• Greeting and Announcements – Rev. Val
  • Call to Worship, and Opening Prayer – All
  • Opening Hymn – To God Be the Glory (UMH 98)
  • Affirmation of Faith – World Methodist Social Affirmation (UMH 755)
  • Gloria Patri (UMH 70)
  • Pastoral Prayer – Rev. Val
  • Scripture Readings – Psalm 146 (NRSV), Hebrews 9:24-28 (NRSV), Mark 12:38-44 (NRSV) – Rev. Val
  • Hymn – The Gift of Love (UMH 408)
  • Message: When All Means All – Rev. Val
  • Offertory – Rev. Val
  • Doxology (UMH 95)
  • Service of Holy Communion
  • Closing Hymn – When the Poor Ones (UMH 434)
  • Benediction – Rev. Val


Good morning! For those who’ve worshiped with us before either in-person or online, welcome back. For those who are joining us for the first time this morning, we’re glad you here. Welcome home!

A few quick announcements:

  1. Two reminders for this morning:
    The candlelight Remembrance Vigil at Maryville College is Saturday, November 20th at 6:00 p.m. in front of the Campus Ministry Building. You should park in the parking lot located between the Fayerweather Hall (where the Admissions Office is located) and Cooper Athletic Center. The Center for Campus Ministry is a small building a short walk from Fayerweather Hall. If at all possible, please plan on attending the vigil.
  2. Our charge conference is Sunday, November 28th, at First United Methodist Church in Maryville. It begins at 3:00 p.m. Again, please make plans to attend if at all possible.

Save the date!

  • November 20 – Remembrance Candlelight Vigil
    • 6 PM in front of Campus Ministry Building
      Maryville College
  • November 28 – First Sunday of Advent (Hope)
    • 3 p.m. – Charge Conference (Maryville First UMC)
  • December 5 – Second Sunday of Advent (Love)
    • Joint Service with Maryville College Pride Club
    • Communion Sunday
  • December 12 – Third Sunday of Advent (Joy)
  • December 19 – Fourth Sunday of Advent (Peace)
  • *December 21 – Finding Comfort*
  • *December 24 – Finding the Light*
  • December 26 – First Sunday After Christmas
  • *December 31 – Watchnight Service*
  • January 2 – Second Sunday After Christmas
    • Communion Sunday
  • January 9 – Epiphany Sunday/Baptism of the Lord*Online only worship.  Videos will be available on our Facebook Page & website beginning at 6 p.m. Dec. 21 and 24, and at 11:25 p.m. Dec. 31.
Call to Worship
Rev. Dr. Derek C. Weber, Director of Preaching Ministries, Discipleship Ministries of the United Methodist Church, June 2021

L: Come and worship the one who wants your all.

P: We come to worship the one who offers all.

L: Come and worship with all your heart and soul and mind and strength.

P: We come and offer all that we have and all that we are in worship and in service.

L: Come and be blessed and you pour yourself out in worship.

P: We will worship wholeheartedly and with joy.

L:  Come, let us worship God, as we pray together saying …

Opening Prayer
Adapted from a prayer by Rev. Alexis Carter Thomas

P: This is our prayer. That those who have given their last dime, come. That those who are holding back out of worry and fear, come. That those who have given their all and have come up empty, come.

L: When you’ve weighed in and keep coming up short, do not worry. When God’s addition, subtraction, and multiplication is beyond our calculations and understanding, your wrestling is welcome. Choose not to live with clenched fists, holding back your gifts, and unable to open your hands to receive the abundance God has for you. Today, choose to wrestle with God about your lack, and ask God to open your hearts and hands to receive God’s abundance.

All: Amen

AFFIRMATION OF FAITH – World Methodist Social Affirmation

UMH 886



Rev. Val Ohle

It’s been a week, hasn’t it God? A week, a month, a year, a long two years, a longer 2,000 years. Scientists talk about how life on earth has evolved, but I’m not sure it has. Maybe physically, but as a species, I’m not so sure we aren’t devolving. We’re letting ourselves become ruled by fear, by hate, by all those materialistic gods we aren’t supposed to be worshipping at all. We don’t even think twice about judging one another based on our race, our privilege, our politics, our personal theology, where we’re from, how we live and love without ever stopping even for a moment to look at one another and see You or see Jesus despite knowing that You created each and every single one of us in Your own image. Forgive us for our ignorance, our arrogance, our selfishness.

