Wednesday, April 27, 2016

April Update from New Hope

Thank you for your ongoing interest in and support of New Hope Church. Here are a few updates from the past two months here in Bangor:

Work-Faith Interviews: Over the past four weeks, we have been holding brief “work-faith interviews” during the Sunday services. These interviews give a glimpse of the work God has given to several different members of the congregation, and highlight God’s claim on each of our occupations from Monday through Saturday—no matter what kind of work we do. “Serving God” and enjoying Him is not only about what happens on Sunday or on missions trips; o
ur daily work—whatever our occupation—is claimed by God. The gospel shows us that we no longer have to make ourselves ok or prove ourselves by our work, since we are accepted because of Jesus’ work. That truth frees us from workaholism and perfectionism. And since Jesus is the king of every good work, we are also free to view work as an opportunity to honor Him and participate in His work—not just as a necessary evil. In these past four weeks, we have heard from a mother with the full-time occupation of raising children, a college student settling on a major and working a part-time job, a teacher who works with advanced students, and a chiropractor. Each of them shared with thoughtfulness, honesty and humility—sharing how their identity is not their work, but how their work itself can be seen as serving God, and how their approach to their work is being shaped by the gospel. It’s been such a privilege to hear from each of them!

Cabin Fever and Slot Car RacesSeveral members worked to host a slot car race and potluck dinner in early March. It was an enjoyable time together as a church family, and also a good opportunity to welcome the guests who attended. One church member had built two slot car race tracks, and nearly thirty contestants competed in the race bracket, which was then followed by a meal. It was a great time to enjoy each other’s company and get to know others who came, in a fun (and competitive!) setting.

Mentoring: Over the past couple months, several members (who have committed to mentor youth or others in the church) have been meeting to brainstorm and grow as mentors. It has been encouraging to see a couple mentoring relationships growing, even though it seems to be a small start. I am realizing that it is helpful to have a structure in place for the mentoring program—but also that simply imposing a structure does not in itself yield growth. But God is at work!

Leadership: Over the next month, we will be praying for God’s call on more individuals who could serve as elders and deacons, and receiving nominations from the congregation. We would be grateful for your prayers for God’s provision and guidance during this time.

As always, if you ever find yourself in the Bangor area, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us!

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