Pastor Nate’s Peace…
I have always appreciated the name of our congregation, Hope. When I think of hope I cannot help but think of 1 Corinthians 13:13a “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love abide.” In this trio, hope is the attitude that is exuded from one’s faith and love found in God. It is an attitude that looks toward a favorable outcome, no matter the circumstance to see God’s presence, God’s involvement, and is anything but the opposite of hope, despair.
We are a people and a congregation that continually looks to God. I recently heard this quote:
“The future doesn’t look like the past.”
With ‘hope’ in mind, what does the future look like? What does this hopeful congregation look like in the days and years ahead? It would be safe to say different, but what does different mean? We know the congregation doesn’t stay the same. We have baptisms and funerals, new member classes and guests to just name a few of the ways that we do not look the way we once were. The future, hummmm, I would say, “God only knows.” Life can take many twists and turns, unexpected routes and changes. Old Testament ‘hope’ reminds us to remain patient and true to God and God’s will. The New Testament hope and Jesus’ resurrection reminds us of the promise of eternal life. The congregation has a future! What does it look like? That will be determined by you and the many people of Hope Lutheran Church.
We are on the verge of completing the vision initiatives that were laid out in 2009 in our cottage meetings. We said that working on youth ministry and creating more small group opportunities for study of God’s word were important. Since that time we have read through the Bible in a year, twice and we have developed new areas of ministry that we call today “Youth & Family Ministry.” What will it look like in a year from now? In three years from now?
In the coming months we will need to discuss and share the hopes and dreams for the future of ministry for all at Hope Lutheran Church. Currently we have three groups that studying and sharing some of these ideas. The Space Assessment Task Force has been looking at the impact our current space has on worship and ministry. The Youth & Family Dream Team have been discussing the mission of this ministry. Finally, the Worship & Music Committee has shared one survey with the congregation and a second survey will be mailed this week to get a clearer picture for this service. “Hope is the anchor of the soul” Hebrews 6:19, may you have hope to continually move this congregation into the future.