9 memorable moments from the sanctuary of Hope West

Hope Sanctuary

This room holds many memorable moments for me.

On Thanksgiving day, Hope Community Church will hold our first public service in our new sanctuary. Renovations to the building adjacent (aka Hope East) out current facility (aka Hope West) are nearly complete. Due to Hope’s current needs, we will operate both buildings on future Sunday mornings.

This means that Sunday, November 24th, will be our final worship services in the sanctuary of Hope West. We have worshipped in this space for ten years. It holds many special memories for me. I want to share a few. And I’d also love to hear you share a few.

HERE’S A HUMOROUS MEME LABELING SPECIAL SPOTS IN THE SANCTUARY OF HOPE WEST **WARNING: THIS IS A BIG FILE. Best viewed on computer rather than mobile device.

* Pardon our dust! Before we ever held a worship service, we renovated portions of this sanctuary. It was a small percentage of the renovation that Hope East has been. Yet it was a great time of bringing our church together.

* You’re hired! Back in August of 2004, I was announced as the Pastor of Outreach and Assimilation. Just days before this, I sat on the steps immediately behind the stage door awaiting a church vote on my hire. It passed!

* The hard stuff of church. Not all memories are special because they are full of joy and laughter. In January of 2006, we relieved a pastor of his services for impropriety. I was greatly impressed by how the elders of Hope handled this situation and led the congregation through it at a special meeting.

* Weddings. I’ve had the honor of officiating many weddings here. Each one has been special and memorable. It is a true privilege in this job to stand before God and human witnesses and declare a couple “husband and wife.”

* Babies. Jill and I had both of our boys dedicated at Hope West. They are already 10 and 8 years of age. But I can still recall standing before the church as we had them dedicated to the Lord.

Of loss. Jairus Irvin Hintz and Kaylee Hope White. Two children who remind me of the cross-filled life we live this side of eternity.

* Special services. It is a delight to worship God in this space. The architecture. The lights and candles. The cross. The band. This joy has skyrocketed during Christmas and Easter services. One Good Friday, I can remember pounding a nail into the cross. That nail held a note on which I had written personal sins. It’s a tradition that at the Christmas Eve service we sing Silent Night while we light individual candles. It is a beautiful scene.

* New staff. I’m not the only one whose employment we’ve announced from on stage. There have been many. But each September I look forward to the introduction of our Leadership Development Institute interns. They are an incredible asset to our church!

* Personal growth. I’m thankful to Steve Treichler and the people of Hope for giving me the opportunity. My faith has been stretched in exciting ways. My worship of God has expanded. My understanding of the Scripture has deepened. My preaching has developed.

It’s been such a great sanctuary! Wouldn’t you agree?

Will you share a memory or two from your life at the sanctuary of Hope West? Write it below.

Click HERE to see the different parts of the sanctuary labeled with funny identifications

Posted on by Cor in FAITH

19 Responses to 9 memorable moments from the sanctuary of Hope West

  1. Valerie Swenson

    Matt and I were married in that sanctuary almost ten years ago. Our groomsmen pretended they were going to repel off the balcony to come down the aisle. (your wife was our wedding guru!). ;)

    I spent my first Mother’s Day after losing the twins experiencing great healing in that sanctuary.

    I remember ripping up all the old carpet, and all the other renovations we had to do when we first moved into the building.

    There were a lot of great memories in that place…we miss you guys!

    • Cor

      Thank you for sharing, Valerie. Even though you’ve been away for several years, it’s really fun to hear.

  2. Emily

    I love this! I was just thinking that in the excitement of moving into the new building, I almost forgot about the fact that we’d be “leaving” the old one.

    I don’t know how to think of only one or two memories. I affectionately call Hope West “The House That Built Me” – I became a true follower of Christ through the teaching and community I was introduced to at Hope. Here’s my best to narrow down the most impactful memories in the sanctuary at Hope West:

    -Mark Hintz’s sermon around Christmas/New Years about grief and suffering.

    -Having a friend put her arm around me while I sobbed during worship at the very deepest and darkest time of my life.

    -My (now) husband pseudo asking me out on a date for the first time.

