Pastor Transition

Dear Members and Friends of HOPE, 

As HOPE Journeys Forward into 2019, we would like to communicate the plan to provide pastoral service and care during the near future.

We once again congratulate Pastor Sandy Johnson on her retirement and thank her for her service to HOPE.  Pastor Sandy’s last day with HOPE is Sunday, December 30th.  Please join us at 9:30am for her last service with us, followed by coffee & fellowship.  While in retirement Pastor Sandy will be kept busy, beginning in January she will be filling a bridge pastor assignment at Mount Zion Lutheran in Hudson.  Gratitude and best wishes again go to Sandy and Jed as they begin a new chapter of leadership and service for the ELCA.

HOPE’s Call Committee continues to work hard to find HOPE a new Pastor.   They have interviewed many candidates and search for additional candidates to consider.   To fill in until a new Pastor is found, or at least for the next few months, the Ministry Council has met and agreed to a plan that relies on lay leaders and the talents of our many members.   The plan may be modified based on member feedback and updates from the Call Committee on the progress of finding the right Pastor for HOPE.   If our situation hasn’t changed by the end of February the Ministry Council may consider a bridge pastor or continue to utilize member resources.   

Here’s the plan… 

Sunday Worship.  Rev. Bill Montgomery has graciously offered to be our officiating pastor during January and February, and preaching assignments will be shared between Steve Kaste, Dale Bohnert and Bill Montgomery.  Please see the tentative schedule below:

 Date                                      Preaching                                                            Officiant 

6 Jan                                     Steve Kaste                                                        Bill Montgomery

13 Jan                                   Bill Montgomery                                              Bill Montgomery

20 Jan                                   Steve Kaste                                                        Bill Montgomery

27 Jan                                   Dale Bohnert                                                     Bill Montgomery

3 Feb                                     Bill Montgomery                                              Bill Montgomery

10 Feb                                  Steve Kaste                                                        Bill Montgomery

17 Feb                                  Dale Bohnert                                                     Bill Montgomery

24 Feb                                  Steve Kaste                                                        Bill Montgomery 

Thanks and appreciation in advance to Steve, Bill and Dale!

Wednesday Worship & Pizza – will continue.   We are currently working through the details of arranging for Wednesday services; Lisa Ziebarth and Dale Bohnert have generously stepped up and are undertaking the planning process for Wednesday worship.  Stay tuned for further updates, check This Week At HOPE and the church website for details.   Please join and support these talented individuals on Wednesday’s for Pizza starting at 5:30pm and worship from 6-6:30pm.

Emergencies.  In the unfortunate event of a death or serious hospitalization, HOPE has arranged with Pastor Mark Hall and Ezekiel Lutheran to provide care.   Contact information: 715-425-8294 or see their website.

Contacting Pastor Sandy.  Pastor Sandy and Jed will continue to live in River Falls, but per ELCA guidelines Pastors are asked not to have Pastoral contact with members of their former congregation (even in retirement).   Please be respectful of the directive and contact HOPE’s office or a member of the Executive Ministry Team if you have a need.  Or in an emergency situation contact Pastor Hall at Ezekiel.   

Office/Olive’s absence. During this time of transition we will rely more heavily on Olive for daily functions.  You may have heard that Olive will be in Texas the month of February.  She has graciously offered to take a laptop computer with her and continue to do This Week at HOPE, bulletins, web site updates, communications, check emails, etc.  While Olive is away we would like volunteers to be present in the office a few hours a day to answer the phone, receive packages, collect the mail and welcome any visitors.  

How You Can Help.  HOPE is entering a period of time where if everyone helps out and pitches in a little, much can be accomplished.  Be sure to reach out to your fellow members and church leaders and ask how your volunteering can be of assistance in the operations of the church.  And, if you’re able to volunteer for office hours in February we’d like to hear from you. 

Thank You.  Thanks to you all for your patience and support as HOPE journeys through these next few months.

HOPE’s Executive Ministry Team

Phil Klacan

Lisa Ziebarth

Lynda Meyers

Jeff Rodewald