South Lyon Mission Update 1/6/17

The Great Commission in Matthew 28:16-20: Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

We have an exciting opportunity to ‘live’ the Great Commission with our South Lyon Mission.

Why South Lyon?  Because South Lyon is one of the fastest growing areas in the state and currently doesn’t have a congregation with our open, progressive and inclusive theology.  We have the opportunity to provide more people the chance to experience what we experience at Hope.

Shepherd’s Way

Our opportunity begins with Shepherd’s Way – an ELCA worshipping community of about 40 people in South Lyon that has been together for 15 years.  Pastor Tom Scherger is the current pastor at Shepherd’s Way and will continue preaching and leading a traditional worship service.  Shepherd’s Way left their facility and began worshipping at Abbey Park near South Lyon on January 1, 2017.  The chapel was at capacity (about 40 people) so the January 8th service will move to a larger room in Abbey Park.  What a great problem!!!  The worshipping community of Shepherd’s Way want to see an ELCA presence continue in the South Lyon area and wants to join the Hope worshipping community for continued viability and future growth.

Java House

Our opportunity also includes a new worship service to be held on Sunday afternoons at the Java House, a coffee house in South Lyon.  This service will be led primarily by Pastor Rob and will be casual, intimate and interactive.  The service will evolve as we discover what works or doesn’t—we intend to be flexible, but know we need to start somewhere.  The service at Java House would begin in the next several months.

One Congregation

Hope is currently a congregation that worships only in Farmington Hills.  If we move forward with this opportunity, Hope will continue to be one congregation with worship in three locations – Farmington Hills, Abbey Park and Java House.


Pastor Rob would continue to preach at most worship services in Farmington Hills and would lead most worship services at the Java House.  Pastor Tom Scherger would join the Hope staff as a part-time pastor and would continue to lead most of the worship services at Abbey Park.  Pastor Tom would take some responsibilities off Pastor Rob’s plate to provide time to develop the Java House service and to engage the South Lyon community.  Both pastors would share in some form of preaching rotation at our three worship sites. Pastor Tom may also form and lead senior adult programming in Farmington Hills and South Lyon.

How much will this cost?

Hope is fortunate that the National Synod recognizes the potential of this opportunity and has offered three years of funding:   $34,800 for the first year, $29,800 for the second year, and $25,800 for the third year.  These funds plus current Shepherd’s Way tithing will support the ministries at Abbey Park and Java House.  After three years, the intent is for the ministries in South Lyon to be self-supporting.

What’s next?

There will be a Town Hall at Hope in Farmington Hills at 9:30 am on Sunday, January 8 in the Music Room.  There will be another Town Hall on Sunday, January 15 at 8:30 am (also in the Music Room).  The intent of these Town Halls is to review the information presented at the November Congregation Meeting and to answer questions in preparation for a vote on the following motion:

  1. To establish additional worship sites of Hope Lutheran Church in South Lyon, Michigan;
  2. To enter a Developing Congregation Support Covenant with the ELCA for the purpose of securing funding in support of these additional sites (see elca-developing-congregation-support-covenant); and
  3. To authorize the Strategic Planning Council (SPC) to implement the provisions of this Motion, subject to the Constitution and Bylaws of Hope Lutheran Church.

We will hold a special Congregation Meeting on Sunday, January 15 at 10:30 am (immediately following the 9:30 am service) to vote on this motion.  Please plan to attend so we easily exceed the requirement of at least 50 attendees.

Summary of Important Dates

  • Town Hall – Sunday, January 8, 9:30 am
  • Town Hall – Sunday, January 15, 8:30 am
  • Congregation Meeting – Sunday, January 15, 10:30 am

Over the past 9 months, the Strategic Planning Council has thoroughly evaluated this opportunity and recommends that we move forward with continuing and developing ministries at multiple sites.

Thank you for your prayerful consideration of this exciting opportunity.  Please plan to attend the Town Halls to join the discussion.  Please also plan to attend the Congregation Meeting.

Thanks for reading!


Kirk Erven

SPC President

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