We are less than one week away from our big kick-off service. I cannot express how excited I am for this day.
I don’t know who you (the reader) are. You could be someone who attended our first vision dinner back in February! You could be someone from another Hope Church location living in Brooklyn and wanting to help launch the first "Hope" in Brooklyn. You could be someone who discovered our community through the Brooklyn Tables Summer series. Or someone thinking about coming to our kick-off service next Sunday. Or you may have just stumbled across one of our ads and are wondering who is this church?
Whoever you are, I want to take a few moments and either remind you or tell you for the first time who we are as Hope Brooklyn, so you know precisely what you’re walking into when you show up next Sunday, October 30th.
1. We are a community that eats together. It’s the first line of our mission statement and absolutely central to our identity. We believe that something transformative happens when people feel safe and valued enough to come together at the same table week after week. So expect to eat brunch together after service.
2. We are a community for all of Brooklyn. If the first century church is our paradigm, then we must be a community comprised of groups who have no business being in relationship if Jesus were not who he says he is. Brooklyn is divided. And it would be much easier to be a church of only one cultural group with people who think like us, look like us, talk look us, value what we value, on and on. But that’s not what Jesus was after. So relationships will take time. Conversations might be awkward at first. But it’s what we’re about. So expect to be sitting beside someone who in many ways is different from you.
3. We are a community that comes face-to-face. Aka, we have no time for pretense. That is not to say we are always open books. But it is to say we are a community that expects authenticity. If you doubt Jesus, doubt openly. If you believe Jesus, speak humbly. If you don’t like Jesus, don’t know who he is, are scared about something, hurt about something, angry or joyful or some blend of all of these, be fully that. If the cross of Jesus means anything, it means the church can handle the full weight of who you are—your brokenness, your anger, your joy and everything in between. Our worship, our teaching, our brunch time are all places for our full faces. So expect for things to be real and raw.
4. We’re a community that tells stories. We especially are compelled by the story of Jesus. You might not be compelled by it. And we expect your voice and questions (cf pt 3). But it’s a story that has compelled us so much we felt it necessary to start a gathering focused on discussing it. So expect to talk a lot about the story of God’s promises to humankind through the people of Israel and the life of Jesus.
5. We’re a community that kisses scars. It’s kind of the culmination of the first four. But there’s pain in the world. Pain that we’ve caused and pain inflicted on us. None of us are exempt. The gospel is not that we have no scars, but that Jesus came to kiss them and heal them. So expect to not be shamed for all the ways your life is broken, but to find friends who want to sit with you on those dark nights kiss those places in your life that you thought unkissable. And only because Jesus already does the same for us.
This is not the totality of who we are. But I think it’s a good and honest start so you know a bit of what to expect when you show up to Hope Brooklyn.
Next Sunday, 10.30.16. @ PS 261 (314 Pacific St, Brooklyn)
10:30a + Coffee // 11a + Service // 12:15p + Brunch
We hope we get the chance to eat with you.
There’s room at the table.