What a blessed time remembering the Lord's promises to cleanse and receive sinners. May this memorial live on and continually stir us up to faith and obedience.
I will bring your offspring from the east, and gather you from the west. I will say to the north, 'Give up,' and to the south, 'Do not withhold; bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the end of the earth.'
Hopewell was blessed to participate in Mansfield's annual pro-life walk/rally again this year. The Richland Source provided coverage of the event and highlighted some of Hopewell's involvement.
We might note that the RS article does need some modification. Those who participated numbered well over 100 people.
[The following article was submitted by Matt Timmons, Hopewell's teaching elder, as a letter to the editor in Ashland's newspapers. It's aim was to help combat the rising problem of drug & heroin addiction in the Ashland area. For assistance with addiction recovery contact Matt or visit our addictions page.]
Heroin and drug use are the number one problems facing the Ashland area today. Reports of their destruction come out daily and drug related deaths are skyrocketing.
But users and their families should know that deliverance is possible. There is a way to escape the cult of addiction and religion of substance abuse. It is by turning to Jesus Christ, and beginning to worship the true and living God.
We’ve been conditioned to think that the answer to addiction is found in a twelve step program, a stint at a recovery facility, or better law enforcement tactics. But the ultimate solution is not in behavioral modification, educational programs, or conditioning. The only real and lasting remedy is wholesale religious conversion.
While we can be thankful for the existence of such programs we must recognize that something deeper is at stake. Addiction, at its most fundamental level, is a cult. It is primarily a religious issue having to do with servitude and worship.
The Bible says that we are either slaves to God or to something else. A slave of God will serve the Lord and have Him as the supreme object of his delight. An idolater will serve some other object (such as drugs, drink, sex, etc.) and will find his primary delight in it.
This is the nature of addiction. The drink or drug becomes your master. It once served you; it relieved your pain or gave you a little pleasure. But now it rules you. You have come to feel that you cannot live without it. You crave it, throw your money at it, and give it an absurd amount of attention.
It has become your religion.
It is deeper than mere appetite. It is a matter of faith. For the drug has become the object of trust: It is relied upon for happiness. It promises to save, fulfill, and relieve your pains. You believe in it and rely upon it as the only hope of satisfaction.
The worship is further seen in that the addict can’t bring himself to stop. Addicts will try to stop, but they can’t. The drug has become an idol to whom they are religiously devoted. It is the dominant force in their life.
If an addict is to be helped, he must acknowledge that he does not have a drug problem per se. He must admit that he has a faith problem. It is not so much about what is injected, smoked, or swallowed as much as it is about what is worshiped, adored, and served.
Thus, the road to recovery (i.e. redemption) lies in religious conversion. It is by repentance and turning to the one who is the one and only living God, the one who offers true life and eternal salvation.
All in all, the cleansing of the veins and clearing of the mind begins with a cleansing of the heart and clarity on the issue of idolatry.
In future articles we will explore more of the religious nature of addiction and how the Christian faith provides a means of escape. In the meantime, addicts (and affected loved ones) can explore the recovery helps that Hopewell offers at hopewellashland.com.
Ashland is just like the rest of America in that it is seeing many of its young people slip away from the faith. The Millennial Generation may have been raised in a Christian home or in a conservative area, but their worldview is far from Christian.
Starting January 22 Hopewell will start a DVD series from Wretched Radio called "Untethered." This series of six episodes will examine the mind of the Millennial Generation and show how we may best reach them with the gospel.
We want to invite you to join us for a rich time of fellowship & uplifting entertainment at our upcoming Christmas program.
Our families will be edifying one another through music, songs, and their other gifts and graces. Finger foods will also be available to enjoy afterwards.
The program is scheduled for December 11th at 6:30 pm and will be held at our regular meeting place in Ashland. Dress is casual.
In honor of Reformation Day some families from Hopewell will be watching the Luther movie (2003).
