Hi Hope Ames!
This is something I wrote for Hope's #PiecesOfHope series, which can be found on our social media pages. I wanted to share it with you today to express why Hope is so special. This church is not just my home but a home where all people are welcome, because of people like you. What's your story? Here's a good chunk of mine...
I was in Boston last year when a man asked me, "Where are you from?"
"Iowa," I replied.
His eyes lit up. "Do you know about Lutheran Church of Hope?"
"Yeah, I know about Hope."
In fact, I don't know about life apart from Hope.
Hope is where I learned to walk, run and ride a bike. It's where I met my first friends, and it's where I attended my first day of school. It's also where I cracked my head open a couple of times.
Hope is where I went to church and watched my dad preach. It's where my siblings played church, and I pretended to preach. It was my playground, study hall and safe place. It was my favorite place to hang out and the place I would go to cry.
Hope is where I told my mom and my dad about a good day or a bad day, and it's where they celebrated or carried me through both. It's where I watched my parents grow into the most inspiring and faithful leaders I've ever followed.
Hope was the last place I stopped before moving away. It's the place I received countless letters from while I was gone, and the place I took a job when I came back.
Hope is where I learned that family isn't determined by common blood, ideas or positions, but a common love. It's where I fell in love with Jesus. It's where I feel how much he loves me.
Hope is more than my church, and Hope is more than where I work.
Hope is where God raised me. Hope is where God reminds me of who I am and whose I am. Hope is home.
To the man in Boston who asked where I'm from...
Thanks for being my home, Hope.
P.S. Catch you in worship Sunday morning at 10:00 in the Ames City Auditorium!