Friday, April 5, 2019

April 2019 newsletter


House-to-House
 Family of Hope House Church                          April 2019

But God…            

Good Friday’s freezing rain feels appropriate.
Tears freeze on trees and hang in suspended misery.
Life came to us.  We killed Him.
Hope came.  We mocked and chose despair.
Light came.  We shut our eyes
Against the Truth we did not want to see.
Now, with eyes unseeing as darkest night,
We weep our bitter tears,
And nature weeps with us.

But Easter comes, and the Son rises, 
His light reflecting iridescent rays
From prismed tears. 
Son-warmed grief melts away
Releasing needed moisture to buried seeds.
Earth gives birth to life anew.

                                   By M. Lois Rivera-Wenger 

This was written in 1986, soon after Lois moved here from Oregon with her three children and literally went through a cold and grief-filled Good Friday, but one that was followed by a warm and wonderful Easter.      

Notes, Prayers and Praises
  • APRIL BIRTHDAY BLESSINGS to Mary Ellen Overholt 4/5, Bertha Swarr 4/13 and Cathy Atwell 4/19!
  • THE ANNUAL GOOD FRIDAY WALK in Harrisonburg will start at noon at the Blessed Sacrament Church, with a brief meditation and prayer at each of ten “stations of the cross” in the downtown area, and will end at the St. Stephens United Church of Christ. 
  • BE IN PRAYER FOR NEAL NELSON and for Elly as she prepares to see him transition to the Envoy Nursing Home in Staunton sometime this month.
  • GEMEINSCHAFT HOME’S annual fundraising dinner is at Park View Mennonite Church from 6-8 pm Friday, April 5.
April Lectionary Texts
7   Isaiah 43:16-21  Psalm 126  Philippians 3:4b-14 John 12:1-8
14 Isaiah 50:4-9a  Psalm 31:9-16 Philippians 2:5-11 Luke 22:14-23:56 
21 Isaiah 25:6-9  Psalm 114   1 Corinthians 5:6b-8  Luke 24:1-49
28 Acts 5:27-32  Psalm 150  Revelation 1:4-8  John 20:19-31

April services, worship at 4, meal at 6 pm
7 Location: Park Place meeting room, 2nd floor                        432-0531
Worship and sharing: Lois Rivera-Wenger  
Bible Study: Paul Swarr                                             Ice cream social time                                             
14 Location: Guy & Margie Vlasits 3399  Caverns Drive           908-0391                                         Worship and Sharing: Lewis Overholt
Bible Study: Harvey Yoder                                                    Carry-in meal                    
21 Location: Lewis & Mary Ellen Overholt   Heritage Haven    432-7277                               Worship and Sharing: Kent Palmer
Bible Study: Elly Nelson                                                   Brown bag meal
28 Location: Susan Campbell 1361 Lincolnshire Dr, 22802     564-1524
Worship and Sharing: Susan Campbell                                           
Bible Study: Dick Dumas                                                     Carry-in meal   

Friday, March 8, 2019

March 2019 newsletter


House-to-House
 Family of Hope House Church                         March 2019

The Decade of the Refugee               

“The towns and people of Moab
    are at a loss,
New-hatched birds knocked from the nest,
    fluttering helplessly
At the banks of the Arnon River,
    unable to cross:
‘Tell us what to do,
    help us out!
Protect us,
    hide us!
Give the refugees from Moab
    sanctuary with you.
Be a safe place for those on the run
    from the killing fields.”                        
- from Isaiah 15 ((the Message)

Someday we will almost certainly look back at this time in history as the Decade of the Refugee.

A staggering one in 110 people today have have been driven from their homes by war, famine, dire poverty, gang violence and/or persecution. This results in hundreds of millions of individuals facing homelessness and untold hardship, often with little hope of being able to return to their places of origin.

Let’s all pray for an end to war everywhere, and for relief for suffering men, women and children refugees in already overcrowded places like Gaza, Syria, Myanmar, Yemen, and Central America. Let’s also pray for those countries and agencies seeking to respond to their needs, and for those who deny refuge to them.      
     