    -The “I sit here enough so as to get upset when my spot gets taken” section — when I was new to Hope, people in our new small group would sit in that section so we knew where each other was and we would all have someone to sit with. We would then move to the “After the service, I turn around, kneel on the pew, and talk to people” section to discuss where we were going to have lunch – it was these experiences that first taught me what it meant to live in community!

    • Cor

      I love these memories. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Erica

    -The first time I came to Hope West, I walked into the sanctuary and it immediately felt like home.

    -Priming/painting the back stairwells! First experience being part of the free college labor force, and it was great

    -My (then) fiancé and I walking up front after service to ask Steve if he would marry us. Oh, and then getting married. It’s still a toss-up as to which one was more nerve wracking

    -The Good Friday services, but particularly the one with the stations, as it highlighted what Jesus faced on the cross in a way that I still remember vividly.

    • Cor

      Thanks, Erica.

      Pastor Steve is scary. I agree.

  4. Hiland Overgaard

    Wow, the end of an era! My personal favorite memories (from the years I was there):
    – Sonya’s and my wedding, back in 2007
    – LDI ’04-’05; it’s really more like a whole year instead of a memory
    – Helping renovate the sanctuary of Hope West. I was in charge of sorting the dumpster. Steve was convinced I had every piece of trash in alphabetical order.
    – Chris Anderson’s baptism — going under in a full suit and tie.
    – Moving into the sanctuary there. We had all prayed for a new building, which we thought would cost well over $1M (Hope was about 200 people back then, and had a miniscule budget; this was nigh impossible). It was amazing worshiping God inside of a miraculous answer to prayer.

    • Cor

      You were part of the first crew of LDI when I became a pastor. What a solid group you had!

      Chris Anderson! I totally forgot. That was SO awesome. Then he went back and sat down in the service. Hilarious.

  5. Joey

    I love this post! I’m definitely a few of the people in that picture.

    My top 2 memories:

    1. Our first service at Hope, hearing Steve preach about grief just days after the Hintzes (who we didn’t know) lost Jairus.

    2. Three months later, hearing you (Cor) preach our own daughter Kaylee’s memorial service, with the Hintzes (now friends) and many, many other new faces there to support us.

    There are so many other really good memories beyond these 2 bittersweet memories. I’ve often said that the first time we walked in I turned to Jamie and said, “We’re home.” I think that feeling came from more than just the building though.

  6. Ann Taylor McNiece

    My baptism Feb. 22, 2004.

    Watching all the pregnant women vie for a spot in front of the fans on Sundays before air conditioning.

    Watching the Ohmans and their daughters all take communion together and missing my family.

    Crying every time we sang “I lift my eyes up” because there are no mountains in MN.

    During my LDI year, Cor and Michael Devereaux chasing rats out of the basement and through the sanctuary, and landing a bucket on top of the neck of one so just the head was sticking out. Eewww.

    Learning all the Trike-isms that we still use 7+ years after moving away: Matt still wants a shiny dime for naming our next son Theophilus. I hope we have a girl next.

  7. Steven Douglas

    I always thought the building felt like an odd mishmash, but it just added to the quirkiness that is Hope. And, yes, it feels like home. We dedicated both Abigail and Asher at Hope West and have enjoyed sermons from the drafty east part of the main level, the sluggish heat of the west part of the balcony, and the seclusion of the “garden level.” Growth has been a great problem to have, though, and I am looking forward to the new adventure of Hope East.

  8. Eden

    TOO good. Love this.

  9. Danielle

    Oh, man…so many! To start, getting the building at a time when we were trying to figure out how to deal with lack of space and having 3 morning services. (8am was too early!)

    Helping paint and do construction before I left for a summer in California to be able to move in to the building in the fall.

    All the many things God has shown me and taught me over the years. All the support that God has provided through Steve and other leadership and friends.

    Walking over to Hope West when the building was my sanctuary after tough daily visits with my dad at HCMC after his aneurysm years ago. (Survived and is doing well.)

    Moving to the basement in “overflow” where it started to feel like old school Hope because I recognized everyone. :)

    I am so excited to move into Hope East, but it is bittersweet…I absolutely love Hope West and it holds so many memories, but I am excited to see what God has in store for us!!

  10. Nicole

    Coming to Christ in the second pew in the middle section in March 2011. Being baptized a month later. Sitting in the front row at first service for almost two years and getting to know some of the staff just by sitting up front.

