Independence Day

Today is July 4th!  We celebrate the 248th birthday of freedom for our country.  Independence Day commemorates the independence we have as a nation.  On July 4, 1776, we claimed our independence from England, and the United States of America was born.  Every day thousands leave their homeland to come to the “land of the free and the home of the brave,” so they can begin their American Dream.  We thank God today for the many brave men and women who have given their lives, so that we may live in a land of freedom.

The United States is truly a diverse nation made up of dynamic people.  Each year on July 4th, Americans celebrate that freedom with barbecues, picnics, family and community gatherings – and fireworks.

On the Fourth of July, we remember the adoption by a representative Congress on July 4, 1776, of the Declaration of Independence, proclaiming the severance of the allegiance of the American colonies to Great Britain.  It was written by Thomas Jefferson and signed ultimately by 56 members of the Continental Congress.  As great as the Declaration of Independence is for us as a nation, it has its limits.  For one, it only applies to one nation, and it only applies as long as that nation exists.

Over two thousand years ago another declaration of independence was enacted.  It applies to ALL people, and rather than being signed by a pen, it was signed by an itinerant preacher with his own precious blood.  This declaration of independence was written by Jesus Christ.  In John 8:31-44 we have a portion of this declaration spelled out.  It lists two tyrannical rulers from which Jesus came to set us free.

First, Jesus Christ sets us free from the dominion of sin.  Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.”  Jesus Christ came to set us free from the penalty of sin – past, present, and future.  Does sin have a grip on you?  Jesus can set you free!

Secondly, Jesus sets us free from Satan’s dominion.  In verses 43-44, Jesus says, “Why is my language not clear to you?  Because you are unable to hear what I say.  You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire.”  There is only one person who is strong enough to defeat the devil – and his name is Jesus Christ.  And, he can set you free!

Today as we celebrate the freedom we enjoy as Americans; it is my prayer that we would celebrate a far greater freedom – a freedom offered to us by Jesus Christ.  As Jesus declared in verse 36, “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”  Do you want to experience real freedom today?  Then let Jesus set you free from sin’s dominion and Satan’s dominion!

Worship

Pastor Glen will continue his series on 1 John.  His message this week is titled, “Encouragement for Our Christian Walk,” based on 1 John 2:12-14.  Please read this text in preparation for worship.

We will also celebrate the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper.  Per 1 Corinthians 11:27-31, please take time to examine yourself before coming to the Lord’s Table. 

Adult Sunday School

Our Adult Sunday school class will meet this Sunday at 9:30 a.m. in the large Sunday school room. Please join Janet Coiner and others for a wonderful time around God’s Word!!  We will focus on Romans 7: The Law and Human Sinfulness.  Please bring your Bible.

 Old Fashion Pot Luck/Hymn Sing 

Sunday, July 14th – 5:00 p.m. Pot Luck and 6:00 p.m. Hymn Sing.  We are blessed to have the Faithful Men singing at this event as well.  If anyone would like to help with setup, we will be at the church at 4:00 p.m.  The Outreach Committee will furnish drinks and condiments.  Bring whatever food you want to bring.  Please invite your friends and family.  Come enjoy some good home cooking and great music!

Quarterly Congregational Budget Review

The 2024 second quarter budget review will be on Sunday, July 21 from 11:45 to 12:15.  The meeting will be held in the Sunday School room for those who are interested in attending.  Thank you.

Pastor Search Committee Update & Prayer

Your Pastor Search Committee has finalized the Church Information Form and is in the process of searching for our next lead pastor.

We invite you to covenant to pray for the next pastor and specifically for the Pastor Search Committee, as they together with you, seek the Lord!  Discernment is a spiritual gift to see beneath the surface.  There are wolves dressed in shepherd’s clothing who will devour the flock.  They may appear gifted and charming, but that is where discernment is required – for the search committee and the church.

“I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them.”

PRAYER: “Gracious and Omniscient God, we know that you do not judge outward appearance but look on the heart.  Equip our Pastor Search Committee to do likewise.  Give them a spirit of discernment to reject wolves and more, also, among several good choices to find one You have chosen for us.  We pray in the Name above all names, our Lord Jesus Christ!  Amen!”

Tithes & Offerings

An offering box is available when you enter or exit the sanctuary.  Additionally, Online Giving

Financial Assistance

In the wake of Jeff Forbis’s serious accident, we would like to help raise some funds to help assist with medical expenses.  If you are interested in helping, you can contribute on his GoFundMe site: https://www.gofundme.com/jeff-forbis

Individuals may also contribute directly to Hope Community Church.  Just indicate for Jeff Forbis Support to the Caregiving and Relief Ministry.  Thank you!

Session Highlights

Our Session met on June 9th at 2:00 p.m.  The following are some of the highlights:

  • Study and Reflection on Matthew 18:6-7 led by Elder Tim Stewart
  • Pastor Glen requested prayer for the EPC General Assembly meeting at Hope Church in Memphis, Tennessee from June 18 through 20th.
  • Agreed to move forward with upgrades on our Audio/Visual system
  • Agreed to move forward with the replacement of one of our air conditioning units
  • Agreed to move forward with the paving of parking lot in back of our building and repairing front lot – with completing final pavement of entire parking lot in 2025
  • Reports from Women’s Ministry (Great response to the Ladies Luncheon!); Compassion & Care/Relief Ministry; Hospitality Team
  • Called Congregational Meeting – July 14th to elect church officers; currently nominating potential elders and deacons (Decision to add two elders to our Session, making the total 6 elders; and creating a Board of Deacons with four deacons)

Budget Update

Total Tithes/Offerings for May:  $30,346.       YTD: $158,554.96

Total Expenses for May:               $14,568.76    YTD: $97,684.10

Update on HCC Capital Improvements

Session has approved four building and grounds projects that include replacing two HVAC units, repairing/repaving the lot behind the Miller’s Office building to provide additional parking, additional outside security cameras and lighting for parking areas, and updated lighting in the sanctuary.  There have been several donations made this year to the designated giving fund for Capital Improvements to help defray these expenditures.  If you would like to make a voluntary donation to the Capital Improvement Designated Giving Fund, please indicate on your check or envelope that it is for Capital Improvement.  Thank you.

Golden Oldies

There will be NO meeting in July due to the fun trip to Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

We will meet on August 14th at 11:30 a.m. for lunch at Sooner BBQ & More in Stuarts Draft.

We will meet on September 11th at 10:30 in the Waynesboro Panera Bread Community Room.  Attorney Bill Watkins will be the speaker to give help on navigating legal paperwork.  In addition to the Golden Oldies, other church folks are invited to join us!  Have your questions ready!!

Driver Assistance

If you or someone in our congregation needs a ride to a doctor’s appointment or other appointments, please call Tom Reider (540.649.5162).  He has agreed to coordinate rides.  He has a list of those who have volunteered to give those rides.  We are grateful for this important ministry!!

Mission Corner

Love INC Support: From April through June, we will be collecting household cleaning items (all-purpose cleaners, dish soap, laundry soap, etc.).  May we be a blessing to those desiring to improve their lives.

Again, this Sunday a Mission Support Survey will be distributed for you to make suggestions of potential missionaries, missions, or ministries to support.

The Missions Team is active keeping in touch with our missionaries and other ministries.  Please keep updated!  You can visit our website and go to the  Outreach page

July Birthdays

Lowell Gross (7/2); Jake Kleinschuster (7/5); Richard Ammons (7/7); Laurie Bame (7/10); Don Coffey (7/24); Nina Gross & Marty Porter (7/27); Ted Brown & Bill Watkins (7/31)

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