The University of Oklahoma women’s softball team won the NCAA Championship for the third year in a row. Several players were interviewed by ESPN. This is how you use your opportunities in life as a witness for Jesus! I think you’ll enjoy THIS.
This past Sunday was Pentecost Sunday, where we remember the sending of the Holy Spirit by the Father & the Son. Immediately after the 120 were filled with the Spirit, Peter spoke to the crowd and preached the good news. He highlighted that Jesus was the promised Messiah & how they had crucified Him. But He rose from the dead and will forgive their sins. Verse 32 says, “God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are witnesses of the fact.” Verse 41 gives the result, “those who accepted his message were baptized, and about 3,000 were added to their number that day.”
We are witnesses and have the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to share! Here is a quote from the Bible commentator John Gill, O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings: the church of God so called, to whom the faith of the Gospel is delivered, which is the pillar and ground of truth; which receives, retains, and maintains it, and sends forth ministers to proclaim it; particularly the first church at Jerusalem, where it was first preached, and from whence it went forth into other parts of Judea, and into all the world; here the apostles of Christ were, and from hence they set out, and published the Gospel all the world over, and who seem to be chiefly meant; for the words may be rendered, as the other clause, “O thou that bringest good tidings to Jerusalem (o)”; so the Targum: “lift up thy voice with strength”; or preach the Gospel with a strong voice, speak it out; do not mutter it over, or whisper it in a corner; proclaim it on the housetops, cry aloud that all may hear; lift up thy voice like a trumpet; blow the trumpet of the Gospel with all the strength thou hast; cause the joyful sound to be heard far and near: lift it up, and be not afraid; of the reproaches and revilings of men on account of it, or of their persecutions for it; or lest it should not be welcome, or be received as truth: say unto the cities of Judah; the inhabitants of them literally understood, and to the several churches and congregations of the saints everywhere: behold your God! that divine Person is come, that was promised, prophesied of, and expected; even Immanuel, God with us, God in our nature, God manifest in the flesh, God your Saviour, and who being God, truly God, is able to save to the uttermost; look to him with an eye of faith, and be saved; behold the Son of God, the Lamb of God, that has bore your sins, and took them away; behold him now, as your King and your God, on the throne, made and declared, Lord and Christ, crowned with glory and honour, on the same throne with his divine Father, having all power in heaven and earth; and let the echo of your faith be,
Stan Leach, Executive Director of our mission sending agency, EFM, will be with us on Sunday sharing about missions among Friends. He will be popping into your Sunday School class for a few moments as well as sharing in the service.
Let me also ask again if you would consider housing a college student for 2-4 weeks from early June to early July as he could do an internship with our youth. Let us know in the office if that is a possibility.
Our denomination is offering us the opportunity to bless two young ministry interns with the chance to learn & grow with us. We will be blessed by their ministry.
Weston is a young man from Mid-America yearly meeting. He is interested in youth ministry and would be working closely with Pastor Charles. Weston may need to borrow a car while with us.
Kayla is a young lady from our Kingston, NY church, a part of Eastern Region. She has a car. She is interested in worship ministry and would be working with Jodi and our praise team.
Both would also have the opportunity to do camping ministry at Wakefield this summer. One or both could possibly help at our sister church, Living Hope under Pastor John Huber. Perhaps our Day School could also provide ministry experience.
I am so excited about these two young people! I hope you are, too. The denomination pays their salary. What we need to do is provide housing & some meals for them during their stay. The beginning time frame will probably be the first week of June and the ending time around the second week of July. Four to six weeks max.
Would you consider opening your home to one of these young people? Will you pray about it and see if God is prompting you to help meet this need?
It’s interesting that these two make five people recently who have come our way needing temporary housing. I wonder if this is a resource God may want our church to provide to our community? Food for thought.
Would you please let me know if you are willing and have space for a student for this time period? We will be negotiating with Dave Mercadante about this soon. Thank you for your consideration!
I love Holy Week! 8 days from Palm Sunday through Easter morning. I trust you are reading Scripture about the events in the life of Jesus each day. Here are suggested readings if you don’t have anything:
– Sunday, April 2 – Matthew 21:1-22
– Monday, April 3 – Matthew 21:23-46
– Tuesday, April 4 – Matthew 26:1-35
– Wednesday, April 5 – Matthew 26:36-75
– Thursday, April 6 – Matthew 27:1-26
– Friday, April 7 – Matthew 27:27-56
– Saturday, April 8 – Matthew 27:57-66
– Sunday, April 9 – Matthew 28:1-20
I encourage you to attend the Maundy Thursday service, which includes the Lord’s Supper. The Sanctuary will be open for prayer Friday from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Join us early Sunday morning at 6:30 for our sunrise service. Worship with us at 10:30 for our Easter celebration, including baptism at the end of the service in our new portable baptistry! We have four to be baptized. If you would like to be included, contact me this week.
