Saturday, August 3, 2019

August 2019 newsletter


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

Some Things I Learned From Major Surgery  

1. Never take life or health for granted. I was assured that the survival rate for heart bypass patients was near 99%, yet I'll never forget the good feeling I had when I first became awake after a five hour surgery. Life is precious indeed.
2. Having strong family support is priceless, a blessing beyond belief.
3. I’m equally grateful to God for the countless friends, neighbors and members of our church family who have showered us with prayers, cards, visits, food and other favors too numerous to count.
4. Health care professionals are worth their weight in gold. Before, during and after my hospital stay, scores of care providers invaluable help through the healing process.
5. I gained a new appreciation of a loving God who designed the human body in an amazing way, then gifted myriads of people who have helped perfect medical treatment to help us when we need it. 
6. Healing takes time and patience, You can expect some really encouraging progress followed by days and nights that seem endless and with fewer signs of healing.
7. The healing of mind and body go hand in hand. I expected to catch up on a lot of reading in my recovery, but for the first couple of weeks I found that my mind was unlike its usually motivated self, and that my brain, like my newly repaired heart, also needed some recovery time.
8. The world can get along quite well without my having to be in constant control of the kind of full schedule I've become used to.
9. Just as there are an amazing number of ways of helping people experience wellness and healing, I’m newly aware of just as many unbelievable ways in which people are capable of creating destruction, suffering and misery on vulnerable, pain-prone human beings.
10. In summary, I've gained bucketsful of gratitude to God for all my blessings, and want to use every opportunity possible to preserve life and to promote healing.                
                                         -                        condensed from Harvspot blog
Notes, Prayers and Praises
  • KENT PALMER continues to meet with doctors about possible treatment options for prostate cancer. The good news is that the cancer is at an early stage and so there is not an immediate rush to start treatment.
  • AUGUST BIRTHDAY BLESSINGS to Kent Palmer 8/10! Alma Jean and Harvey’s anniversary is 8/8 and James and Ruth Stauffer’s is 8/30.
  • MY COINS COUNT Drive is on until the October 4-5 Relief Sale. Bring coins and cash to church for this project.
  • ALSO PREPARE TO support the SOS (Sharing Our Surplus) campaign at the Relief Sale to raise money for refugee relief worldwide.
  • “SPECIAL THANKS to all of you good church people and others for all the blessings of your prayers, meals, visits and acts of kindness (far too many to mention!) during my recent recovery from surgery.”                                                                 - Harvey Yoder (and Alma Jean)

August Lectionary Texts
4   Hosea 11:1-11  Psalm 107:1-9, 43 Colossians 3:1-11 Luke 12:13-21
11 Isaiah 1:1, 10-20  Psalm 33:12-22 Hebrews 11:1-16  Luke 12:32-40
18 Isaiah 5:1-7  Psalm 82  Hebrews 11:29-12:2  Luke 12:49-56
25 Isaiah 58:9b-14  Psalm 103:1-8  Hebrews 12:18-29  Luke 13:10-17

August services, worship at 4, meal at 6 pm
4  Location: Park Place meeting room, 2nd floor                        432-0531
Worship and sharing: James Stauffer
Bible Study: Paul Swarr                                                    Brown bag meal                                                         
11 Location: Guy & Margie Vlasits 3399 Caverns Dr., Ktown  906-0391
Worship and Sharing: Lewis Overholt                                      
Bible Study: Elly Nelson                                                        Carry in meal                                                                                                                                       
18 Location: Lewis & Mary Ellen Overholt   Heritage Haven    432-7277                                   Worship and Sharing: Kent Palmer
Bible Study: Dick Dumas                                                  Brown bag meal                                                      
25 Location: Family Life Resource Center 273 Newman Ave.   432-0531
Worship and Sharing: Lois Rivera Wenger                                      
Bible Study: Harvey Yoder                                Carry in finger foods meal 

Monday, July 1, 2019

July 2019 newsletter


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

Virginia Mennonite Conference Assembly Convenes July 18-20 at Lindale and EMS   

All delegate sessions are being held at Eastern Mennonite School this year, but the public evening sessions will be held at the nearby Lindale Mennonite Church as follows:

Thursday evening (gathering at 6:45 p.m., service at 7:00)
“Sowing Gospel Seed, Seeing Transformed Lives”
Willard Eberly (former worker in Italy)
Richard and Margaret Keeler (former workers in Trinidad)
Alfonso Alvarado (Latino church-planting, USA)
Jason Wagner (Prison chaplain, USA)
Dini and Klementina Shahini (Education leaders, Albania)
Jacob and Hosanna (Discipleship, worship, and media ministries, South Asia)
Aaron Kauffman, VMMissions President, will also share reflections on the past 100 years, and vision for the future. 

Friday evening message: (gathering at 6:45 p.m., service at 7:00)
“Cultivating the Soil in Adverse Conditions” Kevin King, Director of Mennonite Disaster Service
What should the church do when we are facing the droughts, fires, floods, hurricanes and winds of change?