                                                                                         - Harvey Yoder      
Notes, Prayers and Praises
  • DICK DUMAS reports a good result from his CT scan!
  • GUY AND MARGIE VLASITS will be doing Mennonite Disaster    work and visiting relatives in Florida during much of March. 
  • EMILY VANDEVANDER’s husband Robert passed away last month, and a memorial service will be held for him March 23. Emily, Lois Rivera Wenger’s niece, attended our church for a time some years ago.                                                                     
  • ASH WEDNESDAY, March 6, marks the beginning of Lent, a special time of preparation for Holy Week.
March Lectionary Texts
3   Exodus 34:29-35  Psalm 99   2 Corinthians 3:12-4:2  Luke 9:28-43a
10 Deuteronomy 26:1-11  Psalm 91:1-2, 9-16  Romans 10:8b-13  Luke 4:1-13
17 Genesis 15:1-12, 17-18  Psalm 27  Philippians 3:17-4:1  Luke 13:31-35
24 Isaiah 55:1-9  Psalm 63:1-8   1 Corinthians 10:1-13  Luke 13:1-9
31 Joshua 5:9-12  Psalm 32   2 Corinthians 5:16-21 Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32

March services, worship at 4, meal at 6 pm
3 Location: Park Place meeting room, 2nd floor                        432-0531
Worship and sharing: Harvey Yoder  
Bible Study: Paul Swarr                                                   No evening meal    
10 Location: Lewis & Mary Ellen Overholt Heritage Haven     432-7277                  
Worship and Sharing: Kent Palmer
Bible Study: Elly Nelson                                                   Brown bag meal                    
17 Location: Joyce Ulrich 1029 Shenandoah St. Apt. 1,            246-1013             
Worship and Sharing: James Stauffer
Bible Study: Dick Dumas                                                      Carry-in meal
24 Location: Family Life Resource Center 273 Newman Ave   432-0531
Worship and Sharing: Lois Rivera-Wenger
Bible Study: Harvey Yoder
Communion Meal: bread, grape juice, cheese and raw vegetable and fruit
31 Location: Susan Campbell 1361 Lincolnshire Dr, 22802     564-1524
Worship and Sharing: Susan Campbell                                           
Bible Study: Lewis Overholt                                                Carry-in meal 

Monday, February 11, 2019

February 10, 2019, Business Meeting


Family of Hope Annual Business Meeting
(at Guy and Margie Vlasits home)
2/10/2019

Harvey Yoder opened the business meeting with a reflection on how local churches serve as God’s embassies representing God throughout the world.

The business meeting was attended by Susan Campbell, Dick Dumas, Kent Palmer, James Stauffer, Ruth Stauffer, Guy Vlasits, Margie Vlasits, Alma Jean Yoder, and Harvey Yoder

Minutes of last year’s business meeting were distributed and accepted without objection.

Susan Campbell presented the 2018 treasurer's report. This included actual spending and revenues along with the 2018 budget. People noted that all funds were forwarded to wider church bodies and no funds were spent locally on the needs of the congregation in 2018. We rejoiced that we had been able to use our funds in this way.

The Church approved a 2019 budget that was the same as 2018.  A concern was raised that several members have financial needs. The Church agreed that we should prioritize these local needs over the needs of wider church bodies. If insufficient funds were available, the church will fund local needs first.

The church approved covering half the cost of a VMRC Health Club membership for Elly Nelson. Her son will cover the other half of the membership cost. Estimated cost was an initial deposit of $35 and $40 per month.  This expense will come from the compassion fund.
The church agreed to use $200 from the discretionary fund to pay for our 2019 membership in Faith in Action.

Some people reflected on the Church’s strong ties to VMRC. Discussion included comments about whether we should meet there more regularly and whether we want to focus more on this aspect of our ministry.

Kent Palmer
recording secretary 

Saturday, February 9, 2019

February 2019 newsletter


House-to-House
 Family of Hope House Church                    February 2019

Song For Valentine’s Day                   

Love is all I have for you,
           it will have to do, 
           if you were looking for a miracle,
           the fact that we’re still here, 
           well that’s miraculous as anything
           that I have seen magicians pull,
           but I forgot the tricks I knew, 
           love is all I have for you..

love is all I have for you,
love is all that’s left after the wind has blown the chaff away,
I laugh at what I tried to save,
and disappointment’s just a lens to magnify what might have been,
but none of that was ever true,
love is all I have for you,

