Pastor Letter 2/23/17

Hello HOPE!

We had a great weekend with Pastor Brad and his family visiting Hope in celebration of ourimg_4753 40th year of ministry. I want to extend a BIG THANK YOU to those who made this past weekend happen as well as Pastor Brad for graciously accepting our invitation. THANK YOU ALL!!

LENT and ASH WEDNESDAY

Moving forward, we are beginning to step into the season of Lent. This is traditionally a time of reflection, meditation, and devotion as we approach the cross on Holy Week and experience resurrection on Easter. As always, Lent begins with Ash Wednesday (March 1st this year, next Wednesday) and we will have a Soup Supper and services.

CLICK HERE to sign up for what to bring to the Soup Supper

CLICK HERE for times and locations of Ash Wednesday services

LENTEN DEVOTIONAL

Many (if not most) churches add a worship service to their schedule for Lent. At Hope, will will not be doing that…well, not quite…

We will have a Lenten ‘devotional’ group…and one of those untitled1times/locations might operate as a worship service for you, though it will be a different worship experience.

The experience is called “Atheism for Lent”.

Is that a jarring title for you? Ok…

…but what are you giving up for Lent? What are you doing without? What are you purging? In what way are you moving toward the cross, toward Easter this season? In what way are you moving toward the cross in your every day life?

I know that title is scary…but bear with me.

Atheism for Lent is designed to bring you to the chaotic center of the scandalous love affair between belief and doubt and draw out the liberation that is to be found there.

As we approach the festival of Easter, we aim to experience something of what Jesus felt on the Cross. In his cry, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” God confesses the absence of God.

In this ‘devotional’ during Lent, we will expose ourselves to some of the great atheist critics of religion, in order to purge ourselves of a faith in which doubt is bad and God is used as a crutch to cope with the uncertainties and hardships of life.

In the process, we hope to discover a richer faith in which our experiences of the absence of the presence of God are recognized and remembered.

So forget forsaking chocolate, TV or tiddlywinks… ATHEISM FOR LENT is a de-centering practice designed to envelop you in what some mystics call the great “Cloud of Unknowing”. It will expand your mind, enrich your soul and rock your world.

For more information CLICK HERE

I look forward to being challenged with you!!maxresdefault

MORE…

Though all of this and more will be included in the e-news (yes…you still need to check the e-news for a more comprehensive list of ministry at Hope), I want to add just a couple more items…

South Oakland Shelter

Every year, we support South Oakland Shelter when they are at Antioch Lutheran Church for one week. What is it? Well, in short it is a traveling shelter for those who are without a home and trying to get back on their feet. Traveling? Because different organizations host at their facility for one week in a year to ease the burden of commitment.

Though it is hosted at Antioch, we are responsible for hosting a meal and fellowship at Antioch on March 16 and March 18-19.  We need drivers, servers, people to hang out with the guests, and food donations.

This is a meaningful ministry to help those in need. Sign up in the narthex on Sunday!!

GIVING …yes money, but not ONLY money

If you didn’t hear me say this a couple of weeks ago, THANK YOU for your financial gifts in 2016, specifically at the end of the year! THANK YOU!

Two things:

First…this Sunday in worship we are lifting up ways you can serve at Hope. Usually we GIVE something UP for Lent. This year, we are asking the opposite. Instead of “GIVING UP”…we are asking that you “GIVE OF”….GIVE OF yourself that is, not simply GIVE OF your resources, but just as importantly you GIVE OF yourself and OF your time. We will be passing out lists of areas you can GIVE OF yourself here at Hope.

Second…the beginning of the year is a crazy crazy time with lots going on. In the midst of that, we don’t always remember to change things year over year. SO…if you have not yet changed your giving to hope (maybe you are giving one or two more percent of your income this year) you can do that all on your own through the online donation page on our website (CLICK HERE).

On this page you can click forward to enter all of your new numbers, but also see on the bottom a “wish list” of sorts for the church.

So now you have no excuse. You can no longer say you forgot to up your giving one or two percent…why? Because you’ve just been reminded 🙂 … just playing around a bit!!

THANK YOU for all you have already given to and through Hope and THANK YOU for all that you continue to GIVE OF yourself to God’s work through this place, of your time, talents and your resources.

THANK YOU!!!

Pastor Rob


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