• MDO registration begins in March for 2020/2021 - call 615.220.0222 for more information
 

Welcome

Grace and Peace to you in the name of Jesus Christ!


As followers of Jesus, we gather in His name, recognize His call on our lives, and show His love in all we do.  Faith is expressed by living out His teachings and responding to the needs of our brothers and sisters.  As Children of God, we recognize that Christ calls us His own, and we welcome each other in the same way He welcomes us: unconditionally.

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Contact Information

First Presbyterian Church of Smyrna

540 Sam Ridley Parkway, West
Smyrna, Tennessee 37167
Phone (615) 459-2744

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Announcements

  • Worship May 24, 2020

  • A Note from the Pastor May 19, 2020

    The time has come, the time is now:
    To stop, and feel, the pull of the Lord;
    Oh Shepherd, speak to me.

    -Stephen Iverson

    These words of Stephen Iverson, set to song, invite us into the loving relationship we have through Jesus, our savior. The words can be uttered or sung as a prayer prior to reading scripture, or as a way of guiding your heart into deeper faith. And it is with these words in mind that I ask you to read them for yourself and allow the voice of God to speak to you.

    You can grow in your faith, right now. To allow the voice of the Lord to speak to you through Holy Scripture in ways beyond your comprehension. But to do so, the first step is yielding to the power of God. Taking a step outside of your own selfish nature and remember that you, as a child of God, have been redeemed, you are enough, and God is using you as His instrument.

    But what do you do when you are unable to feel that connection? The first word is to stop.

    Stop with the self-doubt. Stop with the belief you are unworthy. Stop with the distractions that surround you. For the time has come to feel the pulling of your heartstrings drawing you ever nearer to God’s heart.

    Right now, during turmoil and separation, how can we possibly draw closer to God? How can we feel the pull of God when we cannot get together? To begin, we rely on the strength of the one who supports us: Jesus.

    It is the strength of Christ that allows us to do far greater things. When we yield to His power in our lives, there is nothing we cannot achieve, and the promise of the Holy Spirit is proof of what we are all capable in achieving the impossible with Christ’s help.

    I desire, like you do, to come together in Christ; to embrace each other in peace; to extend the hand of faith to one another: to hear perspectives from each other; however, the reality we face is it is not possible at this time. On the contrary, now is the time when we need to feel the pull of the great Shepherd leading us into meaningful relationship with Him, which will ultimately strengthen our relationships with each other.

    The session met to discern where God is leading FPC Smyrna, listening for the voice of the Shepherd to lead our thinking, to guide our feeling, and to inspire our doing. The decisions made were approached with safety in  mind, with prudence at heart, and with action at hand.

    We will continue to meet for worship virtually for the foreseeable future. Until the spread of the pandemic begins a downward trend, no meetings, church related, or outside groups will be permitted inside, or outside the building. We simply must do so to maintain safety and health.

    Christ invites us to be rooted in faith: to be nourished in God’s word: to be supported by a community of faith.

    Simply put, we need each other. As such, we will begin resuming opportunities for Sunday School, Bible Study and Conversation. While worship guides us into relationship with Jesus, it is in our interactions with one another, that allows us to be the Body of Christ.

    We will utilize Zoom as a platform to engage each other in learning opportunities and study, as well as times to just check in with each other. Later this week, a zoom tutorial will be distributed to help you navigate this technology.

    Beginning next Wednesday, May 27, I will host a weekly Coffee with the Pastor via zoom from 10:30-11:30 am. and 7:30-8:30 pm. The hope is to provide a space to check in, to listen to each other, and to communicate. It will be open to any who wish to join for as little, or as long, as you like. More details will come each week with the invitation to join.

    Beginning Sunday, May 31, I will host a Bible Study from 9:00-10:00 am. and will continue each week focusing on one scripture passage. This will allow us to engage in study and to hear our differing perspectives. Scripture is a diamond, and we only see own perspectives, but all our vantage points provide clarity to the beauty of Scripture when we gather in discerning what God would have us think, have us feel, and have us do.

    In the weeks ahead, Sunday school classes will resume in a zoom format as well. As we further discern how this will all work, I ask for prayers for your leaders in how best to implement the uncharted waters of distance learning.

    Understand that the session and church leadership are working to ensure your spiritual nourishment. But the time has come for you to feel the pull of the Lord inviting you into deeper faith. The great Shepherd is calling you forth, rod and staff in hand: to guide you beside the still waters: to lead you to the banquet table: to remind you even in this valley of shadows, we are not alone.

    The time has come!

    The time is now!

    Stop! And feel the pull of the Lord!

    For the Shepherd is calling you by name into the fold of His amazing love!

    In Christ,

    Pastor Shawn Thomas

  • May 17, 2020 Worship

  • May 10, 2020 Worship

  • May 3, 202 Worship and Communion

  • Devotional and News for April 29, 2020

    But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. - Galatians 5:22-23

    May the Love of God Surround You!

