Bible-based | Christ-centered | Family-focused | Mission-minded
Having been at the New Hope church of Christ for nearly two months now, two things are crystal clear to me. First, our evaluation of the New Hope members’ spirit for helping the work here holds true. They have been sure to pour out aid for me whenever I need it, avail their help to the building and its functions, and keep close-knit connections with one another. Second, there is work, hard work, to be done here. We knew that when we discovered this little congregation in Hatley, MS (with an Amory, MS address), so our guard has not been found lacking. Challenges are quickly being discerned for Phase I and their solutions likewise implemented.
You’ll recall there are a number of large congregations within Monroe county, with Amory church of Christ and Christian Chapel church of Christ boasting the largest memberships (160, 250 respectively, if memory serves). I have visited with the ministers of both these congregations, as well as the Skyline church in Tupelo. Every minister I’ve met seems to be of kindred spirits in one way or another, with a couple being fellow mentees of Troy’s (both named Jonathan, coincidentally). Each building I’ve been to has been remarkable, particularly with their emphasis on youth development. Casey would be just like a kid in a candy store.
So far, my greatest personal connection to the community is wrapped up in those gym-goers who enjoy late night workouts. Here, there are few. I’m in the process of readjusting my schedule to go earlier in the day to potentially interact with more folks. Hopefully, before too long, we’ll get some Bible studies going. Congregation. Regarding the standard operations of the congregation, things have hit the ground running. All men who participated in worship before have continued to do so. You’ll be surprised to know there are nearly as many song leaders here as there are at Margaret Street! I’ll be tasked with song leading on the final Sunday of February, but that’s with my permission. (We won’t make a habit of that).
To best understand the language in this next paragraph, our Sunday services operate like so: 9:30 AM – Bible class; 10:20 AM- Worship; 11:20- Third Session (this has been treated as both a second service and a Bible class in the past; we presently treat it as a sort of blend, a Bible class with singing mixed in).
As for classes, we have three. ‘The Life of Christ‘ is our first class on Sunday, taking a look at Christ’s life to better navigate our own lives as Christians. This particular class will run until we’re ready for a change. The third session is the class Casey and I co-taught at Margaret Street, ‘Know Your Why,‘ a class which focuses on why we do what we do as Christians. (That is, obedience to God is all that’s necessary, though nearly everything runs more deeply than that. Casey can clarify details for you.) ‘Know Your Why’ will conclude at the quarter’s end. Wednesday night is Genesis class, and it will take us clear to the summer. Of note, Genesis is the first Wednesday night class New Hope’s had since before Covid! Attendance has maintained 7-8, which is roughly half the congregation. Considering the health and work schedules of some, this is very good. I have been informed a few regular Wednesday attendees were seldom present in the past during the midweek service, and that speaks well of the hearts here.
I am amazed at the frequency I hear from Margaret Street members, though I am not surprised. The effects of your prayers are absolutely being felt, and I earnestly beseech their continuation. A couple weeks ago, I led a sermon on Satan as James speaks about him Qas. 4), largely from the perspective of “resisting him.” The reality is this: for all the energy God is directing in this effort, Satan will likely respond aggressively. Approaching God is the only surefire way to resist him and make him flee, and your prayers have helped in that.
Trevor Smoot, a 2021 graduate of Bear Valley Bible Institute in Denver, CO recently came work with Margaret Street as our “Domestic Missionary.” We are excited to have Trevor and he has been doing a great job.