In these pages you will find the most current information about this local gathering of Christians. Our style is casual but our passion is to help people experience the hope that following Jesus Christ can bring to every human life. We hope that you'll find what you're looking for here.
You are welcome to join us when we gather for worship and teaching on Sundays. We meet at 10:30 a.m. at L'École St. Gerard (St. Gerard's Elementary School) 1204, 96th Avenue S.W. in Calgary.
Hope For Life had its first public worship gathering on January 2, 1994. The church first met in Eugene Coste Elementary School in Haysboro and continued meeting there until we moved across the street to our present worship location at L'Ecole St. Gerard on July 4, 1999.
This local fellowship of believers was born out of a common commitment to be a church that deliberately focused on serving God in this world by developing committed followers of Jesus Christ who would obey God's word and live as Jesus lived in the world. The common desire was to be a different kind of church - not "market driven," but a church where people who were seeking spiritual guidance and help need not be afraid of getting involved. Thus, the atmosphere in our times when we are together is casual but not disrespectful. We don't want the way a person looks or talks to be a hindrance to connection with Jesus. At the same time, we want to be a people with whom others can feel at home and find a place to belong.
In determining how the ministry would develop, we chose to limit "gathering times" (times when we come together for worship, prayer, instruction, etc.) but make the most of the time when we do gather together. At the same time, we desired to maximize the amount of "scattered time" so that people could live as followers of Jesus in their circles of influence (work, home, neighbourhood, school, clubs and hobby groups, etc.).
Most importantly, we desired to be a place where people in all manner of situations could find hope through a growing relationship with Jesus Christ and his people. Thus, the name of the church captures our most fundamental intention. We desire to be people whose lives and words encourage hope in whomever we might encounter. Our desire is that people will observe us and see what life in the kingdom of God is like and want to become part of what God is doing on earth.
In organizing the church, our goal was to keep structure to the minimum required to function effectively in completing the work that God gives us to do. We are not opposed to structure per se, but are aware that structures can limit the ability of a local church to respond quickly to genuine ministry needs. At the same time, structure provides a necessary framework for function, much like the skeleton in the body provides structure and protection so that the body can function properly. In addition to these considerations, registering with the government as a non-profit charitable society requires that we comply with certain structural demands. Thus, we have a membership and a board of directors (Leadership Board).
We practice Congregational government, which means that it is the membership of the fellowship that determines policy and direction under God, and subject to the advice and recommendations of the Leadership Board. Membership is available to all Christians who have been "born again" and are willing to participate with us in the mission that God has given us. It is not required for general participation in the life of the church and it is not something that we "push" at people. However, membership is required for those who would like to be involved in leadership positions in our ministry and for all who would like to be able to vote at any meetings of the fellowship. Non-members are welcome at almost all meetings and are also welcome to speak to an issue if they desire to do so. The only things that they cannot do are to hold a leadership role and to vote on decisions made by the membership.
While the final human authority (Christ is the ultimate authority by virtue of the fact that God made him "Head" of the church.) for the church rests with the membership, the church is led and overseen by the Leadership Board. Members are elected to this office on the basis of their character, wisdom and giftedness as leaders. Their function is to lead the church and not simply serve as administrators.
Apart from the membership and the Leadership Board, the only other established structures within our fellowship are the Sunday School, Pioneer Clubs/Christian Service Brigade ministry to children which takes place on Tuesday nights throughout the school year, and a number of small groups. All other ministry initiatives and structures to facilitate them are ad hoc and exist only as long as there is the sense that God is providing opportunity and resource for a ministry to continue.
Jesus entered this world with all of its challenges, wonders and failures. One translation of the bible says he "moved into the neighbourhood." He announced that God's kingdom had arrived and entry was available to everyone willing to follow him. The Bible says that he created all things and holds them all together. Further, it says that anyone who claims to be intimate with God must live as Jesus lived. Therefore, we try to obey God by relying on the power of the Holy Spirit as he works in us so that we can do things that Jesus wants to do with us, in us and through us. Using Jesus' model of moving into the neighbourhood, we attempt to enter the world around us to live and speak his message that people can enter God's kingdom now by choosing to obey him.
