And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved. (Acts 2:44–47)
One of the hallmarks of the early church was their care for each other’s needs. We want to be marked by the same care and love for each other, generously meeting needs within the church, demonstrating God’s love, and thereby bearing witness to God’s loving care for us.
Our Hope Cares benevolence fund seeks to demonstrate God’s love to each other (John 13:34–35) and “all the people” (Acts 2:46) that our ministries reach. Through Hope Cares, we want to:
- provide a means for the people of Hope Fellowship to express love and care for their brothers and sisters facing hardship (Gal 6:2, 10; 1 Tim 6:18),
- encourage and support the financial health and independence of our church family by providing monetary assistance to meet expenses due to extraordinary circumstances (1 Thess 5:14), and
- minister in such a way that Hope Fellowship is known by those inside and outside our church as a discerning, caring, compassionate, and responsive congregation (Acts 6:1–7).
Everyone in Hope Fellowship is encouraged to be watchful for needs among our church family and to make direct inquiries where appropriate. Anyone in need or aware of someone in need may direct a request for Hope Cares assistance to a pastor, elder, deacon, mission group leader, directly to one of the Hope Cares committee members, or via an email sent to Care@myhopefellowship.org.
The Hope Cares committee is currently composed of three Deacons (Jody Grandlienard, Ken Kelley, Jody Maas) and an Elder (Aaron Camp). The committee follows up on requests and tries to determine how best to meet the need through financial or physical assistance. When financial assistance is given, it is usually given as direct payment from Hope Fellowship to providers on behalf of the recipient. Gifts are usually designed to help with one-time (acute) needs that arise due to emergency or extraordinary circumstances, rather than ongoing (chronic) needs.
Typically, gifts will help to meet immediate needs necessary for physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being: food, shelter, clothing, medical care, transportation, counseling, etc. Needs related to gaining or holding employment are also generally considered appropriate uses of funds. Relief for debts incurred over time is generally outside the scope of the fund.
Sometimes, the committee may discern that the best course of action involves some measure of non-financial assistance or care through another support organization (e.g. Outreach Community Ministries, social service agencies, financial counselors, other church-based charities, etc.). In these cases, we will work with those organizations to try and provide the help that is needed.
Funding for Hope Cares comes through contributions that are designated for the fund. Designated funds can only be used for benevolence purposes and not the overall budget. Contributions are always welcome, and the Elders may direct periodic appeals for additional contribution as needs arise. In addition, the Elders may increase the fund through transfer from the general fund from time to time if needed. See our Giving Page for more information about contributions.