Morning Bible Studies at Eastern Mennonite School will be led by Sarah Ann Bixler, who will also lead a workshop on “Christian Formation throughout the Life Course” Friday afternoon. 
She will be teaching spiritual formation classes at Eastern Mennonite Seminary starting this fall.

Notes, Prayers and Praises
  • OUR SPECIAL PRAYERS for Kent Palmer as he begins treatment for prostate cancer, and for Harvey Yoder’s full recovery from his dual bypass surgery at the University of Virginia Medical Center July 5.
  • VIRGINIA MENNONITE CONFERENCE ASSEMBLY will feature a Mennonite Women Prayer Breakfast, Saturday, July 20, 2019 6:45-8:15 a.m., at Eastern Mennonite School. Breakfast will be catered by A Bowl of Good and the program features the Tobin sisters. To register call or email Gloria Lehman: 540/421-2122 <glorialehman67@gmail.com>
  • JULY BIRTHDAY BLESSINGS, Lois Rivera-Wenger, Billy May 7/30!
  • MY COINS COUNT Drive is on until the October 4-5 Relief Sale.

July Lectionary Texts
7   2 Kings 5:1-14   Isaiah 66:10-14   Psalm 66:1-9  Galatians 6:7-16 Luke 10:1-11, 16-20 
14 Amos 7:7-17  Psalm 82   Deuteronomy 30:9-14  Colossians 1:1-14 Luke 10:25-37
21 Amos 8:1-12  Genesis 18:1-10a  Psalm 15  Colossians 1:15-28
Luke 10:38-42
28 Genesis 18:20-32   Psalm 138   Colossians 2:6-19   Luke 11:1-13

July services, worship at 4, meal at 6 pm
7 Location: Park Place meeting room, 2nd floor                         432-0531
Worship and sharing: James Stauffer
Bible Study: Paul Swarr                                                              Chili soup  
              
14 Location: Lewis & Mary Ellen Overholt   Heritage Haven    432-7277                                              
Worship and Sharing: Elly Nelson
Bible Study: Dick Dumas                                                  Brown bag meal                   

21 Location: Park Place meeting room, second floor                  564-3716                                  
Worship and Sharing: Lois Rivera-Wenger                                          
Bible Study: Kent Palmer                                              Brown bag meal                                                     
28 Service Cancelled in favor of our attending a 7 pm presentation at 
VMRC's Detweiler Auditorium by Lewis and Mary Ellen Overholt 
on their years of service in Berlin, Germany.

Friday, May 31, 2019

June 2019 newsletter


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

When Heaven Comes Roaring Down To Earth      

"That day about three thousand took him at his word, were baptized and were signed up. They committed themselves to the teaching of the apostles, the life together, the common meal, and the prayers. Everyone around was in awe—all those wonders and signs done through the apostles! And all the believers lived in a wonderful harmony, holding everything in common. They sold whatever they owned and pooled their resources so that each person’s need was met. They followed a daily discipline of worship in the Temple followed by meals at home, every meal a celebration, exuberant and joyful, as they praised God."
                                                                        Acts 2:41-47 (the Message)

I've usually read these words with a sense of reservation. They seem far too idealistic, way beyond anything any of us believers would ever be able to experience today. 
    What? Sell everything and share with everyone? Daily prayers, praises and celebrative meals with fellow believers? That would require an unbelievable miracle, far beyond the most amazing of "signs and wonders".
    It would be like heaven.
    Then it dawned on me. Pentecost Day is exactly that, God's heaven breaking into earth, a true foretaste of things to come.
    Will not our eternal life with God be all about praise, all about sharing an abundance of everything with everyone? Isn't it all about harmony and shalom and a life of joy beyond compare?
    For me, that sheds a new light on Pentecost. On this day nearly 2000 years ago, newly baptized believers from all over the world experienced a gale force wind of change that revolutionized their lives forever, one that was about to set the whole world on fire.
    Should this not be happening today? Do we really want to wait until the next life to celebrate this wonder?                             - Harvey Yoder

Notes, Prayers and Praises
  • OUR SPECIAL PRAYERS for Elly Nelson as she pursues treatment June 5 for fractures in her vertebra, and for Kent Palmer as he undergoes some tests June 12 due to high PSA levels.
  • OUR ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP COVENANT SERVICE is on Pentecost Sunday, June 9, 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 (212 N George St., Charles Town, WV 25414), and Harvey Yoder 6/30!
June Lectionary Texts
2   Acts 16:16-34  Psalm 97 Revelation 22:12-21 John 17:20-26
9  Acts 2:1-21  Psalm 104:24-35  Romans 8:14-17 John 14:8-27
16 Proverbs 8:1-4, 22-31  Psalm 8  Romans 5:1-5 John 16:12-15
23 1 Kings 19:1-15  Psalm 42  Isaiah 65:1-9  Gal. 3:23-29  Luke 8:26-39
30 2 Kings 2:1-2, 6-14   Psalm 16  Galatians 5:1, 13-25  Luke 9:51-62