In a world of "spin", where the truth is considered to be relative, if necessary at all, we emphasize truth before tradition. We seek to understand and live God's truth in this culture at this time. We are who we are and none of us are perfect. We are moving toward that ideal which Jesus established for us. We believe that living in God's kingdom is a daily way of life and not something reserved for special moments and Sunday gatherings. Our faith and what we believe guides and informs the way that we live as members of families, employer/employees, students, friends and so forth. We want to be people whose lives reflect integrity; that is, we integrate the truth we believe with how we relate to God, others and our world.
We are commanded by God to speak the truth in loving ways. We seek to do that as we address matters of injustice that exist locally, nationally and internationally. Truth matters to God. Justice and mercy matter to God. We can't claim to follow God and turn a blind eye to injustice of any sort. At the same time, we work to avoid the relativism of our culture because we believe that such relativism is responsible for people "losing their way". People are designed to live with purpose, to have whole lived. That is impossible without living in the light of what is true. Denial of truth is unbecoming to Chirstians and it us helpful to people and to societies. Jesus always sought to lovingly tell the truth so that people could grasp reality. As we follow him, we try to do the same thing.
We have no mission of our own. It is God's mission that we seek to discern and get in step with. His passion is to restore his kingdom and rule on earth, among all people. Therefore, we challenge people to Christian living, reaching out to others in God's name, and to demonstrating life in God's kingdom. We seek to be involved in what God is doing wherever and whenever God gives us both opportunity and resources to do so.
On a personal level, we call people to wholeness according to God's design. We accept people where they are and love them as best we can in order to help them move beyond that place to greater freedom and maturity in God's kingdom. We partner locally and internationally with others who embrace God's mission and share this passion for the development of God's kingdom.
While we recognize that community has become a "buzz word" of sorts, we still feel that is is what should be the trademark of a gathering of Christians. Christian faith is not a "solo pursuit." According to Jesus, our love for one another should be our distinguishing characteristic. We seek to share our lives with one another and we honestly and openly welcome newcomers.
Community means more than being in the same place at the same time. It means being involved, life upon life. We share life together in formal events and informal ways. We worship together and we engage in work projects together. We care for each other and we care about each other. We try to care for those outside our local fellowship as we have opportunity and resource to do so. We believe, deeply, that all people matter because they bear God's image. We do whatever we can to ensure that the image of God in each person is made more evident, more complete.
God designed the world and placed rhythms of work and rest within it. We gather together to worship our Creator and Savior, to be renewed by the work of the Holy Spirit and to encourage one another with the evidence of God's activity in our lives and in all of creation. In addition to our worship gatherings, we strongly encourage people to worship on their own and in various ways during the rest of the week.
We also try to be thankful, recognizing the gifts and grace of God to us each day. Being genuinely thankful is a wonderful antidote to pride. Our goal is to have all who gather be involved in worship and not simply an audience. We believe that worship pleases God and restores our perspective on life in his kingdom. It is renewing, encouraging and invigoration. It is also the product of a person who obeys God. The bible says that obedience is a greater act of worship than sacrifice. We emphasize that worship flows from thankful, obedient living.
The Bible is God's inspired word to all people
We believe the Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments, to be the inspired Word of God, without error in the original writing, the complete revelation of His will for the salvation of men and the Divine and final authority for Christian faith and life.
God exists as trinity, independently of all that is, was or will be
We believe in one God, creator of all things, infinitely perfect and eternally existing in three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Jesus is the unique, final revelation of God - our saviour and Lord
We believe that Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man, having been conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He died on the cross, a sacrifice for our sins according to the Scriptures. Further, He arose bodily from the dead, ascended into Heaven, where at the right hand of the Majesty on High, He is now our High Priest and Advocate.
The holy spirit is God, actively present in all creation
We believe that the ministry of the Holy Spirit is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ, and during this age, to convict men, regenerate the sinner, indwell, guide, instruct and empower the believer for godly living and service.
Satan is real, rebellious and destructive
We believe in the personality of Satan and other evil spirits who were created by God but rebelled against the supreme authority of God and became the enemies of God, the saints and the holy angels.
Humankind is messed up and lost because it does not obey God
We believe that man was created in the image of God but was deceived by Satan and fell into sin and is therefore lost and only through regeneration by the Holy Spirit can salvation and spiritual life be obtained.
All who believe in the finished work of Jesus can be renewed to life in its fullness
We believe that the shed blood of Jesus Christ and his resurrection provide the only ground for justification and salvation for all who believe, and only those who received Jesus Christ are born of the Holy Spirit, and therefore become children of God.
