Discover how you can use your skills and passions to make a difference by joining a serve team.


Children's Ministry

Creating the best hour of your child’s week that will inspire a deep relationship with Jesus empowering them to live out God’s dreams for their lives.

Meet Melissa Bauer (and her husband Matt)! Melissa has been serving as the children’s ministry director since 2016. Her favorite part? Seeing kids fall in love with Jesus and making crazy ideas a reality. 

At home, you can almost always find Melissa listening to music, a new audio book, or a podcast. She also enjoys outdoor walks, bike rides, and learning new things. 

“My time at Higher Hope has been such an amazing step in my faith journey and hearing other people’s stories as well makes me happy to be apart of the Higher Hope family.”

A small commitment with a big impact. Partner with parents to invest in their children’s faith journey through relationship building and teaching.

While serving in the children’s ministry, you might snuggle babies, greet families to assist them with check-in, lead a kids small group, or be a buddy for a child’s first day. Please also be prepared to help remove squished play-do from the carpet.

The time commitment is 1-2 Sundays per month. 

Background checks will be performed to ensure our children’s safety. Otherwise, all you need is a passion for kids.


Our mission is for the youth to develop deep roots in Christ, create authentic relationships with peers, and become prepared to own their faith before moving onto the next phase of life.

Hello to this quad- Anthony and Megan Maglio and Jeff and Melissa Ripley. These couples have a combined 10+ years of experience leading the youth at Higher Hope Church (Maglios: 8; Ripleys: 2).

Fun Fact: Anthony, Megan, and Melissa were part of the original youth group in 2006 when the church was started. 

As leaders, they all have a passion to see young people grow in faith, develop lasting friendships grounded in truth, discover their God-given gifts, and pursue their purpose with confidence. The leaders all want to provide a safe place to have community and to talk through hard topics. 
A favorite memory from Higher Hope was when Jeff, Melissa, and Anthony returned from a conference to discover their vehicle was “vandalized” by some of their mischievous teens. 
If you are passionate about teenagers then this is the ministry for YOU!
As a youth leader, you will have an incredible opportunity to invest in our young people and disciple them in their faith. You might be asked to help plan events, set-up activities, and attend weekly gatherings including an annual overnight event. 
The time commitment is 2-4 Sunday nights per month plus any additional special youth events.
Background checks are required for all.


Higher Hope Family Ministry exists to partner with families, to see the love of Jesus and be passionate about his mission and the community of the church.

We are looking for someone passionate about creating opportunities for families to learn, grow, and make memories together. 

If you’d like to lead a family event, let us know! We’d be happy to partner with you.

WOMEN's Ministry

For women to be encouraged and knit together with strong ties of love and to have complete confidence that they understand God’s mysterious plan which is Christ Himself.

Meet Jen! Curly hair taming expert, avid hiker, and more than decent at crocheting.

God designed us for community…to be knitted together with a body of believers.  -Colossians 2:2

There are spots available on our leadership team which would require monthly meetings, planning of small groups and events, and committing to your own personal spiritual growth.

We also welcome volunteers to help with:  planning and preparation of events/activities, small group leaders, connecting with women through cards, visits, meals, etc., and any other great ideas you have!


Equipping and strengthening men to be Christ-like leaders in their in their homes, workplaces, churches and communities by providing opportunities to connect with other men, encourage one another, and challenge each other to grow closer to God.


Introducing Mike Castellano. Mike became the leader of the mens ministry in 2022 although he had been serving on the team and participating in events for years prior. As you can see, family is very important to him. He also works full time at Hilliard in Elmira and enjoys training for Spartan races. He shares the mens ministry mission to strengthen men as Christ-like leaders at home, at work, and in their community. 

Doing manly men things. 

As a volunteer, you might be asked to lead a men’s small group, serve in the community, help plan men’s retreats, and meet with men looking to get connected in the church.

“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor. If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.”

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10.


Supporting and strengthening marriages by helping married couples build their homes on the foundation of Jesus Christ.

