Hope was an idea that came from the original 11 core members of the church and their families, which has now grown to include over a hundred people in the Lake Stevens community and beyond. The state mission of Hope is “We believe a relationship with Jesus can change your life.” That’s what drove this group to begin this adventure. Along with this central mission, though, that group pondered the question, “Does Lake Stevens really need another church?”
“Lake Stevens had a number of great churches, doing a lot of great things,” said Pastor Bill Walles, the lead pastor at Hope. “We didn’t want to copy what other churches were already doing, especially since they were all doing it pretty well. If we were going to start a new church it needed to reach different people, and make a different, positive impact in our community.”
Hope has been able to work with others in making that community impact. One of their first events was a big soup bowl on “Souper Bowl” Sunday with hundreds of dollars raised for the Lake Stevens Food Bank. They’ve also been able to partner with Lake Stevens Middle School and the Li’l Hungry Hearts program to help support some of the families in the community facing financial challenges in their daily life.
Most recently, over 30 members of Hope helped with a beautification project for LSMS.
“It was really our pleasure to give back to the school, as they’ve been such gracious hosts for us this past year,” said Walles. “This is our home, too, and we are so blessed to be able to use it.”
Now, after one full year, the growing community at Hope is able to look with great excitement at what lies ahead for the church.
“It hasn’t always been easy, but we really believe we’re accomplishing our goal of creating a new church that is reaching new people in our community,” said Walles. “We’re excited to see lives change as people come to know Jesus. We’re so excited to be working side by side with the other great churches in this community now too. We’re all on the same team and all working towards the same goal!”
In 2013, Hope will bring back its very well-received Sports Camp during the summer, as well as continue to grow and expand their Youth and Family ministries. But, more than anything, everyone at Hope is excited for the community to get to know a little more about this one-year old church.
“We close our service every week with the same words, ‘Don’t go to church. Be the Church!’” said Walles. “For us, this gets to the heart of what we think Lake Stevens needed. A group of people who wanted to be what a church is supposed to be, instead of a club for those already in the know. We can’t wait for more people to ‘be the Church’ along with us.”
Hope Covenant, which is led by Pastor Bill Walles, meets at Lake Stevens Middle School every week at 10 a.m. If you have any questions or comments, Pastor Walles can be reached at Bill@hopelakestevens.org.