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And I said, 'Whoa. . . what are
we doing here?!' I went home so
upset that I couldn't sleep all night.
Wayne Campbell, Church Member
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  CHURCH (click link for church website)  
  Hope Lutheran Church  
  LOCATION (click link for demographic summary)  
  Tacoma, WA 98409  
  CONGREGATION SIZE  
  151-250  
  REGIONAL BODY (click link for website)  
  Southwestern Washington Synod
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
 
  FEATURED RESOURCE (click link to learn more)  
  ReVision w/ Context  
  FULL STORY (click link to read more)  
  Two Scots on a Rock  
  MINISTRY SUMMARY
 
Vision for ministry "owned"
by congregation
 
Interim Pastor committed
to change
 
Lay leader transformed from blocking behavior
 
Leadership inspired by Community Church of Joy conference to be "church for others"
 
Demographics inform planning and confront with community needs
 
Outreach ministries target primary concerns of community
 
 
     
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l Two Scots on a Rock
Click here to read the Full Story
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An urban neighborhood's biggest fear is for its' safety, while a church in that same neighborhood is concerned that they've become invisible. Now they're discovering each other—and how they both can work together to reclaim the neighborhood.
When Anna's* parents enrolled their daughter in Hope Lutheran's new reading program they weren't thinking of it as a drug or crime-prevention program. They just wanted her to be the best reader she could be. Yet statistics show that Tacoma—including Anna's neighborhood—has one of the highest crime rates in the nation. It was so bad that years ago, many members of Hope Lutheran moved out of the neighborhood to escape both falling real estate values and from becoming victims of rising drug-related crime. Whatever problems beset this community, in many of the member's minds it was now someone else's problem.
But it's hard to ignore a statistic that comes home to roost. Especially when your church home is in a neighborhood where the grade school reading level is below average—as a result the odds are raised that some of those children will one day end up in prison. It's not a spurious connection. Consider this: When the state of Washington begins to project the need for prison space over X amount of years they do so by looking at one statistic—the present reading level of 3rd graders. In other words, the greater the problems that third graders have in reading, the more apt they are to end up in prison.
Hope Lutheran and their interim pastor, Stewart McDonald, would have never known about that statistic were it not for two factors. First, a good percentage of the church went through Percept's ReVision process. That, in turn, helped to open their eyes to what was really going on within the area surrounding their church. Second, the president of the congregation had what McDonald termed a "providential" meeting with a key player in the community.
"Right after we had completed ReVision, the president of our congregation, Bill Rose, went to a dinner where, seated next to him was a woman who worked for the Tacoma Urban League," says Stewart McDonald. "Her name was Harriet Williams. And because ReVision was fresh in the president's mind, he started talking to Harriet about what it had done for the church in terms of opening their eyes to the real needs of the community. Harriet, who also happened to be a devoted Christian, responded to his story with an enthusiastic, 'Boy! I think I can help!' Within a few months, the church leadership had a meeting with Harriet and, as a result, we have started two new ministries!" . . .THERE'S MORE!
* Name was changed to protect identity
Read the full story! — Besides the reading ministry, there are several other exciting outreach ministries that Hope Lutheran has developed.
A big surprise was that one of the church's most resistant members has become one of its most engaged! Find out more about what two Scots hath wrought. . .
-Jenni Keast
©  COPYRIGHT 2008 PERCEPT GROUP, INC.
GO TO THE STORY ARCHIVE
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