Latest Reflections

Meditation on Mom’s Burial

My beautiful and Christ-like mom, Susan St. John, passed away suddenly on May 13, 2020. Here are a few simple words upon which I meditated as we laid her to rest at the National Veteran’s Cemetery in Knoxville, Tennessee. It is not suppose to be this way. After all, the Lord God “looked at all he had made, and behold, […]

Remarks Following the Death of George Floyd

Pastor Matthew shared the following remarks with the New Hope Church community during the time of lament in the worship gathering on Sunday, May 31, 2020, less than a week after George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis. These past several days I’ve been in Tennessee because, as many of you know by now, my mom died suddenly. Just a few […]

My Platform Response to Ahmaud Arbery’s Death

Here are my comments regarding the Ahmaud Arbery shooting and subsequent video, shared from the platform of New Hope Church on May 10, 2020: I have to take just a moment and acknowledge something that has dominated the headlines these recent days, and, if I may say, should have been dominating the headlines these recent weeks. I want you to […]

A Lament for Ahmaud

When my white friends (and those who have chosen to no longer be my friends) wonder why I continue to talk about racial justice and issues of marginalization, and the privilege of white people sharing and even surrendering power and position to those with brown and black bodies, and I put it forward as the gospel issue that it is, […]

An Invitation to Fast

An invitation: In light of the COVID-19 pandemic I am inviting the New Hope Church family to set aside Wednesdays as a day of fasting and prayer during which we seek God’s mercy for these uncertain and grievous days. -Pastor Matthew Responding to an existential threat from an approaching army, one ancient monarch, Jehoshaphat, called his people to “fast throughout […]

“To the Other Side”

One of the most vivid stories in the histories of Jesus is when he and his disciples find their boat tossed to and fro upon the stormy waters Galilee’s sea. Consider their experience as recorded by Mark in the history that bears his name: On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to […]