The Marks of Hope

Where the Spirit Is Moving in a Wounded Church

Book - Paperback
The Marks of Hope
Paperback ISBN: 9781501859335
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E-Book ISBN: 9781501859342
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Published March 2018

The church can be a hopeful model for the world amidst changing culture, evolving ministry and the conflicts that arise,

Headlines in The United Methodist church today include words like “division,” “death tsunami,” and “Affinity Group X vs. Affinity Group Y.” So, where does one find hope in The United Methodist Church today?

The Marks of Hope, written by three UMC parish pastors, demonstrates that the church can be a hopeful model in a world affected by changes in understanding and expectations related to gender, technology, justice, mission, social entrepreneurship, etc. Each chapter concludes with a “communion” section jointly written by the authors to present ideas for working together as leaders, lay people and congregations to be a model of hope. The authors outline practical steps to hold each other close with mutual love and accountability.

From the Introduction written by Matt Rawle: 

"So what does it mean to find hope in The United Methodist Church today? To be honest, I don’t have much of an answer to what the future global structure of The UMC needs to be. What I do know is that every day I’m charged with loving, serving, challenging, and leading the folks who have found a home in my local church and those who don’t yet know God’s amazing grace in Jesus Christ…

We can say with great conviction that conflict takes advantage of the space between us. The further apart we are, the easier conflict can find room to cause havoc. Our culture has grown accustomed to smearing our neighbor with our computer keys, but it is much more difficult to slander the person sharing a cup of coffee with us. The Marks of Hope is our offering of six ways we might hold one another close with mutual love and accountability. Hope is our destination, faith is trusting in that destination, and love is how we get there."

The Marks of Hope is part of the Faultlines collection, resources intended to inform conversations around human sexuality and the church.

About the Authors

Matt Rawle

Matt Rawle is Lead Pastor at Asbury United Methodist Church in Bossier City, Louisiana. Matt is an international speaker who loves to tell an old story in a new way, especially at the intersection of pop culture and the church. He is the author of a new series of books titled The Pop in Culture Series. The series includes The Faith of a Mockingbird, Hollywood Jesus, The Salvation of Doctor Who, The Redemption of Scrooge, What Makes a Hero?, and The Gift of the Nutcracker. 

Juan Huertas

Juan Huertas is the Lead Pastor of Grace Community, a United Methodist Congregation in Shreveport, LA. He loves preaching/teaching, leading the church into mission in their neighborhood, and hearing people’s stories. He is married to Shannon Perry Huertas, and they have three children. In his down time he likes spending time with the family, reading, and writing at

Katie McKay Simpson

Katie McKay Simpson is the Pastor of University United Methodist Church in Lake Charles, LA.  She has been working in church revitalization, leadership development, and coaching for young clergywomen for a decade.  She holds a Master of Divinity degree from Garrett-Evangelical Seminary. Katie McKay Simpson is the Pastor of University United Methodist Church in Lake Charles, LA.  Her website,, offers a forum to consider leadership issues for women in work and life. Katie is married with three children.