Tuesday, July 31, 2018

August 2018 newsletter


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

From Utmost East To Utmost West    - Harvey Yoder

We were blessed recently having Hongyan and Bo Hu Zhou and daughters Emily and Eliana here for a visit.  Hongyan came to EMU as a visiting scholar from the Chongqing University of Medical Sciences in China in 2004, and became a part of our house church congregation through staying with one of our members, the late Rachel Stoltzfus.

Hongyan had become a believer through the influence of a US teacher of English at his University, and he and his wife Bo Hu, became very active in one of a growing number of house churches in Chongquing. After coming to the states, Hong Yan was granted religious asylum and immediately sought to bring his wife and their young daughter here to join him.

Bo Hu and Emily were welcomed into Rachel's home in 2006, and she and Emily, then a fourth grader, soon became a beloved part of our community and our living-room-size church family. In 2009 the three moved to California to be closer to Bo Hu's parents, and where Hongyan got a job in nursing, having just completed his nursing degree.

Bo Hu, then in her late thirties, and after having had several miscarriages, gave birth to their miracle child, Eliana, which means “The Lord has heard my prayer.”

Eliana will be in the fourth grade this fall, and Bo, having just earned an RN degree, will be finding full time work in nursing. Emily is completing her last year of college at UC Berkley, where she had a full tuition scholarship she earned, amazingly, by winning an art contest in Virginia as a new elementary student in her first year in the states. She hopes to enroll in dental school in the fall of 2019 after completing her senior year next spring.

Notes, Prayers and Praises
  • GUY AND MARGIE VLASITS hope to be moved to their new house by the end of this month. Their new address is 3399 Caverns Drive, Keezletown, VA 22832  
  • OUR CONTINUED PRAYERS for restored health for Bertha Swarr and for all of our friends at VMRC.
  • AUGUST BIRTHDAY BLESSINGS to Kent Palmer 8/10 and Gail Blackburn 8/30! Alma Jean and Harvey’s anniversary is 8/8 and James and Ruth Stauffer’s is 8/30.
  • JOSIAH DUMAS’s correct phone number is 571-577-0144.

August Lectionary Texts

5   2 Samuel 11:26-12:13a Psalm 51:1-12 Ephesians 4:1-16  John 6:24-35
12  2 Samuel 18:5-9, 15, 31-33  Psalm 130 1 Kings 19:4-8  Ephesians 4:25-5:2  John 6:35, 41-51
19 1 Kings 2:10-12; 3:3-14 Psalm 111 Proverbs 9:1-6 Ephesians 5:15-20 John 6:51-58
26  1 Kings 8:(1,6,10-11), 22-30, 41-43 Psalm 84 Joshua 24:1-2a, 14-18 Ephesians 6:10-20  John 6:56-69

August services, worship at 4, meal at 6 pm (except 8/19)

5 Location: Park Place, second floor meeting room                   564-3716
Worship and sharing: James Stauffer
Bible Study: Paul Swarr                                                 (No evening meal)
12 Location: FLRC, 273 Newman Ave. (ground floor)               432-0531
Worship and Sharing: Lois Rivera-Wenger                                  
Bible Study: Lewis Overheat (each will bring their own brown bag lunch)
19 Location: Guy & Margie Vlasits 1260 Parkway Drive 269-6706
at 5 pm
Bible Study: Harvey Yoder                                                    Carry-in Meal       
26 Location: Susan Campbell 1361 Lincolnshire Dr, 22802     564-1524
Worship and Sharing: Susan Campbell                                            
Bible Study: Dick Dumas                                                     Carry-in Meal  

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

July 2018 newsletter


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

LOVE—It’s What Makes a Human Being A Human Being       
- Harvey Yoder

A child's "failure to thrive" and even survive can be the result not only of genetic or medical conditions, but to a lack of nurturing relationships with loving caregivers. To be loved, held, touched, embraced, and interacted with from infancy is vital to a child's healthy development, and to his or her ability to grow up being able to love and care for others.

