In 16 ½ months it will be Christmas Eve, 2018. Sanctuary lights are dim. Neighbors, family and guests join us for a celebration of Jesus’ incarnation. Each walks up the sidewalk and through the entrance to receive their candle. Children skipping past the shiny railings enjoying the aroma of already lit candles at the table, in the windowsills and across the stage.

Drawing us in to that sacred space is music. Beautiful, Christ-exalting music fashioned by a team of musicians. Some musicians are familiar because they’ve led us beautifully for years. Some are familiar but unexpected because they have dusted off their instruments or rededicated their voices for praise. And some have joined the team in recent months. All united to lift up the King.

Six weeks ago, at the close of our June 26 worship service, I said, “Hope’s leaders have been praying, asking for and receiving input from many of you, listening to our staff, prayerfully discussing and then synthesizing some next steps for our next ministry year.” I then relayed 5 next steps for Hope. When I came to the third I shared, “We would like to increase the number of people and instruments involved in our Worship Ministry and provide personal discipleship and musical coaching for each person on the team.” Between that day and today I have sent out 2 newsletters to further clarify this vision and the process we are walking through to see this idea become a reality.

Today I am writing to inform you that Seth Slay will be our Equipping Worship Leader beginning Sunday, Sept. 3. In this role Seth will serve our current musicians, any musicians hiding in the woodwork and all of us who just love to sing. For those of you who were with us on Sunday July 30, Seth was our point Worship Leader that morning.

Seth was born in Oklahoma; learned guitar and was mentored to humbly lead worship while growing up in Texas; met his wife, Hannah, in Arkansas; learned the importance of coaching other musicians at a church in Iowa; and moved to Denver a year ago with Hannah and their two boys, Elliot and Alden, to serve by patiently remodeling Bloom Church’s worship ministry into a team of humble, well prepared and beautifully led musicians.

Since Seth will continue to serve as Bloom’s Equipping Worship Pastor while taking on this equipping role with Hope there are two necessary changes that will take place beginning Sunday Sept. 3. First, Bloom will move their morning service from Grant Middle School into Hope’s Lower Level Reception Hall prior to our morning service so that Seth can walk up to lead with Hope after leading Bloom downstairs. Second, to create margin between the two services, Bloom will start their services earlier so they will be done and heading out of the building by 10:15 and Hope’s service start time will move back 15 minutes from 10:30 to 10:45. We will still close our services around 11:45.

In light of this kingdom idea to have Seth multiply his calling beyond Bloom and now into Hope, our elders, leaders and volunteers have been asking great questions and offering wise and helpful suggestions. Thank you, leaders, for your guidance, along with your willing and joyful attitudes to make any and all adjustments necessary. As we take this next step I have a few requests for all of you in the Hope family.

  • Join me in thanking God for Jamie Walker who has served sacrificially to prepare each week behind the scenes and has led us in singing praise to God as our primary point leader on Sunday mornings for several years.
  • Pray for our current musicians and all Sunday morning volunteers throughout this transition.
  • Pray for Seth, his family and the leaders of Bloom as they adjust to help make this happen.
  • If your typical parking spot is not yet opened up when you arrive on a Sunday morning, please redirect any frustration into thanksgiving to God.
  • Please extend a hospitable Hope greeting and welcome to those from Bloom who will be walking out of our building while we walk in.
  • Strive to still arrive by 10:30 in order to gather for coffee, welcome new guests, catch up with one another, get kids ready and then prepare your heart to join heaven and nature to sing at 10:45.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please let me or any of our attentive leaders know!