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Newsletter April 1, 2017 New Beginnings at New Hope VOLUME 4, ISSUE 6
Samaritan's Purse

Although they worshipped the same God, the Samaritans of Jesus' day were hated by the Jews. They descended from the tribes of the Northern Kingdom, the ten tribes captured by the Assyrians. Over hundreds of years, they intermarried with pagans and lost their Jewish identity at keast in eyes of the Jews of the Southern Kingdom. The Southern tribes of Judah and Benjamin had remained intact after the return from the Babylonian exile. So the famous parable of the Good Samaritan had a strong meaning for Jesus and the Jews.

It also has a strong meaning for Samaritan's Purse, founded by Bob Pierce in 1970 and now headed by Franklin Graham. Through over 40 years of earthquakes, hurricanes, wars, and famine, Franklin has led the ministry in following the Biblical example of the Good Samaritan all across the globe. They were first on the scene at Hurricane Sandy in 2012, with their 18 wheelers ready with relief and help long before FEMA had mobilized. Their missions and hospitals are worldwide, including a new emergency hospital in Mosul, Iraq. There is no place they won't go. They are involved in every aspect of aid, help and restoring broken lives, all in the name of Christian giving.

A new documentary, "Facing Darkness" is about the recovery from Ebola of Dr. Kent Brantly, a SP volunteer physician. in a recent interview at Samaritan’s Purse headquarters, Dr. Brantly said "I think the message of this movie is really important because it is so much bigger than Ebola. It’s a message that our country and the church needs to hear right now: to act out of love instead of reacting out of fear. It doesn’t mean you don’t feel afraid but you choose to act out of love anyway."

What about the church and healthcare in our own country? Just as Samaritan's Purse has no fear of going anywhere in the world, Franklin is not afraid to speak his mind about the state of healthcare in the U.S. He said recently "Why is the Federal government even in the health care business? If you want to know what government-run healthcare looks like, just visit a VA hospital or read what’s been in the news about them. In my opinion, the government needs to pull its fingers out of healthcare, except for possibly Medicare/Medicaid, and allow insurance companies to sell policies competitively across state lines, unhindered. In our country’s history, the church provided healthcare for the poor – Baptist, Methodists, Presbyterians and Catholics all had hospitals, and still do in many places. The church needs to be front and center. Why? Because Jesus Christ cared for the hurting. He made the blind to see, the lame to walk, the deaf to hear, raised the dead and preached the good news to the poor (from Matthew 11:4-5). As Christians, we should follow his example."

C. S. Lewis in "Mere Christianity" talks about Doing Good. He says the difference in Christians and others who want to do good is that others do good to please God. If they don’t believe in God, they do good to get approval from other good people. Christians do good because of the Christ-like being that lives inside us. God does not love us because we do good, we do good because God loves us. The roof of a greenhouse does not attract the sun because it is bright, it becomes bright because the sun shines on it.

For more, see samiritanspurse.org
From Pastor Sandra

Holy Week begins on Palm/Passion Sunday, April 9th, which is a day and a worship service of contrasts. Palm Sunday comes from the fact that it commemorates Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, when the crowd had palm branches (John 12:13). The designation Passion Sunday comes from the fact that the narrative of the Passion is read on this Sunday – it otherwise would not be read on a Sunday, since the next Sunday is Easter which is about the Resurrection of Jesus. (Matthew 26: 14-27:66 = Passion Text).

The Synoptic Gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke – make it clear that the scene of homage to Jesus was played out on his entry into the city and that those taking part were not the inhabitants of Jerusalem, but the crowds who accompanied Jesus and entered the Holy City with him. This point is made clear in Matthew’s account with these words: When he entered Jerusalem, all the city was stirred, saying, "Who is this?" And the crowds said, "This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth of Galilee" (Matthew 21: 10-11.) The crowd that paid homage to Jesus at the gateway to the city was not the same crowd that later demanded his crucifixion (National Catholic Register).

Passion stems from the Latin passionem, which means ”suffering, enduring.” The synoptic gospels explain about the passion of Jesus. They tell us that Jesus knew what was going to happen and that He was to suffer for man, Luke 9:22 reads, "For I, the Son of Man, must suffer many terrible things," he said."I will be rejected by the leaders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. I will be killed, but three days later I will be raised from the dead."

Maundy Thursday is an alternate name for Holy Thursday which is celebrated prior to Good Friday, this year on April 13th. This is the first of the three days of solemn remembrance of the events leading up to and immediately following the crucifixion of Jesus. The English word “Maundy” comes from the Latin mandatum, which means "commandment." As recorded in John’s gospel, on his last night before his betrayal and arrest, Jesus washed the feet of his disciples and then gave them a new commandment to love one another as he had loved them (John 13:34). While John’s gospel does not record the institution of the Lord’s Supper among the events of this night, the other gospels do.

Holy Week culminates with Easter morning as we celebrate the Risen Savior, Jesus Christ.

May God continue to bless you.
Pastor Sandra

Church Calendar

•  Sunday, April 9. Palm / Passion Sunday.
•  Sunday, April 9. Movie, God's Not Dead, 3 p.m., followed by supper.
•  Thursday, April 13. Maundy Thursday,, Holy Communion, 6:30 p.m..
•  Sunday, April 16. decorate cross, 10 a.m.; breakfast, 10:30 a.m., Easter Sunday service, 11:15 a.m..
•  Thursday, April 20. Bible Study resumes; begin study of Isaiah.
•  Sunday, April 30. Fellowhip Dinner following church service.
•  April Birthday. Goldie O'Cain (12th).