The church is to practice symbols that remind us of who we are and what we are to do
We believe that water baptism and the Lord's Supper are ordinances to be observed by the Church during the present age. They are, however, not to be regarded as means of salvation.
The church is comprised of all who believe in Jesus and is made visible in a great variety of local forms
We believe that the True Church is composed of all persons who through saving faith in Jesus Christ have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit and are united together in the body of Christ of which He is the Head.
We believe that only those who are members of the True Church shall be eligible for membership in the local church.
Every local church is responsible to govern itself under Jesus
We believe that Jesus Christ is the Lord and Head of the Church, and that every local church has the right under Christ to decide and govern its own affairs.
Jesus is coming to earth again and we are guided by that hope
We believe in the personal, premillennial and imminent coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and that this "Blessed Hope" has a vital bearing on the personal life and service of the believer.
All people will live forever in bliss or judgement
We believe in the bodily resurrection of the dead; of the believer to everlasting blessedness and joy with the Lord, and to the unbeliever to judgement and everlasting conscious punishment.
Doug Pippus is the founding pastor of Hope For Life and has been a pastor for more than 30 years. In addition to being a full-time pastor, he is a part-time fly fishing guide, aging athlete and jack-of-all trades. He has been married to Sharon for 32 years and they have raised three children.
Doug holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in pastoral ministry and intercultural studies (mostly from institutions that no longer exist!) and is a lifetime learner in the school of hard knocks. His great love is to teach the bible and to help people. Over the years he has had numerous opportunities to teach and serve overseas in South America, Africa and Eastern Europe.
On sabbatical until July 2014
Tim Pippus has been a pastor at Hope For Life since 2008. Aside from working as a pastor, he works part-time with the Mustard Seed and teaches guitar lessons. He was also lucky enough to marry Laura Pippus in 2010.
Tim holds an undergraduate degree in Church Music Ministry from Rocky Mountain College. That being said, his favorite job is actually to teach people the bible and lead/oversee small groups. He's had a wide variety of experience in both musical and pastoral settings in the years that he has been involved in ministry.
To listen to a sermon click on the title and it will open in a new window. If you would like to download it, or if your browser does not support audio files, then right-click on the title and select "Save Link As...".
To download the schedule right click on the link, or the pdf if it's already open, and choose "Save As".
Worship Schedule - Fall 2013: Click here to open
Worship Schedule - Winter 2014: Click here to open
*This reading list reflects a list of books that Doug/Tim have read and/or recommend. We are not trying to create an exhaustive list of good books about the Christian life. We are trying to create a list that has a few books that we recommend the most for each topic. We are also able to lend many of them to you if you are interested!
The Reason for God by Timothy Keller
The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel
Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
The Pastor by Eugene Peterson
The Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claibourne
Biography of James Hudson Taylor by Dr. & Mrs. Howard Taylor
The Life of Reverend David Brainerd by Jonathan Edwards
From Brokenness to Community by Jean Vanier
The Body by Charles Colson
Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Shaped By God's Heart by Milfred Minatrea
If Those Who Reach Could Touch by Gordon MacDonald
Spiritual Leadership by Oswald Sanders
Leadership Is an Art by Max DePree
Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership by Ruth Haley Barton
The Tangible Kingdom by Hugh Halter and Matt Smay
The Return of the Prodigal Son by Henri Nouwen
Loving God by Charles Colson
After You Believe by N.T. Wright
Books by Philip Yancey
Books by Eugene Peterson
Books by N.T. Wright
Books by Dallas Willard
Books by Timothy Keller
The Life God Blesses by Gordon MacDonald
A Year With God by Foster & Roller (practical meditations on and exercises in the classic spiritual disciplines)
A Year With Jesus by Eugene Peterson
Daily Light for the Daily Path
The Art of Forgiving by Lewis B. Smedes
Holy Spirit/Spiritual Gifts
The Forgotten God by Francis Chan
The Beginner's Guide To Spiritual Gifts by Sam Storms
Flame of Love by Clark Pinnock
When Helping Hurts by Steve Corbett & Brian Fikkert
Toxic Charity by Robert D. Lupton
Theirs is the Kingdom by Robert D. Lupton
Shalom: the Bible's Word for Salvation, Justice & Peace by Perry B. Yoder
Marriage & Parenting
Like Dew Your Youth by Eugene Peterson
How to Stay Christian in College by J. Budziszewski
The Effective Father by Gordon MacDonald
Married for Good by R. Paul Stevens
Too Busy Not to Pray by Bill Hybels
Living Prayer by Robert Benson
Practicing the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence
With Christ In the School of Prayer by Andrew Murray
Prayer by Richard Foster
Reading/Studying The Bible
Exploring the New Testament World by Albert Bell
The Oxford Companion to the Bible by Bruce Metzger & Michael Coogan
How to Read the Bible for All It's Worth by Gordon Fee & Douglas Stuart
Spiritual Disciplines - Becoming More LIke Jesus
Renovation of the Heart by Dallas Willard
The Spirit of the Disciplines by Dallas Willard
Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster
Whatever Happened to Worship? by A.W. Tozer
The Reverse Muscle Up is an exceedingly difficult muscle up variation that I generally only use with athletes who are advanced enough to be working on straddle planche or harder ring strength elements. If you do not yet possess at least a medium quality straddle planche on the rings, you are not yet advanced enough to be training this exercise and would be better served mastering the easier muscle up variations prior to attempting this element.