In understaffed orphanages in war-ravaged Europe in the last century, children who were kept in cribs, where they may have been routinely fed and diapered but provided little else, grew up being unable to talk, walk or care for themselves, demonstrating that it takes loving interactions with human beings to produce thriving human beings. And many of these children simply died.

As we grow into adulthood, we continue to need God-given love in a network of caring relationships in order to maintain good emotional and physical health. In an age of communicating through texts and experiencing fewer than ever close bonds with others, I'm concerned about increased incidents of depression, anxiety disorders and even suicide.

Our local RISE congregation has as one of its mantras "Receive Love. Give Love. Repeat." That pretty much sums up what makes us healthy and happy children of God. Without it, we find ourselves seeking every substitute possible to fill up the hole in our soul, and then wonder why we are left with a sense of loneliness and despair.


Notes, Prayers and Praises
  • VIRGINIA MENNONITE CONFERENCE ASSEMBLY meets at the Calvary Community Church in Hampton, Virginia July 19-21.
  • OUR CONTINUED PRAYERS for Guy and Margie Vlasits as they get things ready to move into their new house near Keezletown.
  • JULY BIRTHDAY BLESSINGS to Lois Rivera-Wenger, July 30!

July Lectionary Texts
1   Lamentations 3:22-33, Psalm 30,  2 Corinthians 8:7-15, Mark 5:21-43
8  2 Samuel 5:1-5, 9-10, Psalm 48, Ezekiel 2:1-5,  2 Corinthians 12:2-10 Mark 6:1-13
15 2 Samuel 6:1-5, 12b-19, Psalm 24, Amos 7:7-15, Ephesians 1:3-14,    
            Mark 6:14-29
22  2 Samuel 7:1-14a, Psalm 89:20-37, Jeremiah 23:1-6, Ephesians     
            2:11-22, Mark 6:30-34, 53-56
29  2 Samuel 11:1-15, Psalm 145:10-18, Ephesians 3:14-21, John 6:1-21

July services, worship at 4, meal at 6 pm
1 Location: Park Place, second floor meeting room                   564-3716
Worship and sharing: Lewis Overholt
Bible Study: Paul Swarr                                    light salad/fresh fruit meal
8 Location: Virginia Mennonite Conference Center                    432-0531
Worship and Sharing: Harvey Yoder                                   
Bible Study: Clyde Kratz, VMC Executive Minister     (No evening meal)                                    
15 Location: Guy and Margie Vlasits 1260 Parkway Drive       269-6706
Worship and Sharing: James Stauffer
Bible Study: Harvey Yoder                                                    Carry-in Meal       
22 Location: FLRC, 273 Newman Ave. (ground floor)               432-0531
Worship and Sharing: Harvey Yoder                                           
Bible Study: Dick Dumas                                                     Carry-in Meal               
29 Location: FLRC, 273 Newman Ave. (ground floor)               432-0531
Worship and Sharing: Kent Palmer                                  
Bible Study: Elly Nelson                                                Finger Food Meal

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

June 2018 newsletter


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

Seven Signs We May Need To Have Our Hearts Examined                                           - Harvey Yoder                
                                                                                                 
Here are just aa few heart symptoms that may indicate some need for coronary repair:

1. When we cling to our positions of privilege and power in spite of the suffering of masses of people in the world.

2. When we invest more in lawn care than we do in care for others in need.

3. When in the name of "national defense"we justify the intentional slaughter of human beings and the destruction of homes, property, and natural resources.

4. When we hear about people dying from opioid overdoses and think, "They're just getting what they deserve."

5. When our guest lists and our circle of friends include mostly people much like ourselves, and exclude people of other races, ethnicities and faiths.

6. When we claim to worship Jesus but do not strive to actually live like Jesus.

7. When we can drive by a jail or prison and not feel the slightest compassion for the fellow human beings kept in such places for years on end.

