Sunday, February 4, 2018

February 2018 newsletter

 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.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Minutes of annual business meeting

Family of Hope
Business Meeting
January 21, 2018

Following afternoon worship on January of 21, 2018, Family of Hope House Church met for its annual business meeting. Cathy Atwell, Susan Campbell, Kent Palmer, James Stauffer, Ruth Stauffer, Guy Vlasits, Alma Jean Yoder, Harvey Yoder were in attendance.

The leadership team (Susan Campbell, Dick Dumas, and Harvey Yoder) reported on a meeting held on January 17, 2018.  They were concerned that 2017 giving was considerably less than in previous years. They hoped that giving in 2018 would increase, but it seemed more prudent to assume that giving would not dramatically increase. The leadership team suggested the church adopt a 2018 giving plan similar to the one used for 2017.

Susan Campbell presented the 2017 budget as well as actual 2017 spending.

The congregation accepted the proposal to use the 2017 budget with minor alterations.  The miscellaneous category was reduced from $500 to $300, so that $200 could be added to delegate fees (Delegate fees had been budgeted at $200 in 2012 and 2013 but not in 2017).

Some discussion occurred over whether the congregation wanted to continue to be members of Faith in Action. A decision was made to continue membership in 2018 and Harvey Yoder will represent the congregation at Faith in Action meetings. The church will contribute $200 to Faith in Action from the discretionary fund as was done last year.

We discussed whether we wanted to continue to have joint worship meetings with the Table. We decided to meet with the Table on February 18th, but defer plans for future joint meetings until after a decision is made about whether we want to continue with these meetings.

We invite members that were not able to attend the business meeting this week to continue the discussion of these topics next week. 

Kent Palmer
recording secretary

Sunday, December 31, 2017

January 2018 newsletter

 Family of Hope House Church                           January 2018

On Not Being Anxious in 2018

All of us worry, sometimes imagining worst outcomes in ways that rob us of sleep, appetite and our general joy of living.

With tongue partly in cheek, I've suggested to some folks (and to myself), that we set aside a special time every day for the sole purpose of focusing on worries--whether about finances, family, our future, or whatever. Then at other times of the day (or night), that we postpone dealing with those thoughts and feelings, simply filing them until our designated "Worry Hour".

It sounds wacky, but some folks have actually found this helpful. Of course, if that designated time rolls around and we really can't seem to think of anything worth worrying about, fine. But if there are some things on our worry list that really deserve our attention, we can do some or all of the following:

1. Use a journal to record our worries--raw, unedited, the worst--then write the kinds of responses we might make if a friend or family member were to share these same fears with us. Or write a letter to God, followed by a letter we might imagine a caring God writing to us in response.
2. Share some of our fears with a trusted friend, mentor or family member, via a phone call, visit or email.
3. Pray and meditate, imagining best case outcomes as well as bad ones. 4. Reflect on all of the back-up assets we have in place in case we do suffer a bad illness or accident, experience a financial loss, or lose a loved one.

In short, if we are to worry at all, let's do it with some intentionality and in a way that can offer us more positive results. And not have worries preoccupy our minds 24/7.                                               - Harvey Yoder

Notes, Prayers and Praises
  • JANUARY BIRTHDAY BLESSINGS to James Stauffer 1/8, Susan Campbell 1/17,  Becky Morlan 1/28, Dick Dumas 1/30! And congratulations to Lewis and Mary Ellen Overholt on their anniversary January 13!
  • WE WILL HAVE OUR ANNUAL BUSINESS MEETING January 21 in connection with our regular Sunday service, with our treasurers report and the adoption of the 2018 budget.
January Lectionary Texts 

  Genesis 1:1-5  Psalm 29  Acts 19:1-7  Mark 1:4-11
14 1 Samuel 3:1-20 Psalm 139:1-18 1 Corinthians 6:12-20 John 1:43-51
21 Jonah 3:1-5, 10  Psalm 62:5-12  1 Corinthians 7:29-31  Mark 1:14-20
28 Deuteronomy 18:15-20  Psalm 111 1 Corinthians 8:1-13 Mark 1:21-28 

January services, worship at 4, meal at 6 pm

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

14 Location: Guy Vlasits 1260 Parkway Drive                           269-6706
Worship and Sharing: Elly Nelson
Bible Study: Dick Dumas                                                      Carry-in meal

21 Location: FLRC, 273 Newman Ave. (ground floor)               432-0531
Worship, meditation and Annual Business Meeting - Harvey Yoder               
                                                                                        Finger foods meal  
28 Location: Susan Campbell, 1361 Lincolnshire Drive 
Worship and Sharing: James Stauffer

Bible Study: Lewis Overholt                                                 Carry-in meal

