Worshipping God and being together are two of the three most important reasons Hope Happens Here and has since our congregation began in 1966. From the beginning Hope happened through prayer and music, through encouraging each other, serving God actively and faithfully, following in the way of Jesus Christ, and leaning heavily upon God's Holy Spirit. We strive to be open minded, welcoming, and inclusive because that is what we feel God's presence is about among us. Hope Happens Here is not an empty slogan, but who God intends us to be inside and outside of this church building, which is the third important reason we exist: to be salt and light, and Hope wherever we go.
Peace and Grace to you.
Pastor Chuck Goodman - Contact me via eMail
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Monday, May 11th the ISU Clef Hangers honored us with a short concert in our church sanctuary! The " Clef Hangers" is a mixed vocal a capella group from Illinois State University. This group was founded in 2008 by a small group of students who shared a passion for a capella music. Our own Carly Piland is a Clef alto! We enjoyed listening to this group and thank them for sharing their musical talent with us.
The annual spring senior luncheon held on Sunday, May 3rd was another fun and delicious time to share fellowship! We actually had two of our super seniors (age-95!) attend this year. Thanks to Sue Hack who brought Marietta Watt and Barb Zuspann who brought Betty Blankenship. We had a wonderful 'Teddy Bear' picnic theme provided by Amy Rasing and her team of servers. We were asked to bring our favorite teddy bear(s) and to share their stories as we launched the new 'Prayer Paws' mission for our deacons' use this year. It was fun to listen to Edna Mae and Cathy tell us about their special teddy bears. "THANK YOU!!" Amy and Co. for once again honoring our seniors! "THANK YOU" seniors for donating enough funds to start this mission with at least a dozen teddy bears! Once again, 'Hope Happens Here!' for everyone!
April 25, 2015, our own HPC member, Elizabeth Ross returned from El Salvador for her mid-year break from her year long International Service Learning Internship through the World Hunger Relief farm program. Sunday April 26th we welcomed Elizabeth with joy and anticipation as she shared her experiences in Santa Marta with us at a special presentation during our Sunday School time. Elizabeth gave us an insightful look at the work she is doing in El Salvador. Not only did she educate us with some of the history of El Salvador but she gave us a better understanding of the challenges the people of Santa Marta face every day.
We learned how the Moringa plants that Elizabeth brought as seeds to Santa Marta are making an impact on their community. The English classes she teaches and the work she is doing with the youth of Santa Marta are just a small part of what Elizabeth is accomplishing in the five to six months she has been there. As a special gift to celebrate this mid year visit, Elizabeth left us a special cross which will reside on our communion table until she returns in December. To follow Elizabeth's work you may check her web site periodically hereread more
When asked what we might do for Elizabeth; she answered as other mission coworkers did when asked this question. That we include her and the people of Santa Marta in our prayers. Specifically for the youth; safety in their struggles with immigration problems and opportunities for themselves and their families. That they might gain ownership of their own land. For Elizabeth; prayers of support, love and reassurance that we are with her in spirit. In her aloneness that she knows that God is with her always as she is in our hearts and prayers always. Elizabeth asked that we be cognizant and knowledgable of what our government is doing in regard to El Salvador and other underpriviledged countries. That we seek to inform our leaders when we see injustices done.
Thank you Elizabeth for letting Hope Presbyterian be a part of your year in Santa Marta! We feel blessed to walk with you and your 'beautiful feet!' Elizabeth has returned to Santa Marta and you may like to read more about the rest of her trip home. Click above and you will link to her blog site.