The movie will start around 6:30 pm on Saturday Oct. 29th. Families are also invited to join us for dinner before hand (5 pm).
RSVP to Matt if you'd like to come (email, 937-947-8086).
We've had a tremendous time studying what a gospel based church looks like in the book of 1st Timothy. It has been a rich time in God's word. Now we are looking forward to what is ahead in the book of Ezra.
We chose the book of Ezra because it is a book of new beginnings. It is about a people joining together by God's grace to become a people of worship and faith. That is exactly where we are at as a church in Ashland. The members of Hopewell have been joined together by God to establish a place of worship in Ashland.
The Hopewell gang enjoyed a splendid day in Willard, enjoying the many graces of fellowship.
Our first highlight was having the blessed opportunity to see three of our young people baptized. We were all exceedingly glad to have the promises of grace reaffirmed through in the service and for these young people's personal profession of faith
After the baptisms the congregation spent the day together swimming, eating, playing games, and enjoying fellowship together. The Lord blessed us with superb weather and by solidifying the bonds of unity.
What do you do when your children are put in harms way by a corporate giant's push to promote immorality? You stand for righteousness and hold forth the truth of God's Word.
That is exactly what a few of Hopewell's members did this past weekend. One of our families organized a protest at the Target store in Ontario. Approximately 50 people from other churches in Ashland and Richland counties accompanied the families from Hopewell.
The local newspapers picked up the story and served to highlight the great testimony all that much more. You can read about it in the Richland Source.
The families of Hopewell Church, along with a handful of visitors, joined together in their first morning worship service this past Lord's Day. All expressed joy and were greatly edified by the time spent in the presence of God.
During the service 9 young people made a first time public profession of faith. Teaching elder Matt Timmons gave a message entitled, "Professing the Faith" for the occasion. The message was drawn from 1 Timothy 6:12, "Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses."
Prior to the service Timmons noted that a handful of families gathered together 200 years ago to form the first church in Ashland. These families were also dedicated to the Reformed faith and had taken the name "Hopewell Church."
A new pulpit was constructed for the service by member Dave Lillo. Others were acknowledged for having a hand in making the service possible.
We recognize most of all the sovereign hand of God and the immense grace of His Son in allowing us the blessed opportunity to gather together.
The Hopewell congregation is excited to begin morning worship services on May 15th. We want to invite you to join us as we come together to give homage to our Almighty Savior!
The services will begin at 10:30 am and we will be meeting at the conference room at Hedstrom Plastics (100 Hedstrom Drive). We are truly delighted to have this as our venue. It is a great location! As you can see from the pics below, the space is beautiful, spacious, warm, and bright!
If you are not able to join us for morning worship, we'd still love to have you come participate in our evening services (6:30pm). We've had a wonderful time in fellowship with friends from a number of different churches around town. It has been a great blessing to be able to worship together. It truly is a celebration of our union in Christ, despite our belonging to different churches.
This Lord's Day we invite you to come out for our first A Capella hymn night at Hopewell. Bring your friends and your singing voices as we unite to sing the deep truths of our faith.
Our plan is to go "unplugged" once a month in order to allow our musicians a regular break. We want them to enjoy worship and have a Sabbath rest from their duties so they can refresh themselves in the Lord.
Therefore, you can plan on the fourth Sunday as "A Capella Hymn Night." What a wonderful time to sing together!
Remember: 6:30 pm at Heritage Baptist Church (401 Center Street in Ashland, Ohio).
This past weekend we at Hopewell Church held our first worship service! About 100 people from all around Ashland came together to sing, pray, and hear the proclamation of God's word.
We are exceedingly glad to have had the opportunity to join together with others who wanted to dedicate their Sunday evening to the Lord and we look forward to their continued fellowship over the upcoming months and years!
We are also ever thankful for our brethren at Heritage Church for allowing us to use their facility. Their generosity is amazing and we pray that the Lord would return the kind favors in abundance!
Soli Deo Gloria!