Saturday, July 12
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The Presbytery of East Tennessee
When community organizer Mariko Tinaya and evangelist Brian Merritt began their door-to-door visitations in the south Chattanooga neighborhood chosen for Mercy Junction, a new church development in the Presbytery of East Tennessee, they didn’t know what to expect. It was not long after being invited into homes and receiving encouragement from their new acquaintances that they realized that this was the place God had called them to work. It became even clearer when they came across Rodney.
“We are thinking about starting a pay-what-you can market called Open Table Exchange and purchasing some land in the neighborhood to start a community garden,” Brian told him. “Would that be something that you think could be useful in the neighborhood?” Rodney responded with enthusiasm: “Absolutely! I grow stuff in my front yard, and my grandfather is a master gardener. I would love it. As a matter of fact, I will go out into the community and start talking to people about your ministry.” Mariko followed with similar excitement: “It looks like you are our go-to guy!” Brian and Mariko knew then that the harvest here would be plentiful.
In the short time since Mercy Junction was established, it has seen overwhelming enthusiasm and support for the vision of farm-to-table ministry and a worshiping community of action and reflection. Carol Howard Merritt has written of this new generation that “they want meaningful worship, an empowered lay leadership, and a spirituality that leads to action.” We hope to model this call and live into our motto: “Follow, Love, Be!”
The Presbytery of East Tennessee has 71 congregations.
—Rev. Brian Merritt, founding minister, Mercy Junction, Chattanooga
Let us join in prayer for:
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Let us pray
You show no partiality,
Redeem us from generation to generation
And within each generation.
Open our minds to visions
Given by new and wise people.
Help us to move from the paralysis of survival
To the freedom of hope.