Hope from Hood – Week of Feb 13, 2017

Hope from Hood - Week of Feb 13, 2017

Sunday morning, I witnessed the worship of God with new eyes.  I watched young children play instruments and dance while the congregation lifted their voices singing “Beautiful words, wonderful words, wonderful words of life…” It was perhaps a glimpse of the kingdom of heaven where adults and children are all worshipping God together…in their own unique expressions.

After lunch on Sunday, parents, grandparents, and leaders of our young children gathered to discuss directions we would like to go with our ministry to children and families and how we can best reach out to new families in our community.  Some of the ideas were what you might expect. Others were unique, just like our community, in order to reach the needs of our families, our church, and our community.  Some of those ideas you will see develop over the next few Sundays.  Other ideas will take months to develop and communicate to our community.

Each Sunday, our children are so excited to see each other after a week or more of being apart and truly want to play and spend time together.  So, in order to give them space to be together, the children will gather in the nursery at the beginning of the service.  They will begin their morning with play, activities, and a lesson from Ms. Carol, Ms. Jesse and other volunteers (that we will be recruiting very soon).  Then, after the sermon, the adults will bring the children into the service and they will be invited to join us for communion. We will have our Young Disciples time towards the end of our worship.  Having children lead and participate in our worship service is a huge part of their faith development.

During the Sunday School hour, we will have a fellowship time for families to gather as they are able.  This will be informal and will allow folks to gather and reconnect.  The families of parents expressed that they would prefer a structured educational time for children on a weeknight, such as Wednesday evening.  So, over the next few weeks and months, we will begin to work on providing a week night educational time for our church family and community.

One family shared a testimony of their experience of visiting and becoming involved at Hood.  They shared that their first experience “at church” was during the Thanksgiving breakfast.  They experienced such a warm and inviting atmosphere and felt very welcomed.  Then, they were able to enter the sanctuary and participate in worship with a lens of welcome and love.  The same family admitted that if they would have entered worship first without the experience of fellowship, meeting new folks and eating with them, their experience would have been different.  So, we want to provide more opportunities for gathering and fellowship before worship.  One idea that we may consider is hosting breakfast every 5th Sunday breakfasts sponsored by different groups where we can intentionally invite new friends and community members into our church doors for food, fellowship and worship together.

We also discussed some more Outreach events for our community that we will be sharing with the Outreach team and putting into motion over the coming months.  The conversation is open…if you have thoughts and ideas to reach out to our community, or to involve the children, please share them with us.  We want to hear from you!  I left the meeting Sunday with great energy and excitement and I hope you can share that joy with me just as our children have brought pure joy into the doors of this church.

If You Missed Last Sunday’s Sermon…

Listen to Choose Life – Matthew 5:17,21-44

God’s Words for This Week

Leviticus 9:1-2,9-18 – You shall love your neighbor as yourself (NRSV, v.18)

Psalm 119:33-40 – God, teach me lessons for living so I can stay the course. (The Message, v.33)

1 Corinthians 3:10-11,16-23 – Because of God’s grace to me, I have laid the foundation like an expert builder. Now others are building on it. (NLT, v.10)

Matthew 5:38-48 – But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you (NRSV, v.44)

This Week at The Hood

Tuesday, Feb 14, 6:30 pm – Yoga with Pretzel Logistics (3rd Floor)
Thursday, Feb 16, 3:30 pm – Prayer & Inspiration
Thursday, Feb 16, 6:00 pm – Choir Practice
Saturday, Feb 18, 9:00 am – Valentine’s Brunch – Children & Families – The Cellar
Sunday, Feb 19, 11:00 am – Worship


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