New Hope Presbyterian Church
From Pastor Kim
Dear New Hope Family,

New Hope has long dedicated itself to the service of others. I'm writing to let you know that, over the next two weeks, we will have the opportunity to serve one another, our local community, and the world in a new way. Believing that we must play a pro-active role in taking responsibility for slowing the spread of the novel coronavirus and for " flattening the curve ," the Session has decided to exercise that leadership by suspending all face-to-face church activities for the next two weeks through Friday, March 27.

That means that we will not have worship in the sanctuary this Sunday, March 15 or the following Sunday, March 22. Though we will certainly miss our regular face-to-face contact during this time, we will worship, learn, and experience fellowship together, as well as care for one another, through online, "virtual" ways. More on that in just a minute!

I want to emphasize that the leadership of New Hope has not made this decision out of fear or panic. Rather, we understand ourselves to be doing this from a position of strength, voluntarily acting early to practice "social distancing," which is the only effective strategy for slowing the spread of a virus. While we are certainly concerned for our own vulnerable members (older adults and those with underlying medical conditions), we are also acting as a whole church on behalf of those beyond our church walls. I invite you to see this as a ministry to our larger community and to embrace it as something we are actively doing (rather than as something from which we are refraining ) for the sake of others. Also, we are supporting Buncombe County, which has declared a local state of emergency, and which has recommended that all non-essential in-person gatherings cease.

Many of you have already let me know that, due to having identified yourself as higher risk, you have made the courageous decision to stay at home, despite having to grieve the loss of face-to-face contact with the church for a time. Know that you are not alone, and that we are all in this together. I have every confidence that we will continue to love each other well, encouraging each other with the words of Jesus: "Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid." God is with us.
Of this I am sure.

Please read on to learn more about what this means practically for our church activities, and especially about our plans to livestream our Sunday morning worship services so that you can watch and also participate from home. I think this is an opportunity for us to stretch outside the box as we continue being the church and to grow our love for God, one another, and the world in ways that will surprise us. We've got this!

With love and joyful trust in God,
Kim
Practical Nuts & Bolts

Suspensions:
Face-to-face worship in the sanctuary will cease until further notice through Sunday, March 22.
All classes, committee meetings, and groups will not meet through Friday, March 27.
Church group activities that don't take place at the church will also "fast" from face-to-face activity.
Outside groups will suspend their use of the church building.
Since we consider recovery groups such as AA essential rather than non-essential, we will support their continued use of isolated areas in the church.

Additions:
Join Kim and Rob for virtual worship this Sunday through Facebook Live! (See below.)
We'll be supporting the deacons in their ministry of reaching out to everyone by phone and email on a regular basis to make sure that everyone is okay.
We'll be making onling giving possible so that we can stay current with our financial health.
We'll be experimenting with other fun virtual ways to learn and experience fellowship together!
We'll provide help for everyone who needs assistance with technology.

Office Hours:
Since our staff is very small, the church office will remain open during business hours (Tuesday-Friday, 9 AM to 2 PM), and your three staff members--Kim, Erin, and Rob--will still be working to support our ongoing ministry.
Staying in "Touchless" Touch ...
Livestream Worship at 11:00 AM
We're Going Live on Facebook!
Kim and Rob will be in our sanctuary on Sunday morning, broadcasting a livestream worship service at 11 AM through Facebook Live.

Now, I know what some of you are saying:
"I'm not doing Facebook! No way!"
"I don't know how to do that!"
"I don't do technology!"
"I don't do social media!"
"What??? Ew ... "
Don't Worry: We're Here to Help!
We will help anyone who doesn't know how to use Facebook to get access. Simply let us know, and we will help you get on, or help you find a neighbor whom you can join to watch the service. Click here to let Pastor Kim know that you need help.

But Is It Safe?
Maybe you're thinking, "I don't want anyone accessing my personal information!" You don't actually have to post much personal information at all to sign up: just your name, birthdate, gender, and an email or mobile phone. You can even use a made-up name if you're really concerned about it, and you don't have to post a photo. We can show you how to make your privacy settings super tight. And then, after life returns to "normal" (ummm...), you can delete your account.
You Can Even Comment on the Sermon!
The fun thing about Facebook Live is that you can type in comments about whatever is going on, while it is going on . This is your chance to type to Kim during the sermon, "What in the world are you talking about?" or to Rob, "Play it again, Sam!" We'll be able to share prayer requests, pass the peace, and watch the "like" and "heart" emojis that we click on float up the screen. Let's love on each other, people!

