Hope Matters is One of Many Mt. Olive Support Initiatives During the COVID-19 Pandemic
SANTA MONICA, CA / ACCESSWIRE / October 14, 2021 / Santa Monica's Mt. Olive Lutheran Church has recently posted the 60th episode of a YouTube discussion series focused on the importance of hope during these difficult COVID-19 times. With weekly guests and hosted by Senior Pastor Rev. Eric C. Shafer, the popular video series titled 'Hope Matters' features individuals and experts from across the country who share inspiring messages of hope with viewers.
Now with 60 episodes, 'Hope Matters' includes one-on-one interviews with various religious leaders, non-profit executive directors, a Netflix series executive producer, physicians, a seminary student, a licensed spiritual practitioner, a research scientist, a humanitarian, authors, and more. Each episode features candid discussions on hope, positivity, love, and overcoming adversity, offering viewers uplifting perspectives on life during difficult times.
During his 'Hope Matters' interview, the Rev. Rafael Malpica-Padilla, Executive Director for Global Mission of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), stated that 'faith is the ability to hear the melody of the future and hope is the courage to dance to its tune today.'
Reflecting on their election as the first transgender bishop in a mainline Christian denomination, the Rev. Megan Rohrer, Bishop of the ELCA's Sierra Pacific Synod, noted that one of their goals as bishop is to 'keep translating the Good News of Jesus Christ into good news for everyone who has ears to hear it.'
'Hope Matters is all about reminding people that despite trying times, hope can keep us going even when life feels like an uphill battle,' said Pastor Shafer. 'The COVID-19 pandemic has been an especially devastating time for our world, so it's more important than ever that our message of maintaining hope is heard and resonates with people.'
The Mt. Olive Lutheran Church ministry has been incredibly supportive throughout the pandemic, offering its congregation and community-at-large an active calendar of services and activities to keep people engaged and connected despite being physically separated. Central to these activities have been efforts to combat hunger locally, founding a neighborhood 'Little Food Pantry' for hungry people in Santa Monica and purchasing a van to expand the work throughout Los Angeles County of the 'Food on Foot' ministry for homeless people. The congregation also supported the Will Rogers School food assistance program and provided a take-home Thanksgiving dinner to those in need and weekly donations to the Westside Food Bank. Efforts beyond Santa Monica have included support for Afghan refugees, COVID-19 hospital patients in India, aid following the California wildfires, Hurricane Ida, the Haiti earthquake, and the California Firefighters Foundation and struggling area Lutheran congregations.
During COVID, Mt. Olive worship has been online, with prerecorded worship services available weekly via YouTube. These services have proven so popular that they will continue even as the congregation returns to in-person worship services this month.
Beginning October 16 & 17, Mt. Olive returns to in-person worship services, Saturdays @ 5 pm and Sundays @ 9 am.
Mt. Olive is also 'home' for the Mt. Olive Lutheran Preschool (https://mtolivelutheranpreschool.org), the Bruin Shelter for homeless college students (https://bruinshelter.org), and the Westside Coalition for Housing, Hunger and Homelessness (https://westsideshelter.org).
'Hope Matters' episodes can be viewed on Mt. Olive's YouTube page, where prerecorded worship services can also be found. https://youtube.com/c/MtOliveLutheranChurchSantaMonica. More information about Mt. Olive Lutheran Church is available online at https://mtolivelutheranchurch.org.
SOURCE: Mt Olive Lutheran Church
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