I close my eyes, I’m a child by the water,
casting stones so circles spread,
then blink twice, and we’re old on a park bench,
watching birds eat scattered bread,
in between we lost track of time,
but she is kind enough to remind us..
the little space between goodbyes is really only pocket-sized,
I carry you around with me in case I need some sympathy,
this fear that we’re not good enough will disappear when morning comes,
‘cause none of that was ever true,
love is all I have for you..

miraculous as anything that I have seen magicians do,
but I forgot the tricks I knew,
love is all I have for you…
          - lyrics to a song by Pittsburgh singer/songwriter Brad Yoder

Notes, Prayers and Praises
  • OUR ANNUAL CHURCH BUSINESS MEETING is set for Sunday, February 10 at FLRC. 
  • LEWIS AND MARY ELLEN OVERHOLT celebrated their 59th wedding anniversary January 13. Congratulations! They plan to be back from their vacation February 21.
  • CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR Elly Nelson, and for a suitable nursing care arrangement for Neal.
February Lectionary Texts
3   Jeremiah 1:4-10  Psalm 71:1-6  1 Corinthians 13:1-13  Luke 4:21-30

10 Isaiah 6:1-8, (9-13)   Psalm 138 1 Corinthians 15:1-11 Luke 5:1-11

17 Jeremiah 17:5-10  Psalm 1   1 Corinthians 15:12-20  Luke 6:17-26

24 Genesis 45:3-11, 15  Psalm 37:1-11, 39-40  1 Corinthians 15:35-38,      
     42-50   Luke 6:27-38

February services, worship at 4, meal at 6 pm
3 Location: Park Place meeting room, 2nd floor                        432-0531
Worship and sharing: James Stauffer   
Bible Study: Paul Swarr                       Surprise evening meal (provided!)                                                       
10 Location: Guy & Margie Vlasits 3399 Caverns Dr,  K-town 908-0391
Worship and Sharing: Kent Palmer
Business meeting and Bible Study: Harvey Yoder                Carry-in meal                    

17 No church gathering this Sunday due to numerous persons being out of town.

24 Location: Susan Campbell 1361 Lincolnshire Dr 22802  564-1524
Worship and Sharing: Susan Campbell                                           
Bible Study: Dick Dumas                                                    Carry-in meal   

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

January 2019 newsletter


House-to-House
 Family of Hope House Church                                      January 2019
Passing on Blessings                         - Harvey Yoder
John Trent, in THE GIFT OF THE BLESSING, describes a memorable experience he had in an Orthodox Jewish home he once visited. The grandfather, patriarch of the family, placed his hand on the head of each grandchild, asking God to bless him or her with the qualities of some worthy character in the Bible. 
     Trent believes we need to find similar ways to encourage and inspire our children and grandchildren to live noble and good lives.
     Without thinking, we can pass on discouragements and “curses” from one generation to the next. We do so by predicting children will turn out badly, through blaming and accusing, and through using all kinds of negative words that hurt and disparage. 
     Blessings and affirmations, on the other hand, energize others, motivate them to become their best.“Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,” one Bible proverb says. “Do not say, ‘Go and come back and tomorrow I will give it,’ when it is in your power to give it now.”
     In other words, let’s not pass up any opportunity to pass on good blessings. 
     Over a period of several years I sent each of our three adult children a weekly blessing (sometimes in the form of a prayer or other inspirational piece) via e-mail. One example is this blessing adapted from Robert G. Kemper:
God go with you.
May God walk where you walk,
Guide where you must make choices,
Comfort where you hurt,
And surprise you by his continued love for you,
and what you are,
and what you do. 
Amen

Notes, Prayers and Praises
  • JANUARY BIRTHDAY BLESSINGS to James Stauffer 1/8, Susan Campbell 1/17,  Becky Morlan 1/28, and Dick Dumas 1/30!
  • GUY AND MARGIE VLASITS will be in Austin, Texas, with family for most of this month.
  • WE WELCOME LOIS RIVERA-WENGER back to her home at Homes Lane!
  • PRAY FOR ELLY AND NEAL NELSON as they consider options for          Neal’s ongoing care, and for BERTHA SWARR, at VMRC’s Showalter House, who is finding mobility more difficult
  • OUR ANUAL FOH BUSINESS MEETING will be held as a part of our regular services January 13.
January Lectionary Texts

