I wish I could go to a church like yours.
It sounds like you are doing something that matters.
It feels like I am welcome here, it feels like each person is welcome here.
These are the things people say to me, the pastor, about my church, New Hope. And, they are correct. At this tiny church on the south side of Atlanta, every person matters and we are doing amazing work. I wish I you could go to a church like New Hope too. I feel very blessed to lead it. At New Hope we do one thing really really well: We feed hungry people.
New Hope has been feeding hungry people for years out of the fellowship hall on the back of the property, resourced with relationships they have built for years. Someone from the neighborhood picks up the extra pizzas from down the street. The bread man drops off extra bread and pastries, sometimes we have 100 cases of cherries or 78 gallons of chocolate milk, and because the church is good at feeding people, two members without cars redistribute these blessing to neighbors who are hungry. Watching 100 gallons of chocolate milk disappear in 24 hours, is a tiny modern day miracle. If you are hungry, there is something for you at New Hope.
Didn’t Jesus specifically ask us to feed his sheep?
Before I was a pastor, I was a blogger. I sort of wrote myself into this job. On the internet I found community where I was afraid I was all alone, in my doubts, with my questions, looking for a way forward. And now, as a pastor I remember what it was like to be hungry for a community that is trying to follow Jesus. I recognize the longing I hear in the voices that say, I wish I could find a little church with a big heart. I know that hunger.
And didn’t Jesus specifically ask us to feed his sheep?
If you are hungry for a community like that, here is your invitation into it. Sign up for the New Hope Newsletter and we will figure out how to do an online church with a physical home together. We want to feed you. You have a place with us.
Right now, this is what I know:
On Mondays I will be sending out some version of the sermon, whether the link to the audio or a written version or both.
This will also include the songs we sang (we are unabashedly a hymn church) and the prayer requests I can share.
I would love to be able to share your prayer requests with the physical community, so reply to these emails with how I can pray for you. If you do NOT want me to share with the community, just tell me.
I am figuring out how to share Thursday night dinner with you. It is weird and awkward, and really good and holy. God shows up there.
I will likely screw some of this up, we are doing something new here. I don’t know exactly what it looks like. Attempting to bridge a physical and online community is weird, and wild, and I think our next right step. I don’t believe in a church you have to pay to be a part of, so everybody can come to this newsletter community. There will be a link soon if you would like to financially support this community.
Mostly I know that some of you are hungry, hungry for a community that is feeding people right now.
Hungry for a place where we are dreaming of being the actual New Hope of the gospel to people.
Hungry for God to show up in the mess.
Hungry for some good in this world in the name of Jesus.
Hungry for love to win, and everyone to have a home, and a place where everyone gets a cupcake on their birthday.
New Hope isn’t perfect but we are trying, trying to love our neighbor well, trying to love God well, trying to let Jesus have his wild way with us.
If you are hungry for that community, you are invited not matter where you are.
Jesus told us to feed his sheep. If you are hungry, you are his sheep, you belong with us.
I have so many dreams for our little church with the big heart, there is so much good work to be done, I think God might be excited by all of this too. I would love for you to be a part of what God is doing at New Hope, so sign up to the newsletter and we will figure it all out together. I can be your pastor. We can feed each other.
Aren’t we all hungry? Aren’t well all His sheep?
Much Love and Welcome,
Rev. Abby Norman and the New Hope Community