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Newsletter August 3, 2016 New Beginnings at New Hope VOLUME 4, ISSUE 1
Praise Him, Praise Him

The Great Day of Singing with the Buncombe UMC Choir marked a milestone in our church history. A few short years ago, our church was struggling to stay alive. And now last Sunday we praised God in a memorable service with the Buncombe Choir leading the way. If you felt goosebumps or the need to reach for a Kleenex, do not see your doctor. That was the Holy Spirit moving in you. The twenty five Buncombe voices filled the newly restored sanctuary in a way that none of us can recall. Led by the talented Rosemary Hughes and the marvelous pianist Vance Jenkins, it was definitely a high note in our church experience at New Hope.

Our District Superintendent, Frederick Yebuah, gave us words of inspiration and talked about where this church came from and where it is now. Pastor Sandra recounted the unlikely sequence of events that brought Buncombe and New Hope together. We enjoyed fellowship with our new friends with coffee and donuts before the service and an endless buffet of comfort foods afterwards.

There are many people to thank for this day and the actions that made it possible. These include Brother Frederick, Pastor Sandra, Jim Doolittle of Buncombe and all our friends far and wide who contributed to the windows campaign. And certainly the church members who organized the event and worked to get the windows restored. And let's not forget our ancestors who gave us this beautiful sanctuary years ago.

We should offer heartfelt thanks to all with grace and sincerity. But perhaps the best way to thank Buncombe, our friends and forefathers is to be the church God wants us to be. He has spared us for a reason. We can be a light in a dark world, a beacon of hope for small churches everywhere, an example of how God reaches out his hand to rescue us from the storm.



Note: We will have a video of the service soon. Plese check the  website  periodically.


From the Pastor

"Abraham" is the title of the Bible Study which will being on Thursday, August 11th. Most of us know that Abraham is called "the father of many nations." What are these nations? We have to remember the area in which Abraham lived was in the Middle East, beginning in Ur, a part of Mesopotamia. Mesopotamia is from the Greek meaning "between two rivers;" those rivers being the Tigris and Euphrates. This was fertile ground and has also been referred to as the "fertile crescent." This area was an ancient region in the eastern Mediterranean, which is modern-day Iraq, but also parts of Iran, Syria, and Turkey. Mesopotamia is also referred to as "the cradle of civilization." Undocumented speculation has suggested that this was where The Garden of Eden was located, thus the name cradle of civilization.

The father of many nations was a Hebrew patriarch and an important figure in three living religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The place of Abraham in the religion of the Hebrews, according to OT Scholar Albrecht Alt, "maintains that the growth of the Hebrew religion and the relationship between Abraham and God could be construed under the general theme of the ‘God of the Fathers,’ as Abraham became that person who was both the advocate with God and the pioneer in faith." Abraham as the patriarch of Judaism is by extension, the father of Christianity, which depends on the traditions of Abraham.

Abraham in Islam is called Ibrahim. Muslims see him as the father of the Arab people through his son Ishmael (Isma’il in Arabic). Muslims maintain that Abraham further asked God to bless both the lines of his two sons, Ishmael and Isaac and to keep all of his descendants in the protection of God. They also believe that Muhammad is a descendant of Abraham through his son Ishmael. http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/islam/

Learning Biblical truths is possible through individual study but it is better when done with others. The story of Abraham will make for an educational, inspiring, and interesting Bible Study. Please join us on Thursday evenings beginning at 6 pm (1hour).

Blessings
Sandra

JLF Food Bank

Each month New Hope members distribute food and paper goods to selected people in our community. A committee is responsible for the procurement activity and members of the church can bring in items as well. Participation by members and friends is not at a high level because it is difficult to drop items off given the church hours and distance considerations. It is now possible to make donations through the website which can be directed to the Food Bank. To see the online donation function, click here. If you wish, you may also send checks to PO Box 54, Rowesville 29133 marked for that purpose.


Church Calendar

•  Thursday, August 11. Bible Study resumes, 6 p.m.
•  Sunday, August 14. Council Meetings, 3 p.m.
•  August Birthdays. Gilbert O'Cain (6th); Terry Boone (7th); Esther Higginbotham (7th); Sara Jo Steinbraker (19th); Linda Heape (22nd); Sidney Bowman (23rd); Bailey Smoak (28th)