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We Raised the Roof! 

How do you define ‘success’ in a worship experience? When God alone has been praised and when God’s people know they experienced joy. Both of those things happened Sunday, September 17, 2023, and for that we praise the LORD! We were blessed with near-record participation in our in-person and streaming worship. We enjoyed inspired music from voices and instruments. God’s Word was heard and preached through prayers, psalms, hymns, and songs of the Spirit. The next generation of worshipers filled the sanctuary with their exuberance. The Lord’s Supper was celebrated as people streamed to the Table. People stood and applauded God’s Name as we ended what was overwhelmingly considered an emotional and uplifting hour of the joyful celebration for the completion of Hope’s Next Stage. As I greeted people following worship one woman said, “Did we raise the roof?” Then, answering her own question with a broad smile, she said, “I think so!”
We thank all the teams, leaders and volunteers which made this unique day possible. It was a community-wide effort to bless all our regular worshipers and many first-time guests.  To God be the Glory!!
The last people to leave our Celebration Sunday were the children who jumped and slid their way through the bounce house. As one parent commented,  “Maybe we should make this a permanent installation. Just think how many kids would show up then!”  This comment captures perfectly everything that Hope’s Next Stage is trying to accomplish. It is not about the wood and wires. It is about building on a vision, raising up a platform on which a new spirit of hope can build future generations. It was in celebration of that goal and in that spirit that we pray,
“God, thank you for letting us watch you raise the roof of Hope Church! Amen!!”
Friends, and that is what you each are, thank you for allowing me the opportunity to be one of your pastors on this historic and joy-filled day. It was a blessing I will remember forever. Pastor Bill