Hopes Notes 11/29/17

November 29, 2017

Dear Friends of Hope,
I have a confession to make.  I am an over-thinker.  I feel like my mind is always thinking.  Thoughts run rampant through my brain even when I’m trying to simply relax and enjoy the moment.  I FEEL like I amt and hen suddenly I realize, “Oh my gosh, I’m thinking again!!” Grrrrrrrr.  Does this ever happen to you?  As annoying as it is to not be able to turn my brain off, it’s really no problem when I’m not thinking about hurtful or negative things.   But then, something will occur, perhaps an argument with someone you love, or an unexpected tragedy, or a hurtful exchange with a friend, and the next thing you know your mind has taken a firm grip on it.  Suddenly, you find yourself held hostage by your thoughts.  They pop up when you least expect it.  Or they scurry around in endless circles inside your brain, leaving footprints of frustration.
Unfortunately this is something I continue to struggle with, so I have managed to find some Scriptures that help me be obedient to God’s call on my life.  My most favorite is 2 Corinthians 10:5, “…..we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”  I picture binding up the offending thought with chains and throwing it at the feet of Jesus.  If I can take the thought captive, then I will no longer be held hostage by it.  Then I remind myself that the enemy just loves to throw “flaming arrows” at me.  Those flaming arrows can be many things, but one of the most pervasive (for me) is unwanted thoughts.  What’s the remedy to this?  “Take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.” (Ephesians 6:16).  And finally, I admonish myself to test my thoughts against Paul’s list of appropriate reflection:  “…….whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”  (Philippians 4:8)  So, if anyone else struggles with this as well, I hope that these verses will help with the reformation of our minds!

SUNDAY MORNINGS
SUNDAY MORNING MESSAGE – An Unanswered Prayer (Psalm 4) 
Have you ever felt like you prayed for something over and over, but God just didn’t answer? All of us understand that we may have to wait a little for God to address our situation, but there are times when it feels like He just hasn’t heard at all.  In those moments, we have to figure out what we’re going to believe and how we’re going to respond.  This song from David is about that very spot in life.  David cries out to God for an answer.  It is as though he has been asking about something over and over, but God has not answered.  How does David process this and what does this song teach us about a situation like this?

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
DECEMBER CHALLENGE VERSE 
Matthew 6:34
“Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

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,  and resume in the new year on 1/10.

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!   Sign up sheets are in the lobby.  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  – This Saturday
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!
PLEASE NOTE:  HOPEKIDS HANGOUT IS ON HIATUS FOR THE MONTH OF DECEMBER

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.

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 
KIDS ALLEY VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY
Looking for a way to serve those in need this Christmas season? Help underprivileged kids and their families by donating your time to Kids Alley for their annual Christmas Rally on Saturday, December 16th. Kids Alley is looking for anyone who has a willing heart and can assist in handing out presents, working in the kitchen, interacting with kids, etc. If interested please email their volunteer coordinator, George Glick at glick157@comcast.net.

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 ——-Mike Hartwell
Ushers 11:00 ——Bill Berry
Counters ———–Wendy Devereaux, Kathy Berry
Greeters ———– Harriet Brittingham, Mary LeBeau, Joan Schaaf, Michele Schmidt

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.

Keeping Close to the Cross,
Lois