New Hope Blog 

From the Orange Groves to High Falls

From the Orange Groves to High Falls

Last time, we journeyed upstream to my boyhood home — Rochester, New York. Like every child, I believed that my hometown was the best city on earth. Many years later, I still believe I was fortunate to have grown up there, but I now have a more nuanced view. In the...

From the Genesee River

From the Genesee River

Yes, like all American cities, Rochester had an exceptional past, but it also has some truly ugly stories that have remained carefully untold. Stories that those neighbors and my own dad had never heard. The racial conflicts which spawned “white flight” were symptoms of deeper problems. As a Rochester citizen, Frederick Douglass, once said, “The thing that is worse than the rebellion is the thing that caused the rebellion.”

Parable of the River Babies

Parable of the River Babies

Kris and I felt led to start New Hope nearly 12 years ago. Early on in our ministry, one of my mentors shared the “River Babies” parable with me. His ministry was similar to ours, providing an after-school tutoring program for under-resourced children living on the...

Interdependence

Interdependence

Think of the individuals who have shaped your life the most. Who were they? Was it a teacher, a coach, a parent or another family member? Although we speak of self-made individuals, the reality is that all of us have been shaped by our past and present relationships: whether for good, or for evil.

The Wicked Tenants

The Wicked Tenants

Why did Jesus die? This question is not meant as a theological question. What was the immediate cause of His death? When speaking of an “immediate cause,” we are looking at the final act in a series of provocations. What was Jesus saying or doing that led to his crucifixion?

Jesus and the Gentiles

Jesus and the Gentiles

With the recent spate of racial protests in many cities, and violence in others, some might think these racial issues are fictions conjured up by politicians or the media. The reality is that in-group bias and racial prejudice are pervasive, and as old as humanity.

Hosanna!!

Hosanna!!

With racial issues dominating our news as of late, I thought this would be a good time to explore what the Bible has to say about the subject. Actually, the Bible has a lot to say about race. Three main theological threads appear interwoven throughout scripture — one of those threads is racial reconciliation.

Fatherless Elephants

Fatherless Elephants

About five years ago, I came across a fascinating 60 Minutes story by Bob Simon that could easily serve as a modern day parable. In South Africa's Pilanesberg Park, an endangered species of white rhinos were thriving until an unknown killer began stalking them....