Pastor Mike and his wife, Jeanna Schooley, lead the marriage ministry together. Even after 22 years married and raising four kids, there are tough days; but they are committed to each other and helping strengthen other relationship bonds as well. Their best marriage advice is: “don’t let a disagreement ruin your whole day. Talk it through and move on with the day.”

When two become one. 

Seeking adventurous people who are committed to “dating your spouse” and excited about enriching the lives of other couples. 

As a volunteer, you may be asked to assist with the planning and preparation of events, hosts small groups, and help brainstorm new, fun ideas to foster growth between the couple and with God. 

Missions Ministry

Reaching out to those who are far from Christ to bring them into the family of God by building stronger relationships through state, country, and global missions.

Introducing Vince! Award winning beard, enjoys running with the zebras, and is an amazing husband to BJ and father to Myles and Jaden. 

All you need is a love for people and a passion to make Christ known.

Just as it takes a village to raise a child, it takes the support of the whole church to have a successful missions and outreach program.

As a member of the missions team, you will have opportunities to plan upcoming missions events, engage with the individuals across the world, and learn more about current missionaries that we support.

Stay updated on the latest news from each of our missionaries, upcoming projects, and opportunities to serve by subscribing to this monthly email or following their Facebook page.


Reaching out to the community to provide encouragement, assistance and a caring heart for those we can serve .

Hello Deb Sebura (and her husband Mark)!

Deb has been attending Higher Hope since 2007.  Over the years, she has served on the leadership team, marriage ministry, hospitality counter, and now in missions and outreach. 

 In the Fall of 2021, she became the outreach leader for Higher Hope Church. This is in addition to serving as the Free Meal Coordinator for The Neighborhood Transformation Center in Elmira. There, they provide free hot meals for anyone in need twice a week.

“I love Outreach. One of our team’s highlights was reaching out to the homeless encampments in Ithaca by delivering backpacks filled with supplies. I also enjoy organizing our annual free chicken barbecue for the community.”

“Carry each other’s burdens and in this way you will fulfill the love of Christ .” Galatians 6:2.

As a member of the OUTREACH team, you will have opportunities to plan upcoming outreach events, build relationships with our local community, and learn more about local organizations that we support.

Stay updated on the latest news about upcoming projects and opportunities to serve by following their Facebook page.


Bringing acts of kindness to our congregation through our card ministry, meal ministry, and connection with individuals and families at Higher Hope.

Introducing Kim Ripley (and her husband Curt). The care ministry was officially formed to combat isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic; however she personally feels this is what Higher Hope and other churches have being doing for centuries- caring for each other. 

“I attend Higher Hope because of the community of believers, the applicable message we receive each week, and because, here, I am encouraged to walk in God’s Word and dig deeper into the roots HE planted. When I tell people about our church, I feel very proud to boast about what God is doing – not just in the church itself but in the lives of so many people. I always want to help in any way possible to grow this church, help others grow in their faith and be joyful for God’s incredible plans and what He is going to do next at HHC.”

Your act of kindness can open doors to great blessings! 

Within the caring ministry, we currently have two forms of outreach: cards and meals. 

Cards: We deliver cards to encourage people through difficult times, provide a connection to those experiencing isolation, and celebrate significant events/accomplishments in the lives of our church family. 

Meals: We also provide meals to families who have lost a loved one, are experiencing health or hospital complications, or anyone who needs to know they are loved. 

If you’d like to partner with the card or meal ministry, we’d be happy to have you! Or if you have new ideas about how to care for our congregation, then let’s chat and make your passion a reality. We look forward to adding your gifts to the Caring Ministries!

1Peter 5:2 “Care for the flock that God has entrusted to you. Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly-not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God.”


Providing coffee and snacks to nourish our church congregation, make them feel welcome, and help them to feel more comfortable engaging others.

Greetings to Rebecca! This picture was very difficult to find as most of her profile pictures are of bees, flowers, her cat, or motivational coffee mugs. We suppose her volunteer role fits her well as the hospitality team leader ensuring everyone has fresh, hot coffee on Sunday mornings. 

There is just something comforting about holding a cup of coffee in front of you while catching up with friends and meeting new people.

Are you a foodie? How about a coffee connoisseur? We need YOU!

