Hope Notes 4/1/15

April 1, 2015

Dear Friends of Hope ~

I’ve been trying to figure out the secular world’s view of Easter.  We have the Easter bunny (although in Switzerland it’s a cuckoo and in Germany it’s a fox), Easter eggs, Easter candy, and of course Easter baskets.  Most puzzling to me is the rabbit.  Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t believe rabbits lay eggs.  You can look all these symbols up online and find their meaning.  They mostly celebrate renewal, fertility, and the new life that comes to the earth with spring.  But you won’t find any real correlation to Jesus’ death and resurrection.  Some Christians have tried to show a distant comparison to how Jesus brings new life, but for me it falls flat.  I prefer to celebrate Easter for what it really is – a celebration of the day that Jesus stepped out of the grave to give the world a sign it could not deny.  He is ALIVE!  For a man to predict His own death and resurrection was something only God could do.  ‘And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.’ (1Cor 15:14)  The Gospel is full of proof that Jesus did rise from the dead; sightings by witnesses, nail scarred hand, a stone rolled away, and more.  As we prepare to celebrate Easter this Sunday, we can give thanks to God that our faith is not in vain and that Jesus Christ was raised for us!



April 5 – EASTER – Unopened (John 20:1-9)

When Easter rolls around, lots of parents put together a basket for their child full of candy and chocolate. As a kid, this is a wonderful idea. Often for parents, it turns out to be a regrettable idea. But imagine a parent takes the time to buy the candy and put the basket together and hide it.  Imagine the child looking for the basket, but never finding it. Maybe they got bored with looking, or maybe they just weren’t very good at looking.  In any case, they don’t get the basket.  We all know that the candy still exists whether the child finds the basket or not.  And the child is certainly invited to have the candy.  But they don’t enjoy the candy unless they actually find the basket, and then open up what’s inside. Is it possible that someone has put together some wonderful stuff for you that you’ve never found or enjoyed?  On this holiday, let’s start at the grave of Jesus and see what we can learn. Don’t leave the best stuff unopened!



April 3rd @ 7:00

Join us as we commemorate the ultimate sacrifice – Jesus taking on every one of our sins and giving His life so that we could live eternally with Him.  You’ll see our auditorium set up ‘in the round’ and we’ll have music, Scripture reading and communion that helps us to reflect on God’s incredible mercy.



We now have two services, one at 9:00 and one at 11:00! Here’s a brief rundown of the new times for our basic pre-service activities:

  • Prayer Huddle (for both services) 8:40-8:45 am Sundays
  • Prayer Time – 8:30 in prayer room
  • Teachers in Class/ Greeters at Posts – 1st service 8:45, 2nd service 10:45
  • Worship Team Morning Run Through – 8:15 am



Did you know that Sunday’s worship service is available on CD immediately following the service for FREE?  Pick up a copy for yourself or for anyone you would like to share Hope with.  Pastor Mark’s messages are also available on our website,www.hopechristianfellowship.org.



8:40 – 8:45 for Both Services

The prayer huddle is open to anyone who would like to come pray – but it is specifically intended for those who are serving on that Sunday.  So if you’re scheduled to be in kids’ ministry, greeting, in the tech booth, on worship team, or any other ministry role for a given Sunday, join us at 8:40 sharp to pray together for God’s power in each of us.  We can do all things through Christ, and nothing of worth without Him, so let’s come together each Sunday to ask for God’s Spirit to fill us and use us!


Our Sunday morning prayer time is open to everyone at 8:30 am in the Prayer Room. We pray for the services that morning and for the needs in the church. If you would like to participate, just show up!





Ephesians 2:10

“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”



1 CORINTHIANS / 7:00 – 8:15 pm

Make sure you set aside time to come and study God’s Word mid-week.  This helps keep you rooted in Scripture and connected to each other.  Childcare is provided.



7:00 – 8:15

Keep Jesus fresh in your child’s mind and heart!  We have classes for children ages 3 – 5 and for those in 1st – 5th grades.  Nursery is provided for infants thru age 2.  Contact Jenn Winstel with any questions at jenwinrn@comcast.net.

Please Note:  The last night for Kid’s Club will be April 22nd.



7:30 in Youth Room

First and Third Monday of every month

Anyone who has graduated high school up to their early thirties is welcome. See Pastor Mark or Dana for more information. Childcare is provided.



