Finding Hope in Scranton

Nov 14, 2018

NBC’s “The Office” put Scranton back on the map. Now everyone knows our city and its landscape. At one time, Scranton was a booming city both diverse and divided. It was built around industries that died decades ago, leaving many residents without reliable jobs. Today, Scranton and the surrounding region continues to reinvent itself, and the potential here is tremendous—but many challenges remain.

We launched The Grove in 2009, and I am convinced that God wants us to be a part of our city’s renewal. We set out to start a church where people could pursue Jesus together in meaningful ways. When we sought to address the 94% food insecurity rate in the Scranton School District, The Grove quickly gained a reputation among other organizations and churches in our region as a church that is serious about working for the good of our city. Last year we began a non-profit organization named “Here for a Reason” as an advocacy arm of the church. This has helped us bridge the gap between the faith community and local businesses. We have packaged and distributed over 40,000 meals in our city since our church launch. “Here for a Reason” fully funded our first food packaging event, and we have piloted a weekend meal program with three of the neediest elementary schools in our city. In August, we partnered with three local colleges to package 10,000 meals that will be distributed into our local schools. More events are in the works for the upcoming year.

Planting a church in Scranton constantly reminds me that people need to hear the good news about Jesus in under-resourced cities and that there are many ways to earn a seat at the table of their lives.

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Scott Hall 

Lead Pastor, The Grove Church

Scott is the husband of Aimee, and the dad of Caden and Avelyn. He serves at the Pastoral Team Leader at The Grove Church in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and has discovered in the last year that he shouldn’t laugh at runners anymore because he now considers himself to be one.

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