A Message from our Pastor


One of the more memorable numbers in the hit Broadway musical The King and I was entitled “Getting to Know You.”

Two lines in particular come to mind:

Getting to know you
Getting to know all about you...

You see, I believe that one of my first tasks as your pastor, perhaps my main task initially, is simply taking the time and making the commitment to get to know you and, in turn, make it possible for you to get to know me. This will not happen overnight, I realize, nor will it be accomplished with just a few, short interactions. So it will require some intentionality on both of our parts.

For me, it will require making myself available to visit with all of you in your homes, or offices and places of employment, or anywhere else that seems to make the most sense. For your part, I would merely ask that you think about the best time and place for us to meet in order to spend some time getting to know each other.

Of course, for many, if not most of you, this will involve my coming to visit in your homes and having the chance to meet your entire family. For others, however, meeting for coffee or lunch, or stopping by your workplace, might make more sense. I’ll leave that up to you.

I am going to start this process by first spending some time getting to know the members of the Call Committee, who have agreed to serve as my initial “Pastoral Relations Committee,” and also the Congregation Council.  I hope to accomplish these visits/ contacts by the end of September. At that point, I will then begin visiting with everyone else in the congregation. 

In order to facilitate this, beginning in October I want you to look for a sign-up sheet that will be posted on my office door indicating the days and times during the upcoming week that I will be available. This way you can check your own schedules and availability and “sign up” for an appointment time that works best for you. Don’t worry if you’re not available right away. We have plenty of time to do this.  Again, it’s not going to happen overnight. It will take a while, months I’m sure, for me to get around to all of you.

Just so you know, there are two basic goals that I have set for these visits. The first, again, is simply to get to know all about you; where you’re from, what you like to do, etc.

My second goal, however, is to also spend some time specifically talking with you about HOPE:

• What do you feel are the main challenges facing our congregation at the present time?
• What is your dream or vision for Hope’s future?
• Are there any programs or ministries that you personally have a need for or interest in, that aren’t currently available at Hope?

While there may also be some formal fellowship events to help us get to know each other, not to mention informal conversations on Sunday mornings, I nevertheless feel that these one-on-one visits are also a great way to help us to get to know each other.

Needless to say, I’m really looking forward to it!

Pastor Ed

Edward Kropa  "Pastor Ed"


We couldn't be happier to WELCOME

The Rev. Dr. Edward E. Kropa home to HOPE!

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.  

MEET Our Church Council

PRESIDENT - Bill Seifert

VICE PRESIDENT - Debbie Unger 

TREASURER - Mark Bondo      

SECRETARY - Siggy Kuehn

Education  -  Janet Creech

Fellowship  - John Bonanno

Maintenance  -  John Fink

Outreach  -  Sharryn Papinchak

Social Ministries  -  Siggy Kuehn

Support  -  John Drager

Youth Ministry  -  Tara Zigler

Youth  -  Michael Woods

Worship  -  Carol Romba