|Newsletter April 1, 2014
Beginnings at New Hope
||VOLUME 2, ISSUE 11
The history of America and Europe are forever
joined. Most of us trace our ancestry to Europe. We speak a European
language. We have fought wars on European soil. The influence also
includes Christianity, our main religion.
Europe and Christendom are also forever joined. The conversion of
Constantine, the Canonization soon thereafter, the Reformation,
Michelangelo, Bach, the
great cathedrals. All are of our story.
Only 4 of the 27 books in the New Testament are devoted to the life and
teachings of our Saviour. Paul
takes up most of the rest of it. He was the dominant figure in spreading
the word of Christ. Had it not
been for him, Europe might not have become Christian and we Americans
have heard the Good News we celebrate during this Lenten season..
Lenten Journey began with Ash Wednesday on March 5th; lent, a time in
which we may revive our faith. We continue to journal in our Journey to
the Cross, 40 Days of Discovery book, with the appropriate Bible texts
as a guide during this most holy season in the Christian year.
The discipline of Lent, through repentance, fellowship,
prayer, and fasting are signs that we are to be imitators of Jesus in
our reflections of His light in our lives. Lent is not just giving up
something, but rather taking upon ourselves the intention and the
receptivity to God’s grace through good works and/or almsgiving.
We begin Holy Week on Palm Sunday. The name is a
combination of two ideas that are in conflict with each other: a
triumphal entry of palm-bearing procession into Jerusalem shouting “Hosanna,” and the sober realization
that Jesus faces the agony and pain of torture and death on the cross.
On Palm Sunday we will enter the sanctuary in a procession, with palm
branches, which will be laid at the front of the sanctuary.
Palm Sunday is sometimes called “the Sunday of Passion or
Passion Sunday.” Passion is sometimes misunderstood to mean “strong
emotion,” but in this case, the term comes from the Greek word pascho,
which means “to suffer,” and the Latin word, passio, which refers to
our Lord’s suffering from the time of the Last Supper until His death
on the cross.
On Thursday, April 17th we will have the Maundy Thursday
communion, as this was Jesus' Last Supper. “Maundy” comes from the
Latin word mandatum, meaning “command.” As Jesus shared the Passover
meal with His disciples on the evening before His crucifixion, He gave
them a new command: “Love one another; as I have loved you” (John
13:34). Following communion, the Lord’s Table, the pulpit, and decorations in the sanctuary will be stripped/removed. This act
demonstrates the desolation and abandonment of the long night that
Jesus spent in Gethsemane and the actions which followed.
Easter Sunday, April 20th, will be our celebration of the
Resurrection of the Risen Lord, during morning Worship Service. Items removed on Maundy Thursday will be ceremonially
replaced as Worship Service begins.
I encourage you to attend any
and all of our Lenten
Services and our Easter Morning Worship Service. I challenge each of
you to bring a friend to experience the love of God and the love of the
New Hope Church Family.
May God grant you Grace and Peace,
honor of being the first convert in Europe goes to a
woman named Lydia. Paul's first foray into Europe was to Phillipi in
Macedonia. He was
accompanied by Luke, Silas and Timothy. Lydia was from Thyatira where
there were some Jews living and she likely had become a God-fearer there. She was a
prosperous merchant of coveted purple dye and head of a large
household. Upon hearing Paul's message, she became the first
baptized convert. She insisted that her slaves and dependents
also be baptized. She opened her house to Paul and his companions
they held church services during the stay in Phillipi.
"Devote yourselves to prayer,
being watchful and thankful."
- Collosians 4.2
examine what Paul is saying here. He is asking the Collosians
to use prayer in their daily lives as a connection to Christ.
In the next
verses, he asks them specfically to pray for him and his ministry. Be thankful
always give thanks to God for everything. Be watchful.
does not elaborate. It could mean to be wary
evil or temptation. Or it could mean to be watchful
serve the Lord.
Paul encouraged constant devotion to prayer.
Jesus often went away to pray, to a mountaintop, a garden or other
peaceful place. Sometimes he took disciples with him, though often he
went alone. He taught us how to pray saying...
I heard about a church in Orangeburg which conducted a "Shut
Members arrived at 10 p.m. on Friday night with only a pillow
a blanket. They prayed and fasted until Sunday morning. How's
that for devotion to
Sandra preached Sunday on imitating God in our daily lives. Prayer
could be a big part of that.
I Stand Corrected
in the Bible Quiz, Abraham and Sarah were depicted as the parents of
Jacob and Esau. They were, of course, the parents of Isaac. He and Rebecca were the parents of twins Jacob and Esau. The 12 tribes of Israel are named (for the most part) after the 12 sons of Jacob. Jacob was given the name Israel by God before the birth of Benjamin.
Study, Wednesday April 2, 1-2 p.m.
Music from Cody Smith, Sunday, April 6, 11:15 a.m.
Study, Wednesday April 9, 1-2 p.m.
Dinner, Sunday, April 13, following church service.
Thursday, Thursday, April 17, 6:30 p.m.
Thursday, Saturday, April 19, 3 - 4 p.m., at the church
Sunday, April 20, 11:15 a.m.
Study, Wednesday April 30, 1-2 p.m.