From the Pastor

Following Jesus Together - May 19

Dear Friends,

Thank you for your prayers for your family while we were away. We look forward to seeing you all this coming Sunday! Please continue to pray for my health. Since the pollen hit in May, my lungs have been irritated, causing shortness of breath and fatigue. 

And as always, we as elders strive to be with and pray for you. Please do not hesitate to call the office or one of the elders!

Saturday – Please pray for the upcoming Presbytery meeting that we are hosting here on Saturday! 

Sunday School – Brandon Perkins is going to lead a discussion on praying God’s providence at 9:00am. Hope to see you there!

Just consider Revelation 8:4 – the prayers of the church are portrayed as incense rising up into God’s throne room. His response is thunder, lightning and earthquakes. This is why Eugene Peterson calls prayer, “Reversed Thunder.”

God’s providential care and protection and rule over all things is the reason we pray. He chooses, graciously to use our prayers, to shake the earth and make Jesus known.

Worship 10:00am – “Nobody Left Out” – Romans 3:9-20 – Pastor Jim is finishing up Paul’s grand summary of what is wrong with us and the world. Why spend so much time dwelling on the bad news? 

1 – The gospel of Jesus becomes ‘good news!’ Jesus’ active obedience, loving God and loving sinners, becomes more shocking and beautiful as He does what we cannot. Jesus’ passive obedience, his suffering on our behalf, shines brighter, showing us how loved we really are.

2 – Part of the Bible’s description of humans is that the venom of asps on our tongues. Where does that poison come from? The heart, according to the Psalms (140) & Jesus (Mark 7:14-23). We need the diagnosis of sin to go deep to see how God’s cure for sin, grace through faith in Jesus, goes to work to heal and change us. 

I’ll leave you with some good quotes by Cornelius Plantinga, Jr. on sin to meditate on: 

“Sin is not only the breaking of law but also the breaking of covenant with one’s savior. Sin is the smearing of a relationship, the grieving one’s divine parent and benefactor, a betrayal of the partner to whom one is joined by a holy bond. (See Exodus 32-34).

“All sin has first and finally a Godward force…a sin is any act – any though, desire, emotion, word or deed – or its particular absence, that displeases God and deserves blame. Let us add that the disposition to commit sins also displeases God and deserves blame, and let us therefore us ethe word sin to refer to such instances of both act and disposition. Sin is a culpable and personal affront to a personal God.” 

~Cornelius Plantinga Jr., A Breviary of Sin

God’s answer to all of what is wrong with us and the world: Romans 3:21-26 – But now…the righteousness of God has been revealed apart from the law… all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith.  

Enjoy God’s grace in Christ to us today,
Nate Thompson

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Following Jesus Together - May 6

Dear Friends,

Thank you for the great turn out at our congregational meeting! It was good to see more of our family at Hope Church! In case you missed it, we have nominated Norm Jones to enter into training as an elder, Nick Stokes as deacon, Jill Galarneau and Sally Jenkins for deaconess. Those who’ve been here longer than me tell me it’s the first time in a while we’ve had new people willing to take on this adventure of following Jesus into leadership and service. 

If you missed the Congregational Meeting, please contact the office and we can give you more details about what happened. 

The next few weeks are full, so I wanted to let you know what’s coming:

1 - May 10-16th – My family and I are on vacation and are planning to visit my family in Pennsylvania. There is a memorial service for my grandfather (Delayed due to COVID) on Sunday the 16th. 

2 - Pastor Jim will be continuing his sermon series on Romans:

              Sunday May 16th - Romans 2:24-3:8 – “A Matter of the Heart”
              Sunday May 23rd – Romans 3:9-20 – “Nobody Left Out”

               3 – Sunday School
                           Sunday May 16th – John VanVoorhis – How God’s Providence Especially Benefits Christians
                           Sunday May 23rd – John or Brandon Perkins – Praying God’s Providence – 

4 – Saturday May 22nd – Hope Church is hosting a meeting of New York State Presbytery. Pastors and elders will be gathering here to encourage each other, do the work of the church and stay connected. We aren’t alone in wanting to make Jesus known in New York State. Check out this site to see more about the New York church plants: https://www.plantupstate.org/

5 – Sunday June 6th – Ted Turnau, God-willing, will be meeting with us live from Prague for Sunday School. I hope to pick his brain on his new book on Pop Culture and parenting. I believe the Emersons will be with us in person that Sunday morning as well. This will be the last Sunday School meeting for the summer.

6 – Sunday June 13th – Membership Welcome Sunday – we are planning to officially welcome new members on this particular Sunday. By God’s grace, we are able to add to our family of folks following Jesus together, even during COVID. Always a joyful time!

Sunday May 9th  Don’t forget that it’s Mother’s Day!

              Sunday School Class – We are looking at how God’s providence works to brighten our view of His goal to increase our faith and love, through the paths He leads us through.

1 Peter 1:22-2:3 – “How to Grow up!” – Peter describes the Christian life as growing up into our salvation. So like newborn infants long for the pure spiritual milk in order to grow up. C.S. Lewis put this succinctly – “if you aim at nothing, you will hit nothing.” If you aren’t aiming at Christian maturity or know what it looks like to grow up into the fullness of Jesus – we won’t get there!

May the Lord be with you this week!

Grace and peace,
Nate Thompson

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