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New Hope News

  July 2017  
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CORE VALUES
The core values of New Hope Church are the constant in our life together.  Though as individual followers of Christ we have slightly different values, there are certain common values that unite us.  These values are based on the life and teaching of Jesus Christ revealed to us in Scripture, illumined by the tradition of the church, made clear and living in our experience, and confirmed by reason.  Core values are not market driven.  They are the values that come from God and for which we would give our lives.  The way we practice or live these values may change, but the Biblical values will not change.
 
1. We believe that relationships are at the heart of life.  Of first importance is our relationship with God characterized by faith, trust, and worship.  Second are our relationships with other persons.  When Jesus was asked which commandment was the greatest he responded in this way.
 
'You shall love the Lord your God  with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.'  This is the greatest and first commandment.  And a second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'  On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
- Matthew 22:37-40
 
The crucial matter in religion is steadfast love for God and neighbor, empowered by the redeeming and sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit.
p. 49 (The Book Of Discipline)
 
2. We believe that our relationship with God is made possible by God's saving grace, the undeserved, unmerited, loving acceptance of God.
 
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God--
- Ephesians 2:8
 
Grace pervades our understanding of Christian faith and life.  By grace we mean the undeserved, unmerited, and loving action of God in human existence through the ever-present Holy Spirit.  While the  grace of God is undivided, it precedes salvation as "prevenient grace," continues in "justifying grace," and is brought to fruition in "sanctifying grace."
p. 43  (The Book Of Discipline)
 
3. We believe that the Good News offers the hope of God to all the people of God's world.
 
May the God of hope  fill you with all joy and peace in believing,
so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
- Romans 15:13
 
Whenever United Methodism has had a clear sense of mission, God has used our Church to save persons, heal relationships, transform social structures, and spread scriptural holiness, thereby changing the world.
p. 115 (The Book Of Discipline)
 
4. We believe that faith should be offered in practical terms for the living of everyday life.  We focus on the essentials of faith and have tolerance of choice for nonessentials.
 
But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and herbs of all kinds, and neglect justice and the love of God; it is these you ought to have practiced, without neglecting the others.
- Luke 11:42
 
... there is a "marrow" of Christian truth that can be identified and that must be conserved.  This living core, as they believed, stands revealed in Scripture, illumined by tradition, vivified in personal and corporate experience, and confirmed by reason.  ... Beyond the essentials of vital religion, United Methodists respect the diversity of opinions held by conscientious persons of faith.  Wesley followed a time-tested approach: "In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; and in all things, charity."
p. 48 - 49 (The Book Of Discipline)
 
5. We believe that the local church is where, under guidance of the Holy Spirit, people come to know Jesus Christ personally and to live their daily lives in light of their relationship with God. (The Book Of Discipline)
 
All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need.  Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.
- Acts 2:44-47
 
6. We believe that there should be unity in the church.  All persons have been given spiritual gifts for the common good.
 
I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.  By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.
- John 13:34-35
 
I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord,  beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.  There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.
- Ephesians 4:1-6
 
Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.
- 1 Corinthians 12:4-7
 
There is but one ministry in Christ, but there are diverse gifts and evidences of God's grace in the body of Christ.  The ministry of all Christians is complementary.  No ministry is subservient to another.  All United Methodists are summoned and sent by Christ to live and work together in mutual interdependence and to be guided by the Spirit into the truth that frees and the love that reconciles.
. . . Our connectionalism is . . . a vital web of interactive relationships.  
p. 109 (The Book Of Discipline)
 
7. We believe that the life of discipleship is best nurtured in small groups.  Here people receive the Word of God, support one another in Christian love, and pray together.
 
