Monthly Archives: February 2015

Pastor Mike’s Weekly E-News Message

Good morning!

One of my favorite things about Hope is your willingness to experiment for the sake of mission, rather than getting stuck in ruts. It’s healthy for churches to explore new territory to make room for more people to know God. With that in mind, here are some of our latest experiments at Hope…

Worship this weekend will include a preaching experiment that could be highly effective and a lot of fun (or it might completely flop … and then we’ll know!). Rather than preach solo this Saturday (5:00 pm) or Sunday (8:00, 9:15 & 11:00 am), I’ve invited Jon, campus pastor at Hope Des Moines, to join me for a tag-team sermon duet! Don’t worry. Neither of us plans to sing. But, we will preach on two (thus two preachers) keys to unlock the practical and life-changing relevance of John 2:1-11 for your life! Pastor Merv (Sunday 8:30 am Chapel) and Pastor Jeremy (Sunday 5:00 pm) will preach on the same text, with no plans to call for back-up along the way!

Hope for the Hungry, our Lenten Outreach Project for 2015, starts soon! We’re hoping to fund and package 2 million meals in 40 days – from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday – for starving people in Africa, Haiti and right here in central Iowa. Everyone, regardless of age or income, in our church family can help with packaging and providing food – just $1 pays for the ingredients to package 5 meals. If you do the math, that means you (or your small group or ministry) could feed 1,000 people with a $200 donation. I’m not sure if one church has ever tried to feed 2 million hungry people in 6+ weeks, but I’m glad this church is willing to try!

Tuesday Night Worship – Page 2, a new and profoundly simple service for growing Christians and weekend travelers, begins on Tuesday, March 3 at 6:30 pm in the Chapel. I’ve noticed two significant changes in our community over the past decade: families are gone more on weekends for youth sports or getaways, and church members are hungrier than ever to know God better through the Bible. This new service is designed for both, and inspired by Acts 2:42-47: one song (relaxed campfire vibe), Bible reading (same as prior Sunday), offering, teaching (picking up where we left off on Sunday and going further with the biblical text – I’ll teach half, Pastor Richard will teach half), sacraments (weekly Lord’s Supper and baptisms by request), prayer, followed by post-worship hang-time for friendly conversations over coffee. Simple. Meaningful. Biblical. Warm. Holy. I can’t wait!

Thanks for being a church that loves to try new things to spread the Word!

Mike Housholder

P.S. – Ash Wednesday Services, kicking off the season of Lent at Hope, are just a few days away: February 18 at noon, 5:15 & 7:00 pm.

Pastor Mike’s Weekly E-News Message

Good morning, Hope Folks!

This church continually amazes me …

Even though heavy snowfall and strong winds this past weekend kept most Iowans from venturing outside, still a few thousand people from our church family showed up for worship – amazing! It was a memorable weekend. The smiles were contagious. The singing was robust. The church was warm (temperature and mood). It’s a good reminder that the number of people who attend, or the weather outside, is not nearly as important as the Spirit of joy that meets us here whenever we gather in Jesus’ name!

Those who came brought an enormously generous offering of food for Hope’s annual Souper Bowl to feed the hungry in central Iowa. Close to 25% of our normal amount of attenders donated more than 50% of our normal amount of food – amazing! If you missed out, please keep in mind that you can drop off food offerings at the church 365 days per year – collection carts are in the entryways – and we distribute the food to our neighbors in need bi-weekly.

If you’re new to Hope, maybe you wondered why our church’s name was not (and never will be) on the list of cancelled Sunday services. Please understand – I don’t want you to come to church if it’s unsafe for you. Stay home. Join us for the live webcast of Hope’s Sunday 11:00 am service. Guilt-free. At the same time, just because it’s unsafe for some doesn’t mean it’s unsafe for all … and we trust you to make that decision.

So, even if just two or three people (Matthew 18:20) can walk safely to church – or activate the all-wheel drive option, or cross country ski, or snowmobile – we’ll be open, because worship matters. Every service. Every weekend. Lives change. Love spreads. God’s eternal Kingdom grows.

We’ve got another important weekend of services coming tomorrow (Saturday) and Sunday. Pastor Jeremy and I are preaching on Luke 5:1-11. It’s a really good story that has the power to change your life. Hope to see you at Hope! Regardless of the weather, we’ll be open …

Mike Housholder