All posts by Mary Alice

Room for More

By | Family, Next Step | No Comments

As we anxiously await the arrival of our granddaughter, Summer, I’m reminded of the feelings I had with the arrival of each of our children. It would seem that all the love we had was invested in the children who were already in our family, but with the birth of each child, God increased our store of love so that we had more to give to the new arrival. It is hard to imagine another grandchild as wonderful as Cheyenne, but I’m sure that God will increase our love to shower on little Summer. There’s always room for more!

At NewSpring, there is always room for more as well! This Sunday is our next Discovery Reception, which is a unique opportunity to learn more about NewSpring and how you can get involved. You’ll hear from the NewSpring leadership team and have an opportunity to ask any questions you may have. There are still about 20 places available, so if you’re new to NewSpring, come join us this Sunday, May 3, from 9:15 to noon. You can register online.

If you’ve heard about the new Kid’s building, but would like to get more details, you’re invited to come to a Full Access Group. Opportunities are about to come to an end for Full Access Groups, but there is still room on April 29 and May 7. On Wednesday, April 29, childcare is provided, but you don’t need to have children to attend. You can register online.

Catching Up

By | Family, Message Series, NewSpring, Next Step | One Comment

I just realized that it’s been almost a month since we’ve posted on our blog! There are so many exciting things happening, so I’ll try to bring our blog up-to-date.

First of all, our family is looking forward to the arrival of our granddaughter, Summer, who is scheduled to arrive in mid May. Her older sister Cheyenne was in town with her Mom, Wendy over spring break and we enjoyed that visit. Stephen is looking forward to his 15th birthday in just a few days and Grandpa Hoover (WM) will celebrate his 84th birthday this Saturday. Grandma Hoover (Edith) had a little health scare that kept her in the hospital overnight for the first time since Mark’s birth, but she is responding well to medication and is her normal, energetic self.

Last Sunday we had a Discovery Reception and 57 people were present. As a result, NewSpring will again be welcoming many new members into the family. The next Discovery Reception will be May 3 and registration is already underway.

Mark is at the church tonight with a Full Access Group, which is a small group of people who would like to get some up close information about the exciting new building project that is about to begin at NewSpring. Although most of the groups are now full, there are still some spaces available. If you’re interested, you can register online at

This Sunday is Easter and every staff member and volunteer is doubling their efforts in anticipation of an overflow crowd — especially at the 11 o’clock service. Many people in our community will come to NewSpring this Sunday for the first time because of the holiday. There will be two services on Saturday — 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. to allow many of our regular Sunday attenders to come on Saturday and make extra space for visitors coming on Sunday. Because we are also offering a full KidzWorld program for both services on Saturday, many of you I have talked to are volunteering for extra services to make this possible. NewSpring volunteers are awesome!

Mark has also been working on the new message series that begins this weekend, u x 2Double Your Impact. Along with the weekend talks, he has also written a daily journal that corresponds with the series. These will be available this weekend, but you can pre-order online. Because of God’s gift to Mark of expressing things so simply and clearly, I have been trying to encourage him for years to write a book. Being humble as he is, he never feels his material is worthy of print, but this particular series has so captured his passion that he has devoted many hours to writing this journal. I am very confident that God is going to use it to bless each reader in an unusual way. Even though I’ve gotten many previews, I can’t wait to get my copy!

I hope every NewSpringer will be praying for God to do amazing things this weekend at NewSpring and throughout the world as we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ!

Mary Alice

Trip to Atlanta

By | NewSpring, Next Step | 2 Comments

Last weekend I attended an event at North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, GA for Starting Point leaders and directors. The guest speaker for the day was Andy Crouch, who has authored several books discussing faith and culture. In my opinion, it’s a good thing to get away from home and routine from time to time to recharge our batteries and get a fresh perspective.

I definitely left Atlanta encouraged and excited about what God is doing at NewSpring and around the world. While the news is filled with depressing statistics and gloomy predictions, God is busy doing astounding things in the lives of people.

I’m very excited to get back with my current Starting Point and Next Step groups this weekend. By the way, there are currently nine SP and NS groups meeting each weekend at NewSpring. We are scheduled to begin additional groups in March as we continue to create new spaces to meet in.

In just a couple of weeks, on February 14, we will enjoy a great SP Leader Event with Jason Malec. Jason has been on staff at North Point since 2002, but is now helping to start a brand new church in Denver, CO. We are looking forward to a day of insight, inspiration and challenge.

As I watch the years of my life whiz past at an alarming rate of speed, I’m very thankful that God has allowed me to be part of what He is doing with what I have to give. I’m also very thankful for all the forever friends I am making along the way.

This is winter?

By | Family | No Comments

I don’t want to say it too loudly, because I realize that blizzards could be in our near future, but the weather is beautiful! Who would have predicted that the day after Christmas, it would be warm enough (in Kansas) for a game of backyard football?

Jared, Jonathan & Stephen Hoover

Jared, Jonathan & Stephen Hoover

As they were growing up, all three of our sons enjoyed playing a little football outside with their dad. I guess somethings don’t change — well, except the cheerleading section!

