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Newsletter March 2, 2015 New Beginnings at New Hope VOLUME 3, ISSUE 8

John Wesley believed in the Wholeness of Scripture. Consider the following from the Wesley Study Bible. "Different people wrote the Bible at different times, in different places. Wesley believed, though, that all these writings worked together to help us understand our salvation through Jesus Christ. He argued that no portion of the Bible should be lifted out and used in isolation. Instead, every individual passage of Scripture needs to be interpreted in light of the whole message that Scripture wants to convey about God's love and care. Some parts of Scripture may seem to contradict other parts, and when they do, each needs to be examined in light of what Wesley called the "general tenor" or the "whole scope and tenor of Scripture". This practice means that Christians should avoid "prooftexting" - simply looking for a sentence or sentences that prove or support a point that one wants to make. Instead, Christians need to read each passage of the Bible in the context of the whole story that God wants to tell through it. "

The Bible is at once straightforward and simple, yet complicated and mysterious. It can be strict and demanding or gentle and uplifting. It is read by people who are persecuted and ignored by people who are free. It is a tale of sadness and woe, struggle and oppression, and yet one of great hope and ultimate redemption and salvation.

To Wesley, the plain teachings of the Bible were the foundations of the Christian faith. But they were to be seen as "a grand scheme of doctrine", not isolated verses. As we begin our group Bible study, it would serve us well to think about Wesley's Wholeness of Scripture beliefs. The Bible is our source, our pathway, our ticket to communion with God and following Jesus. May God bless us in our studies.

From the Pastor

Greetings for Lent and Easter! Last month we discussed our personal penitence and reconciliation with the Lord God during the Lenten Season. This month let us focus on our Lenten Bible Study: 7 Last Words of Christ from the Cross, author Rev. Ralph F. Wilson. Rev. Wilson explains that Jesus did not “"do a lot of talking on the cross.” " Imagine being nailed to a cross after having been beaten, struggling with carrying a cross to Golgotha, one’s body in excruciating pain as the cross is lifted and placed in the ground. The agony of this unrelenting torture is beyond comprehension – so how could Jesus talk except for speaking very few words.

In this study we will glean "a window into Jesus’ soul, a way to understand what is ultimately important to the Son of God as He is dying on the cross." As we contemplate the seven last words, some of the phrases or “words,” are longer than others. We will look at them in the context in which they were spoken. We will be able to understand the incredible love of Jesus, His determination, His humanness, His divinity, His relationship with His Father and His trust. As Rev. Wilson closes his preface to the book, "My prayer is that these Seven Last Words of Christ from the Cross will bless you and draw you closer to the One who died for you and to the Father who sent His Son on this costly journey to redeem us."

Let us be aware of the sacrifice that Jesus made for each of us so that we may spend eternal life with our Heavenly Father: the ridicule, the torture, the horrific death leading to the glorious Resurrection on Easter morning! Please join us for this study and discussion of the last hours of Jesus’ life.

God’s Grace, Pastor Sandra
A Card of Thanks

Dear friends of New Hope,

We would like to thank you for the kind gestures of Christ's love that you have shown our family during the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons. We were overwhelmed with joy watching our children's excited and happy faces open eacn of their presents from the many secret Santas. We could never fully express our thankfulness for your generosity. That Christmas will be one our family never forgets. We pray that God would bless each of you greatly for how you have blessed our family. We plan to pay this forward to someone else in need in the coming 2015 Christmas season. We ask that you would please remember our family in your prayers as we move forward with the transplant surgery and recovery process.

"Give generously to them and do so without a grudging heart, then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to. "-- Deuteronomy 15:10

In Christ's love,
The Spence Family

(New Hope is assisting the Chance Spence family during a difficult time in their lives as Chance awaits a kidney transplant. As you are able, please donate non-perishable food/paper products on an ongoing basis. We have a basket in the foyer to collect your gracious donations).


We have a Flower Sign Up poster in the foyer for those who wish to place flowers in the sanctuary on a particular Sunday(s). Our sanctuary is more beautiful with the adornment of flowers. Please consider placing flowers in the sanctuary at some Sunday(s) during the year.

Church Calendar

•  Thursday, March 5. First Weekly Bible Study, Fellowship Hall, 6:45 p.m.
•  Sunday, March 29. Dedication of Handicap Ramp. New Hope UMC will dedicate the handicap ramp in memory of Elizabeth "Bette" Fair Bowman. The dedication will take place at the beginning of our Worship Service, outside in front of the ramp.
•  Sunday, March 29. Fellowship Dinner after Worship Service. If you plan to attend, please contact Pastor Sandra (829-3252) or email swhetselbowman@aol.com no later than Friday, March 20th (with the number of people who will be with us).
•  Thursday, April 2. Maundy Church service, 6:30 p.m. Please make plans to be in attendance at this reverent service, commemorating The Last Supper of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
•  Sunday, April 5, Easter Sunday. Please make plans to be in front of the church at 10 a.m., so that we may attach flowers to the cross in addition to the white cloth, symbolizing the Risen Christ.