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Saturday, May 16, 2020

Worship Fulfills Christ's Perfect Desires (2020.05.16 Pastoral Letter and Hopewell Herald)


Hopewell Herald – May 16, 2020
Dear Congregation,

As I write, my heart is gladdened by the sound of fellowship wafting down the hallway to my study. What a joy it is that God’s bringing us near to Himself in Christ has also brought us near to one another.

There is a great Christian fellowship in recreation together, but I think that every time we have one of these workdays, we are reminded that there is a fellowship of a different (and in some ways superior) quality in working together. And there is a fellowship of a truly heavenly quality in worshiping together, when the worship is truly governed by God’s Word unto God’s glory.

In the Ephesians passage for this week’s Hopewell @Home (the May 24 morning service/afternoon exhortation), we are reminded that when God creates us new in Christ, He makes us part of a commonwealth of people who are joined to one another, and a covenant people who are joined to Him.

Having had some aspects of our worship curtailed a bit these last couple months has only heightened the gratitude for being able to enjoy it together. Although we are all called as Christians to think of one another, it is my actual vocation to look forward to and prepare for our times together. This is especially a blessing to me because that which I do imperfectly and finitely, our Lord does infinitely with reference to His divine nature and even perfectly with reference to His human nature.

What a wonderful thing to have reinforced to me (and which I now wish to reinforce to you)—the desire and delight of our Lord to have fellowship with us in all things, and especially as He gathers us to Himself in worship, and through Himself unto the Father!

Looking forward to this fulfillment of His perfect desires (and our grace-given, though yet imperfect desires!),

Pastor


LORD'S DAY – May 17, 2020

9:50 a.m. Breakfast Line Opens (feel free to bring your own, separate food if preferred)
10 a.m. Bible Class
We are studying the ARP’s confessed theology from Scripture. We’ll be studying Election as the ultimate source in the application of redemption to believers

11 a.m. Public Worship
Children’s Catechism for May 17
Q29. What is meant by “want of conformity”? A. Not being or doing what God requires.

Shorter Catechism for May 17
Q37. What benefits do believers receive from Christ at death? A. The souls of believers are at their death made perfect in holiness, and do immediately pass into glory; and their bodies, being still united to Christ, do rest in their graves till the resurrection.

Psalms and Hymns
TPH365 “Thine Be the Glory”   
ARP78B “O Come, My People, to My Law” 
ARP56B “You Have Recorded All My Ways”

Scripture Text for first portion of worship service

Scripture Readings
Old Testament – 1Samuel 7:2–17
Epistle – Ephesians 2:8–10
Gospel – Luke 5:17–26

Sermon Scripture text and topic
We will be hearing from Genesis 26:1–11 about the Lord’s patience with a cowardly saint whose unfounded fear was greater than either his confidence in the Lord or fear in the Lord.

12:45 p.m. Coffee Fellowship and Catechism Class

1 p.m. Fellowship Lunch & Open Mic Time
There will be plenty for everyone, but as with breakfast, those who are uncomfortable eating from the line are encouraged to bring their own food that they keep separate.

At open mic time, we’ll begin with birthdays and anniversaries and recitations of the memory verse: (Genesis 26:9) Then Abimelech called Isaac and said, “Quite obviously she is your wife; so how could you say, ‘She is my sister’?” Isaac said to him, “Because I said, ‘Lest I die on account of her.’”

2:30 p.m Psalm/hymn Sing
Carryover song requests from last week:
Blue: 183, 2, 119W
Red: 510 | 567 | 354, 243

3:30 p.m. P.M. exhortation from Ephesians 2:1–7

After Party at ???? (No open invitations to congregation yet at time of writing)

Hopewell this Month

Hopewell’s Presbytery Prayer Focus for May:
Pressly-Memorial ARP in Red Level, AL

May Psalm of the Month
ARP78B O Come, My People, to My Law

Upcoming Events
•May 13, Prayer Meeting, 6:30p.m.
•CONGREGATIONAL Breakfast, May 16, 6:30a.m. With the Men’s Breakfast scheduled to resume for the 16th, the Session invites the ladies to join the men this month for a congregational breakfast on the 16th, followed by a workday with the 23rd as an overflow day in case the work is not completed on the first Saturday.
•October 2-4, HARPC 200th Anniversary Celebration


