Many know of the H.O.P.E class here at Southside. For those who do not, this is what people are saying about it:
Evan Johnson: “It is a glimpse of what it really means to love your neighbor as yourself.”
Chris Jeter: “A ministry that accepts people as they are, but loves them too much to let them stay that way.”
Sherrill Marshall: “A safe place. I no longer have to wear a mask to be comfortable with who I am. HOPE class has given me purpose in life and hope for the future.”
Chloe Carter: “Hope class is a joy to me and is an opportunity sent from God to show God’s love to His children who are in need of someone to love them.”
Alan Hegi: “For me, the HOPE Class beautifully demonstrates God’s grace and forgiveness, through the redeeming sacrifice of Jesus and the transforming power of the Holy Spirit, as He welcomes His lost children back home.”
H.O.P.E. stands for “Heavenly Options for Pain and Emptiness.” There are a number of non-God items that we attempt to fill the God-shaped hole in our lives. This Life Recovery class is all about choosing The God option. Recovery is a return to a normal state of health, mind, or strength. However, H.O.P.E class is not about returning to the “status quo;” it is about being transformed
We are in divisive times. People are separated by socioeconomic status, race, politics, and religion. There is however a singularity; a commonality if you will. That commonality is sin. The lawyer, banker, and doctor of the world have it. The criminal, drug addict, and desperate have it. Mother Teresa, Gandhi, and Martin Luther King Jr. had it. The intimate 12 that Jesus chose to carry the perfect message of redemption had it. The question is not “Do I need H.O.P.E?” The question is “Can I afford another option”?
Many have chosen to follow Jesus. The reasons have varied. All of us can agree that those who truly trusted God and were honest learned what true discipleship looked like. We do not have to look far for such an example. Scott and Avery Bedichek embodied this spirit of authenticity at her baptism on October 14.
What about you? Are you ready to see what true discipleship looks like? Let me share “How It Works”:
“Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves… At some of these we balked. We thought we could find an easier, softer way. But we could not. With all the earnestness at our command, we beg of you to be fearless and thorough from the start. Some of us have tried to hold on to our old ideas and the result was nil until we let go absolutely. Remember we deal with sin – cunning, baffling, powerful! Without help it is too much for us. But there is One who has all power – that One is God. May you find Him now!” (Adapted from AA Big Book, pg 58-71)
We look forward to all who are ready to take this journey of discipleship with us!