In many ways, I’d say the language we use throughout Scripture about salvation has its start here. In this book we will gain an enlarged vision of the person and character and power of the one true God. Moreover, we will see the person and work of Christ developed through both person and picture.
    We will be looking at different books in the Minor Prophets that point us to the truth behind Advent that these prophets reveal.
    This series will focus on renewing our understanding of Jesus’ church and its life. The Elders want to invite you to join us on a journey of renewal of understanding and practice of everything Jesus meant when he told us he was about building his church.
    A Study of Hebrews
    It a familiar Sunday school story. It has pretty amazing elements. There is a prophet, a mission, a storm, a whale, and a revival. The illustrations pretty much draw themselves. Jonah is one of those Old Testament tales we have heard again and again.

    I wonder how much of it we have taken in. Have we considered why Jonah ran? What did he think he was escaping from? Who did he think would replace him? What did he think God would do? How did he respond when God did exactly what he thought he would do?
    The characters of the Advent story are familiar. You have the unsuspecting shepherds who would be confronted with the announcement of the angels. There are the mysterious wisemen who came carrying gifts and seeking a king. You have the gracious step-father of Jesus, Joseph who cared for the woman he loved. Then there is Mary, who miraculously carried the son of God in her womb. All of these characters surround Jesus in our nativity scenes worshiping the Christ Child.

    There is one group that does not make it into those scenes, but they lurk in the shadows of each retelling of the story. Without them the backdrop of the story is blank. They fill in the significance of this anticipated event. Who are these characters? The prophets foretold the coming of one that would come to rescue His people from slavery. They told of one that would come in the spirit of Moses as a deliverer. They told of one who would be the true son of David.
    This week we are going to begin studying the book of Philippians. This is an encouraging letter written by Paul while in prison. He wanted the church at Philippi to share his joy. Yep - joy in prison. He wanted them to struggle for unity and he wanted them to do all of this as citizens of a greater kingdom.

    I'm excited to jump into this book that I believe can help us navigate this odd and awkward time.
    This summer, we are starting a new series called, No One Like You. We want to explore who the God of scripture really is. What is He like? What are His attributes? What even are attributes? We are going to use the first statement from our EFCA doctrincal statement as a blueprint to explore, outline and apply some of these attributes.
    The Church: More than . . .

    Coronavirus series
    Study of 1 & 2 Samuel

    What's your favorite Christmas movie? There are all kinds of unforgettable characters that surround Christmas - Frosty, Rudolph, Buddy, Kevin, and John McClane to name a few, but one I've been thinking about recently is Ebenezer Scrooge. The original Bah Humbug himself calls us to consider the path that we are on and how it potentially could lead us to happiness or destruction. That's the morality of Christmas. Be kind, nice, and generous especially at Christmas. We might think that the point of Christmas is not to end up on the 'naughty list'.

    If we aren't careful, we overlay these messages to our celebration of Advent. The Cast of Christmas just becomes another in the long line at Christmas that are telling us be be better and be nicer. While the true story of Christmas will change us, this change doesn't well up from within us. It actually originates from something beyond us, and the cast of Christmas wants to point us toward it.

    This summer we are going to hang out, not with smart people, but with wise people. (There is a difference between intelligence and wisdom.) Scripture tells us that if we listen to the wise voices around us we will grow in our wisdom. This Sunday we start our summer series 'Walk with the Wise' looking at the first nine chapter of Proverbs.
    Study of the Book of Romans
    The next few weeks we are going to look at Romans 14-15 . The Roman church was far from monolithic. They were made up of Jews, former idol worshipers, slaves, and more. They thought differently about their faith and what it meant to live it out. Paul wanted them to wrestle with the application and implications of the gospel he had presented.
    When it comes to Romans 9-11 many people want to skip over it. It deals with a few subjects that can be not only difficult to understand but controversial. The outline and explanations of God's work in salvation in Romans 1-8 lay out this grand landscape of what God has done. Romans 12-15 give us direct and practical applications to live out this new life of faith, but in the middle people see some theological doldrums, Romans 9-11 . These chapters contain some important pieces that connect us to the character of God, situate us in the Biblical storyline, provide us assurance, and motivate us to live out the mercies of God.
    Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. - Romans 13:1 (ESV)

    Paul wants us to think about the authorities in our lives, including the government. Why are they there? What role should they play? Do they deserve our loyalty? Don't I have a King, not a president?

