Hope Notes 12/10/15

December 10, 2015

Dear Friends of Hope ~

I’d like to share with you a testimony of God’s grace and mercy.  Let me preface it by saying it is not a ‘poor me’ story, but rather one that bears witness to His great love for us. Imagine if you will growing up in a dysfunctional home where holidays were not something to be celebrated, but dreaded.  Especially Christmas.  Imagine a little girl having to be forced to come downstairs on Christmas morning, her stomach in knots, knowing what was ahead.  Now fast forward some twenty years.  That little girl grew up, moved away, met her husband, and most importantly – met Jesus.  That is when Christmas took on a new meaning as an actual celebration of Jesus’ birth and her first happy memories of the holiday began.  Yes, that little girl is me and I will tell you that God lovingly gave me my OWN family to bring healing and restoration for all those Christmases past. He began erasing and replacing all those painful memories.  He is so gracious and so good.  2Corinthians 5:17 tells us that “anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!”  Isaiah 65:17 says “The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind.”  And finally, Joel 2:25 assures us that God will“restore to you the years the locusts have eaten“.  All these promises and more are true.  If there is a place in your heart that is hurting, may my little tale of His loving care bring encouragement to you. He cared enough to bring the joy of Christmas into my ‘little girl’ heart and to give me a safe haven within my family.  He is faithful.  His ‘heavenly eraser’ will soften the edges and blur the hurtful places in your life. Trust Him.



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).


THE STORY – Christmas Choir

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. “The Story tells the grandest, most compelling story of all time: the story of a true God who loves His children, who established for them a way of salvation, and provided a route to eternity; and this same God is alive and active today – still listening, still acting, still pouring out His grace on us. Listen for God’s call on your life, as He helps you write your own story!”



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!





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 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 study sheet is out. 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.



February 19, 2016

If you are new to Hope, or maybe you missed our last fellowship back in June, you’ll want to mark your calendars now for this event!  Watch for more details to come…….




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




I’m putting out a personal plea to anyone who might be able to help me with some technical issues I’m having with the Hope Notes.  Copying & pasting the notes into Gmail causes all the formatting done on the original document to go haywire.  I’d love to have a conversation to explain things in more detail.  If you think you can offer some input, simply ‘Reply’ to the Hope Notes, or contact me directly at foolsforchrist7@yahoo.com.  Thanks in advance – Lois!



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!



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!



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.





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.

Please Note:  As we do every year, we will be taking an offering for needy families in our congregation.  Please pray and give as God leads.





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           Christmas Cantata – children in auditorium

1st & 2nd – 11:00         Christmas Cantata – children in auditorium

3rd – 5th   9:00              TBD

3rd – 5th   11:00            TBD

Ushers 9:00                  Bruce Clark

Ushers 11:00                Brad Hopkins

Counters                       Damon Briggs, Matt Austen

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.