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 River of Hope E-Newsletter 

Greetings River of Hope-ers,

Before worship began on Sunday, I was feeling more nervous than usual. It was my first River Palooza and I was hoping things would go well, which they did. It was great to get updates from the various tables and get a sense of how God spirit is moving through this community. What a delicious meal after worship! Many thanks to all who helped make that happen. It was wonderful to watch the young people help get our new members wet and we celebrate their entrance into the River of Hope. Welcome Justin Rodeberg, Ben King & Kelly Vanderstoep and their children Eliza and Franklin, and Jane & Gerry Connell!

We recognized Sue Benson who has done an outstanding job as treasurer for six years, four years beyond her term!  Brian Tillmann and Sue Peters did a wonderful job of helping us understand next year’s budget. We attached a summary of the 2022 budget which has a projected $20,000 shortfall that went out with this same letter by email. The good news is that we have some money in the bank to cover the shortfall but not for long. The budget is also based on 3% growth in giving so I invite you to prayerfully consider what that looks like for your household.  Because of the pandemic or other circumstances some people might not be able to increase their giving much or at all. Others might be able to double their giving. An average 3% increase from everyone would get us to our 20 K shortfall, a 15% average increase would get us to a balanced budget.

Something else that we need to begin thinking about collectively is our future meeting space. This Sunday we begin the season of Advent. It is the beginning of the church year. It is a season where we wait and we hope. It is a theme we find throughout Scripture. The Israelites were hoping and waiting to be freed from the oppressive rule of an Egyptian pharaoh. Once Moses led them to freedom they hoped and searched for a promised land. Years later a remnant of that same community went into captivity in Babylon where they waited and hoped to return home. The same people have waited and hoped for the Messiah. Today we await and hope for Christ’s return and God’s presence in our world every day.

As we begin this season of awaiting Christ’s birth, we also await an answer for where River of Hope is headed as a community. Our current lease in the Event Center currently does not extend beyond December of 2022. It is important for us to take some slow, reflective time to consider where we are headed. Jerry Lindberg, John Paulsen and Scott Hansen have volunteered to think about the practical side of what is possible. I think there will be some great value in the process of listening to each other about both the value and challenges of what different spaces bring. People have already mentioned some possible buildings. Others have brought up sharing space with another church like River of Hope did in its earliest days. I invite you to contemplate and look at all possibilities.

Before I received the news that our lease ending in December 2022, I had talked with Pastor Jill at New Journey UCC about some possible worship events together. On Wednesday, December 15, we will have a joint Advent service. I invite you to come experience what it is like to be in another space singing and praying together. I also invite you to walk around the community and keep your eyes and ears open for other possibilities. Just as it might be tempting to rip into a gift under the tree before Christmas, let us be in patient in waiting, hoping, and dreaming about the gift of where we are headed by God’s grace. In January, expect to have some opportunities to gather as a community in person or by zoom to be able to share some of your thoughts and dreams about where God is leading us anew.

I look forward to discerning with you,
Pastor Hans

Pick up date and time for Poinsettias TBD.  Will be a Sunday in December after church at the event center. 

Faith Formation

What: Faith Formation Fun!
Games, story, music, crafts
Who: Toddler through 6th grade

When: First Wednesdays  
Dec 1, Jan 5, Feb 2 and May 4

Time: 5-6pm
(food at 6pm & 15-minute worship at 6:30pm)

Group Life 

We Go Out !

This is a list of items that Operation Hope Homeless Ministry would happily accept from our River of Hope Family.  We will be collecting these items throughout the month of November.
Items can be brought to church on Sundays or the Church Office.

Financial Life

As a Church community, we selflessly give of ourselves in many ways.  This Thanksgiving season we ask that you pause and reflect upon your journey. As we embark on a new year ahead, imagine what our River of Hope Community could become.  The Financial Steward Committee is seeking your thoughful consideration regarding new ways to grow.  How do we embrace our purpose and continue to visibly transform lives through Jesus Christ?

Share your ideas. Join the folding table or share your ideas with a table member. What new opportunities are ahead for our congregation? Share your thoughts on fundraising and expenses. What could our worship space look like down the road?   As we head into the holiday season, maybe consider a “Giving Tree” for family in support of a specific cause.  How can we assist with relief to the homeless in our state, in our community? Does your personal passion include engaging our youth in opportunities to explore their faith with others through camps?  Voluneteer your talents and remember River Of Hope created a designated fund, Erin’s Kids for youth services.  Consider leveraging Thrivent dollars to address a local need.  Giving Tuesday is around the corner on November 30, 2021.  Make it your day to dedicate time as a volunteer, give of yourself, consider increasing your simply giving contributions monthly, or just one time.

We are called together as a community to be disciples, working together to transform lives through God’s glory, unselfishly, no strings attached.  Thanks to each of you for supporting our vision and ministry as River of Hope.

-Sue Peters, Co-Chair Financial Stewardship Table

Ways to Give to River of Hope

  1. Give Online: This is a simple, fast, and secure way to designate your gifts using the method of your choice. Click here to Give Online right now.
  2. Set up automatic giving through Simply Giving right here.
  3. Weekly Offering given in worship.
  4. Want to participate in a book study? Participate in Giving Tuesday?  Pay for your child’s trip this summer?  Great.  Click here and choose “book study” or “summer trip.”  It’s just that easy.

We believe that all that we have is a gift from God and that God has been generous to each and every one of us with gifts beyond measure.
We give back with our whole lives.
There is enough.

Q3 Financial Report can be found here 

Here are the October totals:

  • Regular Offering = $15,293.25 (includes annual donation and checks dropped off at office)
  • Laundry Love/Children’s = $180.09
  • Auto-deposits Oct 1 – Oct 31 = $8592.75
  • Erin’s Kids = $202.75
  • Memorials = $20.00

River of Hope Staff
Hans Peterson
[email protected]
Jim Nelson – Worship & Music Curator
[email protected]

 Emily Heilman – Administrative Assistant
office[email protected]



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Our mailing address is:
P.O. Box 608
Hutchinson, MN 55350

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