Last month we celebrated the final days of Jesus' time on earth: the trial, death and resurrection. It was on the cross that Jesus died to save us from our sins. The cross represents this for us and is the most popular symbol for Christians.
Jesus' death by crucifixion was the cruelest form of torture imaginable. Our sins were forgiven by his death, but the torture of Christians did not end with it. Except for John, all of the disciples and many apostles met with violent death including crucifixion (Peter, Andrew), stabbing (Matthew, Thomas, Simon), stoning (Phillip), beheading (James, Paul, Matthias), dragging (Mark) and hanging (Luke). Yet none of these men who would later give their lives for Jesus were with him at his crucifixion.
"But God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen. He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen - by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead." - Acts 10:40-41, words of Peter. So these men who had been with Jesus throughout his ministry only to abandon him at the cross needed the power of the resurrection to fully commit their lives to him. To live for Jesus takes both Cross and Resurrection. He is indeed risen.
From the Pastor
Easter comes in the Spring of the year so that we may celebrate new life in our Risen Lord, and new life in nature.
||"Our Lord has written the promise of the Resurrection,
not in books alone, but in every leaf in springtime." - Martin Luther
In the Christian calendar, the 40 day period after Easter is that time when Jesus was on earth after His resurrection, guiding and training His disciples for that time when he would ascend into heaven. The Holy Spirit was integral at this time, as Jesus would leave the Holy Spirit with not only His disciples, but for all of us.
June 1 will be the celebration of Ascension Sunday. Ascension Day is 40 days after Jesus’ crucifixion which puts it on Thursday, May 29, 2014, the day Jesus ascended into Heaven. The following Sunday, June 8th, is the celebration of Pentecost; this is the celebration of the Holy Spirit coming to the apostles, empowering them to witness for Jesus Christ. This is the 7th Sunday after Easter.
The month of May presents opportunities for Christians to expand personal Christian horizons with the observances of the National Day of Prayer, which was celebrated on May1st; Christian Family Week, May 5 – 11; Mother’s Day, May 11; Memorial Day, May 26, and Ascension of the Lord, May 29.
- United Methodist Churches in South Carolina will devote Sunday, May 11 as a Special Offering for Epworth Children’s Home.
- SC Annual Conference for The UMC will be held in Florence, SC beginning on Sunday, June 1 through Wednesday, June 4.
A special thanks to Rev. Boyd Chewning who will be available for pastoral care while I am “traveling in training.” Rev. Chewning will give the message on Sunday, May 18th; Newton Wannamaker will give the message on Sunday, May 25th, and Rev. Chewning will lead the service and deliver the message on Sunday, June 1. Also, please note that our District Superintendent, Rev. Frederick Yebuah, will deliver the Pentecost Sunday message on June 8th.
Grace & Peace to you,
Mission Project Opportunities
On Saturday, May 3rd, I had the opportunity to deliver the devotion and prayer for Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build Week with beginning construction of the 55th Habitat home in Orangeburg. New Hope could expand our Mission Projects to include working with Habitat in the following two ways, in my opinion:
||There are 3-4 houses built by Habitat in Orangeburg each year. The volunteers need water as they work. Suggestion: New Hope UMC donate 35 cases of water, at approximately $3/case…Total $105. That’s not much money for the amount of good will that would ensue with this donation as New Hope UMC would be recognized for providing 35 cases of water. (Note: it is my understanding that approximately 7-8 cases are consumed each Sat. when work is being done; I believe it takes 4 weeks to build a house, so we could provide enough water for one complete house construction for the volunteers – we might want to expand on this mission project at a later time). |
||As each home is completed, the "new owner" is presented with a Bible. New Hope could present these Bibles (about 4 per year), with the name of New Hope UMC, along with Habitat for Humanity on the inside of the Bible. Another mission project which will promote good will.
Let’s consider meaningful Mission Projects this coming year with New Hope UMC as "the sponsor." Please let me know your thoughts: you can call, text, email, or even snailmail to me with your opinions!
Blessings, Pastor Sandra