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Welcome To Hope

As a church committed to the gospel of Jesus Christ, Hope Evangelical Lutheran Church is called to welcome all people in all its congregation and ministries into full participation as baptized members of the body of Christ. We believe in welcoming all people warmly and without hesitation. We are a church that belongs to Christ. There is a place here for you. We encourage all people to grow in their faith and their spiritual practices, and to use their gifts for the good of mankind and the church.

Today many in  our community are facing daunting life challenges without realizing God's love and forgiveness. Hope has an important message to share and people in our community are ready to hear it. You are welcome to share Christ's love here at Hope. Our goal is to equip our neighbors with both spiritual and physical sustenance. Here at Hope we are doing God's work of restoring and reconciling men and women in Christ.

This is Christ's Church. There is a place for you here. We are a church that shares a living, vital confidence in God's grace. When you visit us we who are liberated by our faith will embrace you as a whole person - questions, complexities, problems and all. We invite you and to join us as we do God's work in Christ's name for the life of all the world.


Stories of How Others Came to Hope

The saga of our trip to Hope began a long time before we ever thought to retire and move to Florida. But to move up to 1993 we had visited Good Shepherd and St. Timothy. We were not pleased with either congregation. I don't know where we found evidence of another Lutheran church in the area - Hope - but we decided to check it out. At the stop sign at Elkcam and Citrus Springs Blvd we turned left and drove forever through what seemed like no man's land. Drew suddenly said "I've been here before" as the realization hit him. He had started his first civilian job with the Lutheran Church, based in Chicago, headquarters in NYC. He was visiting new churches with the FL/Bahamas Synod Rep. for development of new congregations. This was in 1972.

Our first Sun. there was one woman introducing herself as living in Pine Ridge on Birds Nest. It took a while before we went to coffee hour. I knew a few people from golf, but Drew didn't know anyone. We waited a year for the Round Robins to begin, with hopeful anticipation. During the week after our first visit at Hope, Helen and her husband came to visit and told us lots of interesting things and places in Citrus Co. When the Pastor Clark returned from vacation he came to visit. I asked him one question about Alaska and he talked for an hour. Guess we were sold.

Why I stay now? Over the years I've been a member at 8 congregations, two of them 2 and 3 times as we moved around the country. That's enough. Vivian

My parents joined Hope around 1990. We would come up and visit, always for holidays. We attended many services during that time but the one to remember was…. It was Christmas Eve 1990. My son Michael was 6 months old. We left him in the nursery with Susie Clark (Pastor's wife) She came to find us in the middle of the service. Mike would not stop screaming and she didn't know what to do. I of course took him. The next day (Christmas) Michael awoke with a great present…his first tooth! She and I never forgot that. We moved up here in 1993 when my Dad passed away to care for my Mom. - Carol

When we moved to our house in Dunnellon in 2001, we began looking for a Lutheran church. We visited several in Marion and Citrus County, My Mom, Evelyn, and I decided on "Hope" in Citrus Springs because the warm and friendly members made us feel welcome. This church was only 8 miles from our homes, so "Hope" was very convenient.

We transferred our memberships and continued our life-long commitment to an ELCA church. One of the nicest couples welcomed us right away – Al and Helga, and they were among the first members of the congregation 40 years ago as Hope started out. Mom and I enjoyed the early service and it soon became "family." Mom passed away on February 12, 2010 and her memorial service was held at Hope with Pastor Lynn officiating.

There is no longer an active WELCA at Hope, so I started "Martha Circle," which meets the first Wednesday of each month in Luther Hall. I've always enjoyed doing God's work through my heart and hands. Even though our group is small, we enjoy a social time, crafts, mission projects, and making gifts for shut-ins. As the saying goes "… where two or three are gathered in my name …" this is Martha Circle. - Carole

We joined Hope many years ago when Pastor Clark was there, had many picnics and pot lucks, we made many friends while there and some have passed away including Fred. We did Good Friday walk along Citrus Springs roads carrying the Cross. We also did the Crop Walk. - Monika

My relationship with Hope Lutheran Church is through my parents. My relationship with church, in general, has always been through my parents. As children, my siblings and I attended Grace Lutheran Church in North Bellmore, New York on Long Island. My Dad moonlighted from his job as a New York City Police Officer at another local Lutheran Church, called Christ Lutheran. He worked there, part time, as the Sexton (Janitor) and we all helped to clean the church, do the yard-work, and shovel the snow.

We moved to Florida in 1972 when I was 17 years old and I never joined a church as a member. Still, after my parents became members of Hope Lutheran (sometime in the mid 1970s) I found my way to Hope on Easter, Mothers' Day, and for family events like Christenings, weddings, etc. My sister was married at Hope Lutheran. My own wedding also was at Hope in 1981 conducted by Pastor Morrod.

The Pastor at that time was Pastor Clark. When my Dad was dying toward the end of 2008 I met Pastor Lynn for the first time in his hospital room. I knew both my Mom and Dad were happy that the church finally had a full time pastor again and I was hopeful that my Dad would recover and be able to be present at Hope for Pastor Lynn's services. That never happened because in November of 2008 my Dad passed away.

