• The Grapevine

    Grapes grow in clusters on vines. Jesus wants his followers to know that like grapes, Christians grow in churches that are connected to him through the Holy Spirit. Previous experience with vineyards are not necessary to understand the illustration as John records the story: John 15:5 “I am the vine;

  • Revelation Chapters 2 & 3 Supplemental

    Reminder Why do we do this? Why do we turn to Scripture? Why do we care about Revelation or any other book? I mean, we want to be changed by this stuff, right? We want God to meet us through it, be different because of what we discover in the

  • Update On In-Person Gathering For Smoky Row Worship Services

    Our Governance Team recently met to talk through a “Draft Reopening Document” prepared by Rich. That document presented a phased reopening plan for our in-person gatherings, including worship services. (An edited version of the plan is available.) A number of significant points were discussed in relation to both a phased reopening and

  • Global Day of Prayer – This Sunday!

    Join Brethren around the world in a “Global Day of Prayer & Fasting”. The Brethren Church is calling all members to prayer and fasting on Sunday, May 17. Join Brethren from India, South America, Spain, the United States, and Canada together as one, lifting high the name of Jesus. The

  • Important Updates for Smoky Row

    Friends, After today’s worship service we made the decision to cancel our worship services and Sunday events for March 22nd and March 29th. We’ll discern what shape Palm Sunday, Holy Week, and our Easter Service may take. Life Groups will not be gathering this coming week (nor is it likely they’ll meet the

  • Smoky Row and the Coronavirus

    Friends, As our community takes significant health measures to protect each other from transmission of the new coronavirus, we wanted to make certain things clear with regard to how Smoky Row intends to operate. Toward that end: Our regular worship service and related Sunday-morning events will continue until further notice. However,

  • A Message from Pastor Rich

    Oh, Smoky Row! You were continually in my thoughts and prayers as we were away at General Conference this past week. The speaker was Karl Vaters, a well-known author on small churches and small-church life. (And a pastor of a small congregation, too.) If you’d like to look over some

  • On Psalm 22

    Psalm 22 reads: 6 But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by everyone, despised by the people. 7 All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads. 8 “He trusts in the Lord,” they say, “let the Lord rescue him. Let him deliver him,

  • Cutting Room Floor: Amos 7

    This Side of Jesus: Let’s start with the way the early Church made use of today’s Amos passage. The early Church was trying to figure out how to manage the care of the hundreds of people who were deciding to keep faith with Jesus, and the chose servants–a word, “deacon,”

  • What is Lent?

    What is Lent and the Lenten Season? By Jonathan and David Bennet – http://www.churchyear.net/lent.html Many Christians throughout the world observe Lent. Catholic, Orthodox, and many Protestants benefit from this annual season of sacrifice and simplicity…. In basic terms, Lent is the season before Easter…In many Protestant churches, the liturgical season

  • Cutting Room Floor: Acts 2

    Useful Things Cut From Acts 2 Peter & Lots: After Judas’ tragic suicide, his place among the Twelve is taken by Matthias. They choose his place by lots; an ancient sort of roll of the dice. A test try and see what God wills out of a handful of options.

  • Cutting Room Floor: On Truth

    Making sense of Things Series: On Truth In a time when what’s true is defined as what feels true to me right now, people justify what they say based on what they feel. They become like Pilate, or a little kid, believing that truth depends on their feelings. They speak

  • A Real Conundrum – Romans 13:1-7

    Paul says this: 1 Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do

  • Cutting Room Floor: Time & Attention

    Cutting Room Floor: Making Sense of Things – On the Public and Private Spheres – Time & Attention Good Work: Claiming Time If we are going to be faithful people one of the things that we must do is claim our time. Does that communicate? We must claim our time,

  • Cutting Room Floor: Fear & Maturity

    Cutting Room Floor: Making Sense of Things – On the Public and Private Spheres – Fear and Maturity Here’s what I’ll never do: I want be a fearmongerer. There’s a certain way of being Christian that really does worry that if someone has privacy, something bad will happen. They’ll inevitably

  • Cutting Room Floor: Minor Prophets – Interpretation

    But as we move through the Minor Prophets we have to keep in mind that while they broadly share the modes and even the messages that they communicate in common, they are each deeply different from one another. In some cases they speak hundreds of years apart from one another;

  • Statement Following Violence in Charlottesville, VA

    By Steven Cole August 15, 2017 The following is a statement issued by The Brethren Church Executive Director, Rev. Steven Cole, regarding the recent violence in Charlottesville, VA Brethren – I have watched, like many in America and around the world as the horrific events unfolded in Charlottesville, VA this past

  • Columbus First Brethren Closing Service

    Message: Columbus First’s Closing Service An Urge: There’s an urge, in a moment like this, to focus only on celebrating the life of First Brethren. It’s an urge to avoid the grief, the sadness, in what we’re gathering for today. And yet, that urge is misplaced, you know? At least

  • Cutting Room Floor: Rules & Consequences – In The Christian Life

    Rules aren’t Bad, they just aren’t good enough. Rules are good: Jesus didn’t come to abolish the law, he says–end all the rules–he came, he tells us, to fulfill them: To show people a way of life that actually fulfills the law. By fulfilling it, he models for us how

  • No Room in the What? By Ben Witherinton III

    Mary and Joseph weren’t trying to check into a hotel—they were staying with relatives. I am here to tamper with a masterpiece, or better said, to share with you a rather different reading of Luke 2:1-7, one solidly grounded in the facts, but nowhere represented in Christmas carols and pageants.