Helping Lancaster Tornado Victims

April 5, 2012

Volunteer Registration will be held today, Thursday April 5 until 7:00 p.m. (1600 Veterans Memorial Parkway). Donations can be dropped off at 200 E. Wintergreen Road. (Lancaster High School) Donated items needed include non-perishable food items, toiletries, diapers and baby food.

Maundy Thursday Change of Plans

April 4, 2012

Our Maundy Thursday Prayer Labyrinth for this week is canceled. Pastor Joel will host a service at 7:00PM Thursday.

Please read below to see how you can still participate in Maundy Thursday.

Tornado Picture

I was in Keller yesterday as I watched the local news teams report on tornadoes that were swirling near my home. After the storms had passed and the damage was being shown, I recognized many of the places that had sustained significant damage just a few blocks from my house. But as I was driving home yesterday evening I saw much of the damage in person. A neighborhood I drive by on a daily basis was covered in blue tarps. The apartment complex I saw on TV was the one I thought it was, one that I’ve driven by hundreds of times.

I was compelled to help in any way I could, and thought that on a normal week that I would be available to lend a helping hand most of the day on Wednesday. But I had planned on spending most of today getting ready for Maundy Thursday and wouldn’t be available to help.

And then two scriptures kept running through my head from the passage where Jesus washes his disciples feet, one of the cornerstone texts for Maundy Thursday:

“Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.”
~ John 13:13-15

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
~ John 13:34-35

How ironic that this annual event where we commemorate Jesus showing us how to love one another was keeping me from loving my neighbors who have gone through this difficult time. In fact, the word Maundy is derived from the Latin word mandatum, meaning “commandment,” referring to the commands Jesus gave his disciples at the Last Supper: to love with humility by serving one another and to remember his sacrifice.

That’s when I realized that the best way to commemorate Maundy Thursday this year, and this particular time in our community, was to allow the time and space to actually love and serve our neighbors. For that reason, we are canceling our Maundy Thursday service and prayer labyrinth.

I hope you will consider serving your neighbors during this Holy Week. There is much help needed in my neck of the woods in Arlington and Kennedale, but Lancaster has many needs as well. Here are some ideas:

  • Contact the local shelters that have been set up to see if they need volunteers, food, or supplies
  • Grab a chain saw and head towards the damage zones (note: certain areas have restricted access this morning)
  • Get online and find a group organizing volunteers (I found a church near me organizing a group today)
  • Make a bunch of sandwhiches and take them to the damage areas and pass them out to people working to clear debris
  • Pray for those affected
  • Go to the Volunteer Center of North Texas website and register as a disaster volunteer
  • Call the city of Lancaster at about donations at 972-218-2631

I hope you will consider how you can intentionally follow the example that Jesus has set for us on this Maundy Thursday. In so doing, we are truly participating in Maundy Thursday, whether we have a worship service or not.

~ Matt Cleaver

2011 Annual Report Posted

January 26, 2012

You may download a copy of the 2011 Annual Report on the budget page.


Semi-Annual Congregational Meeting January 29

January 15, 2012

Mark your calendar for our semi-annual congregational meeting on January 29 immediately following our worship service. Among other items, we will vote to adopt a 2012 budget.


Proposed 2012 Budget Available for Download

January 15, 2012

You may download a copy of the 2012 budget on this page.

Matt Cleaver Job Change

September 20, 2011

Dear Congregation,

At the church Council meeting on Sunday, I requested that my hours be reduced to quarter-time, approximately 10 hours per week, and the Council accepted the proposal.

Sunday evening I shared the news with our youth who were at Inner Mission, and now I am sharing the news with you. Please see below for my letter to the church Council and my new job description. (or click here to download)


September 18, 2011

Dear Hope Lutheran Church Council,

It is with mixed emotions that I write you this letter. I request to be reduced to quarter-time (approximately 10 hours per week) effective October 1, 2011.

My heart is heavy because of the great honor it has been to work full-time at Hope Lutheran Church for these past five years. It has been a joy to work with such an exceptional group of young people. Every year my expectations are always exceeded as our youth demonstrate high levels of maturity and spiritual growth. Mission trips, Bible studies, small groups, fellowship events, and one-on-one conversations demonstrate to me that they are growing into their call to know, follow, and serve Jesus.

