In 2020, Hoboken Grace was able to remain a stable rock for our communities even in the midst of so much unpredictability. God worked through the challenges and trying times to provide bright spots in the darkness. We are extremely humbled to see all that He has accomplished and are so thankful for the efforts of each and everyone one of you who we share and build this home with.
Here is a look back at some of the most impactful moments!
We kicked off the year with the Home Initiative in an effort to establish a permanent worship space and community center in Hoboken. Who could have expected that the shut-down would happen before we were able to even have our official launch and Commitment Sunday? Despite that, we were overwhelmed by your faithfulness to the mission and what God has done with your generosity. More than $2.8 million dollars has been raised with a total commitment of $10.5 million dollars pledged so far. We are well on our way and it will eventually allow us to impact Hoboken and our local community in bigger ways!
Take a look back at Vision Nights and the launch of the Home Initiative here:
In March, the shut-down began and Hoboken Grace made the transition to virtual services, dinner groups, and team meetings. There was definitely a learning curve and the transition wasn’t easy at times, but we quickly got our bearings and by Easter, the church hit its digital stride. Although the annual Easter Egg Hunt was unable to happen this year, the Easter Service still had a huge impact, and the Easter season was especially meaningful and poignant, given the circumstances many of us found ourselves in this year. The Worship Team and countless Hoboken Grace volunteers, staff, and leaders banded together to pull off a particularly creative and special virtual Easter service. Check it out here!
Dinner Groups were affected early by the shut-down as they were forced early-on to adopt a virtual platform. Our tireless Dinner Group leaders and the church staff worked to support the groups as they made the transition. With that support, existing groups were not only able to continue, but groups were also able to grow as the need for new virtual groups became vital. Dinner Groups held 82 in-person and virtual connection events, had 1,529 online meetings, and there were 232 first-time group attendees! To see how Dinner Groups flourished in the middle of the pandemic check out this blog:
In May it became apparent that the virus wasn’t going away as quickly as hoped and we began to realize that some members of our community were suffering from some of its many effects. We wanted to step in and offer assistance whether it be financial help, job seeking assistance, food, or emotional support via impact phone calls, counseling, or connection. We set up the Home Response Plan in order to help those local small business and individuals in our community who were in need. Read about these amazing programs here:
One of the best virtual experiences to come out of the quarantine response this year was ‘Anthony and Chris in the Morning.’ The show launched in late Spring and has been a huge hit all year! There were laughs, inspirational moments, and opportunities to dive deep into the Bible. All of it from a refreshing perspective and in a way that only Pastor Chris and Anthony can deliver.
Catch the live shows online every morning on the app at 8am! You can read more about the launch of the series here:
In the Summer, things began to open up a little and the church sought safe ways to begin meeting in-person again. Soon, we were able to host indoor services and add outdoor services at the Lawn! The Lawn, which was made possible by the Home Initiative, turned out to be a major lifeline for our community. In addition to outdoor service, it was used to hold connection events, community engagement events, and team meetings. By adding two options for in-person services and still offering online services, we were able to come together and spread the message of God’s love with our family, wherever they were this year. Learn more about our plan for ‘three ways to engage’ here:
Come September, one event that we weren’t sure would be possible this year was 1Day Hoboken, our annual impact event. This year we needed a community impact day more than most years but it seemed insurmountable to be able to pull it off safely and still have the same level of effectiveness. God once again proved He is bigger than the virus and 371 volunteers joined in to make 1Day a huge success!
November was a month with many special events, Team Link was held virtually in the middle of November and was a great success. 105 people joined teams this year and many of them got connected through Team Link. Learn more about how to join a team here:
To celebrate the leaders of those teams as well as all our leaders, Hoboken Grace holds an annual Fall Team Gala. It was yet another event this year we weren’t sure would be possible but as we had found over and over this year, with God all things truly are possible and we were able to hold the gala in November at The Lawn. It was a huge hit and a wonderful celebration of our many leaders!
We all needed a little Christmas this year. One event that is synonymous with spreading the Christmas spirit at Hoboken Grace is the Annual Christmas Exchange. Despite the difficulties, we were able to pull off an incredible Christmas Exchange which brought the joy of Christmas to more than 1,000 local children!
This is just a highlight reel of the amazing work that God has done in our community this past year. When we look back on this year, we recognize there has been a loss for many people in many ways, but we also want to celebrate the wins. God won the day and triumphed over our circumstances to bring amazing change and impact us as a church family, as well as help us to impact those around us. To learn more about all that God has done this year at Hoboken Grace, check out our 2020 Impact Report to see all that He has done!