"Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom."
~ Isaiah 40:28
June 3, 2020
Hello New Hope Family!
Here's a link to a video update from Pastor Jim and Pastor Jared on resuming in-person gatherings: https://youtu.be/A-P41rcZpbA
You can also see below a full letter laying out the update here:
Dear New Hope Family,
The session met last evening, June 2, 2020 to consider when and how to resume in-person gatherings. We are announcing the resumption of in-person worship for this coming Lord’s Day, June 7, 2020 at 10:00 AM. In resuming in-person gatherings we are looking forward to the actions of God’s people to be full of grace and warmth towards one another. As we seek the Lord’s leading, we want you to have a summary of the policy that we are putting in place.
During this process, we sought to keep a few key theological truths in mind. It is foundational to Christian life and practice that the people of God worship the Lord in public and private within the fellowship of believers (WCF 26.2). This is not limited by any authority in this world. In fact, every authority possesses only what has been given it for His own glory and to the end He has established (WCF 23.1). We establish these policies with the intent that they will equip the people of God to:
1) bring Him glory (1 Corinthians 10:31; 1 Peter 2:17)
2) display love of neighbor (Matt 22:37-40; Philippians 2:3)
3) discern according to wisdom how to act (Philippians 4:8; Proverbs 16:9; James 1:5)
In these early days of gatherings, we are focusing on minimal physical interaction with one another and minimal elements while we are together. To this end, Sunday school will not be resuming this summer and evening Bible study will remain online. The expectation is that we will not linger inside the building following worship or other gatherings, as much as this is our inclination and desire. We welcome the wearing of a mask, but it will not be a requirement for gathering.
We are looking forward physically gathering again although many things will look different. There will be people wearing masks and those who are not. The sanctuary will be populated by families that are physically distant from one another. Coffee will not be available. There will be no access to church mailboxes. Pew Bibles and hymnals will be removed. We will not be passing out bulletins or song sheets and ask you to print them out at home and bring them with you if you would like. The library will remain closed and continue the current policy of curbside pickup. Any room that is not in use will be closed and locked. While the bathrooms will remain open, the drinking fountains will be turned off and covered. Anyone who attends is encouraged to bring their own covered water bottles, if so desired.
We ask you, especially in these early days, to RSVP that you will be in attendance to help aid in our planning purposes. You will be receiving a link to RSVP to do this in coming days. When you come, you will enter by using the main, East, doors and exit the building through the North doors, by the handicap parking. These doors will be opened for you. For those that utilize the handicap parking, there will be someone to open the door for you as you enter through the North doors.
During the worship service, we will continue to worship the same unchanging Triune God and witness to the glorious Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. We will continue to join our hearts together in prayer and attend to the preaching of God’s Word. We will continue to offer praise to God in song and worship Him in offering. There will be some adjustments in how we do these things. We do encourage the use of masks while singing and acknowledge this may not feel the most natural. There will be a time of greeting, but those physically present will remain in their seating area and greet from a distance. For the collections of offerings, plates will be by the doors at the back of the sanctuary and you can put your offering in as you exit. There will also be no access to the nursery. The cry room will be available for one family unit and there will also be chairs in the narthex if you need to step out. Families should bring whatever items with you that you may need (toys, books, etc.). Families with young children: you know your children better than anyone and we encourage you to discern how you will help them abide by these guidelines, if you choose to be physically present.
As we have stated before, we continue to expect those who have symptoms of illness or are around those that do, those that have severe underlying medical conditions, and those that feel uncomfortable for any reason with joining in person to take part in the livestream option that will be offered each week. We will do our best to encourage the mutual love and care between the body of Christ both physically present and physically distant.
We understand that as time progresses more will be understood about the coronavirus and what the best course of action is. We also understand that situations change, and we are eager to add more elements into the worship service and loosen the physical restraints that we are putting in place. This policy will be reviewed by September 1, 2020 and will be amended sooner if necessary. We welcome your feedback. Talk to your Care Elder or one of the pastors with your thoughts or questions.