What other examples come to your mind?

Notes, Prayers and Praises
  • OUR SPECIAL PRAYERS for Margie Vlasits, undergoing chemotherapy treatment, and for Dick Dumas, set to have a biopsy due to swollen lymph nodes.
  • OUR ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP COVENANT SERVICE was held Sunday, May 20, in which we agree to the following: “I support the goals, vision and faith of Family of Hope, will attend weekly services as regularly as I am able, and will use my gifts and offer my encouragement to this church family to the best of my ability. I invite other members to support me--and to confront me as needed--in being faithful to this commitment.”
  • JUNE BIRTHDAY BLESSINGS to Josiah Dumas 6/9, Isaiah May, 6/27 and Harvey Yoder 6/30!
June Lectionary Texts

3   Deuteronomy 5:12-15  Psalm 8   2 Corinthians 4:5-12   Mark 2:23-3:6
10 Genesis 3:8-15  Psalm 130   2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1  Mark 3:20-35
17  Psalm 20 Ezekiel 17:22-24  2 Corinthians 5:6-17  Mark 4:26-34
24  Psalm 133 Job 38:1-11  2 Corinthians 6:1-1  Mark 4:35-41

June services, worship at 4, meal at 6 pm

3 Location: Park Place, second floor meeting room                   564-3716
Worship and sharing: Harvey Yoder
Bible Study: Paul Swarr                                    light salad/fresh fruit meal
10 Location: Guy and Margie Vlasits 1260 Parkway Drive       269-6706
Worship and Sharing: Lois Wenger
Bible Study: Elly Nelson                                                       Carry-in Meal       
17 Location: Lois Rivera-Wenger 204 Homes Lane, Staunton, VA         502-663-3195               
Worship and Sharing: Kent Palmer
Bible Study: Harvey Yoder                                                       Picnic Meal                                                                                                   
24 Location: FLRC, 273 Newman Ave. (ground floor)               432-0531
Worship and Sharing: James Stauffer                                   
Bible Study: Dick Dumas                                                Finger Food Meal   

Saturday, April 28, 2018

May 2018 newsletter


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

With Prayer, Patience and Perseverance 

Faith in Action, a coalition of 25 local congregations of which we are a member, has adopted the following vision and goal statements for 2018:

* We have a dream of having our local jail become a model "greenhouse" for the rehabilitation and treatment of individuals awaiting their trial or completing their sentences. We believe jail budgets and programs should reflect such priorities and that families of inmates not be burdened with costs associated with the care of their loved ones.

* We have a dream of reducing incarceration in our community by utilizing evidence-based alternative sanctions for low-risk offenders. We believe costly extended jail stays actually increase recidivism and reduce public safety as inmates lose positive connections to jobs and family while being exposed to a criminal environment that encourages anti-social behavior.

* We have a dream of seeing our criminal justice system trend toward restorative rather than punitive responses to offenders. We believe the needs of victims should be a first priority, and that those causing others harm should be directly involved in repairing those harms and making appropriate restitution.

Therefore, we are committed to work with relevant policy makers and stakeholders to achieve the following in 2018:

1. Greater justice for all members of inmate families
Eliminate the financial burden of the $1 per day ‘keep fee’ currently paid by family members of inmates at our local jail and the $3 charged for local inmates transferred to Middle River Regional Jail.

2. Greater justice for all taxpaying citizens of our community 
Engage in a careful and open selection process for the hiring of a well qualified Community Justice Planner to help reduce incarceration.

3. Greater justice for all victims of crime and wrongdoing
Establish protocols for all juvenile justice cases to be screened for a restorative justice process, and promote restorative justice for all appropriate cases.

