Welcome to New Hope
Thank you for visiting our website and desiring to learn more about who we are and why we are here.
Those who founded our congregation, with the help of our Synod, adopted the following clear and Biblical statement of why we exist and what we are to do:
“The purpose of this congregation shall be to seek the honor and glory of God, to carry out His will, to manifest the unity of our faith in Jesus Christ as God and Savior, to spread the kingdom of God and to foster Christian fellowship and love by the preaching of the Word of God, by the administration of the Sacraments, and by the religious instruction of all its members, according to the confessional standard of the Evangelical Lutheran Church.”
New Hope Lutheran Church Constitution, Article II, paragraph 2.
The statement opens by listing the following five goals for our congregation:
1. Seek the honor and glory of God
2. Carry out God’s will
3. Manifest the unity of our faith in Jesus Christ as God and Savior
4. Spread the kingdom of God
5. Foster Christian fellowship
Those are laudable goals for us, and they reflect what Scripture says. However, they alone do not give well-defined details on how these goals are to be met. How are we to spread the kingdom of God? How are we to foster Christian fellowship? We might be tempted to invent our own ways of accomplishing these goals rather than using the means that God has given us.
Thus, the purpose statement goes on to explain, in accordance with God’s Word, how we are to pursue the aforementioned goals.
The statement says that we will pursue these goals by:
1. Preaching of the Word of God
2. Administration of the sacraments
3. Religious instruction of all our members
All three of these activities are conducted “according to the confessional standard of the Evangelical Lutheran Church.”
Notice that the list of church activities in our purpose statement is very short. There are many programs and “ministries” that people might expect from a church, but there are only a few that are really essential. Our Lord wants us to call sinners to repentance and forgive sins for the sake of Christ’s life, suffering, and death; to baptize in His Triune name; to give out His body and blood for the forgiveness of sins; to teach the Christian faith. Everything else that we do must serve and support these purposes because these are the ways in which God reconciles people to Himself and keeps us alive as Christians.
Our life as a congregation centers on the Word of God proclaimed in its truth and purity. God’s Word is our life. By His Word, God exposes our sin. He, by His Word, gives us forgiveness, eternal life, and salvation. By His Word, He works in us the faith that trusts Jesus.
Our Lord has great gifts for us in His Word. He makes promises which He will fulfill; He forgives our sins; He grants us eternal life. His Word is the life of every person and the life of our congregation. Thanks be to God that He is the One who gives us life for the sake of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.