Category Archives: Weekly E-news Message

Pastor Mike’s Weekly E-news

Hi, Hope Folks!

I’m writing this letter from an airplane seat somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean, on my way to Copenhagen, where I’m taking part in the Konnekt Conference for young adults in Aarhus, Denmark.

By the time you read this on Friday, I’ll most likely be done with my first of three messages on the Holy Spirit. Please pray that God would move in a powerful way, stirring and strengthening the faith of all in attendance.

Back home in Iowa, I know you’re going to be blessed by the messages you hear from either Pastor Andy or Pastor Dave this weekend – we have such a strong team of preachers at Hope! On Saturday at 5:00 pm, Sunday at 8:00, 8:30, 9:15 & 11:00 am, 5:00 pm & Tuesday at 6:30 pm, they’ll be preaching on Galatians 5:13-16, continuing our “Starting Fresh with Church” series.

Plus, it’s just always good for us (spiritually, relationally and even physically) to gather together as a church to sing, pray, share, connect, laugh, hug, smile and celebrate God’s love!

Mange tak for reading, and farvel for now!

Peace,

Mike Housholder

Weekly E-news Message

Hey, Hopesters!

There’s a lot of confusion, and no small measure of ignorance, in our culture regarding religion.

Many believe that Christianity has nothing in common with Judaism or Islam. Others suggest (and I hear this one a lot) that all religions are just different paths to the same destination. Some assume that Allah and God are rivals, when in truth they are simply the same name in two different languages.

The list of wrong conclusions based on false religious assumptions goes on and on, and the line of religiously confused people does, too.  And while it can be mildly amusing at first, in the long run, religious ignorance is not bliss, nor is it safe.

We live in a world of religious extremism, persecution and tension. Closer to home, most of us have neighbors, co-workers and classmates who are Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, Jewish, or something other than Christian. How do we love our neighbors … respectfully, honestly, and as ambassadors of Jesus Christ?

In an effort to bring some clarity to the religious confusion that persists, this weekend at Hope our Starting Fresh with Church sermon series continues with a comparative look at world religions. Turns out there are some surprising similarities, as well as some important (and usually overlooked) distinctions.

Pastor Jeremy and I will preach, depending on the service you attend. He’s fresh off a mission trip to Haiti this past week, and I’m just a few days away from flying to Denmark to speak at a Christian conference for young adults, so both of us are coming at this theme with our minds already pondering the breadth of a multicultural and religiously diverse world.

Feels to me like it’s going to be another great weekend to hangout at Hope … come and see!

Peace,
Mike Housholder

P.S.- Lots of great ministry events are going on right now, or coming soon, and you can read all about it in this weekly e-newsletter – places for you to plug in, activate your faith and get connected to the body of Christ! God has a good place for you at Hope … find it!

An Easter Message from Pastor Mike

Dear Hope Family,

Why go to all the trouble of preparing eight Easter Celebration Services in the Worship Center over the next two days - Saturday at 1:00, 3:00, 5:00 & 7:00 pm and Sunday at 7:00, 9:00 & 11:00 am and 5:00 pm?

Why add another Traditional Sunrise Service in the Chapel on Sunday at 7:05 am (the exact minute of sunrise) complete with classic organ-led Easter hymns and liturgy?

Why expand that long list of Easter services with sixteen more at Hope’s satellite campuses in Waukee,Johnston-GrimesDes Moines and Ankeny?

Why push it further with six more services just prior to Easter weekend, including three (today) on Good Fridaynoon, 5:30 & 7:00 pm?

Why start working months in advance to find new Easter music, create original videos, choreography and messages, and then go the extra mile with an imaginative menu of fresh Easter skits, sets, lighting, testimonies and take-home gifts?

Why bother with a big Easter egg hunt and kids’ activities one hour before each of our family-friendly Easter Celebration Services on Saturday: 1:00, 3:00, 5:00 & 7:00 pm?

Why send out a call for hundreds to serve as Easter volunteers (sign-up here) to help make Easter go, and warmly welcome thousands of visitors to Hope?

On that note, why invite all of our friends, neighbors, co-workers and visiting relatives? Why pull out all the stops by setting up remote parking lots with friendly shuttle bus drivers who offer door-to-door free rides before-and-after worship? Why encourage members with a heart for outreach to make room for visitors in the Worship Center by choosing to sit in the overflow seats at our most popular Easter services - Sunday at 9:00 & 11:00 am - or attend one of our other seven (less full) services? Shouldn’t members get the best seats and parking spots at the big services? What kind of church would go to all this trouble for Easter? Well … a church on a mission from God!

