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Hope Lutheran Church
Voters Meeting
December 6, 2015 12:30 PM

1. Call to Order and Welcome
Mike Davis called the meeting to order and welcomed everyone

2. Opening Prayer
Pastor Cofer opened the meeting in prayer

3. Recognition of New Voting Members
Mike Davis discussed the requirements as stated in the Constitution: a voting member must be a communicant member for the ast 60 days and over the age of 18. There were no congregants asking to be recognized as voting members at this time

4. State Meeting Agenda
Mike Davis went over the agenda for the meeting (see presentation)

5. Present Ministry Team Leaders
Mike Davis presented the proposed ministry team leaders (see presentation)
He asked for discussion (none)
He asked for volunteers for the open positions (none)
It was moved and seconded to approve the ministry team leaders. This was approved unanimously

6. Mid-year Financial Update
Tim Speckman presented our mid-year financial status (see presentation). There were no questions

7. Parking Lot Update
Mike Davis presented an update on parking lot improvements (see presentation)
We are currently under contract to begin Phase I (the front section of the lot). This includes repair, resurfacing, and restriping
There was a discussion about the rationale behind the restriping and it was explained that even though we lose four spaces due to the slanted striping, the traffic flow will be safer and easier, especially with the school drop-off and pick up
We are looking for other ways to fund Phase II of this project (see presentation)

8. New Business
There was a question about the status of our call for a new senior pastor
Mike reported that he had spoken with Bob Strait of the call committee, and they have not heard anything yet

9. Closing
Mike asked for and received a motion and second to adjourn the meeting. This was unanimously approved. Pastor Cofer then lead us in a closing prayer

There were 49 voting members present

Submitted by:
Sue Cashman

Mike Davis

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President Mike Davis has called a Voters Meeting for Sunday, Dec. 6 after late service (approximately 12:15 pm).

The agenda for the meeting includes:

1. Approve the slate of Ministry Chairmen – VOTE
2, A mid-year financial update – discussion and
3. An update on the state of the parking lot – discussion

All congregant members are invited to attend and encouraged to participate.

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By Pastor Michael Cofer
Text: James 5

Until I married Alisha, I had never been part of a big family. Growing up, it was my mom and dad and my sister who was 6 years older than me… and that was it. I saw my two living grandparents probably once or twice a year. I met my cousins roughly once each. My concept of family was pretty small, pretty low key, and for the most part we kept to ourselves.

You can understand that becoming a part of Alisha’s family took a little getting used to. All of her family – and I mean ALL of her family – lives within a couple hours’ drive of each other. Most are in the same city.

So, pretty much every month they get together to celebrate someone’s birthday. You know when you go to a restaurant and they’ve rearranged the room to be one giant table full of laughing and animated people that pretty much guarantee you’ll never see your waiter? We were that table.

Now, imagine the first time I sat at that table. I had 5 or 6 conversations going on in earshot, and just sat in a daze – not sure which one I was supposed to be a part of. And as the new guy, everyone was trying to talk to me. Asking me stuff… stuff about my life. How school was going… wanting to be a pastor. That’s so cool. That’s so strange.

My head was spinning, and it took a bit of acclimating, but I felt loved and cared for – even if a bit overwhelmed. They wanted to be part of my life – that’s what family does.

You know, the church is supposed to be a family, too. Brothers and sisters, adopted by our loving Father – brought to the table together in the bonds of mutual love. But I didn’t really grow up understanding that either. And I don’t think I’m the only one.

I think that we’ve lost a lot of that sense of family in the church over the last couple of generations, and we really need to reclaim it. It is much more typical to look at the other people in service on a Sunday as “Fellow Worshippers,” or even “Fellow Members.” “I go here, you go here. We both go here… and then we go our separate ways.”

That sort of thinking makes it easy to keep our private lives… well… private. We aren’t really compelled to share anything with each other. We just share space and go through our Sundays in parallel. I mean, let’s face it, most of us are here for the Worship Service, right?

But in our Epistle today, James really raises the bar on what it means to be a church together. “Is anyone of you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them…” “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other.” “Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way saves them from death!”

These aren’t hypothetical examples to illustrate a point. They are concrete benchmarks for how the church should function. But how do we get there? We need to be in each other’s lives.

Now, before we get any farther into this idea, let’s talk about busybodies and gossips. Churches used to have a reputation for both (though I don’t know if that’s as common today as it once was), but both are unhealthy – and neither are what James is advocating.

You see, a busybody is someone who has no business knowing your business who insists on knowing your business. Usually they want to know your business so they can privately judge you, or pass it around to others. Also, they are much more likely to tell you someone else’s sins and struggles than disclose their own.