    Paul wrote these words to a group of people who lived under a government that at the time was ambivalent and mostly ignorant to Christianity, but in a few short years things would not be nearly as peaceable. Ceasar would not only demand loyalty, but worship. Christianity would be outlawed and severely persecuted. Under these circumstances how do we think about these words? Is there a limit to submission? Is there a time or even a duty at times to disobey the authorities? When is that?
    I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. - Romans 12:1 –2 (ESV)

    A lot of us are pretty squeamish when it comes to blood. It freaks us out. Some of us even faint at the sight of it. I'm not sure how devoted we would be if we lived in Old Testament times. Ancient Judaism was a bloody religion. Worship was filled with sacrifices, most of which involved death at the hands of the priest or worshiper. Taking life and identifying with death was essential to spiritual life.

    As Paul turns the corner from explaining the gospel in chapters 1-11, he wants to lay out some specific implications of this new life in Christ. He begins with a 'reasonable' response - sacrifice. This sacrifice is bloodless. In fact, it's not even dead.

    This week begins a new section in Romans - chapter 12 which I've entitled 'Together'. Romans 12-15 will challenge us to not only know the truth of the gospel, but to walk out this new way as the gospel stays within earshot.
    In chapter 7 of Romans, we are exposed to the personal and universal struggle of every Christian with sin. While the war is over and Christ has defeated Satan, sin, and death, there is still a battle that rages in every Christian. And while the chapter ends with a triumphant note, we may want to hear more of that song.

    Enter Romans 8 . In this chapter, Paul will go on to tell us about the new connection and power that every Christian possesses. And how the third person of the Triune God is involved with you, personally.
    Lots of Christians talk about the gospel, but how many really understand the gospel and know how to apply it to their lives? Featuring nine self-contained lessons with discussion questions, articles, practical exercises, and comprehensive leader’s notes in the back, The Gospel-Centered Life helps participants understand how the gospel shapes every aspect of life.
    In this series we will be looking through the Psalms, God's inspired songbook, to see the laments, praises, and songs of God's people. We will also see hints and clues to this one who will set the world right again.
    A look into how salvation by faith meets us in our Christian walk. I want to encourage you to read through Romans 6-7 .
    There is a value in understanding how things work. Over the next few weeks that's exactly what we are going to do. Except we won't be taking apart an engine or clock but something more important, valuable, and eternal.

    As we continue through Romans we will be looking at how God provides salvation. How does it take sinners and enemies and make them righteous? How does it do this without violating His character? It's gonna be a beautiful exploration of God's work. You don't want to miss it.
    The grand question of the Bible is - How will unholy, rebellious creatures be made right with a perfectly righteous, holy God? This question should haunt us. But to be honest usually it doesn’t. Maybe it’s because we don’t want to think about. Maybe it’s because it seems to heady or theological. And it might not seem that scary because we aren’t really that bad. Are we?

    Join us as we begin a grand journey through the book of Romans. This monumental book begins with helping us understand who we are in light of who God is. It has something to say to everyone regardless of how religious or non-religious you are. It will leave no one untouched.



    It’s an old, old story. Older then we know.

    When we think Christmas we may recall the picture perfect scenes of family, friends, and gifts. Our memory may wander further back to Tiny Tim and the Ghost of Christmas Past. We may take another step back to St. Nicolas and his generosity. We may even wander all the way back to dirty stable and a child.

