Hope Notes 11/22/17

November 22, 2017

Dear Friends of Hope,
Last year I bought a pretty kitchen towel to hang during the Thanksgiving season.  It says “Thankful, Grateful, Blessed”.  This year when I hung it up, I stopped to consider the wording.  What exactly is the difference between being thankful and being grateful?  Well, once I began to ponder this, I knew there could be no rest until I’d dug around in a dictionary, a thesaurus, and the Bible to see if I could obtain some answers.  Turns out there is a lot of discussion on this very question.  After sifting through way too much information, I’ve come up with a ‘theory’ that pleases me.  Mind you, this is just my personal view.  The dictionary defines thankful as ‘feeling pleased, relieved, or appreciative’.  Grateful is defined as ‘ being beholden or indebted’ and also as ‘a deep appreciation for a kindness or benefit received’.  Did you catch it?  Thankful is a feeling.  Grateful is more of an action.  I believe you first have to be thankful in order to be grateful.  We need to recognize the things we are thankful for in order to live a life where gratefulness is a mindset that prompts us to take action.  For example – because we are thankful for a financial blessing from the Lord, we can show our gratitude by helping others financially.  Because we are thankful for the family and friends the Lord has given us, we show our gratitude by treating them with respect and love.  We don’t take people or things for granted. Because God sent His son Jesus to die on the cross for our sins, we show our gratitude by giving our lives to Him, submitting to His will, and serving in His name.  For sure we are greatly ‘indebted and beholden’ to our God!  God has given me much to be thankful for.  I want to live out that thankfulness with a grateful and humble heart.  I leave you with two verses that stood out to me as appropriate for this Thanksgiving holiday.

“Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, his love endures forever.” (Psalm 118:29)
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
(1 Thessalonians 5:16-18) 
SUNDAY MORNINGS
SUNDAY MORNING MESSAGE – Safe Under Attack (Psalm 3)
COMMUNION
The hurricanes that swept through our country this year were devastating and powerful storms.  It is hard to imagine the amount of damage that was done, or the overwhelming cost to clean it up.  But what seemed ever-present were the calls from government officials for people in danger zones to take refuge.  Of course we know that nothing can stop a storm of this size from going where it wants and doing tremendous damage.  However, in the midst of those storms, there were strong buildings in strategic locations that protected the lives of people.  This idea of protection from a storm is a common theme in music, and David writes about it from his own life in this Psalm.  He knew how it felt to be in danger and to face the threats of others.  His song is one of the many times he writes about how he responds to these moments in life.

MESSAGES AVAILABLE  
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!

OPPORTUNITIES FOR SPIRITUAL GROWTH
NOVEMBER CHALLENGE VERSE 
Hebrews 10:24-25
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

WEDNESDAY NIGHT BIBLE STUDY – 7:00 pm
We are taking a look at Hosea and the story of “Redeeming Love” that’s presented in this book.
PLEASE NOTE:  We will be meeting in the Youth Room while our choir practices for the Christmas Cantata.  Bible study will run through 11/29, with the exception of Thanksgiving (11/22), and resume in the new year on 1/10.
DON’T FORGET THERE ARE NO WEDNESDAY EVENING ACTIVITIES THIS WEEK DUE TO THE THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY!

FREE SPIRITUAL RESOURCES
Looking for a way to grow spiritually but don’t know where to start? Try checking out the bookshelves in our lobby for free Christian resources! We have devotionals, bibles, books, and CDs that are available for anyone to take. You can also sign-up to receive a daily devotional in your email from “Our Daily Bread.” Simply visit odb.org, hit “Subscribe,” and follow the prompts!

NEW! BIBLE STUDY PODCAST / YOUTUBE
Unable to make it out for Wednesday Night? Bible Study recordings are now available on our Podcast AND YouTube Channel! To listen to a recording, visit hopechristianfellowship.org/ messages, or subscribe to our Podcast on iTunes. Or you can watch on our YouTube channel “Hope Christian Fellowship.”

OPPORTUNITIES FOR FELLOWSHIP
YOUNG ADULTS – 1st & 3rd Mondays at 7:30 in Youth Room
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.

PLEASE NOTE:  Young Adults will be on hiatus for the month of December and will start-up again in the new year. Stay tuned for information on our next meeting!

GOD’S GIRLS WOMEN’S GROUP – 1st & 3rd Mondays at 7:00
God’s Girls will be doing a 4 session study on some of our favorite parables of Jesus. These lessons are stand-alone, so you don’t have to attend all four – just join us as you are able!   Contact Mary LeBeau for more information at   856-316-6301
or marylebeau@verizon.net.

