News and Views

Wesley Freedom houses Hope Rising

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From Kevin Silberzahn

Hope Rising Resource Center held an Open House on June 12 to celebrate its newly designated mission space at Wesley Freedom UMC; the hiring of a new Executive Director, Shannon Reinhardt; and the receipt of a $20,000 grant awarded by The Kahlert Foundation, led by Greg Kahlert, President, a resident of the community in which we serve. The Kahlert Foundation’s mission is to provide grants to non-profit organizations to improve the quality of life and well-being of the community in the areas of health care, education, youth programs, veteran organizations, and human services.

The mission of the Hope Rising Resource Center is “to be a safe place that connects people to relationships and resources for abundant life,” and its vision is “to be a community that treats all people with dignity and respect.”

Hope Rising began as a dream by Sharon Feldman, then the Wesley Freedom Director of Community Life, to provide access to resources for families in the south Carroll County area navigating through addiction, addiction recovery, grief, mental health, or other family issues.

Starting as a single shelf in Sharon’s office in 2016, she and a small group of dedicated volunteers expanded the Center through partnerships with several Carroll County government offices; with Rising Above Addiction, a Carroll County non-profit organization that helps provide financial assistance to young adults in need during the crucial, early stages of drug rehabilitation; and with The Shepherd’s Staff, a Carroll County Christian Outreach and Support Center that opened its doors in Westminster in 1991. Hope Rising became host to the first satellite office of The Shephard’s Staff in September 2019.

Hope Rising continued its ministry to families throughout 2020 and 2021, despite the impact of the COVID pandemic, providing food through the Feed My Sheep luncheon ministry and the South Carroll Food Pantry, and providing free non-food essentials for household, hygiene, and personal care through The Shepherd’s Staff’s Blessings Closet.

Hope Rising’s new Executive Director, Shannon Reinhardt, brings proven gifts for leadership, communications, and volunteer empowerment. Shannon served for 23 years as the Creative Arts Director at Northwest Baptist Church. In this role she had been instrumental in launching recovery programs, expanding outreach initiatives, and sharing the church's mission through multifaceted communication. Shannon is a relational leader who is passionate about connecting people with resources that will empower them to experience abundant health.

Wesley Freedom designated space at its Eldersburg campus to house Hope Rising Resource Center, which operates as a ministry of the church. The space includes a dedicated office and counseling room as well as a shared meeting space. Hope Rising holds monthly Recovery Services on the first Thursday of every month at 7:00 pm in the Wesley Freedom sanctuary and educational workshops throughout the year for community members and those in recovery. Hope Rising also offers counseling from its on-site Counselor, Jen Evans, LGPC.