February 8, 2013 Newsletter
New Beginnings at New Hope
New Beginnings Committee Meeting

A meeting was held on February 7, 2013, at 2 p.m. at 214 River Drive. Present were Pastor Felkel, John Fairey, Glenn Simpson and Art Whetstone. Highlights of the meeting:

  • Fellowhip Hall. Painting of the fellowship hall was approved, to be done committee member Glenn Simpson, who submitted the low bid. He will also hang the storm door.
  • Landscaping. A proposal from Plant Depot for the plants for the landscaping project was accepted. The total for both the church and fellowship hall was approximately $1,100. Mulch, fertilizer and other materials will be at additional cost. Labor will be furnished by New Hope members. Glenn will add an outside faucet for watering and coordinate the installation. Work should begin next week.
  • Parsonage Lease. Joann Lightfoot met with the tenant earlier this week and informed her of the churches' decision to reduce the rent for the remained of the lease term. She was also told that she would be receiving a letter that the lease would not be renewed in April. The tenant was appreciative and indicated she would do a better job housekeeping and maintaining the property. She is still looking for a job but managed to pay the January rent this week.
  • Parsonage Funds. The possibility of a distribution of excess cash in the parsonage fund was discussed. The balance is currently approximately $25,000, significantly more than needed for taking care of the property. It was suggested that a reserve be held for taxes, insurance, maintenance and repairs, with the balance distributed to the churches. It was noted that Conference rules may apply to such a distribution and should be checked out.
  • Church Social. See separate article, Mark Your Calendar, for details. This will be the first time in more than a year that a social activity has taken place. There is no planned program for the event, just an opportunity for members and friends to get together in fellowship. Please make plans to join us.

God is Love

Chapter 13 of 1st Corinthians is the hymn of the Apostle Paul devoted to love. He is writing to the church in Corinth, which like other early churches, faced many challenges in making a go of it. Corinth, in Macedonia, was a bustling city on a major trade route. Most people worshipped Greek gods or none at all. Paul wanted to let his congregation know that his God was different from the statues in the square or even the wrathful God of the Old Covenant, as there were Jews in Corinth, too. His is a God of love. In fact, his God is love. Thus in describing love, he is describing God. "If I speak in tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clinging symbal. If I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and I have all faith, so as to move mountains, and do not have love, I am nothing...Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude...It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things."

This is the love that God pours out on his people every day, the perfect love that can only come from Him. We are not born with this love, but because of Jesus we can experience it through the Holy Spirit. Pastor Curtis tells us that this is agape love, a love that is one way. This scripture describes God's love for his chosen people, not a love between a man and a woman. It is entirely fitting that this perfect love should have been described so perfectly by Paul. It is also fitting that two people who expect to spend the rest of their lives together, would repeat these beautiful words to each other. "If he had written nothing else, Paul would have been revered as one of the greatest religious poets and visionaries the world has ever known." A. N. Wilson, Paul, The Mind of the Apostle

Mark Your Calendar

A fellowship dinner is planned for Friday, March 1, 2013, 7 p.m., at Clark's Restaurant in Santee. The dinner is a casual affair for members and friends, so if you would like to invite someone, feel free to do so. We will order separately from their extensive menu, so diet restrictions should not be a problem.

Apportionment Best in a Decade

S.C. United Methodist churches paid 87.02 percent of apportionments for 2012 –almost 3 percent higher than the 84.2 percent they paid in 2011.

The 87 percent translates to about $15.5 million paid to the conference in 2012 of the $17,863,269 total budget.

New Hope paid 100% of its 2012 apportionment.

Upcoming Meetings

  • New Beginnings Committee meeting, Thursday, February 14, 2 p.m. at 214 River Drive.
  • Fellowship Dinner, Friday, March 1, 7 p.m. at Clark's in Santee.
  • Jim Arant Follow Up: Wednesday, March 6, 2013, 2 p.m. at the church.