Now during those days he went out to the mountain to pray; and he spent the night in prayer to God.  And when day came, he called his disciples and chose twelve of them...
- Luke 6:12-13
 
While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them.
- Luke 24:15
 
Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother,
To Philemon our dear friend and co-worker,...and to the church in your house....
- Philemon 1:1-2
 
... "a company of men having the form and seeking the power of godliness, united in order to pray together, to receive the word of exhortation, and to watch over one another in love, that they may help each other to work out their salvation." That it may the more easily be discerned whether they are indeed working out their own salvation, each society is divided into smaller companies, called classes, according to their respective places of abode.  There are about twelve persons in a class . . .
p. 70 (The Book Of Discipline)
 
8. We believe that we are called to be stewards of God's gifts and to strive for excellence in their use so that God may be glorified.
 
And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus giving thanks to God the Father through him.
- Colossians 3:17
 
We see God's grace and human activity working together in the relationship of faith and good works.  God's grace calls forth human response and discipline. . . . Connectional ties bind us together in faith and service . . .  
p. 45 - 46 (The Book Of Discipline)
 
9. We believe that all baptized Christians are called into ministry.  Jesus taught that the greatest in the kingdom are the servants and those who would save their lives will give them away.
 
So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!  All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation;...  
- II Corinthians 5:17-18
 
The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers,  to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ.
- Ephesians 4:11-12
 
The greatest among you will be your servant.
- Matthew 23:11
 
For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will save it.  What does it profit them if they gain the whole world, but lose or forfeit themselves?
- Luke 9:24-25
 
... all Christians are called to minister wherever Christ would have them serve and witness in deeds and words that heal and free.  This ministry of all Christians in Christ's name and spirit is both a gift and a task.  The gift is God's unmerited grace; the task is unstinting service. . . . The people of God, who are the church made visible in the world, must convince the world of the reality of the gospel or leave it unconvinced.  There can be no evasion or delegation of this responsibility; the church is either faithful as a witnessing and serving community, or it loses its vitality and its impact on an unbelieving world.  
pp. 108 - 109 (The Book Of Discipline)
 
10. We believe that God cares for the lost and wants us to care for them as well, thereby providing hope.
 
What do you think?  If a shepherd has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray,  does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray?  And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray.  So it is not the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost.
- Matthew 18:12-14
 
And the king will answer them, 'Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family , you did it to me.'
- Matthew 25:40
 
We make disciples as we:
--proclaim the gospel, seek, welcome and gather persons into the body of Christ;
--lead persons to commit their lives to God through Jesus Christ;
--nurture person in Christian living through worship, baptism, communion, Bible and other means of grace;
--send persons into the world to live lovingly and justly as servants of Christ by healing the sick, feeding the hungry, caring for the stranger, freeing the oppressed, and working to have social structures consistent with the gospel;
p. 115 (The Book Of Discipline)
 
11. We believe that the church must be culturally relevant while holding fast to the faith revealed in Scripture.
 
For though I am free with respect to all,  I have made myself a slave to all, so that I might win more of them.  To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews.  To those under the law I became as one under the law (though I myself am not under the law) so that I might win those under the law.  To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (though I am not free from God's law but am under Christ's law) so that I might win those outside the law.  To the weak I became weak, so that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that I might by all means save some.  I do it all for the sake of the gospel, so that I may share in its blessings.
- 1 Corinthians 9:19-23
 
John and Charles Wesley offered Christian community for those who were often excluded from The Church of England.  They used some of the popular tunes from taverns and opera houses for their music.
 
 
12. We believe that we are called to grow persons into discipleship until they have the mind of Christ and walk as he walked.  This continued growth in grace we call sanctification.
 
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father
and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you.  And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.
 - Matthew 28:19-20
 
For this is the will of God, your sanctification...  For God did not call us to impurity but in holiness.
- 1 Thessalonians 4:3a, 7
 
Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
- Matthew 5:48
 
We hold that the wonder of God's acceptance and pardon does not end God's saving work, which continues to nurture our growth in grace.  Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we are enabled to increase in the knowledge and love of God and in love for our neighbor.  . . . Sanctifying grace draws us toward the gift of Christian perfection, which Wesley described as a heart "habitually filled with the love of God and neighbor" and as "having the mind of Christ and walking as he walked."
pp. 44-45 (The Book Of Discipline)