This Sunday we will be electing an elder to serve on our Session to replace Cliff Scott who will be completing his term. Serving as an elder is a significant role within the church. Serving as an elder does not make someone better than anyone else within the church, it only relates to the role in which that person serves.
We read in 1 Peter 5:1, “To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder, a witness of Christ’s sufferings and one who also will share in this glory to be revealed.” As we learn from the first chapter of Peter’s letter, he is addressing churches throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia. This area of scattered Christians would have had many churches – maybe as many as hundreds of churches, as churches met in homes and in small settings. Elders were responsible for leading these churches.
The word used in this text is quite Presbyterian, as the word used is presbuteros. This word has the connotation of an older person – in the Old Testament the word used is zakyn, which literally means gray-bearded one. Elders were the ones with more seniority – not in a negative connotation – but with a sense of venerability. These were the ones to be looked up to. It should be emphasized that in the context of its New Testament use the concept of elder had less to do with one’s age than with the quality of one’s spiritual character. We see lists of qualifications for elders in 1Timothy (as we studied several weeks ago) and Titus. Simply being older, including even being older in the faith, does not by itself qualify a person for leadership in the church. And, churches, especially in the midst of trials, needed strong spiritual leaders.
One of the roles of elders was to exercise spiritual oversight to the believers under their care. We read in verse 2, “Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers.” These elders or pastors were to provide oversight to the flock under their care. The noun shepherd or pastor only occurs in the New Testament in reference to leaders within the church. The spiritual health of a local church depends on the authenticity and authority of leadership in that church. When a church has no strong spiritual leadership, it is trouble. It will eventually stop being effective at calling people to faith in Christ and helping them mature in that faith!
Therefore, it behooves us to elect persons with strong spiritual character as elders. May we pray earnestly for those who shepherd and lead us.
Asaph and Lynn Din
Lynn was a missionary in Pakistan a few years back, and there she met Asaph. The rest, as they say, is history. After two children and seminary, they are back to Asia. In addition to open-air preaching and working with other missions groups there, Asaph plans Cricket tournaments with Christians and Muslims. Asaph is a graduate of the Bahauddin Zakariya University in Pakistan (BA), and Erskine Theological Seminary (M.Div.). http://www.epc.org/Home
AND MAKE DISCIPLES
THIS SUNDAY Pastor Glen will continue our “Guarding the Truth” sermon series based on 1 Timothy. This Sunday’s sermon, “The Importance of Correction,” is based on 1 Timothy 5:1-2.
CALLED CONGREGATIONAL MEETING THIS SUNDAY – We will meet immediately after worship and before Sunday School. The Session has nominated Larry Roberts to serve as an elder. Please consider the background biography Larry has shared below.
Born of Christian parents in Virginia, I was raised in the United Methodist Church. I later married into the PC USA, since my wife Cindy had grown up at Tinkling Spring Presbyterian and for many years attended Hermitage Presbyterian Church. We were married there in 2004 and became increasingly active for several years. While there, I served as teacher of the Adult Sunday School class; as a member of the choir; was ordained as an elder/session member; and was privileged on many occasions to deliver the message in the Pastor’s absence.
Despite being active, I began to feel a sense of dissatisfaction – that there must be more to the practice of my faith than simply renewing acquaintances each Sunday, so with the support of my wife and the urging of the Holy Spirit, I began a prison ministry at the Middle River Regional Jail. We met every Monday evening for Bible study for the next three years. Preparation, focused time in the Word and interaction with those seeking to know God, deepened my faith. I learned about myself and my own challenges in life, and how much we all have in common.
Given the changes within the PC USA, Cindy and I made the decision to leave and explore other options. We were surprised at the difficulty in finding a church home that remained faithful to the Word of God and did not shy from boldly declaring His truth. After some years of visiting various congregations, the Spirit led us to Hope Community Church. We thank God for that journey, for His faithfulness and for the gracious welcome this wonderful congregation has shown us. We are blessed to be members here.
Our new Fall schedule continues this Sunday! Worship 9:30 – 10:30 a.m. and Sunday school classes for “all” ages 10:45 – 11:30 a.m. Everyone is encouraged to attend a Sunday School class or assist with one. The nursery for babies and toddlers will be available during worship.
NEW Adult Sunday School Class– Join us for a new class on Faith in Action; what is faith, why is it important, how we obtain it and how can we put it into action at Hope Community Church. The class will be based on various Bible texts and include a full discussion of the points. A full syllabus is available in the class. Come and bring your questions.
