Serving our community
for over 200 years
making disciples
for Christ

Salem United Methodist Church

R ockvale, TN

News From The Pews

The BEST place to find out what is going on at Salem UMC is right HERE.

Welcome to Salem UMC's home on the web!!!
This is where you will find all the up to date information on all things Salem UMC!!!
This site is upated regularly and if you have any thing to add please feel free to send us a comment!!!

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Exciting news !!!

Posted on August 18, 2019 at 2:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Salem UMC is currently making some changes
and we need YOUR help...

We want to know what it would take
to bring you in to our humble little
place of worship and visit with us...

Please feel free to leave us a message here
on the website or drop us a message on our
FACEBOOK page...
(Salem UMC - Rockvale, Tn)

We will compile a list of ideas and
pick the best ones that could work...

Thank you all in advance!!!

In case you missed it...

Posted on August 18, 2019 at 2:00 PM Comments comments (0)

If you weren't in worship service then you
may not have heard the news...
Pastor Ann Meece will no longer be
serving as Pastor of Salem UMC...

Over the next few weeks or so
our church will be working with the
district office to ensure that we will have
a guest pastor until a new pastor can be
brought in to the family...

No one likes change but sadly it is a way
of life in the Methodist Church...
We hope you will join us in wishing the
Meece family all the best for the future...

Buzz Aldrin Took Communion On The Moon. NASA Kept It Quiet

Posted on July 17, 2019 at 9:40 AM Comments comments (0)

This article was taken from

When Apollo 11‘s Eagle lunar module landed on the moon on July 20, 1969, astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin had to do something hard: Wait. They were scheduled to open the door of their lunar lander and step onto the unknown surface of a completely different world.
But for now, their mission ordered them to take a pause before the big event.

And so Aldrin spent his time doing something unexpected, something no man had ever attempted before. Alone and overwhelmed by anticipation, he took part in the first Christian sacrament ever performed on the moon—a rite of Christian communion.

Aldrin’s lunar communion has since become shrouded in mystery and confusion, but the rite itself was relatively simple.The astronaut was also an elder at Webster Presbyterian Church, and before he headed into space in 1969, he got special permission to take bread and wine
with him to space and give himself communion.

Men had already prayed in space, but Aldrin was about to go one step further—literally and figuratively. Part of his mission was not just to land on the moon, but to walk on it. To prepare, he took communion after the Eagle lunar module landed on the moon’s Sea of Tranquility during an hours-long downtime period designed to let the astronauts recover from their space flight and prepare for their moon walk.

The mood on the module was sober. Both Armstrong and Aldrin knew how important their mission was. “I was certainly aware that this was a culmination of the work of 300,000 or 400,000 people over a decade and that the nation’s hopes and outward appearance largely rested on how the results came out,” Armstrong recalled in an oral history.

As the men prepared for the next phase of their mission, Aldrin got on the comm system and spoke to the ground crew back on Earth. “I would like to request a few moments of silence,” he said. “I would like to invite each person listening in, wherever and whomever he may be, to contemplate for a moment the events of the past few hours and to give thanks in his own individual way.”

Then he reached for the wine and bread he’d brought to space—the first foods ever poured or eaten on the moon. “I poured the wine into the chalice our church had given me. In the one-sixth gravity of the moon the wine curled slowly and gracefully up the side of the cup,” he later wrote. Then, Aldrin read some scripture and ate. Armstrong looked on quietly but did not participate.

Aldrin felt that the service should be broadcast to the entire world. But atheist activist Madalyn Murray O’Hair, once dubbed “the most hated woman in America” for her high-profile activism on behalf of the separation of church and state, indirectly doomed the communion service. A few months earlier, O’Hair had sued NASA after Apollo 8 astronauts read the Book of Genesis during a broadcast made on Christmas Day 1968, when they became the first humans to orbit the moon.

Though O’Hair’s case was ultimately dismissed, it made an impression on NASA officials, who worried that any overtly religious display might open the agency up to another lawsuit. When Aldrin told the flight crew operations manager about his plans to broadcast his communion service, the manager told him to go ahead and have communion, but “keep your comments more general.”

Though the press did report the fact that Aldrin would bring communion bread on the spacecraft, he kept the ceremony low-key and, out of respect for the debate over religion on the moon, kept the ceremony confined to the spacecraft and not the surface of the moon.

