“I hope our church can evolve and improve. I hope that in the future, a new generation of talented musicians and singers will emerge. I hope that we accept more and more people, creating a community that includes people from all parts of the spectrum. I hope that everyone is joyful and that the church sees new improvements in music, hospitality, diversity, shelter, and love.” – Bradley Jiang
“I hope that our church will continue to grow, and that we have more youth join our youth ministry.” – Elizabeth Smith
“I hope that we go and do things outside of our church.” – Ray Greene
“I hope that after all the construction is done, our church will continue to grow.” – Micah Smith
“Hope. One of the most powerful words in the English language. Hope. It can be defined as a feeling of trust or even as an act of dreaming. In times like these, we all rely on hope in some way, shape or form. In times of uncertainty, we all find ourselves turning to God for guidance and answers. Hope. Something we all have at some point in our lives and even in the life of our church. Today, I reflect on my time at First on Fifth and see that our church was built on hope. One word that has done God’s work for decades. This word shows in the ways that we help to feed the hungry children at Forest Park, in ways we help to provide for the homeless in a time of need and in the ways everyone has helped to build a strong spiritual foundation in our children and youth.
We, as a congregation, are facing a time that is solely built on hope. I believe we all have different ideas of what our hopes and dreams are for the church. Mine is quite simple. I hope for us to continue to serve our downtown community in every way we can. For the next several months and even years, we will find ourselves wondering where our church is heading. As we continuously work to reform our mission, I hope we will continue to show God’s work through mission trips, volunteer work and local drives. I hope we continue to be the beloved community we are. I hope we continue to open our doors to anyone and everyone who is looking for God and a refuge from the harsh world around us. I hope that we, as a congregation, continue to serve the lord in all of our own special ways and in ways that we all individually feel called to do so. I hope we all have passions in our lives that we run far with and use in ways to spread God’s love. Whether your passion is teaching, reading, writing, speaking or even being a shoulder to cry on, I hope we all use our talents and passions to show God’s love to those around us. Above all else, I hope we all remember how hard we have worked to be in this place that we are today. May God bless you all in this trying but wonderful time in our church’s journey.” – Isabelle Yates