Sunday, January 29, 2012

February 2012 Newsletter

Family of Hope House Church                               February 2012

How Much Real Estate Does God Need? 
I well remember a sign I saw once along along Highway 33 east of town that announced, “God is about to do something wonderful here.” Turns out God was apparently planning to turn some irreplaceable farm land into a large asphalt parking lot and a multi-million dollar brick and concrete house of worship.

As open land in our Valley becomes more and more scarce, I’ve long been concerned about our preserving as much of our remaining wooded and agricultural land as possible. This calls for help even from churches.

In theory I favor believers being able to buy and build wherever they choose. Having said that, I would also expect them to be careful about how much of God’s good earth they gouge out and pave over.

Could we honor God more by having numerous services in our existing structures, since it is nowhere written that we need to "assemble ourselves together" only on Sunday mornings? The local Blessed Sacrament Church,  for example, with a parish of over 1500 households, holds four separate services each weekend. When the church added a larger auditorium in 1995, they built on downtown property they already owned.

And there are other options. Numerous local congregations rent “secular” spaces for their services, such as schools, store fronts and town halls.

Church historian Howard Snyder notes that “church history shows an inverse ratio between dynamic church multiplication and preoccupation with buildings.” Certainly this has proven to be true in Europe, which has the world’s most beautiful cathedrals but a decreasing number of practicing Christians.                                                         - Harvey Yoder

Notes, prayers and praises

*  FAMILY OF HOPE’S GIVING GOAL remains at $18,000 for the coming year, even though we did not quite reach that amount in 2011. But due to fewer expenditures for our own needs we were still able to meet all of the giving to other causes included in last year’s giving plan.

 * PRAY FOR BILLY MAY, who is recovering well from his January 23 hip surgery, and for MICHAEL RIVIERA-WENGER, who remains at home in weakened condition.

 * FEBRUARY BIRTHDAY BLESSINGS to Trish Levesque 2/23. Her address is 17600 14th Avenue North, Apt. 127, Plymouth, MN 55447-2951.

February lectionary readings

5  Isaiah 40:21-31 Psalm 147:1-20c 1 Corinthians 9:16-23 Mark 1:29-39
12  2 Kings 5:1-14 Psalm 30 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 Mark 1:40-45
19  2 Kings 2:1-12 Psalm 50:1-6  2 Corinthians 4:3-6 Mark 9:2-9
26  Genesis 9:8-17 Psalm 25:1-10  1 Peter 3:18-22  Mark 1:9-15

February services    worship at 4 pm, meal at 6               

5 Location: Guy & Margie Vlasits 3448 Caverns Drive, K’town   908-0391
Worship and Sharing: Guy and Margie Vlasits
Bible Study: Dick Dumas                                                        Carry-in Meal

12 Location:  Rachel Stoltzfus 1359 Two Penny Drive                     433-3983
Worship and Sharing: Karla May
Bible Study: Harvey Yoder                                                         Carry-in Meal     

19 Location: James & Ruth Stauffer 1250 Parkway Dr 22802         574-6141
Worship and Sharing: James Stauffer
Bible Study: Paul Swarr                                                             Carry-in Meal

26 Location: Susan Campbell 1361 Lincolnshire Dr 22802             564-1524
Worship and Sharing:
Bible Study: James Stauffer                Carry-in Meal
(Skip and Carol Tobin will be with us next month instead of today as previously scheduled)

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