Hopewell's Celebrations

Hopewell celebrated its bicentennial in 2005.The Bicentennial Celebration began in 2004 when the MYF put together and sold a 2005 Bicentennial Calendar as a fundraiser. The calendar included art-work submitted by members of the congregation, birthdays of families and a chronology of planned events. The Bicentennial Committee organized a special Moment in History for one Sunday a month, usually the first Sunday. On April 2 Hopewell honored former pastor, Rev. James W. Moore and his wife June, with a reception dinner held at the Canal Winchester Senior Center. Doctor Moore delivered the sermon, When Time Stood Still, at Hopewell's April 3rd worship service. The service was followed by a potluck lunch. Some other special bicentennial activities included constructing and entering a special Bicentennial float in the Groveport and Ashville 4th of July parades, videotaping the memories of our senior members, and holding a historical church picnic in the Hopewell Cemetery. We named the picnic "Picnic with the Spirits."

The Bicentennial Celebration concluded on October 2, 2005 with a special worship service and homecoming. Raymond and Gail White presented a history of the Methodist Church. Ninety-five year old Kate McCollister played the piano as the congregation sang "What a Friend We Have in Jesus." Kate had played the piano and organ at Hopewell for more than 70 years. Dr. Bruce Ough, Bishop of the West Ohio Conference brought the morning message. The 2005 Hopewell Bicentennial History book was given out to the congregation. A catered dinner followed the service. Folks could eat in either the basement or outside under the tent. The video tape of the senior members recollections was shown in the basement. We enjoyed visiting with old Hopewell friends who had returned for our celebration.

Hopewell's Homecoming Celebration

Sunday September 27, 2015



Hopewell U.M. Church 2006-2015

On Feb. 12, 2006, Rev. Charles Muller was honored with a retirement celebration, having served Hopewell Church for 20 years. The celebration included "This is Your Life," special music, a slide show, gifts and a potluck dinner. Pastor Phyllis Riggs served as our interim pastor. The annual Easter Egg Hunt was held on April 15 at Slate Run Park. On May 21, we presented gifts of appreciation to Associate Pastor Becca Weichel as she left Hopewell. On June 25 the church had a Farewell Potluck for Pastor Phyllis after the service.

On July 2, 2006 Hopewell welcomed our first full-time minister, Pastor Tina Dietsch. Pastor Tina surprised us with her musical talents, singing and playing the piano for us. The service was followed by a reception. Communion became a monthly celebration and Bibles were put in all pews and used during services. The church put more emphasis on Methodist Church Discipline policy and procedures that resulted in the creation of the Council of Ministries in addition to the Administration Board. Many new committees were formed. A new lay leader, Taye Moody, was chosen and certified. Pastor Tina and Taye did mission service in the Dominican Republic and Russia, teaching poor children. Special Bible Study groups were formed. Special services were held on Ash Wednesday, a Seder meal on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday stations-of-the-cross service, and Christmas Eve altar prayer. The waving of palm leaves by the children at the Palm Sunday worship service became a new Hopewell annual tradition. The 6:30 Youth Sunrise Easter Service was moved to 8:00 with a breakfast at 9:30. The egg hunt was held at the Mullers in 2007. It has been there every year since then with the exception of 2011. That year it was scheduled to be at the Mullers, but it had to be moved to the church due to heavy rains.

A men's group was restarted to provide scriptural studies, service and social activities. Making homemade noodles became their money making project. The Mission Year Round program was continued with a special mission project each month. A commitment was made to help the poor in Appalachia with financial aid and personal service outreach to Good Works. The church supported Groveport, Canal Winchester and Ashville food pantries, volunteered for the Foundation Dinner in Lancaster and volunteered for meals on wheels. Support was given to Redbird Mission and local people in need. A new knitting group, "Knit Whits" supplied children's sweaters to Guidepost Ministries, blankets to Children's Hospital for babies in the intensive care unit and prayer shawls to bring comfort. In July 2007 the Youth made a mission trip to Kingston, Tennessee to help people in need of home repairs and other services. In the summer of 2009 the Youth went to Marysville and Pittsburg on mission trips. On Nov. 27-28 the church participated in the Samaritan's Purse Mission Trip in Charlotte, North Carolina.