6   Isaiah 60:1-6  Psalm 72:1-7, 10-14  Ephesians 3:1-12  Matthew 2:1-12
13 Isaiah 43:1-7  Psalm 29  Acts 8:14-17  Luke 3:15-17, 21-22
20 Isaiah 62:1-5  Psalm 36:5-10  1 Corinthians 12:1-11  John 2:1-11
27 Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10 Psalm 19  Corinthians 12:12-31a  Luke 4:14-21

January services, worship at 4, meal at 6 pm

6 Location: Park Place meeting room, 2nd floor                        432-0531
Worship and sharing: Elly Nelson  
Bible Study: Paul Swarr                                                   No evening meal                                                         
13 Location: Family Life Resource Center 273 Newman Ave. 432-0531   
Business Meeting and Communion Service c/o Harvey Yoder  
Meal: communion bread, grape juice, cheese and raw vegetables and fruit

20 Location: Lewis & Mary Ellen Overholt  Heritage Haven G49
Worship and sharing: Lois Rivera-Wenger                                      432-7277   
Bible Study: Dick Dumas                                                  Brown bag meal                                                    
27 Location: Susan Campbell 1361 Lincolnshire Dr 22802       564-1524
Worship and Sharing: Susan Campbell      Bible Study:
Elly Nelson                                                                            Carry-in meal   

Sunday, November 25, 2018

December 2018 newsletter


House-to-House
 Family of Hope House Church                  December 2018

A Bright Hanukah Light                    

The December 2003 Readers Digest carried a true story by Joe Fitzgerald called “A New Light.” It was about the Markovitz’s, a Jewish family who lived in a Pennsylvania suburb where one Christmas season they were awakened at around five one morning by the sound of glass shattering. 

They ran down to find the window broken where they had their illuminated menorah, a Jewish candelabra, now damaged and lying on the floor. There’s was one of the few homes in their neighborhood that didn’t have traditional Christmas decorations, and some person or group apparently felt a need to express their intolerance by destroying this symbol of their faith used in a celebration of Hanukah.

This Hebrew holiday marks the event when, as tradition has it, Jews returned to their temple in Jerusalem after their exile and found it desecrated, and went about reconsecrating it as a place of worship. To do so they needed, among other things, to keep a lamp lit day and night in the temple. Unfortunately, they had enough oil for only one night, but decided to go ahead and light the lamp anyway, and according to Hanukah tradition, it kept burning for eight nights, a miracle the Markowitz’s celebrated each year. 

Some of their neighbors were outraged by the crime committed against the Merkowitz’s, and got their heads together to decide how to show their support. 

So the next evening when the Markowitz's turned on to their street they saw an extraordinary sight, something like another miracle. Nearly every home in the neighborhood had an illuminated menorah in their window, as if to say, “If you want to bring harm to any one of us, you will have to attack us all.”                                                                   - Harvey Yoder

Notes, Prayers and Praises
  • DECEMBER BIRTHDAY BLESSINGS to Karen Campbell 12/26/69!
  • GEMEINSCHAFT CHRISTMAS OPEN HOUSE from 2-4 pm Sunday, December 2.
  • All ARE INVITED to a Christmas Lessons and Carols service featuring EMU choir ensembles and readers Monday, December 10 at 7 p.m. in Lehman Auditorium. A free-will offering will be taken for the compassion fund.

December Lectionary Texts

2   Jeremiah 33:14-16 Psalm 25:1-10  1 Thessalonians 3:9-13           Luke 21:25-36
9   Malachi 3:1-4  Luke 1:68-79  Philippians 1:3-11  Luke 3:1-6
16 Zephaniah 3:14-20 Isaiah 12:2-6 Philippians 4:4-7  Luke 3:7-18
23 Micah 5:2-5a  Luke 1:46b-55  Hebrews 10:5-10 Luke 1:39-55
30 1 Samuel 2:18-20, 26  Psalm 148 Colossians 3:12-17  Luke 2:41-52

