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Newsletter February 25, 2013New Beginnings at New HopeVOLUME 1, ISSUE 12
New Beginnings Committee Meeting

A meeting was held on February 21 at 2 p.m. at 214 River Drive. Present were Curtis Felkel, Glenn Simpson and Art Whetstone. Highlights are:

•  Landscaping. The landscaping project is set to begin this week. Glenn will pick up the plants and prepare the beds. He has lined up some help, so it should proceed on schedule.
•  Fellowship Hall. The work on the Fellowship Hall has begun. Glenn is removing cracked paint and preparing for the water seal treatment. He doesn't need any more rain right now.
• Roof replacement. Several contractors have expressed interest but no bids have been received thus far. We will be considering metal instead of asphalt. A check from the insurance company for $5,500 has been received. They are holding approximate $7,000 in reserve pending completion of the job.
•  Church Sign. The possibility of replacing the church sign has been discussed. We are currently attempting to repair inside lighting of the existing sign, but it is still old and unattractive. The thinking is that a new sign maybe with a floodlight would greatly improve the appearance of the front and would blend in nicely with the landscaping. These are early discussions and nothing has been decided as of yet.

Grits and Christians

There's a story about a businessman from up north who came down south for a conference. His first morning in town, he went to eat breakfast at a little mom and pop diner close to his hotel. The waitress came to take his order: eggs, sausage and toast. When the waitress, a Southerner, brought his order, he noticed a pile of white stuff on his plate. "What's that?" he asked. "Grits". She said. "What is a grit?" he asked. "Honey", she drawled, "They don't come by themselves."

Grits don't come by themselves and neither do Christians. The Christian faith is not an individualistic faith, but a community faith. Followers of Christ need a community of faith to worship God, serve their community, love and support one another, ask hard questions, grow and learn, laugh and cry, experience healing, navigate ethics, seek transcendence, affirm faith and hope and find stength for the journey. Christians "don't come by themselves." Instead, they come in communities.
-- From What's the Least I Can Believe and Still Be a Christian? - Martin Thielen.

What about our Christian community at New Hope? We have been organized as a Committee now for about three months, so it's probably time for some soul searching. The truth is that we have not not seen many folks come back. We have some things happening, at least as it pertains to the church facilities. We have a dedicated committee, a District Superintendent who is engaged and a consultant from the Conference who is guiding us. We know there are Christians in the community who want a church home. We have heard you and we will not stop working until we are back together. We are patient and have faith that it will happen.

  But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. and will wait upon the Lord. Isaiah 40:31
Parsonage Update

We have been informed by the District Superintendent that money in the parsonage fund can be distributed to the churches under certain conditions. It will be necessary for each church to set up a building fund bank account prior to receiving distributions. The timing is uncertain but will likely occur after the current lease expires in April. An inspection of the property is coming up in March and could reveal the need for repairs and improvements. Should the PPRC committee feel that major updates, e.g., kitchen and bathroom are needed, they should be committed to prior to any distributions. Thus, some deliberation by the committee will occur before distributions are forthcoming.

Fellowship Dinner

This Friday, March 1, we will be getting together to enjoy some good food and fellowship. For New Hope, this is the first such social event in a very long while. Although you may not have been active in church affairs lately, believe me when I say, we don't care about that. This is your town and your church and we would love to have you join us.
Church Calendar

•  New Beginnings Committee meeting, Thursday, February 28, 2 p.m. at 214 River Drive.
•  Fellowship Dinner, March 1, 2013, 7 p.m., at Clark's Restaurant, Santee
•  Third Sunday of Lent, Sunday, March 3, 2013, at the church
•  Jim Arant Follow Up: Wednesday, March 6, 2013, 2 p.m., at the church