GOD’S GIRLS CHRISTMAS PARTY – Monday, December 4th @6:00 pm
YOU’RE INVITED…..to the 4th annual God’s Girls Christmas Party! All the women at Hope are welcome to attend our Christmas Party on Monday, December 4th at 6:00 pm in the Youth Room. You don’t want to miss our annual rendition of The Twelve Days of Christmas…or our renowned gift swap.Please bring a wrapped gift to join in the fun! Also, we ask that you bring a snack to share. Sign up clipboards are out, so please RSVP (we need a headcount for pizza).  If you have questions, contact Mary 856-316-6301 marylebeau@verizon.net

MEN’S BREAKFAST  – 8:00 – 9:30 am – 2nd 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.

ROOTED YOUTH MINISTRY
YOUTH GROUP – Sundays from 6:00 – 8:00

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!

SERVICE OPPORTUNITY  – Saturday, December 2nd  
Our high schoolers will be serving at Kid’s Alley in Audubon. We’ll meet at Hope at 8:30 am and return around 1:30 pm.  See Dave Hallahan if you are interested in helping out!

MERRY & BRIGHT ALL NIGHT
Rooted’s Christmas party this year will start at 7:00 pm on Dec 15th and won’t end until 8:00 am the next morning! We will be heading to Darts of War in Turnersville from 8:00 pm – 9:30 pm and then spend the rest of the time at church. Pizza will be provided. The cost of this event is $20. See Dave Hallahan with any questions!

CHILDREN’S MINISTRY
GO ZONE
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

HOPEKIDS HANGOUT – SUNDAY EVENING 6:00 – 8:00 pm
We have an all new, revamped HopeKids! Hangout for our K-5th graders! Their’s more time to hangout and more time to be in the Word! We have an exciting series of themed nights, games, snacks & skits planned, along with a new challenging Bible series called, “The Choice is Yours!” We also have a fantastic program for the 3-5 year olds that they wont want to miss!  Come and see what it’s all about!

CHRISTMAS ANNOUNCEMENTS
CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICES
On Christmas Eve, we will be moving our Sunday morning services to 5:00 pm and 7:00 pm. We’d love to have your whole family join us for scripture reading, music, and our traditional candle lighting at the close of the service.

OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD – SHOE BOXES
A big THANK YOU to those of you who put together shoe boxes!  This year we sent out 146 boxes of Christmas joy, a 10% increase from last year.

CHRISTMAS CANTATA – ‘WHAT A BEAUTIFUL NAME’
We’re adding a special performance of this year’s cantata on Friday, December 8th at 7:00! This will be in addition to performances at both services on Sunday, December 10th. Make sure to invite your friends and family out for this highlight of the Christmas season here at Hope!

CHILDREN’S CHRISTMAS PROGRAM
HopeKids are gearing up for another great year of celebrating Jesus’ birth with a musical program!  We need volunteers who are willing to help with all of the preparation including teaching the songs and script, supervising practices and putting the program together.  Please contact Matt Russell if you are interested.

HOPEKIDS TODDLER & PRESCHOOL CHRISTMAS PROGRAM
Practices will take place during Sunday School at both services, so please have your little ones to class on time and for as many Sundays as you’re able! This year we’ll be performing “A VeggieTales Christmas Show” on Sunday, December 17th at both services. For any questions see Dana Ott or Leah Hallahan.

HOPE ANNOUNCEMENTS 
GIVING UPDATE
A few weeks ago we talked about seeing special giving come in to address our HVAC needs. Our target is $65,000 and we are hoping to be able to see God provide much of that before spring.  Last week we received $5,040 in offerings towards our HVAC projects! We’re so thankful for your giving hearts. It’s exciting to see God’s provision so quickly after announcing our financial needs for 2018. We will continue to walk by faith and trust the Lord to continue to bless us abundantly over the next year!

ANNUAL CHURCH BUSINESS MEETING – Sunday, December 3rd
Our meeting will be held on December 3rd after the second service. All are welcome to attend, butpartners are needed to vote on next year’s budget. We will be allowing partners to vote via signed ballot during the services if they are unable to stay for the meeting.

SMALL GROUP STUDY SHEETS
Our study sheets are now available on our website under the “Starting Out” drop-down menu. Click on “Small Groups” and you’ll be able to download a PDF. You can also find paper copies in the file folder hanging above the sign-up table in the lobby.

CARD COLLECTION BOX
Our Card Collection boxes are located in the front of the auditorium.   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. All three cards are right there with the collection box – how easy is that?!

HOPE SHARE – DON’T THROW IT OUT – SHARE IT!
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!

GIVING AT HOPE
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

HAVE OUR ELDERS PRAY WITH YOU
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.

OPPORTUNITIES TO SERVE
CONNECTING AND SERVING AT HOPE
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 also keep your eye on this section as we post any pressing needs.

THIS WEEK’S WORKERS
For all Kids Ministry scheduling, please refer to the Planning Center or contact your team leader.
Ushers 9:00 ——-Bruce Clark
Ushers 11:00 ——Dan Rozinski
Counters ———–LaTosha Briggs, Barb Frazeur
Greeters ———– Rick Ayusa, Patty Bonnell, Paul Rochat, Helen Mastalski

HOPES PRAYER TEAM
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.

Thankful, Grateful, Blessed
Lois