June services, worship at 4, meal at 6 pm
2 Location: Park Place meeting room, 2nd floor                         432-0531
Worship and sharing: Harvey Yoder
Bible Study: Paul Swarr                                              "all manner of fruit"                
9 Location: Guy & Margie Vlasits 3399  Caverns Drive            908-0391                                              
Worship and Sharing: Lois Rivers-Wenger
Bible Study and annual covenanting: Harvey Yoder             Carry-in meal                    
16 Location: Family Life Resource Center 273 Newman Ave    432-0531          
Worship and Sharing: James Stauffer
Bible Study: Dick Dumas                                                           Pizza meal
23 Location: Lois Rivera-Wenger 204 Homes Lane 22401 502-663-3195
Worship and Sharing: Kent Palmer
Bible Study: Elly Nelson                                              Simple picnic meal                     
30 Location: Lewis & Mary Ellen Overholt   Heritage Haven    432-7277                                    
Worship and Sharing: Lewis Overholt                                                 
Bible Study: Mary Ellen Overholt, Kent Palmer, James Stauffer, and Harvey Yoder (each taking a passage)                               Brown bag meal                                              

Friday, May 3, 2019

May 2019 newsletter


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

Awl           
by Minor Junior Smith, a blind poet and author at Deerfield Correctional Center who is still waiting for his well-deserved parole release.

An awl is a tool for piercing holes, particularly in leather. It is a simple metal shaft, with a knob of wood for a handle, polished by its fit in the sinewy cradle of a leather worker's palm.
   It is likely the tool with which Louis Braille blinded himself as a three-year-old child in France, in an accident in his father's saddle making shop in the early nineteenth century. (1) Braille later invented a system of raised dots as a means of reading and writing for the blind. 
   We don't know whether he was in the shop with his father or alone, whether it was a damp and rainy day, or whether the sun shone and brought to life the floating dust that always hung in the workshop air.
   Maybe it was just a little poke in the eye with this small tool, a small slip of the hand, a small injury, a little fumble that resulted in his blindness.
   This was decades before general anesthesia or antiseptics. Perhaps the doctor they rushed him to believed n the value of "laudable pus" in a wound. I don't want to picture it.
   And as a child in his father's saddle-making shop, did Louis Braille already know the names of the parts of a saddle: pummel, stirrup, tree? Did he know the smell and feel of each grade of leather? 
   Of all the tools, punch and pincers, gauge and groover, chisel and awl, he chose awl. 
   Was it an accident that the tool I used at the blind school in Staunton, Virginia, for pressing hand-punched Braille dots was like a blunt, very small awl?      

(1) Braille’s injured eye developed an infection that spread to his other eye, eventually causing totally blindness. At first he didn't realize he had lost his sight, and kept asking why it was always so dark.

Notes, Prayers and Praises
  • MAY BIRTHDAY BLESSINGS to Margie Vlastis 5/1, Alma Jean Yoder 5/15 and Karen Soich 5/20!
  • A MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR BERTHA SWARR will be held at the Ridgeway Mennonite Church at 11 am Saturday, May 11.
  • NEAL NELSON’s new address is Envoy of Staunton, Rm. 311b, 512 Houston Street Staunton, VA 24402  Neal loves getting cards!
  • LOIS RIVERA-WENGER has invited us to her home for a picnic meal and for our service on May 26!

May Lectionary Texts

5   Acts 9:1-20     Psalm 30 Revelation 5:11-14     John 21:1-19
12 Acts 9:36-43   Psalm 23 Revelation 7:9-17     John 10:22-30
19 Acts 11:1-18   Psalm 148 Revelation 21:1-6     John 13:31-35
26 Acts 16:9-15   Psalm 67 Revelation 21:10 -22:5   John 14:1-29

May services, worship at 4, meal at 6 pm

5 Location: Park Place meeting room, 2nd floor                         432-0531
Worship and sharing: James Stauffer
Bible Study: Biblical Drama! Guy: A Dramatic Conversion, Elly: A Dramatic Rescue, Jim: A Dramatic Restoration, Dick: A Dramatic Outpouring of Worship     No meal   

12 Location: Guy & Margie Vlasits 3399  Caverns Drive          908-0391    
Worship and Sharing: Harvey Yoder
Bible Study: Kent Palmer                                                      Carry-in meal 
                   
19 Location: Lewis & Mary Ellen Overholt   Heritage Haven   432-7277  
Worship and Sharing: Elly Nelson
Bible Study: Lewis Overholt                                             Brown bag meal

26 Location: Lois Rivera-Wenger 204 Homes Lane 22401 502-663-3195       
Worship and Sharing: Lois River-Wenger                                           
Bible Study: Harvey Yoder                                         Carry-in-picnic-meal              


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