Hope Notes 12/3/15

December 3, 2015

Dear Friends of Hope ~

I have a confession.  I don’t like decorating for Christmas.  There – I said it.  Don’t judge me; it doesn’t make me a Grinch by any means!  I enjoy the season and celebrating with my family.  As a believer, I am overwhelmed by the thought of Jesus stepping out of eternity and into a fallen world.  Giving up His rightful place in heaven.  Setting all that aside to live among us here on earth.  I just don’t like the decorating and consumerism frenzy that is often unleashed at this time of year.  I admit I have been called the “Christmas Lights Nazi” because I am disturbed by how early the lights go up; I always wish Thanksgiving would get more than a passing nod before we plunge into the ‘real’ holidays.  Still, I enjoy the warmth and coziness of a lighted Christmas tree in a darkened room, surrounded by family and friends.  I like giving those I love gifts that have been carefully picked to bring joy and show them who they are to me.  I especially love what goes on at Hope during the Christmas season – the Christmas Choir, the Children’s Christmas Program, the Christmas Eve Service.  I love seeing our church decorated (hey I didn’t say I don’t like the decorations…….I just don’t like doing it!!), and noticing the heightened awareness of giving to others. I know this has been a rather rambling paragraph; I guess what I’m trying to say is that no matter how each of us feels about the holidays, as believers our touchstone is the birth of Christ.  I wouldn’t know how to celebrate Christmas without that and I am thankful we attend a church where we are continuously drawn back to Jesus’ birth as our focus.



Christmas Series – Christmas MUST-HAVES

Each year as Christmas rolls around, we find ourselves noticing some ‘hot gifts’ for that year.  Those products which have just the right amount of cool and buzz and that come on the scene at just the right time to be considered the ‘must-haves’ for that Christmas season.  But many of those gifts soon wind up in storage or even in the trash.  What about the lasting must-haves of Christmas.  Let’s talk about the stuff we need for Christmas (and every day).


12/6 Generosity + Self Control (Luke 18:18-25; 14:12-14; 12:13-21)


Christmas is known as a time of celebration, decoration, and cheer.  But probably more than anything else, it is known as a time of gifts.  Most of us love giving gifts because we so deeply enjoy sharing with those we love and appreciate.  In fact, gift giving is so connected to Christmas because we are following the example of God Himself who GAVE at Christmas His only Son.  But just because you give doesn’t make you generous.  We’re going to take a look at three stories from the book of Luke that will challenge us to generosity from the words of Jesus Himself.  One combination you can’t afford to be without this Christmas is the pairing of true generosity with self-control.  Putting these two together makes Christmas really matter.



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.  Soif 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!





Psalm 118:8

“It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in humans.”



7:00 pm

We have finished with our regular Bible study in 1Corinthians for the year.  We will be on hiatus from November 25th through the month of December. Our kids programs will be following the same schedule.  This gives everyone a chance during this busy season to focus on their families and all the activities the holidays bring!  We’ll all catch our breath and then jump back into things in January!

TEASER: Coming in January, we’ll be talking about what the Bible has to say about the end of the world.  Look for more details coming soon!



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.

NOTE:  YA will be taking a break for December – the next meeting will be Monday, January 18th at 7:30.




Small Groups are a fantastic way to connect on a more intimate level with the body of Hope.  It’s never too late to join a group, or even to start up a new one!  Check out our Small Group Bulletin Board next to the Prayer Room.  More details on Hope’s small groups can be found on the yellow info sheets in the Resource Room. Study sheets can be picked up in the Resource Room or downloaded directly from our website. See Damon Briggs with any questions or contact him atdamon.briggs@mitchellandness.com.

NOTE:  Our last small group study sheet for 2015 will be out on December 6th. The first one for 2016 will be going out on January 10th.



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.




Our middle school and high school groups meet at the church onSundays from 6:30-8:30 all year long! Come out for another amazing year as we grow closer together and closer to God!



December 13th from 5:00 – 8:00 pm

At the Marlton Fieldhouse.  We’ll meet at church at 4:00 pm and head over in the church van. There is a 50% discount for all Rooted Youth Groupers so the cost is only $5/person. Students should bring money for food as there will be a snack bar open. Be sure to wear white or neon colors!


December 20th

Come dress in your most festive gear and bring a $5 or less Pollyanna for the gift exchange! We’ll enjoy each other’s company, gifts, and some wonderful desserts as we celebrate Christmas together!

 12/27 – No Rooted

 1/3 – Youth Leaders Meeting – No Rooted





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




We averaged $6905 per week for the month of November bringing our annual average weekly giving to $6534.  This remains well above our target of $5850 for 2015 and is very close to our target for 2016 of $6700 per week.  We are thankful that God continues to provide and to press us forward as a church for the kingdom of God.