    The session met Monday evening to discern opening the church as the state has begun to reopen businesses and restaurants. Upon discussion and prayer, the decision was made to continue to keep the church closed through the month of May. The session made this decision with your safety in mind and will reevaluate on May 18.

    With social distancing the continued norm, opening the church has the potential to further spread the virus in unintended ways. I long to embrace in hugs, in shaking hands, and gathering together as the Body of Christ; however, in light of the uncertainty of spreading the virus, the prudent action is to continue to isolate and reduce our exposure and contact with each other.

    The session is taking steps to discern protocols when we open the doors again to gather in fellowship and worship. I ask for your prayers as the session discerns how and when this will take place; how to ensure safety, and what steps will make this transition back to a new normal. I also ask for your patience.

    The apostle Paul writes to the church in Galatia reminding them to live in the Spirit: filled with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. These are the fruits of the Spirit, and ones we continue to cultivate. Continue to reach out in love and tenderness. Allow an overwhelming exuberance to flow through you. Remember Jesus words of Peace to his disciples, this same peace moves through your soul. Patience is more than waiting, it is the ability to see God at work in difficulty and triumph. Choose to be kind; it is easy to be bitter, but kindness will take you further. May you see the goodness of God and rejoice when you find it; and if you do not, seek to see the goodness in others. Continue to believe as Christ has called you to believe. Do everything with a gentle spirit knowing God supplies you the strength through Christ. You have control over yourself, and nothing more. Remember your strength comes from Jesus, to endure all things.

    Choose to live in the Spirit. This takes work and persistence, but I have faith in you to do so. And God has called you His child, through our brother, Jesus, the messiah.

    Yours in Faith,

    Pastor Shawn Thomas

     

     

  • April 26, 2020 Worship

  • "To the Test" April 22, 2020 Devotional

    And do not bring us to the time of trial,
    but rescue us from the evil one.

    Matthew 6:13 NRSV

     

    Grace and peace to you from God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!

    As a college student, I did not like taking tests. Sure, it was a way of monitoring my ability to synthesize material. At the same time, it was a way of ensuring I was able to regurgitate what someone had spoon-fed me. Or, in one instance, a way to prove the superiority of the one who teaches. My Animal Physiology professor prided himself on making test questions so difficult and wordy, that mistakes were made. Not because knowledge was not understood; rather, because the question was worded in such a way as to confuse, “Which of the following is not, not, not, not, true?” (An actual question on one of his tests. And yes, I got it wrong)

    This type of test did not assess my knowledge, but my ability to be, or not be tricked. But it also made me despise how I was made to feel inferior. It did not monitor my understanding, nor did it make me appreciate someone looking down their nose at me. Instead, it made me resent the pedantic nature of someone who looks down on others. This is not however the relationship we have with our Father in heaven. God is not one who tests us to the point of breaking. In fact, God is not the one who tests at all.

    When we pray as Jesus taught us, we use these words, “and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” Another way of saying this is “lead me not into the time of trial and deliver/rescue me from the evil one.”

    One of my despised theologies is the following:

    “God never gives you more than you can handle.”

    This theology depicts God as dispensing difficulty after difficulty upon the unsuspecting- just as my professor did on his tests. This diminishes the mercy and steadfast love God poured out on the world in Jesus, our Messiah. And in our prayer, we ask God to rescue us, and lead us away, from the time of trial. In essence, God does not test us as a teacher or professor might test a student.

    God is the shepherd, and we are the sheep in His fold. God is the guide, and we are the followers. God is the love that came down to live among us, and we are the apostles to share this good news. God is the one we pray to lead us out of testing and trial, not the one who heaps it upon us.

    When we pray for temptations to lessen, we are asking for the strength necessary to overcome all that life hurls at us. God is not the author of calamity in our lives. Our lives are full of calamity because we have been given freedom to exercise our own wills. By giving us this wonderful gift, God allows us to choose. And when we pray the Lord’s prayer, we begin with God’s will being done and not our own. That is what leads us away from the testing trial. It is in adhering to God’s will that we find solace in the midst of difficulty. And ultimately, we find the strength supplied through Jesus to pass the test.

    Yours in Christ,

    Pastor Shawn Thomas

     

     

  • "We Are a Family of Faith" April 20, 2020 Devotional

    “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…” 1 Peter 1:3

    Grace and peace to you from God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!

    We are a family of faith. We are-because One binds us together: Jesus, our savior. The use of the plural nominative word “our” calls us into relationship not only with Jesus, but with each other. It is through the mercies of God that we have “our” savior. It is through the blessings of God that we are called into the one body of Christ. It is because of “our” relationship with Jesus that we are members one to another.

    In this family of faith, we are given new life through the resurrection of Jesus. This is not just any life. It is the abundant life in the here and now. Often, we think of eternal life as what happens when we die. If this is the case, then our lives in the now have little consequence; however, the new life in Jesus that we share is something beyond comparison. We have received salvation in Jesus now, not just at the end of our lives. And we rejoice in this gift by leading a new life, now, in His name.