A church library room provided a much needed place to keep church history records. Jane Lynch, the new librarian, set up several book cases of Christian-themed books, magazines, CDs and cassettes that people could check out and enjoy. In 2009 a new church directory was organized and published under the direction of Chandra Crone. Pat Howard used e-mail to request prayers for those in need and to send us Hopewell news. Edie Snyder headed up a phone prayer chain for those who did not use e-mail. Kim Clements was in charge of our church website.

Taye Moody organized a monthly two-day Forever Young Elder Vacation Bible School that continues to serve nursing homes in Central Ohio. In 2009 the 5th Sunday Mission Work was organized, a mission that is continued in 2015. A mission project is planned for each 5th Sunday of the month during the worship time. A worship service is provided for those who do not go on the mission trip. The church picnic with the spirits in the Hopewell Cemetery was continued in 2006 and 2007. The 2007 picnic featured Military Re-enactors. Pastor Tina liked fall social activities. She requested that the annual square dance and potluck be brought back. Ron White volunteered his barn for the dances. In 2006 people wore their Halloween costumes to the barn dance and participated in Trunk or Treat. Pastor Tina held All Saints Day Trunk or Treat at the church for Hopewell's children. People decorated their cars and passed out candy to the children from their trunks. Prizes were awarded for decorated cars and costumes. Games were played and food was enjoyed. The first Ham and Bean Dinner, organized by Tom and Jane Lynch, followed the Oct. 19, 2008 worship service. The Sept. 25, 2010 evening Ham and Bean Dinner featured ham and bean soup cooked outdoors on an open fire. There were hot dogs and fried potatoes, and about 15 people entered the corn bread baking contest. The tradition is that the band judges the cornbread. The Ham and Bean dinner is followed by live music. We have been entertained by Bobby Leatherwood and his band, the Cornerstones Band, and in recent years by Melanie Harshman's dad's band from Lima, EZ and Co. The church women gave a wedding shower for Pastor Tina on Jan. 25, 2009 at the Madison Township Community Center. Taunya Lambert and Casey Shrewsberry prepared a delicious meal. Pastor Tina and Joe invited the Hopewell congregation to their Valentines Day wedding on Feb. 14, 2009. Although they wanted to get married at Hopewell, our church was too small so they opted to hold it at David Lutheran Church in Canal Winchester since it was the closest church to Hopewell that could fit all their guests. Joe was active in the church Youth Ministry and provided much support to Pastor Tina in all of her work.

A Good-bye Party was held for Pastor Tina and Joe on June 13, 2010 at the Canal Winchester Senior Center. Pastor Tina was assigned to Eastview United Methodist Church in Whitehall. On June 27, 2010, Hopewell welcomed Pastor Barbara Wood Salyers and her family with a reception of cake and punch after the service. Pastor Barb is Hopewell's first pastor who has joined our church choir. Her husband Jeff provides leadership to the MYF, works with the Youth in Bible School, works with missions and provides much support to Pastor Barb. Rebekah and Rachel have supported their mother as they have used their many talents to benefit Hopewell. Brad Thomas has given support to Pastor Barb as the lay leader.

On Dec. 7, 2010 Cabot Rea presented Hopewell with a certificate for their Outstanding Mission Team at Children's Hospital Stecker Auditorium. The honor was for all mission activities at the UM Church for All People, Free Store and Community Development for All People, programs like housing, gardening and the wonderful Parties in the Community Park for All Peoples.

Communion is served the first Sunday of each month and children are encouraged to participate. There is also a Christmas Eve communion service each year. The men of the church presented "The Living Last Supper Drama" on Maundy Thursday for three years, 2011, 2012 and 2013. A Seder meal was served on Maundy Thursday in 2014 and 2015.

The Hopewell Thanksgiving Dinner and White Elephant Auction has provided much fellowship. Decorated food bags are still donated to the food pantries at Ashville, Groveport and Canal Winchester. The auction provides money to buy Christmas presents for needy families in the area. The Youth and Children's Christmas program "Cookin Up Christmas!" was organized for Dec. 19, 2010 during the morning worship service. The Christmas program has been held during the worship service every year since then. On Aug. 12, 2012 Hopewell celebrated 4-H and FFA Sunday. We celebrated all the winnings of the 2012 fair season (county and State Fair). Pastor Barb has given a back to school blessing each year to those students going back to school and to those who are school staff. Pastor Barb challenged our grandparents to bring their grandchildren to church to celebrate Grandparents Day on Sept. 9, 2012.

