Family of Hope House Church November 2011
Selling a Fake Gospel - Harvey Yoder
One of our problems in America is that we have an enormous capacity for producing goods, but a limited number of people to buy them. So we’ve developed a huge advertising industry aimed at persuading people to buy more and more of what they don’t need and can’t afford.
Christopher Decker, in an article in the Wall Street Journal called “Selling Desire, Why Chastity is Bad for Business," notes that there was a time when advertising emphasized thrift, durability, and economy. Choices were usually made around how good a product was and how long it would last. But a consumer society has to reverse these values, he notes, because if advertising is to succeed, and business thrive, people have to be convinced that desires alone are sufficient reasons to buy something and that all of our passions are to be indulged now, rather than denied or postponed. So the very notion of chastity has to go, he says, because that represents a mindset that is opposite from a throw away, consumer culture that urges us to get our our Visa cards to buy and use stuff with abandonment, and then simply discard it for whatever you like even better.
According to Dr. Sut Jhally of the University of Massachusetts, the right question to ask about how a given commercial affects us is not how much it influences whether we buy that particular product, but how advertising as a whole affects our buying into a whole different set of values that are counter to the ones we profess to believe. Modern advertising promotes a magical way of thinking, he says, making fantastic promises about what certain products will do for us, like offer us incredible happiness, gain the gloating admiration of all kinds of desirable people, and transform us into an instant, spectacular success. Consumerism promises all, and as such becomes a kind of religion that replaces the faith we actually claim to live by.
We need to teach ourselves and our children to talk back to the blatantly false messages we’re all hearing on television and other media every day. Or better yet, just unplug ourselves from the barrage of untruths we're being bombarded with and read or tell them some good messages of our own.
Notes, prayers and praises
* OUR PENNY POWER OFFERING totaled $229.29. This year’s Relief Sale sale brought in $301,477 for the worldwide relief and service program of Mennonite Central Committee, up from last year's total of $284,914. Over $7.3 million is raised each year from such sales.
* PRAY FOR BERTHA SWARR, .who was admitted to RMH October12 with cellulitus, then transferred to Oak Lea (Room 135) October 18. Husband Paul had cataract surgeries October 12 and 26.
* NOVEMBER BIRTHDAY BLESSINGS to Neal Nelson 11/2, Rachel Stoltzfus 11/5, Paul Swarr 11/10, Emily Zhou 11/11, Michael Riviera-Wenger 11/17 and Guy Vlasits 11/21! And Elly Nelson’s birthday was 10/28.
* ALMA JEAN AND HARVEY YODER attended the funeral service of brother-in-law Vernon Zehr in Greewood, Delaware, October 20.
November lectionary readings
6 Psalm 78:1-7 Joshua 24:1-3a, 14-25 1 Thess 4:13-18 Matthew 25:1-13
13 Psalm 123 Judges 4:1-7 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 Matthew 25:14-30
20 Psalm 100 Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24 Ephesians 1:15-23 Matt 25:31-46
27 Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19 Isaiah 64:1-9 1 Corinthians 1:3-9 Mark 13:24-37
November services worship at 4 pm, meal at 6 (except 11/6)
6 Location: James & Ruth Stauffer 1250 Parkway Dr 22802 574-6141
We invite everyone to take in the Virginia Missions sponsored men’s music service at EMHS at four, then meet for prayer and sharing afterwards.
13 Location: Rachel Stoltzfus 1359 TwoPenny Drive 433-3983
Worship and Sharing: Harvey Yoder
Bible Study: James Stauffer
20 Location: Guy & Margie Vlasits 3448 Caverns Drive, K’town 908-0391
Worship and Sharing: Guy and Margie Vlasits
Bible Study: Roy Hange
27 Location: Susan Campbell 1361 Lincolnshire Dr 22802 564-1524
Worship and Sharing: Susan Campbell
Bible Study: Harvey Yoder