We come now, God, to thank you for all we have, for all you’ve given us, and most especially for all that we don’t realize we have as we worry and wonder and fret over what we think we need.  We come now to thank you for loving us with all of You when we too often fail to love you with all of ourselves, when we too often fail to love even ourselves.

We give thanks to you for hearing our prayers and for continuing to give us what we need while keeping from us all that would harm us or lead us further astray.

We lift to you now our prayers and petitions:

We lift up those among us who are hurting physically, emotionally, spiritually from grief, rejection, and uncertainty, who feel unwanted or disconnected by family, friends, community, church, or culture. Bless them with healing, comfort, and peace.

Lead us to know how best to be earthly deliverers of Your love.

The Lord our God is one:
We will love with all our heart, all our soul, all our strength.

We lift up those who are struggling financially, who are landless, homeless or houseless, who are refugees or evicted, who are isolated and alone, who find themselves in foreign places and strange places. Bless them with mercy and ease their burdens.

Guide us to be earthly bearers of Your grace and acceptance.

The Lord our God is one:
We will love with all our heart, all our soul, all our strength.

We lift up our community, our nation, and the Church. Bless them with humility, compassion, and reconciliation.

Strengthen us to be the hands and feet of Your Son and hold us steady as we endeavor to follow His Way.

The Lord our God is one:
We will love with all our heart, all our soul, all our strength.

We lift up silently the names those who lie close to our hearts those whom we worry about, those whom we miss, those who carry disproportionate burdens at this time, and all unspoken prayers …
(local intercessions)

The Lord our God is one:
We will love with all our heart, all our soul, all our strength.

God we lift up to you our ongoing prayers and petitions …

  • For the eradication of COVID-19 in every form and an end to the pandemic.
  • For protection of all innocents in all war torn nations and authoritarian regimes.
  • For lands and places stricken by natural disasters, drought and wildfires.
  • For the healing of the planet.
  • For the protection and preservation of democracy here and around the world
  • For an end to discrimination and oppression in any and all forms

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayers.

May your love take root in our lives, and we may walk by faith as we pray the words your Son taught us,

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for Thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever.


Draw us close, Holy Spirit, as the Scriptures are read and the Word is proclaimed. Let the word of faith be on our lips and in our hearts, and let all other words slip away. May there be one voice we hear today — the voice of truth and grace.


Psalm 146 (NRSV)

Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD, O my soul!

I will praise the LORD as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God all my life long.

Do not put your trust in princes, in mortals, in whom there is no help.

When their breath departs, they return to the earth; on that very day their plans perish.

Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD their God,

who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them; who keeps faith forever;

 who executes justice for the oppressed; who gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets the prisoners free;

 the LORD opens the eyes of the blind. The LORD lifts up those who are bowed down; the LORD loves the righteous.

 The LORD watches over the strangers; he upholds the orphan and the widow, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.

The LORD will reign forever, your God, O Zion, for all generations. Praise the LORD!

Hebrews 9:24-28 (NRSV)

For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made by human hands, a mere copy of the true one, but he entered into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf.

 Nor was it to offer himself again and again, as the high priest enters the Holy Place year after year with blood that is not his own; for then he would have had to suffer again and again since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the age to remove sin by the sacrifice of himself.

And just as it is appointed for mortals to die once, and after that the judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin, but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.

Mark 12:38-44 (NRSV)

As he taught, he said, “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, and to have the best seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets!

They devour widows’ houses and for the sake of appearance say long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”

He sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the crowd putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums.

A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny.

Then he called his disciples and said to them, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”

The scriptures of God for the People of God.

Thanks be to God.

MESSAGE – When All Means All

Includes quotes from Everything She Had, Dr. Rev. Derek C. Weber, Discipleship Ministries

May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock, and my redeemer. Amen.

There’s a story before our passage from Mark today.

It was the day after what we call Palm Sunday. Jesus and the disciples had spent the previous night in Bethany and were now back at the Temple in Jerusalem. The temple courtyard was filled with money changers and people selling doves to be used as sacrifices. Immediately on entering the Temple Jesus became angry, and started throwing out everyone who had set up shop there, buying and selling. He kicked over the tables of the bankers and the stalls of the pigeon merchants. He didn’t let anyone even carry a basket through the Temple. And then he taught them, quoting this text: My house was designated a house of prayer for the nations; You’ve turned it into a hangout for thieves.”

