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Newsletter May 29, 2013New Beginnings at New HopeVOLUME 1, ISSUE 16
New Pastor

New Hope UMC welcomes our new pastor, Sandra Whetsell, beginning Thursday, June 27th. Pastor Sandra or Sandra hails from Houston, Texas; however she has lived outside Bowman in the Ebenezer Community for the past 18 years; was married to George “Bud” Whetsell, Jr, who died 5 years ago. Pastor Sandra retired from the education community after 30 years in public school education (mentally challenged students), taught college graduate courses, and was in community college administration for 20 years. She is pursuing ordination in the South Carolina Conference, having completed the Master of Arts in Christian Studies with emphasis in Pastoral Ministry. Sandra has her Bachelor’s, Masters and Doctorate degrees in education from the University of Houston.

Pastor Sandra is a member of St. Paul’s UMC; has taught Middle School Sunday School, leader of the day circle of UMW, Coordinator for Grief Ministry, office volunteer, VBS volunteer, and Communications Coordinator for the O’burg District of UMW, to name a few of her church related commitments. New Hope will be the first pastoral appointment for Sandra.

Sandra comes to New Hope with faith that we will have New Beginnings together, as we grow in our Spiritual Disciplines. She stated in our initial SPRC meeting in May that she was excited and joyful for the opportunity to work with us. Sandra understands the need to heal, to come together in love and friendship, worshipping the Lord Jesus Christ together, not only on Sunday mornings, but also through fellowship with each other as we begin a new journey for New Hope.

Welcome Pastor Sandra, or just Sandra!

Facilities Update

•  RoofIt took a while, but the roof is finished. The cost for the church building after insurance was $1,500. The cost for the fellowship hall (not covered by insurance) was $4,000.
•  Fellowship Hall. Several improvements are nearing completion: (1) cabinets to go over the sink, (2) hot water heater replacement, (3) shutters and (4) painting. The cabinets and shutters have been purchased and will be hung when the painting is finished. The cabinets have been stained and are ready to hang. The existing cabinets were restained to match the new ones. Doors to the church will be repainted to match the dark brown color of the shutters.

•  Landscaping. Landscaping around the church is complete. The shrubs for the Fellowship Hall will be planted after the painting is finished. Glenn has installed a spigot for watering the plants.

•  Parsonage. The tenant has moved out and we can move on. We have some unfinished business with the other churches. After the extent of repairs and renovations has been determined, the balance in the parsonage fund will be distributed to the three churches. As reported in an earlier newsletter, the proceeds must be set aside as a building fund. In our case, we can reimburse the general fund for the capital improvements made in the last year. This action will conclude our business with the other churches, but not with the parsonage. The lawyers and the conference have spoken. The house belongs to us. It will be up to us to determine how best it can serve the needs and goals of New Hope.

Our Journey

It has been an interesting year, to say the least. We now have a new shepherd who will lead us, teach us and inspire us to seek God's will. Though her flock is small, they have at least exhibited perserverance. Paul says suffering produces perserverance, perserverance, character and character, hope. (Romans 5:3-4). So it is with New Hope.

We have the facilities, the resources and now the leadership. So it is a time to pause and reflect on God's goodness. Let us thank those whom God sent to help us. We had the amazing support of the District Superintendent. Brother Frederick introduced us to Jim Arant, who specializes in helping distressed churches. Jim has been with us since November, 2012, and will continue. Let us also thank those who came before us. They gave us some nice facilities and the money to make improvements.

God has willed that his church will stand. God cannot fail, his church will not fail. "And I say also unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." Matthew 16:18. Now it is up to us, God's people.
The Lord is My Shepherd

A Sunday School teacher decided to have her young class memorize one of the most quoted passages in the Bible - Psalm 23. She gave the youngsters a month to learn the chapter. Little Johnny was excited about the task - but he just couldn't remember the Psalm. After much practice, he could barely get past the first line. On the day that the kids were scheduled to recite Psalm 23 in front of the congregation, Little Johnny was so nervous. When it was his turn, he stepped up to the microphone and said proudly, "The Lord is my Shepherd, and that's all I need to know."

Church Calendar

•  Parsonage Inspection, date to be determined, at the parsonage.
•  Jim Arant Follow Up: Thursday, June 18, 2013, 2 p.m., at the church
•  Welcome New Pastor Sandra Whetsell, Sunday, June 30, 2013, 11:15 a.m.