Hope Notes 6/22/17

June 22, 2017

Dear Friends of Hope,
I made an unfortunate first impression on the folks at our local garden center.  As I made my way to the cashier with both hands full of flowers, I felt something occasionally brushing my arm. I told myself it was nothing, but I could feel the panic rising as I scurried faster and faster to the checkout.  Once I rid myself of the flowers, I discovered the culprit.  A spider had dropped down on his web from my head (!!!) and was swinging wildly back and forth.  I immediately launched into what my husband calls ‘the dance of terror’ and began slapping myself and the air around me. Needless to say, the clerks stared at me in utter confusion/shock.  I managed to squawk “spider” and then continued to randomly smack myself while they rang me up. (This behavior may or may not have continued in the car all the way home.)  I was never so glad to leave a place!  The embarrassment!  The spiders!   My one and only chance at making a good first impression was gone.  Did you know we only have seven seconds to make a first impression?  And you only get one chance at it!  Thankfully, we don’t need to worry about first impressions with our heavenly Father.  “For man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)  Those ladies at the garden center were only looking at all the crazy that I was presenting.  They had no idea what kind of a person I am; they certainly had NO idea what was in my heart!  God looks beyond our craziness, our selfishness, our weaknesses, and our sin!  God alone knows the condition of our hearts.  We can put up any kind of front we want for the world, but God will always see past that.  Have you ever been in the spot where you’ve done something with the best intentions, but it fell apart and went wrong?  Praise God that He knows our heart!  I also believe that we have the chance to make a first impression (so to speak)with God every single day.  After all, His mercies are new every morning! (Lamentations 3:23).  So grateful that we serve a God who loves us enough to see deep into our hearts and gives us the chance to begin fresh every single day!  As for those folks at the garden center……..I’m just grateful that by the time I visit again next year, they will have forgotten all about me and my crazy spider dance!

Because we trust and follow Jesus, we thought it would be a great idea to take a walk through the gospel of Luke and dig into the words of Jesus Himself.  We’ll find them challenging and full of insight.  And with open hearts, we’ll allow the Spirit to instruct us on how we should walk as Christians in this world.
Do you remember what it’s like to be a kid?  Everything is an adventure. Every day is an opportunity to learn something new, forming hopes and dreams.  Think about how the unfolding of your childhood effected the outcome of your adulthood.  Dr. Tim Kimmel says having children is like “being handed a piece of history in advance – a gracious gift you send to a time you will not see – and you play the biggest role in how that history will ultimately be recorded.”  What a challenge to parents and the church!

Here at Hope we are committed to making a BIG deal about our kids. There’s a lot of voices in the world today that can easily drown out the still small voice of God in our kids’ lives.  Let’s give them the opportunity to be immersed in the Jesus “culture” as much as possible. HopeKids! Ministry is set up to help you do just that. Every Sunday we put together a special service in the GoZone specifically geared towards elementary aged students. We also offer HopeKids! Hangout and Kid Connection events. The highlight of the summer, Vacation Bible School, is also a huge event for our kids. Don’t pass up the opportunity to invest in our children’s future by giving them the best foundation for their adulthood now.

This is a ‘can’t miss’ morning!  We’ve never done this before – we’re building the whole morning around the words of Jesus as He gives us the Lord’s Supper. There will be music, some videos, and of course communion. lt will truly be a unique service; we won’t be doing our usual Sunday morning format.  You can expect to come away with a deeper understanding and personal meaning of communion.

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.

SUNDAY MORNING PRAYER TIME – 8:30 in Pastor Mark’s Office
Do you have a heart for prayer? Our Sunday morning prayer time is open to everyone. We pray for the services that morning and for the needs in the church. If you would like to participate, just show up!  “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” (Matthew 18:20)  Bob Baumiester leads this prayer time – feel free to contact him with any questions: rbaumiester@gmail.com.

