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Newsletter March 3, 2014 New Beginnings at New Hope VOLUME 2, ISSUE 10
Bible Quiz

The Bible study group has been moving through the Old Testament at warp speed using the Baby Boomer's Bible Guide. We've covered about a thousand years in a few weeks, but have somehow managed to hang in there. See if you can answer these questions which are part of the study.
1.  Abraham and Sarah were the parents of Jacob and Esau. Abraham had another son by a servant girl. Who was he?
The Dead Sea scrolls contained all the books of the Old Testament except one. Which one?
There were two prophets who did not author books in the Old Testament. Name them.
After the reign of Solomon, Israel was divided into two kingdoms. There were 39 rulers until the exiles. How many were women?
The Southern kingdom (Judah) was returned from exile in Babylon in 517 B.C. People of the Northern kingdom (Israel) were exiled to Assyria in 722 B.C. When did they return?

From the Pastor

At the heart of the Christian faith is our participation in the life, suffering, death resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ as Lord. We proclaim that "the Word became flesh and dwelt among us" (John 1:14). Jesus Christ was born into human history in the fullness of time for our salvation. (The New Handbook of the Christian Year. 1992)

As Christians, we begin our Lenten Journey on Ash Wednesday, March 5th, this year. The Season of Lent is a forty (40) day period, not counting Sundays. Many Christians participate in a ceremony – a rite or ritual – that takes place on this date. The rite includes worshipers having a mark in the shape of a cross placed on one’s forehead. This mark is made of ashes.

The "imposition of ashes," as this tradition is called, is one of the most solemn events of the church year. Worshipers will hear the words, "Remember, you are dust, and to dust you shall return," as the ashes are placed on one’s forehead.

Worshipers will also participate in a cleansing of sins, as one writes a particular sin(s) then the paper will be burned. "The chaff (our sins) will be burned with unquenchable fire" (Matthew 3:11). The purpose of the fire is to purify. The "fiery law" (Deuteronomy 33:2) reflects God’s righteous character, in whose presence, all the chaff (sin) is burned away, leaving only righteousness.

During the Season of Lent, two elements are recognized. One is giving something up, by a period of self-denial and self-restraint. The other is giving something out, by acts of self-sacrifice and deeds of kindness. The word Lent comes from the old Anglo-Saxon words encten foesten, which means spring fast. Spring is the time of the year when new growth and life appear after the long harsh months of winter. It is a time of hope, aspiration and expectation, and a promise of new life for all. The heart of Lent is inner penitence and reconciliation with God. May your Lent experience this year be a time of spiritual renewal, a time of reconciliation with God, and penitential practices which encourage inner change in one’s life.

Sandra's New Digs

On Sunday after church, Pastor Sandra was treated to a look behind Door Number 1, her newly remodeled office in the Fellowship Hall. The "unveiling" was made possible by the efforts and considerable talents of Maralene and Glenn Simpson, who led the Extreme Makeover project. If you didn't get to see it, we can always arrange a private showing. Or you could come to Bible Study on March 19 or just any old church function. Great job, you two. Don't put your tools away just yet.
Looking Ahead

New Hope definitely has New Life! We can see and experience the results of this new life with the new look in our Fellowship Hall. In the past week there has been considerable work done. Several people have been involved with the actual work: some "giving directions", providing food, telling stories to entertain those who were actually working. And others running errands, procuring materials, weeding the landscape areas and some just giving moral support. All had a good time laughing, sharing and accomplishing much. Maralene Simpson has "a plan" – and it is coming together with the help of Glenn Simpson, Sidney Bowman, Art Whetstone, John E. Fairey, Denise Metts, Sandra Whetsell, Vance Boone, and Boyd Chewning - the workers last week. But the work is not completed!

There is more to be done. There are flower beds which need weeding and spraying; the accumulation of papers, etc. at the back of the sanctuary needs attention; the files which were located in the former pastor’s office need going through; the newly assigned storage room needs to be arranged by season-event with labels; an inventory of paper products and a list of what is needed and someone to take charge of it. In other words, there is something for everyone!

Grace & Peace, Pastor Sandra

Bible Quiz Answers

1.  Ishmael, the father of the nation of Islam.
2.  Esther. It is also the only book in the Bible where God is not mentioned.
3.  Elijah and Elisha. Elijah is mentioned 28 times in the New Testament. He was present at the Transfiguration of Jesus along with Moses, Peter, James and John. He was not buried but was raptured into heaven by God.
4.  Only one, Queen Athaliah, daughter of Ahab and Jezebel, seventh ruler of Judah.
5.  They didn't. They are known as the lost tribe of Israel and are believed to have assimilated with the people of Samaria.
March Calendar

•  Ash Wednesday Service, Wednesday, March 5: 6:30 p.m.
•  Bible Study, Wednesday, March 19, 1 p.m.
•  Special Music - Cody Smith, Sunday, April 6, 11:15 a.m.