Dear Hope Ridge,
As we have been watching the number of cases in Lake County and around our state over the last few weeks, we feel that we need to respond out of caring for our community. As the cases have risen, we have heard that our health care teams need our help.
Therefore, after conversation our leadership affirmed, we will be suspending in-person worship beginning this Sunday, November 15th, and going back to all online worship until further notice. We will also be limiting our building use again, except to our educational partners.
This is not an easy decision, however, it is based in the wisdom of many in our community and in our mutual care for one another. We know that this pandemic will not go on forever, and there is hope. Once again, the church building may limited use, but the church- you and me- the Body of Christ- we will continue to do the ministry of Christ through this time.
I challenge you to continue to live out the vision of Hope Ridge- welcoming all, to worship God, be nurtured by the Holy Spirit and one another, and be sent to serve in Christ's name. I challenge you to do one practice of faith this week.
Here are some ideas:
- invite a friend to join you for online worship and worship together
- send a text or email a picture of yourself worshipping on Sunday to someone you typically would have sat next to in church
- jump into some of the material on Amplify Media, and do a study or devotion
- join one of the advent groups online
- participate in the Project Hope Meal or help with the Thanksgiving meal at Mentor UMC in the coming month
It is appropriate that this week's sermon is about the nurturing community, and we can be a part of nurturing hope with our family, friends, other church members, and in our community.
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him, we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. (Romans 5:1-5 ESV)
Each of you has had the Holy Spirit poured into you at your baptism, and you have the gift of faith which allows you to share hope, even in this time. So, choose hope. Choose to carry hope into the world. Choose to carry hope into our family and friend's lives.
Choose the amazing hope of Christ in your life!
Grace and peace,
Rev. Beth Wilterdink