Jim Heafner Memorial Bible Study –
The study will begin on Tuesday, September 26th at Panera Bread in Waynesboro. Men are encouraged to gather there around 6:45am to purchase breakfast and enjoy fellowship until the study begins at 7:00am.
Bible study/small group opportunity – Wednesdays from 11am-12:30pm – Are you a person who would like to join a group of women and study God’s Word, pray and fellowship? We are always open to new folks, women or men. Our group will resume meeting September 13 with The Wiersbe Bible Study Series: Genesis 12 – 25: Be Obedient: Learning The Secret of Living By Faith. It is an exciting examination of the foundational truths of faith, sin and relationships through in-depth and practical study. We meet at the home of Beth Laughlin, 525 Bader Ave., Waynesboro. For any further information or questions please call Beth at 943-0971.
HOME GROUPS – if you are not currently in a small home group and are interested in being in one, please contact Pastor Glen or Lynn Scott, our Small Group Coordinator. Please see other information about groups already meeting.
OPPORTUNITIES TO SERVE
Children’s Ministry –Please see the information table in the back, on Sunday morning, to view the current volunteer schedule and see if you can fill in on any of the Sundays we need help. We appreciate our volunteers and know you’ll be blessed by your time with these amazing little people! Members are encouraged to contact Kelly King at firstname.lastname@example.org, if you are available to help.
PRAYERS OF HCC
Colossians 4:2 – “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.”
Rose Parler – Rose would like prayer for her autoimmune disease to be in remission or in control so she can have a needed surgery on her hip.
Massie and Shirley Wright – Please pray for strength and balance while walking for Massie.
Sandy King (Sam King’s mother) – Pray for healing of a broken wrist. She had surgery to repair the break on Tuesday and will be in a cast for several months.
Mike Channell (Sam King’s uncle) – Praise that Mike is home now and doing better, after a brief hospital stay. He was very low on electrolytes and sodium and was hospitalized after a fall.
Don Acker (brother of Debby Ray) – Please continue to pray for Don who was admitted for consolidation (intense chemotherapy) last week. The new transplant date is Oct 6.
Bob Wooding’s mother -Please pray for healing for Bob’s mother who had surgery recently.
David Windsor’s Father – Please pray for David’s dad who has cancer.
Walter Sass (Marge’s son) – Please pray for Walter as he has various personal challenges in his life at this time.
Jay & Dede Hamilton – Please pray for Jay who has been scheduled for a cochlear implant 12/5, pending the last complete physical exam and tests in November. Pray for new friends, a church they can call home, and encouragement.
MISSION & EVANGELISM CONCERNS
PEOPLE WHO ARE UNCHURCHED in our community; there are people all around us who need the Lord! Pray that we will truly be salt and light in Waynesboro and beyond!
COMMUNITIES DEVASTATED BY RECENT HURRICANES – People in the path of the recent hurricanes have lost homes, businesses and entire communities. Pray for those who have been displaced to receive the life-giving message of the hope we have in Jesus Christ along with material and physical support.
HOPE COMMUNITY CHURCH – Please pray for God’s guidance as we discern the possible next location for our church family.
Christworks Ministries – Please pray for Roland and Faylene as they have been counseling, teaching and writing curriculum as they settle back into life at the Institute of Foundational Learning (IFL) in Cabuyao, Laguna, Philippines. You may read an update from them at: www.cwm4him.org
Ruth Graham – Please continue to pray for persecuted Christians around the world. Pray also for Ruth in working to raise awareness in the Valley of our persecuted sisters and brothers. There will be an area-wide Prayer Gathering on November 5th at Expo for the persecuted Church.
The Rev. Dr. Andrew Brunson – Andrew was given 3 new charges by a Turkish court. You may read more about these developments here. Please continue to pray.
Dan Conyers (Friend of Blake & Marty Porter) – Dan is doing better and plans to be moved to the Transitional Care Unit of UVa from the ICU of UVa soon.
Tammy Lipscomb (friend of Candi Brown) – Pray for healing of a torn retina. Surgery was completed to repair the retina and another tear has occurred in the same eye.
If you would like to add someone to the prayer list or would like to update a prayer concern, please contact Beth Laughlin at 943-0971 or Wink Brown at 540-241-5531.