Putting Off . . . Putting On

We read in Ephesians 4:24: “ . . . put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”  What are your habits?  Our character is basically the sum of our habits.  Earlier we read that we are to put off our old self, which belongs to our former manner of life.  The point is that it is no longer ours.  It is still there, but it is no longer identified with us.  Christ is our life now; a radical difference has come.  We are now identified with Christ.

And, not only that but the new self is holy.  Now, there is a word we squirm at . . .  holiness. We usually think of some pious person who looks like he/she has been soaked in embalming fluid.  That is our picture of holiness.  But let me use another word that is also an accurate translation of this word – wholeness.  That means health or wholeness of personality, a whole person (or in my case, a HOLMAN!), as God intended us to be.  Now, that results from the life of the Lord Jesus living within.  But the process to it is threefold: First, put off.  Then, change the way we think.  And, then finally, put on.

Our problem is that we are afraid to put off the old person, for fear we will be left empty.  It never seems to dawn on us that the Holy Spirit is simply waiting for us to put these things off in order that He might rush in and fill us with the wholeness that is God’s intention for us, the wholeness of Christ.

Putting off the old person is like squeezing the water out of a half-drowned person’s lungs.  You do not do that because you want his/her lungs to be empty, you do it because you want the air to get in so that he/she can live.  What the Scripture reveals to us is that this old egocentric life of ours, this old person, the self, has been asphyxiating – killing us.  It has been cutting off the breath which we were designed to breathe.  The only air we were designed to breathe is God.  Yet we find such difficulty believing this and therefore we do not experience it.

The whole matter comes down to an appeal to the will.  Put off, change the way we think, and put on.  That is a choice we are asked to make whenever we recognize the deceitful urges that come from within – put off, change the way we think, and put on.  If we want to become more like Jesus Christ, this is how we must begin.

Sunday Worship

Pastor Glen will be continuing his new sermon series, Ephesians: Our Identity and Purpose.  We will explore the themes of this incredible letter verse by verse!  This Sunday’s sermon is entitled, “Blessed to Be a Blessing,” based upon Ephesians 1:3.  As Pastor Glen encouraged last Sunday, please read this entire letter in preparation for worship!

Tithes and Offerings

An offering plate is available when you enter the sanctuary (This Sunday at the Lodge)  Additionally, online giving opportunities are available on the website.

August Financial Report

Monthly Revenues: $13,423; Year-to-Date Revenues: $148,269.46

Monthly Expenses: $14,068.15; Year-to-Date Expenses: $132,723.63

Men’s Bible Study

Our Men’s Bible Study meets every Tuesday morning from 7:00 to 8:00 at Panera Bread in the Community Room (to the left of the main entrance).  We encourage men to arrive early (although Panera Bread opens at 7:00 a.m.) to purchase breakfast or a drink.  Panera Bread is so generous in allowing us to use the Community Room!  We are continuing our study of the Letter to the Romans.  ALL MEN ARE WELCOME!!

Fan the Flame!!

We are the light of the world. (Matthew 5:14)

It’s time to Fan the Flame!  Your Session is hard at work creating a Master Plan for Hope Community Church. WE NEED YOU! Look for opportunities to serve coming October 10th after worship.

OUR VISION: To see Jesus Christ become the hub of every home in our community and beyond.  It is a big vision, but we serve a BIG God.  We believe that God will greatly use our efforts for His glory. And it all starts with prayer.

We don’t want to even attempt to see Jesus Christ become the hub of every home without the empowerment of the Holy Spirit.  And that’s why we begin with prayer.

Pray & Go is an opportunity for members of our church to walk and pray for the people in the homes (at first) in the Pelham neighborhood, as that is the neighborhood where our church is located.

As we pray for the people in the homes, we will leave a door hanger with information about our church, including an opportunity for people to respond by an email if they would like for us to pray specifically about an issue in their life.

We will NOT knock on doors or ring doorbells.  We will simply walk in pairs, PRAY and share the door hangers.  The most important thing we can do to reach our community for Jesus Christ is to pray for the people in our community.  JOIN US in participating in this exciting ministry!!  If you have not done so already, please sign up to participate in this ministry!  Bob Simmons is our coordinator!  Let’s attempt GREAT things for God!

The Session launched a capital campaign to provide for both additional costs of renting our facility and saving to purchase our facility.  We covet your prayers as we continue to provide needed ministry to our members, those in the Waynesboro community, and beyond.  So far we have received pledges for $34,250 above and beyond regular tithes and offerings.

Join us in praying that God will guide us as we take next steps into the future with anticipation of the many ways He will use us to be an ongoing blessing in our community and beyond.  God will pour out His blessings as we respond to His grace and goodness!

Senior Choir – An Invitation from Harold Coiner

As you know, COVID-19 has interrupted human activity, not just here but worldwide.  Things seem to slowly be getting back to “normal”.

I have been toying with the idea of starting a senior choir.  Senior choir does not mean silver hair or NO hair, just folks who enjoy singing.  Rehearsals will be the second Sunday of each month, beginning at 2:00 p.m.  The first rehearsal will be October 10th.  The idea is to sing old songs not used much any more.

I will be glad to listen to suggestions, music selections, or personal requests, and the like.  Please share with me your interest or suggestions at (540) 447-0434 or buckomh@aol.com.  Thanks so much!

Contagious Disease Preparedness Plan

The Session recently adopted a Contagious Disease Preparedness Plan to support our church family, as well as our visitors.  We want to be supportive of our entire church family, as well as our community in this season of increased cases of COVID-19, including the delta variant.  The plan has been sent to our members for reflection and feedback and is available at the church.

“Since the the number of New Cases of COVID for September 22 through September 28 decreased from 744 to 488, we can now move from Level 2 (masks encouraged but not required) to Level 1 (masks optional).   

Mission Corner

The Justines (YWAM) are finally back in Thailand.  They shared today: “All our COVID tests came back negative!  However, even though we’ve passed four COVID tests now, it is still protocol to keep us in quarantine for two more nights.  Early Saturday morning we’ll be allowed to check out of quarantine and start the long 15-hour drive home.  THE END IS IN SIGHT! THANKS FOR PRAYING US THROUGH!”

Dr. Stephanie Black shared her BIG news: She is MOVING TO PRAGUE in the Czech Republic!  She is running out of visa eligibility in Ireland.  With this in view, last year she and her mission agency, Serge, started thinking and praying about where she should shift once her first five-year term with Serge ends later this year. As you can imagine, the pandemic with all its lockdowns and travel restrictions complicated the search for a new team and made it impossible to visit possibilities in person. But after a year of prayer and consultation she feels great joy about connecting with Serge’s Faith Community Church team in Prague.

On another encouraging note, she will be with us in worship on December 12th, and we will have an all-church event, including a meal, after worship that day.  So, mark your calendars now!

October Birthdays

Alicia O’Ram (10/8); Annie Jessee (10/10); George Wilson, Bob Simmons, Leana Wright (10/15); Tyler Bouthillier (10/29)