On Oct. 13, 2013 the Chancel Choir, organized by Bertha Fridley in 1953, was surprised with a special recognition for 60 years of music. The choir sang "The Old Village Choir" in memory of Kate McCollister who played the piano and organ for Hopewell for over 70 years. Marla Rainer has accompanied the choir on the piano since 1986. Mary Jane Metcalf began directing the choir after she took a course in directing when she was in college. According to church records Mary Jane has directed for more than 50 years. Mark Coon accompanies Marla with his guitar during the congregational introit.

On Aug. 10, 2014 the worship service was held outdoors under a tent. The children shared their Bible School songs. Pastor Barb has directed the Bible School singing each year. The service was followed by a potluck picnic and games for the children. Hopewell's first Breakfast with Santa, held on Dec. 6, 2014, was well attended and enjoyed by both children and adults. On Jan. 18, 2015, the MYF was started back up for grades 6-12.

A children's club called Kidz Klub was also started the same evening for those children in grades K-5. Dinner is served at the youth meetings. The youth meetings for both MYF and Kidz Klub are both held on the third Sunday evening of the month with a break in the summer. Children's Bible School is held for a week each summer in the evenings. Dinner and snacks are prepared and served to the children.

We recognize the high school and college youth each year with Graduation Sunday. Memorial Scholarships are awarded to Hopewell's students who are attending college.

In 2015 a Church directory was published through Lifetouch under the direction of Kim Clements to help Hopewell people connect with each other. Wanda Haines' picture of the church was chosen for the front of the directory, and John Metcalf's picture decorates the back. We also connect through e-mails from Kim Clements, phone calls for those without e-mail and through our church website that is maintained by Sheila Thomas. In 2015 Kim Clements put Hopewell on Facebook. Sunday School is held at 9:30 a.m. each Sunday prior to the 10:30 worship service. Pastor Barb serves as the Sunday School Superintendent. She is our first minister to serve in that position. Our morning begins in the sanctuary with the traditional celebration of birthdays, hymn singing, prayer requests and sharing of our joys. Kayley Thomas plays the piano for Sunday School, having started when she was ten years old. Craig Maxwell served as Sunday School secretary for many years. Sheila Thomas is currently the secretary. Bible based classes are held for all ages.

Our church greeters have taken on additional roles in 2015 as they now serve as ushers on the same Sunday they are greeters. On communion Sunday the greeters serve Communion. Junior church, under the direction of Brad Thomas, is provided for the children ages 4 years old through 4th grade. The nursery is available for babies and young children.

Ron DeLucia is our mission chair person. Some of our 5th Sunday missions include: Serving Breakfast at Ronald McDonald House, Wash Day and Community Loads of Love, Trunk or Treat at Gathner Place, helping the homeless and work at Hazel's House and Sunbury House.

Some Mission Year Round Projects are: Jackson Seed Packets, collection of items for the food pantries, Vets and Pets Girl Scout project, paper products for Hazel's House, collection of school supplies and many others. Some mission work Hopewell supports on a regular basis is: The Foundation in Lancaster, Athens Great Works, Kairos, Kairos Torch, Forever Young VBS, Hugs for Troops, and Adopt a Family.

The Men's Group and Women's Society are very active. The Women meet the first Wednesday evening of the month at 7:00 p.m. The March Pancake and Sausage Supper continues to be the Women's Society's main money raising activity. The women prepare and serve funeral dinners for Hopewell families. The Men's Group meets the third Monday of the month at 6:00 p.m. Their work at the Groveport Food Pantry helps many local people in need. The men and boys cook, serve the meal, and clean up after the Mother Daughter Banquet.

We celebrate 210 years of worshiping together at the September 27 Hopewell Homecoming Service and Dinner. We reflect on the beginnings of our church in 1805, barely two years before the state of Ohio was admitted to the Union. Some families of the original Hopewell Church continue to be a part of the Hopewell family from one generation to the next. New families are welcomed and are vital to the growth of the church. Hopewell truly has a remarkable history of faithful members and pastors.

submitted by Ruth Eberts, church historian