There will certainly be a different look and feel on Sunday mornings, which is unavoidable with what we feel are necessary precautions. Please know and be assured that we love you all in Christ. We are the first to acknowledge that all of this is less than ideal. It does point out how we all await Christ’s return and his making all things new. Until that day, we cry out ‘Come Lord Jesus’ while resting on His grace and consider how we can spur one another on to love and good deeds while we wait.
In the love of Christ,
Your New Hope Presbyterian Church Session
May 29, 2020
As the Session continues to prepare for in-person worship, here is a video update from Pastor Jim and Pastor Jared.
May 19, 2020
Hello New Hope Family!
Below is the link for the survey that was mentioned in yesterday's email. If you have a few minutes, your feedback will be welcomed as we make plans to move forward in gathering back together in person. If you need the survey in a different form, please reply to this message and we will get that to you.
The session task force on Covid-19 Response
May 18, 2020
Grace and Peace, New Hope Family!
Over the last week, the result of state government action has removed any enforceable guidelines that relate to in-person gatherings for public worship. While we have been well-served by technology in drawing us into worshiping the Lord, we eagerly anticipate gathering physically in the same place at the same time! We wanted to give you an update on where that planning stands and what it will look like moving forward.
The Session has been discussing what it will take to start meeting regularly in a prudent way. To this end, a team of elders has been tasked to make recommendations. Our current target is early June. Below is the framework that the Session will be considering at an upcoming meeting. There will be more specifics but all those will be under these principles. There are also steps that you can take in the process of opening back up.
There are three main principles that we want to base our actions on:
- Bring glory to God – In every action, we must seek to bring glory and honor to the name of the Lord (1 Corinthians 10:31; 1 Peter 2:17).
- Love our Neighbor – We are called to care for one another and place their needs above our own (Matt 22:37-40; Philippians 2:3). Here is an article that encapsulates our thoughts on this. It is also attached to this letter.
- Wise planning – We are called to make decisions based on the best knowledge we have, understanding that we look to the Lord for ultimate direction (Philippians 4:8; Proverbs 16:9; James 1:5). When we have the proper plans and resources in place, we will move to gathering in person for Sunday morning worship. One piece to this plan is to make sure livestreaming is operable so that those who should remain home may do so without missing the corporate worship service.
Moving forward, there are a few things that we would desire for you to do:
- Pray – Pray for wisdom for the Session and its taskforce developing recommendations, the body of Christ, and civil authorities.
- Communicate – Tomorrow (Tuesday) you will receive a link to participate in a survey of your thoughts on reopening. If you need to complete it in a different way, it will be made available. Also, we invite you to contact your care elder to ask questions, share concerns, or share how you are praying for them!
- Love Neighbors – Continue to use this time to reach out to those around you in loving and kind ways. Also, show extra care to those struggling with anxious thoughts and grace to those that disagree. Let us take to heart the exhortation of Ephesians 4:2, “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.”
To God be the Glory,
Elders Peter DeRossi, Tom Smies, and Jared Van Noord
Session Taskforce on Covid-19 Response
March 28, 2020
Dear New Hope Family,
We are encouraged that so many of you gathered digitally this last Sunday to worship together! With Governor Evers’ recent “Safer at Home” order, the session feels it would be in keeping with proper submission to the civil authority to encourage you not to gather with others outside of your immediate family this coming Lord’s Day. The relevant excerpt from the order is “All public and private gatherings of any number of people that are not part of a single household or living unit are prohibited, except for the limited exceptions contained in the order.” We look forward with increasing anticipation to the day when we can all worship in person together. This also draws our attention beyond this world when we will worship with all believers from all times. Great is the Lord and worthy of Praise!
In Christ, New Hope Session
March 18, 2020
Dear New Hope Family,
Last night, the session made the decision to suspend all gatherings at New Hope of 10 or more people, in accordance with Governor Evers’ direction yesterday, March 17, 2020 aimed at limiting the spread of the coronavirus called Covid-19. This includes all events through the end of the month as well as Sunday and weekly ministries.
While this means not being able to physically gather for corporate worship, there is a team forming to work on a way to gather from a distance through digital means. We will get information to you regarding what that will be and how to access it as soon as it becomes available. One of the elements of corporate worship that this will not address is worship in giving. There are several options for this. You may send checks though the mail to the church office (2401 Deckner Ave, Green Bay, WI 54302), set up a bill pay through your bank, or give online. To give online, go to www.nhopc.org/giving/ and click on the link. If you have any questions, you can contact the church office for assistance.
