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Newsletter October 1, 2013New Beginnings at New HopeVOLUME 2, ISSUE 5
A September to Remember

September was a busy month at New Hope. Here's the rundown.

•  Ice cream social (9/1). Hosted by Glenn & Maralene. We all enjoyed old fashioned churned ice cream and cake.
•  Church Supper, (9/11) Spaghetti dinner. Hmmm, good. Hosted by Glenn & Maralene, 31 in attendance.
• First Bible Study (9/11). We looked at Chapter 1 of the Baby Boomer's Bible Study Guide, which covers the entire Bible.
• Charge Conference (9/15). This was our first conference as a church on our own. We heard inspiring words from Brother Frederick, Sandra and others. A lot of work went into getting all the forms ready for this but in the end it was worth the trouble, as we'll know what to expect next year and can prepare for it.
•  Mission Statement (9/22). We had 20 join Jim Arant to complete the mission statement. The mission of New Hope United Methodist church: A New Beginning of Love, Loyalty, Unity. Next we will develop our Vision Statement in which we will lay out how we will accomplish the Mission Statement.
• Second Bible Study (9/25). A look at the Holy Land map and the structure of the Old Testament. Did you know the Holy Land is 144 miles long and 70 miles wide?
From the Pastor

October brings fresh breezes, a crispness to the air, welcoming cooler, shorter days and longer nights. There is an air of expectancy around us beginning with the changing colors of the leaves, the leaves falling from the trees, the different “smells” of fall (apples, pumpkin pies, etc.): the anticipation that something good is right around the corner in our lives. On Sunday, October 6th, we celebrate with Christians all over the world in the service of communion. Just think about that fact: for twenty-four hours, people of every race, on every continent, of every Christian religious group will be celebrating the life, death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. This is a momentous occasion for all Christians to affirm our beliefs in the sacrament that is the cornerstone of our faith.

We continue in our Bible Study, The Baby Boomer’s Bible Study, on Wednesday, October 23rd, from 6-7 pm in the Fellowship Hall. We will cover chapters 3 & 4. You did not have to be present at the first two sessions to join us, all are welcome!

Wednesday, October 9th, at 6:30 pm, we will enjoy another delicious Wednesday Fellowship Supper, hosted by Vance & Terry Boone! Everyone is welcome; adults $5 per plate – eat in or take out. Our two newest members, Bill and Denise Metts bring new life into our church. We are happy to include them in our church family! Bill is already assisting with “grass cutting” at the parsonage and the church property, along with serving on the Vision Statement committee; Denise will assist Terry Boone this year as Communion Steward – learning the procedures – and hopefully will take over that responsibility next year! Denise & Bill have participated in all New Hope’s activities the last three months; it is a pleasure to have their smiling faces, ideas for the future, and willing hands at New Hope. WELCOME!

God Bless You! Pastor Sandra

Halloween
by Pastor Sandra  
Halloween is celebrated in many countries around the world. Historically, Halloween marked the end of the harvest season. This time in the liturgical year is dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows), martyrs and all faithful departed believers. Halloween is celebrated on the eve of All Saints Day, the day Christians honor the memory of their faithful departed family members and friends. Many protestants in America view Halloween as a fun event for children, even sponsoring activities for children to dress up and collect treats. These Christians believe that Halloween holds no threat to the spiritual lives of children. Some religious sects believe that Halloween is a practice of witches, demons, and evil spirits; and that may have been in the early 16th and 17th centuries. However, we in America view Halloween as a time for children young and old to have a fun evening! We at new Hope anticipate a fun Trunk R treat for the children in the community on All Hallows Eve, followed by hot dogs in the Fellowship Hall!

Church Calendar

The calendar has been moved to provide more space. It just got too big to fit on one page with all the other stuff. For those receiving the letter via regular mail, it is on the back of the newsletter. For those getting the letter via email, it is at the bottom of the letter.

The Seven Deadly Sins

Last Sunday, Sandra preached on the parable of the prodigal son, a popular topic in the pulpit. But this time, she focused on the other son, you know, the one who stayed home, worked hard and did what was right in the eyes of his Father. Or so he thought. When his brother returned home, he refused to welcome him, complained to his Father that he was showing partiality and even made up stuff about his younger brother. The older brother in this parable represents the Pharisees, who were righteous, pious and obeyed the Law. Jesus is talking to them. And to us.

In his book, "Sinning Like a Christian", William Willemon looks at the Seven Deadly Sins: Pride, Envy, Anger, Greed, Sloth, Gluttony and Lust. C'mon, deadly? These are nothing compared to murder, theft and war crimes. In fact, most of them don't have Biblical grounding. So then, why deadly? In the parable, Older Brother was guilty of pride, envy, anger and maybe greed. These are personal, individual sins that may seem trivial. Yet these sins can tear famililes, relationships and even churches apart. The Pharisees criticized Jesus for hanging out with sinners. But in God's eyes, the sins of the Older Brother are just as bad, possibly even deadly.

Syrian Christians

There are 2 million Christians in Syria, give or take, about 10% of the population. They have been under great pressure since the start of the civil war. The rebels view the Christians as aligned with Assad since they have existed mostly peacefully under his regime for years. Assad is responsible for many deaths but if he loses, the Christians will be under great stress and forced to leave the land they have lived in for thousands of years. Christians do not fare well under Islamic rule, which is likely what would happen in Syria if the rebels win. There were 1.3 million Christians in Iraq under Hussein. That number is down to about 300,000 as they have fled, many to Syria, now that it is in the hands of Islamists. There were 9 million Christians in Egypt before Arab Spring and the Muslim Brotherhood. They burned 60 churches in one day!

A hundred years ago, the Middle East consisted of 20% Christians. That number is now less than 5%. This is a story you never hear on the news, the story of the unintended consequences of overthrowing dictators and making way for Islamist governments. These are our Christian brothers who are being uprooted because of their faith, much like the Jews in the great diaspora. Please pray for them.
Church Calendar
October
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
    1 2 3 4 5
6
World Communion
7 8 9
Fellowship Supper
10 11 12
13 14 15 16
Fellowship Supper
17 18 19
20 21 22 23
Bible Study
24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31
Trunk or Treat
Treat
   
November
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
          1 2
3
All Saints Day
4 5 6
Bible Study
7 8 9
10 11 12 13
Fellowship Supper
14 15 16
17 18 19 20
Fellowship Supper
21 22 23
24
After Church Dinner
25 26 27
Thanks- giving Eve Service
28
Thanks- giving Day
29 30