Karen Johanknecht


Currently, my husband, Kurt, and I go to the Saturday 5:00 pm worship, but we attend the 9:00 am service online almost every week too.     

Kurt’s work brought us to Cranberry Twp 26 years ago with a 3-week-old son, Adam. Hope was the first church that we visited, and we never visited another. We really appreciated the warm, friendly welcome and, because we didn’t have family or friends in the area, Hope quickly became our extended family. Adam is now 26 years old and is living in Colorado (Vermont for the summer) & our daughter, Sarah, is 25 years old and just moved from Seattle to New York City. Hope is our family and we are thankful!  

I really enjoy spending time outdoors and my favorite thing to do is to walk my dogs, especially in a fresh snow! Over the years, I have loved to train my dogs (agility, obedience, nosework, therapy dog work) and I currently have a 9-month-old chocolate lab that is in training. I remember inviting a group of therapy dogs to visit Kidz Klub and CHAOS several years back for a couple of years in a row. The kids really enjoyed having the dogs at their meetings and I loved helping the kids understand that they could train their own dogs to be therapy dogs too!  I also enjoy hiking, kayaking, baking, gardening & reading.   

Over the years, I have been involved in a lot of areas within Hope. A few highlights for me have been…. I have really enjoyed getting to know people during a variety of small groups and various committees; I had a blast helping create and lead our Kidz Klub & CHAOS youth programs for several years (I even helped name them!); I continue to be excited with the opportunity to lead Women in the Word Bible Studies; I was humbled through the experience of leading the Building Hope fundraising effort with Kurt back in 2015; it was such a blessing to help plan and experience Hope’s Centennial Celebration; and I experienced the overwhelming love and generosity of a large group of church and community members as I led a group called VOICe Movers several years ago. Hope’s commitment to our church community as well as our local community through the shelter dinners, many service events, summer mission trips for our youth, the annual Golf Tournament & Relay for Life, and so much more keeps Kurt and I involved and excited about what is happening around and through Hope Lutheran Church. Most recently, we attended the Union Brothers outing in conjunction with Pastor Amy’s sermon series and really enjoyed the fellowship time.  

I was baptized and grew up in a Lutheran Church in Michigan where my grandfather was one of the founding members. I remember my dad taking me and my siblings to church and Sunday School every single week.  My dad was a special role model in that he had a full-time job, worked the family farm, attended church where he volunteered weekly, and he was an active community volunteer. He didn’t retire from the Township Board until he was in his 80’s! My parents’ faith and all of their volunteer efforts were a central part of their daily lives, and I learned so much from them about the importance of God and a church family as we go through the ups and downs of life, and as we help others through their challenging times. I really enjoy volunteering, I enjoy spending time with our church family, and I am thankful for the many blessings God has given me to be able to use my time and talents to help out in so many different ways at church and in our community. 

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