We don’t need busybodies. We need to be a family in our church. You need folks who do belong in your business – who will keep your confidence and who will disclose their struggles with you. People who will pray for and with you, and who will ask for your prayers. People who will be honest when it looks like you’re drifting away or living a life that contradicts the gospel – and who are willing to let you do the same for them.

It’s a big ask, I know. And the 15 minutes or so that we allot for “Fellowship” each Sunday probably isn’t enough to really develop those relationships. You may have to spend some time after Bible Study or after Worship. You may need to share a meal. And you may need to rearrange your routine to do it. But we need this, because the Christian life is incredibly easy and incredibly hard.

Christianity is easy in the sense that Jesus did all the hard work of saving us. Salvation is a gift that He offers freely, and it is the work of God even to make us willing to receive it. And it’s easy in the sense that no matter what happens between now and the end, we know how it all ends. We know that nothing can separate us from God’s love and the reward laid up for us in heaven.

But Christianity is hard, too. This world can be a discouraging place and we will wrestle with temptation from the world around us and even from inside our own hearts. We will go through trials, endure suffering, and have crises of faith. That’s why we aren’t meant to go it alone.

There is probably someone here today who needs you to pray for them. There is probably someone here today who wants to pray for you. There may even be someone who is here today who is wandering from the truth and in need of a brother or sister to have the difficult conversation about it in a loving way. Or maybe they aren’t here today, and you noticed that.

If you could save a life, wouldn’t you? If you could forgive sinner, shouldn’t you? If you could pray for the sick or troubled, if you could rejoice with the joyful, if you could be a Christian brother or sister to someone… what’s stopping you?

Recent past sermons:

Aug. 2: The Bread of Life
Aug. 9: The True Bread
Aug. 16: Rise and Shine!
Aug. 23: A Profound Mystery
Sept. 13: Just Outside Your Door

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By Sara Kopko-Morton

– Michael and Kari Ziegler were welcomed as the newest voting members.
– The FY2015 Budget was discussed and unanimously approved.
– The following new Council positions were unanimously elected. Thank you to Sue Cashman, secretary, Pam Lagoc, Learn at large, and George Schroeder, Admin at large, for serving Hope!
– Details and plans were discussed for the retirement of Pastor Nieting in June 2015 and the Call Process to follow.
– “The Story” will be our Ministry focus beginning in September 2014.

There were 50 voting members in attendance.

Detailed minutes are available in the Main Office.

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“There are far too many things in life that flood right over us….and we end up feeling like there’s a tidal wave washing right over us and we’re up to our necks and heading down fast.

“What we need IS an ark! We need shelter from the storm.”


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By: Gordon & Deborah Johnson

How did you do with your resolutions for the year 2013?  About the same as for other years?  Can you even remember what those resolutions were?  Why do we struggle so much with resolutions?  Is it because they are not realistic?  Is it because we try to do it completely on our own without any outside help (even from God)?  Failure is one of the biggest disappointments in life.  Is it possible to start over successfully?

As we enter into this New Year we have another opportunity to start over.  Having the privilege of starting over is one of the things in life that gives us hope and courage as we look to the future.  As we take down our 2013 calendars and replace them with 2013 calendars we really can start over. (more…)

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By: Bob & Lois Moser

The joy of Christmas was spread by word and song on December 14 when the Hope Carolers visited Atlantic Shores Seaside Rehabilitation Center.  Barbara and Wolfgang Bosse, who reside at Atlantic Shores, and Lois Moser, who is undergoing rehab at the Seaside Center enjoyed the Christmas carolers.

Seaside has many elderly people recovering from strokes. It was amazing to watch them mouth the words proclaiming the birth of Christ. Many commented about how they all appreciated the singing.

The carolers also went to Harbourway Assisted Living where they received rave reviews. It is so easy to bring joy to people through the birth of Christ. Thanks to all who made this caroling event happen.

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Thanks to Nancy, Kettner, the Leisure Lutherans of Hope held their annual Christmas luncheon and Chinese Auction on Monday, December 16, at the Black Angus Restaurant, located in the Clubhouse at the beautiful Virginia Beach National Golf Course. Thirty-four Leisure Lutherans enjoyed beautiful weather and a delicious spectrum of food offered on the regular menu. Most everyone participated in the Chinese Auction following the meal, and as usual, there was considerable haggling amongst the most prized gifts–but, everyone came away with at least…a gift!  Pastor Nieting was kind enough to bring his guitar and lead us in a cheery session of Christmas carols following the auction.  I must say, we lifted the holiday spirits of the group, as well as the Black Angus staff.  Our road show is being contemplated for next Christmas!
Plans for our January 2014 meeting were set for Monday, Jan. 20,  at 11:30am at Frankie’s Place for Ribs in Fairfield Shopping Center.  A sign up sheet and flyer will be placed in the Narthex. We are always looking for new members to join in on the fun. If you feel like you are a senior—come on down!
Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy, and prosperous 2014 to All!

