eNews - March 26, 2021

Happy Palm Sunday Weekend!
It's hard to believe that we all spent last Palm Sunday worshipping from home but we are overwhelmed with gratitude to be gathering together and lifting up the name of Jesus this year! Praise God! 

As we've mentioned at our services, Easter is a wonderful time to invite a friend, neighbor or family member to church with you! With multiple opportunities happening over the next week, there's something for everyone. Childcare for birth-PreK is available at all SIX Holy Week services. Here's some more details about our schedule:
 

Maundy Thursday (April 1)

 

  • 6:30pm – Sanctuary choir in service | Communion served | On campus and online


Good Friday (April 2)

 

  • 6:30pm – Sanctuary choir in service | On campus and online


Easter Sunday (April 4)

 

  • 6:45am Sunrise Service - Watch the sunrise from the front patio area of the sanctuary | Service is fully outside | On campus only
  • 8am Traditional - Sanctuary choir | On campus only
  • 9:30am Traditional - Sanctuary choir | On campus and online
  • 11am Contemporary - Praise band | On campus and online

Time to drop off those delicious PB&J sandwiches again! Please bring to the church by noon on Thursday, April 1 and we'll deliver to We Care. Thanks for faithfully blessing this ministry and loving our neighbors well!


We told you it was coming and now IT'S HERE! We're excited to share with you a number of new Connect Groups and invite you to register today for one or maybe more! Descriptions of the groups and all the details you need can be found by CLICKING HERE. Don't miss out on this fabulous opportunity to learn something new, find a friend or draw others to Christ! Living out the gospel together 


REMINDER: All Wednesday night programming resumes April 7. This includes the adult Bible study in the sanctuary, MOMtourage, Fight Club and all activities for children birth-high school. Find out all the details here: Wednesday Nights at New Hope.


We welcomed eight new members on March 21 and you can find out more about them by clicking here. Be sure to extend a warm New Hope welcome as you see them around campus in the coming weeks!


The Well begins their new study, The Way Home, on Wednesday, April 7 at 10am. Enter the story of Ruth like never before in this six-week study with Tessa Afshar. Please CLICK HERE to register and find out the details for purchasing your book.


The search committee continues to work together and requests that we, as a congregation, continue with intentional prayer for the search. Each week, we'll share an outline of specific ideas to guide your prayers. Thank you for joining with us as we seek God's plan for New Hope.

PRAYER PLAN

 

Day 1 Scripture Reading: Ephesians 5:15-16
Prayer Prompts: Pray for the search committee to make wise use of their time during the meetings. Pray for the Lord to reveal His will to your future pastor.

Day 2 Scripture Reading: Matthew 28:18-20
Prayer Prompts: Pray for your church to be a Great Commission church that makes disciples. Pray that your future pastor will be a Great Commission leader.

Day 3 Scripture Reading: James 4: 1-12
Prayer Prompts: Pray for church members to humble themselves before the Lord and seek His cleansing power in order for revival to come. Pray for the search committee to continually submit to God's will.

Day 4 Scripture Reading: 2 Timothy 2:15
Prayer Prompts: Pray for a pastor who is able to rightly divide the Word of God. Pray for the search committee as they listen to sermons of potential pastoral candidates.

Day 5 Scripture Reading: Hebrews 10:19-25
Prayer Prompts: Pray for the church to be committed to biblical worship. Pray for the search committee to be confident that they are following God's will as they make decisions regarding your future pastor.

Day 6 Scripture Reading: 1 Peter 5: 1-4
Prayer Prompts: Pray that your future pastor shepherds the church in a biblical and Christ exalting manner. Pray for your future pastor's walk with Christ.

Day 7 Scripture Reading: Acts 2: 41-42
Prayer Prompts: Pray for the church to reflect the 6 elements of a healthy church both in the waiting and when the new pastor is called to serve. (worship, discipleship, ministry, fellowship, evangelism and prayer)


We have a congregational meeting on 4/11/21 immediately following the 9:30am service in the sanctuary. The purpose of this meeting is to vote on the proposed new bylaws that have been distributed to all active New Hope members and were discussed in the informational meeting on 3/14/21. A summary of the meeting on 3/14/21 is included below for reference. Should you have further questions, please contact Gayle Bundschu, Clerk of Session.