December services, worship at 4, meal at 6 pm

2 Location: Park Place meeting room, 2nd floor                        432-0531
Advent worship and sharing: Harvey Yoder   
Bible Study: Paul Swarr                                                   No evening meal                                              
9 Location: Family Life Resource Center 273 Newman Ave.    432-0531 
Menorah Candle and Advent Communion Service c/o Harvey Yoder
Meal: communion bread, grape juice, cheese and raw vegetable and fruit
16 Location: Guy & Margie Vlasits 3399 Caverns Dr,  K-town 908-0391
Worship and Sharing: James Stauffer
Bible Study: Dick Dumas                                                     Carry-in meal
23 Location: Lewis & Mary Ellen Overholt  Heritage Haven G49
Worship and sharing: Kent Palmer                                                  432-7277                                      Bible Study: Lewis Overholt                                             Brown bag meal
30 Location: Susan Campbell 1361 Lincolnshire Dr 22802  564-1524
Worship and Sharing: Susan Campbell                                           
Bible Study: Elly Nelson                                                       Carry-in meal              

Friday, October 26, 2018

November 2018 newsletter


House-to-House
 Family of Hope House Church                     November 2018

Is Some Exodus History Repeating Itself?                    

"The Israelites journeyed from Rameses to Succoth. There were about 600,000 men on foot, besides women and children." 
- Exodus 12:37

Today we are witnessing an unprecedented migration of people fleeing for their lives from one of the poorest and most violence-ridden countries in the world, Honduras. I can't help thinking of similarities between their plight and that of the Israelites deprived of their freedom and in fear of their future under Egyptian Pharaohs many years ago.

In this case the 'Pharaoh' is a corrupt and drug-infested government of a nation that has a higher poverty rate than that of Haiti. Teen age girls and boys are in particular danger of being raped and pressured to cooperate with drug cartels, with precious little protection from Honduran police. Unemployment is at a record high, and wages for those who are working are among the lowest in the world. 

But this isn't a case of people simply looking for better economic opportunity. Most of these migrants' very lives are in danger.

On our side of the border we have a choice. Will we work with our neighbors to the south to help provide reasonable protection and better opportunities for them, and by investing in "cities of refuge" on both sides of the border? Or will be like the Philistines in the biblical story who do everything we can to keep them from 'invading' the very part of our West we once invaded and conquered as Mexican-held territory?

Historically, God has always been on the side of needy refugees rather than on the side of world powers who have shunned them.
                                                                                       - Harvey Yoder

Notes, Prayers and Praises
  • THE 17TH ANNUAL FESTIVAL OF PRAISE, featuring ten local men’s music ensembles and a combined men’s choir, will be held at the Eastern Mennonite School auditorium Sunday, November 4, at 4 pm. Our service is cancelled so all can attend this event.
  • OUR ‘MY COINS COUNT’ (Penny Power) contribution to MCC at the Relief Sale was $101.51.
  • NOVEMBER BIRTHDAY BLESSINGS Neal Nelson 11/2, Paul Swarr 11/10, Emily Zhou 11/11, and Guy Vlasits 11/21. Neal and Elly Nelson’s 25th anniversary is November 26! 
  • CHECK OUT THE EXHIBIT on WW I war resisters at EMU's Hartzler Library October 1-November 17. 

November Lectionary Texts

4   Ruth 1:1-18   Psalm 146   Deuteronomy 6:1-9  Hebrews 9:11-14  
            Mark 12:28-34
11 Ruth 3:1-5; 4:13-17 Psalm 127 1 Kings 17:8-16  Hebrews 9:24-28 Mark 12:38-44
18 1 Samuel 1:4-20  Daniel 12:1-3   Psalm 16   Hebrews 10:11-25      
            Mark 13:1-8
25 2 Samuel 23:1-7  Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14  Psalm 93   Revelation 1:4b-8 John 18:33-37


November services, worship at 4, meal at 6 pm

4 Today’s Family of Hope service is cancelled in favor of our being able to attend the Festival of Praise event at EMS (see note above).
11 Location: Family Life Resource Center 273 Newman Ave  432-0531
Worship and sharing: Lois Rivera-Wenger                                              
Bible Study: Dick Dumas                                                 Brown bag meal
18 Location: Lewis and Mary Ellen Overholt  Heritage Haven G49
Worship and Sharing: Lewis Overholt                              432-7277
Bible Study: Elly Nelson                                                   Brown bag meal
25 Location: Susan Campbell 1361 Lincolnshire Dr 22802      564-3716
Worship and Sharing: James Stauffer                                           
Bible Study: Harvey Yoder                               Annual Thanksgiving meal