He spent most of the next day at the Temple and was approached first by the chief priests, legal experts, and elders, then by the Pharisees and Herodians, and finally by the Sadducees, all of which continuously tested and challenged him.

The chief priests demanded he tell them about his credentials for the authority he displayed in clearing the Temple courtyard. He told him he would answer their questions when they could answer his. They couldn’t answer him, and he then refused to answer their question.

He told them instead the Parable of the Tenant Farmers. They left and sent the Pharisees and Herodians who tried to flatter him, saying they knew he was genuine, didn’t play favorites with who or what he taught, and simply taught God’s way the way it really was. Then they, too, tried to trick him with a question about whether they should pay taxes. His answer overwhelmed them.

The Sadducees decided to have a go and, like the others before them, he turned the table on them, showing them how their teachings were wrong.

Last was the scribe, the legal expert we learned about last week, who asked about the greatest commandment. After that, they stopped asking him questions.

He continued to teach that day, saying, ““Why do the legal experts say that the Christ is David’s son? David himself, inspired by the Holy Spirit, said, The Lord said to my lord, ‘Sit at my right side until I turn your enemies into your footstool.’ David himself calls him ‘Lord,’ so how can he be David’s son?” The large crowd listened to him with delight.”

All that brings us to our passage today where we find Jesus sitting in the area of the treasury, watching as people making their offerings.

The receptacles for the money weren’t simple plates with padded insides to mute the sound of coins landing on the metal or boxes with narrow slits where you could slide your envelope into the darkness inside. These were thirteen large metal receptacles, wide at the bottom and narrow at the top, like the bell of a trumpet, into which you could pour your temple money, causing a clinking and a clanking that would ring across the open court, drawing attention to any who were in the area.

Two of the trumpets were for the collection of the half-shekel tax, two for burnt and sin offerings, three for specific needs of the temple like wood, incense, and the golden vessels used in rituals. One was used for any excess after a man paid his sin offering, and five were for other voluntary offerings, again, usually made from any excess left after paying some kind of sin or trespass offering.

The “treasury” was a public courtyard called the Court of the Women … the main courtyard of the temple. The trumpets were placed along one wall of the courtyard so that everyone would have access to them and be able to make their offering, even women who could go no further into the temple and those considered unworthy of entering into the inner courts.

It is in this courtyard, the treasury, where Jesus watches all this. Men and women dropping their clinking clanking coins into the various trumpets. And of course there would be some who would try to make the loudest sound possible with their contribution, hoping to wow the bystanders with their wealth and supposed generosity.

Then along comes a poor widow who drops in those two small coins … two coins worth no more than a penny. And of all the offerings given to the treasury that day, it is the Widow’s Mite that moves him.

What was it about her offering that he saw, that moved him so?

Just two days earlier, Jesus had driven the money changers and sellers of doves out of the temple. He’d just talked about having to beware of those who “devour widow’s houses.” The beginning of today’s passage isn’t all that supportive of the status quo. And yet here he was, commending the widow for giving all her money, everything she had to the Temple, for contributing out of poverty where others had contributed out of abundance.

Maybe, by the time he sat down there in that courtyard, the righteous anger he’d had earlier burned out from all the verbal wrestling with the scribes and Pharisees and Herodians and Sadducees. Maybe that long day of having to constantly correct the priests and others made him just want to be able to say something kind about someone, so when he spots that poor widow putting everything she’s got in the trumpet, he decides to bless her.

And maybe there’s more here, otherwise why would Mark have been so careful to create the contrast between the events leading up to this event?

 On one hand, we have those who lived for self, wanting and hoarding, grabbing hold of everything they could get their hands on, regardless of the collateral damage such taking caused. On the other hand, we have the widow who gave away, lived for others and not self, regardless of damage to the self that would be caused by this level of generosity.

Then again, what would move the widow to give everything she had to the Temple? Was it because she trusted in the care that was being offered by the very institution she was giving her whole living to, possibly gratitude for what she had received that caused her to give so prodigally? Maybe it was a sign of faith in the community. Maybe she didn’t worry about herself and trusted in the temple and the people who administered its grace.

