Hope Today. Encouraging the Spirit

It’s time for a little hope today.

We’re all looking for a little hope. So, at St. John and Bethesda we’ve gathered some ideas and images that help us see possibility where we might have seen despair.
We welcome you into a weekly conversation.
Thanks for visiting!
And for adding your thoughts.

This week’s good news.


2020 and 2021 have been tough years. While the threat of COVID began to surface just before 2020 started, it was really mid-March of that year that we began to feel it affect our daily life. The interruption proved to be a disruption, and now in 2022 we have acknowledged that what was normal is different. Hope was challenged. Loss upon loss made us wonder when normal would be found.

True story. Even though she lost a very special person to COVID early in the pandemic, Carolina kept engaged with life. Her business was hurting, but everyday she opened up to feed the people who stopped in. When holidays came and most people would gather with family, Carolina opened her restaurant to those who had no other place to go. She offered a meal and warm conversation without charge. And she made a place for hope, even if for only a few hours. Through her own loss, she deepened her connection with others. And still today, Carolina enriches the lives of many who are blessed to meet her and enjoy her company.

Sometimes the people who look like they’ve made it through the past two years are the ones who carrying the most pain. This week we want to acknowledge that the past two years have been difficult for everyone—and extend a little extra kindness to those in our lives. Maybe that looks like taking a little extra time to listen, to say thanks, to share a compliment. We can share something that brings hope back home.

This week’s conversations.

Explore words cherished for generations that point us to purpose, to faith, to hope. Each week we offer a visual reflection, an expanded interactive conversation on a short scripture, and a deeper dive into finding hope in the Jewish and Christian scriptures. (Thanks to Vibrant Faith and the Bible Project for some of the content and ideas in these segments.)

A visual reflection for the week. Here’s a simple way to share encouragement with family and friends. Give someone a call and have a conversation.



A bit of background on the scripture of the week. A little more information may help give you a wider perspective. It’s also a good start for conversation to share your insights and questions with someone you trust. Please add your insights and questions in the blog for others, too.

The story behind the story

Digging Deeper. If you’d like to know even more about how scripture is filled with the messages of faith, hope and love, this weekly section is for you. There’s a short video and an opportunity to share your insights and questions with others.

A few basics to make your time with scripture more meaningful.

Shared prayers. We join together in a special place to share your prayer requests and join with others.


And you’re always welcome to visit us.

Online Giving Links:

Sunday mornings in person at 8:45 a.m.
St. John Lutheran
905 Montague Street
Dunlap, Iowa
Facebook Live: St John Facebook

Worship bulletin & sermon text for both services can be found here:

Sunday mornings in person at 10:30 a.m.
Bethesda Lutheran
702 Pine Street
Moorhead, Iowa
Facebook Live: Bethesda Facebook

Archived worship services at your convenience may be viewed at:

Sunday Services Bethesda

Sunday Services St John

Archived sermon text at your convenience may be viewed at:

Archived sermons

Our newsletter and calendar are also available:

Online Magazine Format

New posts in your inbox

About us

St. John Dunlap and Bethesda Moorhead are two ELCA congregations committed to sharing the love, grace and hope we experience when we trust that God is a loving God. In person and online, all are welcome to join with us in conversation, worship and prayer.

You belong here!