Monthly Archives: April 2014

Pastor Mike’s Weekly E-news

Hi, Hope Folks!

In a perfect world, Holy Week (the week we’re in right now) would be filled with nothing but good days, holy moments and happy celebrations in every church.

But we live in a far-from-perfect (fallen) world. While we celebrated multiple baptisms at PowerLife Confirmation classes on Wednesday, 1st Communion for hundreds on Maundy Thursday, crowded Bible studies, joy-filled gatherings, inspiring services, and more … we also mourned and wept at the funerals of four church family members, from young to old, this past week at Hope. We prayed with dying friends in hospices and hospitals, offered a listening ear and guidance to the broken-hearted, and took on some of the hurts of our hurting neighbors.

It’s church in the real world. Modern day followers of Jesus coming face-to-face (yet again) with the truth that – this side of heaven – things happen that remind us we aren’t there yet. We are surrounded by darkness and death. Our collective soul longs for light and life.

As a result, we are more than ready for this weekend’s resurrection party … not because everything in this world is perfect, but precisely because it is not.

It’s Friday. But Sunday’s coming!

Peace,

Mike Housholder

Pastor. Preacher. Easter Partier.

P.S.- Good Friday Services are today at noon, 6:00 & 7:30 pm. Easter Services are Saturday at 1:00, 3:00, 5:00, 7:00 pm and Sunday at 7:00, 9:00, 11:00 am, & 5:00 pm.

Wordless Wednesday: Happy Easter!

easter-invite

If you joined us for services this past weekend and grabbed an Easter egg on your way out, don’t forget to hand it out as an invite to your friends, neighbors and co-workers (who don’t have a church home) to Easter at Hope! If you weren’t at services, or want to hand out more eggs, there are still some left at the church office. So stop on by and grab one (or two, or three…)!

You can also invite your friends by joining and sharing our Easter services on Facebook

 

 

Wordless Wednesday

 

DSC_0788

Each cross on display in the Worship Center represents the number of churches that will be built in Ghana, Africa thanks to our 2014 Lenten Project, “If We Build It, They Will Come.” This past weekend it was announced that we have raised enough for 71 churches, with still two more weekends to go! Every $3,500 donated towards the campaign will provide a church structure, drums, seating, altar, gas lamp and five bibles… Praise God!

A note from our Financial Officer

Dear HOPE,

We are currently more than four weeks into our 2014 Lenten Project campaign, If We Build It, They Will Come, and your generosity never ceases to amaze me. At services this weekend, you will hear about the 71 new churches (so far) that will be built in Ghana thanks to your cheerful donations… Praise God!

Amidst the joy of this season of giving, we have had an unfortunate incident occur that led us to believe someone was stealing money from one of the Lenten Project donation buckets during the 11:00 am service at Hope West Des Moines on the weekends of March 9 & 16.  We want you to know that immediate action was taken and through surveillance video, we were able to identify the individual responsible for taking the missing donations.

We have good reason to believe the amount stolen was just under $330 in cash. At this time, we have no reason to believe any checks were taken, but to add another layer of precaution, if you have given to the campaign by check, please review your giving statement to confirm the amount written is reflected on that statement.

It is important we join together as a church family and surround this person and their family in prayer. They are going through an extremely difficult time, and it is our responsibility to be the church for them, regardless of the circumstance. After all, this is what Jesus calls us to do…

“Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:36-38

And, while it is important to pray for this individual, we also realize the importance, and duty, we have to protect the offerings of those who enter our doors, and to ensure they are being used for the intent and purpose for which they were given.

We have a number of procedures in place to keep your donations safe, including emptying the bucks three times per service (before/after the offering and following the service) to lower our risk and exposure. We are currently working on designing a more secure way of collecting special offerings to reduce the temptation, and better secure your gifts.

It is also important to point out that this was a special offering – we have systems in place to secure regular offerings (including a police presence in the church to help protect the integrity of your offerings and your safety).

With all of this in mind, please do not lose sight of the wonderful things happening during this campaign. Due to your generosity, more than $248,500 has been raised, building 71 new churches and leading thousands of people to a new life with Christ!

If you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact the church office at 222-1520.

And remember, it’s good to be the church!

Chris Gunnare
Senior Operating Officer
Lutheran Church of Hope