Aldrin wasn’t the only astronaut to experience religious rituals in space. In 1994, three Catholic astronauts took Holy Communion on board Space Shuttle Endeavor. Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon reportedly recited the Jewish Shabbat Kiddush prayer in space (he later died when Space Shuttle Columbia exploded in 2003). And Russian cosmonaut Sergei Ryzhikovtook a relic of St. Serafim of Sarnov,
a Russian Orthodox saint, to space in 2017.

The first space communion was only experienced by two men, but it hasn’t been forgotten by the wider world. Lunar Communion Sunday is still celebrated annually at Webster Presbyterian and elsewhere to commemorate the event, and Aldrin spoke and wrote about the experience later in life. However, the low-key nature of the ceremony in space itself later led torumors that it happened in secret.

Aldrin may not have resorted to skullduggery to consume communion aboard the lunar module, but he ended up regretting it. In his 2010 memoir, he wrote that he’d come to wonder if he’d done the right thing by celebrating a Christian ritual in space. “We had come to space in the name of all mankind—be they Christians, Jews, Muslims, animists, agnostics, or atheists,” hewrote.
“But at the time I could think of no better way to acknowledge the Apollo 11 experience than by giving thanks to God.”

A 4th of July History Lesson

Posted on July 3, 2019 at 10:25 AM Comments comments (0)

This article was taken from

The Fourth of July—also known as Independence Day or July 4th—has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1941, but the tradition of Independence Day celebrations goes back to the 18th century and the American Revolution. On July 2nd, 1776, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence, and two days later delegates from the 13 colonies adopted the Declaration of Independence, a historic document drafted by Thomas Jefferson. From 1776 to the present day, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American independence, with festivities ranging from fireworks, parades and concerts to more casual family gatherings and barbecues.

A History of Independence Day

When the initial battles in the Revolutionary War broke out in April 1775, few colonists desired complete independence from Great Britain, and those who did were considered radical.

By the middle of the following year, however, many more colonists had come to favor independence, thanks to growing hostility against Britain and the spread of revolutionary sentiments such as those expressed in the bestselling pamphlet “Common Sense,” published by Thomas Paine
in early 1776.

On June 7, when the Continental Congress met at the Pennsylvania State House (later Independence Hall) in Philadelphia, the Virginia delegate Richard Henry Lee introduced a motion calling for the colonies’ independence.

Amid heated debate, Congress postponed the vote on Lee’s resolution, but appointed a five-man committee—including Thomas Jefferson of Virginia, John Adams of Massachusetts, Roger Sherman of Connecticut, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania and Robert R. Livingston of New York—to draft a formal statement justifying the break with Great Britain.

Did you know?
John Adams believed that July 2nd was the correct date on which to celebrate the birth of American independence, and would reportedly turn down invitations to appear at July 4th events in protest. Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on July 4, 1826—the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.

On July 2nd, the Continental Congress voted in favor of Lee’s resolution for independence in a near-unanimous vote (the New York delegation abstained, but later voted affirmatively). On that day, John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail that July 2 “will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival” and that the celebration should include “Pomp and Parade…Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other.”

On July 4th, the Continental Congress formally adopted the Declaration of Independence, which had been written largely by Jefferson. Though the vote for actual independence took place on July 2nd, from then on the 4th became the day that was celebrated as the birth of American independence.

Early Fourth of July Celebrations

In the pre-Revolutionary years, colonists had held annual celebrations of the king’s birthday, which traditionally included the ringing of bells, bonfires, processions and speechmaking. By contrast, during the summer of 1776 some colonists celebrated the birth of independence by holding mock funerals for King George III, as a way of symbolizing the end of the monarchy’s hold on America and the triumph of liberty.

Festivities including concerts, bonfires, parades and the firing of cannons and muskets usually accompanied the first public readings of the Declaration of Independence, beginning immediately after its adoption. Philadelphia held the first annual commemoration of independence on July 4, 1777, while Congress was still occupied with the ongoing war.

George Washington issued double rations of rum to all his soldiers to mark the anniversary of independence in 1778, and in 1781, several months before the key American victory at Yorktown, Massachusetts became the first state to make July 4th an official state holiday.

After the Revolutionary War, Americans continued to commemorate Independence Day every year, in celebrations that allowed the new nation’s emerging political leaders to address citizens and create a feeling of unity. By the last decade of the 18th century, the two major political parties—the Federalist Party and Democratic-Republicans—that had arisen began holding separate Fourth of July celebrations in many large cities.