Cheyenne Hoover & Ellie Cummins

Cheyenne Hoover & Ellie Cummins

We had a great time of celebration with friends and family — and good weather too!

The Hoover Family

The Hoover Family

Crossing the Finish Line

By | NewSpring | 4 Comments

I never was much of a runner, but I do know that running a race can be sometimes exhilarating and sometimes exhausting — maybe even simultaneously. However the race goes, crossing the finish line is an accomplishment!

Many of you have gone with us on Odyssey ’08 — a journey through the Bible. Even though I’ve heard from some of you along the way, I am anxious to hear and read your reflections now that we are approaching the finish line.

Was it a good trip? Did you learn anything new? Did God speak to you through what you read?

If you’ve been on Odyssey ’08 — even only part of the way, please add your comment to this post and give us your reflections.

Getting in gear

By | Family, Just Thoughts | No Comments

I’m still enjoying my reflections on a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration. All of our family was able to be together here at our house for turkey and last Monday I was able to briefly visit with my parents in Texas as well. I am so thankful for the blessing of family and the love we share.

Now that Christmas season is upon us, we’re gearing up for the next big holiday. Although my decorating skills leave much to be desired, I’ve tried to set aside my insecurities and start getting our Christmas decorations up. One of my struggles though is that at my age time flies by so fast that it seems like I just finish getting everthing in place when it’s time to take it all down again!

I am really looking forward to the new message series that starts this week.  Mark usually shares his thoughts with me, so I get some great previews of what’s coming. I also got to see the stage decorations as they were going up during the week. It’s amazing! Dale Poore and his team always manage to top their last project with more creative genius!

I’m also excited to get back with my Starting Point groups after our break for Thanksgiving. I get to know so many people through SP and I love that!

Who Am I?

By | Family, Just Thoughts, NewSpring, Next Step | No Comments

Have you ever awakened from a deep sleep and felt the need to ask the nearest person what your name was? Although I haven’t been sleeping deeply (thanks to a head cold), I have been spinning with excitement over all things going on in my life and I’m a little dizzy.

What does it take to make me dizzy? Some major milestone events, lots of new friends, a family holiday and a head cold.

Our Discovery Reception on November 16 was absolutely packed with over 100 people attending. We had to abandon our usual arrangement of beautifully decorated tables and set up rows of chairs, which were all taken and we had to add more during the morning.

Last weekend, four new Starting Point groups launched (which is a record for number of new groups beginning on one weekend). I am leading two of the four and it is a thrill to get to know all of the group members and hear their stories. I love taking the Starting Point journey again with brand new friends!

I’m thrilled that last weekend we had almost 3,100 people at NewSpring, although we are now facing some serious logistical challenges. Everyone in the 11 o’clock service was so kind to move in close and help everyone find a seat. The traffic is also a challenge as we dismiss the 9:30 service and welcome those coming to the 11 o’clock service.

After a couple of days of long staff meetings, we prepared for company to arrive at our house for the holiday. Jonathan, Wendy & Cheyenne arrived on Wednesday and I’ve had so much fun cooking with and playing with Cheyenne. Of course everyone else was great to visit with as well, but being Nana is the most fun!

I hope everyone has had a lovely Thanksgiving and returns safely home from their travels. We have such an exciting future together here at NewSpring!

Mary Alice

My List

By | Family, Just Thoughts, NewSpring, Next Step | No Comments

With Thanksgiving coming up this week, I’m reminded of many things I’m thankful for:

  • I’m not trying to pack and move over the holiday weekend like we did last year
  • All of our family is planning to be together for the holiday
  • All of our family is safe and healthy and we are looking forward to the newest additions to be added in 2009 — one by birth and one by marriage
  • I have met MANY new friends at NewSpring during the last 12 months
  • Over 100 people came to Discovery last Sunday
  • 43 people are signed up to begin Starting Point this weekend
  • Most of all, I’m thankful for the wonderful memories of the past, the delicious blessings of the present and the indescribable future life God has in store for me along with all those in His family

I pray that each of you will have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

Unexpected guest at the door

By | Family | One Comment

Our little dog, Fred having now recovered from his frightening experience with the ducks last spring, has now settled into a regular routine. He goes out the front door for short breaks and when he’s ready to come back in, he sits in front of the sidelight window beside the front door. He sits patiently, peering in as he waits for the door to be opened to allow him back inside.

A couple of nights ago, I was about to let Fred out for a break, but as I stepped toward the front door, I thought I saw a little animal sitting in front of that side window by the front door. As I got closer, I could see that a very small, but brave and hopeful little mouse was standing (not sitting) on the ledge of the side window. His little pointed nose was held high and his tail stretched out behind him, as if he were imitating the dog he saw standing there many times each day. Maybe he was hopeful that I would open the door and let him in just as I did for Fred.

On the other hand, maybe he had observed the neighborhood kids receiving candy when they came to the door a few nights ago. In any event, I was very curious what would cause this little otherwise shy animal to be brave enough to step up to the front door.

Even when I came up to the door with Fred beside me looking out, the mouse seemed unafraid and stood there expectantly. After a couple of minutes, I tapped on the window and he scampered away, but I’ll not soon forget our little unexpected visitor.