Could coming together
lead to a better story?
For several years, we’ve been in the process of discerning God’s will for our next long-term home. You can read about our decision to relocate HERE. After selling and moving out of our previous location in May, we began to pray about New Hope’s next step. That’s when the conversation about a church adoption began. We are pleased to announce now that after months of prayer and discernment Mt. Scott Church of God has been adopted into the New Hope Church family. You can learn more and find an overview of the adoption by clicking the link below.Adoption Overview
Who is Mt. Scott?
Mt. Scott Church of God (MTS) has faithfully served the SE Portland community for 94 years and built a legacy as a church that cares for their community and the Word of God. Located at 10603 SE Henderson Street, Portland, MTS has been an outpost of ministry and a place where hundreds of people have met Jesus, have been cared for and taught, and have sacrificed faithfully to serve the needs of their neighbors.
For the last four years, MTS has been led by an incredibly faithful pastor named Denise Douglas. Denise, her entire staff team, and a faithful elder board have demonstrated amazing commitment and faithfulness to this church body.
In 2016, MTS began asking what the Lord had for them next, and concluded that their future would include a greater focus on living outside the walls of the church and supporting next generations. Leaning into this calling would require reallocation of some of their church’s assets through the sale of a portion of the property.
2020 has forced the refining of vision for many churches. Like others, Mt. Scott’s leadership has been flexible and listened deeply to the Holy Spirit, trusting God in such a time as this. In March, shortly after COVID-19 hit, the church lost their partner with whom they had a signed Purchase Sales Agreement for a Senior Living Facility. The Building and Property team who poured months of work into this partnership took a deep breath and said, “Lord, what now?”
God began to develop a friendship between Denise and our lead pastor, John Rosensteel, leading everyone to ask, “what if we could be better together?”
Through this season, we have all grown in our love for each other, our trust and respect for each other has deepened, and our shared commitment to the cause of Christ is more urgent now than ever before. And while it may seem unconventional to the outside world, churches joining together to reach their communities is clearly an opportunity to demonstrate that the God we serve and the mission He gave us is more important than the name on the door or the positions we hold.
Where will we meet?
We will continue to meet online through at least the end of this year, though we do anticipate some in-person gathering opportunities for special events, Worship & Prayer Nights, etc. Once in-person Sunday gatherings are able to resume in 2021, we will meet at the Mt. Scott campus as one church.
The suspension of in-person Sunday gatherings does provide some unique opportunities for investment into the Mt. Scott facility and property. We’re excited to utilize funds from the sale of New Hope’s former property to address deferred maintenance, as well as to renovate some of the most-used spaces. We may continue to use portions of the building for ministry while this work is being completed.
What will we be called?
We will keep the name of New Hope Church. While Mt. Scott’s name is changing, New Hope will now be a combination of New Hope and Mt. Scott folks – one church, proclaiming one Lord, serving one Savior, Jesus.
Why do we think this is the right thing to do?
Joining together allows us to:
- Mobilize Vision – We have the ability to bring our leadership and resources together in a way that will allow us to bring more vitality and health to our community.
- Multiply Impact – Because of the resources that each church brings, we can make a more immediate, significant impact for God's Kingdom.
- Model Unity – Coming together allows us to model unity in a way not often seen in the Pacific Northwest, let alone the country.
We believe that these items together magnify Jesus. As we grow in traction together, we dream of seeing more healthy churches in nearby communities, while experiencing thriving, healthy ministry and outreach.
When we say adoption, what does that mean?
Churches can join together in several different ways, each with varying degrees of success associated, and with different pros and cons. Based upon our conversations, prayer, and discernment, we’ve chosen to pursue an adoption model.
This approach has Mt. Scott joining under the leadership of New Hope to form one church. Practically, this means Mt. Scott’s resources, assets, and staff will come under New Hope’s leadership, and our two congregations would become one under the single name of New Hope Church.
The resulting combination would create a church in the Mt. Scott neighborhood that would also serve the greater Portland area. The goal is to combine the two churches, creating a community that is stronger together than we would be apart, collectively advancing the Kingdom of God.
What happens with Mt. Scott’s existing Church of God denomination affiliation?
Affiliating with a denomination is a big decision, and because of our shared values, beliefs, and approach to ministry, we’ve decided to not make a decision on affiliation until after we’ve combined as one church. This will allow us to make a decision after thorough review, relational investment, and ministry assessment.
Who will teach at New Hope each Sunday, and what will change?
John Rosensteel will continue to serve as Lead Pastor, and will be the primary teacher on Sundays. John is part of a teaching team, and you will occasionally hear from other gifted teachers.
Sundays will feel different as we encounter the people of Mt. Scott and the new guests we anticipate will join our one church. Once in-person Sunday gatherings resume, we will work to combine volunteer teams, expand and launch new ministries to serve our community. This means new opportunities for you to serve and love your neighbors well, built upon the legacy of care and service of each church.