As we discussed a few weeks ago, we are beginning the process of saving toward future building needs.  Since we are a growing church, we know we will eventually need to address our space limitations, so we’re asking everyone to prayerfully follow the Lord’s leading in giving above and beyond their normal church giving towards our building fund.  This is not for every single person, but please give as God blesses and directs.  The more of us who take on this burden, the further ahead we will be when the time comes!



December 27th @ 10:30

This year our business meeting will be held between the two services.  It will be extremely brief since we have already done the voting on officers and need only to vote on our budget.  The proposed 2016 budget and the results of the election are posted on the board by the sound booth and on the old Small Group board.  Copies of the budget are available for anyone who wants one.  If you have any questions regarding the budget, just see one of our elders before the meeting.  Please remember, everyone is welcome to attend but only partners can vote.



January 24th

If anyone is looking for a place to serve at Hope, you can see anyone on any of our deacon teams (posted on the Sound Booth) or you can talk to anyone who is currently serving in the ministry you are interested in.  Additionally, if you are interested in launching a new ministry, you can speak to any of our elders and give them a brief description of your idea so that it can be considered and coordinated.  We will be having a January Job Fair, which will make it super easy for you to find a place to serve.  Please be in prayer about where God would lead you to serve!



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 envelopes in a wall mounted bin next to our regular offering slot.  If you’d like to give to a special project or ministry, just use one of these envelope and check off the correct category.  Please note that these envelopes are not for your usual Sunday offering.



It’s easy and convenient!  Simply go to our website and click ‘Online Giving’.  You have the options to set up recurring donations (like automatic bill pay), or give one time donations as well.  The amount and frequency are up to you.  This will allow many of us to be intentional and faithful in our support of Hope.  Contact Damon or LaTosha Briggs 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.



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.





Our Operation Christmas Child shoebox drive was a great success!  Thanks from children all around the world!  We prepared 107 shoeboxes….up from 72 last year!  Thank you all so much!



Monday, December 7th @ 7:00 pm

Ladies, you are all invited to take a break from the busyness of the season and enjoy an hour or two of fellowship with your sisters here at Hope. Please join us at our God’s Girls Christmas Party right here at Hope. We ask that everyone bring a wrapped gift costing no more than $10 (and recycled is encouraged!) for our White Elephant Extravaganza as well as a favorite snack for all to share. Please note that this isopen to all women – so if you haven’t taken part in any God’s Girls activities before, this may be a fun way to check us out! If you have any questions, you can contact Mary LeBeau at marylebeau@verizon.net or 856-384-3722. Hope to see you there!


December 13th

We are thrilled to celebrate the Christmas season this morning with our choir and this special presentation.  The Christmas story is part of a big story that God has been writing throughout history, and this musical and video presentation will take us all on a journey through that very narrative.



December 20th

There is nothing that represents the Christmas season more fully or fills it with more joy than the Sunday that our kids sing about Christmas and Jesus!  This is a great opportunity to invite your friends and family to come here our little ones as they proclaim the true Christmas message.



December 24th from 6:00 – 7:00 pm

This is such a special service – music, readings from the gospel, and candle light. It gives us all a moment to sit and breathe in the miracle of Christmas.





There are so many places to connect and serve here at Hope.  Keep your eyes on this section to be aware of all the different opportunities for you to effectively serve at Hope. There truly IS ‘something for everyone’ and we want to make it easy for you to know all the different options!  Special Note:  We will be hosting a ‘Job Fair’ on January 24th which will make it super easy for you to find a place to connect and serve!



Nursery 9:00                Leah & Dave Hallahan

Nursery 11:00               Don & Alicia Heverly

Toddlers 9:00               Karen Blythe, Julia Schmidt, Leah Aureli

Toddlers 11:00             Briana Abate, Madison Winstel, Julia Neff
Pre K – K 9:00              Bill & Griffin McGinness

Pre K – K 11:00            Karen & Amanda Merriell
1st & 2nd – 9:00              Children’s Christmas Rehearsal

1st & 2nd – 11:00           Children’s Christmas Rehearsal

3rd – 5th   9:00              TBD

3rd – 5th   11:00            TBD

Ushers 9:00                   Rick Ayusa

Ushers 11:00                Bill Berry

Counters                      Mike & Lois Hartwell

Greeters                       Jon Pinero

Mary LeBeau

Michelle Schmidt

Lisa Fiorile


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 Contact Us Form on our website. http://www.hopechristianfellowship.org/contact/.  If you have any questions or would like to join the Prayer Team, please contact Bill Berry directly at billandkathyberry@comcast.net.



Love Came Down,