Reaching Wider

We exist to give ourselves away. Too often, we church types have lost sight of this calling … and, to our discredit, we’ve sometimes built empires and pursued status to the neglect of it.

At Hope, we hunger to be a community that serves and shares God’s love with the world – in local neighborhoods, central Florida, and the world. To that end, we’ve committed to give back… to invest at least 20 percent of monthly offerings beyond our doors. Since 2012, we have given away more than $657,000 – extending compassion across eight biblical ‘pavilions’ of service:  health & wellness; poverty action; shepherd care for the often neglected; mentoring; creation & animal care; education & the arts; justice; and gospel proclamation.

Here are some of the things we've done and do:
  • Hope Scholars college scholarships -- More than $60,000 awarded since 2012 through love gifts, golf scramble, and silent auction
  • Regular 'Hands On' Service Activities 
  • Monthly Partners in Service receive a portion of offerings 
  • Hope Prize -- includes a minimal gift of $1,000 
  • Day of Service each year in lieu of regularly formatted worship
  • Marlow 'Help Your Neighbor' Grants
  • Annual Service Matching Fund -- divided among schools and nonprofits where Hopesters document service
  • Charity Contests -- some have included Swan Boat races at Lake Eola; "Bowl of Charities" bowling competition; chili cook-off; 6-Word Stories; Wiffle Ball and Baseball Trivia; dessert auction
  • Steps for Change -- logging 1,000 miles a week to raise funds and awareness for a cause
  • Alternate Christmas Gifts
  • Partnership with Lake Nona Middle
  • Earth Care efforts 
  • Ongoing Collections -- pop tops, travel size toiletries, blister packs for contact lenses

Hope Scholars College Scholarships

More than $60,000 since 2012 -- generated through free-will gifts, a golf scramble with silent auction, and various charity contests. Scholarships are awarded to in-house applicants, one student at Oak Ridge High (an at-risk school with which Hope shares history), and, since 2020, one student at Lake Nona High. 

Day of Service & Regular Hands-On Service Opportunities

In JULY, we sent a team of 28 to work at our 7th Annual Beach Cleanup at Pelican Beach, Satellite Beach, Florida .... provided 45 Love in a Glove Box Kits of non-perishable food for Hopesters to take and distribute to homeless persons and others we encounter who are in need. The kits were assembled by one Hopester and a group of friends  .... solicited nominations for our 4th Annual Hope Prize -- a non-profit focused on Gospel Proclamation. Nomi-nees included 1001 New Worshiping Communities; The Missing Peace (a new worshiping community in Ormond Beach); Nudge Ministries, sharing food, water, meals, first aid, friendship and authentic, non-threatening conversation about faith to thru-hikers on the Appalachian Trail each Spring; and Wycliffe Bible Translators, translating scripture into the heart-languages of people worldwide, as well as assisting with literacy and other practical needs. All nominees will be added to Hope's list of approved Partners in Service. Winner to be designated by congregational vote during the first three weeks of August.
In MAY, we presented a scholarship for $5,661 to Oak Ridge High School senior Kerlenz Lapaine .... provided a 5/10 breakfast of bagels & cream cheese and mini-muffin to faculty & staff at Lake Nona Middle School for Teacher Appreciation Week .... participated in the Global 6K for Water on Saturday 5/19 -- with participants walking or running with a team at either the USTA national campus in Lake Nona or in Celebration, or walking/running on their own. Each registration fee offset the cost of one person retrieving water in the developing world (an average walk of 6K) via World Vision .... presented 4 in-house Hope Scholarships ... provided two sets of two movie passes for faculty appreciation at Lake Nona Middle School .... collected 122 containers of canned meat for New Beginnings food pantry .... designated 5 percent of monthly offerings to an annual Distribution Fund (which underwrites our year-end $5K matching fund and other gifts). In addition, as determined by students in the 2018 Confirmation Class, divided  5 percent of May offerings among these nonprofits:  Kids Saving the Rainforest, nonprofit launched by two 9-year-old girls in 1999, rehabilitating wildlife, conducting original scientific research & promoting conservation along Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast ; and City Year Orlando, featuring “near peers” ages 17-24 who volunteer a year of full-time service to tutor & mentor students in at-risk schools with high drop-out rates. Working at Oak Ridge, Jones and Evans HS + four feeder schools, cityyear.org/orlando.
In APRIL, continued the Yard Give for Hope Scholars -- and received four essay applications for Hope Scholarships .... Extended an Earth Day Challenge for the week of 4/22, encouraging Hopesters to pay attention to patterns of consumption & do one of the following: 1) Skip the straw or lid on a beverage; 2) Use a reusable bag at the store; 3) Turn out the light when exiting a room; 4) Decline a to-go cup – use a washable mug or cup – or a personal refillable cup .... started collecting canned meats for the New Beginnings food pantry .... promoted the Global 6K for Water run/walk set for Saturday 5/19 .... designated 5 percent of monthly offerings to an annual Distribution Fund (which underwrites our year-end $5K matching fund and other gifts). In addition, divided  5 percent of April offerings among these nonprofits: Faith Arts Village Orlando, a ministry of Park Lake Presbyterian Church, providing a place where local artists & the faith community can work together to share gifts of inspiration, beauty & spiritual expression to promote peace, understanding & well-being in the larger community; and United Arts of Central Florida, enhancing the quality & variety of cultural experiences in Central Florida by serving arts, sciences, history & other cultural providers.

2017 in Review