Fourth of July Becomes a Federal Holiday

The tradition of patriotic celebration became even more widespread after the War of 1812, in which the United States again faced Great Britain. In 1870, the U.S. Congress made July 4th a federal holiday; in 1941, the provision was expanded to grant a paid holiday
to all federal employees.

Over the years, the political importance of the holiday would decline, but Independence Day remained an important national holiday
and a symbol of patriotism.

Falling in mid-summer, the Fourth of July has since the late 19th century become a major focus of leisure activities and a common occasion for family get-togethers, often involving fireworks and outdoor barbecues. The most common symbol of the holiday is the American flag, and a common musical accompaniment is “The Star-Spangled Banner,” the national anthem of the United States.

Join us for 5th Sunday

Posted on June 23, 2019 at 7:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Next Sunday is the "charge wide"
5th Sunday Fellowship service...

For those who may be interseted
in joining us for this special event
there will be NO WORSHIP at 8:45 am...

Worship will be held here at Salem UMC
at 11:00 am followed by a pot luck lunch...

SO bring your favorite dish...
and your APPETITE!!!
(we are Methodist after all)

Congratulations Cece!!!

Posted on May 28, 2019 at 9:15 AM Comments comments (0)
But certainly not LEAST...
WE want to say a HUGE congratulations
to our ONE AND ONLY Cece Kiestler...

There is a reason for the title of ONE AND ONLY...
You see...
For years Cece was our ONE AND ONLY KID
here at Salem UMC and it has been our
GREAT PLEASURE to wach her grow from
this cute little girl...

To this AMAZING young woman...

Cece recently graduated from Riverdale Highschool
and plans on attending Martin Methodist College in the fall...

Conngratulations Cece!!!
We look forward to seeing what ife has in store for you...

Our Cross: A Small Reminder Of Memorial Day

Posted on May 24, 2019 at 9:30 AM Comments comments (0)

When I first thought about doing a story for Memorial Day
I had NO CLUE that the story I would share would have 
the impact on me as this one has...

You see...
This story is about the small cross that stands
on our altar and how it came to be...

For those who may not know...
The Smith family has been a prominent fixture in our
tiny church family dating back to at least World War 2...
(maybe before, but I'm not certain)

On the back of the cross
it reads:
Dr. and Mrs. Sidney Smith
In memory of our son
Lt Roger Eastman Smith

Killed in the service of his country

Thanks to the help of Linda Treby and Charles Manning
we now know how this cross came to being and the importance 
it holds especially as we enter Memorial Day weekend...

Being this is Memorial Day weekend, we felt it was best
to share the story of Lieutenant Roger Eastman Smith 
and his bravery at the battle of Guam for which he lost
his life and the cross was dedicated to his name...

The Battle of Guam
(Taken from Britannica Encylopedia)

In the hours following the attack on Pearl Harbor 7 Dec.1941
the Japanese military stormed the island of Guam.
The original battle began 8 Dec and lasted until 10 Dec.
when the Japanese had taken full control of the island...

21 July - 10 Aug 1944
America Takes Back Guam

In Attacking Guam, U.S. forces were not just aqcuriing a fine harbor
and a number of airfields to use in future operations, but were also
liberating a U.S. Territory..
As elsewhere, Guam's Japanese garrison fought practically
to the last man...
American casualties included some 1,700 dead and 6,000 wounded...
Japanese deaths totaled some 18,000...

The Japanese forces on the island had built an elaborate network
of bunkers, artillery placements, and other fortifications (pillboxes).
In all, the number of Japanese defenders totaled 19,000...

The landing began on 21 July on the west coast of the island
and the landing force consisted of both Marine and Army units
from General Gieger's III Amphibious Corps, in all 55,000 strong.
They were soon established solidly ashore despite a series of fierce
night attacks by the Japanese over the first few days of the battle.
It took a week for the Americans to link their two beach heads, but
by then much of the Japanese strength had been dissipated and their
commanding general had been killed as well...

The surviving Japanese units fought on for another two weeks,
gradually retiring toward the North end of the island, before
organized resistance largely ended.
Even then Guam's mountainous terrain helped a few die hards
to hold out. Some small units fought on until after the war,
causing occasional U. S. casualties, and one solitary veteran
only emerged from the jungle to surrender and return
to Japan in 1972.

One Of Our Own
(The following came from Lt. Smith's military records)

Roger Eastman Smith volunteered on 27 August 1942
as a Private First Class.
Was called to active duty on 27 January 1943 as a 
member of the Seventeenth Candidates Class,Marine Corps.
School, Quantico, Virginia
, with the rank of 2nd Lieutenant.
Was subesequently promoted to 1st Lieutenant.
Was killed in action on 21 July 1944.

