eNews - May 28, 2021

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

As we head into the Summer months, we take pause this weekend to remember those who gave their lives in service to our country. We honor those who have served and sacrificed for freedom, for the privilege of knowing them who teach us the meaning of duty, of honor, of sacrifice and of love, we pray for the families who have lost loved ones and that are fervent prayers for our fellow man would extend beyond this day.

We're geared up and ready for a fabulous few months of ministry here at New Hope this Summer and look forward to continuing to live out the gospel together in community and learning! After postponing several events in 2020, our staff and leaders are excited for the many opportunities we have for outreach, trips, classes and special events over the coming months.

We've also got several pieces of important information to share with you so be sure to completely read your Enews today for all the latest information.

Check out our Bible plan update as we finish up the month of May and enter June! For more information about the plan and to join us at anytime, please CLICK HERE.

Our next PB&J collection is taking place on Thursday, June 3. Please drop off those individually wrapped sandwiches to the church by 12pm so we can deliver to We Care. Thanks for continuing to live out the gospel together with us!

Message from Pastoral Search Committee:

Since our last report to Session regarding our progress of the Pastoral Search Committee on 3/23/21, we have received and evaluated sixteen applications for the position of Senior Pastor. Five of those candidates were interviewed via Zoom. The committee is not in agreement to recommend any of the candidates to the congregation. The Chairman will post the Church Information Form on the websites of other sources such as the ECO and Reformed Theological Seminary. We will also consider seeking other pastors and inviting them to submit a Personal Information Form. The committee requests your continued prayers as we faithfully and diligently pursue our work.

Some facts to keep in mind:


  • An average Senior Pastor Search takes 18-24 months to complete for a church the size of New Hope in the United States.
  • There are currently 35 vacancies for Senior Pastors within the EPC, as well as numerous EPC congregations with pastors nearing retirement age, so many churches are seeking to fill positions.
  • Pastor Mike has withdrawn his name as a potential candidate for Senior Pastor but will remain in his present role as Associate Pastor, leading the staff and carrying out the vision for New Hope Church.
  • The Pastoral Search Committee is compromised of the following members: Gayle Bundschu, Dan Ceilly, Bill Enslen, Duane Higgins, Kathy Orr, Betsy Sinke & Ken Walker(Chairperson).


Session also voted on the motion below and it was approved:

Upon motion duly made, seconded, and approved unanimously, it was resolved “That Session authorize the employment of a transitional pastor on a part-time, consultant, contract basis and that Session appoint a committee composed of the chairman of the personnel committee, the chairman of the pastor search committee and Pastor Mike Jones to recommend to Session a job description and a hiring process no later than the June Stated Session meeting."

This means that the plan is to move forward with the employment of a part time, transitional pastor to assist Pastor Mike with pastoral duties in the season before hiring a future Senior Pastor.


There will be further updates presented on Sunday, May 30 during both worship services by Ken Walker and Elder Jerry Elliott.

Zack Unkenholz, our Assistant Director of Student Ministry, has accepted a position with Open Door Church in Edenton, NC and he and his family will be relocating to the Inner Banks of North Carolina. Zack and Jess felt God calling them into a new ministry area with students and are excited to pursue God's plan for their family. We've been blessed to have the Unkenholz family with us over the past 18 months and continue to pray all of God's best for their family. Zack's last Sunday with us will be June 20, please continue to pray for our transition, our students and the Unkenholz family.

The Director of Student Ministry Search Committee is continuing to meet and has been interviewing candidates in the pursuit of hiring a Director. Steve Boutelle is the Chairperson of the Student Ministry Director Search Committee and can address any questions you may have by contacting him HERE. Your continued prayers are appreciated as the committee pursues God's will.

We urge you to stay spiritually connected with your church family and join us for weekly Sunday worship on campus at 9:30am and 11am or online, as well as checking out the videos from our staff and pastors on the Experience New Hope channel. We’re continuing to pray and if you have concerns about our plans to meet in person or have a prayer need, please do not hesitate to reach out to Pastor Mike at mike@newhopefortmyers.org or 813.368.1680.

With Love,
Your New Hope Team