Hope Weekly
May 10, 2019
Last week I officiated at a funeral at Hope for a former member that had moved away a long, long time ago.  The family who are scattered around the country converged on Toledo and we had the funeral followed by the internment at Toledo Memorial.  Prior to the service the family wandered around the sanctuary and noted all the changes since they were last here for a funeral and the nephew shared a great story.  It seems that when he was much younger, what we know to be the big red doors weren't red.  When they were repainted red, his mother was so "offended" by the new color that she refused to enter or leave through them.  I laughed because I am confident that I would get significant complaints from many if we tried to change the color to anything other than red today.  We are such creatures of habit, aren't we?
I also laughed because in my last congregation we went through a building process and had big doors to a new narthex.  About a year after the building was completed, the finish or the stain began to peel and flake.  Our options for repair were not easy or simple and the property chairperson who had grown up in PA suggested rather than stripping the doors, re-staining and refinishing the doors, we simply sand them and paint them red.  He noted that all of the doors on churches where he grew up were red.  There was great outrage by people that leaders could even think about painting the big doors red.
The reality is that the color of the doors is really "adiaphora."  Adiaphora is a word that Martin Luther used to describe things that were neither forbidden or commanded by scripture.  In other words, they really don't matter in the bigger scheme of things.  Yet we really get hooked on what we are used to and as some have noted, "The only person who likes change is a baby with a soiled diaper."
This week as we continue "Stepping out of the Tomb" we explore how God continues to call us to cross the cultural and tradition divide to share the Good News with ever widening circles. 

Pastor Kevin JPG 
PS  Pastor Kristin and I will be away in Minneapolis Monday through Friday next week attending the Festival of Homiletics (preaching) for continuing education.  
Mother's Day Photos
In celebration of Mother's Day (May 12th), there will be a photographer available to take individual or group photos free of charge from 10:00-11:00 am that morning.
May 19: Confirmation Sunday
On May 19, our 8 th grade confirmation students will be confirming their faith through affirmation of baptism. Join us for a reception in the Family Lounge at 10:00 a.m. to celebrate with them and then in worship at 11:00 a.m. The night before, the confirmation students and their families will gather for the Confirmation Banquet. At the banquet, Owen Krupp, Sarah Lavrich, Gauthier Meric, Julia Peuhl, Chloe Roehrig and Harley Talbott  will be sharing what their faith means to them through faith proclamations. Please continue to pray for them as they mark another milestone on their faith journey!
Vacation Bible School: June 17-21  

Thank you for your interest in Vacation Bible School 2019 with Hope Lutheran and Washington Churches. At this point we have reached our limit of 120 participants. If you would like to be added to our waitlist, please email VBS director, Pastor Kristin at
or contact the office (419) 536-8383 with your contact information and the names and ages of your children. If spots become available, we will contact you.

Youth who have completed 5th grade and older as well as adults as welcome to volunteer.  You can register to volunteer here.