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Newsletter November 1, 2015 New Beginnings at New Hope VOLUME 3, ISSUE 16
What Jesus Didn't Say

Christians are familiar with Jesus' second commandment: love your neighbor as yourself. At first glance, it is simple and straightforward. But loving another as one's self implies a degree of self love, not a teaching normally associated with our Lord. After all, He told us: "deny ourselves, take up the cross and follow me." Matthew 16:25. Is this a contradiction in scripture? Can we resolve it?

Consider the following excerpt from Ted Dekker's book, A.D. 33. This is a tale about strangers from another country who come in contact with Jesus in Judea and became followers. One of these is an Arabian named Saba. "'You have heard me say, love your neighbor as yourself. Do you know what this means, Saba? 'To love all as much as you love yourself,' he said. 'Did I say as much as yourself?' Yeshua said. 'What does this mean?' Saba hesitated. 'As if they were yourself.' 'Did I say as if they were yourself?' Slowly meaning dawned on Saba’s face. 'As yourself,' he said. 'As myself… As my true self, who is in you, and you, who are in me.'"

Jesus told Nicodemus that he must be born again to enter into the kingdom, i.e., a spiritual rebirth. "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation: the old has gone, the new has come!" 2 Corinthians 5:17. Saba finally gets it. Jesus is talking about the new self, the born again one. This new self has received the Holy Spirit and has entered into a new, eternal relationship with God. We are now one with God. Thus to love another as yourself is to see others as God sees them. Jesus is telling Saba (and us) that loving your neighbor in His way is not possible without first being born again in the Spirit.
Justine Halls

A woman of laughter, tremendous humor, wit, caring and a definite capacity to love, called home by God.  I first met Justine about seventeen years ago when we both served on the Advisory Board for DSS in Orangeburg.  We lost touch over the years, but became reacquainted three years ago during Marguerite Russell's illness.  Marguerite was a dear friend of Justine’s and we reconnected one afternoon at Marguerite's house. After Marguerite’s death, Justine accompanied Marguerite’s sons to church for support in their time of sorrow.  She began attending church and after a year moved her membership to New Hope. 

We were blessed to have Justine as a member, as she took her responsibilities to her church seriously.  We shared her grief when her sister passed away last winter; we were concerned after she was involved in the auto accident that caused her so much pain; we celebrated with her when she was recognized for 30 years of service at TRMC; we learned of her family and welcomed any and all of them when they visited; we enjoyed the twins’ playing their musical instruments during worship service; we learned from each other in Christian Fellowship, in Sunday School and in Bible Study.  Justine was a lady of great warmth; she had a flair for style and fashion; she could walk into Thursday evening Bible Study and everyone’s face brightened, as we all knew Justine would have something to tell us to cause us to laugh.  She was a charming lady who enjoyed life and living; she was a happy person, optimistic and smiling.  Her faith in God was apparent as she practiced her faith in all her walks of life.  Justine will be sorely missed at New Hope, as she was a loyal friend to everyone.  I shall personally grieve the loss of such a wonderful lady of God.  And, I feel sure, that Justine has St. Peter laughing at this very moment.  Until we meet again in heaven, Justine.  Sandra Whetsell

We Remember

A core belief of Christianity is that life continues in a spiritual realm after we give up our physical lives. Jesus conquered sin through his death on the cross and overcame death through his resurrection. In the next life, we will be united with Jesus, the patriarchs and saints. We will also be united with those who have departed this life and gone to the next. Methodists celebrate All Saints Day on the first Sunday in November. At New Hope, we remember those "saints" in our church who have gone before us, with special recognition of those who have departed this life in the last year.

The Christian life embraces the family unit as a guiding principle. The church is an extension of that family. It is comforting and reassuring to know that through the church we are united for all ages.

Repairs to Church

If you receive this newsletter then you have a special interest in New Hope UMC. At this time of year we all receive many year-end requests for donations. New Hope UMC is joining in the year-end requests for donations as the cost of repair of the stained glass windows has tripled from what we originally thought. Additionally, we have mold/mildew on the North side of the sanctuary which must be cleaned and painted (scaffolding required); there are the cracks in the walls in the sanctuary which need repair and to be painted; the carpet in the back of the sanctuary had water damage after the rain storms; the handicap ramp needs to be treated for water damage; there is additional painting of our “history/library” room in the fellowship hall.

Though a small congregation, we are dedicated to continuing the history and religious vitality of New Hope UMC. We pay 100% of our annual apportionment, have our own pastor, have updated our fellowship hall, added a new roof and landscaped around the sanctuary and fellowship hall. We can maintain but need help with major repairs on this most beautiful sanctuary. We ask you to consider adding New Hope to your end-of-year donations. The estimate for the repairs is $8,000 to $10,000. Thank you and may God bless you.

Sandra E. Whetsell, Pastor
Terry Boone, Chair, Church Council
Vance Boone, Chair, Finance
Art Whetstone, Treasurer
Glen Houser, Chair, Trustees
Church Calendar
•  Wednesday, November 25. Thanksgiving Eve Service. 6:30 p.m.
•  Sunday, November 29. Hanging of Greens, 1st Sunday in Advent, Hymn Singing Service. Fellowship Dinner following service.
•  November Birthdays. Henrietta Dukes (8th), Mark Fairey (9th), Art Whetstone (30th).
•  November Anniversary. Zach & Lee Farmer (23rd).