    What does this new life look like? It begins with the recognition that Jesus is Lord. He is over everything in our lives. He is the one who guides our thinking. He is the one who directs our wills. He is the one who brings meaning to our existence. Jesus is the one who calls us out of ordinary life, into abundant living. And this abundant living comes through our devotion to His teachings, and meditation on His words. Living the new life is the gift of God’s blessings that brings us hope.

    Hope is sometimes difficult to understand. It is more than wishing. It is more than optimism. Hope is; expectation; and desire; and deep trust, all compiled into one. We hope in “our” Lord, Jesus, that we will be strengthened in a life of faith. We hope in “our” Savior, that we will serve as He came to serve. We hope in “our” risen Lord, that we will be light shining His radiance. We hope - because "our" trust is in Jesus; "our "desire is in Jesus; "our" expectation is in the divine light of Christ that shines in the darkness of all “our” lives and grants us redemption, salvation, and a life worth living.

    You are a part of the family of faith. We are a part of the family of faith. We are because Jesus is “our” Lord!

    Yours in Christ,

    Pastor Shawn Thomas

  • "Journey on the Road to Emmaus" April 19, 2020 Worship

  • Devotional for April 15, 2020 "You Are A Witness"

    Matthew 28:1-10 New Revised Standard Version

    The Resurrection of Jesus

    28 After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. 2 And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. 4 For fear of him the guards shook and became like dead men. 5 But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. 6 He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.’ This is my message for you.” 8 So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 Suddenly Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

    We are Easter people. We understand the impact the resurrection has for our lives of faith as well as the impact on all of humanity. But imagine that you are Mary in this story. Head downcast, still in sorrow from the events that occurred on Friday. Jesus is dead. He has been crucified. He is in the tomb. And you are going to prepare the body, if the guard will allow you to do so. Upon arrival at the tomb, an earthquake shakes not only the foundation of the ground, but the very foundation of all you have known and believed. And on top of that, the stone is rolled away and there sits an angel.

    Fear and trembling within your very soul. Shock and awe as you witness the stone move. Trepidation as you hear the words, “Do not be afraid, I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay.”

    Would you be willing to go and see? Would you think this was all smoke and mirrors? Would you have the courage to take a step forward to walk into the tomb, prepared to see the body of the one in whom you had placed all you hope, only to find truth in what had been spoken to you?

    And yet, you do enter. You see the empty tomb, but the aspect of the resurrection has not fully hit home. Just because the body is gone does not indicate anything. But the angel continues further, “go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.’ This is my message for you.”

    How might you feel at hearing these words? Would you go immediately to tell others? Or would you wait and process the magnitude of what is being asked? You are called now as a witness to the resurrection of the long awaited Messiah.  You are the messenger that will bring about a dramatic change in all of history. The weight of this upon your shoulders. And you go.

    You go, because even in fear you are overjoyed at the news of Jesus. You go, because you hear his words echo in your mind. You go, because you cannot keep this quiet. This is news that will reverberate greater than the earthquake. This is news that changes everything. And then just as you set forth to go on this incredible journey. Jesus appears before you.

    You fall to your feet worshiping him. For you now fully understand the good news.  Jesus is the true son of God. Jesus has been raised from the dead. Jesus is Emmanuel, God with you. He is not just a prophet. He is not just a devout man of God. He is God. And you worship before him.

    He tells you to not be afraid, to go and tell the others. Tell them what has happened and where to meet him.

    This is good news. This is wondrous news. This is the gift of Jesus. Risen from the grave. And you are the one to share it.

    You are the one to share it!

    You are the one!

    You are a witness just like Mary.

    Share the good news!

    Yours in Christ,

    Pastor Shawn Thomas

  • CALENDAR

    Please Click Here to be directed to our monthly calendar. 

  • Mother's Day Out/Preschool

    Registration for the upcoming year - 2020/2021 - is currently taking place. This is a structured, two day a week program.  Please click here to be redirected to their page for more detailed information.

    First Presbyterian Church of Smyrna is following the guidelines for the Presbytery of Middle Tennessee, the CDC and Rutherford County officials and we currently have limited hours in the building.  Please call first, before stopping by. Forms with instructions can be accessed by clicking here or by visiting their page, mentioned above.

Latest Media

Easter Worship

The Reverend Shawn Thomas Smith
Date: April 12, 2020
Verse of the Day
Regular Schedule

Office Hours

  • The office is currently closed due to COVID-19. If you need to reach someone, please contact the church office via email. 

Sunday

  • Sunday School (children-adults)
  • Worship Service - 10:00 a.m.
  • Worship Committee - 1st Sunday of each month, after worship
  • Nurture Committee - 2nd Sunday of each month, after worship
  • Mission Committee - 2nd Sunday of each month
  • Building & Grounds Committee, 3rd Sunday of the month
  • Youth groups - combined
    – 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM

Monday

  • Education Committee - 1st Monday of each month
    – 6:00 PM

Tuesday

  • Choir practice
    – 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM

Saturday

  • Prayer Gathering, 1st Saturday of each month
    – 9:00 AM
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