Who We Are
Over the years Hope Church has developed a number of statements that help define who we are, not only within our walls, but in the community and the world.
Very early in Hope’s history a member penned the following to help us understand what we wanted to be as a congregation:
The Community of Hope exists
to let people know they matter to God,
by showing them they matter to us,
in order that they may share God’s love with others.
Hope’s leadership has re-examined this statement several times during the 30 plus years it has existed. It continues to be the fundamental statement of what Hope is about.
In 2006 Hope was looking to focus its mission efforts. After much conversation we decided to focus on hunger; locally, nationally and world-wide. Again, it was a member who put it succinctly:
Hope is food.
A few years later Pastor Kevin Holley expanded on that thought, not only re-emphasizing our commitment to reducing hunger, but pointing out that even though we are a small congregation we can have significant impact.
We are a small, strong congregation guided by the example of Jesus Christ, dedicated to feeding the hungry, while seeking long term solutions to hunger and its related effects.
In 2014, in response to decisions made by the Presbyterian Church and the state of Illinois regarding lesbian, gays, bisexual and transgender persons Hope developed what became known as our “Welcoming Statement”. Even though almost every church will say they welcome everyone who comes through their doors frequently there are unwritten rules about who is really welcome. This statement, created in an atmosphere of vigorous conversation, is intended to overcome those unwritten rules.
Hope strives to be a safe haven for God's unconditional love. Every person is invited and encouraged to participate in all Hope activities and roles, including membership and leadership. In this world most human conflict and separation are caused by our differences, like race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, economic status, political positions, and more. Hope embraces diversity and welcomes all who come through our doors, without exception.
These statements, developed over a period of 40 years, reflect both the historical commitment Hope has made to serve the Lord and the ongoing effort to discern God’s will for us as a congregation.