The suspension of meetings over 10 people applies to any group whether it is connected to New Hope or not. These groups are being directed to either cancel meeting or work out ways to meet online or in other formats.
We ask all small groups, K-groups, and any other gathering of church members to bear in mind the government mandate to have no more than 10 people in an enclosed area along with proper social distancing. We hope you will still fellowship through other forms of communication during this time.
Your access to pastors, elders, or the office will not be reduced. During regular office hours you can expect to call (920-468-8565) and email ( ) the church office and contact someone. If you need to get in the building, contact the church office before coming. There may or may not be someone there as staff will be doing a mixture of working from home and the office. If there’s a concern or request, the pastors and elders will still be available.
Brothers and sisters, this is yet another opportunity for God’s people to be salt and light and display the confidence we have in the Lord, even in uncertain times. We encourage you to connect with other members of the body of Christ to encourage and pray with and for them. There are also ministry opportunities for each of us as we care for those around us. You can download and print the Love Your Neighbor card and give them to neighbors or others. This will also be available in the church office.
Finally, in this brief update we wanted to encourage you that the Lord is using this difficult and ground-shifting time of upheaval for His own good purpose and will. Although it might look a little different, we are still able to grow in grace. We plan to point to resources and opportunities in the coming days to aid you and the whole New Hope family.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers and sisters,
The Session of New Hope
March 13, 2020
Dear New Hope Family,
As we are all aware, news about the virus called Covid-19 dominates both the media and public attention. It is a cause for concern for many, as it is also for the leadership of New Hope. Our desire here is to express our thoughts and to address some plans moving forward.
First and foremost, we encourage you to remember that the Lord remains sovereign, knows your needs, and faithfully provides for His people. This moment in time is yet another moment to declare the truth that the Lord reigns! Because of that, we seek what is wise and practical to maintain the health of the people of New Hope, whether it’s physical, mental, or spiritual.
At this time, we are not planning to cancel corporate worship services. There may come a time in the near future when that changes, either required by local health officials or by the wisdom of New Hope leadership.
Today, March 13, Governor Evers gave an order mandating the closure of all K-12 public and private schools starting Wednesday, March 18. As per our policy, this means all New Hope children and youth ministries are canceled until April 12.
Regarding aspects within worship, our current practices will be altered to limit contact between people. While we will continue with a pre-service greeting time, this does not require you to shake hands with those around you, a smile and a wave is a greeting itself. We will also receive the offering at the end of worship in the back of the sanctuary so that plates are not passed down the rows.
Further updates regarding this developing situation will be communicated through email by way of the CCB ‘Directory’ group. If you are not on this list or unsure if you are, contact the church office. It will also be posted on the church’s website: www.nhopc.org/coronavirus-updates.
Around the building, there will also be an increased effort to sanitize and clean surfaces and commonly touched items, like doorknobs, within the building as well.
We encourage the following precautions regarding corporate worship and involvement in ministries:
- If you or an immediate family member are sick with any communicable illness, please remain at home until you are better.
- If you are 60 or above, have underlying health conditions and are concerned about contracting the virus, exercise caution and consider your liberty in Christ to remain at home.
- If you are diagnosed with COVID-19, are remaining at home out of precaution during this time, or need supplies, please contact an elder, deacon, or pastor, so that we can support and care for you.
Our desire is for your health and safety. There are no extra ordinary precautions that we need to undertake beyond what is common in reducing spreading viral infection:
- Frequent and thorough hand washing with soap and water
- Covering coughs and sneezes
- Avoiding touching your face
- Staying home when sick
Above all, display love during this time and be especially considerate of others’ health, concerns, and well-being. You do a wonderful job of loving and extending grace and we know that will remain true even in this season of uncertainty.
Continue in prayer for those affected with this and all illnesses and those involved in treating them. If you have any concerns or questions, please contact your care elder. If you are unsure of who your elder is, contact any one of the elders or pastors.
Yours in Christ,
The Elders and Deacons of New Hope.