Celebration-- Sunday, November 10: We'll celebrate the McMillan Building and re-dedicate it for its future use. Join us after church for this joyous occasion!
Thank you!!-- We packed 300 sack packs last night for the kids at East Brainerd Elementary!! Thanks to your faithful giving for $.02/meal and Beth Meulenberg's generosity with her time, we're able to make a huge difference in the lives of some hungry kids in the neighborhood. Thank you!
New Hope Worship-- We're blessed to have Diane Stocker leading us in worship this Sunday! Please be in prayer for Diane as she prepares to lead worship.
Community Kitchen Spot
There are a lot of hungry and homeless children of God and the community needs some help feeding them. If you would like to help out, please bring the following items to church this Sunday & put them on the bookshelf.
#10 Cans of Sweet Potato / Yams
#10 Cans of Italian Style Green Beans
No-Bake Pumpkin / Apple Pies
No-Heat Dinner Rolls
Plastic Forks, Knives, Spoons
Heavy Duty Sectional Dinner Plates
3 Oz. Souffle Cups
New Hope News
Wednesday Bible Study-- This coming Wednesday, David Martin from La Paz will be with us.
Lynn Meyer, Norma Capone& Christine Dyer
The people of Haiti, that the work God is doing there may continue to bear fruit.
Kids. Kids who are hungry because they don't have enough food. Kids who have hungry souls because they don't get enough love. Kids who act out because they don't get enough attention. Kids who are depressed because they don't have enough close friends. Kids who suffer in school because they don't have enough support. Kids who contemplate terrible things because they don't have enough hope. Kids whom we forget because we think they have enough.
Keith's Random Thoughts
The national food of Haiti, we were told, is pumpkin soup. (We had it one night for dinner. It's pretty tasty soup. It's not a pureed pumpkin, and clearly has nothing to do with the Libby's canned pumpkin that makes up our pies. Here's a recipe.)
The reason for this is that when Haiti was ruled by the French, they apparently weren't allowed to eat pumpkins. So now, whenever they get the chance to make pumpkin soup, they are reminded of their freedom. They celebrate their liberation on January 1, and the pumpkin soup is part of the ritual that reminds them of the history of their country. (I asked a Haitian what he loved most about his country. His response: The history. Here is a brief summary of Haiti's history. This is a longer summation.)
Now, the history of Haiti is not exactly a string of uninterrupted triumphs. There are some awful chapters in their history. (This is certainly true of America, too. I think it's probably true of most countries.) But I think the Haitian history is a story of people overcoming remarkable challenges. They continue to work together to overcome whatever history throws their way. From the French rule to the Duvalier reign to the recent national disasters, they have overcome. This must give them hope for the future, for they can be confidant that they will overcome whatever appears on the horizon.
As Christians, our history is important, too. The Bible is our primary history, and it tells the story of how God has always been with us, of how God has always shepherded us and how he will continue to do so in the years to come. We learn about God's promises and the wondrous story of salvation.
The Bible isn't just history, though. It's also a mission statement.
In Scripture, we learn about the purpose of the church. The church, we see, has a greater purpose than just serving itself. It's meant to participate in God's greater mission. We are called as disciples, but that calling is also a sending. We're sent into the world to tell the story of the Gospel and to demonstrate it by our works. Resting comfortably for our entire lives is not an option, though there is a place for rest. We are sent to every corner of the world, including our own backyards. Our lives are meant to be active participation in God's ongoing work of redeeming the world.
So how will we participate? Will we sit down with our neighbors and learn their story, hear their history, share their joys and struggles, building relationships through which the Gospel might spread? Will we spend time with the needy in our own towns, hearing about their history and helping shine the light of hope into their lives through our selfless service? Will we travel to distant places, partnering with individuals to learn their history and join them in looking for the hope in their own situations, sharing the love of God? The answer, I believe, is yes. There are different chapters and different seasons in which our activities may look different, but we should always have our eyes open to see what God is up to and where God is calling us.
We are invited to live the Good News in all we do. We are called into the grace of God, but we are also sent out, not to leave the church behind but to join in with what Christ's church is doing in all the world, near and far. May we be faithful to our calling and active in our service.
Text for this Sunday
Luke 19:1-10 (ESV)
He entered Jericho and was passing through. 2 And behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus. He was a chief tax collector and was rich. 3 And he was seeking to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was small in stature. 4 So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was about to pass that way. 5 And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.” 6 So he hurried and came down and received him joyfully. 7 And when they saw it, they all grumbled, “He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.” 8 And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.” 9 And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
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