Try It! Easy Steps to Set Up Facebook
You can do it. Si, se puede!
  1. Go to www.facebook.com.
  2. Enter your first and last name (or a pseudonymn if you're concerned about it).
  3. Enter your email or mobile phone number (Facebook will use this to verify you.)
  4. Enter a password, your birthdate & gender.
  5. Click "Sign Up."
  6. On the next screen, enter the code that Facebook will automatically send to the email or mobile phone you entered above.
  7. Click continue, and then click okay.
  8. You can skip the part about adding friends by clicking on "next" in the upper right corner.
  9. You do not need to add a photo.
  10. In the area where it says "Search," type in New Hope Presbyterian Church Asheville.
  11. Then, click on New Hope Presbyterian Church Asheville when it comes up on the list (probably the first one).
  12. You made it! That's where our livestream will be broadcast. Come back on Sunday morning at 11 AM to join us!
You too can find your church home on Facebook.
Sending in Prayer Requests
Want to send in a prayer request in advance of our livestream worship this Sunday morning?
Click here to email Pastor Kim, and she will include it in the worship service.
Previous Sermons & Bulletins

As always, our Sunday audio sermons and bulletins are online. Click here for the Audio Sermon and Bulletin page of our church website. We will continue to post things that you can check back on later
Engaging from Home
Reaching Out
Our deacons and other leaders will be actively reaching out to all of our members and regular folks to check in, stay connected, engage in conversation, see what people's needs are, and help provide for those needs.

Also, please let us know if you or someone else you know at church needs help. Click here to send Pastor Kim an email about what's going on or a prayer request to share during our Facebook Live virtual worship service.

If you are a member, call your deacon. They are eager to care for you. Don't know who your deacon is? Click here to email Parish Associate Ken Meeks.
And, don't forget that YOU are a minister in the priesthood of all believers! Pick up the phone and check in with a friend at church. Find a prayer partner, or make an agreement with one or two other church "buddies" to check in regularly with each other. Take out your directory and say a prayer for a few people each day. Share the love, friends!
Solidarity with Detainees in Isolation
Experiencing our own isolation and decreased face-to-face connection with other people can be a way of deepening our connection with those for whom isolation and separation are a way of life.

Immigrants detained at Stewart Detention Center, a private prison under contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, often experience long stretches of loneliness and grief. Lumpkin, Georgia, where the detention center is located, is extremely isolated and is often hundreds of miles away from where the family and friends of detainees live.

We are collecting $25 Shell gas cards to support the hospitality ministry of El Refugio, the only place in Lumpkin where visitors of detainees can stay. El Refugio accepts gas card donations that they then hand out to the families and friends of detainees to make such visits possible.
We know that some of you have chosen, with good reason, to limit your outdoor activity during this time. We support you!

If, however, you'll be out and about, please prayerfully consider purchasing a $25 Shell gas card. You can mail it to the church or simply hang on to it until we're all back in the building again.

Questions about El Refugio or our Justice & Reconciliation Ministry? Please reach out to Virginia Hebert for more information.
"It's Friday, But Easter's Coming!"
We will celebrate Easter together, no matter what the date!

Our Easter tradition is to decorate the sanctuary with spring flowers (excluding Easter lilies and other scented flowers due to allergies that many people have). These spring flowers provide a beautiful and colorful array in the sanctuary.

You are invited to purchase potted spring flowers for display in the sanctuary in honor of or in memory of a loved one, just like you would an Easter lily. Cost per order is $8. You will be invited to take your potted flowers home afterwards.
Click here to print the order form for Easter Flowers. You may print the form and mail to the church with your check. If you're unable to print, simply email the information to our office administrator, Erin May , and mail in your check, marked "Easter Flowers."
Prayer Concerns & Thanksgivings
Please let Pastor Kim know if you have a prayer concern or thanksgiving that you would like us to include in this weekly email.
Following the Death of a Loved One:
Diane Clinton, following the death of her husband Bob Clinton
Linda Lewis and family, following the loss of Linda's sister Diane

In a Health Facility, Hospital, or Hospice:
Stratton Peacock, residing at Givens Health Center
John David Stewart, residing at Flesher's Fairview Health Center
Pat Murison, residing at WNC Baptist Home

Facing Challenges:
Terri Carpenter's brother, Stephen, following a heart attack
Janet Black, newly diagnosed with breast cancer
Ruth Lewis, with a family challenge

For the Church, Here and Around the World:
Our sister church in Guatemala, El Divino Salvador

For Our Local Community, Nation, and World:
The slowing of the coronavirus and healing for infected people
This election season, for the reconciling love of Jesus Christ to reign
The people of Tennessee following the tornado
All those who don't have the privilege of social distancing--homeless people needing to stay in shelters, eat in soup kitchens, etc., and those who serve them