PRAYER HUDDLE – 8:40 to 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 in the Youth Room 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!

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

We are running four small group discussions at church during the month of June in lieu of our regular Bible study.  See workshops listed below.  Childcare is NOT provided.

WORKSHOP WEDNESDAY @ 7:00 – 8:15 pm
PARENTING – Leaders: Dave & Leah Hallahan – Meets in the 1st & 2nd Grade Room
In the daily grind of parenting it can be easy to lose sight of our ultimate purpose as parents. With this class we’ll discuss much more than a to-do list. Instead we’ll discuss the big picture view of God’s plan for parents. Based on Paul Tripp’s book, Parenting: 14 Gospel-Centered Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family, this workshop is for parents-to-be and even parents of older teenagers.
GOD LOVES YOU – Leaders: Mike & Lois Hartwell – Meets in the Youth Room
That God loves us is the most profound truth in the universe.  Experiencing that love has the potential to answer every question, solve every problem, and satisfy the deepest longings of the heart.  In this book, Dr. Jeremiah explains how even the difficult aspects of God’s actions – His discipline, His commandments, and His allowing suffering in the world –  can only be understood by viewing them in the light of God’s redeeming love.  This book will enable you to know Him as a God of love who wants to connect you with the healing power of His grace so that you can experience the life of love He created you to enjoy.
PRAYER, IN PRACTICE – Leaders: Chick & Bunny Dougherty – Meets in the 3rd – 5th Grade Room
Prayer – Sure, we all know how to pray.  But do you long for a more joyful and connected prayer time with God?  This book by J. L. Gerhardt will lead us through biblical principles and practical applications that will revitalize your prayer life.  It’s a workbook with homework and you are expected to spend some time in prayer every day, starting small and hopefully growing.  When we meet we’ll discuss what we’ve learned and experienced.  This study can work for brand new Christians or more mature believers who have hit a dry spell and just need a reminder of basics.  Join us for a time of growing and renewed prayer.

ANNUAL CHURCH PICNIC – Sunday, July 30th @ 5:00 pm
Our picnic will be here before you know it!  Heads up to mark your calendars now so you don’t miss out.  Look for a signup sheet and more details to follow.

YOUNG ADULTS – 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.  Contact Dave or Leah Hallahan at dmhallahan5@gmail.com. Childcare is provided.

GOD’S GIRLS WOMEN’S GROUP – 1st & 3rd Mondays at 7:00
Contact Mary Lebeau for more information at 856-316-6301 or marylebeau@verizon.net

MEN’S BREAKFAST  – 8:00 – 9:30am – Second Saturday of Every Month
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.

Our middle school and high school groups meet right here at church! Come out for another amazing year as we grow closer together and closer to God!

PLEASE NOTE:  There will be NO Youth Group on Sunday nights until September.
June 25th – END OF YEAR BBQ @ Bob Baumeister’s  (220 Landing Rd. Hilltop NJ) 3:00 – 6:00 pm
July 14th – Six Flags
Jul 16-22 – Jr High Camp @ Delanco
Jul 30 – Aug 5 – Boston Trip
Aug 18 – Movie Night @ Hallahans’

Grow Groups is an opportunity for our middle and high school students to dig deeper into Gods word and the issues that are relevant to their lives.
PLEASE NOTE: Grow Groups are on hiatus for the summer.

Go Zone is our Sunday Morning kid’s service, planned especially for 1st – 5th graders. Our goal is to encourage the kids to live with their focus on “GOing for GOD, GOing for GROWTH, and GOing FOREVER!” This service includes worship, games, and exploring important biblical truths in fun and creative ways before heading off to Sunday school.
Follow HopeKids! Ministries on Facebook at: facebook.com/HCFHopeKids

MOVE UP SUNDAY – July 9th 
Attention parent’s of upcoming kindergartners! Sunday July 10th will be move up Sunday for kids transitioning into the next grade.  This year we are changing things up and having the kids going into kindergarten move up to the GoZone! instead of staying in the 4 & 5 year old class! Make sure you drop them off and register them in the GoZone room!

