Hope Notes 8/3/17

August 3, 2017

Dear Friends of Hope,
There sure has been a lot of serving going on at Hope this past month!  July was filled with lots of opportunities to lend a hand for the kingdom of God.  First we had all the preparation/decoration for VBS, then the actual week of VBS topped off by our church picnic!  What a joy to see so many volunteer and give sacrificially of their time.  None of these activities would have been able to be pulled off with such success were it not for our faithful friends.  What makes one person have a heart for service while others remain on the sidelines?  I honestly don’t know the answer to that one!  Scripture makes it very clear that we are to serve. There are many references; I’ll just pick a few of my favorites:  “But be sure to fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you.” (1Samuel 12:24)  and “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” (Col. 3:23-24)  Not only do we have the verses in Scripture, we have the example of Jesus Christ Himself.  We are told that Jesus came ‘not to be served, but to serve…’ (Mark 10:45).
Now, lest you think this is all a guilt trip in order to ‘make’ you serve, I assure you it is not.  We should not be serving out of guilt or pressure.  The desire to serve needs to come from a thankful heart and a willing spirit.  The following verse is often used in reference to money, but I also think of it in terms of giving your time and your talents. “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2Cor.9:7)  See what it says?  NOT under compulsion – cheerfully!  I can tell you from personal experience that when you serve out of guilt or because ‘no one else will do it’, you quickly lose steam and grow resentful.  That is because you are serving for wrong reasons and doing it in your own strength.  When the Lord Himself lays it on your heart to serve in a given area, you will feel joy and excitement!  You will be eager to do whatever is required.  You will feel fulfilled.  Trust me on this one.  There is a HUGE difference between serving in your own strength and serving with the Lord’s strength.
One more thing (boy this is getting long….sorry!).  There are plenty of valid reasons why it may not be time for you to serve at church.  Often a period of rest is required when there has been burnout, or a deep spiritual wound, or maybe there is a need to straighten out some spiritual issues.  Allow God to give you the time needed to recover, but then e sure to keep your heart open for His prompting on when to stick your toe back in the serving waters.  If you follow His lead, you will never go wrong!

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.

SUNDAY MORNING MESSAGE – Forgiven Much (Luke 7:36-50)
Have you ever been grateful beyond words? Maybe someone did something for you so important or thoughtful that you were just overwhelmed. It feels like you’re searching for something to say or do that would ‘measure up’ to the gratitude that you feel. In the story we’re studying today, we see a woman who has this kind of thankfulness for Jesus.  It is beyond words and so she finds an unusual way to express it.  Those who watch what she does see it as a scandal.  But Jesus gets it and has a way of both explaining it to them and challenging us.

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!

“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”

Workshop Wednesdays coming in September – Bible study resumes in October.

SUMMER CAFE NIGHT – Sunday August 13th @ 7:00.
You’ll definitely want to join us for a fun night of ice cream sundaes (with all of the toppings) and entertainment provided by our very own church family!  We will supply all the goodies.  There is a signup sheet in the lobby; please sign up if you are willing to share your talent.  We’re so happy that  Kimmi Biglin is able be the MC and coordinate the talent for the evening. Bring your kids, friends & families, so that no one misses out on this fun evening!
PLEASE NOTE: Talent is needed and time is running out!  Please sign up in the church lobby and you will be contacted. 

Pastor Mark and Dana are hosting a get together for Hope’s ‘Young & Married’ adults! We’re looking for couples in their 20’s and 30’s who are in their first 10 years of marriage (give or take 😊) to spend some time eating, hanging out, and having fun together. Whether you’ve been at Hope for years or are brand new, we’d love for you to join us! We’ll need a head count for food and set up so be sure to contact us and let us know if you can make it!
Here’s the info you need to mark your calendar now:
When: Sunday, Sept. 3rd at 4:00 – 8:30pm
Where: The Ott’s house (6 East Avenue, Clayton 08312)
RSVP: by 8/26 – danaott@hopechristianfellowship.org

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 – 9:30 am – 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.
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/HCFHopeKid

For the month of July we averaged $6593 per week, bringing our annual weekly giving down to $7517 per week.  This is now below our annual giving target of $7675 per week.  Clearly, summer has been challenging for us financially, but it has been very fruitful spiritually.  We’ve just finished a fantastic week of sharing Jesus with kids and families, and our church picnic was an overwhelming success.  We are definitely seeing God at work in our church family.  But we need to ask everyone to join us in praying for God’s provision financially as we move forward for His kingdom.

BAPTISM SERVICE – Wednesday, Oct 4th @ 7:00 pm
We will be having a baptism service at the church for anyone who has put their trust in Jesus as their savior and is ready to take this step of faith! We will have two classes at church (participants need to be at BOTH class) on Wednesday Sept 20th & 27th at 7:00 pm. Please sign up if you are interested; you can get an info sheet and book from any of our pastors.

They’re here!  We have 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! Boxes are located at 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.

From time to time, Hope changes gears on Wednesday nights and breaks into smaller groups.  The focus of these groups are different topics of interest that can help us take real steps forward in our walk with God. We’re going to be holding these workshops once again in September.  The elders are inviting anyone with teaching gifts who would like to lead a 4 week workshop to contact Pastor Mark and get an outline and topic to him by Sunday, August 6th.  That way, our Leadership Team can review and approve the teachers and topics and have a signup list available through August for participants in each workshop. For more info or questions, see Pastor Mark.

For all Kids Ministry scheduling, please refer to the Planning Center or contact your team leader.
Ushers 9:00 ——-Bob Kerr
Ushers 11:00 ——Dan Rozinski
Wed. Nursery —– N/A
Counters ————Kathy Berry, Melissa McGinness
Greeters ———– Debbie Davis, Sharon Sambucci, Katrina Mariani, Greg Corroado

If you have a prayer request, please fill out a prayer request card and drop it in one of the Card Boxes located at the front of the auditorium (you can find the prayer request cards there) 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.

Serving with Joy!