Monday, February 24, 2014

March 2014 Newsletter

Family of Hope House Church                                        March 2014

A letter from Buckingham prison
Dear Pastor Yoder,

I want to apologize because our brief relationship has always revolved around me and my efforts to seek justice for parole eligible prisoners. I am writing today to ask how I can help you.

Do you or any of your friends have any prayer requests? I would be honored and blessed to lift these prayers to the throne of grace. I can also share them with our prayer team here. I know that some strongholds can only be brought down through prayer, and I am willing to join you, your church, and your friends in prayer. I know God is able.

When I was at Keen Mountain the Lord woke me up one morning at 4:20 am. When I woke my heart was heavy with thoughts of my mother. I began to pray for her earnestly. don’t remember how long I prayed, I just prayed until that peace came over me and I drifted back to sleep. The next day I tried calling my mom and could not reach her. The following day I spoke to her and learned that at the very minute the Lord woke me up my mother was calling 911 because of chest pains. She hadn’t answered the day before because she was in in the hospital with congestive heart failure.

God is so good! At my mother’s hour of need, He woke me up to pray for her!

I will be reviewed for parole in April. I am not asking for a letter or anything else other than to pray and agree that God’s will be done. I am praying that this will be the year, not because of my litigation or other efforts regarding parole, but because I am persuaded and convinced that God has called me me to serve him the remaining days of my life.

Steve Goodman1028377, BKCC, Box 430, Dillwyn, VA 23936

Notes, prayers and praises
* PRAY FOR BILLY MAY’s ongoing health problems.
LOIS RIVERA-WENGER will be leaving later in March to be with daughters and grandchildren, and plans to return in July.
 WE WILL BE using Stephen Cherry’s Barefoot Prayers for devotional reading during Lent. Cherry is the pastor at the Durham Cathedral in Ireland and plans to visit this area (and our church!) in late August.

March Lectionary readings
2   Exodus 24:12–18  Psalm 99 2 Peter 1:16–21  Matthew 17:1-16 
9   Genesis 2:15–17; 3:1–7 Psalm 32 Romans 5:12–19 Matthew 4:1–11
16 Genesis 12:1–4a  Psalm 121   Romans 4:1–5, 13–17  John 3:1–17
23 Exodus 17:1–7 Psalm 95  Romans 5:1–11 John 4:5–42
30 1 Samuel 16:1–13 Psalm 23  Ephesians 5:8–14 John 9:1–41

March services worship at 3:59, meal at 6
2 Location: James & Ruth Stauffer 1250 Parkway Dr 22802   574-6141
Worship and Sharing: Harvey Yoder
Bible Study on Biblical fasting: Paul Swarr                       Carry-in Meal

9 Location: Family Life Resource Center 723 Newman Ave.   432-0531
Worship and sharing: Lois Wenger                                                     
Bible Study: Dick Dumas                 Communion and Fasting, No Meal

16 Location: Guy & Margie Vlasits 3448 Caverns Dr K’town 908-0391
Worship and sharing: Guy and Margie Vlasits                                                    
Bible Study: James Stauffer                                              Carry-in Meal

23 Location: Susan Campbell 1361 Lincolnshire Dr. 22802   564-1524 
Worship and Sharing: Susan Campbell
Bible Study: Harvey Yoder                                                Carry-in Meal               

30 Location: Guy & Margie Vlasits 3448 Caverns Dr K’town 908-0391
Worship and sharing: Elly Nelson                                               
Bible Study: Daryl Byler                                                   Carry-in Meal

Sunday, February 16, 2014

25th Anniversary Celebration For Elly and Neal Nelson February 2!

Neal and Elly at the Vlasits Lodge
Prelude and Worship Music

We are One in The Spirit,
We are One in The Lord.
And we pray that all unity may one day be restored.

And they'll know we are Christians by our love, by our love,
And they'll know we are Christians by our love.

We will work with each other,
We will work side by side.
And we'll guard each man's dignity  And save each man's pride.


We will walk with each other,
We will walk hand in hand.
And together we'll spread the news  that God is in our land.


A reading from Deuteronomy: Elly Nelson

Sentence prayers and praises   “Lord hear our prayer...”  “Lord, hear our praise...”

“In the bulb there is the flower”

Meditation: Harvey Yoder

“Since First My Soul Was Knit to Thine”: Harvey and Alma Jean

Renewal of Marriage Pledge

"Whither Thou Goest": David Weaver

"Joyful, joyful we adore thee"


Blest be the tie that binds

Elly wrote this note of appreciation after the event:

To say that Neal and I have been basking in the outpouring of love that surrounded us last Sunday, the second day of February, as we recommitted our lives to one another and to the Lord, would be an understatement.

It is quite impossible for anyone to reach the ages that we have attained and to have escaped days that will be forever etched in memory.  Sometimes, those days we remember were heavy with sorrow.  Sometimes those days we remember are bathed in the glow of pure joy. 

The events of this past Sunday fell handily into the second column, seizing a place at the very top of our list, where they shall remain as a crown jewel for the rest of our days.

To our utter delight, following the songs of praise and adoration that had been on our lips all week, even a special favorite, “Let All Things Now Living Give Praise and Thanksgiving”, Harvey lead us to a deep study of Micah 6:8, where we could all explore the keys to rewarding and fulfilling relationships,

We were blessed beyond measure to have Alma Jean and Harvey join their exquisite voices to provide the brushstrokes of a song that paints a picture of two souls knit together as one kindred spirit with the Lord reigning over their hearts and lives.  And then we were treated to a song from David Weaver as well!

The anticipation had reached a crescendo when Harvey announced that it was time – it was time for us to come before a cloud of witnesses, to profess our love for each other and to reaffirm our vows.  I had been watching the faces of our friends, our family – Margie and Guy and Kathy and Karen (who made us a very special and outrageously delicious cake), Lois (who organized and wrote such heart-moving words), and Carla and Ruth and Jim – Susan and Karen and Alma Jean and Harvey and David, thinking how dearly I love each and every one, and of the outpouring of love that emanated from each precious sister and brother who was about to bear witness to our vows of recommitment to uphold and nurture one another in our walk with the Lord, individually and together.

When Neal and I spoke those words to one another a quarter century ago that joined us at the heart, the chapel was filled with Neal’s family and friends, I knew only two people in attendance, the man I was about to wed to and my mother.  This time, we spoke words we did not speak before – ani l’dodi, v’dodi li, I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine, and we spoke them before a family we did not then know, but a family we love so dearly that we could exhort each to join with us to recommit our very lives to the King of Kings Who reigns over our lives.

Our hearts are full.  Our hearts are grateful for all the work everyone did to make this the crown jewel of our happy days to remember.  To each member of our family, our Family of Hope, we say thank you, and for each, we pray a blessing beyond measure.

In His love,
Elly and Neal.