Maybe she was just naïve, especially given the statements Jesus had made in the previous passages. Even Jesus might wonder if her trust is misplaced. Yet, he presents her as having a more effective witness than all the others who came to make offerings that day.

And yet Jesus ignores all the noisemakers loudly depositing their excess coins in the trumpets and zeros in on this poor widow, and proclaims she’s put in more than anyone else there.

Matthew, the tax collector, must have been losing his mind right about now. He might have whipped out his abacus and shown Jesus the math. Her contribution couldn’t have been more than two hundred thousandths of one percent of what some of those others had dropped into the trumpets that day, and she was a higher risk, disposing of assets that she could ill-afford to part with, but you can’t say she put in more than they did. Can you?

So, then, does this passage tell us that we should all empty our bank accounts into the offering bucket this morning? No, please don’t. That would be reckless at best, probably disastrous at worst. I’m speaking from experience here.

Jesus looked Matthew in the eye and said, “she put in more than all of them combined. More, Matthew, more. Because they put what they weren’t going to use anyway; they put in their excess, their leftovers, the interest on the interest. Whereas she put in her whole life.”

That’s the difference. That’s the point.

There is something here in this passage about the life we are called to live as followers of Jesus, as disciples. This passage is about when all means ALL. We are called to give our all to God. This passage is about re-evaluating our lives and how we’re living them. About discerning whether we’re giving God our all or just the excess that we have after we’ve given ourselves to everything else.

We’re not supposed to hoard our lives. They aren’t ours to hoard, but to give away, to give as a blessing, to give as an act of gratitude, to give in service. We are called, invited, set free from the bondage to live free and unencumbered by our own lives and able to embrace the constant hope of eternity and the business of building the kin-dom.

It doesn’t matter what we have or don’t have, who we are. It doesn’t matter if we’re old or young. It doesn’t matter whether we live in the best house in town or a cardboard box. It doesn’t matter if others agree with us or disagree with us. It doesn’t matter what’s in our past or even in our present.  

What matters is our faith, our allegiance to God and to Christ, the giving our hearts and souls to God, our gratitude for the blessings and gifts God bestows on us, and the future we will make following the Way Christ has given us.

When we do what matters? When we give all we have to give? That’s when all means all.  

Henri Nouwen wrote, “The discipline of gratitude is the explicit effort to acknowledge that all I am and have is given to me as a gift of love, a gift to be celebrated with joy.” God gave us all we are, all we can be, and all we will be. Christ gave his all on the cross for us. Don’t you think we should show our gratitude by giving all of ourselves to God?


Please join me in a prayer for our gifts this morning:


Sometimes we feel like we have nothing to give. Sometimes we feel like this world just takes. It drains us dry, Lord. We sometimes feel like we just don’t have enough to go on. Not enough money, not enough energy, not enough hope.

But we know better. We might not have cars and fame and bling; we might not have titles and positions; we might not have a home to call our own; we might not have a lot of free time. But we have you, and you give.

Lord, you give us so much. You give us shelter and daily bread. You give us families and friends. You give us hope, love, and faith. You give us yourself. You meet us where we are. It might be in prison. It might be in the boardroom. It might be in the ditch. It might be in courtroom. It might be in a judge’s chamber. It might be on the streets. It might be in our homes. It might be in a homeless shelter. It might be in a cathedral. It might be a storefront. You meet us and you give.

So, what we have, we give to you. Like the widow who gave all she had, we know we can’t beat your giving. We have enough, and we give to you in Jesus’ name.



Rev. Dr. Pat Whittemoore, ALPS & Tennessee-Memphis-Holston Course of Study

We do not provide a transcript of this portion of our service.


A Franciscan Benediction

Thank you for being here this morning, whether in-person or through our live-stream and I hope you found some value in today’s service.

Now hear this benediction:

May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships so that you may live deep within your heart.

May God bless you with anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people so that you may work for justice, freedom and peace.

May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer pain, rejection, hunger and war, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and to turn their pain into joy.

And may God bless you with enough foolishness to believe you can make a difference in the world, so that you can do what others claim cannot be done: To bring justice and kindness to all our children and the poor.

Go in the love of God, in the name of Christ, and in the power of the Spirit. Go forth to love and serve the Lord. Go in peace.



  • All works cited within the text above.

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Union Grove UMC
1151 Lane Drive
Friendsville, TN 37737

Please be sure to make your checks payable to “Union Grove UMC Friendsville“.