It was the evening that my Dad passed away that I witnessed the strength and caring that we have all come to know in Pastor Lynn. Her presence was a blessing for my family, especially my Mom, that night and then through the funeral and memorial services and for that I have always been grateful. After my Dad passed away I knew my Mom would want to continue going to church and so that is when I began showing up regularly at Hope Lutheran for Sunday service. - Larry

When Arthur and I moved from Mineola, Long Island, to Beverly Hills, Florida, back in 1982 we wondered if we would ever find a church we would feel so good about as the church we were leaving on Long Island. The only Lutheran church in Beverly Hills at that time was not to our liking. Then one wonderful day a couple from HOPE in Citrus Springs (I believe their name was Holsopple) called us and invited us to come to worship. We did and it was the beginning of a wonderful worship experience for us. I feel such love here. During the years we have had several pastors, each one filling our spiritual needs. HOPE is my church. - Helen

Since 1996 I have experienced the blessings of God and the fellowship of worshipers at Hope ELC. WELCA, Altar Guild, Bells and Chimes, Bible Studies, Accolyting, Round Robins, VBS and Martha Circle have been the source of inspiration in my life. Casey Gaylardo We came to Citrus Springs ten years ago and found Hope right near our home. What a wonderful find! We have found marvelous friendships and various forms of devotion. Hope has had some problems; but those loyal to each other and Hope, have resolved these problems. - Lynn and Ted

Why I joined Hope Evangelical Lutheran Church — because of 3 dogs and none belonged to me! Before building our home in Rainbow Springs I owned a condo in Rainbow Springs. Victor wanted to make sure that I liked Florida living before we committed to a building program. During a vacation in Florida without Victor I had a lawn chair at the home owner's beach. While dilly dallying away the afternoon along came Connie and Bob Adams with their 3 golden retrievers. They asked if they could "invade" my solitude and privacy and take Christmas card pictures. We got to talking and eventually the talk got to church matters. I had previously visited other ELCA churches while on vacation but they told me of all the nice people at Hope Lutheran in Citrus Springs. And they were right. So here "I stand". - Diane

When we moved here in 1988, finding the right church was one of the first things I wanted to do because I always felt being connected to a church was a priority. Therefore, I checked out a few of the local churches here and in Dunnellon, then when I walked into Hope, I just felt at home and that this was the right church for me. I loved it from the start. The people were friendly, the Pastor was great, the preaching was inspiring, the services were beautiful, and the church calendar offered a wonderful variety of events to please just about every person who wanted to share their talents and enjoy the family of Hope.

I've been a member since 1989 and I've always felt that this church has a lot to offer and is blessed with loving, friendly people who enjoy being part of the family of God. And, I very happy that the dust has settled and we're back to being a loving, caring family again with the right pastor. - Anita

It wasn't a member of Hope that gave us reason to visit the church for the first time. It was a neighbor of the church who happened to babysit our two young daughters. Each summer Debbie enrolled those in her care in Hope's Vacation Bible School – sometimes to the dismay of Hope's VBS volunteer. At the end of the program, the attendees all gathered for a Friday evening program of songs and an ice cream social. Parents were invited and we always attended. The girls always enjoyed VBS activities so it seemed Hope would be a good place to attend regularly.

The first Sunday the girls and I attended church Pastor Clark asked for visitors to stand and introduce themselves. So I stood up and after introducing myself Pastor Clark started singing the old Beatles song, "Michelle, my Belle." The following week Steve joined the girls and I at church and Hope became our church for many years.

Somewhere along the way life got really busy, attending church lost its priority and we stopped coming. After the girls left home, Steve and I looked at each other and said, "we should go to church again." It was only natural we return to Hope – to the family that had prayed for us through Steve's heart transplant, Cole's tonsils removal and where Erin had taken her first communion. - Michel

When we moved to Citrus Springs three years ago, we were delighted to discover a Lutheran church close to our new home! Hope Lutheran Church is only one mile away - we could even walk to church (We never have, however). During our first visit to Hope, we were very impressed by the friendly people! Everyone made us feel welcome, and we knew that Hope would become our Florida church. Hope Lutheran is now a very important part of our lives. A few of the many things we love about Hope Lutheran are: singing in the choir, the fellowship after the service in Luther Hall, Round Robin groups, Pastor Lynn (her dedication, her guidance, her sermons, and her friendship), and the friendly caring people. God bless Hope Lutheran Church! - Peggy and Bob

Mike and I came to Hope because I was called by God to be Hope's pastor. After a turbulent beginning, the relationship between pastor and people has developed into one of mutual love and respect. I love how the people of Hope are becoming actively passionate about serving those in need, are learning to tell their faith stories, are striving to communicate more effectively, and are working more intentionally to Know Christ and to Make Him Known. - Pastor Lynn

 

Why Visit Hope

We are a church that is energized by lively engagement in our faith and life. "Our faith is a living, busy, active, mighty thing," said Martin Luther. Many of us have been unchurched, many have belonged to other churches. We know where you are at because many of us have been there also.

That is the reason we live out a proclamation of the Good News by inviting you to come and worship with us so that you might hear Christ proclaimed not only through the spoken word, but through the actions
of those gathered here to celebrate the wonders of God's love.

Join us to hear the word of God and share in the Lord's Supper.

Daily Reflection

Service Times & Directions

Sunday Services

Spoken Holy Communion: 8:00 am

Sung Holy Communion: 10:00 am

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9425 North Citrus Springs BLVD
Citrus Springs, FL 34433
(352) 489-5511