The Bell Tower - Historic Franklin Presbyterian Church

The Bell Tower
February 2015
For the Christians in the first century, the story of the transfiguration was as familiar to them as the Christmas story is to us. Or, better yet, the transfiguration story was
as familiar to those early Christians as was the story of the resurrection. In fact, it was only after Jesus’ resurrection that the transfiguration story was finally
told. Those who were witnesses to it----Peter, James, John--kept silent about the entire incident until after Jesus’ resurrection, whether out of fear or out of lack of
understanding what they had seen. But the truth of Jesus’ resurrection enabled those disciples to recall that transfiguration event, and it became an often-told story. And over the years, as the church grew, the transfiguration story became the story to be told before the beginning of Lent. The dazzling light that awakened the
disciples was the same light that illuminated the forty days of Lent by shedding light on the person and work of Jesus Christ. Lent is a time when we are invited to
examine not only ourselves but to look intently at the life of Christ, letting the truth of his life, death, and resurrection enable our own lives to be transfigured to be like
The transfiguration story becomes not just a story, it is our story. We are those three disciples, who go up the mountain with Jesus, and then suddenly see our beloved
leader’s everyday appearance change into dazzling white garments of our Savior, as bright as lightening against a dark sky. We see our transformed leader Jesus talking with two equally brilliant figures, somehow familiar to us. The words in their conversation don’t make sense, but we know who they are. One is Moses, the lawgiver, and and the other is Elijah, the prophet. And look, they stand with Jesus, not above him or kneeling before him, but forming a unity which defines Jesus as the
one in whom the law rests, about whom the prophecies spoke.
Such a breathtaking scene--the transfigured Jesus, the glorified Moses & Elijah. This is such a marvelous moment that we don’t want it to end, but we sense somehow
that the conversation is drawing to a close, and we make an offer to Jesus, “It is good for us to be here--let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses and one
for Elijah.” Building a dwelling or a tent would be like imploring a guest to stay longer, saying, “oh, we’ve plenty of food and it’s no trouble to set another place at
the table so you can join us,” or insisting to a weary traveler, “The guest room bed is already made up for you.” That offer betrays the fact that we don’t quite understand the magnitude of this event.
And so at that moment, the incredible scene before us is obscured by a thick cloud. We can no longer see Jesus or Moses or Elijah, and while we were terrified to
begin with, we are more terrified as a voice calls out to us, “This is my Son, my Chosen, listen to him.” And after a time--a few seconds, a few minutes, how long?-we raise our heads and see only Jesus. And we wonder silently to ourselves if we dreamed the whole thing.
One scholar has written, “This story is either not true at all, or truer than anything else in the story of Jesus’ earthly ministry.”
The early church believed it was true, believed this story to be their story to tell and re-tell to each generation of Christians. The early church heard the story of the
transfiguration from the perspective of the resurrected Christ, even as we do today, and so it’s not just the person of Jesus who changes before our very eyes on that
mountain; it’s the entire Old Testament which changes before our very eyes from being a history of God’s people to being a holy treasure map leading us toward God’s
promises fulfilled in Christ. The person and work of Christ would not be complete without the testimony from the Old Testament. The Old Testament anticipates and
supports what is described in the New Testament. The New Testament confirms and validates the Old Testament, not correcting it or superseding it. After the resurrection the combined witness of Old and New Testaments enables our once-silent voices shout, “Now I get it!”
The story of the transfiguration has to be told after the resurrection because the resurrection is the event that helps everything--from Jesus’ birth through his crucifixion- make sense. The early church heard the transfiguration story not as some weird mountaintop experience but as a glimpse of the resurrection power. Law and prophecy and grace are brought together in one person, Jesus Christ. And we who are in Christ, Paul says, are becoming like him.
With Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior we have become part of this transfiguration story. We were there with those disciples as Jesus’ transfiguration removed the
veil from the eyes of Peter, James and John and revealed not only who he was, but who they were to become.
Now we know. Now we do not have to be silent. For we are in the story, and have glimpsed the transfiguration with our hearts, our minds, and our eyes. But now we
have come down from the mountain with Jesus and now we ask what does this story mean to us today?
