Tag Archives: hope

We’re Launching A New Church in Midtown Manhattan

Hope Midtown Launches October 2014

I’m really excited to announce that Hope Church NYC will be planting our third church in Midtown Manhattan in October 2014.

It’s hard to believe that in September 2012, we launched this church not knowing what to expect, especially with the challenges of starting anything new in a city like New York.

We hoped to become a movement of diverse, small/medium sized neighborhood churches where God could move throughout faith communities, and 20 months later, we’ve been able to start two growing churches (Hope Church Astoria & Hope Church Roosevelt Island) in remarkably diverse contexts.

Of course, we’ve had our challenges too, but in many ways those challenges have allowed us to press deeper into trusting that God is doing the work, while we’re along for the ride.

For the past year and a half we’ve had a group of folks journeying together in Manhattan, and this crew is now preparing to help us launch this church in the Fall.

I will be leading this new venture along with James Chi (you’ll hear more about James soon) and a host of awesome people that comprise our Midtown Community.

In addition, Craig Okpala will be overseeing the worship experience in Midtown while still being significantly engaged in Astoria.

I will also remain significantly engaged in Astoria (I’ll still be attending and preaching at Hope Astoria regularly, for the most part) as Hope Midtown will gather in the evening.

One of the clearest ways this has all been possible has been because of the standout leadership of people like Kristian Hernandez (Hope Astoria & Preaching Team Lead – Kris will be a regular preacher in Midtown), Dan & Amanda Sadlier (Hope Roosevelt Island), and our Transitional Leadership Team (Darryl Romano, Christine Okpala, & Tony Thottukadavil), and a stellar staff team at our churches.

They, along with so many of our leaders, volunteers, and attenders – have been a joy to serve alongside.

And, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that my wife Tina is as supportive of this as she’s ever been.

I’m excited about all that God is doing in NYC, and I’m so glad to be along for the ride.

Hope Midtown has begun meeting weekly on Friday Nights in Manhattan as we prepare to launch in October, 2014.  If you’d like to find out more or if you’d like to get involved, you can email me at drew@hopechurchnyc.org.    

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A Powerful Song I’d Love for You to Hear

This came as a short announcement on facebook, but it was so exciting for me to see the release of the song Here’s My Life, written and performed by Craig Okpala, pastor at Hope Church NYC (and produced by the the ever-talented Paul Kim).

We’ve been singing this song as a congregation for the past few weeks, and it so aptly captures the heart cry of so many of our people.

Many were surprised when they heard it was an original song written by Craig.

Craig also shares the story of this song in the sermon below.  Powerful.

Thank you, friend, for creating music that touches the heart. May it bless many!

Christmas Lament

I know Christmas has passed and a new year has dawned, but this Christmas Lament from a good friend left me speechless in wonder, grief, and hope, especially in light of all that happened in Connecticut a few weeks ago.

So here it is – a Christmas Lament.

To the baby Jesus:
You, who gave yourself in
soft flesh,
helpless and grateful
to live in that singularly
limited and tender and
fragile and
infinite prism we call
a human life,
to suffer our pains and
rejoice in our rejoicings,
to eat and drink and sleep
and grow weary,
to give of yourself freely
to the very end,
surrendering your living nerves and
brittle limbs to the caustic lash,
the breaking hammer,
the slow choke,
to finally expire
blessing your torturers
and then
to rise again,
banishing death and
offering hope -

To you, Blessed One,
I bring tribute,
my hands full of my
shattered wealth, nothing left but
tears and words and
questions my tongue can't pronounce, and
a list
of twenty-eight names,
twenty of them the bubbling,
musical names of children,
babies like yourself,
tender and soft and broken and
infinite,
leaking through my fingers
like sand, lost.

I bring you
the absence of laughter
on the playground,
and the pencil stubs
and fractured crayons
abandoned on the floor.

I bring you the
phantom hugs and
slippery kisses
missing now from the days.

I bring you the
little bodies, who touched
and tasted and
squabbled and reached and
stumbled and now
lie still.

I bring you hopes
and dreams, severed from
their timeline, tied and
floating freely like a
bouquet of bright helium balloons.

I bring you the parents,
spirits riven,
itching to peel their skin off,
to be someone else,
something else,
anything else.

I bring you the inarticulate
keening of a people
heartbroken and confused,
which cannot rise even
from the dust
so weighted is it with grief
choking on its own sorrow.
There are no words to explain this.
There is no prayer to pray.
I have nothing of value to give and so
I bring this
worthless poem
barbed with anger, mangled,
parched, unyielding and
unlovely,
whispered for all who suffer and die
and are silenced too soon.
I come, a ragged and 
impoverished mourner, and
lay these shards at your feet.