While we recognize that community has become a "buzz word" of sorts, we still feel that it is what should be the trademark of a gathering of Christians. Christian faith is not a "solo pursuit." According to Jesus, our love for one another should be our distinguishing characteristic. We seek to share our lives with one another and we honestly and openly welcome newcomers.
Community means more than being in the same place at the same time. It means being involved, life upon life. We share life together in formal events and informal ways. We worship together and we engage in work projects together. We care for each other and we care about each other We try to care for those outside our local fellowship as we have opportunity and resource to do so. We believe, deeply, that all people matter because they bear God's image. We do whatever we can to ensure that the image of God in each person is made more evident, more complete.
At the heart of finding hope for life each day is the sharing of this God-breathed, God-sustained life with him and with each other. "Life together" is the essence of what it means to be a Christian community. It is in this sharing of life that we are actually shaped in the ways of Jesus to be like Jesus.
This shaping takes place in all circumstances. What is required of us is participation in what the Holy Spirit is doing in us and through us in the midst of our daily routines.
We have small groups to help us achieve this participation. These groups meet regularly for a variety of tasks. Most are "study" groups of one sort or another - rooted in a commitment to understand the bible and its application to the things of daily experience. Some groups meet only to accomplish service tasks together. What is common is the "meeting", the interaction of one with another. We believe this is critical because we believe that God is present in these meetings. A proverb says, "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another." This sharpening of our lives - toward God, toward each other - is what takes place, under Jesus' guidance, in our small groups.
It is through the small group relationships at Hope For Life that we care for one another, serve others and reach out to those who have yet to hear or respond to the good news of Jesus and the life he offers. The groups are somewhat informal. They meet regularly (usually every two weeks) in homes and seek to focus on building relationships with God and each other so that we can be more attentive to God in this world.
We believe that God sends us into the world locally and cross-culturally to share and model the good news that God's kingdom has come through Jesus Christ.
To that end we are involved in work that promotes God's kingdom by sending people to work in various parts of the world, in partnership with local churches, indigenous believers and mission agencies. Rather than spread our resources thinly in an attempt to do a little bit everywhere, we have chosen to focus on three countries where we attempt to participate in a significant way as servants of local believers. Our goal is to serve and support them through various partnerships as they seek to carry out the mandate of Jesus' good news.
Our current areas of involvement are in Thailand, Ukraine and Ghana. In each country our involvement is unique. In some cases, we assume the responsibility to support missionaries. In other cases, we work directly with national leaders, local leaders and/or local church participants. Our focus is not to build a name for our local church but to be involved as servants in what God is doing in these places. We have also sent, and will continue to send, some of our people to each of these places for short terms, so that they could offer practical help and encouragement.
In addition to these areas of involvement, we also support itinerant missionaries who offer teaching insight and disaster relief in various places around the globe. While our perspective is global, we seek to be involved locally in order to build long-term relationships. It is our conviction that the gospel is most effectively communicated and demonstrated across relational bridges.
Mailing Address: 608-86th Ave. S.W. Calgary, AB, T2V 0V9
Telephone: (403) 255-6110