Weekly thoughts and updates from Hanover's pastor.
January 23, 2014

This week's offering is only secondarily a plug to read On God's Side by Jim Wallis and come to the Brown Bag Book Club gathering this Sunday to talk more about it.  The primary point is to share a bit of Wallis' wisdom and faith because it is absolutely timely and so utterly timeless. 

The book is a classically prophetic call to imagine and exercise a faith that makes a difference in the world because it responds to the reality of today's world.  And so he writes: Christianity is not a religion that gives some people a ticket to heaven and makes them judgmental of all others.  Rather, it's a call to a relationship that changes all our other relationships.

The goal of the narrative is to lead us to move from claiming that God is on "our" (read family, congregation, ethnic group, community, nation) side to placing ourselves at God's side.  Wallis claims that for most American Christians this is a transformation that often requires a conversion.  Being converted in this way means focusing on instead of ignoring our neighbor, letting the poor move us instead of serving us, and learning how to understand and even love our enemies instead of just hating and seeking to defeat them.  On God's side we learn how compassion takes precedence over control, forgiveness over fighting, and reconciliation over retaliation.

Wallis' primary purpose is to offer a path toward achieving of the common good.  The process is difficult and demands humility, civility, and grace.  The first step is to cease winner-take-all competition between proponents of different perspectives.  The crucial next step is to engage in constructive dialog about differences so that the best of each perspective complements one another.  It is when this happens that we arrive in a new and previously unimagined place.

And so he writes: Don't go right, don't go left; go deeper.

Click here to read the passages we will share in worship on Sunday.
Isaiah 9:1-4
Matthew 4:12-23
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven....
The Third Sunday After Epiphany
January 26

Continental Breakfast

Discipleship for All Ages
9:30am - 10:30am

Dropping Nets & Dropping Names

Fellowship Following Worship

Leadership Retreat
Saturday, January 25
9:00am - 12:00pm
The search to fill our new Church Administrator staff position has begun!  We are seeking someone to help coordinate our internal and external communications, and who is committed to establishing and maintaining our relationships in the congregation and community.  The position is part time (20 hours per week); click here for a copy of the position description.  Also, the members of the search team are available to provide further information (Romain Alexander, Chair; Alice Davis, Eloise Downing, and Andy Jacob).   Cover letters and resumes directed to Romain Alexander will be received at the church address up until Friday, February 7.

Spread the Word!

Next Saturday morning, we will welcome six distinguished panelists, including US Senator Chris Coons, who will share their thoughts and experiences on freedom.  You are encouraged to invite anyone and everyone you know - and if using our fantastic flier helps, click here to download it!
Souper Tuesdays
will begin at Hanover on February 4!  Each Tuesday from 11:00am-1:00pm in the Gathering Place anyone and everyone is welcome to partake in warm fellowship and hot soup!  A free will offering will be received with all of the proceeds to be used in support our food pantry.  If you are interested in providing soup, please contact Becky Arnold - and may God bless our soup!
Our friends and partners in peacemaking Pacem in Terris are offering a PeaceSeekers film series on the last Tuesday of each month through May.  Next Tuesday at 7:00pm at Westminster Presbyterian Church all are welcome to come and watch Inequality for All, which "explains how the massive consolidation of wealth by a precious few threatens the viability of the American workforce and the foundation of democracy.”
In addition to the Freedom Forum on February 1, our Black History Month will also include guest preachers and special music in worship, and special programs in our Discipleship classes.  February 2: In worship we will experience the freedom offered as grace at the Lord’s Table.  In the adult discipleship class we will hear a stirring debate between W.E.B. Du Bois (Larry Smith) and Booker T. Washington (George Turner) about two different paths to freedom.  February 9: In worship we will hear and share joyous harmonies that inspire the pursuit of freedom.  In the discipleship class we will meet Zora Neal Hurston (Rochelle Ransom).  After worship we will reconvene in the Gathering Place for the annual Soul Food Luncheon.  February 16: The Rev. Bernice Warren will be our guest preacher.  In the discipleship class we will witness an interview of Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow (La Vaida Owens-White from Christ our King Church and Alice Davis).  At 4:00 we will reconvene for our annual musical extravaganza: The Gospel Vespers.
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