Thank you for visiting the New Hope website and the "Pastors' Desks" page! I am Pastor Phil Schuiling, the Senior Pastor at New Hope. Thanks for letting me introduce myself to you. I grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan, part of of a wonderful Christian family, in church, helping out in the family business, enjoying life most when I could be in or on Lake Michigan. In college I studied economics, fully expecting to go on to graduate school, but God had other plans. I found myself often thinking, "If connecting with God is the most important thing in life, why am I doing nothing to help people to do that?" That moved into a firm calling to become a pastor, graduation from Western Seminary in Holland, Michigan and serving a church in Michigan for 10 years. God then called me and my family to "go West young (well, kind of young) man" and we arrived here at New Hope. New Hope has been a wonderful place to minister and a healthy and supportive place for my family.
My idea of church? For me, church must be a genuine community where one can find acceptance, support, healing if needed, and a safe place where one can also use their gifts and abilities. I love to teach and enjoy bringing God's word in a way that is both faithful to the text and speaks to our deepest needs. Worship must be a celebration and I so enjoy our Children's Time, seeing what the kids will come up with next in response to what I thought I was going to be teaching them. Sometimes God's word and the events of our world bring us to tears and sometimes it brings us to laughter.
I work best in a team and am blessed to be surrounded by wonderful leaders from our ministry teams, church board members and gifted staff. A large part of my ministry is to get out of the way of the people God has called and equipped for ministry.
I am married to Bev and we are enjoying life as empty-nesters while still making time to visit our three children and their families. We have always taken Fridays as our day together: walking and "junking," boating and exploring, biking and simply enjoying being together.
Well, that's plenty about me. It would be great to meet you in person. I invite you to come to New Hope and experience this wonderful community of faith for yourself.
Hoping To Meet You Soon, Pastor Phil