eNews - April 9, 2021

Happy Friday Friends!

While Holy Week and Easter Sunday have concluded, we continue to rejoice in the fact that we serve a RISEN SAVIOR! How exciting is that? We think that's the best news ever and are striving to live life in the light of that news, by continuing to live out the gospel together!

We've had a wonderful response to our official Connect Groups launch and we're excited to see all the relationships and caring community that's happening! With 19 different choices, there's something for everyone! 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 has never been so easy!

Join Pastor Mike for this month's Bible Reading Plan Update!

You can find out more about the plan by CLICKING HERE.

WE NEED YOU! The most FUN week of the year is coming soon and we need our fabulous volunteers to make it a success! From leading groups of kids to helping with snacks, from decorating to room prep, there's something for EVERYONE and we'd love to have your help in making this an out of this world experience for hundreds of children this year! CLICK HERE to find out more and be sure to scroll down the web page to sign up as a volunteer!

Our congregational meeting is scheduled for this Sunday, April 11 immediately following the 9:30am service in the sanctuary. The purpose of this meeting is to vote on accepting the proposed by laws that were presented in our informational meeting on March 14. There is a FAQ section regarding these changes below. If you have further questions please contact Gayle Bundschu, Clerk of Session.

For those unable to join us in person for the meeting, here is a link for the Zoom meeting. The meeting id# is 816 7020 3024 and the password is 406855. A note regarding Zoom: please visit this link and create a Zoom account prior to the meeting if you do not already have one. This is KEY. Once you have an account, you may CLICK THIS LINK or enter the meeting id# and password. We will be monitoring this online and admit you to the meeting via Zoom after the 9:30am worship service concludes and we set up for the meeting.

New Hope has a wonderful ministry in our Prayer Partner Network. This group prays for our New Hope children and families on an ongoing, regular basis. Families are assigned a prayer partner and that partner has the exciting opportunity to watch the children in a particular family grow up and pray for them throughout the various stages of life.

We believe God is faithful and hears the prayers of His people.  We trust that prayer on behalf of our children here at New Hope is valuable and effective in raising future generations to know and love the Lord.  If you would like to learn more about how you can bless our children’s lives and be personally rewarded by a few minutes of prayer time, done at your convenience, please contact Cheri Karkalits or Diane Lake. We currently have more families than prayer partners so we'd love to have some additional partners join us. There are no meetings or events a partner needs to attend and this can be an effective, lovely way to serve from anywhere in the world, including your home!

Our last 8am worship service for this season will be on Sunday, April 25. We'll continue with our two Sunday services online and in person at 9:30am and 11am.

Your Pastor Search Committee is continuing to prayerfully follow the  EPC Process of Pastoral Search and Call, and we are making good progress. In our meetings we always pray for the Holy Spirit to lead and guide our discussions. We believe that individual, group and congregational prayers are essential and we ask that you all continue to lift us up in prayer as we seek to know God's will.

Respectfully Submitted,
The Search Team



Day 1 Scripture Reading: John 13: 34-35
Prayer Prompts: Pray for the search committee and the church to be obedient to Christ's command to love one another. Pray the church's Christ-like love will be seen by the world.

Day 2 Scripture Reading: James 1:5-8
Prayer Prompts: Pray for the search committee to seek God's will as they continue to review resumes and contact potential candidates. Pray for church leaders to seek God's will in the interim.

Day 3 Scripture Reading: Isaiah 55: 6-9
Prayer Prompts: Pray that in times of discouragement, the search committee and the church will seek the Lord diligently and have confidence that He is at work bringing the church and future pastor together.

Day 4 Scripture Reading: Galatians 6:9
Prayer Prompts: Pray for the search committee to not grow weary in their work. Pray that the search committee and the church will be able to see God's hand at work bringing you and your future pastor together.

Day 5 Scripture Reading: Hebrews 13: 17
Prayer Prompts: Pray for your future pastor to faithfully shepherd the church and for members of the church to willingly and joyfully place themselves under his servant leadership.

Day 6 Scripture Reading: Proverbs 2: 2-6
Prayer Prompts: Pray for your future pastor to seek God's wisdom in every area of life and decision making. Pray for the search committee to be attentive to the Lord's wisdom.

Day 7 Scripture Reading: Philippians 2: 1-11
Prayer Prompts: Pray that Christ's attitude of humility and servanthood permeates both the search committee and the church during the pastor search process.

The Seder that was held on March 24 was a HUGE success! Tremendous thanks to the New Community Sunday School class for all their hard work and vision in making this event happen. With a sold out crowd, amazing volunteers, and lots of prayer, this was an impactful night for all! From the teens who served and waited tables to the folks who worked for days in the kitchen to the educational, engaging teaching with our special speaker, the Seder was a time of celebration and joy as we prepared to enter Holy Week. You can see more photos of the Seder as well as other New Hope recent events each Wednesday night and Sunday morning on our new monitor in the Education Building.

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