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The Grove Church: Rooted in Prayer

10.10.17 | The Grove | by Martha Vaughan

The Grove Church: Rooted in Prayer

    Church planting has always been at the heart of Highland Park United Methodist Church. Now the next chapter of church planting at HPUMC is underway. The Grove Church will host it’s grand opening on October 22. For weeks, members of HPUMC have looked forward to this exciting day, praying for all those who will walk through the doors of The Grove Church. In fact, prayer has become a literal part of the church’s foundation.

    You’re invited!  

    The Grove Church’s opening worship service will be at 10 a.m. on Sunday, October 22, followed by a block party from 11 am to 1 pm, featuring bounce houses, food trucks, and fun for all ages. Come join the excitement!

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    On a warm Sunday afternoon a few weeks ago, dozens of HPUMC families and staff walked through the doors of The Grove Church for the first time. They made their way through what once was a gym, now being transformed into a lively, inviting worship space. Everyone who stepped into the new space had one mission in mind: to create a foundation of prayer on which to launch The Grove Church.

    They took bright-colored markers, found an open spot, and began to write on the unfinished concrete floor and stage. Some copied verses from the Bible, others brought prewritten prayers, and some just wrote what was on their heart. Several scrawled The Lord’s Prayer in big, bold letters. Toddlers drew pictures, older children signed their names. Soon the gym floor was covered with brightly colored prayers and hopes for The Grove. Prayers like…

    May all who enter encounter grace and hope. May all who enter find a place to belong, and find a purpose in God’s mission. May our lives never be the same. May our neighborhoods never be the same.

    Bless this church and all who enter here. Allow us to grow and make a difference.

    Heavenly Father, guide our hearts, hands, thoughts and deeds so that we may draw more people to Christ through The Grove Church, and draw us all ever closer to You. Bless this church and hold its people in Your heart as we build it with joy and love upon Christ the cornerstone. Ephesians 2:19-22

    May my faith grow in this Grove.

    Just days later, new flooring would be laid upon all of these prayers, protecting and preserving them.

    A foundation built on prayer

    “We wanted The Grove to be rooted in prayer and scripture,” says Rev. Stephen Lohoefer, campus pastor for The Grove. “Every Sunday as we gather together for worship, I know that we are literally standing on, and supported by, the heartfelt prayers and scripture of so many. What an incredible blessing!”  

    “It was heartwarming to see people of all ages contribute,” adds Rev. Joy Gonzalez, associate pastor for The Grove. “We have scribbles from toddlers, stick-figure pictures from pre-schoolers, wonderful prayers and scriptures from teens and adults – all given with so much love. What better way to set a sure foundation for a church?”

    Now it’s your turn

    All of us have a part to play in The Grove’s story. You can help this brand new church become established and grow. All it takes are two steps.  

    First, it is our hope that The Grove Church will be a place where all can know and feel the love of God. Do you know someone who is looking for a place to belong? Whether they’re searching for a church home, or just want to find a community of people to invest in, will you consider inviting them to join you on October 22?  

    And second, we need your prayers!   

    Pray for God’s blessing on this church.

    Pray for the leadership of The Grove and for bold vision for the church’s future.

    Pray for those in the neighborhood who are longing for a place to belong.

    Pray God would open hearts and minds of those who walk through the church doors.

    And finally, we hope you will pray that God will use The Grove, and this gathering of God’s people, to bear witness to God’s incredible love for all.


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