What Does Hope Look Like? (A Response to Hurricane Sally)

October 06, 2020
Inspired to give to disaster relief efforts?  Give to Disaster Response via our synod website or through Inspiritus:

Give through ELCA Southeastern Synod Disaster Response HERE.

Give through Inspiritus HERE.

What does hope look like?

Well in this case hope looks like a person, Pastor Hope Knobler. 

Following Hurricane Sally, Pastor Hope Knobler, pastor of Grace Lutheran in Gulf Shores, Alabama, has been literally living her name in the community bringing hope to her congregation, her community and to those who are the least of these in that devastated area.  Pastor Hope, who also serves on the Southeastern Synod Disaster Committee and is active in her local VOAD organization (Voluntary Organization Active in Disaster), knew that once the storm had past, that beyond the thousands without power and who were facing down trees across the community, there were others for whom this storm would add just additional hardship to their very difficult lives.  Pastor Hope’s knowledge of where small communities of people, who live on unpaved roads that aren’t officially on the maps, has been invaluable to bringing relief to those whom might otherwise be forgotten. 

Because of Pr. Knobler's relationships in the community she was able to introduce herself to neighbors who barely have shelter, offering them a listening ear and helping them to determine what their needs were following the storm.  Sometimes hope is a bottle of water, sometimes it’s connecting a family with the Southeastern Synod’s partner in Disaster Response, Inspiritus, to help them get trees off their homes.  Sometimes hope is a person with a chainsaw, sometimes it is a person who can help find shelter, sometimes it’s a pastor willing to drive all over the area checking in with folks who might otherwise be forgotten. 

Hope also comes in donations to the Southeastern Synod Disaster Committee to assist Pastor Hope, Inspiritus, and volunteers being God’s hands in this devastated area.  As we prepare for yet another storm facing the Gulf Coast your donation may mean that we can continue to bring hope to those in need.

Give to Disaster Response via our synod website or through Inspiritus:

Give through ELCA Southeastern Synod Disaster Response HERE.

Give through Inspiritus HERE.
The Rev. Jill Henning
The Assistant to the Bishop for Leadership and Administration will have oversight of the candidacy process, synod assembly, leadership convocation, and will assist with the mobility process in Georgia. She will also develop leadership opportunities throughout the synod. 

Pastor Jill Jeffries Henning received her BS in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 1991 and her MDiv at Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in 1995. She served Trinity, Lilburn, GA, as co-pastor from 1995 until 2016, when she went on leave from call to undergo treatment for cancer. Beginning July 2018, she volunteered as the Interim Liaison for Youth and Young Adult Ministries for the Southeastern Synod.

Throughout her time in the Southeastern Synod, Pastor Henning served on a number of task forces and committees including a variety of roles at Affirm and as the Dean of the Magi Conference. She supported Bishop H. Julian Gordy as the Coordinator of the Deans, 2013 - 2019.  She has been a voting member of the ELCA Churchwide Assembly and was the Volunteer Coordinator and Hospitality Chair for the 2016 ELCA Rostered Ministers Gathering. She is married to Pastor Matt Henning, Community of Grace, Grayson, GA.  Together they have two daughters, Sarah, a recent graduate of the University of Georgia who will be serving as a Young Adult in Global Mission in Mexico next year and Ashleigh who is a rising Junior at Grayson High School and a part of the SESLYO board.