New Hope News - September 23, 2022

A Note from Pastor Mike

Thank you for your prayers for my father. He had emergency gallbladder surgery on Saturday in Tallahassee. He is home and recovering, though quite sore.

I want to confess something to you – I’ve been to prison.

When I was a new pastor serving in Chattanooga, I was called on to visit a guy who was in a lot of trouble and was a violent offender. For me to visit him, I had to go through a lot of security. They took me down a long hall past cells, gates, and doors that closed behind me (It felt a bit like the introduction to the old tv series “Get Smart,” but I digress...). To underline the seriousness of their security, they gave me a beeper looking thing and I had to hold down a button on it. It was called the “man down panic switch” - so if I got knocked down (or knocked out), the button would go off and the guards would come and rescue me - or what was left of me…  Anyhow, they led me way back in the prison and took me to a clergy/attorney’s room where there was no natural light - just a bulb and a glass partition between me and the guy I was there to see. I got in there and THEN they went to get the prisoner and they left me that little room for about 40 minutes while they retrieved him. There I sat - no distractions, no reading material, no nothing! Just four blank walls and a lightbulb - and I was all alone. I tell ya, that was by far the longest 40 minutes of my life! So, being a pastor and all, I said, “This is great! I’ll pray!” Well, about five minutes in I was so distracted and definitely NOT praying. I thought about what Rene Descartes so famously said, “I think, therefore I am,” and I said to myself, “I pray, therefore I pastor!” But just as with Descartes, the more I was removed from distractions, the more distractions I created in my mind. So all that to say, praying - really deep, wrestling praying – is very hard work, but it’s also very rewarding and necessary work! That day I learned that kind of prayer doesn’t just happen. It takes discipline, a plan, and a few tools. In next week’s “Note from the Pastor,” I’ll share a few things I learned from “going to prison” that have helped me to focus in prayer!

God bless you and I look forward to seeing you on Sunday!

Pastor Mike

Our next PB&J collection day is Thursday, October 6!


You can drop off pre-made, individually wrapped peanut butter and jelly sandwiches at the church by noon that day and we will take them to our local ministry partner We Care!

Jake & Honah Finn - Chiang Mai, Thailand

Missionaries are people just like you and me. They struggle with many of the same issues we struggle with, but their battle is often made harder because they are living away from their home setting as well as dealing with a different culture, different language, and often many inconveniences. So who do you talk with in such a setting if you are having difficulties? Who can help with your discouragement, your marriage conflicts, your trauma, your fears, or your hurts?

Jake and Honah are there to help. Jake is the clinical director of the Cornerstone Counseling Foundation in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and both Jake and Honah are trained counselors with a passion to help missionaries with the struggles they face.

One of their early clients was a family from another country who came to see them because of the trauma they experienced when a young visitor from the states was killed in a fall from one of the mountains near them. The whole family was impacted emotionally and Jake was able to help them heal so they could return to their field and continue in their work. This is just one of many stories about help given that enabled the worker to remain on the field.


Giving at New Hope is a joy! It’s a call to obedience to our Lord and an opportunity to give thanks for His blessings in our lives. If you are interested in regular giving and would prefer a hands-free way, sign up for recurring gifts. It’s an easy way to give by credit, debit, or check – just click here to go to! If you would like to give securities or tangible property, including required minimum distributions from your IRA, please contact the church’s finance office. Thank you for your generosity to the Lord’s work!

Middle & High School Student Ministry

After a great summer of Fun on the Run events and our Summer Mission Trip to Chattanooga, TN, our Common Ground student ministry started back Wednesday nights with our “Nacho Normal Kick Off”. We gathered together for a Nacho Snack Extravaganza, BIG group games, introductions of our 2022-23 leaders, community building in small groups, and more!

So why do we call it Common Ground? Because we celebrate being unique individuals, from different schools and with different interests, while being ONE in seeking and following Christ – He is our common ground! 6th-12th grade students gather together Sunday mornings at 9:30am and Wednesday nights from 6:30–8pm during New Hope Family Nights.

Our Kick Off was an exciting start for our year together with an amazing turnout of 21 committed leaders and 73 students! WOW – our hearts were full with anticipation for an amazing year of learning and growing together in Christ! To our leadership team, each person in that room represents a heart that can learn about the God that loves them SO MUCH and the Savior that came to save them! What a blessing and opportunity it is to gather together at Common Ground to seek after God and His greatest commandment to us in Matthew 22:37-39 – LOVE GOD & LOVE OTHERS!

How Do I Serve

as a Greeter?

If you have a smile and a joyful heart, you are invited to serve before our 9:30am or 11am worship services! Greeters are just that...broad, warm smiles who radiate Jesus’ love for those entering Sunday worship. Is God calling you to serve at New Hope? Perhaps you could use that desire and your smile to welcome friends and guests to our services? If interested please leave your name and “I’d love to greet!” on the form at


Women's Book Study

The Well begins a new six-week study called “Trustworthy” this Wednesday, September 28, from 9:30-11:30am. If you are a woman seeking friends and a place to study God’s Word, this is a great opportunity to meet other women and deepen your walk with Jesus. Please order a study guide at and join us on Wednesday morning!

Thank you,

blood donors!

"It’s great people like you at New Hope Presbyterian Church that really get our blood pumping!  It’s not every day you get to save lives and we thank you for hosting the Lee Health Blood Mobile on Sunday, September 11. You had 24 people who wanted to donate and 20 who were eligible. That’s up to 60 lives saved! Please know that your blood donations will be put to great use treating patients here in Lee County. Thank you again, for your extraordinary support of our Blood Mobile!"
   ~ Heidi Moore-Hart, Donor Recruiter at Lee Health

The New Hope Blood Drive is a ministry of the Deacons. Please join us for the next scheduled Blood Drive on Sunday, November 6!

We urge you to stay spiritually connected with your church family and join us for weekly Sunday worship on campus at 9:30am for traditional worship and 11am for contemporary worship or click here to watch online. 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 813.368.1680. 

With Love,
Your New Hope Team


Financials as of August 31, 2022

Budgeted Income: $1,163,800

Actual Income: $1,132,603

Actual Expense: $1,204,518

Special Restricted Funds

Campus Fund: $19,311

Missions Fund: $17,505

Care & Compassion: $28,889