Congregational Prayer Requests (new/updates in bold)
▪ Alan McClelland and his ministry at Ft. Rucker
▪ Repentance of the Church and the Nations, as well as comfort and strength through the advancement of the gospel against the backdrop of SARS-CoV-2 and its accompanying panic, especially joining the rest of the ARP at 9a.m. central every day
▪ Comfort and provision for the LeeAnn Billings family as they grieve, especially for new work, as the university just eliminated her position from the department
▪ Pray for the Jeffers family, whose granddaughter Isabelle (14) and then her mother Norma both attempted suicide; there’s a long way to go medically, financially, and especially spiritually for all involved; please keep praying for them and for Sue’s ministry to them
▪ Pray for Kacey and family, going through difficult trial
▪ Pray with D&L L for her 85yo mother and her heart issues
▪ Pray with KC for her acquaintance Linda who doesn’t seem to know the Lord, and just lost 21 year old son; and, for sister Diane and her husband Frank, who need a living faith in Christ; and for friend Patty, a believer, that she will continue to do well after treatment for uterine cancer
▪ Pray with D&M G that her mother would continue healing well and not smoking; for Sean; for Jeremiah and Julianna
▪ Pray with W&C G for her mother’s health and caregivers; and for spiritual (and total) well-being of son Greg
▪ Pray with J&H H for his father’s cancer and recovery from open-heart surgeries; and sweetness in his parents’ remaining time together; for his youngest brother
▪ Pray for James Heard to make good choices and to walk with an serve the Lord in this next phase of his life.
▪ Pray with H&K H for their health (especially Karen’s back, which keeps getting reinjured, and their schedule which it affects) and for many of their loved ones; needing Christian fellowship: her grandmother and father, widow Hope w/4 children, Brown family of 7 (wayward son Nicholas); needing health: her mom, sister Lisa, Martina, Donna, Joyce; needing spiritual life: Velvet and Reagan (lost their sister/daughter to a brutal murder), neighbors Shawn, Merlin, & children; other widows: Libby, Naomi (w/daughter Stacia), Stephanie (w/many children, were missionaries); friend Andrea’s New Age friends; Charles & Robert to be able to forgive; friends w/family problems: Dave, Lee, Melodie, Cole; spiritual growth and wife for friend Scott; their family’s evangelism, recently firefighter Dalton; Riggs to grow mighty in the Lord
▪ Pray with R&M J for Meredith, young daughter of M’s college friend Ashely (and husband Brad), who’s taking medicine to shrink her brain tumor
Pray with O&A L for her unbelieving mother w/heart condition, and her family’s grieving over her brother
▪ Pray with CM for for Sheriff’s Reserve James Wilson, and his wife Andra’s cancer; and friend Michael Duval and his recovery from knee surgery
▪ Pray with C&T P for wisdom for him about what to do with two good career choices, and for the conversion of her brother Todd; and for her dad who is not doing well and his wife Jolene whom they expect to pass away imminently, and for Tami while she is there.
▪ Pray with D&K R for their family’s growth in godliness, especially dying to self, godly speech, and Lord’s Day keeping; for Micah, Rachel, and baby girl due in July; and for local pastor/constable Darryl Thrasher, who has an aggressive, malignant brain tumor
▪ Pray with GR for friend Abby to come to faith in Christ
▪ Pray with JeR for believing friend Jeanette Cary’s CHF, Fibromyalgia, & slow-healing wound
Pray with J&M R for baby Bentley, and their family’s adjustment and future with him
▪ Pray with J&S R for her nephew, who needs life in Christ; and for her and her family in the loss of her father, especially spiritual impact on her sisters and nephews; and for her sister Rebecca’s pregnancy; and for the whole family, and especially his mother, as they grieve the passing away of his father
▪ Pray with S&V Y for his parents and siblings as they deal with his father’s declining health and his mothers dementia
▪ Please pray with Pressly Memorial ARP in Red Level, AL, throughout the month of May
▪ Please pray for the TN-AL Presbytery to be enabled to plant a faithful church with the resources available and earmarked for that purpose
▪ Please pray for all ARP presbyteries, churches, and agencies
▪ Please pray for our nation, state, community and all the officials thereof 

Prayer, with thanksgiving, being one special part of religious worship, is by God required of all men: and, that it may be accepted, it is to be made in the name of the Son, by the help of his Spirit, according to his will, with understanding, reverence, humility, fervency, faith, love, and perseverance; and, if vocal, in a known tongue. (WCF 21.3)

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