Impact at New Hope Presbyterian Church
March 17, 2020
Hello New Hope Family,
To say these days are interesting and uncertain is quite the understatement! I’m writing to update you on New Hope life and offer a word of encouragement about how our church family can be a source of comfort and strength in these days. Here are some things to know:
Last night, the Session voted unanimously to move to an online worship experience starting this Sunday, March 22, at 10:00 am. We will follow this practice for three Sundays, through April 5. I expect we’ll continue meeting this way beyond the 5th, but I’m going to hold out a little longer with hope that we can meet together on Easter. After the 5th, we will re-evaluate where we are.
What’s online worship?
We’ll broadcast our worship service over Facebook Live on Sundays at 10:00 am. All you need to do to access our worship service is to join Facebook (if you haven’t already) and like our Facebook page, New Hope Presbyterian Church and Preschool. When you go to the page on Sunday, you’ll see how to access the worship service. The worship service will be live in our sanctuary and will include our band leading us in singing, and include prayers and preaching. My sermon title this week is, Living by Faith in These Coronavirus Times. Our staff is hard at work to design and lead this service. Please plan to join us!
The church is essentially closed for the immediate future although the staff will be coming and going on a regular basis. If you have a question, give us a call, text or email. Using our cell phone numbers will be the best way to connect. While the building is empty, Matt Kinney will be giving it a thorough cleaning. Thank you, Matt!
Staff contact info:
Sandy Baetzhold 317-679-7700
Heather Ciscell 317-607-2619
Steve Ebling 317-727-4144
Erin Fager 260-415-9507
Susan Kinney 317-869-8613
Jennifer Lipinski 317-431-0126
Caroline Steward 317-570-8325
Small Group Life
You probably don’t need me to tell you that meeting together face-to-face is not the thing to be doing right now. However, your small group can still stay in touch. Think about using an online platform like Zoom or Go to Meeting as a way to meet virtually. At the very least, start an email chain with others in your group to check-in on each other and call each other weekly.
Have a need?
If we can be helpful to you in some way, for example, making a trip to the grocery or pharmacy for you, let us know or contact your Deacon. We’ve already had several people reach out to us who are willing to help anyone who needs it. Stephen Ministers are trained to be a listening presence in times of anxiety and upheaval. They listen without judgment, maintain confidentiality and pray with you, if desired. Please contact Jennifer Lipinski if speaking by phone with a Stephen Minister would be valuable to you.
In recent years, we’ve talked a lot about spiritual practices like prayer, reading Scripture, keeping Sabbath, loving our neighbor, and more. Now is a time to stay engaged in these practices. For me the practices have brought strength and calmness in recent days. I encourage you to be prayerful and attentive to what God is up to in your life and in the world around you. And of course, let’s be in prayer for our world. There is much to pray for in these days!
“Sunday School Pajama Party” will be coming your way this Sunday via a video posted on the New Hope Children’s Ministries’ Group Facebook page, immediately following the online worship service. We will also share this on the New Hope Presbyterian Church and Preschool Facebook page. It will include prayer time, Bible story readings, and craft and activities you can do as a family. We hope you’ll join us as we gather together on-line in worship. Please reach out to Susan Kinney with any questions.
Our student ministry has gone virtual. This past week we have done a youth group live on YouTube as well as used Zoom to still have our weekly high school Bible Study. It is important that you are signed up to receive our text messages as we will send links and updates primarily through that. To sign up text either “@newhope5-8” or “@newhopehsy” to 81010. If you have any questions, contact Erin Fager.
Church Office Update
If you’ve seen any of the church staff members smiling in recent days it’s because we’re delighted to welcome back Heather Ciscell to the Office Manager position starting on Monday, March 23. Heather is the BEST and we’re all doing backflips of joy that she is returning to our staff team.
Finally, if I’ve said it once at the end of worship, I’ve said it a hundred times. When the church parking lot is empty, the church is still the church. Well, the church parking lot is going to be empty a lot in the coming weeks, but the church is still the church because where you are, the church is, where you are, Christ is. Be the presence of Christ to those around you in these days. Reach out to other members of the New Hope family. Our present reality offers many opportunities for us to be faithful followers of Jesus in creative ways! Let’s seize these opportunities and bring honor to Him.