    It only hit me today that we won’t be worshipping in this sanctuary. I knew we were having service at Hope East but it didn’t click until today that it means it’s not at Hope West. But here’s to new things!

  11. Sean McVenes

    This post definitely got me thinking – and there are many memories in that place that I am very thankful for…

    Watching my bride come down the stairs on August 24th, 2013!

    For Christmas last year I remember my family (they don’t live in the Cities and don’t go to Hope) surprising me by saying we were going to go to Hope the Sunday before Christmas. Then Steve preached on “Why I Hate Christmas” and talked about how messed up some families are….then he proceeded to say “Some of you might be here with your families today” and looked right at me…awkward.
    Also on that day Tim and the band played “The Season’s Upon Us” by Dropkick Murphys and KILLED it. It was awesome!

    I don’t think I’ll ever forget Steve screaming “Do not make peace with the freakin’ rhino!!!”. I loved that sermon.

    December 2009. I was baptized that day along with three of my best friends (Ryan Larson, Paul Evans, and Jon Neal). I think it was the first time Hope did the singing/baptism/communion simultaneously. It was a very powerful service.

  12. Kari

    SO many memories in the space.

    -Meeting some of my very best friends in that sanctuary who started to teach me how to accept and give love and grace.

    -Meeting Naty at the back of the sanctuary, crying, telling her I didn’t know how to be a Christian after bowing my knee to Christ just months earlier.

    -Meeting my first mentor (and now a favorite Gospel friend) there.

    -LDI 2011-2012. Take chairs up and down the back stairs for what started the “overflow”

    -Filming the 2012 Film Fest commercials.

    -Worshiping Jesus, cheering for baptisms, interceding for friends, taking communion, really learning what it looks like to live in Gospel and Community began in that space for me.

    Praise you Jesus for your vision-past, present, and future-for Hope. I love being on this incredible journey.

  13. Meg

    In the 9 years I’ve gotten to be a part of Hope its hard to put into words what the Church there has meant to me, to us. How the building has been such a huge part of our life, such a source of joy, sorrow and healing. How, as so many of you have said, its been home.
    In the forefront for me with regard to Hope West:
    * The day a pastor had to be relieved of service to the church we were still just visiting regularly, but when Naty read the letter to the congregation and we saw how Biblical discipline functioned at Hope, Mark turned to me and said, “we’re home, we’re not leaving.”
    * The year a huge blizzard meant Spring Retreat was at Hope instead of up at Trout Lake, and it was awesome. Until everyone got food poisoning.
    * Witnessing so many beautiful baptisms during communion worship, people being carried into the tub, hearing the testimonies of what Our God has done, the joy of going “all in”
    * Our son Jairus’s memorial service, how the people of Hope responded to him and to us is something we can never fully express gratitude for. His tiny casket on the communion table during his funeral has meant that every communion Sunday since has been a beautiful and stark reminder for me to “proclaim Jesus’ death and resurrection until His return”, to cling to the Gospel where our hope lies, a reminder of the support we were given and love we were shown. The love we have felt from our Hope family in this loss, as again shown here by you and others remembering our little baby has been an incredible testimony to us and to many in our lives outside the church. The Body of Christ loved on us in our darkness in the building of Hope West. And helped us cling to the Light that is strong enough to overcome that darkness.
    Thank you for being a part of that goodness.

  14. Angela

    Some of my favorite memories include:
    – The first service I went to in May 2012 was about giving, and I remember Steve saying he didn’t think the tithe was a New Testament requirement. The way he turned giving into a Gospel thing, as opposed to a Law thing, made me want to come back. The Gospel was preached that Sunday, and it has been every Sunday since.
    – September 8, 2013: doing hospitality when 800 people showed up for church and wondering if the building was going to collapse and/or if I should start sending people to another church
    – Filming Les Hoperables in the balcony with my small group. Cor, you nailed the location in your seating diagram.

  15. Dana Cuni

    I remember Hope’s 7th birthday. It was the first day I had walked into Hope Community Church and it was the day I realized I needed to recommit my life back to Jesus. Ten great years ago.

    I also remember the day that Steve announced a new Pastor named Cor. :-)

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