Notes, Prayers and Praises
  • OUR SYMPATHY AND PRAYERS FOR KENT PALMER, whose mother, Louisa Palmer, at 81, died after a long bout with Parkinson’s Disease.  Kent will be attending her memorial service set for May 12 in California.
  • OUR ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP COVENANT SERVICE is on Pentecost Sunday, May 20, in which we agree to the following: “I support the goals, vision and faith of Family of Hope, will attend weekly services as regularly as I am able, and will use my gifts and offer my encouragement to this church family to the best of my ability. I invite other members to support me--and to confront me as needed--in being faithful to this commitment.”
  • MARGIE VLASITS will be resuming chemotherapy treatment for myeloma after they return from a trip west this month.
  • LOIS’s new email address is <mloisriverawenger@gmail.com>.
  • MAY BIRTHDAY BLESSINGS to Margie Vlastis 5/1, Alma Jean Yoder 5/15 and Karen Soich 5/20!
May Lectionary Texts 

6   Acts 10:44-48  Psalm 98  1 John 5:1-6  John 15:9-17
13 Acts 1:15-17, 21-26  Psalm 1  1 John 5:9-13  John 17:6-19
20 Ezekiel 37:1-14  Psalm 104:24-34, 35b  Acts 2:1-21  John 15:26-27; 16:4b-15
27 Isaiah 6:1-8  Psalm 29  Romans 8:12-17 John 3:1-17

May services, worship at 4, meal at 6 pm

6 Location: Park Place, second floor meeting room            564-3716
Worship and sharing: Harvey Yoder
Bible Study: Paul Swarr                                    light salad/fresh fruit meal
13 Location: FLRC, 273 Newman Ave. (ground floor)               432-0531
Worship and Sharing: Elly Nelson
Bible Study: Dick Dumas                                               Finger Food Meal     
20 Location: Susan Campbell 1361 Lincolnshire Dr, 22802      564-1524                 
Worship and Sharing: Susan Campbell
Bible Study: Harvey Yoder                                                    Carry-in Meal                                             
27 Location: Guy Vlasits 1260 Parkway Drive                          269-6706
Worship and Sharing: James Stauffer                                   
Bible Study: Lewis Overholt                                                 Carry-in Meal

Friday, April 6, 2018

April 2018 newsletter


 House-to-House
 Family of Hope House Church           April 2018
   
    RISE heart;  thy Lord is risen.  Sing his praise 
                                        Without delayes, 
    Who takes thee by the hand, that thou likewise 
                                        With him mayst rise : 
    That, as his death calcined thee to dust, 
    His life may make thee gold, and much more just.

    Awake, my lute, and struggle for thy part 
                                        With all thy art. 
    The crosse taught all wood to resound his name
                                        Who bore the same. 
    His stretched sinews taught all strings, what key 
    Is best to celebrate this most high day.

    Consort both heart and lute, and twist a song 
                                        Pleasant and long : 
    Or since all music is but three parts vied, 
                                        And multiplied ;
    O let thy blessed Spirit bear a part, 
    And make up our defects with his sweet art.
            I got me flowers to straw thy way ; 
            I got me boughs off many a tree : 
            But thou wast up by break of day, 
            And brought’st thy sweets along with thee. 
The Sunne arising in the East, 
Though he give light, and th’ East perfume ; 
 If they should offer to contest 
 With thy arising, they presume. 
            Can there be any day but this, 
            Though many sunnes to shine endeavour ? 
            We count three hundred, but we misse : 
            There is but one, and that one ever.       - George Herbert, c. 1633

Notes, Prayers and Praises
  • GUY AND MARGIE VLASITS are looking forward to living in a new house to be built next to the Lodge they’ve recently sold. Their temporary address will be 1260 Park Drive, Harrisonburg, 22802.
  • APRIL BIRTHDAY BLESSINGS to Mary Ellen Overholt 4/5, Bertha Swarr 4/13 and Cathy Atwell 4/19!

