Saturday, February 23, 2013

March 2013 Newsletter

 Family of Hope House Church                                        March 2013

A Hymn for Lent
- Samuel Crossman 1664 (WH 235)

My song is love unknown,

My Saviour’s love to me;

Love to the loveless shown,

That they might lovely be.

O who am I, that for my sake

My Lord should take frail flesh and die?

Sometimes they strew His way,

And His sweet praises sing;

Resounding all the day

Hosannas to their King:

Then “Crucify!” is all their breath,

And for His death they thirst and cry.

Why, what hath my Lord done?

What makes this rage and spite?

He made the lame to run,

He gave the blind their sight,

Sweet injuries! Yet they at these

Themselves displease, and ’gainst Him rise.

They rise and needs will have

My dear Lord made away;

A murderer they save,

The Prince of life they slay,

Yet cheerful He to suffering goes,

That He His foes from thence might free.

In life, no house, no home

My Lord on earth might have;

In death no friendly tomb

But what a stranger gave.

What may I say?
Heav’n was His home;

But mine the tomb wherein.

Here's the link to hear this sung by the St. Martin in the Fields Church Choir

Notes, prayers and praises

MARCH BIRTHDAY BLESSINGS to Ruth Stauffer 3/28, and Elianah Zhou 3/25, c/o Jack Zhou, 5615 W. Wren Avenue, Visalia, CA 93291.
WE ARE GRATEFUL TO GOD  for the good report from Margie Vlasits about her being able to discontinue her cancer treatment!
ALMA JEAN’S KNEE SURGERY has been rescheduled for March 22.
CONTACT RACHEL STOLTZFUS at 6516 Lone Oak Ct., Bethesda, MD 20817,  301-493-4470, or
OUR EASTER SUNRISE SERVICE and breakfast will be at the Vlasits March 31!
WE WELCOME LOIS WENGER home after helping with her grandchildren in Tennessee.

March lectionary readings

3   Isaiah 55:1-9 Psalm 63:1-8 1 Corinthians 10:1-13 Luke 13:1-9
10 Joshua 5:9-12 Psalm 32 2 Corinthians 5:16-21 Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32
17 Isaiah 43:16-21 Psalm 126 Philippians 3:4b-14 John 12:1-8
24 Isaiah 50:4-9a Psalm 31:9-16 Philippians 2:5-11 Luke 22:14-23:56
31 Isaiah 65:17-25 Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24 1 Corinthians 15:19-26
John 20:1-18

March services (worship at 4, meal at 6)

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

10 Location: Guy & Margie Vlasits 3448 Caverns Dr., K’town 908-0391
Worship and Sharing: Guy and Margie Vasits
Bible Study: Harvey Yoder                          Carry-in Meal  

17 Location: Family Life Resource Center 273 Newman Ave   432-0531
Worship and Sharing: Harvey Yoder
Bible Study: Elly Nelson                              Carry-in Finger Food Meal  
24 Location: Susan Campbell 1361 Lincolnshire Dr 22802       564-1524
Worship and Sharing: Susan Campbell
Bible Study: Dick Dumas                                          Carry-in Meal

31 Location: Easter Sunrise Service Guy & Margie Vlasits       908-0391
8 am Easter meditation by Harvey Yoder, followed by Easter singing and with a breakfast at 9:30 am.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Jesus Did Not Come to Establish a Temple-Based Religion

The following is an excerpt from Garry Wills’ book, WHAT JESUS MEANT, (Viking Press 2006)

    When Jesus drives the merchants from the Temple, onlookers challenge him, “What authorization can you produce for doing this?” He responds: Destroy this Temple and in three days I will raise it again.” The Jews scoff at the mere idea of rebuilding the Temple in three days: “Construction of the Temple has taken forty-six years.” But the gospel adds: “The Temple he referred to was his body” John 2:21
    The Temple of Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans in 70 C.E., and it never rose again. But Jesus had already loosened it from its moorings...
    Jesus did not come to replace the Temple with other buildings, whether huts or cathedrals, but to instill a religion of the heart, with only himself as the place where we encounter the Father. At first one might think Jesus would not recognize most of what calls itself religion today. But, on second thought, it would probably look all too familiar, perpetuating the very things he criticized in the cleanliness code, the Sabbath rules, the sacrifices, and the Temple. It was natural, therefore, for religion to kill him, since he was its foe.
    His followers would be killed for the same reason. Stephan, the first martyr, is stoned for predicting the destruction of the Temple Acts 6:14). Stephan tells his executioners what Jesus told the Samaritan woman: “The Most High does not live in houses constructed by human hand. Rather, as the prophet says, ‘Heaven is my throne, and earth my footstool’ ” (Acts 7:48-49).
    What is the kind of religion Jesus opposed? Any religion that is proud of its virtue, like the boastful Pharisee. Any that is self-righteous, quick to judge and condemn, ready to impose burdens rather than share or lift them. Any that exalts its own officers, proud of its trappings, building expensive monuments to itself. Any that neglects the poor and cultivates the rich, any that scorns outcasts and flatters the rulers of this world. If that sounds like just about every form of religion that we know, then we can see how far off from religion Jesus stood.

Family of Hope--Who Are We?

      We are a small group of Christians who live in and around Harrisonburg, Virginia. We meet in one of our homes each Sunday at 4 pm for our regular time of worship (we like to sing!), and for prayer, Bible study and a carry-in meal.

       As far as beliefs are concerned, we affirm the ancient creeds of the church and the core beliefs of the sixteenth century Anabaptist wing of  Reformation. Like them, we stress voluntary believers baptism as a pledge of our covenant to follow the teachings of Christ to the best of our ability. Each member renews the following covenant each year on Pentecost Sunday, as follows:

     "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."

       While we see ourselves first of all as members of God's worldwide family, we are linked with the Mennonite family of churches in seeking to follow Christ's example of living a life of simplicity, generosity and nonviolence. Our giving helps support that denomination's mission, relief, education and publishing efforts.

       Since we have no paid staff, have few operating expenses, and do not own or rent any real estate, we are able to use almost all of our $18,000 congregational budget each year for charity and for mission outreach as decided on by our members. A four member leadership team meets monthly to plan for our services, but most major church decisions are made by the whole group. We have no other committees or boards.

      Since 1987, our aim has been to experience church in its simplest, most basic form, as a group of people gathering each week to worship and scattering each week to serve.

Harvey Yoder, pastor