Friday, July 28, 2017

August 2017 newsletter

House-to-House
Family of Hope House Church                           August 2017

The Parable of the Terrible Tares

One of the July 23 scripture texts included Jesus's story of someone planting a field of wheat, then having an enemy sow noxious weed seeds in that field while the farmer slept.
     When the owner of the field was asked by his servants whether they should root out the unwanted weeds he told them to wait for the harvest to separate the good from the bad.
     In explaining the parable's meaning, Jesus says the field is the world, the wheat represents God's people and the weeds, evildoers. Let them both grow together, he said, until God separates them at the last judgment.
     This passage has been a source of confusion for those who assume this means that the church therefore exercises no discernment as to who is a follower of Jesus and who is not. This would contradict what is taught in passages like Matthew 18 and other texts which counsel us to meet with a erring person privately to bring about restoration, then if needed take another caring person with us to make another appeal, then involve the whole congregation if necessary to discern whether that person is to remain loved and cared for as a member or to be loved and re-evangelized equally warmly as an outsider. The church continues to love and care in either case.
     But this parable is not about the church but about the world. In other words, followers of Jesus are not to go about seeking and destroying God's enemies, going after unbelievers or persecuting members of ISIS or others who are clearly living in ways that are counter to the life and teachings of Jesus. Let God be the judge of all outsiders, Jesus is saying, meanwhile we are to go about the business of simply being a faithful community of Jesus followers.
     The field is the world.                                                                       - Harvey Yoder

Notes, prayers and praises 
  • WE ARE INVITED TO JOIN THE TABLE at their worship service at 110 Old South High Street August 20.
  • AUGUST BIRTHDAY BLESSINGS to Gail Blackburn 8/30! Also, Alma Jean and Harvey’s anniversary is 8/8 and James and Ruth Stauffer’s is 8/30.  
  • WE WELCOME LEWIS AND MARY ELLEN OVERHOLT back home from their summer travels!
  • PLAN TO MAKE A GENEROUS CASH GIFT  for MCC’s work with famine and war refugees at the Fall Mennonite Relief Sale September 29-30 in addition to purchasing of food and other items.
August lectionary readings
6   Genesis 32:22-31 Isaiah 55:1-5  Psalm 145:8-21  Romans 9:1-5  Matthew 14:13-21
13  Genesis 37:1-4, 12-28  1 Kings 19:9-18  Psalm 85:8-13 Romans 10:5-15  Matthew 14:22-33
20  Genesis 45:1-15  Isaiah 56:1, 6-8  Psalms 67  Romans 11:1-2a, 29-32  Matthew 15: 10-28
27  Exodus 1:8-2:10  Isaiah 51:1-6  Psalm 138  Romans 12:1-8  Matthew 16:13-20

August services, worship at 4, meal at 6
6 Location: Park Place, second floor meeting room                   564-3716
Worship and Sharing: Lois Rivera Wenger
Bible Study: Paul Swarr                               Sandwich and fresh fruit meal                                                 
13 Location: Guy Vlasits 1260 Parkway Dr.                              269-6706
Worship and Sharing: James Stauffer
Bible Study: Richard Dumas                                                 Carry-in meal                            

20 Location: The Table, at 110 Old South High Street at 4:30 pm
                                                                                               Carry-in meal                                             
27 Location: Susan Campbell 1361 Lincolnshire Dr, 22802      564-1524
Worship and Sharing: Harvey Yoder                                     
Bible Study: Elly Nelson                                                   Carry-in meal


Sunday, June 25, 2017

July 2017 newsletter

House-to-House
 Family of Hope House Church                       July 2017

Virginia Conference Assembly July 20-22
Theme: “Neighbors: Strangers no More”

Thursday, July 20  7:00-8:30 pm
Speaker: Saulo Padilla, MCC US Immigration Education Coordinator

Friday, July 21  8:30 am
8:30 am Bible Study: Wilma Bailey, Old Testament scholar
Delegate Session #1

12:00 Lunch (food trucks on site)

1 pm Delegate Session #2
3:15-3:30 pm Workshop Session
5:00 Dinner (Taj of India, $15, pre-registration required)

7:00-8:30 pm
Speaker: César García, General Secretary of the Mennonite World Conference

TASTE OF MISSIONS ON THE LAWN: hosted by VMMissions immediately after the Friday evening service

Saturday, July 26  8:30 am
7-8 am Mennonite Women’s Breakfast

8:30 Bible Study: Wilma Bailey,

Missional story and Delegate Session #3
12:15 Dismissal 

Notes, prayers and praises 
  • THE MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR RACHEL STOLTZFUS will be held at the River of Life Church near her former home along Mt. Clinton Pike at 11 am July 4. A light lunch will be provided.
  • JULY BIRTHDAY BLESSINGS to Lois Rivera-Wenger 7/30!
  • VIRGINIA CONFERENCE ASSEMBLY will be held at the Park View Mennonite Church July 20-22. All are welcome, especially to the three evening services and to the workshop session.

