Sunday worship: 10am at Penobscot Christian School: 1423 Ohio Street, Bangor, ME 04401 (you will see New Hope's sign below a sign for PCS). See "What to Expect" under "About Us" for more info. We hope to see you there! Church office/mailing address: 157 Park Street, Suite 23, Bangor, ME 04401 (email@example.com; 207-992-2223)
"Lessons from Clemmie: A Sprained Leg and Going It Alone" - In which Jonathan (pastor) talks about what we can learn about God's relationship with us through our relationship with our dogs.
New Hope is a gathering of forgiven people who trust in Jesus, and who still need God’s grace and power daily.
We are one congregation within the Christian Church throughout the world and throughout history, and we also identify as “Reformed” (which I like to describe as the conviction that God is more stubborn in pursuing us with His grace than we are in running from Him). We are a member of the Christian Reformed Church in North America.
We believe that the church is called to be a hospital, not just a fortress:
“While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, ‘Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?’ On hearing this, Jesus said, ‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: “I desire mercy, not sacrifice.” For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.’” (Matthew 9:10-13, NIV)
The Church isn't the doctor we so desperately need; Jesus is. The Church community can't save you; only God can. But God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is at work in and through His people, the Church--and the Church is called to point others to Him. So we don't want New Hope to be a fortress focused only on self-preservation; we want to be a hospital that leads people to the only One who can forgive and heal.
This means that the church is to be a community that celebrates new life. Like a hospital is a place of celebration at the births of babies, we
find that through faith in Jesus we enjoy new life and a reconciled relationship with God.
The church is also to be a place of healing. Like a hospital is a place at which sick people can become well, the church is a community of people who know they need the healing that is only found in Jesus. So we come to Him for physical healing, and also for relational healing--as God restores us to a flourishing relationship with Himself and one another. (Though this also ties into the previous point, as our relationship with God was not just bent, but broken, and we don't just need to be patched up, but need new life.)
The church is also a place of worship. Even more than the best surgeon receives praise, God alone restores us to wholeness, and He alone deserves all the praise. Only when we are centered on God do we discover the life we were meant to live.
The church is also a place of equipping. Think of physical therapists in a hospital, pushing those in recovery to stretch and grow stronger, equipping them to be able to do more.
The church is also a place of battling. Like a hospital fights disease and infection, we are called to engage in war against the enemy and all forces of evil—with the presence and armor of God.
The church is also a place of serving. As we continue to experience Jesus’ healing work in us, we find that He also works through us to serve others—almost as if hospital patients were also equipped to serve as aides.
The church is also a place of sending. As we continue to receive Jesus’ gracious claim on us, He also sends us out to invite others in. The church is like a hospital that actively goes out looking for those who—no more or less than each of us—need Jesus.
New Hope is for those who know they need more and want to encounter Jesus. No matter where you are coming from or what you believe, we welcome you to join us as we come to know our Creator and God, through Jesus our Lord. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to call or email.
- Pastor Jonathan Fischer (firstname.lastname@example.org; 207-992-2223)
Another "Lessons from Clemmie": "Coming Home"
Cancellation of services due to inclement weather will be announced on WLBZ Channel 2 and New Hope Church's Facebook page (see website footer).
Photo of stars by Jacob Marchio (used with permission).