Dear Hope Members and Friends,
In this Sunday’s scripture passage from Luke’s Gospel, ten lepers approach Jesus and ask to be healed. Only one returns to thank Jesus. Jesus asks, “Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they? Was none of them found to return to give praise to God except this foreigner?” (The one who returned was a Samaritan). Then Jesus said to him, “Get up and go on you way. Your faith has made you well.”  What is the relationship between faith and gratitude, and not only gratitude, but how it is expressed? Join us for worship this Sunday. Elder Mike Parker will be the guest preacher.
Remember that the Christian Women’s Fellowship are now meeting at 9 AM on Sunday mornings, and the Adult Forum takes place at 9:30 AM.
Following worship this week, Hope will be a bustle. If the following meetings involve you, please note them and be there. The Deacons will meet in the Basement Sunday School classroom to pack the college care packages. The Stewardship Teams will meet on the other side of the partition of the Sunday School classroom. The Evangelism Committee will meet in the pastor’s office. We will share in a time of fellowship following worship, and also, some will be involved in the production of the church’s DVD for the upcoming Building Campaign in January, 2014. In fact, if you stay around you can be part of that DVD. It will a good whirlwind of activity.
However, let’s remember the commandment which tells us to “Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy.”  How do you live out that commandment? What does the word “Sabbath” mean to you, and how do you live into its holiness by the power of the Holy Spirit?  During these busy seasons of the church (for which I have gratitude) where the calendar fills quickly, it is especially important that we take those moments to recall why we are engaged in ministry in the first place. It has all to do with what God has done for us in Christ Jesus. From our worship to filling boxes in the food pantry to determining line items on the budget, we seek to do all things to the glory of God. The gift of a Sabbath, however, is so that we can recall why we are called to live in loving relationship with the one who commands all things. The gift of the Sabbath calls us to “Rest in the Lord,” and “Be still and know that God is God” because our energy comes from God. If we rely only on ourselves, we become depleted quickly.   I can hear you saying, “Are you kidding? Rest? Be still? At our church.”  Yes, that is what God commands! So, in the midst of a long ‘do list,” a full calendar, places to go and people to see, find the Sabbath, and “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.”
See you Sunday!
Pastor Dottie