The weekly worship experience at Hanover seeks to honor the many ways God’s people know and experience God. In reading, music, prayer, and preaching we seek to offer meaningful expressions of how we connect with God. Our all-volunteer choir provides service music that glorifies God in different traditions, styles, and settings that uplift and reflect our diversity. The pastor and our lay leadership offer messages that combine scholarly Biblical interpretation with reflections that are relevant and helpful in today’s world. Beyond personally and corporately, our commitment to prayer is embodied in our Prayer Circle, which meets early each Monday morning to respond to the prayers offered on Sunday.
From our genesis, education and study have been at the core of the Hanover experience. We value challenging interactions with our sacred texts, each other, and the world, seeking to learn and grow in our faith together. Programs and ministries in the church are created so that we actively engage the world, and then prayerfully reflect on our experiences. On Sundays we offer Lectionary-based Bible study, adult forums and discussions, and study and activities for our children and youth that focus on missions in the larger community. Throughout the year, especially in Advent and Lent, we share in additional study and conversation.
Our Hanover family is all about hospitality, developing relationships, and making connections. These happen in worship, in study, in service, and in fun. Sunday mornings start with discipleship classes, and we follow our worship service with a time for refreshments and fellowship. We have year-round activities including our famous Soul Food Luncheon, a summer church picnic, and “Jeremiah’s Coffee House”, to just name a few. There is something for everyone, and there is always room for one more.
Hanover Church supports a number of local outreach programs through financial gifts, volunteer efforts, donation of space, and prayer. We also host many community groups and organizations for events, programs, and meetings related to their missions. Some of these are:
– Food Pantry: The Pantry is run by volunteers from Hanover and the community and serves over 3000 people each year. Food and money are donated by local churches and individuals, and food is purchased from the Food Bank of Delaware. The third Sunday of every month is Food Pantry Sunday, when we bring non-perishable food for the pantry as part of our offering to God. The Pantry is open every Thursday morning, serving individuals and families in need.
– Clothing Closet: The Clothing Closet at Hanover is considered by social services workers to be one of the best clothing missions in the area. The Closet is staffed by Hanover volunteers and Adopt-A-Family volunteers. It is open Wednesday mornings (except for July) and distributes donated clothing for men, women, and children.
– Community Gymnasium: Hanover is fortunate to have a gymnasium and uses it to serve the community. A variety of groups have used the gym for recreation. Currently, in partnership with Christiana Care, a zumba and weight loss class are using the gym every Tuesday and Thursday evening. Urban Promise, an organization that seeks “to be a community in Christ of servant leadership and transformation…,” uses the gym for recreation for youth in their schools.
– Yoga: Free yoga classes are offered every Friday evening from 6:15 to 7:30. Newcomers are always welcome.
– Faith in Action: The people of Hanover strive to put their faith and beliefs into action by volunteering in a variety of activities that promote social justice for all. We encourage interfaith activities, including supporting the work of Family Promise, an organization that “helps homeless families with children move toward permanent independence.” We are invited to step out of our comfort zone through book discussions and conversations with other faith communities. We are encouraged to spend our money on mission and service, instead of on material things for ourselves, through our yearly Christmas Ungifts program.
– Jefferson Street Center, Inc.: In 1987, this organization was first formed as an outgrowth of cooperation between Hanover and the Southeast Ninth Ward community. The purpose of JSC is to promote social justice for all, with a special emphasis on improving the quality of life for individuals and families living in the surrounding community. Currently, JSC provides oversight and support for community service programs operated in Hanover’s building.
– Female Harmony Society: In July 1814, the Female Harmony Society received an official Charter of Incorporation through the legislative body of the State of Delaware. One of its first efforts was the establishment of a Sabbath School in October 1814, which has been in continuous session at Hanover ever since. In 1818, the FHS opened a free public day school for children, and in 1820, succeeded in getting the Delaware State Legislature for financial aid for the purpose of educating poor children. The Female Harmony Society continues to support the less fortunate and advocate for education. For more information, visit their web site at www.femaleharmonysociety.org.
– Readiness Team: Under the Delaware Office of Early Learning, and funded by the federal Early Learning Challenge Grant, private foundations and corporations, Readiness Teams consist of representatives from school districts, early learning programs, and various individuals and organizations in the community. The goal is to improve opportunities for success in school for Delaware’s youngest students, by examining each community’s strengths and challenges and develop a community centered approach to success. Hanover and JSC are leading one team.
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