Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN


January 28, 2013

Pleasant Hill Ramblings: Uplands ties strong with Lancaster Seminary

CROSSVILLE — There are 53 retired clergy/chaplains among other retirees, representing 10 different denominations living in Uplands Village at the present time. Besides the ordained clergy, there are ministers’ wives, missionaries and others who have had professions in the church. Although Uplands has ties with the United Church of Christ, that is by no means a criteria for becoming a member here. And certainly those of us who have not spent our careers in a religious setting feel quite comfortable in their midst and learn a great deal from studies, discussions and conversations about those who have.

Dr. Carol E. Lytch, president of Lancaster Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania, was drawn to visit Pleasant Hill because of stories expounding the wonders of the Tennessee Cumberland Plateau from Lancaster alumni. Eleven Uplands’ residents graduated from and even taught at Lancaster Seminary.

Dr. Lytch began as the 11th president of Lancaster Theological Seminary Aug. 15, 2012. She is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA) with standing in Donegal Presbytery. Early in her career, Dr. Lytch served as co-pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Cranbury, NJ, with her husband. Before coming to Lancaster Seminary, Dr. Lytch served as assistant executive director of the Association of Theological Schools (ATS), the accrediting agency for theological schools in United States and Canada. Prior to her work with ATS, she was coordinator of the Lilly Endowment’s Program for Strengthening Congregational Leadership. She was also visiting scholar and researcher-in-residence at Louisville (KY) Presbyterian Theological Seminary.

During her visit to Pleasant Hill this month, along with the Rev. Paul Eyer, director of alumni and church relations, she spoke to a large gathering in the Community House on Saturday and preached in the Pleasant Hill Community Church, United Church of Christ that Sunday. The Saturday topic was a thought provoking discussion of the “Opportunities and Challenges of the Mainline Protestant Witness in These Times.” Much to everyone’s surprise, she showed that Christianity is growing worldwide, especially in Africa, the far East and South America.

In the United States, although 83 percent profess to have a religious affiliation, only 40 percent actually attend services weekly. Attendance at all religious institutions has been going down since 1972. What is new here is the fluidity of the religious landscape. Americans don’t always stay with the denomination or religious affiliation that they were born into. The churches that are growing are at the extreme ends of the spectrum — conservative 39 percent and liberal 35 percent. Members of mainline protestant religions are having fewer children and don’t attend church as often as they used to. There is a growing secularism, increasing pluralism and acceptance of other religions. The “nones” (no religious affiliation) often profess to be spiritual and favor the organized religious communities’ outreach and caring for the poor and hungry.

The good news for mainline Protestant churches is their success in building community and settling conflicts. They need to find a new balance, become more fluid, multiracial and multifaith, while blurring the boundaries between the ordained and lay members. Religious institutions are still needed to accomplish good in a collaborative way.

A prime example of that collaboration was last week’s celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day at the Palace Theatre in Crossville. Christians for Justice and Peace, an ecumenical group, sponsored the event, taking an offering to support the social justice advocacy group, Crossville for Solidarity Action. Before the event, a volunteer fair of 13 nonprofit organizations, sponsored by the Celebrating Diversity Council, showed the numerous ways people can become involved in Cumberland County.

Text Only
  • 127 Seniors.jpg Jay Fox performs for seniors after receiving new prosthesis

    On Friday, April 11, the members of the 127 Senior Center had another good time playing bingo and dominos. Bingo was called by Arlene Simmons and Helen Lord, and the bingo gifts were provided by Bob Folger of State Farm Insurance.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Marriage licenses

    Publised April 16, 2014.

    April 15, 2014

  • pleasant hill ramblings.jpg PLEASANT HILL RAMBLINGS: Pancake breakfast held for cancer research

    During the year various groups connected with the Pleasant Hill Elementary School provide a Saturday morning pancake breakfast to support the Relay for Life campaign.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fair Park.jpg Final audition planned for talent show

    Last auditions for Crossville’s Got Talent will be this Saturday, April 19, at 1 p.m. at the Fair Park Senior Center. The center is at 1433 Livingston Rd. It looks like another good show, so miss this one.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • PLATEAU GARDENING: Cool-season lawn grass fertilization and soil tests

    Recently, I got an inquiry about the right timing for homeowners who want to fertilize a cool-season lawn which has bare spots that need over-seeding. An email from a new resident in the Crossville area asked how to take a soil sample and where to have it tested. Since problems with the pH or fertility of the soil beneath can result in chronically thin grass with persistent bare places up top, testing the soil then correcting pH and fertility to match plant needs can be an important first step in maintaining your lawn.

    April 14, 2014

  • IMG953498.jpg It's a great day to fly a kite!

    April 10, 2014 3 Photos

  • Season of fundraising begins

    Spring is in full swing, and this mean there are a host of not-for-profit organizations in Crossville and Cumberland County hosting events over the next few weeks. The first event will begin this weekend with a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society.

    April 10, 2014

  • 4-25 N&N meeting.jpg Investigative forensic science close to home

    NCIS? CSI? Bones? All fictional! Here in East Tennessee, they have a real investigative forensic expert — Dr. Bill Bass.

    April 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • Seniors honor Drasal for service

    The 127 Senor Center members gathered Friday, April 4, with goodies and chit chat and welcomed some members who returned from their operations, winter excursions and other illness. The members played dominos and bingo, with Arlene Simmons calling the numbers.

    April 8, 2014

  • Marriage licenses (Published April 9, 2014)

    April 8, 2014

AP Video
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide