Monthly Archives: November 2014

Pastor Mike’s Friday E-News

Good morning!

I hope you enjoyed your celebration of Thanksgiving yesterday, either with friends and family members, or with your church family here at Hope.

Sally and I were thrilled to sit around a table with my mom and our three kids, all of whom were able to come “home” for the weekend, despite some tricky weather and airport delays. With our kids living all over the country, it’s a rare and cherished thing for us to be able to share a meal together.

There’s just something deep and meaningful about family (home or church). We know each other better than anyone, easily recognizing strengths and weaknesses. Yet, we still choose love. We hold each other accountable. We work, serve, cook, eat, clean up, listen, pray, worship, talk, laugh, cry and do life … together. We remind each other of our true identity, challenge, encourage, comfort, empower, strengthen, forgive and extend grace.

At our best, the church (in small and medium sized groups and teams) functions as that kind of family for one another. It’s not a poor substitute for a “real” family … it’s the family of God. We’re designed for it … to be in relationship with others as we grow in relationship with God.

… And it’s really good to be the church together with you!

As we move through the Season of Advent (starting this weekend at all of Hope’s services), prepare for our celebration of Christmas, and look ahead to next year, I want to encourage you to get to know your family at Hope better. Find a group. Get involved in a ministry. Love one another. Because our relationship with God is always stronger when we’re in healthy, Christ-centered church family relationships with one another!

Peace,
Mike Housholder
Pastor. Preacher. Turkey Stuffer … feeling sort of like a Stuffed Turkey today.

P.S.- In response to the news coming out of Ferguson this past week, I posted just a few thoughts on my Facebook page (140 character max on Twitter just doesn’t work sometimes). If you’re interested, please click this link.

Pastor Mike’s Friday E-newsletter

Happy Thanksgiving, Hopesters!

In the spirit of this upcoming holiday, I want you to know how thankful I am for you, the members and ministers of Hope. You are a pastor’s dream as a church who seeks to live, work and serve in sync with God’s own heart (Acts 13:22).

Throughout this year of Roots & Renewal, you’ve grown stronger in faith, because you consistently choose the road less traveled (as the poet, Robert Frost, famously calls it) over the much more common, and less productive, religious routes taken by spiritual consumers.

You generously and courageously reach out to people in need. You love and care for each other as sisters and brothers in Christ. You go all in on the spiritual disciplines of weekly worship and daily devotions (prayer & Bible study). You serve with grace and humility, yet God makes a massive positive impact through you on the world around us.

Of course, as a church, we’re far from a perfect family. Still, like a parent reflecting on his children who’ve grown up to be rather mature and faithful young adults, I look at you with joy and thanksgiving for letting God shape and form you into the church you are – thank you, Hope!

Peace,
Mike Housholder
Pastor. Preacher. Grateful Parent.

P.S.- The Jesus Tour reaches the holy city of Jerusalem this weekend – our final, and most important, destination. This is where so many key biblical events happened. This is where history intersects with the future. This is where Jesus ultimately ascends to his throne as the (unexpected and shocking) King of all kings. Pastor Jeremy and I can’t wait to serve as yourweekend services tour guides for this one … come and see!

Pastor Mike’s Weekly Email

Hi Hope Folks!

I love this church …

Last night (Thursday) was Outreach Night at Hope – a beautiful and somewhat messy – weekly gathering of this church at our best, with dozens of volunteers serving our neighbors who are poor, broken, lost and hurting. The love of Jesus is in full force. Alongside the free dinner, clothes and groceries, there are Christ-centered ministries for groups too often ignored by Christians: Latinos (Hope en Acción), young adults (re:vive), recovering addicts (Celebrate Recovery) and teens experiencing life’s struggles (The Journey).

The night before (Wednesday), while teaching three PowerLife Confirmation classes, I was blown away by the enthusiasm and generosity of our 6th-8th graders (along with their patient and kind group leaders)! Somewhere around 1,000 students praised the Lord, listened intently to what the Bible says about evangelism, and brought a massive offering of gift-filled shoeboxes for needy children around the world as part of a mission project called Operation Christmas Child.

Tuesday night, I taught our most recent New Member Class, sharing the heart and history of Hope with 200+ people who showed up. I’m grateful to God for the consistent and remarkable growth of our church family over the past two decades. Our new members always make us stronger, allow us to reach out further, and shine the light of God’s everlasting love brighter. We’ll officially welcome and pray for these newest Hope members at all of our services this weekend.

… that’s just a quick glimpse of the past three nights at Hope. God is moving in so many other powerful ways all throughout this church. Come on over, anytime, and see for yourself!

Peace,
Mike Housholder

P.S.- Tomorrow (Saturday) and Sunday, we’ll gather together at 17 weekend services in 8 venues at 5 locations with 4 preachers and, most significantly, 1 God who promises to show up at all of them! Our Jesus Tour sermon series takes us to a small town outside Jerusalem where Jesus did something that rocked the world (John 11:38-44) … and we (the 4 preachers) can’t wait to tell you about it! Bring a Bible and a few friends!

Pastor Mike’s Weekly Email

Hi Hope folks!

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

As the dust settles from Hope’s sensational 20th Birthday Celebration this past weekend, three things stand out …

  1. God has been very good to us.
  2. You really know how to throw a party.
  3. Your unbridled passion for Christian mission shows, and it’s contagious …

An almost endless stream of #HopeTurns20 stories dominated local Facebook news feeds, testifying to how the Holy Spirit led them to Hope and strengthened their faith.

Our mission partners and friends around the world sent in so many video birthday greetings, we couldn’t fit them all into our weekly Hope 360video. So, we posted this  extended version on Hope’s Vimeo page.You might also want to watch this full producer’s cut of the Hope Story video, telling the story of how God has built Hope and transformed our lives over the past 20 years.

When a massive crowd showed up for ourBirthday Potluck, we had to add tables and chairs in the atrium (Lutherans must really like Jell-O … and parties!). Someone checked the Guinness Book of World Records, and told me that our Hope Saturday potluck broke the record for the biggest, ever. Holy hot dish, Hope!

The new, and rather massive, Ebenezer (stone of help – 1 Samuel 7:12) that now sits outside the front doors of our church building, reminds us to thank God for two decades of abundant blessings (Nordic Choir Come Thou Fount Video), and his promise to continue to do the same into the future. I’m really looking forward to those next 20 years …

Peace,
Mike Housholder

P.S.- This weekend, the Jesus Tour sermon series continues with a closer look at two classic texts – John 10 & Psalm 23 – bring a Bible and a few friends.

P.P.S- The new church building for Hope Des Moines (at 1821 Ingersoll Ave.) will open for worship on Sunday, Dec. 7! Tomorrow (Saturday), we’re looking for volunteers to come and help put some finishing touches on the new place - pleaseclick here for details.