Upcoming Women of Hope Events

March 23

Spring Gathering for Pinelands Conference at Good Shephard ELCA, 439 Norvell Bryant Highway, Hernando, FL. Want to attend? Contact Kay Miller at (352) 259-4408 by March 21st.

April 2 – April 4

Women of Hope Spring Retreat at Luther Springs Retreat Center, Hawthorn, FL.

April 18

NO Women of Hope breakfast meeting due to Holy Week.

May 16

Women of Hope “Spring Fling” annual fundraiser at Hope Lake Weir Campus with Mary Jo Vitale entertaining.

Hope Remembers Pastor Ellen Skatrud-Mickelson

The Reverend Dr. Ellen Jean Skatrud-Mickelson passed away at home on December 27th, 2018. She had been a member of the Hope Lutheran Pastoral Care Team since 2012.

Pastor Ellen was born on September 27th, 1952, at the Lackland Air Force Base hospital in Texas. She married Pastor Paul Mickelson on August 6th, 1977. Pastor Ellen’s mother, Irma Skatrud, is also a member of Hope.

Pastor Ellen was a trailblazer for female pastors in the Lutheran community, particularly in northern Minnesota and in South Dakota. She studied at Meredith College in North Carolina, Luther College in Iowa, and Wartburg Theological Seminary in Iowa, before completing her Doctor of Ministry degree at the Notre Dame Graduate Theological Foundation. Pastors Ellen and Paul were called to co-pastor at three different Lutheran churches in South Dakota and Montana. The two served the American Lutheran Church (ALC) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) for 30 years. After retirement, Pastor Ellen was elected to serve on the Commission of the New Lutheran Church (CNLC), which facilitated the ELCA from three predecessor church bodies.

After retirement, Pastors Ellen and Paul lived briefly in North Carolina while caring for Pastor Ellen’s father. They moved for a final time in 2010, settling in The Villages, Florida. They joined Hope Lutheran Church as members on October 16th, 2011 and joined the Pastoral Care Team a few weeks later.

A service for Pastor Ellen is planned for Monday, February 18th at 11:00am at Hope Lutheran Church Central Campus.

Please pray for Pastor Paul, Irma Skatrud, and the rest of Pastor Ellen’s family and friends during their time of grief.

H.O.P.E. University – Spring Semester

Mark Your Calendars!

H.O.P.E. University returns January 8th & 9th

This season, H.O.P.E. University will offer a greater variety of educational classes than ever before!

View the entire Education schedule or check the H.O.P.E. University page!

The Seven Undisputed Letters of Paul

Beginning in January, Pastor Rani Abdulmasih and Deacon Bruce Dillman will present a comprehensive study of the seven undisputed letters of Paul. Each letter will be presented in two parts: Deacon Bruce will offer an in-depth academic study during the first week, while Pastor Rani will conduct a spiritual bible study of the letter in the following week. The Letter of Paul series will be held over 14 weeks, with a break in March and early April for the season of Lent (no classes on April 16 and 17).

The Next Person You Meet in Heaven: A Book Study

In March, Pastor Dean Piper will hold a one-week book study on the Mitch Albom best-selling novel The Next Person You Meet in Heaven. Books are $10 to purchase through H.O.P.E. University. An announcement will be made when books are available to purchase. This novel is a sequel to Albom’s The Five People You Meet in Heaven. A synopsis of Five People will be available for those who have not previously read it.

The Gospel of Matthew

Pastor Dean will then lead a five-week exploration into the Gospel of Matthew during the season on Lent. Please Note: Pastor Dean’s Gospel of Matthew classes will start at 9:00am on Wednesday mornings, so as not to conflict with Hope’s 11:00am mid-week Lenten worship services.

Pastor Rani Abdulmasih

Over the weekend, Hope Lutheran members voted overwhelmingly to call Pastor Rani Abdulmasih as our Associate Pastor!

May God bless our ministry together!

Welcome Pastor Rani and family!

Congregational Meeting to Call Pastor Rani Abdulmasih as Associate Pastor

A Special Congregational Meeting to Call Pastor Rani Abdulmasih as Associate Pastor will be held in the Hope Central Campus sanctuary on Sunday, September 16th, at 1:30pm.

After unanimous votes by both the Call Committee and the Council, your council is recommending we extend a call to Pastor Rani Abdulmasih to serve as Associate Pastor. A Special Congregational Meeting to Call Pastor Rani will be held in the Central Campus sanctuary on Sunday, September 16th, at 1:30pm. The only business conducted at this meeting will be the vote to extend a Call to Pastor Rani and ratify the
compensation package presented by the Council.

All members are asked to gather in the Fellowship Hall prior to the meeting to verify your membership status and gather instructions on receiving your ballot. All members of Hope, including seasonal and associate members, are invited to attend. However, seasonal and associate members do not have voting rights, though they may be granted voice and discussion privileges during this meeting.

Pending a favorable vote on September 16th, a tentative date has been set for a Service of Installation on Sunday, October 21st, at 3:00pm.

A “Meet & Greet” with Pastor Rani will be held this weekend in the Central Campus Fellowship Hall:

  • Saturday, September 8th from 5:00pm to 7:30pm
  • Sunday, September 9th from 9:00am to 1:30pm


Mr. William Horne (left), assisting minister, and the Rev. Rani Abdulmasih (right), at the 2009 ELCA Churchwide Assembly. (ELCA.org)

The Reverend Rani Abdulmasih was born and raised in Jerusalem. He received a BS in Chemistry from St. Bonaventure University in New York. He worked as a synthetic chemist in Bristol, PA and as an analytical chemist and supervisor at Inolex Chemical Company in Philadelphia, PA. He graduated from Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in California and Ecumenical Theological Seminary in Detroit, MI. He is the Mission Developer and Pastor of Mother of the Savior Lutheran Church in Dearborn, MI. He is also the Pastor of Christus Victor Lutheran Church in Dearborn Heights.

Rev. Rani has served on the Board of Directors for many interfaith organizations and is involved in ongoing dialogue with Jewish and Muslim leaders as well as other Christian denominations in Metro Detroit. Rev. Abdulmasih received the “Building Bridges” award for interfaith dialogue from the ADC (American Anti-Discrimination Committee) under the patronage of her majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah of Jordan.

Links to Sermons




Small Groups

A special message from Bruce Dillman, Director of Discipleship:

Small groups… Stay tuned!

Earlier this year, Pastor Marc talked to the congregation about the importance of providing small group experiences here at church, and even shared resources that groups could use, depending on how they wanted to be structured. I just wanted to let you know that the information you gave back then has been kept, and I will be reviewing it, and working to get small groups off the ground soon. My immediate attention has been in organizing the start of H.O.P.E. University next month. As our classes begin, I plan to revisit your small group requests and offer the opportunity for others as well. So, stay tuned. Much more ahead!