Dear Friends,

Our church is heated and cooled by two separate HVAC systems—one which serves the sanctuary and the fellowship hall and another which takes care of the education wing, offices, and chapel. The first system is running just fine (knock on wood). The second system, at 20+ years of age, is nearing the end of its lifecycle. For the past several years, repairs on that system have set us back five to eight thousand dollars each year. Presently, this unit is running on only one of its three compressors. Its days are numbered.

The kitchen HVAC

Our current HVAC unit

After exhaustive research, two engineering studies, and lengthy discussion, the Buildings and Grounds Committee unanimously recommends replacing this unit. At its meeting on Sunday, the Session agreed.

The Committee recommends that the single unit—the 20 ton system located in the kitchen—be replaced with two smaller units—10 tons for the downstairs and 7.5 tons for the upstairs—to be manufactured by Trane and installed by J&D. The cost of the project is $85,000.

There are numerous benefits to this plan which are listed below.

This HVAC system has been an item of discussion for several years. The Building Committee wanted to take action while the system still functions and avoid being forced respond to an emergency situation (such as no AC during a summer heatwave).

Funding will come from two sources. Half will come from our Building Fund and half will be paid with interest earned in our investment account.

If you have any questions about this action, please feel free to contact me, or David Howell.

We anticipate the new system being installed in July.

Meanwhile, stay cool.



  • A new system with a life expectancy of 20 years.
  • A split system with the ability to regulate the upstairs and downstairs independently.
  • Increased efficiency.
  • No monthly maintenance expenses for the cooling tower.
  • The ability to switch between heating and cooling at any time.
  • We can also expect to have reduced noise levels in the library and chapel.

Survey Says…

Dear Friends,

I want to thank the many of you who responded to the survey about our Christmas Eve Worship. The results are about what I expected—a third of you are understandably concerned about attending a gathering such as a Christmas Eve Worship Service; a third of you plan to attend (“in a hazmat suit if necessary”); and a third are undecided.

Christmas Eve, however, is not for another five weeks and a lot may happen between now and then especially if the COVID case rates in Wilson County continue to rise as they have done over the past two weeks. My greatest concern is for the safety and well-being of each of you and for our neighbors. There have only been a couple of cases of COVID within our congregation, and I would like to keep it that way. One local pastor I spoke with this week told me that he had lost three congregants to COVID and had been very ill himself.

On Thursday afternoon, I attended an online meeting between local pastors and Vanderbilt Wilson County Hospital. The message of the doctors was to stress to the pastors the need to encourage their parishioners (and everyone) to observe the COVID protocols of masks and distancing. The local hospital is not full now, but they are worried that it could be soon. They are especially concerned about what will happen after Thanksgiving if too many people choose to gather together next week and become infected.

What the hospital doesn’t want to happen is for its beds to become so over-run with COVID patients that people requiring normal medical care are unable to obtain it. They are worried about a shortage of staff. They are worried about a shortage of supplies.

These worse-case scenarios are mostly avoidable if people take the simple precautions of masks and distancing and not congregating. It is certainly no fun, but it is what we need to do right now.

The good news is that two promising vaccines have been announced. From what I have read, the doctors and scientists consider the data from these vaccines to be solid. The original goal was to develop a vaccine with an efficacy rate of 60%. Each of these vaccines promise an efficacy rate over 90%.

This good news should not make us complacent. It will be months before the vaccines are available to the general public. We need to fight our fatigue, make short-term sacrifices, and continue our COVID practices.

This virus is real. This week, our nation marked 250,000 deaths from COVID. That is a quarter-of-a-million lives that were ended too soon. It is callous to justify these losses by saying, “They would have died anyway.” That is unacceptable. Every moment of life is precious. This virus has robbed us of thousands of years of life.

In the meantime, I will continue to monitor the situation in Middle Tennessee. Right now, it would be irresponsible of me to guarantee that we will hold an in-person Christmas Eve Service. That is our plan, but as with everything, we have learned to be flexible.



COVID new cases