Some responsibilities of a volunteer would be to brew coffee, restock supplies, plan the snack menu, and greet people at the hospitality counter. 

The time commitment is one Sunday per month.


Creating a genuine and welcoming guest experience that communicates value and cultivates connections.

Hello to Alia Snyder (and her husband, Grant). Alia started as the Welcome Team coordinator in June 2021, but she’s been at HHC since the start.  In fact, at age 10, Alia greeted guests at the first-ever Higher Hope Church service in September of 2006. 

“I think God has been prepping me to take on this role for years…. as a kid, in college, when I moved away from the area for my first job… so many experiences have lead me to this point in my life where I feel so invested in making guests feel welcome.”

Seeking outgoing, weather-proof, and smiling individuals!

We are the team holding the umbrella over your head in the parking lot, the team opening doors and greeting you with a friendly smile. We man the Welcome Desk which is just a treasure-trove of information and can give tours of the building for anyone wanting to explore.  We make intentional efforts to approach new guests, introduce ourselves, and help them get connected.

The time commitment is 2 Sundays per month plus a few meetings scattered here and there throughout the year to receive new training, discuss improvements, and most-importantly celebrate WINS!


Coming Soon…

If you are interested in recruiting ushers for offering each Sunday morning, we’d love to have you! It’s not a hard job with so many men available and willing- the just need a leader and an aisle plan for passing.

Thanks for considering our team! We spend most of our time in the shadows, but are ready at a moment’s notice. The commitment is 1-2 Sundays per month. 


The purpose of worship ministry is to create an atmosphere of passionate, authentic worship focused on glorifying God. 

Meet Melissa Ripley, no relation to Kim Ripley pictured above. She has been serving as the worship leader since February of 2011. Outside of ministry, I have been married to Jeff Ripley for 8 years and I have a beautiful daughter named Harper. 

“I have always had a passion for music and glorifying God through song, but I never imagined myself in this role. Growing up I hated playing piano in front of anyone including my parents. I avoided recitals and competitions as much as possible. God certainly has a sense of humor!”

Join the team to help enhance the worship experience through music, sound, and digital technology.

A person serving on the worship team might be expected to prepare at home for the upcoming services, participate in mid-week rehearsals, arrive early on Sundays and serve multiple services. 

Worship Band/Vocalists –> musical skill is necessary.

A/V Team –> prior experience not necessary, training provided. 

The time commitment is 1-2 Sundays/month. 


To maintain the church building and grounds with special attention to safety in order to provide a pleasant environment to honor and to worship God.

Hello to Grant Snyder! He is our resident carpenter and all-around fix-it man. He is the best at keeping our building clean, parking lot plowed, and lawns manicured. Servicing the building and caring for the grounds is no small task. He needs a big team to keep our property looking pristine.

Outside of his church role, Grant enjoys hiking, bonfires, four-wheeling, and playing board games. 

We have been blessed with a beautiful property and need help maintaining it! From mowing to snow plowing to cleaning to gardening- we’ve got a job for you!


To ensure safety for all guests.

Tony Bellamy leads our security team at Higher Hope. His wife and two kids are his pride and joy so he understands the importance of you and your family’s safety especially while at church. Outside of his church role, he is a police officer at Cornell’s campus.

We are looking for men or women who are observant, detail-oriented, and who have good communication and problem solving skills. 


To equip every person in our church to be a disciple maker. 

Meet Adam Hungerford, leader of  the discipleship ministry! This ministry was started in July 2021 even though “discipleship” has been a core value at Higher Hope since the start in 2006. Adam is the perfect fit for this role because he makes every effort to form deep relationships with the church congregation and, through getting to know people on a personal level, is able to  help them on their path to mature Christianity. With each new disciple, the Gospel message spreads exponentially. 

Matthew 28:19 says, “therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”
Looking for are people who are willing to be in a discipling relationship for 12-18 months (small group leaders, book or Bible study leaders, simply together home group hosts, mentors).


To model, teach, equip, and bring comfort to our church in prayer and through prayer.

Recognize this lady? Yes, Kim actually leads TWO ministries! She started this ministry in 2018. 