July lectionary readings
2   Genesis 22:1-14  Psalm 13  Romans 6:12-23  Matthew 10:40-42
9   Genesis 24:34-67  Psalm 45:10-17  Song of Solomon 2:8-13 Romans 7:15-25a  Matthew 11:16--30
16  Genesis 25:19-34  Isaiah 55:10-13  Psalm 65:9-13  Romans 8:1-11  Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23
23  Genesis 28:10-19a  Isaiah 44:6-8  Psalm 86:11-17  Romans 8:12-25  Matthew 13:24-43
30  Genesis 29:15-28  Psalm 128 1 Kings 3:5-12  Romans 8:26-39  Matthew 13:31-52

July services, worship at 4, meal at 6
2 Location: Park Place, second floor meeting room                   564-3716
Worship and Sharing: Harvey Yoder 
Bible Study: Paul Swarr                               Sandwich and fresh fruit meal                                                 
9 Location: Family Life Resource Center 273 Newman Ave    432-0531 
Worship and Sharing: James Stauffer
Bible Study: Harvey Yoder                                                   Carry-in meal                            
16 Location: Guy Vlasits 1260 Parkway Dr.                              269-6706
Worship and Sharing: Lois Rivera Wenger
Bible Study: James Stauffer                                                  Carry-in meal                                                                       
23 Location: Family Life Resource Center 273 Newman Ave    432-0531
Worship and Sharing: Harvey Yoder
Bible Study: Dick Dumas                                               Finger foods meal

30 Location Family Life Resource Center 273 Newman Ave    432-0531
Worship and Sharing: Guy Vlasits                                          
Bible Study: Elly Nelson                                                      Carry-in Meal

Sunday, May 28, 2017

June 2017 newsletter

House-to-House
Family of Hope House Church                     June 2017

Remembering Rachel Stoltzfus 1925-2017

On May13, just before Mother's Day, our friend and fellow member Rachel Stoltzfus, 91, died peacefully at the Rockingham Memorial Hospital in Harrisonburg, the community she and her late husband Robert had chosen to spend their last years together. On Friday she had become very ill and was admitted to RMH while with her son and daughter-in-law west of town, David and Twila Stoltzfus.

For years Rachel and Robert had lived in a modest home on the corner of Two Penny Drive and Mt. Clinton Pike, where she continued to live after his passing until she moved to Bethesda, Maryland, four years ago. There her home was with her daughter and son-in-law, Debbie and Gonzalo Accame.

It was a privilege being Rachel's pastor, and we at Family of Hope house church grew to deeply love and appreciate her during the many years she was a part of our little close-knit congregation. She frequently hosted our church meetings in her home, and was hospitable to scores if not hundreds of international students attending EMU during the years she and her husband lived near the campus. After he died she continued that ministry on her own.

This July 4 her family and her church family will be hosting a celebration of her life at the River of Life Church on Blackberry Lane just off Mt. Clinton Pike. Rachel and Robert had been an active part of the New Covenant Mennonite Fellowship which built the meeting house where the her memorial service will be held. At that service we will share our fond memories of this remarkable saint.

- Harvey Yoder

Notes, prayers and praises 
  • RACHEL STOLTZFUS, who died May 13 at age 91, will be greatly missed and long remembered. Her memorial service will be held at the River of Life Church near her former home along Mt. Clinton Pike at 11 am July 4.
  • ON PENTECOST SUNDAY, June 4, we will have our annual covenanting service, 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 Sophie May, 6/2, Josiah Dumas 6/9, Karla May 6/16, Isaiah May, 6/27 and Harvey Yoder 6/30!
June lectionary readings
4    Numbers 11:24-30  Psalm 104:24-35  1 Corinthians 12:3b-13  John 7:37-39
11  Genesis 1:1-2:4a  Psalm 8  2 Corinthians 13:11-13  Matthew 28:16-20
18  Genesis 18:1-15  Psalm 116  Romans 5:1-8 Matthew 9:35-10:8
25  Genesis 21:8-21  Psalm 86  Jeremiah 20:7-13  Romans 6:1b-11  Matthew 10:24-39

June services, worship at 4, meal at 6
4 Location: Park Place, second floor meeting room                   564-3716
Worship and Sharing: Harvey Yoder 
Bible Study: Paul Swarr                               Sandwich and fresh fruit meal                                                 
11 Location: Guy Vlasits 1260 Parkway Drive, H’burg            269-6706   
Worship and Sharing: James Stauffer
Bible Study: Dick Dumas                                                      Carry-in meal                            
18 Location: Family Life Resource Center 273 Newman Ave    432-0531
Worship and Sharing: 
Bible Study: Harvey Yoder                                             Finger foods meal                                                                        
25 Location: TBD
Worship and Sharing: Guy Vlasits                                          
Bible Study: Elly Nelson                                                       Carry-in Meal

Saturday, April 29, 2017

May 2017 newsletter

House-to-House
 Family of Hope House Church                                 May 2017

Are We Heading Toward Armageddon?

