- State News
- Gas Industry
Peace and Hope in Muncy
By Cindy Knier
April 6, 2010
MUNCY BOROUGH-Relying on God—and an array of media resources, a satellite church has opened its mission doors on Palm Sunday to reach a younger generation throughout the region.
Using technology to best reach individuals ranging in ages from teens through thirty-somethings, Pastor Bill Covert, of Hope Community Church in Loyalsock Township, believes God directed his congregation to open a church in the Muncy area for a number of reasons, he said.
“We were partial to the Muncy area because our roots are here,” he said, adding that a search began last summer for an appropriate building that could hold a potential couple hundred of worshipers.
Covert said that the church examined leasing the Paul Geringer Social Hall, owned by the Keystone Hook&Ladder Volunteer Fire Company, but a conflict in schedules occurred that could not be worked through. Another building, located on South Main Street, and which housed the former Church of the Resurrection, remained vacant, was also a contender in the search, but the group never received a response back upon initial contact, he said.
It was at that point that the church board began considering an alternative service at their 1300 Tinsman Avenue facility, and simply waited for further leading from the Almighty.
During this time, Brad Peace, of Watsontown, and an elder at the church, had been holding a Bible study with his brother, Brian, of Muncy, who had purchased the Church of the Resurrection property, intending to convert the building to efficiency apartments. When Borough Council did not approve the request last December, Brian Peace felt an urging to lease the property to the church. Covert said.
“We made the announcement last December, and February 13 we began inside renovations,” Covert said. To reach the younger generations, renovations included painting the sanctuary ceiling black in order to attract and retain a younger un-churched generation; changing out the current lights with something a bit less “churchy,” adding a sound system that will support a live band, and installing technology to supply a media-rich environment, according to Covert’s blog, http://hccblog.wordpress.com.
The church basement will provide a safe and secure place for childcare, and will also contain a prayer room, resource area where books and other media can be purchased, and a Cafe where small snacks and coffee will be available.
Covert said that while he will remain the lead pastor at the Loyalsock church, Brad Peace will act as the associate pastor of Hope Muncy. Peace will also remain employed as a fulltime biology teacher in the Warrior Run School District, Covert said.
Hope Muncy welcomed nearly 115 people on Palm Sunday, and rather than a typical sunrise service on Easter Sunday, the parishioners gathered at 6 p.m. for a sunset service, which is the established service time, Covert said. Additionally, Covert, along with several of his musically-inclined relatives, will lead worship at Hope Muncy.
Grid of Hope
Responding to the younger generation requires additional methods of distributing the Gospel, among them is utilizing the Internet. Covert’s 15-year-old son, Jonathan, has developed a private social media network, called The Grid, in which membership is granted to those who attend Hope Muncy.
Upon entering the church, visitors are presented a card which provides website information. A computer station is also available should visitors desire to provide immediate contact information, or they can simply fill out the card and turn it back in upon leaving. Within a short while, the visitor will receive an invitation to login to The Grid. Once there, they can find additional information about the community groups, see what others are saying about the church through a live posting section, and locate others who are on the Grid for chat capabilities. Additionally, the younger Covert, fourth of six children, is in the process of developing a cell-phone application for The Grid, which is soon to be launched, Covert said.
Additional information can be found at the church’s website, http://www.experiencethehope.com/Muncy