 on Easter Sunday. Pastor Eddie Witkowski said it was the first time he had ever passed a bread plate down a row and it came back empty. So, someone else brought a plate with more bread. A father of two teens wrote me an email this morning thanking me for talking about the meaning of communion and for saying that children were welcome at the Lord's Table. Sam Green said he thought all day about being asked if he really understood everything there was to know about communion. He did not. Thanks to the twelve Senior High Students who served communion in both services. Thanks to Hunter Steinmetz and Will Miranne for leading responsive readings. Thanks to ushers Lance Waller and Wendell Marlowe who assisted the seating of guests. Attendance in the 9:00 AM service was heavy and attendance in the 10:30 AM service was packed. Bulletins ran out in first service and chairs ran out in second service. Thanks to Jeff Goodwin, our traffic officer who stood in the middle of Saundersville Road following both services and allowed us entry and exit while keeping the rest of traffic flowing. Jeff was able to come into second service to receive communion with his family. Joyce Russell said she has attended church on Easter Sunday for her entire life and that Sunday was her favorite. Scott Perkins wrote on facebook that Easter has replaced Christmas as his favorite sacred day. So, I am not alone. I hope you were here and I hope the day was as good for you as it was for me and Joyce and Scott. Jesus the Messiah, the only begotten Son of God, was crucified, dead, and buried, and is now risen and alive. He is the great High Priest of heaven. He is the way who has made a way for us.

If you do not regularly attend worship at HCN, what a great beginning Easter Sunday could be for you and your family. How can we help you make that a habit? I know stories of families at HCN who began a great turn-around in their family by a new beginning on Easter. Become one of those stories.

As we do every Monday morning, the pastoral staff met in the Parlor this morning to evaluate our services and the flow of ministry. Someone asked if we could ask you if the cards advertising Easter Sunday services helped you to invite people and if you used them. If you would like to respond, send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and tell us your experience.

Ben and Sarah Kikuvi met with the Mission Africa 2012 and 2014 Teams for an evening meal on Monday, March 25, 2013, in the Parlor. The time was a great reunion and an opportunity for us to return the hospitality the Kikuvis extended to us in Kenya. Sarah loves fried chicken and ate three helpings of Betty Willis' grape salad. Ben ate roast beef and sweet potatoes. The 2014 Team had an opportunity to get acquainted with Ben and Sarah and to listen to their desire for our team to return to their town of Tawa. Sarah told us that a day does not pass that she does not see someone whose life was affected by our last visit: a child with shoes, a woman with a cloth bag, etc. We collected $300 in a spontaneous offering at the Easter Egg Hunt Cook-out and we gave that in cash to the Kikuvis to be used for food in Tawa. Sarah asked if she could use the money instead to purchase three small water tanks for three older women in the village who can no longer walk to the river and carry water home. I spoke for us and said yes. There are several shifts going forward that the 2014 Team needs to process. Our trip will probably be in July rather than June. Our construction project will be to build two rooms for the secondary school within walking distance of the Kikuvi home. John Reigard and Jody Sweeten are putting serious energy into reducing the costs of the trip. The next meeting is Monday, May 6, 2013, at 6:30 PM in the Parlor.

There are three or four significant issues that I need to begin to talk with you about going into May. First, I have recommended to the Church Board and they have voted in unanimous agreement to allow the church membership to vote on the naming of the Sanctuary and the Center. The Sanctuary was constructed and occupied in 1985-1986 while Dr. Harvey Hendershot served as the pastor of HCN. Dr. Hendershot was the district superintendent when HCN was organized and was a charter member since 1977. He continued his membership here until his death in September of 2009. He and Martha loaned the church $75,000 to complete the building and then forgave the debt. The recommendation is that the Sanctuary be named The Hendershot Chapel. The second recommendation is that the Center be named The Shankle Center after Bobby Shankle. Bobby was one of the first three members I received into the membership of the church in September of 1995. He was a primary owner of Alexander and Shankle Construction Company. His company constructed the Phase 1 and Phase 2 additions in 1996 and 1997 which now house the Sunday School facilities for all nurseries, pre-school, elementary, middle school, and senior high students. In 2003, his company began construction on the 38,000 square feet Center which we occupied in November of 2005. Phil Jordan, the financial recording secretary and chair of the Finance Council, reports that Bobby regularly deposited large contributions to make those projects possible. Bobby died young in January of 2008 of cancer. The Annual Church Elections were scheduled by the Church Board for the morning hours of Sunday, May 5, 2013. Permission to name the Sanctuary and the Center will be present on the election ballot. Members of the church who are fifteen years of age and older will vote in that election. This is a beginning of introducing this proposal. Much more will come over the month of April.

In Christ Jesus,

Pastor Howard

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