Among the few books we had in our family library at home was one on the 1912 sinking of the Titanic, billed as the greatest and most reliable ocean liner ever. I remember how horrified I was reading about the fate of all the people who wined and dined together in high style on that voyage, oblivious to the disaster that awaited them.
     In a similar way we may find ourselves lulled into believing that our national ship of state, the now aging republic known as the United States of America, will endure forever. We are promised it will not only manage to avoid any future decline or disaster (of the kind that all empires of the past have experienced) but will gain ever increasing greatness.
     Thus in spite of the fact that both scripture and history tell us differently, we continue to trust in our broken economic and political system as though there were no tomorrow, or that our every tomorrow will be just like the present.
     In his book "Rewilding the Way", Todd Wynward quotes from the Dark Mountain Project, a group of artists and writers who take a contrasting view of where things are headed: 

"Human civilization... is built on little more than belief: belief in the rightness of its values; belief in the strength of its system of law and order; belief in its currency; above all, perhaps, belief in its future. We live in an age in which familiar restraints are being kicked away, and foundations snatched from under us... A similar human story is being played out. It is the story of empire eroding from within us. It is the story of a people who believed, for a long time, that their actions did not have consequences. It is the story of how that people will cope with the crumbling of their own myths. It is our story."
                                                                                          - Harvey Yoder

Notes, prayers and praises 
  • RACHEL STOLTZFUS will be staying with her son and daughter-in-law here in our area May 3-12!
  • GUY VLASITS is doing some disaster relief work in North Carolina May 3-10.
  • FAMILY LIFE RESOURCE CENTER will have its 30th Anniversary Dinner at Park View Mennonite at 5:30 pm Saturday, May 6.
  • MAY BIRTHDAY BLESSINGS to Margie Vlastis 5/1, Alma Jean Yoder 5/15 and Karen Soich 5/20!
May lectionary readings

7    Acts 2:42-47  Psalm 23 1 Peter 2:19-25  John 10:1-10
14  Acts 7:55-60  Psalm 31:1-5, 15-16  1 Peter 2:2-10  John 14:1-14
21  Acts 17:22-31  Psalm 66:8-20  1 Peter 3:13-22  John 14:15-21
28  Acts 1:1-11  Psalm 47  Ephesians 1:15-23  Luke 24:44-53

May services, worship at 4, meal at 6

7 Location: Park Place, second floor meeting room                   564-3716
Worship and Sharing: Harvey Yoder 
Bible Study: James Stauffer                                Sandwich and fresh fruit meal                                                 

14 Location: Guy Vlasits 1260 Parkway Drive, H’burg             269-6706   
Worship and Sharing: Elly Nelson
Bible Study: Dick Dumas                                                      Carry-in meal
                                   
21 Location: Family Life Resource Center 273 Newman Ave   432-0531
Worship and Sharing: Harvey Yoder
Bible Study: Elly Nelson                                                Finger foods meal
                                                                                             
28 Location: Lois Rivera-Wenger 204 Homes Lane, Staunton                                                                Worship and Sharing: Lois Rivera-Wenger                        502-663-3195         
Bible Study: Harvey Yoder                                            Picnic Meal

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

April 2017 newsletter

House-to-House
 Family of Hope House Church                            April 2017

Should we continue using lectionary texts?

There have been questions raised about whether or why we should be following the lectionary texts. They are selections of scriptures that are used by many churches all over the world, but I can see where some may feel unduly bound by them, although we've never intended them to be other than the following:

* A way of making sure we don't just pick our favorite passages from the Bible and ignore other parts that we may not be as drawn to.
  
* A way of providing balance between an emphasis on Old Testament and New Testament texts.

* A way of sharing with each other, and with believers everywhere, a common focus for our learning and sharing.

Having said that, we don't expect those who lead our studies to feel confined to these texts, any more that we would expect a Sunday School teacher to only follow the prescribed lesson in a S.S. quarterly. Every person has the right to go in whatever direction they feel led. 

If we decide together to chose other selected book studies from the Bible, or to simply let each teacher select topics of their own choosing, we can certainly do so. Meanwhile, it does seem good to encourage everyone to be reading and studying some of the same scriptures beforehand and to be prepared to bring their insights to add for the benefit of all.