MAKER FUN FACTORY VBS – July 24th – 28th 
Hope Christian Fellowship’s Vacation Bible School, IS BACK from July 24th – 28th!  Are you ready for a wildly creative, inventive, and interactive adventure with God?  If you are, than you’ll love attending this year’s Maker Fun Factory VBS!   Where you’ll learn that you were created by God and built for a purpose! Come join us for a fun filled week!  Register today at http://www. hopechristianfellowship.org/ vbs-registration/

We will be having an all team meeting for our VBS volunteers this Sunday  (June 25th) in the youth room in between services.  If you’ve already signed up to volunteer or haven’t yet but still want to help, come out to this quick 15 minute meeting!  We’ll be starting at 10:25 sharp!

Joy has served for many years in Sudan, but when she returns from her visit home she will be serving in North Africa.  While here, Joy has had many opportunities to promote Compassionate Ministries, her specific area of outreach.  At a recent conference, she was able to connect with a man involved in Community Health Evangelism whose homeland is North Africa. This will be a valuable contact for Joy and her team to partner with.  Prayer requests for Joy;

  • For the preparation and teaching involved for a Leadership Conference Joy will be conducting.  That  the teaching would have an effective impact on those attending.
  • For the two young ladies going along who will be helping run a Sports Camp.  That God would use them to share His love and the gospel.
  • For Joy’s work with the refugees.  For people to respond to God’s call on their lives; many still need to hear about the One who heals and cares for the refugees.
  • For Joy as she transitions to this new area of outreach and  as she learns the language and culture of the Middle East.

On Sunday July 2nd , we’ll be rolling out a new system to collect our various communication cards in just one spot instead of at  different locations around the church.  If you have a prayer request, you can fill out the orange  Prayer Request card and our Prayer Team will lift it up in prayer.  If anyone has a need or knows of someone in need, one way to let us know is to drop a yellow Needs Request card into the box.  Our guests can fill out the blue Visitor Card and drop it in the box.  To make it even easier, you will find all three cards right there on the box!  We will have two boxes located in the front of the auditorium.

Make sure to check out Hope Share on our website – it’s a place to share things we no longer use and to look for things we need!  It’s easy to upload photos of items you’d like to give away and to search for that special item you just might need!

We make it easy to give as the Lord leads.  There are envelopes and a drop box in the back of the auditorium.  If you prefer to give electronically, we have online and texting options.  Just go to our website and check them out!  www.hopechristianfellowship.org

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.

There are so many places to connect and serve here at Hope. There truly IS ‘something for everyone’ and we want to make it easy for you to know all the different options!  You can check out our Ministry and Service Opportunities brochure (on the glass tables and in the Resource Room) and also keep your eye on this section as we post any pressing needs.

Nursery 9:00  — Paige Thomson, Lesley Russell
Nursery 11:00 — Leah Hallahan, Lauren Czyzewski
Toddler 9:00 ——Karen Blythe, Madison Winstel, Julia Schmidt
Toddler 11:00 —–Jackie DeCrosta, Eva Owens, Julia Neff
Pre-K/K 9:00 —– Pat & Elisabeth DellaRova
Pre-K /K 11:00 —-Lauren DellaRova, Prisca O.
Ushers 9:00 ——-Rick Ayusa
Ushers 11:00 ——Bill Berry
Wed. Nursery —- None
Counters ———- TBA
Greeters ———–Harriet Brittingham, Mary LeBeau, Joan Schaaf, Michele Schmidt

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 Hap Cunningham: hapcunn01@gmail.com.
PLEASE NOTE: We would greatly appreciate it if you could keep the team updated on your request.  Situations can resolve or change for the better/worse. Praises are always welcome!  This will help our team know best how to pray for you.

He Knows My Heart,