“This is a very dear ministry close to my heart. I have always felt that prayer is THE MOST important part of my life.  I want people to ask for prayer and be in prayer- every day and wherever you are.”

Kim’s favorite memory at HHC is working on the building proposal. It took so much time and energy, but there were so many #OnlyGod moments. It was clearly HIS church, HIS mission, and HIS plan. She remembers gathering to pray over each corner of the property- people reminisced about how far we’ve come as a church, dreamed about the future, and, together, raised a cross in adoration of Jesus Christ. 

God made prayer simple and easily accessible! The only thing you need to be a part of our prayer ministry is a heart for prayer and praying for others.

Not only is prayer easily accessible, but prayer is also very powerful! It is the way that we fellowship with God and also how He ministers to us.  When we come together and have ministry through prayer, we are honoring God and casting our cares upon Him.

In Philippians Chapter 4 vs 6 Paul tells us to “Don’t worry about anything, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank Him for all He has done.”

Prayer is powerful so having a dedicated group of prayer warriors is invaluable! Subscribe to receive anonymous prayer requests and general prayer prompts weekly.  

Sports Ministry

This ministry seeks to invite both congregation and community into our church building and onto our premises to participate in fun, competitive sporting events and in doing so, establish lasting relationships.  

Introducing Anthony Maglio! As a teenager, Anthony Maglio started attending Higher hope Church. Fast forward 15 years and now he leads our newest ministry- the sports ministry! We could not think of a better person to lead this  serve team. He loves pretty much every sport; but especially basketball where he coaches his three daughters!

Coming soon..

Embrace the journey:
foster and adoptive group

Our purpose is to share information and resources, as well as provide support & encouragement for foster and adoptive families.

Jeanna Schooley started this supportive group in 2014 during her family’s first foster experience. Since then, the group has grown and so has her family. “On October 31st, 2017, we adopted our daughter, Jaylah. We understand that raising a child from a hard place has its own unique set of challenges and our fight for our child does not end on Adoption Day.” Some members of the group are currently fostering, others have adopted locally and internationally, others are considering that opportunity. 

Thank you for considering volunteering! Our greatest need is childcare during quarterly gatherings. 

Heroes Disability Team

Provide opportunities for individuals with differing abilities to engage in developmentally appropriate discipleship, build community in a safe and nurturing environment, and use their spiritual gifts to be a light and serve Jesus Christ.


Hello to Karen Ensign and her son, Brayden!

Karen and her husband, Andy,  attend Higher Hope with their two sons, Bryce and Brayden.

“Our family started attending Higher Hope because we were interested in the Youth group for our son.  What we discovered was a church that embraced, accepted and supported our entire family.  Each one of us enjoys serving God at Higher Hope in different ways and getting to know others who attend. Starting a ministry for those with special needs had been on my heart and mind for years prior coming to Higher Hope.  God continued to bring Matthew 5:14-16 to attention.  “You are the light of the world-like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.”  How perfectly this aligned with Higher Hope desiring to be a city on a hill.  Working with many wonderful people I was given the opportunity and encouragement to start this ministry here.  I am anxious to see how God will use this ministry to use others to let their light shine and be a city on a hill.  I have found so many in this ministry eager to serve Jesus, learn about God and get to know others in the church.  I am excited to see how God will continue to grow and use this ministry through Higher Hope church.”


Our Heroes volunteers make a big difference!

They create a safe and loving place for all people to serve, learn, and belong.  If you relate to the following please consider joining our team:

-I can empathize with an individual who demonstrates behaviors I might not understand.

-I can be flexible and think on my feet.

-I can be a friend and share the love of Jesus with others.

We currently have various volunteer positions such as serving as a one to one support with children in the high five classrooms, helping with the smaller classroom that meets in the treehouse, being a one to one mentor to teens/adults, serving alongside a hero in an existing church ministry, helping with one time heroes events and being a part of our leadership team.

Sign up to serve

Scrolled this far and still haven’t found a ministry you are passionate about?

Here at Higher Hope, we want to make your passions a reality and we’d love to partner with you. 

Even if it’s a crazy idea, talk to Pastor Mike! He loves crazy, big ideas!