Category Archives: Parenting

Registration is OPEN for Vacation Bible School 2016!

Vacation Bible School: One Goal. One God. is a time both kids and volunteers won’t want to miss! Through large group worship, music, skits, crafts, outdoor activities and lessons, we will explore five awesome stories from the Bible for children to learn and experience in memorable ways!

Session 1: July 11-15, 9:00 am – noon (age 4 – grade 6)

Session 2: July 18-22, 9:00 am – noon (age 4 – grade 6)

Session 3: July 18-22, 6:00-8:00 pm (age 3 – grade 6)

Registration Cost:
Early Bird: $15 per child ($35 max per household)
After June 15: $20 per child ($40 max per household)

***NEW this year: T-shirts are now included with registration! If registering after June 15, sizes will not be guaranteed.

We hope to see YOU and your family there!

You can sign up to volunteer here!



Mothers Day 2015-400x300 FBIn preparation for Mother’s Day this weekend, we invite you to share with us your favorite photo of your mom, along with a line or two about the best thing your mom taught you. We’ll include some of these during this weekend’s services! Simply email us, or you can post on Facebook and use the hashtag #MomsDayatHope.

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the women of Hope!

Growing our families in Christ

“And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength.  And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up.”  Deuteronomy 6:4-7

Dear families of Hope,

With the school year underway and fall activities in go mode, it’s critical we don’t forget the foundational things and miss prayer time and talk time with our kids.

I hope all parents take time to model prayer and pray with your children each day. One of the ways we do this in our family, is each morning, while in the car, we say a simple prayer, “Lord, thank you for today.  Watch over these kids and keep them safe. Help them to learn and be good friends.  Amen.”

Another great idea my wife came up with as our Kindergartner started school was to laminate a few family photos and place them in his school bag.  Not only was it a way for our son to know who was picking him up, but every time he opened his school bag, he saw his family – one’s who love him dearly.

So, here are some upcoming things for families to participate in at Hope as it relates to building up, encouraging and growing our families in Christ:

  • Kingdom Quest, WOW, PowerLife and Ignition:  It’s not too late to sign-up your kids or for adults to volunteer.
    • Kingdom Quest: Hope’s version of Sunday School for children age 3 – grade 5. Just a friendly reminder for those families already signed up, please be sure to take a look at the weekly take-home given to your child each weekend at KQ. It’s a great way to lead conversation, prayer and other activities as a family.Haven’t yet registered your child? You can do so here!
    • WOW: A midweek, high energy evening for children grades 1-5 to come together and learn about God – kicks off Wednesday, Oct. 2. You can learn more or register your kids here!
    • PowerLife: Hope’s ministry for grades 6-8 where students have the opportunity to confirm their faith at the end of their 8th grade year.
    • Igntion: Hope’s high school ministry for grades 9-12.
  • Mother/Son Tailgate Party: Saturday, Oct. 5, 10:00 am – noon. A brand new opportunity for moms and sons (age 3 – grade 6)! Join us for a day of tailgating with food, crafts, outdoor games, photo opportunities and more. You can register here, or purchase tickets at Café Hope.
  • The Smart Step-Family: Tuesdays, Oct. 29 – Dec. 17. This 8-week study strives to help couples – whether dating, engaged, or married – who are blending a family together. Each session walks participants through discussion questions and practical advice to strengthen their home. Suggested reading, The Smart Stepfamily: Seven Steps to a Healthy Family can be purchased in Café Hope. Register here.

Let’s grow and build our children in the things of the Lord.

Pastor Pat

Back to School

School_iStock_000018656792MediumWith the start of the school year among us and our family, probably like yours, bracing for a new norm as our two boys start school, I began to think about the past six years as a parent…

I have read in parenting books that some parents choose to take an inventory of their parenting with each child on the child’s birthday. Each year parents determine what needs to be a focus for them as a parent and what they see each child needing to grow in for the coming year.

So, in this new transition for our family, I began to ask some questions:

  • Am I modeling the right qualities to my child?
  • When I make mistakes do they see me asking for forgiveness?
  • Am I sharing with them what special traits I see emerging in them?
  • Do they know who they are?

As you and I reflect on those questions, I realized that for over six years, I have had countless hours together with my boys, seven-days a week. Those hours will now be squeezed into four hours each day, Monday through Friday. This began to challenge me as a parent, “How am I going to influence and make the impact on my kids in the future years?”

As I thought about the daunting years ahead, I recalled reading some years ago about Bell Rock Lighthouse. Bell Rock Lighthouse is 11 miles off the coast of Scotland, and endures high seas in the North Sea (not to digress, but think of the high seas and crashing waves many of us like to watch the brave men from the show Deadliest Catch endure in order to taste those delicious crabs). Bell Rock Lighthouse was built in 1811 and stands 115 feet above the one-acre island of solid rock. The island is covered by seawater for 20 hours each day. The builders of the lighthouse, Robert Stevenson and 65 workers, had only four hours each day to carve out, build and retreat from the island each day as the high waters climbed over the rocks.

In a similar way, we have a short period of time to build within each of our kids their ‘toolkit’, which will allow them to endure life and the storms found in it.

As a parent, I know I have to take advantage of every moment and make it count. Two words come to mind; consistency and faithfulness. I won’t always get it right, but I am going to give it my best!

