Gilman Methodist Church at 312 Gilman Ave., Marietta, is one of about 185 churches participating in the district-wide "Project Hope" program.
Project Hope is a program to reach out to people who have not yet experienced the hope found in a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Gilman United Methodist is celebrating Project Hope with a special series of messages for four Sundays. The first message was on Sept. 20; messages will continue each Sunday through Oct. 11.
Themes for the messages will be "How Can I Feel Secure in an Insecure World?" on Sept. 27; a World Day of Communion message on "Where Is God When I Am Struggling?", Oct. 4; and a Children's Sabbath message on "My Own Secret Light For the Darkness," Oct. 11.
"We are currently facing one of the most difficult times in a generation," said Pastor Diann O'Bryant. "People are struggling to make it out of this fragile economic mess. Resources are drying up. People are losing hope. People are looking for a firm foundation. Project Hope is an invitation to all who need hope - an invitation to come and see the hope Jesus offers."
At Gilman United Methodist, Project Hope is an opportunity to offer the hope of Christ and a special opportunity to invite people to "come and see" what Christ has to give to them.
"It is an opportunity for us to practice invitation evangelism," O'Bryant said.
Invitation evangelism has been in practice since Phillip told Nathanael, "We have found the one Moses wrote about in the law, and about whom the prophets also wrote - Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph."
When Nathanael doubted, Phillip simply replied, "Come and see" (John 1:45-46). Phillip invited Nathanael to come and see the hope he had found in Jesus, and Nathanael came and found hope in Christ for himself.
Initiation program into Catholic faith begins
The St. Mary's RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) program is beginning again for anyone who would like to learn more about the Catholic faith or anyone who is interested in joining the Catholic Church.
This process has been established by the Catholic church for adults, teens and youth who would like to join the church through the sacraments of initiation (baptism, eucharist and confirmation).
The classes will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. on Mondays in the church's downstairs social hall. Anyone is welcome to attend.
For more information or to sign up for the classes: Cathy Rauch at 896-2901 or the church rectory at 373-3643.
Church plans annual Country Fair Oct. 15
The annual Putnam Church Country Fair will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 15, at the church.
There will be a bake table and a gift table with church bulletin necklaces and baby quilts.
Lunch will be homemade vegetable soup, hot chicken sandwiches, sloppy joes, cole slaw, pie and cake, and beverage. Soup can also be ordered at $4 per quart by calling 374-7229 during the week. Other items are available for carry-out on Thursday by calling 374-7274.
A special this year will be a silent auction for a 54-inch by 78-inch tapestry throw with a picture of a country church in shades of medium blue, reds and cream, and Scripture (Psalm 122:1).
Send church news to Janet Gossett in care of The Marietta Times, P.O. Box 635, Marietta, Ohio 45750. Information can also be e-mailed to jgossett@mariettatimes.-com, faxed to (740) 376-5475 or submitted through the Virtual Newsroom on the Times' Web site, www.MariettaTimes.com. Deadline for information for the Focus on Faith page is noon Tuesday each week for that Saturday's edition.