Family of Hope House Church
Celebrating a 24-year journey
They came from Richmond, Akron, Arlington, Ashville and from up and down the Valley. Over forty past and present members of the FOH family gathered at the Old Massnutten Lodge in Keezletown for its first reunion and homecoming held on the weekend of August 13-14.. Many others who were not able to come, from places as far away as California, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Oregon, sent their regrets and conveyed their best wishes to the group.
A Saturday afternoon outdoor picnic was followed by guests gathering in a circle in order of the approximate year they became a part of the congregation and sharing their stories. A common theme was that of a small congregation reaching out to people who felt alienated and marginalized by their churches and needing a spiritual family to call their home. There was also recognition of people who served elsewhere at some time during their sojourn with FOH, in Ethiopia, Germany, Guatemala and El Salvador and elsewhere, adding to the church’s sense of being a part of a larger world community.
A table in the Great Room of the Lodge held pictures of past events of the church, copies of old newsletters and other items of interest.
On the next day a Sunday noon fellowship meal was followed by a worship service that included the singing of favorite hymns associated with past memories of house church worship services and by a Bible study and sharing time based on Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians and the theme, “We have this treasure in jars of clay.” A display of ceramic ware in various stages of completion covered a coffee table in the middle of the group and became the basis for reflection on Jesus as God’s treasure and the source of all life and hope.
Family of Hope thanks all who came and especially Margie and Guy Vlasits for being gracious hosts for the event, as well as all others who contributed to the weekend’s success.
“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” - II Corinthians 4:7-9
Check out a neat slide show highlighting the event done by a local friend of the church, Elly Nelson, using photos provided by Margie Vlasits.
Notes, prayers and praises
* VIRGINIA MENNONITE RELIEF SALE is set for September 30-October 1 at the Rockingham Fair grounds.
* GET FOH UPDATES at http://familyofhopehousechurch.blogpost.com.
* SEPTEMBER ANNIVERSARY BLESSINGS to Billy and Karla May 9/3!
* WE WELCOME JOSIAH DUMAS back to our community. He is living with his father at 816 Virginia Avenue and is looking for carpenter or other work in the area.
.* CONTRIBUTE TO PENNY POWER this month to help fund water projects in needy areas of the world.
* WE ENCOURAGE SPECIAL GIFTS TO MCC and other food relief organizations to help those enduring incredible suffering in Somalia, Kenya and other drought-stricken parts of Africa.
September lectionary readings
4 Psalm 149, Exodus 12:1-14, Romans 13:8-14, Matthew 18:15-20
11 Psalm 114, Exodus 14:19-31, Romans 14:1-12, Matthew 18:21-35
16 Psalm 105:1-6, 37-45, Ex. 16:2-15, Philippians 1:21-30, Matt. 20:1-16
25 Psalm 78:1-4, 12-16, Ex. 17:1-7, Philippians 2:1-13, Matthew 21:23-32
September services worship at 4 pm, meal at 6
4 Location: James & Ruth Stauffer 1250 Parkway Dr 22802 574-6141
Worship and Sharing: James Stauffer
Bible Study: Skip and Carol Tobin, Virginia Mennonite Missions
11 Location: Guy & Margie Vlasits 3448 Caverns Drive, K’town 908-0391
Worship and Sharing: Guy and Margie Vlasits
Bible Study: Harvey Yoder Carry-in Meal
18 Location: Rachel Stoltzfus 1359 TwoPenny Drive 433-3983
Worship and Sharing: Karla May
Bible Study: Dick Dumas Carry-in Meal
25 Location: Susan Campbell 1361 Lincolnshire Dr 22802 564-1524
Worship and Sharing: Susan Campbell
Bible Study: James Stauffer