January 4, 2013 Newsletter
New Beginnings at New Hope
Doers of the Word

"We stepped out in faith and it's just grown into a great ministry" said Dorothy Smoak, founder of Shepherd's Ministry at a local church. It started two years ago with an effort to feed homebound residents in the community. It has grown from feeding 50 to about 500 people a month. In addition to delivering meals to the homebound, they provide food for a school hunger program and a pantry for anyone in need. The church kitchen is a busy place. "It's a pleasure to have someone to come take care of and think about me - a blessing and a pleasure", says a lady who lives alone. Says a volunteer, "I wouldn't miss a day", gushing about the smiles that light the faces of those who receive the food.

The church is St. Andrews UMC in Orangeburg. The article about Shepherd's Ministry was in the Methodist Advocate, January 2013 issue. Subcriptions to the Advocate are available at www.advocatesc.org or by calling 803-786-9486.

Last Meeting

A meeting of the New Beginnings Committee was held on Thursday, January 3, with four members in attendance. Discussion on the following matters took place:
  • New Hope Cemetery operations as a separate entity.
  • upcoming meeting with Jim Adair.
  • coordination with Bethel and Cattle Creek on parsonage matters.
  • status of non-attending members.
  • review and update membership list.
A Wesleyan Way of Living

In his book, Three Simple Rules, Bishop Reuben P. Job says "the path we are on has become so well worn that only a radical change can jar us out of the deep ruts of our dilemma". This radical way of living was given to John Wesley in a time much like our own. It involves three simple rules: 1. Do No Harm, 2. Do Good and 3. Stay in Love with the Lord. The author uses dealing with group conflict to illustrate the first rule. "If, however, all who are involved can agree to do no harm, the climate in which the conflict is going on is immediately changed. How is it changed? Well, if I am to do no harm, I can no longer speak disparagingly about those involved in the conflict.. I can no longer manipulate the facts.. I can no longer diminish those who do not agree with me and must honor each as a child of God. I will guard my lips, my mind and my heart so that my language will not disparage, injure or wound another child of God. I must do no harm, even while I seek a common good.

Wesley's "Do No Harm" might not make the New Year's Resolutions Top 10 list, but it should at least get an honorable mention.

John Wesley's Covenant Prayer

I am no longer my own, but thine.
Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou  wilt.
Put me to doing, put me to suffering.
Let me be employed for thee or laid aside for thee,  exalted for thee or brought low for thee.
Let me be full, let me be empty.
Let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely and heartily yield all things to thy pleasure and disposal.
And now, O glorious and blessed God, Father, Son  and Holy Spirit, thou art mine, and I am thine.
So be it.
And the covenant which I have made on earth,
let it be ratified in heaven.

Colossians 3:13-15

13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. 15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
Upcoming Meetings
  • Jim Adair Follow Up: Tuesday, January 8, 2013, 2 p.m., at the church
  • Trustee and Administrative Council: Wednesday, January 9, 2013, beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the church.