Communities of Hope is a gathering of churched, un-churched, and de-churched people who are seeking to explore faith in new and creative ways, with a strong focus on service
in both local and global communities.
Communities of Hope (COH) began as a response to the desires of a group of individuals to find a safe space outside of a church building to gather and explore faith meaning and expression.
As we began to engage in Word, Sacrament, and Service as a group -
drawing from the experiences of our diverse backgrounds and religious understandings - we experienced authentic community. We continue to engage in faith conversations that are honest and non-judgmental.
God is calling us to provide diverse opportunities for people to participate in COH in ways that encourage a sense of belonging without judgement. We encourage people to enter without dissuading them to connect or disconnect with a traditional church community. God is calling us to be vessels for healing
through tender listening to those who are suffering. COH is a creative and ever-evolving ministry, focused on God's restoration of a broken humanity through the life, death, resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Harrisburg is an economically, culturally, and racially diverse city. COH seeks to serve underrepresented groups in the area, including: youth and young adults, people of color, poor and working-class, people with a high-school diploma or less, and people with little or no church background or involvement.
As a group, we find meaning and purpose expressing our faith through local and global service with our neighbor, particularly with the community experiencing homelessness in downtown Harrisburg, and children and their families living in poverty locally and globally. We have learned that our participants with little to no religious identity experience faith through service in local and global mission contexts.
COH is an ELCA Synodically Authorized Worshipping Community.