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Join us as God prepares our hearts to celebrate the birth of our Savior!

Mid-Week Advent Worship
Holden Evening-sanctuary
Contemporary Advent-Loft
Wednesdays, Dec. 4, 11, 18, 6:15pm (more…)

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8:15am Traditional Worship Service
No Sunday School classes
11am Blended Praise Service with Holy Communion
HOLDEN EVENING ADVENT SERVICE: Dec.18 at 6:15pm in the sanctuary. Pastor Nieting will lead this worship as we prepare for the celebration of Christ’s birth.

OASIS ADVENT SERVICE: in the fellowship hall at 6:15pm on December 18.  Pastor Cofer will lead this worship as we take time to prepare for the celebration of Christ’s birth. The service is available to anyone who would enjoy a contemporary Advent worship.

During Wednesday evening ADVENT services in December, there will not be a “big kid” play time. Nursery will continue for children under 4 years of age.


Join us as God prepares our hearts to celebrate the birth of our Savior.

Christmas Eve Services:

4:30pm Children’s Service

7:30pm Candlelight Service

10pm Candlelight Communion

Christmas Day Worship Service: 10am Service with Communion

Christmas Carol Service: Sunday, Dec. 29, 8:15 & 11am (No Communion/No Bible Study)



Thank you from Lois and Bob Moser to the Hope carolers, led by Nieting Von Trap, for their visit to Atlantic Shores Sea Side Rehabilitation Facility last Saturday. It brought joy to Lois’ heart and to all of the other people in the facility.



Carroll & Charlotte Bains in loving memory of Charles & Antoinette Lavoie and Marvin & Vivian Bains

Lonnie Baird in loving memory of his parents

Rex & Sandy Bayman celebrating the birth of our Savior

Wolfgang & Barbara Bosse in loving memory of their parents

Vince Brown in honor of Pattie & Omer Murphy and Sandi Brown

Dave & Jennifer Cox in celebration of the life of Faith Anne Sewell -4/30/13 to 9/30/13

Taylor Gustafson in memory of Mrs. Schroeder-mother & light of the Schroeder-Lausman Family

Hartje Family in memory of loved ones

James & Patty Hoeft

Nancy Kettner in memory of the Reverend Paul L. Kettner

Dave & Chris Kern in memory of loved ones

Betty Leal in celebration of Christmas and our Savior

Carl & Marjorie Mallett in memory of Jerry Meng

Don & Mary Jane Meyer for our Parents

Jim & Carolyn Payne in memory of the loved ones we have lost

Jeni Schmidt in memory of her grandmother Audrey McIntyre

Steve & Kathryn Wacker in honor of their children, Desiree, Joelle and Marshall and their grandson, Seth.

Wydler Family in memory of Virginia Wydler and Loretta (Adda) Nelson

If you purchased a poinsettia, you may take it home after the Christmas Day Service.



Our pantry is open YEAR ROUND and we support several projects. Our next Food Pantry Open Dates: Wednesdays, Jan. 8 & 22, from 6 to 7:30pm; and Saturdays, Dec. 28, and Jan. 11 & 25, from 10 to 11:30am. We graciously accept all food and monetary donations, but the following items are most needed: breakfast items (cereal, oatmeal, pancake mix or Bisquick, syrup), box dinners (Tuna, Chicken or Hamburger Helper), can meat, can fruits & vegetables, spaghetti & spaghetti sauce, can soups. All items can be dropped off in the big yellow wagon in the narthex at Hope. Without your help we could not do what we do!


On Wednesday, join your Hope family at 5:30 for a delicious meal. No dinners on Dec. 25 or Jan. 1.

HOME BAKED DESSERTS & BREADS are requested for Sunday mornings “tasty fellowship” and Wednesday night meals. Please bring your item ready to serve on a disposable tray or have your name on your serving dish if you wish to take it home.


SUNDAY SCHOOL: Hey kids, join us for JAM TIME at 9:45am this Sunday. No classes on Dec. 22 & 29.

Each week, the children from Hope School & Sunday School bring gifts of food to show their love for others by supporting the students at Georgetown Elementary. Each Friday, teachers discreetly place a pre-packed bag of food in the back-pack of a needy child, so that over the weekend, they will not go hungry. The Kids’ Café project is sponsored by Hope’s Social Ministry team. Items needed: small cereal boxes, poptarts, breakfast bars, ravioli, pastas, mac & cheese, fruits, raisins, puddings, jello, peanut butter nabs, etc. Remember, items must be single servings and pre-cooked or microwavable. Our collection will continue thru May 2014.

Hope School Program: Friday, Dec. 20, 10:30am



BODY & TRUTH: Please join us each Wednesday night for dinner at 5:30pm.

