A Word from the Pastor

Welcome Friends, Grace and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ through the power and the presence of the Holy Spirit in this place. I welcome you to Hopewell Reformed Church, especially if you are here for the first time. We seek to be a church that knows Christ and makes him known in everything we do. We pray that you experience that today.

These words are my greeting most Sunday mornings in worship. It is my greeting to you on this web site. It reflects who we are, what we are about and my hope for you this day. We are all on a spiritual journey and I invite you to explore that at HRC making connections with the church and with Christ. I am glad that you are here.

Taylor Holbrook, Lead Pastor

 

The Latest from the Pastor

Touché October 20, 2017

 

Practicing Transformation

“Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      (Philippians 4:8, 9)

You don’t need another sermon.  You don’t need more information.  You do need to practice what’s been preached.  You do need to turn information into action and to reflect on that action. This is the pattern of transformational learning.

We are halfway through our Fifty Days of Transformation.  Chris Mowbray will share transformation testimony this Sunday.  I hope all of us have a testimony to share and have collected some good origami.  Origami is not our goal, transformed lives are.

We have received information Sunday mornings, in our small groups and in personal devotions, but this information in and of itself is not transforming.  When we take that information and put it into practice, that is where transformation happens. This is a process outlined in the Ridder Church Renewal.  It requires three key elements: Information-Practice-Reflection.  It is what Paul is talking about in Philippians 4.  It is not enough to simply think about what is true, just, and pure. His final call is to put that into practice.  As we put into practice what we are learning, we reflect on the outcome of how that change is taking place.

The Fifty Days process captures this beautifully as each week we are invited to write down a goal that we will live into for the next three months, and have the opportunity to share how that is going with our group.  I pray that you are seeing transformation in key areas of your life.  Keep learning, keep practicing, keep reflecting.

It’s morphing time,

Taylor

Guest Touche from Randy Prentiss

Hello friends! Greetings from Randy Prentiss!

I am thankful to Taylor for giving me this opportunity to write. I feel like the apostle Paul, as I say …

To the saints at Hopewell, I think of you with joy and fondness, when I remember my time with you, the joys and journeys we shared together, and the work I have seen God doing in you and through you all! To God be the glory!

For those who don’t know me, I had the joy of being on staff at Hopewell from 2001 to 2012. I currently work at the Taconic Retreat Center, near Red Hook.

Can I tell you about a struggle I’ve had? For years I experienced obstacles as I tried to be transformed and become more like Jesus. I struggled to overcome particular issues that I could not break through, even though I had asked God for help.

I’ve discovered that I was not alone. While at Hopewell I came upon the work of Peter and Geri Scazzero. While co-leading a successful church in Queens, NY, Pete and Geri saw that particular issues in their lives threatened the health of their family and their ministry. This launched them on a journey to discover what they now call EMOTIONALLY HEALTHY SPIRITUALITY. See emotionallyhealthy.org. This journey saved their marriage and their ministry. It has helped other believers as well.

“Emotional health and spiritual maturity are inseparable.” Peter Scazzero

Because I have seen the benefit of their work, I have invited two of their trained coaches to lead a one day retreat at Taconic Retreat Center. This retreat is a perfect complement to the 50 Days of Transformation you are currently doing at HRC. On October 22, Taylor will be preaching on Transformed in my Emotional Health. That very weekend we are having this retreat about emotional health and discipleship, at Taconic. Well, that’s interesting!!
I invite any and all of you to attend this one day retreat.

EMOTIONALLY HEALTHY DISCIPLESHIP FOR TODAY’S CHURCH

This retreat takes discipleship beyond head knowledge into Christ-like transformation. By integrating scripture, spiritual practices and self-knowledge, participants will discover healthy practices for discipleship that equip them to love God, themselves and others.

DATE: OCTOBER 21, 9:30am – 5:00 pm
PRICE: $95 includes lunch and materials.

People don’t need more to do; people need a healthier spirituality.

I have read their materials, and find myself working through them again. They offer helpful insights, practices, and wisdom. They have an approach to discipleship that is unique and genuinely effective. While not being fluff, this is not going to overwhelm you. The guidance they offer will help you to understand yourself, and has the potential to lead you into greater personal and spiritual freedom.

I invite and encourage any of you who are able, to attend this one day retreat. I invite you to invite friends. We are giving discounts to groups of 5 or more.

I hope to see you soon. If you have any questions, please email me at randy@taconicretreat.org, or call me at 914-629-8943.

Yours in Christ,
Randy

Touché October 6, 2017

 From Stressed to Blessed

“He restores my soul.” (Psalm 23:3)

Working with Rick Warren through these Fifty Days of Transformation, I recognize his genius.  He is simple, straightforward and practical.  He takes what we have heard before and gives clear application to life.  He does that this week as we talk about physical transformation applying the truths of a most beloved Psalm 23 to address our addictions to hurry, food, alcohol or any other coping mechanism taking us away from God.

John Ortberg in his book, The Life You’ve Always Wanted, tells the story of speaking with a spiritual director.  He asked, “What do I need to do to be spiritually healthy?”  After a long pause the director said, “You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.”  After a long pause Ortberg says he wrote that down and said, “That’s a good one.  Now what else is there?” He states, “I had many things to do, and this was a long-distance conversation, so I was anxious to cram as many units of spiritual wisdom into the least amount of time possible.”  Another long pause.  “There is nothing else,” the director said.  That conversation was transformative for him.

Transformation is a process of body, mind and spirit.  This week we focus on the body – doing those things that bring health to the body and restoration to our souls.  It aligns with the week that Steve Dambra, Mark Mast, Warren Jee and I will all be running the Hartford Marathon.  I have run Hartford one time before and, because of an injury, I had not trained well.  I thought I could do it without the work and, while I finished, at about the half way point my body crashed and I cramped and struggled through the second half.  This time I have put in the work and I am not injured.  I pray it pays off, but I know that at a certain point the will needs to carry my body.  I am asking for prayers at 11 AM next Saturday, October 14, because I anticipate that is when I will be operating on will.

Is there a place in your physical well-being that you need to think differently?  Our core verse from transformation comes from Romans 12:2, “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”  If we are to act differently, we need to think differently. It could be in eating habits, in exercise habits, or in habits of rest and relaxation.  Your small group will help you think about those things this week as you look at “Six Reasons Your Health Matters to God.”

I set a goal to run this marathon and I needed to think differently to allow my body to get in shape and work through the tough times of training.  What is the goal you will set this week for work with your body?

Peace, Taylor

By the way- Mark Mast (our former Pastor of Outreach) will be pushing his son Kyle and raising funds for Mitochondria concerns. (Kyle and Courtney have a Mito condition.)  He has a goal for running four Marathons (Hartford, Amsterdam, Chicago, and New York).  You can give support to them here. ( https://teammito-mast.weebly.com/)