Memorial services were held on 8 October 1944
at Salem Methodist Church in Murfreesboro, Rutherford County,
. Dean N. C. Beasley and Mrs. Mary Dennell, each of
whom knew Lieutenant Smith spoke at these rights.

Smith - Rogers - Reeves VFW Post was named for three of the 
Rutherford County young men who lost their lives during World War II.

Posthumous Awards:

1. Navy Cross -
Presented during chapel hour at MTSU, Murfreesboro, TN
2. - Purple Heart
3. Navy Unit Commendation with ribbon bar
Awarded the First Provisional Marine Brigade for service
on Guam in the Marianas Islands.
4. Asiatic - Pacific Campaign Medal
5. Vicory Medal - World War II

Awards Citation:

"For extraordinary heroism as Mortar Platoon Leader attached
to the First Battalion, Fourth Marine Reinforced, First Provisional
Marine Brigade, in action against enemy Japanese forces on 
the island of Guam in the Marianas islands on 21 July 1944.
Moving his mortar platoon up from the beach in the rear of 
advancing riflemen, First Lieutenant Smith obeserved a wounded
rifleman lying close to a hostile pillbox and, halting his men, fearlessly
advanced to the aid of the marine under a continuous barrage
of Japanese emplacement.

Engaging the enemy with rifle fire and hand grenades, he held
his position despite the fierce oppostion and attempted to neuteralize
the pillbox with a flame thrower, but failing in this he continued to move
up on the ememy while firing his rifle and, although mortally wounded
during the bitter hostilities, succeded in silencing the hostile gun - battery.

By his determined initiative, valiant  fighting spirit, and resolute fortitude
in the face of terrific odds, First Lieutenant Smith contributed maerially
to the ultimate success of our forces in recapturing this vital strong - hold,
and his nwavering devotion to duty throughout was in keeping with the highest
tradition of the United States Naval Service.

He gallantly gave his life for his country."

Something To Ponder:

As I prepared for this story SEVENTY FIVE YEARS after First Lieutenant Smith's death
I can't help but to wonder WHY he was never granted the Medal of Honor???
If you have time this weekend, I encourage you to re-read the above citation
and then visit the following website to read stories of those who were awarded
the medal during World War II.

You cand find that site here:

I brought this story to the website a few days earlier than planned because
I want those who attend church this weekend to SEE the cross and UNDERSTAND
that this small cross is just a tiny token for one man's bravery and a family's loss...

It's a small reminder that Memorial Day isn't about cookouts and three day weekends...
It's about those who gave their life so we can enjoy ours today...

Thank you sir for your service and sacrifice.

Congratulations to Leah Meece!!!

Posted on May 19, 2019 at 12:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Congratulations to our VERY OWN Leah Meece...
Leah graduated from Cascade High School (Bedford Co.)
and will be attending Nossi College of Art (Nashville) in the fall...
We look forward to seeing what life has in store for you!!!

Congratulations Zach Neal!!!

Posted on May 17, 2019 at 9:10 AM Comments comments (0)

We kick off the 2019 graduation season
with a friend of Salem UMC...

Zach Neal graduates from Page High school 
on May 25th at the Williamson County AG Expo Park
at 9:00 a.m...

In the fall Zach plans to become an MTSU Blue Raider...
Congratulations Zach!!!

Laity Club

Posted on May 16, 2019 at 9:15 AM Comments comments (0)

The Rutherford County Laity Club will meet this month
on Tuesday, May 21 at Blackman UMC...
The date change is due to a scheduling conflict...
We hope you can join us for our time of food, friendship, fellowship, and family.

In case you didn't know:

The Rutherford County Laity Club has been meeting since the 50's when it
was called the Rutherford County Men's Club...
We meet once a month, usually on the fourth Monday each month except December.
We have a meal provided by a host church at 6:30 pm followed by a program put on
by the host church that is either informative or entertaining.
We then have a brief meeting.
The cost of the meal is $6.00, which the host church keeps as a fund-raiser.
The club serves as a conduit for information and activites of our churches
across the county...
We try to support our local ministries, and we maintain a scholarship to
Martin Methodist College...
We always hope to see someone from each church in the county...

Even though it is called the Laity Club, pastors are always welcome
and always eat free!!!