Below you will find the notes from the Informational Meeting that was held on Sunday, March 14.

New Hope Presbyterian Church
Constitution & By-Laws Information Meeting
March 14, 2021
 
The Session of the church, after two years of work and review, has proposed a new Constitution and By-Laws to the congregation.  The proposed document was sent out to all active members via our church communication system known as ELI.  Members were notified of an informational meeting to be held on March 14, 2021, in Room 212 at 10:30 AM, which could also be attended by Zoom, for questions and discussion.
 
Moderators of the meeting were Art Hunkins, currently inactive elder and former Clerk of Session, and Brad Starner, Director of Business and Finance, both of whom were on the committee to create the new document. Copies of the current governing document and the proposed were available.
 
Brad began the meeting with a brief history of New Hope, how we came out of the PCUSA denomination in 2008 and needed to immediately incorporate according to the State of Florida laws and regulations. The incorporating documents were based on the former church documents and PCUSA guidelines.  Since then, New Hope became affiliated with the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC).  The new documents are based on the EPC Book of Order and many references in the new document (BOO, BOG, BOW, BOD) directly refer to that Book of Order.  The EPC website www.epc.org has viewable and downloadable copies of this and many other denomination resources.
 
Questions asked at the meeting:
 
Q1:      What has changed? We didn’t see the old version for comparison.
A1:       Everything.  The former document was so different from what was needed that revising it was not possible. A new document was created.  The document sent out is what the Session is presenting for review and approval. The former document is available here today or upon request, if desired.
 
Q2:      Why does the Session revise the document and then present it to the congregation?
A2:       In the Presbyterian form of government, the congregation elects the Session members called “elders”.  The elders are members who govern the church as “ruling elders”. The pastor or pastors are “teaching elders” who are not church members but are members of the Presbytery.  The Senior Pastor is usually the Moderator of Session. Our Presbytery is a group of EPC churches in Florida and the Caribbean.  Each church owns their own property, and each Session governs their local church.  In the EPC, the Presbytery serves the local church.
 
Q3:      Who is responsible for the church?
A3        The members elect the elders to represent the church and are responsible for the financial, property and spiritual health of the church.  In Session meetings, they review and vote on all matters that affect the church. 
 
Q4:      Does the Moderator vote? What happens in a tie vote?
A4:       The Moderator can vote.  However, the business of the church is not run by a simple majority vote, but rather by consensus.  After discussion, any issue that seems close would not go to a vote.  After prayerful consideration, it would be postponed to a later meeting for more information and prayer. In most cases, the votes are unanimous.  Church members may also attend the Session meetings, but only the elders are permitted to vote. The regular Stated Session meetings are on the 4th Tuesday of each month at 6 PM.
 
Q5:      Are these new documents in accord with the tenants of the EPC.
A5:       Yes.
 
Q6:      What is a quorum of the church and when will the Constitution and By-Laws meeting be?
A6:       According to the EPC, a church of our size requires attendance of 10% of the members at a congregational meeting to meet a quorum.  At this time, that is about 95 members. The new by-laws, in accordance with the EPC guidelines, will include virtual (Zoom) participants in the constitution of a quorum.  The Session has set a congregational meeting for Sunday, April 11th, at 10:30 AM, between the 2nd and 3rd services for the purpose of voting on the new Constitution and By-Laws.


We urge you to stay spiritually connected with your church family and join us for weekly Sunday worship on campus at 8am, 9:30am and 11am or online, as well as checking out the videos from our staff and pastors on the Experience New Hope channel. We’re continuing to pray and if you have concerns about our plans to meet in person or have a prayer need, please do not hesitate to reach out to Pastor Mike at mike@newhopefortmyers.org or 813.368.1680.

With Love,
Your New Hope Team