A Happy Tnanksgiving
They said "God is shining down on us and you" when Denise delivered the Thanksgiving meal to this couple in Rowesville. Jesus himself said: "It is more blessed to give than to receive." Acts 20:35
This was the first true mission activity for our community since the New Beginning. You don't have to look far to find ways to serve God's children. Denise Metts and her Community Outreach team took this on and saw it to completion. Let's thank them by using this as a beginning point for making a difference in our commmunity.
From the Pastor
We began the Christian New Year on December 1st with the Hanging of the Gr
eens Service and Lighting the First Advent Candle. It was a joyous service in which everyone who was present participated. Advent means “coming” as we prepare ourselves for the coming of our Messiah. Advent season is a time for reflection and preparation, but its mood is joyful. Advent proclaims the revelation of God’s love as expressed in Jesus’ birth in a humble stable. Advent ends at sundown on December 24th.
Each of the four Sundays of Advent a candle will be lit in preparation for the Coming of the Christ Child. The candles are arranged in a circle to remind us of the continuous power of God, which knows no beginning nor ending. There is symbolism in the colors of the candles. The purple candles symbolize the coming of Christ from the royal line of David. He is coming as the King of Kings as well as the Prince of Peace.
The first Sunday’s purple candle is the Prophecy Candle or Candle of Hope. We can have hope because God is faithful and will keep the promises made to us. Our hope comes from God. The second Sunday’s purple candle is The Bethlehem Candle or The Candle of Preparation. God kept his promise of a Savior who would be born in Bethlehem. Preparation means to “get ready.” Help us to be ready to welcome You, O God. The third Sunday’s pink candle represents The Shepherd Candle or the Candle of Joy. The angels sang a message of Joy. The fourth Sunday’s candle purple candle is The Angel Candle or the Candle of Love. The angels announced the good news of a Savior. God sent his only Son to save us, because He loves us. The fifth candle is a white candle which is the Christ Candle. This candle will be lit on Christmas Eve, reminding us that Jesus is the spotless Lamb of God, sent to wash away our sins. His birth was for His death, and His death for our birth! Have a Blessed Christmas Season. Pastor Sandra
Previously we looked at the strife in Syria as it relates to the plight of present day Christians. In the first century, Syrian Antioch was the third largest city in the Roman Empire behind Rome and Alexandria. It was in Antioch that followers of Jesus were first referred to as Christians. The term was possibly created by the Romans, putting together the Greek word for "Christ" with a Latin suffix "ian".
An Antiochian figured prominently in our Christian legacy and history. Luke, author of two books in the New Testament, was a native of Syrian Antioch. He is thought to have been a Greek-speaking Gentile, and thus was the only Gentile author of the New Testament. He was a writer, an artist and possibly a physician. Only in the Gospel of Luke do we find the Annunciation, the Visitation, the Nativity and the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple. And in Acts, we have him to thank for the story of Pentecost and the journeys of Paul.
The Spirit of Christmas at New Hope
New Hope will offer a Christmas Eve Candle Light Worship Service on Wednesday, December 24th at 6 pm. Please encourage friends, relatives, and those in our community to join us at this special time.
We will have a Christmas Mission Project which the Community Outreach Team is organizing, headed by Denise Metts. The Thanksgiving Mission Project was a wonderful tribute to the caring and love of our congregation for those in our community who may need a little special hand of Christian sharing.
What a marvelous revival we at New Hope UMC have experienced these last six months of worshipping together! Just imagine our 2014!
My warmest, loving Greetings in Christ at this joyous time of year to each of you!