Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your steadfast love; According to Your abundant mercy, blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, And cleanse me from my sin. You desire truth in the inward being; Therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; Let the bones that You have crushed rejoice. Hide Your face from my sins, And blot out my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, And put a new and right spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your Presence, And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your Salvation, And sustain in me a willing spirit. – from Psalm 51
We invite you to join us – either in person or via livestream – starting at 11:00AM on Sunday, June 26. We will be reading from 2 Kings 2:1-14. Rev. Benjamin brings the sermon, “Double Portion”. We hope to see you there!
Over the last few weekends, I’ve been spending a lot of time in some of our local art museums. Art museums interest me for a few reasons. One is simply that they are wonderful places to slow down and spend time thinking—about life, about faith, about what I’m going to eat for supper. Another reason is just that it is always amazing to me to go to a place where you can be surrounded by so much talent. The time and dedication these artists put into their work, not to mention their command over their tools and materials is inspiring! Finally, I love being surrounded by so many stories from so many different people. Whether the artist is telling their own story, telling their version of a familiar story, or speaking to some truth that is difficult to put into words, it is always incredible to me. I love the way the artists are willing to share themselves with people.
I tell you all that to introduce you to our next sermon series, “Faith and Art.” The series will start on July 3 and each sermon in it will draw inspiration from a piece of art that is currently on display at one of the three major art museums here in the Triangle: the Nasher in Durham, the Ackland in Chapel Hill, and the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh. Each piece will be paired with a scripture passage that the artwork reminded me of, meaning that the sermon itself will be based on the scripture and the art will help to illustrate the themes of the sermon. I am not an art expert by any stretch of the imagination, but I am a firm believer that art can speak to what it means to be human. I think that can pair beautifully with the scriptures because God so consistently tells people that we are loved, that we bear God’s image, that we are precious to God. God knows what it means to be human and speaks to that experience.
One of the major components of this sermon series that I would encourage everyone to participate in is simply to go and see the pieces we’ll be talking about. Some of the pieces are huge (paintings taller than me!) and their size helps communicate their message. Some of the pieces are highly textured and the hardness or softness of the medium speaks to the artist’s ideas. All the pieces that I’ll be talking about are available in the parts of each museum that are free to the public. If you cannot make it in person, you can go to each museum’s website and look up the pieces (websites at article’s end).
All that being said, the first piece we will be looking at on July 3rd is at the Ackland Art Museum in Chapel Hill. It is entitled, “Aligned by the Sun” and it was created by a team of artists known as Ghost of a Dream. It is a simple piece, but it has a message of unity that will go wonderfully with that first sermon. The reason I mention it now is because it is only on display through July 3rd, meaning if you’d like to see it in person, you’ve only got about two weeks!
I’m looking forward to this series and the insights into our faith we can gain through this art. Grace and peace, Pastor Ben
O Lord, do not be far away! O my Help, come quickly to my aid! Deliver my soul from the sword; Save me from the mouth of the lion! I will tell of Your Name to my brothers and sisters; In the midst of the congregation I will praise You: You who fear the Lord, praise Him! Stand in awe of Him, all you offspring of Israel! For He does not despise or abhor the affliction of the afflicted; He did not hide His face from me, but heard when I cried. The poor shall eat and be satisfied; Those who seek Him shall praise the Lord. All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord; And all the families of the nations shall worship Him. For dominion belongs to the Lord, And He rules over the nations. –Psalm 22:19-28
O Lord, our Sovereign, how majestic is Your Name in all the earth! You have set Your Glory above the heavens. Out of the mouths of babes and infants You have founded a bulwark, To silence the enemy and the avenger. When I look at Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars that You have established; What are human beings that You are mindful of them, Mortals that You care for them? Yet You have made them a little lower than God, And crowned them with glory and honor. You have given them dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under their feet, All sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field, The birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, Whatever passes along the paths of the seas. O Lord, our Sovereign, how majestic is Your Name in all the earth! –Psalm 8
We hope that you will join us for Worship this Sunday – either in-person or via live-stream. Our Call to Worship comes from Psalm 8, and our Scripture Passage will be John 16:4b-15. Today, we will also be recognizing our Graduates!
Clap your hands, all you peoples; Shout to God with loud songs of joy. For the Lord, the Most High, is awesome, A great King over all the earth. He subdued peoples under us, And nations under our feet. He chose our heritage for us, The pride of Jacob whom He loves. God has gone up with a shout, The Lord with the sound of a trumpet. Sing praises to God, sing praises; Sing praises to our King, sing praises. For God is King of all the earth; Sing praises with a psalm. God is King over the nations; God sits on His Holy Throne.– from Psalm 47
Please join us for Worship – in person or via livestream – starting at 11:00AM on Sunday, May 29th. We will be reading from Luke 24:44-53, and Rev. Benjamin Wines will bring the message, “Witnesses“.
