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The first visit to any new community means encountering the new, the different or the unexpected. Whether you’re a lifelong Lutheran or have never set foot in a Lutheran church before, we want you to be comfortable, so we offer these few notes.

In Worship

Lutherans are a “liturgical” bunch. That means our worship has the same general outline used by Christians since the earliest days of the Church. While there are variations each week, the general order is the same: we Gather (sing and pray together), hear the Word (Scripture readings and sermon), come to the Table (to receive Holy Communion), and are Sent (blessed to go into the world as disciples). “Liturgy” means “the work of the people.” There are no spectators in worship – all are participants.

Music is essential to worship (hymns, parts of the liturgy, special music sung or played by individuals/groups), but you don’t have to be a musician to join in. Our postures – standing, sitting, kneeling, turning, walking – reflect the action going on in worship at the moment. Our worship space is filled with visual symbols of the faith – banners, robes, candles, crosses.

The entire order of worship is laid out in the worship folder and is easy to follow. Expect to be greeted during the “passing of the peace” in the middle of the service, and don’t be afraid to ask the ushers (or anyone else) for information or assistance.

Before & After Worship

Some have joked that coffee is a sacrament in the Lutheran church. In truth, we’re less interested in the coffee – or tea, lemonade, etc. – than in the conversation that develops when people share refreshments. Stop in the Narthex outside the worship space to grab a snack and strike up a conversation. And check out the Welcome Center to see what information might be of interest to you.

In General

Hope Lutheran is a place where all are welcome and grace is the guiding principle. We are drawn by Christ’s love and strive to share it with others. We invite and encourage you to be our guest. We look forward to meeting you.

Vision of Hope – 2016 Strategic Plan

Vision of Hope – 2016 Strategic Plan: The Visioning Team has listened and collaborated to generate the following plan. The Mission and Vision were intentionally designed to represent who we are and who we want to be. The Strategy is built upon the areas of Governance, Outreach, Education and Space, which have been identified by the council as priorities for addressing the next three years.

Mission:  Knowing God, Inspiring Action. Transforming Lives.

Vision: Growing community through service, learning and worship.

Strategy Summary

Stage 1:

  • Governance:
    • Committee Revamp Team
  • Outreach:
    • Social and Traditional Media Strategy
  • Education:
    • Remote Online Studies
    • Build Planning
  • Space:
    • Break Ground
    • Temporary meeting spaces

 Stage 2:

  • Governance:
    • Committee Revamp Team in action
  • Outreach:
    • Media – integrated staff position
  • Education:
    • New Adult Studies
    • Assess for community programs
  • Space:
    • Build Hope                    

Stage 3:

  • Governance:
    • Enact Revamp
    • Create Council Restructuring Team
  • Outreach:
    • Advertise new space with Grand Opening
  • Education:
    • Launch Adult Sunday School
  • Space:
    • Full-Time Facility Manager

 Stage 4:

  • Governance:
    • Restructure Council
  • Outreach:
    • Public events in new space
  • Education:
    • Vibrant programs for all
  • Space:
    • Outfit the building

Strategy Details

 Governance Strategy:

 Stage 1:

  • Establish a team to revamp and review current committees and structure.

Stage 2:

  • Committee Revamp Team will focus on looking at the various committees at Hope, consulting with the leaders of the ministries to find ways to make the structure more effective. Evaluating will help to determine whether committees should continue to exist as they are or possibly restructure them. This should not require constitutional changes, as R1.01 notes that committees can have “joint focus.”

Stage 3:

  • Enact and evaluate changes from Committee Revamp Team.
  • Create team to assess and re-align council to match new committee structure. This will require a constitutional change only if the non-staff council member number decreases below eight (C12.01). If the council approves changing the number of members, they should have a plan ready to present for the Annual Meeting.

Stage 4:

  • Implement changes in council structure via phasing members in or out.

Outreach Strategy:

Stage 1:

  • Design a Social and Traditional Media Strategy to utilize community and online resources such as the Cranberry Library, external signage, Facebook, Hope’s Online Forum, the Website, etc. to publicize Hope and the tentative meeting space of the new building.

Stage 2:

  • Integrate social and internet media into a full-time office staff role.

Stage 3:

  • When building is complete, advertise new space with a Grand Opening/Community Gala.

Stage 4:

  • Establish a strong community presence through service, the new space and public events such as Cranberry Community Days.

Education Strategy:

Stage 1:

  • Launch remote online studies for Youth and General Population.
  • Have Education leadership represented on Building Committee

Stage 2:

  • Experiment with new ways of programming during the building process.
  • Assess need and capacity for MOPS, preschool, daycare, etc.

Stage 3:

  • When building is complete, launch Adult Sunday School.
  • Planning for new community education ministries (MOPS, preschool, daycare, etc.)

Stage 4:

  • Implement new community education ministries.

Space Strategy:

Stage 1:

  • Have necessary plans and funding for Building Hope.
  • Have two to three trailers for temporary office, education and meeting spaces. Coordinate spaces and meet with Building Committee, Office Staff, Christian Education and Project Manager.

Stage 2:

  • Building Hope commenced.
  • Begin planning/budgeting for Facility Manager.

Stage 3:

  • When building is complete, have Facility Manager in place.

Stage 4:

  • Outfit the building.

Click here for a PDF printable version of the Vision of Hope – 2015 Strategic Plan