At our recent Planning Meeting, Jim Arant led a session on developing a Mission Statement for the church. We will conclude the process at a second meeting in a few weeks. Here are some thoughts on that subject.
The first step is to continue the momentum that we are experiencing with the New Beginning. Although we shouldn’t dwell on it, we need to remember where we came from. We are blessed with returning members, several new families and support from friends. We need to celebrate God’s goodness and grace in making this happen for us.
| || Nehemiah said "Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve. For the joy of the Lord is your strength." -- Nehemiah 8:10|
Growing. This is not so much about increasing our numbers as growing in understanding how God wants His church to function. Jim’s Mission Statement exercise is a great place to begin this quest. We are essentially a new church and we should think in terms of a new mission. Jesus said, "No one puts new wine into old wineskins." (Luke 5:37). We can begin by having something for everyone in the way of participation. There are no small jobs in a church. Everyone needs to be involved in some way. Every task should be honored as a service to God. With this in mind, we need to understand the importance of administrative competence. It’s time to dot the i’s and cross the t’s.
Becoming. Once our existence is assured and we have people involved, then we will start to become the church God wants us to be. The Mission Statement doesn’t have to name specific services, but it must get to the root of defining us as a church. A good start might be to determine how we can serve God’s people in the community. But first, we must see ourselves as a church family. One that worships together, suffers together, rejoices together and prays
together. We serve each other, accept each other, honor each other and forgive each other. This may sound easy, but given our recent history, it is not. Once we have done this, we can set about getting the church into God's world instead of the world into God's church. We can become the neighborhood church that people will see as uplifting for the community and maybe even a good place to call their church home.
From the Pastor
September is an active month for New Hope! We ended August on a high note with a service enhanced by special music from Jeff Whetstone, his harmonica and his dad on piano. This is the first time for special music since the New Beginning and we look forward to many more.
We have birthdays and anniversaries to celebrate this month, along with fellowship activities: on the 1st we will all enjoy homemade ice cream and birthday cake!; on the 11th we will begin Bible Study (30 minutes) at 6 pm, followed by our 2nd Wednesday of the month Fellowship Supper. Our Bible Study will be based on the book, The Baby Boomer’s Bible Study, an introductory study of The Bible. From this study we can determine where we want to proceed with our study of the Word of God.
Charge Conference is Sunday, September 15th at 4 pm in the sanctuary, with District Superintendent, Rev. Frederick Yebuah.
Charge Conference has provided an opportunity to unite during what could have been a chaotic time. The lack of information which has caused some tension and frustration has served to make us come together as a church family. We are still in the process of compiling information required by the SC United Methodist Church Conference. It takes every one of us to give New Life for New Beginnings for New Hope. Charge Conference forms were just an obstacle that we overcame. We just said YES!
We also will have a follow-up meeting, hopefully sometime in September, with Rev. Jim Arant to guide us through completing a new Mission Statement.
Other actions being considered include honoring Rowesville’s Public Servants: Police Department, Fire Department, etc., or another group. We might want to consider inviting a group, whom we would like to honor, to our Covered Dish Thanksgiving Dinner on Sun., Nov. 24th.
We need to decide when we want to begin our Weekly Prayer Time, as most everyone indicated an interest.
This is an exciting time in the revival of New Hope. I am honored to be a part of the church family!
Blessings, Sandra Whetsell