Tell me what you think.
                                                                                          - Harvey Yoder
Notes, prayers and praises 
  • WE INVITE EVERYONE to a time of special prayer and fasting during this season of Lent.
  • JOIN IN A NOON GOOD FRIDAY WALK April 14, starting at Blessed Sacrament Church and ending at St. Stephens UCC.
  • APRIL BIRTHDAY BLESSINGS to Bertha Swarr 4/13 and Cathy Atwell 4/19 (Sorry, we missed noting Ruth Stauffer’s on March 28!).

April lectionary readings
2   Ezekiel 37:1-14   Psalm 130  Romans 8:6-11  John 11:1-45
9   Isaiah 50:4-9a  Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29  Matthew 21:1-11;  27:11-54 
16 Jeremiah 31:1-9 Colossians 3:1-4  Acts 10:34-43  Luke 24:13-35
23 Acts 2:14a, 22-32  Psalm 16 1 Peter 1:3-9 John 20:19-31
30 Acts 2:36-41  Psalm 116:1-4, 12-19  1 Peter 1:17-23 Matthew 28

April services, worship at 4, meal at 6
2 Location: Park Place, second floor meeting room                   564-3716
Worship and Sharing: Paul Swarr
Bible Study: Harvey Yoder        Light meal of sandwiches and fresh fruit                                                    
9 Location: Family Life Resource Center 273 Newman Ave     432-0531
Worship and Sharing: James Stauffer
Bible Study: Lewis Overholt                                         Finger foods meal
                                    
16 Easter Service Guy Vlasits 1260 Parkway Drive, H’burg     269-6706   
Worship and Study: Jeremiah 31:1-9 & Colossians 3:1-4; James and Ruth 
Stauffer; Luke 24:13-35, Guy Vlasits; Acts 10:34-43, Dick Dumas
                                                                                               Carry-in meal
23 Location: Virginia Mennonite Conference Center
Worship and Sharing: Harvey Yoder
Bible Study: Ken Horst, Virginia Mennonite Missions    Soup only meal

30 Location: Family Life Resource Center 273 Newman Ave     432-0531
Worship and Sharing: Susan Campbell                                        
Bible Study: Elly Nelson                                                 Finger foods meal

Friday, March 3, 2017

March 2017 newsletter

House-to-House
Family of Hope House Church                              March 2017

Pray Globally, Act Locally 

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity. 3 This is right and is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
I Timothy 2:1-4 (NRSV)

Love compels us to respectfully and humbly show all high officials what the Word of God commands them, how they should rightfully execute their office to the glory and praise of God... to punish the transgressors and protect the good; to judge rightly between a man and his fellows; to do justice to the widows and orphans and to the poor, to rule cities and countries justly by a good policy and administration, not contrary to God’s Word but to the benefit of all people.
- Menno Simons

Almighty and merciful God,
whose Son became a refugee
and had no place to call his own;

look with mercy on those who today
are fleeing from danger,
homeless and hungry.

Bless those who work to bring them relief;
inspire generosity and compassion in all our hearts; 
and guide the nations of the world towards that day
when all will rejoice in your Kingdom of justice and of peace;
- unknown

Notes, prayers and praises 
  • WE INVITE MEMBERS to join in a time of special prayer and fasting for the congregation, the church at large and the nation during this season of Lent, which begins on Ash Wednesday, March 1.
  • WE WILL HAVE A LENTEN COMMUNION SERVICE Sunday, March 12, with a bread, cheese and grape juice only meal.
  • CORRECTIONS TO FOH DIRECTORY: James and Ruth Stauffer’s phone is 564-3716. Josiah Dumas’s new address is  45134 Water-pointe Terrace, Apt. 202, Ashburn, VA 20147  (571-577-0144)

March lectionary readings

5   Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-7  Psalm 32  Romans 5:12-19  Matthew 4:1-11
12 Genesis 12:1-4a Psalm 121  Romans 4:1-5, 13-17  John 3:1-17
19 Exodus 17:1-7  Psalm 95  Romans 5:1-11  John 4:5-42
26 Isaiah 7:10-14   Psalm 40:5-10  Hebrews 10:4-10  Luke 1:26-38

March services, worship at 4, meal at 6

5 Location: Park Place, second floor meeting room                   564-3716
Worship and Sharing: Harvey Yoder
Bible Study: Paul Swarr                                   Soup Only Meal (provided)                                                         

12 Location: Family Life Resource Center 273 Newman Ave    432-0531
Worship and Sharing: Lois Rivera-Wenger
Bible Study: Harvey Yoder        
                       Communion meal (bread, cheese and grape juice provided)

19 Location: Guy Vlasits 1260 Parkway Drive, H’burg 22802  269-6706   
Worship and Sharing: James Stauffer
Bible Study: Dick Dumas                                                     Carry-in Meal

26 Location: 4:30 service with the Table, 110 Old South High Street
Worship and Sharing: Harvey Yoder             
Bible Study: Elly Nelson                                                      Carry-in Meal