Wednesday, March 30, 2016

April 2016 newsletter

Family of Hope House Church                       April 2016

There is only one truth

I once heard Bishop Martin Lehman say he believed there was only one ultimate truth, but that none of us has the ability to fully perceive it, define it, to see it all as it truly is. He compares it to our inability to accurately describe the make-up of a mountain in the far distance toward which we are moving. The closer we get to this "mountain" the more details we may comprehend, but we will never see it as it really is until we finally arrive. And even then, it would require an eternity of exploration to truly know all there is to know about something so majestic and vast as God's ultimate truth.

Our human tendency is to think that as soon as we receive some new revelation of God we tend to halt our journey, codify the insight we've gained and build institutions and write creeds to perpetrate it. Like the disciples who had an epiphany of a transfigured Jesus, we want to build three tabernacles to celebrate our latest insight.

How much better to be humble and realistic about how little we fully know, and to recognize that in this life we can only "know in part and prophesy in part" and "see through a glass darkly"? How much better to acknowledge that it will not be until the next life that we will finally see "face to face" and "know as we are known"?

Interestingly, these phrases come from the so-called "love chapter" in the New Testament, one that that tells us that greatest "truth" of all is the knowledge and practice of a love that is never boastful or proud, but is always about being forbearing and patiently persevering in all of our relationships with others. The chapter ends with the words, "Now abide faith, hope and love, but the greatest of these is love."

That's the kind of truth I most want to remember.

Notes, prayers and praises 

“MY SISTER LOVINA YODER, 89, passed away on March 4 at her home near Rustburg after having suffered a series of strokes. I was blessed to spend some time with her the evening before she died and before going to Costa Rica to see my brother and family. Thanks for your prayers and expressions of concern.”  Harvey and Alma Jean
APRIL BIRTHDAY BLESSINGS to Bertha Swarr 4/13, Cathy Atwell 4/19, and Randy May 4/21!
THE TABLE FELLOWSHIP is inviting us to meet with them on the third Sunday of every other month beginning in May, which would be May 15, July 17, Sept 18 and Nov 20 for the rest of 2016. 
PRAY FOR LOIS WENGER’s daughter Lorna, husband Greg and their four children as they begin their new mission venture in Uganda. Lois is moving back to her more spacious apartment this month at her son Scott’s at 204 Holmes Lane, Staunton, VA 24401.

April Lectionary readings

  Acts 5:27-32  Psalm 118:14-29  Revelation 1:4-8  John 20:19-31
10  Acts 9:1-20)  Psalm 30  Revelation 5:11-14  John 21:1-19
17  Acts 9:36-43  Psalm 23  Revelation 7:9-17  John 10:22-30
24  Acts 11:1-18  Psalm 148  Revelation 21:1-6  John 13:31-35

April services worship at 4, meal at 6 

3 Location: James & Ruth Stauffer 1250 Parkway Dr 22802   574-6141
Worship and Sharing: Harvey Yoder
Bible Study: James Stauffer                                                      Carry-in Meal  
10 Location: Family Life Resource Center 273 Newman Ave.  432-0531
Worship and Sharing: Guy Vlasits
Bible Study: Elly Nelson                                           Finger Foods Meal
17 Location:  Joyce Ulrich 1029 Shenandoah St Apt 1              246-1013           
Worship and Sharing: Lois Wenger
Bible Study: Harvey Yoder                                                  Carry-in Meal                 
24 Location: Susan Campbell 1361 Lincolnshire Drive, 22802 564-1524 
Worship and Sharing: Susan Campbell                                            
Bible Study: Dick Dumas                                               Carry-in Meal

Friday, March 11, 2016

March 2016 newsletter

 Family of Hope House Church                     March 2016

Easter means God lives in and through us        

“This bread is my body.” 

“This cup is the blood of my everlasting covenant with you.”

In the quiet solemnity of receiving the living body and life blood of Christ together several weeks ago with the Table fellowship I experienced an epiphany. It was one in which I gained a sense of the living Christ having just reproduced and multiplied himself in the lives of each of the believers in the room. 

By faith we were not only recalling the death of Jesus in partaking in the Lord’s Supper, but we were also celebrating his resurrection. We were claiming the reality that Jesus lives on in his followers, continues his mission of announcing good news to the poor, of liberating captives and bringing healing and shalom into the world through his empowered people. 

Clarence Jordan, co-founder of Koinonia Farm, writes in his book,The Substance of Faith”:

“The resurrection of Jesus was simply God's unwillingness to take our 'no' for an answer. He raised Jesus, not just as an invitation to us to come to heaven when we die, but as a declaration that he himself has now established permanent, eternal residence here on earth. He is standing beside us, strengthening us in this life. The good news of the resurrection of Jesus is not that we shall die and go home to be with him, but that he has risen and comes home with us, bringing all his hungry, naked, thirsty, sick prisoner brothers with him.”
Notes, prayers and praises 

HARVEY YODER plans to be in Costa Rica to spend some time with his aging brother Sanford and wife Martha Yoder from March 3-9, and being a part of their family reunion with all of their children and grandchildren.
WE WILL CELEBRATE AN “EASTER SUNSET SERVICE” at Susan Campbell’s March 29. The Discipleship Center was not available on that Sunday.
LOIS WENGER is moving back to her more spacious apartment at her son Scott’s later this month at 204 Holmes Lane, Staunton, VA 24401.

March Lectionary readings

  Joshua 5:9-12  Psalm 32  2 Corinthians 5:16-21 Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32
13  Isaiah 43:16-21  Psalm 126  Philippians 3:4b-14  John 12:1-8
20  Isaiah 50:4-9a  Psalm 31:9-16  Philippians 2:5-11  Luke 22:14-23:56
27  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 

6 Location: James & Ruth Stauffer 1250 Parkway Dr 22802   574-6141
Worship and Sharing: James Stauffer
Bible Study: Paul Swarr                                                      Carry-in Meal  
13 Location: Family Life Resource Center 273 Newman Ave.  432-0531
Worship and Sharing: Lois Wenger
Bible Study: Dick Dumas                                             Finger Foods Meal
20 Location: Joyce Ulrich 1029 Shenandoah St Apt 1              246-1013
Worship and Sharing: Elly Nelson
Bible Study: Harvey Yoder                                                  Carry-in Meal                 
27 Location: Easter Sunset Service Susan Campbell 
1361 Lincolnshire Drive, 22802             564-1524                     Carry-in Meal