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Newsletter January 4, 2014New Beginnings at New HopeVOLUME 2, ISSUE 8
Looking Back

We are always anxious to see what the New Year has in store for us. The same is true for New Hope, now that we have our New Beginning in place. It took some doing to get us to this point, so it is good to reflect on what God was able to accomplish through us in 2013. Here are the highlights of an incredible year at New Hope.

  Church improvements included replacing the roof, landscaping, many changes to the Fellowship Hall and needed repairs to the church.

  Parsonage. Our business with the other churches was concluded and the lease was terminated. The property is now up for sale.

  New Pastor. Pastor Sandra Whetsell began her appointment with us on June 27. This ended a long run as part of a three church circuit as New Hope is now established as a separate charge. Sandra brought with her plenty of spirit and contagious enthusiasm. Most everything covered below is the result of her leadership and participation.

  Membership. We welcomed back some old members and added new members Bill, Denise and Celeste Metts. All have taken an active role in church affairs.

  Social. We kicked off a busy fellowship year with a Welcome the Pastor luncheon on June 30, attended by 31 faithful. Then we enjoyed church suppers in September and October hosted by members Simpson and Boone. We had a delicious covered dish dinner the Sunday before Thanksgiving. These events were all well attended by members, visitors and invited guests.

  Special services. We had new worship experiences with All Saints Day, Thanksgiving Eve, Hanging of the Greens, the Sundays of Advent and a very special Christmas Eve service.

  Funeral services. We lost three members during the year and remembered them with services at New Hope. They are Nell Busch, Steve Busch and Marguerite Russell.

  Business. We reorganized with new committees and officers. We survived a charge conference. We paid the Apportionment in full before the end of the year and we have a working budget for 2014.

  Missional. We provided special meals for members of our community for both Thanksgiving and Christmas, spreading the joy and meaning of these seasons.

  Other. We had a Trunk or Treat party for the community kids. We held our first fund raiser, a Yard Sale, raising money for the awnings for the Fellowship Hall. And we started a Bible Study series based on the Baby Boomers' Bible.

So we went from a church that was on its last legs to one with New Life and a New Beginning. Where there was nothing before, we had something going on in social, community outreach, missional and educational activities. Worship took on a new dimension with strong teaching from the pulpit and special services. We fixed up our facilities and got ourselves organized. We picked ourselves up and reached out to God and now we have a new chance. Praise the Lord.
From the Pastor

2014 is here!  Let’s look to our future!  Many of us speak in terms of resolutions.  Here are a few quotes about New Year’s resolutions:

  "Be at War with your vices, at Peace with your neighbors, and let every New Year find you a better man (person)." - Benjamin Franklin

  "All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them." Walt Disney

  "Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has yet to come. We have only today. Let us begin." Mother Teresa

  "Do not change because a new year is here, but change for your own personal growth no matter what resolutions you make, they start with you." - Anonymous

Late winter and spring activities are in the conceptual stage; once we have a church-wide planning meeting we can jump start those ideas into action as a church family. We will recognize Epiphany on Sunday, January 5th, celebrating the Sacrament of Holy Communion. Bible Study will resume the second week in January; the week of January 18-25, is the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Easter is late this year, April 20th, which is to our advantage as we can plan how New Hope will celebrate Lent and Easter. As we move forward in 2014 let us do so in a spirit of prayerful sensitivity to you and to one another. We have the courage to make faithful decisions in our personal lives and in the life of New Hope with the Guidance of our Triune God. Let us begin!

Grace and Peace,
Pastor Sandra
January Calendar

•  Epiphany Sunday, Communion, January 5
•  Bible Study to resume week of January 12
•  Prayer for Christian Unity, week of January 18-25