The down-to-earth meaning of this mountaintop experience is that now we face our world having had a glimpse of that transfigured Jesus. We look at the world with
the law in our hearts, as our guide on how to love one another. We look at the world with prophetic words in our minds as a constant reminder of the compassion and
comfort that we are to show to the poor, the helpless, the oppressed, those who are captive by sin or suffering. We look at the world with both the law and the prophets
enclosed in the grace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ in our lives. And the dazzling brilliance of the transfigured Jesus shines through our lives, illumines our every
moment of our days, and that same glory is reflected upon our faces and bodies, transfiguring us into the very image of Christ.
2015 Flower Chart
Connie and Frank Brahan are moving to a
new home in Green Hills.
As a member of the OSU Synchronized Ice
Skating Team, Grace Calhoun competed in
a recent ice skating competition held in
Detroit. While her team didn’t win, they
made a good showing and look forward to
future competitions!
Mike and Christi Ensch have been enjoying
Deborah Dobbins Livingston spent Christmas
with her sons, Daniel and Seth, at Snowmass
Village, Colorado.
Suzie Vader came in first in a 5 mile trail race
alongside the central California coast at
Montana de Oro State Park.
Lois Hall broke her arm on Saturday, January
24th; prayers for a quick “mend.”
Sydney Gleason spent Christmas in France
with the family of her boyfriend, Martin.
Congratulations to Randi and Brand Spragins,
as well as Laura and Christian Ernst—both
couples are expecting another baby!
HFPC enjoyed the beautiful music of the
Chapel Choir of First Presbyterian Church,
Tuscaloosa, Alabama on Sunday, January
18th at the 11:00 worship service.
If you would like to
place flowers in the
sanctuary in memory
of or in honor of
someone, please
sign up on the 2015
Flower Chart. The
chart is located in
Fellowship Hall.
To keep in our prayers:
Sally Hughes
Lois Davis
Carolyn Johnson
Mary Ann Tate
Shirley LaCoste
Brian Lake
Katherine Ryan
George Brubaker
Nancy Bond
Deborah Dobbins Livingston joined HPFC
on January 18th. Deborah has retired
from being a school principal with the
Franklin Special School district. She has
two sons, Daniel and Seth, loves music
and the beach. Welcome, Deborah!
Address Changes & Corrections
Pam Reed
144 Ormesby Place
Franklin, TN 37064
February ART
HFPC Memorial Hall
Friday, February 6th
6-9 p.m.
Service of the Imposition of Ashes
Mark your Calendars!
The 2015 HFPC Women’s Retreat
February 18th, 12:05 - 12:30 p.m.
The service will include readings, music, and the
imposition of ashes. After the service we'll have a
time of fellowship in Memorial Hall with tea and
lemonade. You are invited to bring a bag lunch.
20—Sunday March 22
Camp NaCoMe
Topic: “Love One Another”
Our sympathy and prayers for
the family and friends of Karen
Hardin who died on Sunday,
January 25th, 2015. “Blessed
are the dead who die in the Lord,
blessed indeed, says the Spirit,
that they may rest from their
labors, for their deeds do follow
Sympathy to Nancy Montgomery
on the death of her sister, Jean.
"The eternal God is your dwelling
place, and underneath are the everlasting arms.”
Everyone is invited to join us for discussion and
fellowship at 11:30 a.m. on February 24th .
“The Light Between Oceans”
by M.L. Stedman
Meet at the home of Sara Hinds
4535 South Carothers Rd
For more information contact
June Warren
615-794-7453 or
[email protected]
Last Wednesday fellowship for the month of February
will be on Wednesday, February 25th at 6:30 pm
The menu will be meatloaf, macaroni and cheese,
peas, congealed salad, and assorted desserts.
The program will be led by Keith King with Alive
Hospice. Sarah Litton will lead a program for the
children. Come join the fun!
Sewing Circle
Join us for fun and fellowship while you work on
your current craft or sewing
February 6th at 10 am
February 20th at 10 am
The Presbyterian Women’s Bible Group will
meet Tuesday, February 17, 2015 at 9:45 a.m.
in the church parlor.