It’s ALL for Jesus!

His love. His sacrifice. His victory. He’s more than worth it … worth all of our efforts, troubles, time, talent and inconvenience. We do it all to make Jesus famous, to share his love and to make his eternal Kingdom more crowded. The resurrection is real. Come and see. And bring your friends, because …

This. Changes. EVERYTHING!

Peace,

Mike Housholder

Pastor Mike’s Weekly E-News

Hi, Hope Folks!

The Vacation Bible School kids, in record numbers, have taken over the Lutheran Church of Hope building in West Des Moines this week! They’re learning Bible stories, worshiping the Lord with everything they’ve got, feeding the hungry in central Iowa, making new friends and bringing the joy of Jesus into God’s house every day!

It’s a beautiful thing, and a glimpse of heaven! I’m so glad that Hope’s VBS Jesus party will start over again next week – Session 2 (9:00 am – noon) or Session 3 (6:00-8:00 pm) will run from this Monday, July 20 to Friday, July 24, and there’s still room to register your kids (age 3 – grade 6).

 ”Anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf welcomes me … Whoever is the least among you is the greatest.” –  Luke 9:48

That verse will serve as our theme for this weekend’s services. I’ll preach on Saturday night (5:00 pm), Sunday morning (8:00, 8:30, 9:15 & 11:00 am) and Tuesday night (6:30 pm), and Pastor Ben will preach on Sunday night (5:00 pm).

It’s a Jesus party, and you’re invited!

Peace,
Mike Housholder

P.S.- All the kids who attended VBS this past week are invited to participate in one of three weekend services: Saturday 5:00 pm, Sunday 9:15 am or Sunday 11:00 am. They’ll be sharing the beautiful song we used to close each day of VBS, complete with sign language, with the rest of the Hope family … it’s really good, and you’ll want to be in the room to see it!

P.P.S- Kids who will be attending VBS this coming week are invited to attend Summer Kingdom Quest (KQ) for a movie, or worship with their families at any of our weekend services … or both!

Pastor Mike’s Weekly E-News

Hi, Hopesters-

Anticipation dominates the halls of Hope as we make final preparations for Vacation Bible School!It all starts this Monday at 9:00 am, and we’ll be more than ready to go!

For several months, our wise and compassionate Children’s Ministry staff, along with a volunteer team of highly creative song leaders, has been planning and organizing.

Two days ago, I was blown away to see hundreds of VBS volunteers at the first of three training sessions.

Yesterday, we wrapped up a full afternoon of video shoots for the VBS skits that will help bring timeless Bible stories into the hearts of a new generation of believers (I don’t want to give away too much, but our theme is Gettin’ Reel with Jesus and I did get to ride a giant white limo and walk the red carpet today … hey, it’s for the kids!).

Why do so many people around here work so hard to host what just might be the largest VBS in the nation? It really is for the kids, every single one of them who will be welcomed and cared for in small groups from the moment they check in to the moment they are safely checked out at the end of each session – so that each child who shows up can get to know the Bible better.

There’s still time to register for VBS! Thousands of kids will worship God with unchecked enthusiasm. They will learn about the everlasting love of Jesus Christ. And, they will be filled with the Holy Spirit’s love and joy.

It just doesn’t get much better than that. Anywhere.

Come and see!

Peace,
Mike Housholder
Pastor. Preacher. Movie Star Dude.

P.S.- This weekend at Hope, Pastor Jeremy is preaching a message called “A Mountaintop Experience,” based on Luke 9:28-36 – bring a Bible and a few friends, and enjoy the view from above!

Pastor Mike’s Weekly E-News

Dear Hope Family!

BIG things are happening at HOPE this summer, and I want to make sure you – my faithful weekly email readers – are in the know …

New Summer Sermon Series: “Just What We Need”
July 4 – Sept.13

Our action-packed tour through the Gospel of Mark (“The Jesus Revolution”) concludes this weekend. I’m preaching at our Saturday night and Sunday morning services on “The Intersection of Church & State” (Mark 12:13-17), and Jeremy will do the same on Sunday night. The following weekend (July 4 & 5), we’ll turn the page and open a new sermon series on the Gospel of Lukeas we continue our year-long journey through the Gospels, learning how to apply the extremely practical and relevant teaching of Jesus into our daily lives.