April Lectionary Texts 

1   Isaiah 25:6-9  Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24  Acts 10:34-43  Mark 16:1-8
8   Acts 4:32-35  Psalm 133  1 John 1:1-2:2 John 20:19-31
15 Acts 3:12-19  Psalm 4  1 John 3:1-7  Luke 24:36b-48
22 Acts 4:5-12  Psalm 23  1 John 3:16-24  John 10:11-18
29 Acts 8:26-40  Psalm 22:25-31  1 John 4:7-21  John 15:1-8

April services, worship at 4, meal at 6 pm

1 Location: Park Place, second floor meeting room                              564-3716
Worship and sharing: Harvey Yoder
Bible Study: Paul Swarr                                    light salad/fresh fruit meal

8 Location: Guy Vlasits 1260 Parkway Drive                           269-6706
Worship and Sharing: Lewis and Mary Ellen Overholt
Bible Study: Elly Nelson                                                      Carry-in meal

15 Location: FLRC, 273 Newman Ave. (ground floor)               432-0531
Worship and Sharing: James Stauffer
Bible Study: Dick Dumas                                               Finger Food Meal                                          

22 Location:  To be determined                
Worship and Sharing: Kent Palmer
Bible Study: Lewis Overholt                                               Carry-in Meal

29 Location: Susan Campbell 1361 Lincolnshire Dr, 22802    564-1524                 
Worship and Sharing: Susan Campbell
Bible Study: Harvey Yoder                                                  Carry-in Meal

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

March 2018 newsletter


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

The Holy Nativity In Mark’s Gospel

The lectionary texts for the first Sunday of Lent included a part of the first chapter of the Gospel of Mark, which begins not with Christ's birth, but with his baptism.

Might it be that Mark saw this event as the more significant sign of God's "advent"?

In Luke's birth account, the heavens open up with an angel's joyful announcement, followed by a multitude of heavenly hosts proclaiming "Glory to God! On earth peace and to all goodwill"! In the account of Jesus's baptism in Mark, the heavens open up with God"s Spirit breaking in in the form of a dove, accompanied by the inaugural announcement, "This is my Beloved, in whom I am well pleased"!

Jesus is here experiencing his second "birth", not through the water of Mary's womb but in the Spirit-drenched baptismal water of the Jordan River, where his Hebrew ancestors crossed over into their new life and new liberation as God's free-at-last people.

In our present violence-prone world, as then, God hovers over us with Dove-power rather than bursting in with the scream of an eagle. Jesus comes as Lamb, and becomes Spirit-filled as Dove. He comes as prey rather than predator, as Life-giving Redeemer rather than as Warrior and Conqueror. But in the end, it is the power of God's mercy and truth that conquers and prevails.

Such is Advent. Such is Lent. Such is baptism and new birth. Such is the power of divine suffering and resurrection, of Passion Week and Easter.

Feliz Navidad! The Lord has come!                                   - Harvey Yoder

Notes, Prayers and Praises
  • JOIN HUNDREDS OF OF YOUR FRIENDS at a special Lenten season performance of The Jesus Stories by Ted & Company set for 7 p.m. Saturday, March 17, at  the Divine Unity Community Church on Country Club Road. Your participation will help raise money for Gemeinschaft Home through a suggested $15 donation, and Ted Swartz will auction off items you can bid on during the course of the evening.
  • BIRTHDAY BLESSINGS to Ruth Stauffer, 3/28!
  • WE WILL HAVE A LENTEN COMMUNION SERVICE Sunday, March 18, with a bread, cheese and grape juice only meal.
March Lectionary Texts 

4   Exodus 20:1-17 Psalm 19 1 Corinthians 1:18-25 John 2:13-22
11 Numbers 21:4-9 Psalm 107:1-3, 17-22  Ephesians 2:1-10 John 3:14-21
18 Jeremiah 31:31-34 Psalm 51:1-12  Hebrews 5:5-10  John 12:20-33
25 Isaiah 50:4-9a  Psalm 31:9-16  Philippians 2:5-11 Mark 14:1-15:47