Sunday, December 3, 2017

December 2017 newsletter

 Family of Hope House Church                        December 2017

Notes, Prayers and Praises
“Long, long ago, God decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ.  (What pleasure he took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son.”                            from Ephesians 1  The Message  
  • DECEMBER BIRTHDAY BLESSINGS to Karen Campbell 12/26/69
December Lectionary Texts 
3   Isaiah 64:1-9  Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19 1 Corinthians 1:3-9 Mark 13:24-37
10  Isaiah 40:1-11  Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13  2 Peter 3:8-15a  Mark 1:1-8
17 Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11 Luke 1:46b-55 1Thessalonians 5:16-24  John 1:6-8, 19-28
24 2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16  Psalm 89:1-4, 19-26  Romans 16:25-27  Luke 1:26-38
31 Isaiah 61:10-62:3   Psalm 148   Galatians 4:4-7   Luke 2:22-40

December services, worship at 4, meal at 6
3 Location: Park Place, second floor meeting room                    564-3716
Worship and sharing: Harvey Yoder
Bible Study: Paul Swarr                                      sandwich/fresh fruit meal
10 Location: Guy Vlasits 1260 Parkway Drive                           269-6706
Worship and Sharing: James Stauffer
Bible Study: Dick Dumas                                                      Carry-in meal
17 Location: FLRC, 273 Newman Ave. (ground floor)               432-0531
Worship and Sharing: Lois Rivera-Wenger
Bible Study: Kent Palmer                                                      Carry-in meal                                                                    
24 No FOH service on Christmas Eve Day
We encourage you to visit another church today.
31 Location: Margie Vlasits 3448 Caverns Drive, Keezletown  908-0391
Worship and Sharing: Harvey Yoder
Bible Study: Elly Nelson                                                     Carry-in meal

Sunday, November 5, 2017

November 2017 newsletter

 Family of Hope House Church                        November 2017

Remembering Karla May, 1947-2017

I first got to know Karla when she became a friend of my younger sister, when both attended Eastern Mennonite High School. I’m sure that one of the things that drew them together was the fact that each was adopted, which both made them special and maybe sometimes also made them feel a little different from their peers. I know my sister, whom we loved very much, still sometimes wondered why she was neglected and not cared for by her mother and placed in foster care, and then adopted. 
     Alma Jean and I each had the opportunity to be Karla’s teachers at EMHS, and Karla adopted my wife as a special friend and mentor, and frequently visited us. Then some years ago Karla became adopted into our little house church, where she was as an active member for many years. She always had a heart for people she felt might be overlooked or neglected, and wanted to make sure everyone was remembered and loved. For example, there was no one in our church more faithful in sending birthday or get well or sympathy cards to any of our members celebrating a life or experiencing a loss. Karla cared deeply.
     As we all know, she went through unbelievable suffering herself in recent years, and I’m sure there were times when she wondered about God’s care for her as his special adopted daughter. But she’ll always have a place of special belonging in our hearts, and I know in the hearts of her husband, children and grandchildren. And I believe God has a special place set for Karla at Jesus’ great banquet table. He’s saying, “Come home, come home, my daughter, it’s supper time.”
     In his letter to the Galatians, Paul writes,
“When the fullness of time was come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, to redeem us, so that we might receive full rights as God’s adopted children. And because we are children, God’s Spirit in us calls out, ‘Abba’ (‘Papa’), Father’,… and since we are children, we are also heirs, by adoption.”  That’s the way God loves all of us.
     So welcome home, Karla, you’ve suffered long enough, you’ve waited long enough. Welcome to the forever banquet. As Isaiah promises, “On this mountain the LORD Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples, a banquet of the best of meats and the finest of wines. On this mountain he will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations; he will swallow up death for ever.”
     So welcome home, Karla. You’ve got a place, yes, you’ve got a special place at God’s welcome table. So save us a seat. We hope to join you soon.  
                                                                            - Harvey Yoder

Notes, Prayers and Praises
  • OUR FOH “MY COINS COUNT” total for the Relief Sale added $150.62 the $25,083.79 brought in this year. The SOS giving campaign brought in $35,575 and the entire sale may have raised a record-breaking amount, with final results yet to be tabulated. 
  • NOVEMBER BIRTHDAY BLESSINGS to 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!
November Lectionary Texts
5   Joshua 3:7-17  Micah 3:5-12  Psalm 43  1 Thessalonians 2:9-13 Matthew 23:1-12
12  Joshua 24:1-3a, 14-25  Amos 5:18-24  Psalm 70  1 Thessalonians 4:13-18  Matthew 25:1-13
19  Judges 4:1-7  Psalm 123,  Zephaniah 1:7, 12-18  1 Thessalonians 5:1-11  Matthew 25:14-30
26  Ezekiel 34:11-24  Psalm 95  Ephesians 1:15-23  Matthew 25:31-46

November services, worship at 4, meal at 6
5 Location: Festival of Praise at EMHS at 4, followed by fellowship and a sandwich/fresh fruit meal at Park Place, second floor meeting room                                              
12 Location: Guy Vlasits 1260 Parkway Drive                269-6706
Worship and Sharing: Harvey Yoder
Bible Study: Elly Nelson                                          Carry-in meal
19 Location: FLRC 273 Newman Avenue      432-0531      
Worship and Sharing: Lois Rivera-Wenger
Bible Study: Harvey Yoder                                 Finger foods meal
26 Location: Susan Campbell 1361 Lincolnshire Dr,      564-1524
Worship and Sharing: James Stauffer
Bible Study: Lewis Overholt                                       Carry-in meal

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

October 2017 newsletter

 Family of Hope House Church                            October 2017

Passover as God’s evacuation order

The lectionary reading for September 10, Exodus 12:1-14, included the story of the original Passover, when thousands of enslaved Hebrews celebrated their emancipation and prepared for their evacuation.

