COVID-19 Response

June 8, 2020

Hope family,

Last Sunday we had our first in-person meeting at Hope! What a glorious day! It was so good to see many of you! Your flexibility and support during this trying season is such a gift. The spirit of unity has been amazing, and we praise God for it!

With each passing day, we learn more about how to provide a safe environment for those attending Hope, as well as ways to improve our technology for the best live stream experience possible. We will continue to make the changes we believe God is directing us to implement while ministering in person and online.

Your choice to remain at home until you feel comfortable returning is one we fully support and rally behind. While fear does not lead or master us, we know there are unique situations within our body that the online experience is best for at this time. However, we certainly long for the day our entire church family is back in the building! We truly do miss you and firmly believe that community is best experienced in person.

With all this in mind, we have decided - until further notice - Hope will have one service every Sunday at 10 a.m. This change will continue as long as we feel it is the right fit for Hope and anticipate it lasting through the summer. In the fall, we will go back to our 9 and 11 a.m. service times.

There are many reasons for this change, but the primary ones are to help us be consistent in our message, work within the confines of limited volunteers, and maximize the impact for those who are ready to come back and see their church family.

With any change, our hearts are often stretched and challenged in new ways. One such change was shared this weekend concerning Heather Shaw, who has stepped down as the Worship Director at Hope. Heather has expressed a desire to pursue some God dreams in other areas of ministry that have been on her heart for a while now. We thank Heather for her faithful service in the past and fully support her in this new endeavor as we look forward to seeing her continue to enhance the ministry at Hope. We are also grateful that Jenny Wheeler, who you’ve seen lead with Heather and the worship team over the past few years, has stepped into the position. The heart of unity and desire to see God do what He wants in each life has never been more evident than in this transition with our worship team.

Though this season has brought change and challenge, I believe we are stepping into an even greater revelation of the church rising up and being all God has designed us to be. We are excited about what is God is doing! There are so many stories and things that are happening through each of you – and we love being a part!

As we continue to grow with and follow the Lord, know that we are here to serve you. One upcoming way to do that is through our new Groups that will be launching very soon! Be looking for that information coming to your inbox this week.

We pray your week is blessed, filled with hope and led by peace. If you have any questions or would just like to talk, please feel free to contact me at 704-584-9073 or email by clicking here.

Pastor Mike

June 3, 2020

May 30, 2020

Hope Family,

Our priority this season has been centered on honoring God, listening to what the professionals recommend concerning safety, and to love each of you well! For the past several weeks, we have been considering guidelines and best practices for gathering. After a significant amount of prayer and preparation, we believe that time has come.

Hope will resume in-person services on June 7 at a reduced capacity. To make that possible, our weekend experiences have been restructured to create a sanitary, touchless environment with physical distancing intended to ensure overall safety. It is important that anyone who attends agrees to adhere to the guidelines we have put in place which are listed below.

Services will be offered at our normal 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. timeframes, with each lasting one hour. We will also continue to offer online services for anyone who cannot attend.

We need you to register ahead of time to help us plan. If you are unable to register, we will do our best to accommodate; however, please keep in mind our capacity is reduced. Registration will remain open until we reach our set capacity; however, we encourage you to register now! Registration ensures you will have a seat!

We take seriously your well-being and we will go above and beyond what is expected to create a safe environment for all who attend. Due to this, please read and agree to all of the following criteria if you plan to join us:

Hope Kids for Toddlers Only. (Nursery available but not staffed) We will provide childcare for ages 18 months to 3 years. If you have children who do not fall into this category, they are welcome to sit with you during the service. See “Toddler Plan” below.

The following are guidelines Hope will be following for our in-person services.
1. Registration is highly recommended.
2. We will limit our capacity to a number we feel follows all safety and social distancing guidelines to our best ability.
3. Masks are required for anyone age 4 and up.
4. If you do not have a mask, we will provide one for you.
5. No hugging or shaking hands. Air high-fives, smiling eyes, and kind words are welcome!
6. No coffee will be served. Water fountains are not in operation so bring your own water if needed.
7. The building will be cleaned and sanitized between each service using CDC guidelines.
8. No Hope Kids except for our Toddlers. (Please see below for details and description.)
9. Nursery will be available for nursing moms only. No attendant will be on site.
10. Weather permitting, our patio may be used for extra seating.
11. You can register now by clicking here.