So a word of encouragement (and challenge!) to parents, is to take some time and think about your kids and the role you have in their lives:

“Like turning water into wine, God turns our best efforts, which too often fall short, into something better than we could have offered on our  own. God makes his strength perfect in our weakness. Without God, in other words, we could never be the parents we want to be.” Parrott & Parrot, The Parent You Want to Be: Who You Are Matters More Than What You Do.

Amen to that.

Pastor Pat

A new dad’s perspective on fatherhood

Ivory AnnIt was about six months ago that my wife, Brenna, gave birth to our first child; a little girl named Ivory.

Since then, we have learned to love every minute of our time together as a new family (even the ones that fall between midnight & 5:00 am).

Each new day has been filled with opportunities to grow in our faith, and God has blessed us with a whole new perspective on life. We have learned so much about ourselves, but most importantly, how to trust God and his unconditional love.

Let me explain…

Ivory currently spends the majority of her days eating, sleeping and playing. Sounds nice, right? On a typical day, she eats about once every three to four hours, and the process usually goes a little something like this:

Our sweet little girl is fast asleep (hopefully dreaming about how much she loves her mommy & daddy) when all of a sudden she wakes up, only to realize that she’s hungry. And, I mean right now!

This is our cue as parents to get her bottle ready.

Ivory CryingWe have learned that her feeding does not go well if the milk is cold. So, unfortunately, we have to wait about 10 minutes for her bottle to warm up. During this time, a wonderful conversation begins to take place with our little girl. With all the might in her lungs, Ivory begins to cry out that she must be fed (at once), while at the same time, Brenna and I do our very best to calm her down.

We try everything from singing & dancing to “shushing” & rocking. At times we have even tried talking common sense into her with a calm & quiet voice. All in hopes that she will begin to trust that we have her best interest at heart. We can see the big picture.

However, most of the time she doesn’t see it from our point of view and she becomes even more hysterical. We go back and forth – for what can seem like forever – until finally the bottle is ready. She takes her first drink and immediately all is well.

Finally, there is peace.

As I reflect upon all the joys and challenges of being a new father, I can’t help but wonder if God views his relationship with me the same way I view my relationship with Ivory?

I would do anything for her – but, most importantly, I want to give her what she needs (a warm bottle) not just what she wants (something right now).

God knows what I need even before I ask. However, I have to ask myself, do I trust that He can see the big picture in a way that I cannot? Do I lose all faith when things don’t seem to go my way?

Stoffa Family

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6

God gives us the freedom to choose when it comes to making the decisions in our life…will we react out of faith or fear?

From a father’s perspective, I’m reminded that God will always take care of us, especially when we cry out.  We can trust that He has our best interest at heart, and live our life with faith that our next bottle is just being warmed up…

Justin Stoffa
Connections Coordinator
Lutheran Church of Hope

All In

It seems like just yesterday that Pastor Mike and I were huddled together, ramping up to fight what we believe is one of the greatest battles this church has ever faced…

The world’s attack on the family unit. 

wedding rings-iStock_000007796386MediumEmail after email was coming in of families reaching out – in crisis.

People stopping by “to chat” after worship…

My counseling calendar filling with marriages in crisis…

Mike asked me to jump in and build a vision for YOUR FAMILIES.  I was all in. 

The time is now. More now than any other time in our history because our families are under attack.

Marriages are hurting, people are walking away and families are in crisis. Not one of our families is ‘out of the woods’ – it takes one road bump to set us down a path we never thought we’d find ourselves.

It’s in this space that HOPE and LOVE can take shape to be in place today and for generations ahead of us – radically transforming families and marriages as we know them today. Not just in the walls here at Hope – but it’s our prayer that it will be in the hearts of each of you as well! From there – we will go out and help to bring HOPE and LOVE to hurting families wherever God takes us. If you can’t tell – we are fired up and so excited for this.

Here’s what I can tell you: my wife, Missy, and I, along with Mike, Sally, and the rest of the staff here at Hope, are ALL IN. Boxing gloves are on – and we are standing in your corner.

Our commitment to you and your families is that we will celebrate marriages and parents  – equipped to be rooted, growing, and persevering – modeled in Christ Jesus.

Celebrate – Bringing couples and renewing families through worship, spiritual intimacy and recommitment.

“Didn’t the Lord make you one with your wife? In body and spirit you are his. And what does he want? Godly children from your union. So guard your heart; remain loyal to the wife of your youth.”  Malachi 3:15

Rooted – Married couples have a biblical foundation for marriage and parenting, and are supported in Christian community.

“I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power;   together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and deep is the love of Christ.”   Ephesians 3:17-18

Growing – Training married couples and families how to develop relationships based on the experience of a living, intimate relationship with God.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest command. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.”    Matthew 22: 37-38

Persevering – Equipping couples and families with love and endurance to endure the struggles and tough times by receiving God’s power, responding with God’s truth and grace, and serving each other selflessly.

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.  We are hard pressed on every side but not crushed; perplexed but not in despair, persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.”  2 Corinthians 4:7-8

Stay tuned to this blog to be challenged and fed as this ministry takes shape. We can’t wait to meet each of you and be your champions for what’s possible when we put God back into the family and build it his way!  Watch for more information soon!

Pastor Pat

PS: Sign up here to be added to the Marriage ministry email list or here to be added to the Parenting ministry email list.