Who Are We?-- The month of September will see us exploring just who we are. They say you can't know where you're going unless you know where you've been, so we're going to spend 5 weeks focusing on the foundational stories at the beginning of Genesis: Creation, Sin, the Flood, Babel & Abraham's call.
Labyrinth Questions-- The labyrinth at the church is in bad need of some TLC, as well as individuals willing to invest some time in ongoing maintenance. The session is trying to determine how best to be good stewards of the labyrinth. If you're willing to be part of an effort to maintain the labyrinth, please get in touch with Keith.
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 in the grocery cart.
ZIPLOCK SANDWICH BAGS
BROWN PAPER LUNCH BAGS
# 10 CANS VEGETABLES
METAL FORKS / SPOONS
New Hope News
Sunday School—This Sunday, the adult class will begin a chapter-by-chapter study of Matthew's Gospel.
Lynn Meyer & Christine Dyer
Rachel keeps telling me that she's going to have a baby before too long. So she'd appreciate your prayers.
Lina Hart, who had hip surgery on Tuesday
Egypt. Syria. Afghanistan. Pray for peace.
Keith's Random Thoughts
The e-newsletter will probably be taking a few weeks off after this. Rachel's going to have a baby sometime in the next 8 or 9 days, depending on when that baby decides that the outside world is ready for her appearance. I can say with great certainty that neither Rachel nor I are ready, and I don't think Caleb is either, but we are excited. Being ready is overrated, right? (I think Jesus would disagree with this.)
It's kind of a crazy time to bringing a child into the world. From the looks of it, the situation in Syria, where thousands have already been killed, is getting worse. I doubt that cruise missiles will improve the situation. (I had a thought this morning that perhaps the US should only intervene when 50% of the US population can identify the targeted nation on a world map. It's a rather imperfect theory that would prevent us from getting involved in places like Rwanda and Grenada, but it might give us a helpful pause to consider the implications of our actions) Syria's not the only chaotic place on the planet. The unemployment rates in Europe are staggeringly high. The economy in our own country isn't exactly setting new records. People keep shooting each other.
A light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
Babies are signs of hope, reminders of new life. They are utterly dependent upon the world's goodness for their survival. They require love to develop and grow. In babies, there is promise and hope.
We need that in this world. We need to be reminded that there is cause for hope, not despair. We need to remember that while darkness looms, it shall not overcome the light. Each and every one of us need to let our hope be on display, to let our light shine for the sake of those who have forgotten about hope in the midst of gloom. We need hope.
In babies, I am reminded that we live in a hopeful place, where tomorrow has not yet been determined and we can influence one another for good.
In Christ, I see the fulfillment of hope. I see a conquering hero that promises to set all things right, that assures me that evil shall not triumph, no matter what weapons it brings and what chaos it sows. Christ shall win, and I need to be reminded of that daily, lest I join in the chorus of despair, believing that all is lost.
Love is stronger than death, and new life is filled with promise and hope.
Text for this Sunday
Genesis 2:4-25 (ESV)
These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens. 5 When no bush of the field was yet in the land and no small plant of the field had yet sprung up—for the Lord God had not caused it to rain on the land, and there was no man to work the ground, 6 and a mist was going up from the land and was watering the whole face of the ground— 7 then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. 8 And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed. 9 And out of the ground the Lord God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
10 A river flowed out of Eden to water the garden, and there it divided and became four rivers. 11 The name of the first is the Pishon. It is the one that flowed around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. 12 And the gold of that land is good; bdellium and onyx stone are there. 13 The name of the second river is the Gihon. It is the one that flowed around the whole land of Cush. 14 And the name of the third river is the Tigris, which flows east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.
15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” 19 Now out of the ground the Lord God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. 20 The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. 21 So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22 And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 23 Then the man said,
“This at last is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called Woman,
because she was taken out of Man.”
24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.
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