The Bible Study topic for reflection and
discussion will be “The Aroma of God Among
Us” and is based on 2 Corinthians 2:14-17 and
6:14-7:1. Lillian Stewart will lead the discussion.
Study books are available in the parlor.
All ladies of the church are invited to join us for
coffee, refreshments, and fellowship.
Singing, Ringing
and Rhythm
“Come make a joyful noise…”
Children in Kindergarten through 4th
grade and any interested youth are
invited to join us the 2nd and 3rd
Sundays of each month.
February 11th, 4:00-5:00 p.m.
February 18th, 4:00-5:00 p.m.
Please contact Sarah Litton at
554-1275 or [email protected] for
more information.
HFPC Youth in grades 5-12 enjoyed food, fun,
and fellowship in the month of January while
making blankets for the homeless.
Special thanks to Brent and Ginny Andrews,
Randolph Matthews, and Randi Spragins for
providing dinner for the youth.
Join us in February for more fun!
February 11th, 5:00-6:30 p.m.
February 18th , 5:00-6:30 p.m.
Please contact Brittany Hanlin, our youth
director, at 615-779-2757 or
[email protected] for more
Pre-K and Kindergarten
Class Pizza Party
Sunday, February 8
Children will be held after Sunday School for pizza and fun and will finish at 12:00
p.m. Please pick up your children at the regular classroom location, and be sure to
notify your teacher of any food allergies.
Contact Candace Crumrine or Hallie Mitchell for additional information.
Church Calendar
HFPC is blessed to have wonderful space which members, friends, and people from
the community can use for meetings, recitals, weddings, and other events. As we
begin 2015, we would ask that all requests to use the church facilities go through
the church office, whether the request is from a member or an outside group.
Requests to use the church facilities must be approved and placed on the calendar
so that events do not conflict. Also, if, in 2014, you reserved the church for a date
in 2015, we ask that you call the church office and make certain that date has been placed on the church calendar. We love for our building to be used, but "decently and order" as Presbyterians should!
Please contact the church office if you are interested in attending this event, or visit the Presbytery’s
website at
Dear ones! I want to thank you all for your prayers before and during my recent surgery, and your
continued prayers and care for me, as well as my family. I can assure you that it lifted my spirits to
know so many folks were holding me in prayer.
I am also appreciative of the folks who have volunteered to lead worship and teach Sunday school in
my absence. Will and I agree that we are blessed to have a congregation who is so generous with
their time and talents.
In his letter to the Philippians, the Apostle Paul best expresses my feelings:
"I thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers
for all of you, because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now. It is right for me to
think this way about you, because you hold me in your heart, for all of you share in God's grace with
Much love and gratitude,
Historic Franklin Presbyterian Church
Fifth Avenue and Main Street
P.O. Box 323
Franklin Tennessee 37065-0323
Return Service Requested
Serving Christ and neighbor at the crossroads!
February 2015
1 First Sunday Fellowship
8:30/11 Worship
9:45 Sunday School
12:30 Session Meeting
Groundhog Day
12:30 Art Class
6pm Bells
7:15 pm Choir
12:30 Art Class
8 8:30/11 Worship
9:45 Sunday School
4-5 Youth Choir
5-7 Youth Group
12:30 Art Class
6pm Bells
7:15 pm Choir
12:30 Art Class
8:30/11 Worship
9:45 Sunday School
4-5 Youth Choir
5-7 Youth Group
Presidents’ Day
9:45 PW Bible Study
Ash Wednesday
12:30 Art Class
6:00 pm Bells
7:15 pm Choir
12:30 Art Class
8:30/11 Worship
9:45 Sunday School
Book club 11:30
12:30 Art Class
6:30 LWF
6pm Bells
7:30 pm Choir
Sewing 10-1
ART CRAWL/Memorial Hall
Valentine’s Day
LEAD 2015
5-8 Bridges
5-8 Bridges
5-8 Bridges
12:30 Art Class
5-8 Bridges