November 16, 2012 Newsletter
New Beginnings at New Hope

A new time for New Hope.
My name is Art Whetstone. I am new to Rowesville so you may not know me. My wife and I moved here about a year ago. My grandparents, father, aunts and uncle were all members of New Hope, so I have a family history with the church.

An organizational meeting took place on November 6, when several members met with Jim Arant, a congregation specialist with the South Carolina Conference. His job is to work with churches that are in trouble. Iím sure you know by now that New Hope falls into that category, with its declining attendance and participation. Jim did not recommend any specific changes or projects for us. That is really up to us. He did, however, give us examples of things that had worked in other churches over the five years he has been doing this. He suggested we enter into a period of prayer for the church beginning immediately. Each of us is to pray daily for the church and then listen quietly for ten minutes for guidance from the Lord. He was quick to point out that this is somewhat of a learning process and that listening is not easy. We are to make notes each day and meet weekly for review and discussion. Jim will make a follow up visit with us on January 8.
Our next meeting is scheduled for Thursday,November 28, 2012, 6 p.m. at my house, 214 River Drive. If you would like to join us, please call me at 531-6074 or email me at Or just come. Iím across the street from the church, one door down.

The magic of Christmas

 is not in the presents but in His presence!
 Thrill of Rebirth
 Two thousand times of snow declare
 That on Christmas of the year
 There is a singing in the air:
 And all who listen for it hear
 A fairy chime, a seraph strain,
 Telling He is born again
 That all we love is born again.
  --James Stephens

How to Tell Itís Christmas
 When cold in the air makes stars very bright,
 When none of the kiddies can wait for the night,
 And you think of a wrong that you want to make right-
 Thatís Christmas! Yes, sir, thatís Christmas!

We had our first meeting. on November 15, with four people in attendance. Many ideas were discussed: special music, socials, Bible study, Sunday school, working with other churches and visitation to name a few. But none was more important than the belief that we must first seek the Lord through daily prayer and petition and through spending quiet time with Him. Be still, be patient and wait upon the Lord. We ask you to join with us in this time of prayer, that sweet hour that calls you from a world of care. Set aside some time each day and pray for New Hope. Then listen quietly for the Lord. Help us to become a praying, serving, caring church that follows Jesus. The lost sheep, New Hope, wants to be returned to the loving arms of the Shepherd.

Save your people and bless your inheritance.; be their shepherd and carry them forever. -- Psalms 28:9