Toddler Plan
1. Each room will be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized using CDC approved disinfectants before, during and after each service.
2. All leaders will wear masks as well as have their temperature checked before serving.
3. When children first arrive, leaders will step back a safe distance to remove their mask and greet the child so that kids can see who the teacher is. Then, the teacher will put the mask back on in full sight of the child.
4. We will print out picture lanyards with teachers' faces for them to wear during class so that kids have a reminder of who they are with.

If you don’t feel well or have health concerns, please stay home and join us online. Given our current situation, if you have had a cough, have been around anyone sick, or have had a fever, please refrain from joining us in person until you are better.

We are in uncharted territory and rely on God to not only keep us safe but give us wisdom in our decisions. Our goal is to do our absolute best for our community and to honor God in our actions.

We serve the God of hope, our source and provider. He is our protector, and He is with us, offering sufficient grace and strength for whatever we face.

It’s our joy to begin meeting together again, but if for any reason you prefer to stay home, due to health conditions or concerns, we support that choice. Thank you for continuing to pray for us as we seek to follow the Lord’s leading.

It is not a matter of faith or loyalty to Hope whether you attend service in person or not. We love and value each of you and trust that you will make the best decision for you and your family.

Pastor Mike

May 18, 2020

Hope Family,

Recently, Governor Cooper eased some of the stay-at-home restrictions in North Carolina, allowing certain businesses to reopen. State and county officials also outlined plans for further openings, including public health milestones related to community incidence rates of COVID-19, as well as broad availability of testing and tracing measures.

There are four major points we’re considering as we continue to evaluate when to reopen Hope.

Public health. We care deeply about human life because we agree with Jesus that every person has infinite worth and is created in the image of God. We are having ongoing conversations with medical professionals and government officials to understand best practices for large-group gatherings in the midst of a pandemic.

Theology. As of the writing of this letter, the State of North Carolina continues to order the closure of what has been deemed as non-essential large-group gatherings at churches, dine-in restaurants, bars, nightclubs, movie theaters, gyms, and sports venues. It is our best understanding of the New Testament Scriptures that we are repeatedly instructed to submit ourselves to our governing authorities unless they order us to do something that violates our faith. Given that churches are not being singled out for closure, we do not feel that our governing officials have asked us in any way to violate our faith in Jesus. To honor the teachings of Jesus and Scripture, we believe we should continue to submit ourselves to the orders of the State of North Carolina. Please reference the following Scripture passages: Matthew 22:21; Romans 13:1-7; 1 Peter 2:11-17; Titus 3:1-2.

Witness to Outsiders. It is our primary mission as a church to help others enter into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ. Since Hope began, our heartbeat has been to exist primarily for people who are not here yet, and that we derive that missional heartbeat directly from the instructions of Jesus (Matthew 28:16-20). Even people who have historically wanted nothing to do with “the church” are looking at us right now, and we want our decision-making process to be thoughtful and prayerful enough that even outsiders are compelled to consider the Jesus we follow. We hope our choice to move through reopening at a thoughtful pace will be a reflection to the outside world of our faith in Jesus.

Experience. We truly miss physically gathering together - the conversations, the hugs, the laughs, the community we call Hope. We miss seeing our kids learning about Jesus together. Even though there are many things we miss, most importantly, we miss us!  We are trying to figure out how we can get back to our experience together and maintain guidelines that keep everyone safe.

For all of these reasons, based on what we know right now, Hope remains a virtual gathering each Sunday. We do not anticipate returning for worship gatherings until we can ensure a safe and positive experience for our staff, volunteers and attendees.  Every day we are evaluating changing circumstances, relevant information and best practices in order to ready ourselves for future gatherings.

Hope Church is more than a building or a campus and will continue to remain “open to serve” while our physical campus remains closed for large gatherings. Hope remains open because our pastors, staff, and volunteers continue to fulfill the mission of being the church!

On Sundays, we share God’s word. Small groups are being planned for an online (June) kickoff, and Hope Kids programming is being shared online with our families. Every single one of our ministry teams is learning and growing through this time, eagerly considering new strategies that will allow us to best serve our congregation and community through this season and beyond.

In addition, we are thankful. So many of you - our members and regular attenders - have continued to give generously and even sacrificially through this unprecedented time. Not only have you supported our ongoing ministries, but you’ve also gone above and beyond to contribute to our benevolence fund. Your generosity has already allowed us to bless families in our community who are facing hardships due to lost jobs.

Now, maybe more than ever, we have opportunities to demonstrate the love of Jesus in serving, praying and being Jesus to our community.

