January 11, 2013 Newsletter
New Beginnings at New Hope
Follow up Meeting with Jim Arant

A follow up meeting with Jim Arant was held on Tuesday, January 8 at the church. Four members of the New Beginnings committee were present. After much discussion, the following course of action was recommended:
  • Continue the committee meetings, preferably weekly.
  • expand the committee meetings into a prayer group and invite others to attend. In addition to church issues, meetings could include Bible topics or matters concerning individual members.
  • visit non attending members.
  • prepare a one-page flyer for distibution in the community. The focus would be on building a new church in the present facility.
  • complete the separation of the cemetery from the church. Contact Tony Prestipino of the Conference for help with this.
  • ring the bell on Sunday morning.
There were several suggestions on program enhancement including Bible school, special music and a 5th Sunday combined service with the other churches. While these all have merit, implementation and further consideration of these ideas was postponed. It was felt more urgent to contact every member individually for an open and frank discussion about the future of the church. During these interviews, Jim encouraged us to think about creating a new church, a new beginning, a new spirit. For this we need the old members to return, new members or both. It needs to be a different church, one with a vision. Where there is no vision, the people perish - Proverbs 29:18. The new church must be different to survive. Just a worship service on Sunday is not enough. In addition to worship, it should be a place where the people can find love, acceptance, health, hope, forgiveness, encouragement and guidance. It should be a place where God given gifts and talents can be used in service to the community and the Lord. Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. - James 2:17. We have a flicker and we need a flame. We have a good beginning for our New Beginning. Our committee has met 8 times including twice with Jim Arant. To be sure, we have concerns, but we also have enthusiam for the challenge ahead.

You will be called and invited to engage in a discussion about the future of the church. We want your opinions and suggestions. This community needs a church where Christians can join together, support each other and find ways to serve God. A vision is coming into focus. Continue to pray for us and if possible please join us.


Trustees and Council Meetings

The meetings were held at the fellowship hall on Thursday, January 10, 2013. These matters were discussed at the Trustee's meeting:
  • painting of the fellowship hall.
  • a separate water meter for the church. Water service is now combined with the parsonage.
  • landscaping around the church and fellowship hall.
  • separate operations and funds for the cemetery.
  • yard sale and the possibility of joining with the town yard sale in April.
  • payment of remaining apportionment assessment for 2012 of $1,709. Payment was approved.
The Administrative Council meeting was held immediately following the Trustees meeting. Treasurer Nancy Fairey presented the financial results for 2012, summarized as follows:

Church Fund:
   Received from givingssss$15,339
   Ending cash balancesssssss$29,508
Cemetery fund balancesssss$8,061
Parsonage fund balancesss$24,881

Prayer Beads

Ever have trouble with your prayer life? Who doesn't. In the 1980's a group of people who wanted to recapture prayer practices of the early church came up with the idea for prayer beads. These are made up of a cross and four sets of seven beads which would serve as a reminder for your prayers. The four sets represent (1) praise to God, (2) intercessory prayer for others, (3) confession of transgressions and (4) thanks to God for gifts and graces. For more, see www.abeadandaprayer.wordpress.com

Upcoming Meetings
  • New Beginnings Committee meeting, Thursday, January 17, 2013, 2 p.m. at 214 River Drive
  • Jim Arant Second Follow Up: Wednesday, January 30, 2013, 2 p.m., at the church