Please join us for Advent services in the fellowship hall at 6:15pm on December 18.  Pastor Cofer will be leading our worship as we take time to prepare for the celebration of Christ’s birth.  The service is available to anyone who would enjoy a contemporary Advent worship.

TRUTH will attend Construction Zone in Virginia Beach on March 7-9. Standard registration is due Jan. 26. For more info about Zone, go to



FALL ADULT BIBLE CLASSES are Sundays, 9:45am. (1) “When Christianity Clashes With Culture” (Chaplain Oswald, Fellowship Hall-Back side); (2) Women’s Class, “Jesus, One and Only” (Pam Nieting, Fellowship Hall-Kitchen side); (3) New Member Class (Pastor Cofer, Main 1); (4) Young Adult Class will study the book, Not a Fan (Rick Natalello, Main 2) No classes on Dec. 22 & 29.

LEISURE LUTHERANS: Next luncheon is Monday, Jan. 20, 2014, at 11:30am. Place: Frankie’s (Fairfield Shopping Ctr). Sign-up sheet is in the narthex.

LWML (Lutheran Women’s Missionary League) meets the 3rd Saturday of alternate months. Want to learn more about all the things they do? Join their next meeting on Jan. 18. Childcare is available. For more info visit the bulletin board in the narthex. Events: Jan. 12 & Feb. 9-Mite Sundays; Jan. 18-LWML meeting 9am; Jan. 24-25-LWML Wakefield Retreat.

PRAYER SHAWLS: Do you knit or crochet? LWML is currently working on prayer shawls for residents of the retirement community, Luther Manor. Our goal is to have 35 shawls by Feb. 1. Together we can do this! Please support us, either by making a shawl or financially. More info is available at the LWML bulletin board in the narthex.



In April 2014, Hope will give a special DRAMATIC MUSICAL PRESENTATION on Good Friday called “For Such A One As This”. We still need to fill the male role of Judas, adult choir singers of all voice parts, children singers between the grades of 2nd-8th, instrumentalists, and a crew to help with sound, lighting, sets and costumes. If you would like to get involved in one of those areas please contact Meredith Mulcair at  Rehearsals will start in late January 2014.

CHILDREN’S BELLS (2nd-5th): Each Sunday, we meet from 9:30-9:45am in the Music Room. Parents will need to walk their children to Sunday School at 9:45pm.

YOUTH BELLS (grades 6 & up): Rehearsals are Wednesdays at 6pm in the Music Room.  For more info, contact Alison Hernandez at



HOPE’S EMERGENCY FUND: Hope is blessed with faithful members who contribute to a fund that our pastors use to help meet the occasional emergency needs of others. Should the Lord move you to contribute, please note on your check: “Pastor’s Emergency Fund.”

The second Sunday of each month is MITE SUNDAY. Your loose change will go to the mission grants of the LWML for the mission work of the LCMS.

WEDNESDAY MORNING BIBLE STUDY continues at 10am each week in Main 1. No class on Dec. 25 or Jan. 1.

LANGUAGE CLASSES! Hebrew, Arabic, French are available at Hope. All classes run for 10 weeks. Cost for each course is only $150 (check payable to Hope). For more info, see Pastor Nieting or e-mail the instructor, Camelia Eid, at

HOPE’S PRAYER CHAIN: E-mail your prayer requests to

HIGHLIGHTS can be read on Hope’s website: OR by e-mail OR by “snail” mail OR you can pick up a copy in the narthex at church! If you wish to have it e-mailed or “snail” mailed, e-mail a request: or call Martha (424-4848).

FACEBOOK & TWITTER Did you know that Hope has a Facebook page? Connect to FB on our website under the Contact tab. You can also follow us on Twitter@HopeLutheranVA

CHURCH OFFICE HOURS: 9am-2pm (Mon thru Fri). Closed: Dec. 25 & 26 and Jan. 1. Office hours on Dec. 24, 27, 30 & 31: 9am – Noon


We are happy to report Hope’s new web site is live. It serves not only as a conduit for outreach into the community, but also as a source for information for members.  If you haven’t been to the site recently, be sure to visit and share the link with others!

The ministry also is taking an active approach to using Facebook.  We regularly update our status with prayer, sermons, photos, and news.  Check it out at  It’s very easy to ‘like’ and ‘share’ status updates that regularly share God’s good news, with others.

Finally, a quick note on imagery.  As you attend events and activities (Bible studies, choir practice, youth activities, etc.), please take photos that can be shared with the PR team.  We’d love to use your camera/phone photos or other digital imagery and share them on our Facebook page &/or on the Web site.  Of course, if we do share something, we will never identify anyone by name.  And, if you ever see a photo that you would prefer not be public, you just have to let us know.

Please contact Jim Hoeft, PR Ministry chair, and share your news and photos by emailing  And, if you’re interested in joining the team or have questions, don’t hesitate to contact Jim.

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