Joyce Smith, Columnist

 Thought for the week: Think about your relationship with Jesus. What it is, and what it can be. Then, as you embark upon the next phase of your life’s journey, be sure to walk with your savior every step of the way.

I recently learned of a great story involving a ball team of 10- to 12-year-olds.

One of the members of the team, called the Klutch, had recently joined the church. His team was to play in the championship game on a Sunday.

After realizing that the day he was to be baptized was the same day they were to play for the championship title, each of these youngsters decided they would rather be “champions for Christ” and would forgo playing in the championship game.

Each attended the church services to see their teammate be baptized. Instead of playing in the game, they were awarded second place.

I was unable to get the names of all the boys, but I do know that one of them is Trebble Chunn, son of Cheryl and Larry (Pigg) Chunn, who is also one of the coaches along with Tony Hightower, Joe Weatherford and David Blessing.

Congratulations to each of these young men and to their parents for a wonderful way of raising them.

So many of our businesses and foundations have suffered financially because of COVID-19. They have not been able to have their usual fundraisers, etc. and, therefore, are reaching out for help.

As you know, having taught and worked with children for over 50 years, I am very passionate about Gentry’s Educational Foundation. This foundation has been in operation for nine years thanks to the generosity of Evelyn Hickerson and her inheritance from her parents, the late Josephine and Jesse James Gentry.

She has been providing before- and after-school programming for students who are in dire need now more than ever. They have had to discontinue the pre-K program as well as the expansion of services to our middle school students.

Hickerson had projected serving 330 students this year, but because of the pandemic, she will be able to serve only 180.

This is where you can be of help. You can mail a donation to: Gentry’s Education Center, 4221 Warren Road, Franklin, 37067.

A yearly gift of $50 will cover registration fees for one family, a yearly gift of $200 will support four families and a yearly gift of $1,000 will support 20 families. This can be a tax deduction for you as well. (No amount is too small.)

I thank you in advance, because, having taught with Evelyn, I am sure that she will see that these children get the help they need.

BrightStone is a great organization that does wonderful things for area adults who have disabilities. It is close to its goal of raising $150,000.

If you would like to help BrightStone reach this goal, contact Randy Elliott, director of advancement for BrightStone, by calling (615) 790-4888. We wish for them the best of luck.

We have been asked to please put Micah McClendon on our prayer chain.

He is the 15-year-old who suffered a spinal cord injury while playing football for Forrest High School in Chapel Hill. At this writing, he is in the intensive care unit at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. He is the son of Laura and Richie McClendon.

Members of Bethesda United Methodist Church invite you to bring your children to their parking lot on Oct 25 for their trunk-or-treat event. It will begin at 3 p.m. and continue until 5 p.m.

Also, mark your calendar now for Nov. 14, as they are planning on having a drive-thru country ham breakfast from 7 to 9 a.m. that day. I will continue to remind you of these events.

The Bethesda Trail Riders had a beautiful four days of trail riding in Big South Fork National Park. They enjoyed riding on the O&W Trails. They left this past Thursday and returned home on Sunday. Those enjoying these trails were Keith Roberson, Jamie Cantrell, Scott York and Jeff Smith.

Congratulations to Jordan Bond, who recently won a 4-H state award with her goat project. She is the daughter of Marijo and Allen Bond. Way to go, Jordan. We are very proud of you.

Our daughter and son-in-law, who make up the band 2country4nashville, will be play and sing at Poncho’s in Spring Hill from 6-9 tonight. They will also be back at Poncho’s on Oct 15.

Mt. Carmel Cumberland Presbyterian Church members invite you to be a part of their fall festival, which is set for Oct. 24. They will begin at 6 p.m. with a bonfire near the pavilion. I will give more details on Oct. 22.

So many of our family and friends are in dire need of our prayers. Please continue to pray for Connie Marlin, who continues to battle cancer, Geneva Stephens, suffering with a brain tumor, Shelia Cather, who is in Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Jimmie Dee Bennett, Pat Marlin, Billy and Katie Giles, Anita Gillespie, Lynn Paris, who recently had knee surgery, Howard Ford, Julie Parrish Fast, Emy Jo Bilbrey, Gerald McGee, Buford Deford, Kayla Abernathy, Judy and Ronnie Pitt, Doris Pedrick, David and Delores Gilreath, Ruby Perry, Stan Hardcastle, Teresa Locke, Ann Reed, Dodie Hazelwood, “Ma” Jessie and Charlie Bennett, Daniel Walton, Dee Lynch, Pam and Joel Pedrick, Kim Ham and Gary Wells, as well as others who need our prayers.

Our deepest sympathy is extended to families who have lost loved ones these past weeks. Our prayers are with Stephanie Moore (Stephen) after the recent death of her mother, Karen Lillard (Jerry) and Sandra Fisher (Tim) after the recent death of their mother, Betty Jean Reed Gillespie, the family of John Slaughter, Elizabeth Jackson Moore, Jasper Hatcher Sr., Beulah Jackson and T. Whitehead, as well as others.

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