June 7, 2018 @ 7:00 pm
Community of Hope
14401 Biscayne Ave
Rosemount, MN 55068

Friends of Community of Hope,

We had a remarkable Celebration Sunday this past weekend. We celebrated a church passionate for Jesus, a church that is “all in” for Jesus’ mission. Twenty-three individuals either affirmed their baptism or were baptized for the first time. Their stories convey the transforming power of God’s kingdom…a kingdom we have been called to expand.

To that end, I’d like to personally invite you to a Town Hall Forum, June 7 at 7pm. We have received a proposal from Hosanna!, Lakeville that our Board of Directors is presently considering.

Hosanna! has been a significant partner in ministry since Community of Hope was planted in 2002. Hosanna! was one of four churches that invested resources to give birth to CoH. Because of significant similarity in spiritual DNA, we have partnered together in a variety of ways since that time, and have intentionally worked to strengthen ministry relationships with Hosanna! over the past 4 years. Particularly, Pastor Ryan Alexander and I have asked the question, “How can we deepen our partnership with the outcome of being better together?”

Two years ago, Hosanna! went through a re-visioning process with a consulting group that resulted in a vision to “Multiply” God’s kingdom through developing multiple campuses. Based upon demographic and population growth studies they determined their next campus should be in the Southeast metro, specifically Rosemount or Farmington. Instead of forging ahead and planting a campus, they asked another question: Could we combine resources with another vibrant ministry with similar DNA to multiply kingdom impact?

This past August, after much conversation and prayer, Hosanna! submitted a proposal to CoH’s Board of Directors to consider bringing the two churches together in a formal manner. CoH’s Board of Directors voted to explore that proposal. Since late February of 2018 teams from CoH and Hosanna! have been working to examine the opportunities and challenges of the proposal. These teams will bring a combined recommendation to both Community of Hope’s Board of Directors and Hosanna’s Vision Board by August of 2018. We have named these teams “Merger Exploration Teams (MET).”

One of the first things the MET determined is to use the language of “adoption” when talking about the potential merger of resources. That language fits well for two very important reasons. First, “adoption” is a Biblical concept. Through Jesus we are adopted into the family of God. Secondly, adoption acknowledges the unique history, culture and gifts of all parties and seeks to integrate them well.

An essential part of this process is for you to hear firsthand the vision that Hosanna! and CoH are considering, ask questions and give feedback concerning the proposal. Multiple points of conversation will be important as we seek God’s heart in this matter. Finally, there will be a congregational vote to assist in giving direction to any final decision our Board of Directors will make. We hope to have that vote and clarity of direction by the end of October 2018.

So, please do join us on June 7, 7pm, at CoH for this important conversation. The meeting will be led by me; Pastor Ryan Alexander (Hosanna!); Heidi Olson (CoH Board President and lead for CoH’s MET); and Jennifer Ford (Hosanna! staff member and lead for Hosanna’s MET).

We look forward to seeing you there on June 7, 7pm. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at pernilsen@cohlc.org, 651.322.5679.

Living for Jesus!

Per Nilsen, Lead Pastor