Thank you for your continued prayers and encouragement. Further announcements concerning our future will be shared as we are able. Our goal in the next two weeks is to provide a detailed plan that will outline the safeguards we are implementing to carry us into this new season. As always, feel free to contact me with questions or concerns at my email or 704-584-9073.

Pastor Mike

March 21, 2020

Hope Family,

We are in unprecedented times, which requires the church to respond in unprecedented ways.

In order to protect our people and love our community, we have made some changes to how we do our weekly experiences. As of now all services at Hope are online. We truly do miss gathering together in one location; however, the church is not the building. We are the church! This last Thursday we served over 80 cars who were full of people in need. The ministries of Hope have not stepped back or diminished. In fact, they are bigger and we are mobilizing in an effort to impact our community like never before.

With all that said, we want you to know we miss you and stand ready to serve and love you. We truly are BETTER TOGETHER, and even though we can’t physically be in the same space for the time being, this “too shall pass.” In the meantime, know we are praying for you and that you are not alone!

We have been working hard behind the scenes to make your online experience easily accessible, with tools and resources to encourage your family. Please gather with us online at hopecharlotte.com/live at 9 AM. If you can’t join at 9 am, the message will be available on our website shortly after we end the live stream here.

Please follow us on social media as it is the easiest way to communicate updates quickly and effectively. Click Facebook or Twitter to get the most recent information as well as the new section on our website here.

For families with Kids we have an entire resource section designated to help you actively participate in ministering to your children. Please follow the website link and go to the Hope Kids Lessons and Resources Page.

In addition to the above resources here are a few other items of interest and help. You can submit prayer requests to us directly through our website. Click here to submit your prayer request. We also would like to provide an incredible resource to you and your family called Right Now Media. Right Now Media is a video driven resource with something for everyone. Their mission is to work with the global church to inspire people to love others before self and Christ above all. Your personal link to these resources is https://www.rightnowmedia.org/Account/Invite/CharlottesHope.

This is the time for the church to rise greater than the chaos around us! We encourage you to remain faithful in pursuing the Lord. Dedicate time throughout your day to pray, read the Word and meditate on the things of the Lord. We also need you to remain faithful in your giving through tithes and offerings. The needs of the church are the mission of the church and in this season, they are increasing. Our heart is to meet every need God directs us to.

You can read more about giving online and other ways of supporting Hope by clicking here. Your generosity makes a difference as we continue to impact our community and the world through our obedience and sacrifice!

Just as we are in these unprecedented times we have an unprecedented God who is going to show up and do awesome things as a result.

We are standing with you!
Pastor Mike and Hope Team

March 18, 2020

Hope Church Family,

We know God is not at all surprised by what is happening right now, and we believe He has a plan to use His church in powerful ways. Psalm 46:1 says, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” Hope Church stands on this promise!

Unfortunately, with ongoing health concerns due to COVID-19, the leadership team at Hope Church has decided to NOT hold public services or group gatherings. In alignment with the CDC, the state of North Carolina, and National guidelines, one of the best ways we can support our National and State efforts is to move our services and group gatherings ONLINE. We have a responsibility to do what is prudent and in the best interest of everyone.

While we are saddened we cannot gather in one space, we believe in being proactive and in leading the way in our community. By remaining steady and responding to this situation with a calm confidence, our focus will be on ministering to people in our own church and to all those around us. We will continue to monitor the situation week by week and keep you well informed until our in-person services resume. Feel free to follow us on Facebook, Twitter or continue to check-in by visiting us online at www.hopecharlotte.com.

Everyone is invited and encouraged to stayed connected. How we do that is a bit different now but more important than ever. Hope Church, let’s not forget that the church is not a building or an event but a body of believers. We are a family and each one of us makes up the church. So as the church, we now have an opportunity to gather together online each weekend to get updates, engage in the message, respond in worship and commit to opportunities to give to our community!

In times like this, we are called to step up and help. Please consider partnering with us financially in order for us to have the maximum impact, while also continuing to do church online. You can give online by clicking here.

At 9 am this Sunday, the message will be live streamed at https://hopecharlotte.com/live. If you can’t join us for our 9 am live service, the message will be posted on our website at https://hopecharlotte.com/messages/.

Our website is also full of information regarding COVID-19, and we’ve included resources for your family. Please check back regularly as we will update the site as often as required.

The Hope Team remains available to you via email or phone and we will continue serving the needs of our community, together.


Better Together,

Pastor Mike and Hope Team