A Message from our Pastor


DAVID: A Flawed Hero

Of all the people we meet in the Bible, King David was one of the most
memorable; a towering figure, in fact. Arguably the most beloved of Israel’s
heroes, David ruled over the nation during the very zenith of its political and
military power and influence and success. And he then cast a giant shadow
over the centuries to follow, during which the Israelites were always longing
for a return to their former glory under David’s leadership; endlessly hoping for
someone who could repeat or reproduce what he had done. So great was his
impact, and the memories he left behind, that the people of Israel eventually
came to believe in and to hope for a “Messiah” who would be a direct
descendent of David and who would someday come to reverse their fortunes.

But David, for all his greatness and many accomplishments was a “flawed”
hero, however. He was not a perfect man, and he made many tragic mistakes
during his lifetime. Yet, in the end, he is still remembered and revered, despite
all of his obvious flaws.

David, of course, was the young shepherd boy who became a king. He was the
unlikeliest of warriors who defeated the giant Goliath on the field of battle.
And he was also the great hero who lost his way and took for himself another
man’s wife by having her husband killed in a suicide wartime mission. But,
nevertheless, in the Augsburg Confession, when it came time for Lutherans to
articulate their understanding of what exactly a saint was, the only biblical
figure they named was… David. Warts and all. Why? Because even with all
of his obvious flaws and shortcomings, David was also a man of great faith
who was willing to take ownership of his tragic sins; a flawed hero through
whom God could still work God’s will.

On Wednesday nights at 7:00 pm during this season of Lent, we will have an
opportunity to meet and consider this flawed hero named David, and to see how
his life can inform our own.

I invite you to join me for this journey..

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 embraced their return, are loving NJ and are happy to call it HOME.   


MEET Our Church Council

PRESIDENT - Michael Della Rosa

VICE PRESIDENT - Sharryn Papinchak 

TREASURER -   John Drager

SECRETARY - Debbie Unger

Education  -  Janet Creech

Fellowship  - Tom Landes

                              Michelle Verdino

Maintenance Stefan Martinsen

                                -  Matthew Sprunger

Youth Ministry  -  Tara Zigler

We are looking to fill the Support Commission Coordinator roll
Reports to the Church Council and provides Stewardship, Skills and Enlistment support.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities: 

1) Convene a meeting to plan a Stewardship Program, and execute it during the 4th Quarter.

  • a) Report results to Council at its December meeting

2) Develop or revise the Time and Abilities Form

  • a) Distribution and collection of form during the 4th Quarter
  • b) Ensure that new members of the congregation receive a copy
  • c) Maintain our database of member's skills and interests, and match them to the activities, needs and structure of the Church Council

3) Maintain a support bulletin board and provide Volunteer Ministries coordination.

4) Provide for new member orientation to the Stewardship Plan for Giving and the Time and Abilities Form.

5) Develop, maintain and publish a summary of Church Committees and their membership, for use by the members of the Church Council.

6) Consider special appeals that do not fall under other Council ministries and make recommendations to the Council (e.g. World Hunger, ELCA appeals, etc.).