The story behind Everhope

How far back should we go?

In 33AD, the followers of a crucified Jewish rabbi shocked the whole Greco-Roman empire. These men and women who were previously cowering for their lives, started speaking with such boldness and hope. Their message was that their teacher, Jesus of Nazareth, a man who claimed to be the Son of God, had risen from the grave just as he said he would. All people were invited to this immortal everlasting life by turning from the world's ways of thinking, believing in Jesus and being connected to him through Baptism.

In 1517 the world was shocked once again. The Church of the middle ages had become corrupt and had lost sight of who Jesus is and what he had done. The pope, bishops and priests were teaching people that they could earn God's favour through good actions. Many even paid the church money so that they, or a loved one, could pass through purgatory and straight to heaven. Then a German monk named Martin Luther caused a stir. The 95 complaints against the church he posted to the church door were taken down and recopied thousands of times by the local (newly invented) printing press. For the following decades Luther and his friends fought to ensure that the Bible could be read by ordinary people. They taught that we can't be in relationship with God through our own efforts, but only through Jesus. We receive him in seemingly ordinary things -- the words of the Bible, the water of Baptism, the bread and the wine of Holy Communion.

Ordinary people are still looking for hope, a kind of peace which doesn't depend on circumstance. We believe that this hope which fueled the early church, amidst suffering and death threats, can still be found in the reality-changing message of Jesus.

Everhope Church was born on the 31st October 2021 when a small team led by Matt Schubert were commissioned by Rockingham Mandurah Lutheran Church. This team were compelled by a conviction that a new church was needed in our region to connect with those who don't think of themselves as church people. So Everhope's church services look a lot like Australian surburbia, using language that unchurched and dechurched people can relate to. At Everhope, we believe that church should feel like family and involve everyday life.

What we believe

As you might know, every church reads the Bible in slightly different ways. We're human, after all! So what can we do about it? As Lutherans, we think the best way to find out what Jesus thought about things is to look back in history. In this age of information, we have access to letters from the generation after Jesus walked the earth. We can see how these early Christians understood the Bible. It turns out, they had a very grounded faith. Here's what they believed, and what we do too:

We soberly acknowledge we're a little (ok, a lot) messed up. Our hearts are crooked. We can't help ourselves. In fact, we need help from outside ourselves. When God rescued us, he did so all on his own (without our cooperation). But even if it's true that Jesus died and rose again 2000 years ago, we know that it can be hard to believe something that happened so long ago. So Jesus kindly gives us physical things we can hang our faith on. What we mean is that the Spirit of Jesus comes to us through the water of baptism and the bread and wine of the Lord's Supper. We believe in a God whose presence breaks into ordinary things and everyday life.

Matt Schubert

At Everhope, everyone chips in and does their part, but Matt is the only one on our payroll. Since June 2020, he has been funded by various churches all over Australia to form and lead the Everhope team. His spare time is spent down at Golden Bay foreshore, sipping coffee at Bru's House, playing tennis at Singleton, or keeping his backyard under control.

In 2023, Matt was ordained as a Pastor of the Lutheran Church of Australia. He's a trusted teacher of the Bible and helps keep our church pursuing God's heart for our local community. Matt has a Bachelor of Ministry from Perth Bible College and a Master of Theology from Australian Lutheran College.

Matt has been married to Becca for five years. They met at Perth Bible College and had their first date in Vic Park once Becca was happy for Matt to leave the friend zone. Becca's trade is dental assisting, but spends most of her week practicing the ancient art of motherhood. Together they have two young children--William and Vivienne--who keep things fun and interesting.