Hope Weekly
September 6, 2019
Earlier this month, I spent a week in western North Carolina to celebrate a good friend's 50th birthday. While the party was a lot of fun, I really enjoyed having a week to spend with her and exploring the Great Smokies around her home out Sylva, North Carolina, west of Asheville. We went in a different direction each day - spending a day in Cherokee, a day on the Blue Ridge Parkway, a day in Asheville - but it seemed each road we took there were breathtaking views around each corner. I happily let her drive so I could soak in the wonders of the mountains without having to worry about twisting mountain roads.
As I was there, I reflected with her on how many mountain vistas or river views she drove past every day. I asked her how she managed to get anywhere without constantly stopping to take photographs (she is a pastor but also an avid nature photographer) or did she just take her views for granted. She was quick to respond that no, she did not take any of it for granted. The memory of wildfires a few ridges over (in Tennessee) a few years ago and mudslides with severe flooding over the last few weeks reminded her how quickly the views could disappear. But she also admitted that there were times in the busyness of daily life that the views which took my breath away did fade into the background at times until a perfect sunset or an elk crossing the road demanded her attention. She gave thanks for those moments that filled her with awe of the beauty of God's creation. Those moments also served as a reminder to part of our baptismal promises not only to care for others, but also to care for the world God has made.
Since I've gotten back to Toledo, I have missed those mountain views. But I have also tried to keep my eyes open for the views, even in Toledo, that had faded into the background. While the views here do not compare to the mountain vistas, the beauty of Metroparks or the Zoo or the number of farms and rivers and lakes in our area should be more than just in the background. They are something to celebrate and savor, especially with cooler weather around the corner. I encourage you to take the time to celebrate the pockets of creation around you, to take the time to see and explore things that might have faded into the background. And while we're doing that, to also find ways to care for creation and to preserve it. For that too is an act of discipleship and a part of our baptismal calling.
Disciples in Training
DIT & Toddler and Tots Registration is available HERE or at hopetoledo.net (under the Student Ministry page). Please fill out the registration by September 10th. Contact Katie with questions at kdumproff@hopetoledo.net  
If you are interested in helping decorate, volunteer as a teacher, or substitute for D.I.T. contact kdumproff@hopetoledo.net. Decorating will begin 6:00pm Sept 10th.
Rally Day September 15th
Save the date!  Rally Day will kick off our fall programming with Faith Formation opportunities for all ages.
God's Work, Our Hands September 7 & 8

Over the weekend of September 7 & 8, Hope will join ELCA congregations around the country in reaching out in service in our community. Here are a few of the projects happening:
Rock the Block, Sept 7, 9am - 2pm : Hope will again be participating in Rock the Block with Habitat for Humanity. We will be working in the Birmingham neighborhood cleaning up yards and making minor repairs. All tools/equipment will be provided. Children 10 years old and over are welcome to volunteer with a parent/guardian. To RSVP contact Rob Duffey ( rduff2@aol.com ) who is coordinating with Habitat. We will meet at 1946 Blakewell St, Toledo OH 43605.
Helping our Neighbors, Sept 7 & 8 : Over the weekend, Nita Clere is helping organize some small service projects like painting, minor yard work, or moving boxes for our members. Each project should take no more than 2 hours. Contact Nita ( NdClere@aol.com ) for details.
Cards for our College Students, Sunday morning : We will have cards to sign and postcards to color for our college students to send them prayers for the start a new semester.
Backpacks of Hope Collection: This year we will again be providing backpacks of nutritious food on the weekends for 18 children at Old Orchard Elementary. As we start the year, we need to restock our shelves. Items needed include: can of vegetables, tuna fish, soup, spaghettios, applesauce cups, and individual boxes of cereal. Thanks for helping us restart the year strong!
Confirmation Ministry at Hope is for youth in 7 th and 8 th grade. Our first class is Wednesday, September 11. If you missed the information night, but would like to be part of confirmation, contact Pastor Kristin at pastorkristin@hopetoledo.net  
Lunches with Luther
We will gather at noon Tuesday, September 17th to catch up over pizza and choose the study for the fall.