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Reasons to Rejoice

I shared at the meeting this past Sunday evening that we had much to rejoice in as a church family. (And I wasn’t even talking about the latest Patriots comeback playoff win!) I believe it is important for us to take the time to celebrate what God has done so that: 1) you can be pumped about your church and eager to invite your friends to be a part and 2) for you to have a growing confidence in God’s faithfulness, building your own trust in God and hopefully greater faithfulness on your part. Just a few things…

– Did you know in 2017 we baptized 26 people? That might not be a huge number but given that it ranks up there as one of Hope’s best years ever and is more than 5% of our weekly attendance, I’ll take it. Sadly, more than half of all churches have no baptisms at all. Definitely something to celebrate.

– We tried something a little different this past Christmas. With Christmas falling on a Monday, we offered a “Christmas Eve Experience” service on Saturday the 23rd, as well as the two services on the 24th. The result, even though it was somewhat tampered down by lousy weather on the 23rd, is worth celebrating. We had approximately 800 people in the three weekend services. God is good and at work at Hope.

– The last 3 years we have held a “Birthday Party” for Jesus event in December focused on kids and teens. You might know this as our outing at Roll-On-America in mid-December. The intent of the event is pretty low key…create an opportunity to meet some new people as well as reinforce among our kids/teens that Church can indeed be fun. Both objectives were clearly met and about 315 people had a blast. A secondary blessing…I didn’t fall and break my arm. See, I told you, miracles do still happen!

– We recently hosted a Blood Drive for the Red Cross! And you know what, we exceeded the collection goal! This is a tribute to you all, but we also grateful for the many donors outside of Hope Chapel that walked through our doors and got to feel our welcoming spirit. God is good.

– We have more Life Groups and more people involved in them than ever before. At last count we had roughly 225 adults engaged in approximately 20 life groups. To me, this is the back bone of our church ministry because it is where we get to do faith in community, sitting in circles and not rows. Good stuff. I know I love my group. They are the best!

– I also celebrate the mission heart Hope has. In the next couple weeks, we will send out individuals to Rwanda, South Africa, the Dominican Republic, Hawaii, and Scotland. In a couple months, another team will head out to Brazil. It is so cool how God leads His church to participate in what He is doing around the world. Good stuff. Something to be spiritually proud of and to celebrate.

Thanks for all you do to make Hope special. It is your commitment, faithfulness and stewardship that God uses to do such great things. So believe it! Experience it! Live it!

See you Sunday.

Blessings,
Neal

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