1st & 3rd Mondays 7:00 pm – 8:40pm

Studying “Not a Fan-Becoming a Completely Committed Follower of Jesus”

God’s Girls Group is a warm welcoming place where women are cared for and loved. It is a place to grow closer to the Lord and one another. We offer Bible Studies, Special Events, Retreats, Outings, and Outreaches. All women at Hope are welcome; feel free to bring a friend! Childcare is provided. Contact Jennifer Nolan at jnolan1962@yahoo.com to be added to our email list for updates and info.





Tuesday, May 12th @ 7:00 pm

Come on out for an evening with guest speaker Sue Duffield.  You can expect an evening filled with comedy, music, and a message on “The Navah – the Holy Habitation of Christ in Every Woman”.  Of course, the evening just wouldn’t be complete without dessert!!  Please bring a‘pink’ dessert to share. We will be taking a love offering for Sue. There will be cd’s and books available for purchase. Signup sheet is in the lobby.  See Lorraine Otis with any questions.



Second Saturday of Every Month

8:00 – 9:30am

Come and join us for a delicious breakfast and a good time of fellowship/sharing with the men of Hope.  Feel free to bring a friend!  Open to men 18 and older. See Steve Jones with any questions.



Small Groups are a vital part of getting connected with others and forming deeper relationships than a quick ‘hello’ on Sunday mornings. Study sheets can be found in the Resource Room or downloaded right from our website. You can also contact Pastor Mark atmarkott@hopechristianfellowship.org with your email address and he will send you the current study sheet at the same time it is sent to our webpage.  Contact Damon Briggs atdamon.briggs@mitchellandness.com with any questions.





Wednesdays from 7:00 – 8:30



Sundays from 6:30 – 8:30



Apr 17th – 19th

GET UP! and get yourself out to the Delanco Camp for our Spring Retreat. This event is for all students in middle and high school. Register your child at Delanco.org, but make sure you see Dave Hallahan first for a discount code to bring the price down to $45. You may also see Dave with any questions you may have.



As our adult Bible study and Wednesday night children’s programs transition into their summer schedules, youth group will be getting a new look as well. For the five weeks between Mother’s Day and Father’s Day (5/17, 5/24, 5/31, 6/7 and 6/14) our middle school and high school will be meeting together on Sunday nights from 6:30-8:30.






Go Zone is our Sunday Morning kid’s service! We are GOing for GOD, GOing for GROWTH, and GOing FOREVER! The Go Zone is a service entirely focused around the kids, in which we connect by playing games, worshipping with one another, and hearing a message from God’s Word in fun, creative ways before heading off to Sunday school for the rest of the service.

Follow HopeKids! Ministries on Facebook at:  facebook.com/HCFHopeKids




One of our own, Bill Murray, has gone home to be with the Lord. Services will be held this Saturday morning (April 4th) at Kelly Funeral Home in Pitman (125 Pitman Ave).  Visitation will be from 9:00 – 11:00 am and the funeral service will be at 11:00 am. Please keep Linda in prayer as well as Bill’s family and friends.  For those who would like to send a card, the following is Linda’s address:

Linda Murray / 634 Urian Avenue / Wenonah, NJ  08090



Sometimes, God lays it on our heart to give a little extra for His kingdom.  He may have provided the financial means for it or just the nudge in our hearts.  In order to help make this easier for you as the giver and Hope as the receiver, we have some new offering envelopes in a wall mounted bin next to our regular offering slot.  These envelopes are marked with special categories where there is a need, as well as a general ‘other’ category for you to fill in as your heart leads.  See Lois Hartwell if you have any questions.




Check out our newly decorated Mission Boards (thanks Joyce!) – they’ve been updated and decorated to reflect a more current snapshot of our missionary’s lives.  Oh!  Fun fact – the colors of the borders on each board represent the flags of the countries or states in which our missionaries serve!



Did you know that we have two missionaries right here at Hope?  They give generously of their time, sacrificing time they could spend relaxing or with their families.  Instead they minister to those in prison.  Their mission field is not on the barren plains of Africa; it is on the softball diamond!  Saints Prison Ministry travels to various prisons and engages the prisoners in a friendly game of softball.  There is prayer, sharing, and the gospel is proclaimed.  If you would like to help support this ministry, you can offer up your prayers and/or help financially.  Our guys have to pay their own way for any expenses incurred while traveling, etc.  If you feel led to help in this way, just make a donation by writing out a check to Bill McGinness or Jim Jefferson.  They each need to raise $1000.00.  Thanks so much!



