Hello Hope+Elim Family!
We come to you today with much to celebrate and some important updates for our church in the weeks ahead!
First, we are still basking in the glow of a powerful Easter season together, witnessing thousands of people join us to hear the life-changing message of Jesus’ resurrection! Thank you to all those who gave your time to lead and serve these past few weeks. We are truly better together! Of course Easter was just the next step in a year of incredible moments where we’ve seen God’s faithfulness as we’ve stepped into this adventure of Hope+Elim and the new thing that God is doing. As we’ve talked about time and time again, the church is primarily not about a building, worship style, denomination, or leader. You are the church, and we’re honored to be on this mission with you!
Secondly, we wanted to share with you an important update in the leadership of our church. Over two years ago when leaders from both legacy churches began the process of discerning what God’s desire was for this merger, we knew it was bigger than one church, one leader, or any of us as current members. God raises up leaders “for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14), placing us in areas of giftedness for certain seasons. As we merged, it became clear how Pr. Hurst, Pr. Jon, and the staff could all function most effectively using our individual gifting and passions. For Pr. Hurst, that has always been out in the community, developing relationships, working with our mission partners, and certainly preaching and teaching. It was our vision from the beginning to have both pastors laser focused on a successful merger, then guiding our church towards becoming a brand new Jesus-centered, Bible-based, Spirit-led church, and by God’s grace, that’s what we’ve become! We have a vibrant, dynamic, growing church with an incredibly faithful staff and growing number of servant leaders! We’re serving the neighborhood, investing in children, youth, college students, young-adults, and adults of all ages on a weekly basis. We could not be more excited about what’s to come!
As we announced at worship today, after much prayer and discernment with our entire team, Pr. Hurst has decided to use the next season of his life to officially retire from pastoral ministry and pursue the work of city-wide ministry here in Des Moines. This is a natural continuation of not only his ministry, but the heartbeat of Hope+Elim: to be unity agents and city-changers for the Kingdom of God. While we will miss Pr. Hurst in this role, we are very excited for he and Cheryl as they begin this next phase of their life. Pr. Hurst will officially transition out of his role on May 29th where everyone will have the opportunity to celebrate and thank him for his work after each service that day.
As he has done over the past two years, Pr. Jon will continue to provide leadership for the church in vision, preaching, staff leadership and care. In addition, God has already assembled an amazing and ever-increasing diverse team to move our mission forward. In the meantime, we are actively working to develop a call team to discern and call a new pastor to join Pr. Jon with a continued unquestionable emphasis on diversity in leadership in all aspects of church life. We are committed to our leadership reflecting the beautiful diversity that surrounds our neighborhoods. Thank you for your prayers as we enter this exciting and important process. Life is filled with change, but our call to be a multi-cultural, mission-minded, Jesus-centered church will never change.
We’ll share more details and updates in the weeks to come, so stay tuned. As always, thank you for being an incredible church, and we believe now more than ever, the best is yet to come!
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. - Eph. 3:20-21
Pastor Jon and Pastor Hurst