February 15, 2013 Newsletter
New Beginnings at New Hope
New Beginnings Committee Meeting

A meeting was held on February 14 at 2 p.m. at 214 River Drive. Present were John Fairey, Glenn Simpson and Art Whetstone. Highlights are:
  • Prayer. Prayer experiences were shared, focusing on individual needs of the members as it relates to the church.
  • Fellowship hall painting. Glenn suggested that the exterior needed water seal prior to painting and he is proceeding with that.
  • Roof replacement. We will be receiving an insurance payment for roof damage to the church building. In addition, the insurance company will hold a balance in reserve pending completion of the roof replacement. This action was reported to the committee by Sidney Bowman, who arranged for the adjuster and worked with the insurance company. He and Glenn will secure bids for the roofing and submit those to the committee. Thanks to Sidney for his efforts on this.
  • Fellowship dinner. The dinner is set for March 1, 7 p.m., at Clark's in Santee. Invitations will be sent out this week to our mailing list. If you want to invite someone not on the list, let us know and we will get an invitation to them.
Transfiguration Sunday

On February 10, pastors throughout the Christian world described a New Testament event to their congregations, The Transfiguration, now observed on the Sunday before Lent. Jesus took three disciples, Peter, James and John, to a mountaintop to pray. As he was praying, and while the disciples were sleeping, the appearance of his face changed and his clothing became dazzling white, revealing Jesus' true glory and purity. Moses and Elijah appeared, also in splendor, and began talking to Jesus. They talked about Jesus' imminent departure, i.e., his death and return to heaven. Moses delivered Israel from bondage, but Jesus' death would mean true freedom for all people who believe in him. Upon waking up and viewing this spectacle, Peter suggested that monuments be erected to honor the three men. There are many teachings in this brief scripture, found in Luke 9:28-36. Here are just a few.
  • Peter was rebuffed not by Jesus, but by the Lord. "A voice from the cloud said, 'This is my Son, my Chosen One, listen to him'" Luke 9:34-35. There would be no monuments. In fact, the disciples were sworn to silence until after Jesus' death. In spite of any mountaintop experience we might have, we are to follow Jesus all our lives and not dwell in the wonderful feeling of the moment.
  • God gave divine approval to his son, affirming that Jesus was the one sent by God, separating him from Moses and Elijah.
  • The law (Moses), the Prophets (Elijah) and Jesus were joined together forever. "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them". - Matt. 5:17
  • Jesus went away to pray. He didn't have to deal with cellphones, faxes or TV in his day, but he was beseiged by thousands who followed him around. Where is your mountaintop? Where can you go and have uninterrupted time with God?

Lent is a time of preparation, when we get ourselves mentally and spiritually ready for Easter. Fasting, prayer and almsgiving are components of lent. All have the purpose of opening us up to God by breaking the barriers we usually put up against him. Lent began on Ash Wednesday, February 13, and ends forty days later on Easter. This is done to remember Jesus' 40-day fast in the wilderness. Some mark their foreheads with ash to commemorate the occasion. Some give up something for Lent, e.g., smoking, chewing gum or eating certain foods.

..................... The Transfiguration -- Duccio (1310)

Church Calendar
  • First Sunday of Lent, Sunday, February 17, 2013, at the church
  • New Beginnings Committee meeting, Thursday, February 21, 2 p.m. at 214 River Drive.
  • Fellowship Dinner, March 1, 2013, 7 p.m., at Clark's Restaurant, Santee
  • Jim Arant Follow Up: Wednesday, March 6, 2013, 2 p.m., at the church