May God be gracious to us and bless us And make His face to shine upon us, That Your way may be known upon earth, Your saving power among all nations. Let the peoples praise You, O God; Let all the peoples praise You. Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, For You judge the peoples with equity. Let the peoples praise You, O God; Let all the peoples praise You. The earth has yielded its increase; God, our God, has blessed us. May God continue to bless us; Let all the ends of the earth revere Him. – from Psalm 67
Please join us for Worship – in person or via livestream – starting at 11:00AM on Sunday, May 22nd. We will be reading from Acts 16:6-15, and Rev. Benjamin Wines will bring the message, “Respecting the Spirit“.
Praise the Lord from the earth, You sea monsters and all deeps, Fire and hail, snow and frost, Stormy wind fulfilling His command! Mountains and all hills, Fruit trees and all cedars! Wild animals and all cattle, Creeping things and flying birds! Kings of the earth and all peoples, Princes and all rulers of the earth! Young men and women alike, Old and young together! Let them praise the Name of the Lord, for His Name is exalted; His glory is above earth and heaven.from Psalm 148
Please join us for Worship – in person or via livestream – starting at 11:00AM on Sunday, May 15th. We will be reading from Acts 11:1-18, and Rev. Benjamin Wines will bring the message, “Eating with Gentiles“.
It is hard to believe it, but my one-year anniversary here at Hope Valley Baptist Church was this past Sunday! My tenure as Senior Pastor began on May 1, 2021, with my first sermon being the very next day! It was a sermon entitled, “First”, and it was based on a reading from 1 John 4:7-21. The theme of the sermon was love (always a good topic!) and we talked about the way that God chooses to love people well and the call for each of us to love people well. I used a tennis analogy to talk about the love of God. I said that the most important part of a tennis player’s serve is the toss—that everything literally hangs in the balance when the ball is in the air. And I said that when God was choosing how to define Godself, everything hung in the balance, and God chose love.
Over this past year, I think we’ve done a good job, as a church, of choosing love. We reached out to McDougald Terrace and helped provide snacks during a time when kids would struggle to stay fed. We have started forming a relationship with teachers at Parkwood Elementary School to remind them that they are appreciated. We created goodie bags for healthcare workers at UNC, donated socks and underwear to Durham Urban Ministries, collected food for the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina. We’ve continued to house refugees in Hope House and help other people through Families Moving Forward. We’ve introduced new services (like the Service of Lament) in order to meet the needs of our congregation. And we’ve found new and innovative ways to gather together as a church family with Trunk-or-Treat and our Easter Egg Hunt.
It has been a good year and I am looking forward to what the next year has in store for us. I am encouraged by the fact that Covid case numbers continue to go down and so I am hoping that as 2022 continues, we will be able to gather in ways that look a little more normal. I hope that we can continue to reach out to our community, to build relationships with them, and discern God’s will for our church. I hope that we will continue to define ourselves by our love for others. Join me in praying for Hope Valley and the ways that we can remain faithful to God’s call for our church.
The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside still waters; He restores my soul. He leads me in right paths for His Name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff — they comfort me. You prepare a table before me, In the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life. And I shall dwell in the House of the Lord My whole life long. – Psalm 23
We invite you to join us for Worship – either in person or on-line – starting at 11:00AM. Today, we will be reading from Acts 9:35-43, as Rev. Benjamin Wines shares the sermon, “Show Your Work”. Our Call to Worship is Psalm 23.
I will extol you, O Lord, for You have drawn me up, And did not let my foes rejoice over me. O Lord my God, I cried to You for help, And You have healed me. O Lord, You brought up my soul from Sheol, Restored me to life from those gone down to the Pit. Sing praises to the Lord, O you His faithful ones, And give thanks to His Holy Name. For His anger is but for a moment; His favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may linger for the night, But joy comes with the morning. You have turned my mourning into dancing; You have taken off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, So that my soul may praise You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever. – from Psalm 30
We hope that you will join us in Worship – online or in person – starting at 11:00AM, Sunday, May 1st, 2022. Our Call to Worship is from Psalm 30 and our Scripture reading will be from Acts 9:1-20. Rev. Benjamin Wines continues the sermon series, “A Whole New World”.