I hope you have had a chance to review the new Ministry Plan the Session has established. In that plan, there are several ministries listed (e.g., worship, children, adult, outreach). The Session has begun praying for the people God is calling to take some leadership or participate in all of those areas. We invite you to join us in prayer, as we together live out our vision of being and making disciples of Jesus Christ, to:
Grow in faith, and
Go serve God and neighbor.
We read in 2 Corinthians 5:14-15: “For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.”
Jesus understood the purpose of His ministry. In Luke 19:10 Jesus said, “The Son of Man came to seek out and save the lost,” and He challenges us to do the same. However, we face two big obstacles – FEAR and APATHY. If we believe that Jesus is the only way that we can escape the penalty of death. If we believe that Jesus really is the Way, the Truth, and the Life and that no one can come to the Father but through Him – aren’t we compelled to do everything we can to share the Good News with as many people as possible?
Who in your life is most receptive to the story of Jesus? Who is not?
How will you make your faith-story (of hope) more apparent to people around you? GO!! AND MAKE DISCIPLES!! And, PRAY about how God is calling you to serve!!!
The Reverend Dr. Stephanie Black – Stephanie is a graduate of the University of Virginia and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Stephanie is the International Theological Specialist for Serge (formerly World Harvest Mission) in partnership with EPC World Outreach. She will be based in Dublin, Ireland (the least evangelized English-speaking country). She will be teaching in theological institutions alongside Serge’s church-planting efforts, helping Serge develop and strengthen partnerships in theological education, and equipping others to participate in theological training in cross-cultural settings. The following is a recent update from Stephanie:
Dear friends and praying partners, Greetings from Dublin, two months in! My favorite new Irish word is craic (pronounced ‘crack’), which means something along the lines of fun, banter, good conversation, good times with friends. As in ‘the craic was mighty last night’ or ‘we had great craic’ or ‘where’s the craic?’ So, for an older American woman new to Ireland, who wants to meet local friends but doesn’t quite think walking into a pub alone for a pint of Guinness is the best approach, where’s the craic? There’s an app for that: Meetup.com.
Meetup is sort of an online notice board for social interest groups. Someone in your town starts a group for, say, restaurant lovers or hikers or singles-over-50 or whatever. Others join the group and people post events you can RSVP to online, and you go. You have to be a bit brave that first time, sure. I started doing Meetups in 2014 when I moved back to Virginia after living overseas for 17 years. The first time I went I told a friend, “If I’m not back in an hour and a half call the police, because I have no idea who these people are.” But it turns out they’re all just pretty much like me. Maybe new to the area, or newly retired, or single with married friends who aren’t always available to go out.
Just before I moved to Dublin in March I thought, ‘Hmm, I won’t have anything to do when I first get there. Maybe I should see if there’s a Meetup group I can go to,” so I checked online. Oh. My. Goodness. Turns out Dublin and New York City are the Meetup capitals of the world. There’s not a Meetup group in Dublin, there are hundreds. I’ve gotten involved in four – a walking group, two over-50’s groups (one does a lot of theater and concert events, one more casual restaurant dinners, etc.), and one especially for the suburb where I live. And let me tell you, the craic is mighty. These people are great at welcoming newcomers to share good fun and lively conversation, with a warmth that envelops everyone.
But here’s what else Meetups mean for me. At some point, someone always turns to me and says, “So what is it you do?” Then I get to say, “Well, I’m a Presbyterian minister, but I don’t do parish work, I’m an academic. But I focus on theological training in the developing world, so I travel a lot.” Usually the entire rest of the group are post-Catholics of some sort, so that gets everyone’s attention. And then we talk. About religion. About faith. Sometimes about the Bible. And, I listen. Often I listen to the painful stories of people who have experienced Christianity as an authoritarian and sometimes abusive system. In those stories I get a glimpse of Irish hearts. Wherever the conversation goes, I pray to be the ‘aroma of Christ’ (2 Cor 2:15) in that place whatever God might want to do with it. Do I see enthusiastic responses and instantaneous conversions? Nope. Many of these people have deep spiritual wounds and it may take years for someone to be willing to trust ‘religion’ again. But in a small way I get to be part of that. And in the process I’m enjoying some lovely new friends and some great craic.
Meanwhile, in my main role as international theological education specialist I’m inching forward in discovering what this new work may actually look like. Most recently I’ve been:
- Teaching my spring New Testament Introduction course online for Fuller Theological Seminary, and prepping for a new-to-me summer course called ‘The Bible, Hermeneutics, and Christian Mission’
- Getting to know Irish Bible Institute here in Dublin – attending their ‘open day’ to observe classes, using the library, chatting with members of the leadership team – with an eye to how I might help in the future
- Meeting with Serge Ireland staff to plan for ‘Encounter’, Serge’s intensive summer program for Irish and American university students in partnership with Christian Unions Ireland, the Irish equivalent of InterVarsity. (You can see more about Encounter here.)
