Hope Notes 12/6/17

December 6, 2017

Dear Friends of Hope,
Has this ever happened to you?  You go to bed, promptly fall asleep, and then……..at some ridiculous hour (think 3:00 am), you find yourself wide awake and blinking in the darkness.  Every now and then I fall victim to this cruel joke.  Sometimes for days in a row.   At the exact. same. time.  What on earth is going on?!  It used to really upset me.  And now, while I still don’t enjoy it, I recognize it as a wake up call from the Lord.  “My eyes stay open through the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promises.” (Psalm 119:148)  I think God beckons us to come close to Him during those midnight hours, to pay attention to the thoughts He places in our hearts and to respond in prayer.   “Arise, cry out in the night, as the watches of the night begin; pour out your heart like water in the presence of the Lord.” (Lamentations 2:19)  And guess what?!  God is awake as well!   Psalm 121:3 assures us………”he who watches over you will not slumber….”  So, instead of tossing and turning, fretting and fuming………..I pray.  I find that these prayers whispered in the velvet darkness come from the deepest recesses of my soul.  My heart is most vulnerable and receptive; my defenses are down as I lie awake and listen for Him.  Sometimes I fall back to sleep, only to waken and repeat those same prayers again. It’s like God just won’t let me rest until I have fully acknowledged the situations and people He has laid on my heart. For me, giving Him praise in the shadows is also a wonderful way to bring peace to your soul.  I always feel better after a ‘productive’ prayer and praise session.  Especially when I’m praying for other people.  It’s like knowing a secret; they have no idea that they’ve been brought before the Lord at 3:00 am.  So maybe the next time you find yourself staring at the clock in frustration, you’ll try turning over and allowing God to place His prayer requests on your mind.  Give the Lord some midnight prayers, then have yourself a sweet and restful sleep. “In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.” (Psalm 4:8) 

SUNDAY MORNING MESSAGE – What A Beautiful Name (Eph 5:19-20; Matt 1:21; 16:15-16; Acts10:36; Acts 4:12)
Christmas Cantata

The Christmas story is precious for many reasons, but one of them is that it is a story of a baby.  Any parent understands how overwhelming it is to experience the birth of your child.  They are unspeakably valuable and irreplaceably necessary in your life.  When it is your first child, you suddenly go from just being a regular person to being a parent!  And then you get to name this tiny infant.  The story of Jesus’ birth includes the details of giving Him a name.  And as our choir sings this musical entitled “What A Beautiful Name” we are reminded that the name of Jesus is more than just something we call Him.  It stands for WHO HE IS.  So we’ll close our service by taking a few minutes to look at the beautiful, wonderful, powerful name of Jesus!

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!

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

We are taking a look at Hosea and the story of “Redeeming Love” that’s presented in this book.
PLEASE NOTE:  Bible Study is on hiatus until January 10th

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!

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.”

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.

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.

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!

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!

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

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.  

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.

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!

HopeKids are gearing up for another great year of celebrating Jesus’ birth with a musical program!  Our K-5th Graders will be performing “3 Wise Men and A Baby” at the 9:00 & 11:00 services on Sunday, December 17th.
Special Note to Parents: Dress rehearsal is scheduled for Saturday, December 16th from 9:00 to noon. Contact Matt Russell with any questions.

This year we’ll be performing “A VeggieTales Christmas Show” on Sunday, December 17th at both services.
Special Note to Parents: Dress rehearsal is scheduled for Saturday, December 16th from 9:00 to 10:00. Contact Dana Ott or Leah Hallahan with any questions.

Since announcing our special HVAC project less than a month ago, we’ve received $6,500 in giving! Our budget goal is $65,000 so we’ve made it to the 10% marker already. Thank you for your generous hearts. We ask for your continued prayers and willing spirits as we raise the remaining funds we need. We trust that God will prompt our people to give as they are able and that this project will be seen through to completion!

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.

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?!

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 also keep your eye on this section as we post any pressing needs.

For all Kids Ministry scheduling, please refer to the Planning Center or contact your team leader.
Ushers 9:00 ——-Rick Ayusa
Ushers 11:00 ——Ryan Winstel
Counters ———–Wendy Devereaux, Kathy Berry
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 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.

Awakened by Him,