Wednesday, June 3rd

Depending on response, we are scheduling our next baptism for June 3rd.  If you would like to be baptized, you can sign up starting the week after Easter.  The classes will be the last two Wednesday nights in the month of May.  See Pastor Mark with any questions.



The New Testament has this wonderful ministry for the elders of a church – PRAYER.  And we’d like to offer it to anyone who is in need of healing (physical or otherwise) or who needs the power of God to be at work in their lives in a special way.  If you or anyone you know would like to take advantage of this ministry, contact Pastor Mark to set up a time after one of our Sunday services for the elders to pray over you.



  • Must be 15 years old before the close of the season (middle of July)
  • Teams with Pitman Methodist
  • Season runs from April through July
  • Games are played on week nights with the exception of Wednesdays (6:30/8:00/or/9:30)
  • Sign Up is on the Sign Up table in the lobby
  • See Lenny Little with any questions



Tuesdays at 7:00 pm

Are you ready to let go of strongholds?  Have you tried and tried on your own with no success?

Hope for Recovery is a Christian based, 12-step approach for those struggling with addictions of any kind.  The group is a safe and confidential place for men and women to find strength and HOPE through sharing and fellowship.  We meet in the 1st/2nd grade classroom.  Enter through the rear doors. Contact Hope4Recovery@yahoo.com with any questions.





We have a gentleman in our church that is currently in need of a place to stay – either temporarily or longer term.  If anyone knows of someone who has a room or is looking for a roommate, please contact Frank Caranci (Needs Team Captain) at fcaranci@comcast.net.



Have you been thinking about leading a small group of adults in a short-term Bible study?  The elders are looking for teachers who are interested in doing month-long Wednesday night workshops.  If you’re interested, just send an email to Pastor Mark by April 4th (Easter Sunday) with a topic, a 3-4 sentence description of the workshop, and an outline of the 4 week plan for topics and discussion each week. This will allow our elders to pray and seek the Lord’s direction on each workshop and to follow His lead in selecting which workshops to move forward with at this time. We will begin signing up for workshops on 4/12.



With the upcoming addition of a second service, we will be needing more help in our classrooms.  Please contact Matt Russell atmruss800@gmail.com if you are interested in volunteering.

The following classes are in immediate need of teachers & helpers:

1st & 2nd grade / Lisa Fiorile at Lfiorile@hotmail.com

3rd – 5th grade / Mary LeBeau at marylebeau@verizon.net

Pre-K & Kindergarten / Lauren DellaRova dellarova@verizon.net

Toddler class / Kara Ott at karajoellxo@gmail.com



PRAISE GOD our pantry is full!  The only thing in slightly short supply is baby food.

Any donations would be appreciated. Please check the expiration dates of any donations and place in the basket located outside the kitchen door. Contact Carole Baumiester with any questions or if you are interested in helping with our pantry. Thank you!



Nursery                        Amy Fleck, Jeanne Wurst, Gail, Charlotte Zediker

Toddlers 9:00               Karen Blythe, Amanda Mills, Julia Schmidt

Toddlers 11:00             John & Dawn Brazelis
Pre K – K 9:00              Linda Landis, Pat DellaRova

Pre K – K 11:00            Kim Lawlor, Megan Foster
1st & 2nd – 9:00            Rich & Patty Bunnell

1st & 2nd – 11:00         Kathy Porch, Madison Toomin

3rd – 5th                       TBA
Counters                      LaTosha Briggs, Melissa McGinness

Greeters                       Frank Caranci

Ken Blythe

Lisa Minner

Connie Matthews

Wed. Evening Nursery Anne Jefferson, Angel Nolan


If you have a prayer request, please fill out a prayer request card and drop it in the offering slot at the back of the church on Sunday or use the “Prayer Request Form” on our website. If you have any questions or would like to join the Prayer Team, please contact Bill Berry directly at billandkathyberry@comcast.net.



Second Service – Please pray for God’s leading, provision, and strength as we move forward with two services!

Financial Needs – The recent bad weather has put us behind financially for the year and we need to catch up!  We also need to make some progress SOON on our Emergency Fund and Boiler Replacement.  Please join us in asking the Lord to provide for us in those areas.


“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” Ephesians 6:18


The Tomb is Empty!