Dear Friends,

Dear Friends,

During my sermon on the first Sunday in January, I introduced the idea of renovating the house on the church property so that it could be used as temporary lodging for refugees who are entering our community in conjunction with World Relief Durham. We have hosted several information meetings so that we could learn from Adam Clark (Director of World Relief Durham) and Marc and Kim Wyatt (Cooperative Baptist Fellowship missionaries working with Internationals in the Triangle). We have scheduled a couple of opportunities to go visit the Welcome House in Raleigh where the Wyatts have organized a similar ministry providing temporary refugee housing. We have distributed devotional guides with a request that we all spend these weeks reading Scripture, praying, and seeking to discern God’s leadership and call regarding this possibility.

I certainly recognize that some of you might not be comfortable asking questions in public meetings, but I really do encourage you to bring your questions or any concerns to me or to one of the members who are working with me to gather information and details that we need to present to the congregation as a whole. Feel
free to reach out to Cara Bolton, Dave Dugan, Mike Dossett, David Stoops, or Julie Stoops if you want to learn more. I also invite you to attend a called Church Family Meeting on Sunday, March 13 at 4:00 p.m. During this meeting, we will present the information we have gathered and invite your thoughts and discussion. If at the end of that meeting, we feel like we are approaching a consensus on this proposal, we will have a ballot vote on Sunday morning, March 20. There would be no further discussion on the 20th. We would just be voting yes or no on moving forward with the proposal. If we don’t feel like we are near a consensus, we will postpone the vote until we gain more clarity as a congregation.

In the meantime, I truly encourage you to join me in praying that God will guide us to a clear consensus about whether this is His call for Hope Valley. With this in mind, our Prayer Meeting time on Wednesday, March 9 will be used as a time to pray and seek God’s will together. We will spend some time discussing the prayer list and praying for those on the list, but the rest of the time will be spent in focused prayer as we seek to listen for God’s voice. No one will be forced to or expected to pray aloud, but there will be an opportunity to pray together as a church family. Thank you for the interest you have expressed, the questions you have asked, and the thoughts you have shared. Let us continue to seek God and His guidance together.

Bill