I will be holding a New Member Class on Saturday, March 18th from 9-Noon. If you are interested in learning more about Hanover Friends, please contact the church office to let them know you’d like to attend.
On Sunday morning, March 26th, I will speak on the fourth deadly sin, lust. While I will not be too provocative, the sermon’s topic will at least be PG-13. If you do not want your child to be in the sanctuary that morning for the message, we will provide an alternative in the gym. The younger children will leave for Jr. Church as always.
That evening, March 26th, at 6 pm, we’ll gather again for an extended time to wait on the Lord. We’ll have time for praise, prayer, sharing and silence. This time won’t be too structured intentionally to allow the Holy Spirit to lead. The idea is to provide an environment for personal reflection & connection to God in an unrushed way.
Cathy and I are leaving Wednesday for Canton to help my dad move some of his furniture into his new room and get his house ready to sell. I also have a search team meeting for interviewing candidates for the Executive Director position. Thank you for remembering us in your prayers for safe travels & wisdom for decisions. We return Wednesday the 22nd.
The story I shared with you Sunday about the 26 angels may be fake (at least according to Snopes.) I’ve had that story, and many like it, in my files for years. I do believe people have seen angels acting as guards providing protection for God’s people. I apologize for not researching that more thoroughly.
I want to encourage you to keep reading the Bible for 21 days each day. If you aren’t having a regular “quiet time,” do so in the Gospel of John. The reading should be John 9 today.
Men & boys, I encourage you to stay after church next Sunday for a chili lunch, watch some football, play cornhole and enjoy talking with some other men. You’ll deepen existing relationships or make a new friend! Any questions, talk to John Schmutte.
Betty Hudgins is in Memorial Regional Hospital today for tests. She is in room 143.
Barna and other researchers show that Christianity is waning in America, declining in numbers and influence. That is the reality we must deal with.
The Church in America has worked hard to be “relevant” to an unbelieving culture, and in my opinion, compromised. Or we have excluded ourselves into our own “Christian ghettos.” We have our publishing houses, colleges, schools, music, movies, conferences, etc. It worked well for a time. I believe the Christian bubble is bursting.
The world then attacks Christianity as “not relevant” and we fire back with conspiracy theories and political hatred. We have hoped too much in politicians, political parties and greed theology that would take us to the Promised Land.
We don’t need to fear a godless future or yearn for our long idealized Christian past. We have Jesus! The Holy Spirit is in our midst! The Church is at its best and most appealing self when it is pouring itself out for others, both within its walls and outside.
The Church is for Christians, not unbelievers. We gather to worship, to equip, to empower, to direct our people to go into the world and be the hands & feet of Jesus. Then, when outsiders come into the Church, they are welcomed, loved, and inspired by our godly lives of love. This is the Church we want and strive for, full of love and service. The Church becomes contagious and the old way of Church unnecessary.
We don’t save America by being angrier or by isolating, but serving in love.
I hope you are in the Word as the new year begins. 21 days to form new habits! There is also a year-round Bible plan in the foyer.
Men and boys – join us in the gym Sunday, January 15th for chili and football. Let’s build friendships!
Temple Litton was a regular attender before Covid. She hasn’t returned, but misses everyone and is doing well.
We are making improvements in our facility. You’ll notice them in the upcoming weeks!
Please pray for Betty Hudgins, who is at St. Mary’s with a possible stroke.
Beginning on January 1st, we are offering you a 21-day challenge. Psychologists say it takes 21 days to break a habit and establish a new one. Part of the challenge is for those who do not have a consistent daily quiet time. You’ll be asked to read a chapter in John’s gospel per day for 21 days. Don’t just quickly read the chapter, read it slowly. Meditate on it. Ask the Holy Spirit to bring a fresh word from it to you. Abide in Him.
Those who have a regular quiet time can still do the reading, but you may want to refrain from something you’d like to eliminate in your life. Or, refrain from a good thing for 21 days for the purpose of focused prayer. There is much to pray about.
Another possibility is to view a RightNow Media video series by Dallas Willard called Hearing God. I’ve found this to be helpful. If you are not on RightNow Media, contact Linda in the church office and she will help you set it up. HERE is the link for the Willard series.
We want you to have solid spiritual growth habits in 2023. We hope you will participate in these exercises.