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An open letter to the Hope Family

Dear Hope family,

             Just a little over a year ago, 22 people jammed into our living room to join Jenny and I in launching Santa Cruz Hope.  None of us had any idea what God was about to do.

             Soon we found ourselves utilizing the Del Mar gym each Sunday morning to serve pancakes and share the word of God. Now about 120 people join us each time—for many it’s their first church experience ever.  To date, nearly 400 people have invited Jesus into their lives through Santa Cruz Hope! 

             God is getting people on the East Side stoked about him!
             In addition to our Sunday gathering, we now host a dozen groups that see some 100 people in fellowship each week, and our weekly “Skate Church” reaches many more.  All together, we estimate that Hope is connecting with more than 300 people monthly!

What we are witnessing is confirmation of the vision the Lord gave to Jenny and I when Hope first began. Hope is a place for those that don’t go to church to come to find and follow Jesus with chill style, real faith and no perfect people allowed. - A church for the rest of us.

            Now it’s time to prepare to ride some bigger spiritual waves.

             Isaiah 54:2 says, “Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes….”

 Jenny and I feel strongly that we are called to get ready to “enlarge the place of our tent” and to “not hold back” as we make room for even more people to find Hope! 

There are over 16,000 housing units within a mile of Del Mar, the elementary school where we meet in each Sunday morning. That’s a lot of people who need the good news of Jesus Christ. We must stretch our tent curtains wide and prepare to meet their needs with additional outreach ministries. This year, we’re praying that we can give away 1000 Christmas gifts to local children!

We also sorely need some official office space. Not only do we need a healthy separation from conducting church business in my kitchen, but we also need a base of operation. Our office will not only be a workplace for volunteers and interns, but it will serve as the Santa Cruz Hope community’s hub for meetings and ministry throughout the week. 
             Enlarging our tent will require hard work. I want to encourage you to consider using your unique gifts, abilities, and passions to help us reach more people with the message of Jesus.  You’re going to be needed in the coming months more than ever.
             Lengthening our cords and strengthening our stakes will require money—we estimate that we’ll need an extra $2500 per month to rent office space and fund new ministries. This would include administrative support for Hope as well as Hope Kids. With Skate Church and Hope Kids on Sundays we serve over 100 children weekly.
             What I am humbly asking is that, if you are not currently contributing financially to Hope each month, will you pray about it? Jenny and I raise our own salaries and give 10 percent of that income to the church—it’s a Biblical model we believe in.
             Please pray about how much you could give.
             There’s easy ways to give online at our website www.santacruzhope.com/donate,

or by check in the Birdhouse at our Sunday gathering, or by mail (P.O. Box 1715 Capitola, CA 95010.)  We are a registered 501c3 non-profit, so all donations are tax deductible and you will receive a statement at the end of the year to use when filing your taxes.

Thanks for taking the time to read this important letter.

Holding on to Hope,

Danny Bennett

Lead Pastor, Santa Cruz Hope Church