    But the story is even older then that.

    To understand the story of Advent we need to rewind all the back to the very beginning. This story starts all the back.

    Join us this Advent season as we explore and explain the story from the very beginning to the very end. Join us for 10:30 in December for Come Thou Long Expected Jesus.



    Our desire is to multiply people who are passionately pursuing Jesus and fearlessly on mission.
    We are going to learn about how a Monk with a mallet began a movement to recover the gospel. We will be looking at the theology and scripture that drove Luther throughout the Reformation. And to get a better understanding of the events and history surrounding Luther’s life, we will be showing the Luther movie on the big screen on Sunday, Oct 22nd at 6:00 pm. Watch for more details to come!
    Have you ever had post-holiday let down? The holiday arrives in a flurry of activity and excitement. Then it’s gone. And the next day comes. We get back into our day-to-day routines and life continues to plod on. From a Christian standpoint, it would be easy for us to feel that way about Easter. We are reminded of the horror of Good Friday and the power of Resurrection Sunday, but then Monday comes. It would be easy to abandon the joy of the Resurrection as it fades into just another holiday. But the truth is the resurrection changed everything on that day and for everyday afterwards. So, in one sense, we come together every Sunday to be pointed back to that truth. Even for the disciples, in those days following the resurrection, this truth changed everything.
    In the closing chapter of the Apostle Peter’s life, he writes to believers seeking to live out their faith. Is there something more they need? Do the teachers whispering in their ear have the secret? What do they need to know? Join us as we explore 2 Peter and discover God’s Empowering Grace.
    Some stories stick with you. Do you know the story of the Tortoise and the Hare? Or have you heard the one about the Little Red Hen? These childhood stories are cute but they are meant to teach greater lessons about persistence and hard work. Through the characters and narrative we learn.

    Jesus was a master at hiding truth in plain sight. He told stories to the masses. Some are easily and quickly grasp. Some have wholesome characters and others righteous villains. But all of them contain spiritual truth about salvation, the kingdom, and following Him.

    This summer we will explore these stories - the Parables. Join us as we seek to discover the truths hidden in plain sight!
    Do you have hope? Not just a wish or a dream but real, ongoing, life-changing hope. This world is filled with difficulties and disappointments on both a personal and global level. Discover the source of true hope as we go through "The Dawning of Indestructible Joy" by John Piper.
    How does the storyline of the Bible fit together? How many stories are there? How many heroes? What are the key teachings of the Bible? This class will seek to simply explain the Bible. We will unfold two key ideas - The Biblical Storyline and Key Teachings of the Bible. Join us for this journey --- "How to Study the Bible?" series from "30 Days to Understanding the Bible" by Max Anders.
    Next year, 2017 will mark the 500 anniversary of a monk and mallet changing the world. When Martin Luther nailed his 95 thesis to Wittenberg, a rediscovery was begun. The medieval church both through ignorance and malice had distorted the gospel. The reformation solidified around five simple but profound truths - the 5 Solas. We want to take a few weeks to revisit these truths. And by doing so not only discover our heritage but more importantly return to basic of Christianity. Will you join us?
    Life is filled with ups and downs, laughter and tears, joy and fears. But often as Christians we are taught that emotions shouldn’t play a part in our lives. We shouldn’t be guided by them. And when they pop up we should do all we can regain our stoic demeanor. If they are the negative emotions we should put on a smile and soldier on. But is that really the case?

    An honest reading of the Psalms seems to bring a very different experience. These tear soaked pages contain responses to real life in all its joys and horrors. They contain praises and sobbing. They have cries for justice and judgement along with pleas for mercy. How do we understand them? And how can these provide a pattern for our own experience?

    Join us this summer for our series Psalms: emotion and devotion.
    Have you ever been around something so much it fades into the background and you forget it’s there? Early in our marriage, my wife and I moved into an apartment just yards away from the railroad tracks. For weeks we were startled from bed by the 3AM freight coming down the line. But after about a month or so, we never heard it again. Did it stop? No. We just got use to it.

