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Newsletter June 2, 2015 New Beginnings at New Hope VOLUME 3, ISSUE 11
Make a Joyful Noise

On May 31, we used the occasion of the 5th Sunday to celebrate our faith through hymn singing and scripture reading. This was another first for New Hope and judging from the reviews, it wonít be a last. This singing was led by Mardelle Nasshan, who kept us moving in tempo and mostly in tune. The hymns were preselected by the congregation and included favorites such as Amazing Grace, Were You There, In The Garden, The Old Rugged Cross and a rousing rendition of Do Lord Oh Do Remember Me. We were also treated to beautiful solos by our own Sara Jo Steinbraker on two wonderful songs, How Long Has It Been and Somebody Bigger Than You and I. Added inspiration was provided by scripture readings by Pastor Sandra, also selected by the congregation. Mardelle provided commentary on the hymns and how the words give meaning to us in our Christian lives.

Hymn singing was very important to John Wesley in his ministry. Brother Charles wrote over 6,000 hymns. Ever the stickler for details, John in 1761 wrote Instructions for Singing. Number 4 is "Sing lustily and with a good courage. Beware of singing as if you were half dead, or half asleep; but lift up your voice with strength." I believe New Hope passed his test last Sunday.

After singing lustily, we adjourned to the Fellowship Hall for a delicious meal. This was a collaborative effort between Tom Jennings (fried chicken) and the ladies of the church (other dishes). Although crowd estimates ranged from 30 to 35, and we had worked up an appetite with our singing, we were no match for the abundance of food. Many left with fortifications for the coming week.


From the Pastor

Sunday, May 31st, marked another worship service at New Hope that varied from the traditional service with which we are most familiar. Quoting from The New Handbook of the Christian Year, "Christian worship is a marriage of two opposites: stability and variety. Both are necessary, even though they operate in opposite ways." We need stability/tradition in worship so that people can worship God in the same way over the course of time. We are bound by tradition and rituals. We feel comfortable with what we know, what we expect, with few, if any surprises during our time of worship in church. The faith of the church is stable so the repetition of the Lordís Prayer, the singing of certain familiar hymns, the acknowledging of our faith, all provide the means to gain power in our Christian beliefs by responding during worship.

Yet variety is necessary to convey the fullness of the gospel. Christian worship is formed by the delicate balance between the unchanging and change. Without stability/tradition worship can become confused and unorganized. Without variety worship can become one-sided and repetitive. Each worship occasion should be a unique time. Without variety, worship would be rigid and monotonous. However, while variety is necessary for relevance, variety in worship is worthless without being genuine.

We come to worship with certain expectations and assumptions: the acceptance of certain conventions, the use of a familiar structure of the worship service, and those elements of service which are familiar. There are certain rules and regulations with most social activities, whether it be a baseball game, a dinner party, or worship service. We attend each knowing what to expect.

We have embraced both stability/tradition in our worship services at New Hope and have come to expect certain services that vary from those traditional ones: Maundy Thursday/Tenebrae; Ash Wednesday; Hanging of the Greens; Thanksgiving Eve; Christmas Eve/Candle Lighting; All Saints Day; and we can now add our 5th Sunday Singing Service, to name a few.

The celebration of the Lordís Day has from the beginning been a way in which the church has witnessed to its faith. Let us at New Hope continue to rejoice in the Lordís Day with tradition and variety in our praise and worship of the Lord.

Godís Blessing to You,
Pastor Sandra

Bible Study Version 3.0

This week we begin a new study, Jesus Walk Ė Beginning the Journey. This is another one from Ralph Wilson. We just completed his Resurrection and Easter Faith and prior to that, The Last Words of Jesus. His format works well to generate discussion and exchange of ideas. We have settled into a nice rhythm and look forward to getting together with each other every week. We are definitely growing in our knowledge of the Bible and hopefully in our faith. We are encouraged by the attendance, averaging around ten each week. We anticipate absences during the summer months, but we decided to press on to continue our momentum. This would be a great time to join in. The AC is working and the lighting is good, thanks to Newton. Hope to see you there. Thursday nights, 6:30 Ė 7:30 p.m.
Comments from a course leader:

"I am currently deployed. I am using your JesusWalk: Beginning the Journey materials for a New Believers Class I am leading at our base chapel. Last night I felt the Spirit leading me to write you a quick 'thank you' for producing such a well-conceived / designed course. As proctor for the class, I can assure you that your course has been a true blessing to this ministry. Thank you for your service and commitment to Christ!" -- Lt. Colonel, Gulf region


Church Calendar

•  Sunday, June 21: Father's Day
•  June Anniversaries: Art & Sue Whetstone (27th), Bill & Denise Metts (27th)
•  June Birthday; Melissa Camp (29th)