Karla Nivens has been singing in Cornerstone since 2003. First as one of the singers in the Cornerstone band and then, starting in 2013, as the Worship Leader. She’s felt at home at HPUMC since her very first Sunday and treasures all of the lasting friendships she’s formed over the years. It’s been a joy for her to look out onto the faces of those in Cornerstone or the Sanctuary and feel overwhelming love for each and every person.

Now, Karla is stepping into a new role and a new ministry as Associate Director of HPUMC’s Impact Team, focusing on cultural diversity.

“While worship will still remain one of the things I'm called to,” Karla said, “bringing people of various cultures together has been a passion of mine since childhood. There is something to celebrate and learn from every culture.”

As for what she sees for the future of the Impact Team, Karla hopes for real relationships formed across cultural lines.

“I envision cultural barriers that used to be erected, brought down. In the place of those barriers, love will grow for other human beings,” she said. “There will be opportunities to worship, to serve alongside, and to learn from various cultures. Collaborations between HPUMC and other churches and ministries are already being formed.”

However, she realizes that this isn’t going to happen overnight. The fruits of this ministry’s labors are going to take time.

“This will be a marathon, not a sprint,” Karla said. “That's good news because the goal is for lasting relationships to grow.”

She’s also incredibly excited to bring a bit of heaven to Earth through the Impact Team’s efforts. After all, when we get to heaven, we won’t be separated by race and culture. “I have a vision of heaven where we have this great time spent in worship together,” said Nivens, citing Revelation 9:7-12 as her inspiration.

9 After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. 10 And they cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.” 11 All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 saying: “Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!” - Revelation 7: 9-12

Already, the Impact team is building relationships and encouraging HPUMC’s church family to take advantage of the new opportunities presented. Through deeper conversations, stronger bonds will be formed as we continue our mission of becoming deeply devoted followers of Jesus Christ.

Said Nivens, “Joining the Impact Team and focusing on cultural diversity is going to be a new opportunity for all of us to continue being the people God has called us to be.”