Vacation Bible School: “Gettin’ Reel with Jesus!”
July 13-17 & 20-24

In just a few weeks, it will be time to pull back the curtain on Vacation Bible School at Lutheran Church of Hope! VBS is for kids age 3 – grade 6, and it’s the biggest Jesus party of the summer in Iowa! Register your kids online today, or sign-up to volunteer at one of our three sessions.

Taste of Hope
Saturday, July 25 (golf outing July 24)

Our mid-summer open house celebration caps off two weeks of VBS with free food, inflatable games for kids, make-and-take art, a talent show, black-light dodgeball, a 5k fun run, a BBQ cook-off, a 4-person golf scramble, and our Saturday come-as-you-are 5:00 pm service - there’s something for everyone! Invite your friends to come and get a taste of Hope!

Back to School Bash: All-Church Outdoor Worship & Picnic
Sunday, Aug. 23

It’s official! Mark your calendars! We’re having an all-church Back to School Bash on Sunday, Aug. 23. All five of our campuses will worship together in one place (for the first time in eight years) - a 10:00 am Outdoor Service at Waukee Stadium, followed by an all-church picnic at Centennial Park. More details to come, but want to let you know all about it now so you can save the date!

See you this weekend!

Peace,
Mike Housholder

Pastor Mike’s Weekly E-news

Hi, Hopesters!

You are an amazing church!

This past weekend, we burned the mortgage on our church building 21+ years early, saving millions on interest over the course of the loan and investing that money in outreach ministries that save lives and build up the Kingdom of God! That’s incredible!

Paid in full

Way to go, HOPE – you just took a huge step forward – and I really can’t wait to see how fast, and how far, you can run now that our building debt is “PAID IN FULL!” 

As I’ve shared in sermons over the past few months, two things need to happen for us to reach our goal to become a 50/50 church (half of total offerings to support outreach ministries) … first, we need to erase the building debt (done!) and, second, we need to see total giving return to the levels we saw during the previous building campaigns (we’re on our way!).

General fund offerings at Hope have continued to rise slightly over the past few years, but what we gave to the building fund over the same time period has all but disappeared, so there’s a gap between total giving now compared to total giving (general + building) a few years ago. As soon as we erase that gap, we’ll be a 50/50 church!

As always, giving at Hope – via the offering plate at worship or online – is a no-guilt, no-pressure matter of faith between you and God, My hope is that everyone in our church family will discover the joy of “cheerful giving!” (2 Corinthians 9:7)

It’s so good to be the church with you! Together, we are changing the world!

Peace,

Mike Housholder

P.S.- This weekend at worship, we’ll celebrate Father’s Day and focus on what the Bible says about family! Come join us!

Pastor Mike’s Weekly E-News

Good morning, Hope folks!

It’s good to be back home in Iowa after a wonderful and somewhat wild tour of Italy.

Lutheran Church of Hope is one of the things I miss the most when I travel, and appreciate the most when I get back.

I’m thankful for the opportunity to tune in at hopeonline.tv from anywhere in the world on Sundays at 11:00 am (CDT), but there’s nothing quite like being in the room, together with you, for worship …

This weekend at Hope, the power of the cross will be our theme (Mark 9), and during the sermon, I’ll be making a big announcement (great news!) that you definitely won’t want to miss!!!

Peace,
Mike Housholder

P.S.- If you’re new to Hope, here’s our weekly worship schedule

  • Thursday:
    • 7:00 pm: REVIVE for young adults (Chapel)
  • Saturday:
    • 5:00 pm: Come-As-You-Are Service (Worship Center)
  • Sunday:
    • 8:00 am: Morning Express Communion Service (Worship Center)
    • 8:30 am: Traditional Communion Service (Chapel)
    • 9:15 am: Celebration Service (Worship Center)
    • 11:00 am: Celebration Service (Worship Center & hopeonline.tv)
    • 5:00 pm: Celebration Service (Worship Center)
  • Tuesday:
    • 6:30 pm: Page 2 Worship with Communion (The Bridge)

Find the service that works best for you … and make this a summer of spiritual renewal and growth!

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!

Peace,
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 …

Peace,
Mike Housholder