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Newsletter August 1, 2013New Beginnings at New HopeVOLUME 2, ISSUE 2
Holy Communion

When Jesus said, "This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins" (Matthew 26:28), he changed everything. He transformed the Passover Seder, giving to all people instead the Eucharist: Holy Communion. The Israelites had become a covenant people by the blood of animals, the Last Supper was the establishment of the new covenant by the blood of Jesus, not only with the tribes of Israel, but with all humanity. Where the Seder was once the story of God’s liberation of the Israelite slaves, it was from this time forward the story of God’s liberation of all humankind from slavery to sin and death. In that moment, God gave the entire human race new life and a new beginning and made those who choose to follow Jesus into his people.

    -- from 24 Hours That Changed the World - by Adam Hamilton

We are in the midst of a New Beginning at New Hope. Join us and pastors Sandra Whetsell and Boyd Chewning on August 4 for Holy Communion. We celebrate a new life in Jesus and a new beginning for New Hope.
From the Pastor

Greetings! New Hope is experiencing New Life for New Beginnings! Our last Sunday in June we had 31 in attendance and our attendance has been steady: 18, 20, 12 and this is up from 3 in attendance! We have an astonishingly beautiful sanctuary, welcoming friends, our first communion together on August 4th, participating in the Town Yard Sale on August 3rd, work is being done on the Fellowship Hall, there are some discussions about cushions for the pews in the sanctuary and we will have a planning meeting in August to schedule our Fall & Winter activities at the church, just to mention a few activities that express the vibrancy of excitement at New Hope. We do need the help of all our members and friends of New Hope to continue this positive rebirth. You are welcome and encouraged to experience the goodness that is apparent at New Hope.

At our planning meeting we will brainstorm ideas and then prioritize what we can do first. Some of the ideas that have been expressed – not in any order here – are Sunday School, Bible Study, Wednesday Family Suppers, participation in the Rowesville Christmas Parade, and many others. We need your input, advice and guidance as we launch activities for the Fall at New Hope, not to mention your active participation. REMEMBER: JUST SAY YES!

This past year New Hope has experienced sorrow with the passing of John Fairey (Nancy), Nell Busch, Steve Busch (Patsy), Aaron Steinbraker (Sara Jo), on July 22nd, the passing of Marguerite Russell, and the deaths of Glenn Simpson’s brother and brother-in-law (not members, but their loss is felt). However, in this time of grief and mourning, we will celebrate the lives of these dearly departed on All Saint’s Day, the first Sunday in November with a special service.

We may be small in membership, but we are strong in discipleship! The Lord is not looking for members, He is looking for the fruit of the spirit as evidenced in good works by his disciples!
Blessings, Sandra Whetsell

Black and White

In Cormac McCarthy's play, The Sunset Limited, there are only two characters: Black, a Christian tenement dweller and White, an atheist professor. Black has rescued White from a suicide attempt and brought him to his apartment where a theological discussion takes place. Black to White: "Suppose I could tell you that if you could bring yourself to unlatch your hands from around your brother’s throat, you could have life everlasting."

Trayvon Martin is dead and George Zimmerman is hiding. One side maintains an innocent teenager was hunted down and killed. They are calling for justice. The other side says that justice was served by the system and that this is a call for vengeance. This is a black and white issue; there is no gray. Meanwhile thousands of young people are at risk in this country with senseless violence that goes unchecked. How do we stop it? Gun control, changing laws, more police protection? A dialogue or conversation doesn't seem likely when both sides are dug in. Screaming "you are wrong" is not a conversation.

Remember the bumper sticker, WWJD, What Would Jesus Do? Let's first ask what did Jesus do? He suffered a violent death at the hands of the Romans, spurred on by the Sandhedrin, the most pious, righteous and religious of all Jewish groups. Their power was threatened by him and what's more they wanted a messiah who would take up the sword against the Romans. The crowds preferred a messiah who preached violence to one who preached love. A "messiah" did come in AD 70, and Jerusalem was destroyed. Ultimately, the Roman Empire was conquered not by the sword, but by the Cross. Jesus' apostles went into all the world and preached the gospel. Love your neighbor, turn the other cheek, we are all God's children. People traded in their pagan gods for this remarkable God who would die for us. What would Jesus do? He would tell us to "unlatch our hands from around our brother's throat" and remind us that the first commandment is to love God with all your heart and the second is to love your neighbor as yourself. The answer to violence in this country? Maybe it's time we gave Jesus a shot at it.

Planning Meeting

Please mark your calendars for Sunday, August 11, 2013 at 4 p.m. We will have a Planning Meeting and Rev. Jim Arant will be with us to guide us as we outline activities for the Fall and Winter. We will also have a light supper – just to entice participation! Everyone is strongly encouraged to attend to give your opinions and guidance as we go forth with Just Say Yes!, as we give New Life to New Hope.

Marguerite Desair Russell

Heartfelt Christian Sympathy is extended to the family of Marguerite Desair Russell, who passed away on Tuesday, July 22, 2013. A Service of Death and Resurrection was held at New Hope UMC on Friday, July 26, 2013.

Church Calendar

•  Communion, Sunday, August 4, 2013, 11:15 a.m.
•  Sunday Service, Aldersgate Offering Sunday, August 11, 11:15 a.m.,
•  Planning Meeting Sunday, August 11, 4 p.m., at the church