What about where I serve on Sunday?
Once we resume in-person Sunday gatherings, we’ll develop a plan to combine serving teams from the previous two churches. For some of you, you’ll continue serving on a newly expanded team. Others may elect to switch things up and try serving in a new area. As we continue to move forward in this next season, we may even identify new serving teams that need to exist to serve our church family and the community. As we progress through this process, we’ll be connecting ministry teams to grow in relationship, as well as learn and share as we prepare for our next season of ministry as one church!
What happens to Mt. Scott’s existing staff?
We have a commitment to Mt. Scott’s faithful staff, and will be working to determine the right roles and responsibilities for each of them long-term.
Will there be changes to the Elder Board or governance?
Shepherding, praying and caring for the body are all critical roles. The current Mt. Scott board members will all continue to perform these duties; however, not as a board of directors. New Hope’s existing governance model and Elder Board will continue to function in the same way you understand today.
What happens to Mt. Scott’s Iglesia de Dios congregation?
Iglesia de Dios will continue once we’ve transitioned to be one church. Radical hospitality includes ministering to folks in the language they are most comfortable with. We also desire to be a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural church, so we will continue to explore ways to promote unity and connection among all of those who call New Hope their church home.
What happens to Mt. Scott’s assets – the building, equipment, and land?
We are excited that Mt. Scott’s building, land, and equipment, will be used for renewed ministry for the sake of God’s kingdom. These resources are a key to serving our local community well, and will be even more so after they’ve been renovated. When Mt. Scott affirms their joining into New Hope, they will go through a legal process that will formally move their assets into the same non-profit corporation that also holds the assets of New Hope Church. They have about $100,000 of debt on their books that we will immediately pay off with the revenue from the sale of our property earlier this year.
Will our approach to issues of justice change?
Not at all. We believe it will be enhanced with greater attention and resources. Mt. Scott’s Lead Pastor, Denise Douglas, will transition her role to support these efforts alongside New Hope’s Justice Director, Emily Greco. Together, we’ll continue to find impactful ways to serve the local Mt. Scott community, navigate and grow in our understanding and pursuit of biblically-defined justice, and grow our overall outreach efforts in greater Portland and around the world.
What’s the process?
We recognize that while we have been in this process for several months now, for some of you this will be surprising. Much progress has been made and our sense of God’s leading in this direction has grown rather than diminished. We want to provide opportunities for your questions to be answered, and updates so that you can pray and prepare your hearts to respond with affirmation to what we believe God is calling us to.
We will soon host some opportunities for you to hear directly from New Hope’s leadership via online gatherings. This will be a chance to hear our vision in greater detail, as well as have some additional questions answered.
At the end of October or early November, Mt. Scott’s bylaws require a congregational vote to approve the adoption. We expect this decision to be affirmed, which will then begin a behind-the-scenes process of arranging appropriate legal documents and state filings to allow Mt. Scott to join with New Hope and eventually dissolve the non-profit corporation that historically held Mt. Scott’s assets.
What's the timeline?
We are working through a very prayerful and careful plan, but with expediency so that we can keep the focus on our mission to reach people.
- October 2020 - Vision Events for New Hope volunteers and leaders
- November 2020 - Mt. Scott congregational vote
- November - December - New Hope and Mt. Scott celebrate Advent together
- January 2021 - Mt. Scott officially joins New Hope as one church, with online services continuing.
- Summer 2021 - Renovations Complete
What are you as leaders most excited about?
We are so humbled and honored that the Lord is providing ways to protect, preserve and promote the future of ministry for both Mt. Scott and New Hope. We are thrilled to consider that there will be a revitalization of a faithful body that has served over 90 years in the Mt. Scott community. As this story unfolds, we are increasingly in awe of the way God has orchestrated our steps together.
We recognize the incredible opportunity we have to provide vibrant worship and teaching for children, students, adults and seniors, and to have hundreds of people joined together to follow Jesus and share His love. We believe that taking this step of faith fuels our ability to do this.
What do you need from me?
We need you as much now as we ever have.
- To pray for this season – pray for our church family and for this change. Pray for unity for all of us. Pray against distractions that would tempt us to wander off our mission.
- To show radical hospitality – Open your arms wide when you welcome your brothers and sisters from Mt. Scott. Go out of your way to limit awkwardness or coolness toward them. Consider where you might be called to serve once you are ready.
- To faithfully give – Keep being faithful. Grow in your generosity so that you experience all that God has for you on mission with Him. Your giving will be deployed as it always has been, with great care and thoughtfulness.
- To trust – Trust that we serve an incredible God who desires to do incredible things through you, and through us. Trust that He is using you, and us and others, to grow His Kingdom here on earth. Trust that this is an adventure that He’s planned and prepared for us – one for us to lean into and trust Him with.
Please feel free to contact us by email or by phone if you have any questions.