Their mandate was clear: Get ready to leave Egypt's tyranny now. Don't wait or hesitate. Prepare your last supper--in your house, or the house of a neighbor--a meal of roast lamb, unleavened bread, and bitter herbs, and be ready to make a run for your freedom at midnight.

Some twelve centuries later Jesus announced another regime change, this time from oppression of an even greater magnitude. As a new Moses, he is leading a worldwide, heaven-based rule based on a non-violent, grace-offering, blood-outpouring love for all, fellow-citizens and hated foreigners alike. Under God's universal new covenant, the lost are to be redeemed, the oppressed are to be freed, former enemies are to be reconciled, and the poor and oppressed are to experience God's special favor.

In this new era, marked by Jesus choosing crucifixion instead of vengeance, he is both our Passover Lamb, ensuring our deliverance from all evil, and our heaven-sent Liberator. He leads the procession of all who lay down their arms and take up his cross, and who who are willing to demonstrate his dramatic regime-changing vision for heaven-based living, starting right here on earth. The very body and life blood representing his Passover presence become nourishment and empowerment for our massive worldwide exodus toward freedom and shalom.

We praise God for this forever vision of Pesach, our "passing over" into new life.
  • - Harvey Yoder
Notes, Prayers and Praises
  • FORMER FOH MEMBER KARLA MAY, age 70, passed away Friday afternoon, September 22, near Petersburg, WV. Her memorial service is at the Mt. Clinton Church of God at 6 pm Tuesday, September 26.
  • OCTOBER BIRTHDAY BLESSINGS to Joyce Ulrich 10/14, and Elly Nelson 10/28! 
  • Lewis and Mary Ellen Overholt’s address is VMRC, Heritage Haven, G49, (229-938-6410), and Kent Palmer’s is 1431B Hillcrest Drive, Harrisonburg, VA 22802 (574-606-8917).
October Lectionary Texts

1   Exodus 17:1-7  Psalm 78:1-4, 12-16  Philippians 2:1-13 Matthew 21:23-32
8  Exodus 20:1-4, 7-9, 12-20  Isaiah 5:1-7  Psalm 80:7-15 Philippians 3:4b-14  Matthew 21:33-46
15  Exodus 32:1-14  Psalm 106:1-6, 19-23  Isaiah 25:1-9  Philippians 4:1-9  Matthew 22:1-14
22  Exodus 33:12-23  Psalm 99  Isaiah 45:1-7  1 Thessalonians 1:1-10 Matthew 22:15-22
29  Deuteronomy 34:1-12  Psalm 90:1-6, 13-17  Leviticus 19:1-2, 15-18  1 Thessalonians 2:1-8  Matthew 22:34-46  

October services, worship at 4, meal at 6 (except 10/22)

1 Location: Park Place, second floor meeting room                   564-3716
Worship and Sharing: Harvey Yoder
Bible Study: Paul Swarr                           Sandwiches and fresh fruit meal                                                 
8 Location: Susan Campbell 1361 Lincolnshire Dr, 22802         564-1524
Worship and Sharing: Elly Neal
Bible Study: Kent Palmer                                                      Carry-in meal

15 Location: FLRC 273 Newman Avenue (rear of building)      432-0531                           
Worship and Sharing: Lois Rivera-Wenger
Bible Study: Dick Dumas                                               Finger foods meal                                                                    
22 Location: The Table, at Community Mennonite  (at 4:30)    432-0531
Worship and Sharing 
Bible Study: Overseer Roy Hange                                        Carry-in meal

29 Location: Guy Vlasits 1260 Parkway Dr.                              269-6706
Worship and Sharing: James Stauffer 
Bible Study: Harvey Yoder                                                   Carry-in meal

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Delivered by Grace, Governed by Love

Here's the outline of the Agape Meal service we celebrated at our 4 pm service this Sunday:

Opening choruses

Prayer and sharing time
Your will be done on earth, O Lord

Anticipating regime change
Psalm 149, Exodus 12:1-14
Come, we that love the Lord Hymnal 14

Maintaining love and order in the new regime
Matthew 18:15-20
Peace before us, peace behind us, peace the path for our feet, 
Peace within us, peace over us, Let all around us be peace.
(Christ… Love… Grace… Praise… etc.)

Governed by Agape
Romans 13:8-14
I am the bread of life Hymnal 472
Let us break bread together
Be present at our table, Lord 457

Celebrating the Feast of Deliverance
Readings, partaking of bread and cup, followed by an agape meal
Sent forth by God's blessing Hymnal 478

May the Lord give you bread for the journey to come
May God’s Spirit sustain you with light from above
May the good Lord bless and keep you
May his face shine upon you

Go in faith, go in hope, go in love.

Here's a link to my most recent blog entitled "Passover: God's Mandatory Evacuation Order":