A Message from our Pastor


Over at the parsonage, I share the house with my wife Jeanette and our adult daughter Kaitlin (and, sometimes, guests as well).  Jeanette and I have our own bedroom and Kaitlin has hers.  But the rest of the house is “shared” space.  We each have access to and reasons for using the spare bedrooms, living room, family room, dining room, kitchen, bathrooms, basement, and garage.  On any given day, at any given hour, one or more of us may be using one or more of these spaces.  (Oh, I forgot, we also have two dogs.  Add them to the mix!)
The only way this works, of course, is if we agree to actually share these “shared” spaces, and then respect each other’s usage.  For instance, if my daughter Kaitlin is watching something on TV in the family room, I don’t go in and change the channel to something I want.  Or if Jeanette is grading her student’s papers on the dining room table, I don’t move them to somewhere else.  (And, if I have to, I make sure to put Jeanette’s papers back in the exact place I found them when I’m done.)  Just as the two of them are respectful of whatever I may be doing.  
And now, during the winter, if one of us feels chilly, we may turn the heat up in the house.  But at bedtime we then turn it back down for overnight.  It’s called common courtesy.
Well, the very same dynamics are at work in our church building.  In fact, it’s just like a house.  (We even refer to a church facility as “God’s house,” don’t we?)  In other words, it’s a “shared’ space.  It’s shared by our congregation, Hope Christian School, and outside community groups as well.  Now some spaces are reserved for special people and special purposes (for example the pastor’s study or the church office), just like our bedrooms over at the parsonage.  But much of the rest of the building, including the narthex, classrooms, fellowship hall, and even the nave on occasion, consists of that “shared” space that all of us are free to use.
So on any given day, at any given hour, these shared spaces may be used by a church group, a Hope Christian School class, or one of over a dozen outside groups that hold their meetings or gatherings here at Hope.  Common courtesy, of course, is absolutely necessary.  Each group has to be respectful of the others.  And if one of our shared spaces is used, it needs to be left in the same exact way that it was found.

From time to time, and especially in recent weeks, unfortunately, we’ve forgotten to keep this in mind.  Often the result is simply inconvenience for the next group using that space.  But two weeks ago a pair of scissors and a stapler were left where the preschool children play.  And this past weekend, the heat was left on high in one of the classrooms with one of the plastic storage containers pressed up against the baseboard heating register causing the container to melt and the contents to be ruined.  We were lucky that it didn’t start a fire!
So I would simply ask that everyone be aware of this situation and, most of all, be respectful of all the others who share the space here at church with you.
Here are some helpful hints:

1. Always remembers that you are not the only one using that room.

2. Always remember to leave the room the same way you found it.  (This includes turning the heat back down if you turned it up.)

3. Give the room a quick “once over” before leaving it to make sure that everything is back in place where it needs to be, and there are no potential hazards like dangerous objects left out where younger children could find them.

4. If you’re a parent, keep an eye on your kids to make sure they don’t wander off into places where they shouldn’t be.  First, we don’t want them to get hurt.  And second, we want to make sure they don’t disrupt anything that belongs to another group.
It’s all basically common sense.  We are so privileged to have a facility that is used so often, in so many ways, and by so many groups.  But in order to maximize the experience and safety of all, let’s be sure to be courteous to others.   

God’s Peace,


Pastor Ed                

Edward Kropa  "Pastor Ed"



The Rev. Pastor Kropa, known as Pastor Ed to his congregation, spent part of his youth raised in Freehold Township.   In 1967 when he was 11 years old, he and his family became charter members of our newly formed Hope Lutheran Church. 

“During this period, I regularly served as an acolyte and was involved in the church youth group.  In fact, it was while growing up at Hope that slowly but surely, I began to sense a call to ministry " 

"While attending college, I began to explore this possibility further.  First by taking courses like public speaking, and by coming home on weekends to teach Sunday school.  Finally, when I could no longer "talk myself out of it," I applied and was accepted to Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio. "

It was at Trinity that Pastor earned his Masters of Divinity and in 1985 returned to Hope Lutheran Church, where he was ordained.  He later went on to earn a Doctorate in Ministry at Drew University.

During his 32 years of pastoral leadership Kropa and his wife Jeanette have served 6 churches & raised 3 daughters.  He is a excited to be back in Freehold, reuniting with friends and family and embracing his new congregation.  

“Not only am I coming back to my church, I am returning to my community.  Returning to HOPE is coming home.”

Pastor was "called" to service on June 11th, began his leadership role in early August, and was installed as our new Pastor at a ceremonial worship service on September 24, 2017.  

Pastor Ed and family have just completed their inaugural year at HOPE.  They have embraced the return, are loving NJ and are happy to call it HOME.  

Pastor and his wife Jeanette recently welcomed the birth of their 1st grandchild and are excited to embrace 2019 with their newly expanded family!

MEET Our Church Council

PRESIDENT - Michael Della Rosa

VICE PRESIDENT - Sharryn Papinchak 

TREASURER - Erika Driscoll      

SECRETARY - Debbie Unger

Education  -  Janet Creech

Fellowship  - Tom Landes

Support  - John Drager

Maintenance  -  John Fink & Stefan Martinsen

Outreach  -  Bill Siefert 

Social Ministries  -  Siggy Kuehn

Youth Ministry  -  Tara Zigler

Youth  -  Michael Woods

Worship  -  Ramona Pappas

Welcome to our new Fellowship Leader, Tom Landes!