A blessed New Year to you! I pray that this finds you well and somewhere warm in these frigid days. As we begin A.D. 2018, I praise God for the opportunity to share life with the Hope family as we walk together in the Kingdom.
At Hope, we aspire to be a “growing, vibrant, praying, caring congregation – boldly reaching out with Jesus Christ in word and deed.” As I’ve had the opportunity to consider these words in conversation with others, it strikes me that they fit not only at a congregation level (our lives together in Christ), but also at an individual level. As a disciple and follower of Jesus, I want to be growing, vibrant, praying, caring, and reaching out with His love. I want to be maturing in my walk with Christ, and as a pastor, I pray that I’m helping this congregation to be moving in that same direction by God’s grace. St. Paul said it well in Ephesians 3:11-13: So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
In the months to come, we are looking to provide specific opportunities for us all to grow as disciples of Jesus in the ways mentioned in our Vision Statement. For example, we all know that prayer is important. And many of us know that God promises wonderful blessings to those who come to Him in prayer, believing that He hears us in love for Jesus’ sake. And yet, we sometimes struggle in this area of our lives. How can we grow as a praying congregation? How can we grow individually as praying disciples? We’ll be exploring those questions over the next couple months and seeking to provide some tools that will be a blessing as we grow in the practice of prayer. Keep your eyes and ears open!
God be with you in 2018. It’s shaping up to be an eventful year here at Hope! I pray that God will bless us and direct us by His grace, that more and more, we would be a growing, vibrant, praying, caring congregation – boldly reaching out with Jesus Christ in word and deed.
Christ’s peace and joy,