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Newsletter June 2, 2014New Beginnings at New HopeVOLUME 2, ISSUE 13
Consistent Christians

"Most people overestimate what they can do in a day and underestimate what they can do in a lifetime." - John C. Maxwell, Leadership Trainer. Maxwell is talking about consistency, you know, staying the course, running the race, keeping your eye on the target, etc., etc. Paul adds a component of suffering. Suffering builds perseverance, perseverance, character and from character we get hope. Over the last year at New Hope, we got ourselves off life support and started breathing again. We suffered some but we persevered. We stayed the course by looking after our facilities, both church and the fellowship hall. We took ownership of the parsonage and made it ready for sale. And we took a big step when we became a single-charge church for the first time in 40 years. We are surely blessed with the leadership and guidance of Pastor Sandra and would appear to be headed in the right direction.

In the past year we welcomed a few new members and welcomed back several old ones. We have regular visitors, including some who have taken an active role in church affairs. But truth be told, we need more members. Membership is always a church's biggest challenge. In the coming weeks and months, Pastor Sandra will lead us in exploring ways to increase our membership. It will take time, planning and maybe a new enthusiam. We could think some about our individual roles in this effort. We don't have to be model Christians to reach out to someone. But being consistent ones might help. For each of us, that should include attendance at services and participation in activities. It can start in the home with daily devotionals, Bible reading, prayer and reaching out to help a neighbor or friend. Maxwell has another suggestion that might be appropriate for us. "Forget motivation. Just do it. .. After you start doing the thing, that's when motivation comes."

From the Pastor

The South Carolina Conference School of Pastoral Ministry has offered New Hope UMC opportunities for spiritual growth, in addition to your pastor’s training. Rev. Boyd Chewning and Mr. Newton Wannamaker delivered messages during worship on three different Sundays. Rev. Chewning reminded us of the power of influence and Mr. Wannamaker’s message on anger and forgiveness will help guide us in our daily encounters with others. John E. Fairey, Chair, Trustees, SPRC, and Church Council led the morning worship service June 1 – Ascension Sunday.

The curriculum over the three-week period for the School of Pastoral Ministry included topics such as: The Methodist Way; Fundamentals & Principles of Worship; Church Administration; Pensions and other benefits for full-time pastors; Sexual Ethics; Pastoral Skills for Moral Leadership & Ethical Behavior; General Rules of the UMC; Outreach/Evangelism; Education & Training requirements for pastors, to name a few. Some of the sessions were informative, some interesting, and some inter-active group discussions. There were twenty-one Local Pastors in our training; a few have been pastors for a year; however, the majority will have new appointments as of Annual Conference, beginning ministry June 29th. All who attended are certified and licensed as Local Pastors in the SC Conference. The SC UMC has 27 pastors who will retire at the end of June, 2014.

The theme for the evangelism session was “The Church has one mission, to win souls for the Kingdom of God.” Statistics presented reveal why people attend church:

      3%   Walk-Ins
      3%   Special Needs
      6%   Like the preacher
      1%   Visitors
      5%   Bible Study; Sunday School; Classes
      .5%   Gospel (to hear and learn The Word)
      3%   Programs church offers
      79%   A friend or relative personally invited them

The message was: all church members are involved in evangelism at any time and at any church. There were several suggestions as to how members can be enjoined in the effort of “winning souls for Christ.” Next month I will write about some of the more manageable scenarios for evangelism/outreach which could be applicable to New Hope UMC.

Grace &Peace,
Pastor Sandra

Pentecost Sunday

Next Sunday is a special one for New Hope. We have had many "special" Sundays over the last year as we have become a church that preaches from the Bible and respects Christian traditions. On Pentecost Sunday, we will honor the appointment of Sandra Whetsell to another year as our pastor, leader and friend. She is an energetic and tireless servant of the Lord and has graciously consented to put up with us for another year. We will be honored by the presence in the pulpit of Brother Frederick Yebuah, our District Superintendent. Brother Frederick was the shepherd who brought this lost sheep aka New Hope back into the flock. Praise the Lord.

Pentecost, the fiftieth day, is the Greek name for Feast of Weeks, celebrating the giving of the Law in ancient Israel. Christians celebrate it as the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles and other followers as described in Acts 2. It is sometimes referred to as the "birthday of the Church". It is celebrated 50 days after Easter Sunday, 10 days after Ascenscion Thursday.

Thus the Season of Easter which began on Ash Wednesday is completed with Pentecost Sunday. The preparation for Jesus crucifixion, the resurrection and the giving of the Holy Spirit are important parts of the Christian calendar. We are thankful for the opportunity to have fully participated in these essential and meaninful tenets of our faith.

June Calendar

•  Pentecost Sunday, June 8. Reverend Frederick Yebuah will preach.
•  Reappointment of Pastor Sandra, Sunday, June 8.
•  Celebration Dinner, Sunday, June 8, at Fellowhip Hall, following Morning Worship Service
•  New Conference Year Begins, First service, Sunday, June 29, 11:15 a.m..