March services, worship at 4, meal at 6 pm

4 Location: Park Place, second floor meeting room                              564-3716
Worship and sharing: Lois Rivera-Wenger
Bible Study: Paul Swarr                                    light salad/fresh fruit meal

11 Location: Guy Vlasits 1260 Parkway Drive                           269-6706
Worship and Sharing: James Stauffer
Bible Study: Dick Dumas                                                      Carry-in meal

18 Location: FLRC, 273 Newman Ave. (ground floor)               432-0531
Worship and Sharing: Elly Nelson
Bible Study: Harvey Yoder Communion Bread, Grape Juice and Cheese Meal 
                                           
25 Location: Susan Campbell 1361 Lincolnshire Dr, 22802    564-1524                 
Worship and Sharing: Susan Campbell
Bible Study: Lewis Overholt                                               Carry-in Meal

Sunday, February 4, 2018

February 2018 newsletter

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

Many Anti-Christs Have Already Appeared

"You were told that Antichrist was to come, and now many antichrists have appeared, which proves to us that this is indeed the last hour.”
I John 2:18 (NEB)

The test of whether someone is faithful to God is not whether or how often they say "Lord, Lord", but whether they truly follow Jesus in their daily life.

So let's apply Jesus's Beatitudes test, starting with ourselves. Are we living in the spirit of the Sermon on the Mount or by such "Me-attitudes" as the following anti-Christian beliefs?

Blessed are the haughty and the wealthy, for theirs is the promise of heaven on earth.
Blessed are those who maintain an "I'm-always-right", arrogant spirit, for they will convince many.
Blessed are the proud and powerful, for they shall be lauded as the greatest winners ever.
Blessed are the greedy, the grabbers, the graspers, for they shall reap abundant rewards for their aggression.
Blessed are the merciless and the militarily mighty, for they shall be feared and revered as the greatest.
Blessed are men who are pleasure-seeking and sexually aggressive, for they shall be admired as Alpha males. 
Blessed are the warmongers, for they shall be seen as maintaining law and order through military might.
Blessed are those who are admired and praised by the masses, for theirs is the power to rule over them.
Blessed are you when millions revere you, show deference to you, and who flatter you, falsely or otherwise. Rejoice and be very glad! Great are your rewards!                                                                     - Harvey Yoder

Notes, Prayers and Praises
  • “THANKS SO MUCH for your over-the-top generosity in providing so many 'Sunshine gifts' over the holiday season and during my flu recovery! A special thanks to Lois Rivera-Wenger for all of the extra work she did for this. You are all such a wonderful blessing!”                                                                                             -Alma Jean Yoder
  • WE WILL BE MEETING WITH  THE TABLE Sunday, February 25, at 4:30 pm.
February Lectionary Texts 

4 Isaiah 40:21-31 Psalm 147:1-11, 20c 1 Corinthians 9:16-23 
Mark 1:29-39
11 2 Kings 2:1-12  Psalm 50:1-6  2 Corinthians 4:3-6  Mark 9:2-9
18 Genesis 9:8-17  Psalm 25:1-10  1 Peter 3:18-22  Mark 1:9-15
25 Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16  Psalm 22:23-31  Romans 4:13-25  
Mark 8:31-38

February services, worship at 4, meal at 6 pm

4 Location: Park Place, second floor meeting room                              564-3716
Worship and sharing: Lois Rivera-Wenger
Bible Study: Paul Swarr                                      sandwich/fresh fruit meal

11 Location: Guy Vlasits 1260 Parkway Drive                           269-6706
Worship and Sharing: James Stauffer
Bible Study: Elly Nelson                                                       Carry-in meal

18 Location: FLRC, 273 Newman Ave. (ground floor)               432-0531
Worship and Sharing: Kent Palmer
Bible Study: Harvey Yoder                                             Finger foods meal  

25 Location: We will be joining the Table for a joint service and carry-in meal at 4:30 pm at Community Mennonite Church on South High Street.