PASTOR PULS’ MESSAGE...HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!
What a great day that must have been, twenty years ago! Hope's first-ever worship service was held in December 1996, and I'm told that a joyful, exciting spirit filled the Stone Chapel on Wake Forest's Main Street. Like most of you who are reading this, I was not present that day. I am deeply thankful, though, for Pastor Preston Wagner and for every single person who was singing, praying, and worshiping, Lutheran-style, in the brand-new congregation that day.
Did any of them know, twenty years ago, what their little mission church would become? Could any of them have guessed just how many people, like you and me, would have their lives changed and blessed as a result of the steps of faith taken by those folks who started a Lutheran church in Wake Forest?
Whether you were present that day or not, here's the chief and primary thing that we can all celebrate at Hope's twentieth anniversary. God was present at that first-ever worship service! The Lord was working in that little Stone Chapel that day, and he has been working in our church every single day since. Our congregation has grown and grown, and our ministry has been flourishing for twenty years -- and all the glory goes to God! His hand of blessing and his powerful Spirit have done wonderful, amazing things at Hope Lutheran Church.
We are truly and richly blessed, as a twenty-year old congregation. We look back with thanks, and we look forward with joy! None of us know precisely what's next for Hope, and exactly what the next twenty years will bring. But we do know that God is here with us today: active, constantly at work, providing ministry opportunities, sharing his gifts generously, and shepherding his people. So even as we celebrate twenty years of Hope Lutheran Church with grateful thanks, we carry on as God's servants with expectant joy! Happy Anniversary!
Pastor Wayne Puls