It is my desire to remain employed at Hope, focusing primarily on the spiritual growth of our high school students. After consulting with Pastor Joel, we have decided that the attached job description would represent approximately one quarter of my current responsibilities.

Pastor Joel has also been an exceptional colleague in ministry. I have heard many stories from other youth ministers about their difficult relationships with their senior pastors, and know that Joel is the exception to the rule. Working under him has been all blessing and no burden. This desire to reduce my hours has nothing to do with my working relationship with Pastor Joel.

Though my heart is heavy, it is also filled with excitement at what God has in store for the future. I have decided to start my own business, which will focus on helping other small businesses grow by using my technical and strategic skills on the web. It has been a curiosity of mine to experience what it is like to live out my faith in a profession that is not full-time church ministry. I look forward to the new people I will meet and those with whom I can share the gospel as I move into a new career field.

I have great confidence that the ministry of Hope will continue to grow and flourish as a result of the Holy Spirit’s work. It has been an honor to participate as a full-time employee for the last five years. I look forward to continuing to be a part of it for years to come.

I ask you to please vote to accept the attached job description.

With Grace and Peace,

Matt Cleaver

Matt Cleaver

Part-Time Job Description

Effective October 1, 2011

  1. Primary Responsibility: To continue to nurture the spiritual growth of Hope Lutheran Church’s high school students. This position is meant to require approximately ten hours per week, including time for lesson planning.
  2. Office hours: No office hours at Hope Lutheran Church.
  3. Assigned duties:
    • Sunday School
    • Wednesday night High School
    • Inner Mission (approximately twice a month)
    • Devo nights during Summer
    • Spring Retreat to Sky Ranch
    • Co-leading, co-planning Mission Trip
    • Administration and maintenance of the HLC website
    • Setting annual youth ministry budget
    • Availability for one-on-one counseling
  4. Duties no longer assigned (Pastor Joel to assume responsibility for oversight):
    • Fellowship events, including Youth Night Out
    • Service events, including Feed My Starving Children, Food Pantry, etc.
    • Confirmation
    • Confirmation Retreat
    • Soul Emergence
    • Maundy Thursday
    • Fundraising, including pancakes breakfasts
    • Vacation Bible School
    • Summer Retreats
    • Administrative oversight of and support for Church Secretary, including:
      • Bulletin proofreading
      • Newsletter proofreading
      • Decision-making related to administrative matters
    • Email list administration
    • Any ministry development responsibilities
    • Quarterly preaching
    • Other duties not listed in Section 3

Women’s Retreat May 21

May 10, 2011

Click here to download the retreat flyer with more details.

Joy, Joy, Joy
Hope Lutheran Women’s Annual Retreat
Saturday, May 21, 2011
9:00 – 4:00
Carolee Juergen’s Home

Registration Fee:  $20.00*
Included in fee:  Inspiration, laughter, fellowship, lunch, crafts
We need to hear from you by May 18

Our guest Speaker will be Dr. Gary Schwantz, Ph. D from Texas Tech University.   Retired from education, now a full-time speaker ….who many say is not only, humorous, but inspiring as well.

……. I’ve been teaching my whole life, in one form or another.  I have the privilege of knowing it was what I was born to do.  Whether speaking or writing, I see my primary role as that of an encourager. My style is relaxed & humorous.


Savoring Life
My favorite presentation!  Some see life as an obligation, a GOT-TO, and some see life as a privilege, a GET-TO.  I contend that we can choose the GET-TO view!

One Worship Service Beginning April 3

March 29, 2011

Remember that we will go to one worship service at 10:00 AM on Sunday, April 3.

Activities for Wed, Feb 9 are Canceled

February 9, 2011

Due to the weather, all activities at church are canceled tonight, Wednesday, February 9:

  • Confirmation
  • Chimes
  • High School
  • Choir
  • Timothy Project
  • etc.

Stay warm & safe!

Activities on Wed, Feb 2 are CANCELED

February 1, 2011

Due to the weather, all activities at church are cancelled tomorrow, Wednesday, February 2:

  • Confirmation
  • Chimes
  • High School
  • Choir
  • Timothy Project
  • etc.

Stay warm & safe!

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