    Unfortunately it can be like that with spiritual truth. When we hear something over and over and over we fail to see the reality of what it is teaching us. That is no where more true then The Lord’s Prayer. Many can recite it from memory. The phrases are familiar. But what if I asked you, ‘how has the Lord’s prayer changed your prayer life?’ Other then meaningless parroting now and then we would probably say not at all. But it was originally meant to give us template to transform our prayer. So why hasn’t it?

    We all have a story. Some of them are with dramas filled with wild twists and turns. Some are love stories. And some might be considered tragedies. But most of us are just boringly normal.

    But what if there was a greater story? And what if your story and my story were just small parts of one huge story--a story that was more ancient than we thought and wide enough to include every person who has ever lived? And what if that one big story that put into perspective all of our stories?

    This year at Hope we are exploring the Story that explains it all. Take some time to browse through some key events of this story below.

    Wanna read the story for yourself? Here is a copy of the reading schedule for this year.

    The Beginnings - How did it all start? Where did we come from? Is this how things were meant to be? In the important opening chapters of the Story, we explore these questions.

    From the very beginning the story line has been about God’s people in God’s place under God’s rule. But not far from the beginning it all went very wrong. God’s people decided to rebel and become their own people and reject God’s rule. So God kicked them out of His place. The rest of the story is about redeeming, renewing, and recreating those initial realities.


    Following Christ is about what you do and don’t do. Right? That’s what it means to follow him. Isn’t it? When people describe Christianity, they are more likely to use the word ‘religion’ then ‘freedom’.

    But the Apostle Paul was violently opposed to religion. He wanted the Galatians to understand the purity and freedom that is found in believing and living out the true gospel.

    This fall we will work through the important letter to the Galatians to better understand the gospel and the dangerous imposter to it. And not only will we seek to understand these critical truths but how they daily impact our lives.

    Will you join us as we explore true gospel freedom?
    Our world is changing. The events in the courts, on the streets, in the news, around the internet, across the world, and even in our houses of worship have unsettled many. How are we to respond?

    Some have withdrawn in fear. Others have become louder and louder in hopes of inciting change. Still others have lingered in confusion. And some have just willingly closed their eyes hoping that through ignorance things might return to great familiarity.

    Does God have anything to say about how we respond? Is He concerned about what is going on? What is He calling us to say? What is He wanting us to do?

    Will you join us as we explore God’s requirements for us in this crazy world? They are different than you might think.
    The promises of a people, a land, and a blessing had been made by God. And He had fulfilled, by both miraculous and mundane means, His words. However, the people of Israel had consistently failed and run after other gods. The peak of the kingdom had come under David and Solomon, but now they were long gone and the nation languished in cycles of rebellion and judgment. Would the promises of God still hold? How could they come true now? Would God abandon His people? In this next section of the Story, we will see how the story line takes some twists and turns. And we will see that God’s promises don’t retreat, but advance to even greater and deeper levels.
    Advent is a season of anticipation. We wait for family. We wait for presents. We wait for the celebration. We wait for the day. With each passing day the anticipation builds. But what if never came? What if like cursed Narnia, it was always winter but never Christmas? If that level an anxious anticipation pains you, you are starting to understand Advent. Because Advent is a season pointing us back to entry of One person. One for which the world was pregnant for millennium, Jesus Christ. 
    Will you come wait and celebrate with us this Advent season. Each Sunday in December we will sing, read scripture, light the Advent wreath, and examine these important hope we share.
    God’s rescue mission has begun. And the promises that were first given to Abraham of a descendant, a land, and blessing are beginning to be realized. But God is not done. The story of the Kingdom is how this family goes from a small few to a nation. In this transformation they struggle with the surrounding nations, their leaders, and their own hearts. Listen for how this new kingdom finds its way under God’s rule.
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