- Making arrangements to attend academic biblical studies conferences this summer in Cambridge, UK (29 Jun – 7 Jul), Berlin, Germany (6-12 Aug), and back here in Dublin (28 Aug – 2 Sept)
- Contacting Serge leaders in other parts of the world to ask about theological education needs in their region and start identifying two or three key projects for 2018.
Of course, that whole 2018 thing is dependent on God supplying the remaining financial support I’ll need to return to Ireland after this initial six-month stay. But you knew that, right?! Please do pray that the Lord brings the new partners he chooses into this work. I’m so excited about the possibilities and I can’t wait to move forward!
So that’s what I’m up to this month. Settling in, exploring, listening, discovering. And drinking endless cups of Irish tea. So, grateful for your prayer and encouragement!
AND MAKE DISCIPLES
THIS SUNDAY in Pastor Glen’s absence, Larry Roberts will be proclaiming God’s Word. His message will be, “The Truth of God,” based on John 18:33-38. Please read this text in preparation for worship. Larry will also be speaking on June 4th.
HIGHLIGHTED SMALL GROUP – Monday Evening Men’s Group: Sid Langrall’s group meets at his house at 7:00 p.m.; they have been studying R.T. Kendall’s book, Holy Fire: A Balanced, Biblical Look at the Holy Spirit’s Work in Our Lives. Sid’s phone number (540) 942-2705 if you would be interested in joining.
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
YOUNG ADULT GATHERING – The next gathering will be SUNDAY, June 11th from 2:00-4:00 p.m. at John & Sarah Todd Severs’ home (113 Buckingham Place, Waynesboro). We will continue our new study entitled, Take Heart YZ with Module #5, “Insecure Relational Styles Attachments”. Please plan to attend!
For Your Information: The Holmans no longer have a Landline telephone. So, they may be contacted by their cell phones.
PLEASE be aware of our church web site: www.hopechurchwaynesboro.org. And please use this excellent resource and encourage your friends to check us out!!
PRAYERS OF HCC
1 John 5:14 – “And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.”
Roger Wilson – Please continue to pray for Roger, who has been transferred to the Albemarle Health & Rehabilitation Center from UVa.
Massie and Shirley Wright – Please pray for strength for Massie following a fall so that they are able to come and worship with us.
Loretta & Bill Watkins – Pray for Loretta as she recovers from cataract surgery this week. Pray also for Bill as he endures physical therapy and continues to recover from his broken fibula.
Severs Family – We rejoice on the safe arrival of Charlotte Renee Severs, the new daughter of Chris & Tiffany, sister of Caleb & AnnaBelle, and granddaughter of John & Sarah Todd! Please keep the entire family in your prayers, as they welcome their beautiful new baby!
David Kleinschuster – Please keep David in your prayers for healing, as he has experienced significant abdominal pain in the wake of his kidney issues.
Don Acker (brother of Debby Ray) – Please continue to pray for Don who has been diagnosed with leukemia and now has to be readmitted to the hospital. Debby wrote: “He will begin a 6-day double of the chemo (double the intensity) that he had this last time. May God’s peace be with Don and the family.
Walter Sass (Marge’s son) – Please pray for Walter as he has various personal challenges in his life at this time.
David Windsor’s Father – Please pray for David’s dad who has cancer.
Lowell & Nina Gross – Please keep Lowell & Nina in prayer, as they both apply for new job opportunities. Pray also for Lowell as he awaits more test on his prostate.
Jay & Dede Hamilton – Please keep them in your prayers during this time of transition, as they continue to acclimate to their new life in Virginia Beach.
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!
HOPE COMMUNITY CHURCH – Please pray for God’s guidance as we discern the possible next location for our church family.
The Rev. Dr. Andrew Brunson – Please pray for Andrew’s release from a prison in Turkey where he has been held since October 7, 2016. Pray especially that his health and strength is maintained. Pray also for his wife, Norine and their family during this ordeal! Please also pray as negotiations are in the works.
Joe Morris – Please pray for Joe and the Morris Family as Joe and potentially one or two of the children have an opportunity to go on a mission trip with ANM to Chernigov, Ukraine. Joe has been asked to serve as the construction supervisor.
Chase Hammer (Great Nephew of Cindy Roberts) – Please continue to pray for Chase, as well as Justin Belew. The last report suggested that the doctors expect a full recovery after the auto accident several weeks ago.
Mary Ellen Miller (Candi Brown’s aunt) – Praise God that she has a new home and continued prayers for encouragement and satisfaction as she makes this transition. Please also pray for Candi’s aunt, Kat.
Ginny (friend of Kelly King) – Please pray for quick healing from an apparent infection that required hospitalization. She is now at home and has completed chemotherapy treatments.
Joan Bundy (member of the Guatemala mission team) – Please pray for healing from a diagnosis of breast cancer.
If you would like to add someone to the prayer list or would like to update a prayer concern, please contact Beth Laughlin (943-0971).