Dear New Hope Family and Friends,
In light of the tragic events that took place at the Clackamas Town Center yesterday, as a community of faith we collectively pause and pray for all who have been impacted. For the families who have lost loved ones, we pray that the presence of the Lord will comfort you. For those in our church family who either worked at/for the Clackamas Town Center, were first responders (Law Enforcement, Fire, Medical), or who were present during the shooting, our hearts are filled with concern and appreciation for your service and safety. For the thousands of New Hopers whose lives intersect with the Clackamas Town Center on a daily/weekly basis, it will take time to fully process the myriad of ways that the events of December 11th will impact us personally and how God could possibly redeem it for His good.
New Hope’s Response:
New Hope pastors have been and will remain available to meet with and pray with anyone in our community who has been impacted by the yesterday’s events. Due to our proximity to the Town Center, New Hope’s facility has been made available for First Responder Agencies. Praying For Our Community signs have been generously donated by D&E Promotions NW as a message of hope from us to the thousands who drive by our campus daily. As a church, we are currently discerning how to best support CTC General Manager Dennis Curtis and the office of Sheriff Craig Roberts. If you feel so led to give financially to our future outreach efforts, you can do so through New Hope’s Helping Hands Fund.
On Sunday, I will share a Biblical perspective on how we can experience the love and peace of Christmas in the midst of fear and chaos. As was mentioned in Pastor Kurt’s message last Sunday, JOY is Recognizing that God is at Work (especially now). Fear is a natural human response to an event like we have all experienced; with that in mind, we have provided a document that addresses a few of the faith questions that have been asked and are currently being discussed in small groups and support groups within our community.
Watching the TV coverage last night, I was reminded of how close New Hope’s building is to the Clackamas Town Center. We are literally next door neighbors. From the parking lot where 10,000 people were evacuated I wonder how many looked up and saw New Hope’s illuminated cross or star-adorned Christmas tree? Would they know what these symbols meant at the intersection of their Story with God’s Story? Friends, we cannot wait for the hurting and broken to see the star or see the cross and come to us. We must go to them and Be the Church, BE the Light in this Dark world, BE agents of Hope, Joy, Love and Peace this Christmas. My prayer for you is that the Lord would present you with Divine appointments, conversations and opportunities to be His storytellers, His messengers of the greatest story ever told that “because a child was born,” everything changed.