Hope Notes 12/13/17

December 13, 2017

Dear Friends of Hope,
Not so long ago, I read a devotion by Rachael Olsen that struck a chord with me.  She said, “God gives gifts that are eternal.  He gave the gift of love by sending us a baby in a manger.  He gave the gift of truth by giving us our teacher, Jesus. He gave the gift of eternal life through the crucified and risen Christ.”  We, of course, can never give any gift that would compare to those.  We can never out-give God! Nor will we ever receive any gift that means more or has more impact on our lives. But as I began to mull this over, I realized something.  These gifts that God has given us are meant to be shared.  In fact, we are actually commanded to share the gift of love.  In John 15:12 Jesus says, “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.”  As I’m sure you all know, it’s easy to love those who mean the most to you or have lovable personalities.  Harder to love the annoying co-worker, neighbor, or the person who makes your life difficult.  But we must remember the gift of love given to us by our Saviour.  And remember that He also gave us the power to love the unlovable. “We love because he first loved us.”  (1John 4:19How about the gift of Truth?  Are we not supposed to share the Truth found in God’s Word?  That’s what Jesus told us in Mark 16:15 – “He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.”  Now, as for the third gift, the gift of eternal life, we cannot grant that to another human being.  However, what we CAN do is give them the opportunity to receive that gift from Jesus Christ Himself.  We need to be a witness and a testimony to God’s redeeming work in our lives. All we need to do is be willing to share God’s plan of redemption and leave the results up to the Holy Spirit.  If we look for opportunities to share these gifts of love, Truth, and eternal life, our Great Giver Himself will see to it that we have them!

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT – Please remember that all normal Wednesday night activities at church will be on hiatus until January 10th.  We are looking forward to starting off our new year refreshed and ready to pursue God’s best for us in 2018!

SUNDAY MORNINGS

SUNDAY MORNING MESSAGE – Jesus Isn’t Seasonal (Matthew 6:9-13)
KIDS’  CHRISTMAS PROGRAM

Christmas is a time of year when our thoughts turn to music and lights.  Some of the greatest enjoyment we get on Christmas is connecting with the wonder and excitement of children. So this day is a special one each year as our kids present their Christmas songs.  And we will love having them on stage and sharing their voices and smiles with us.  But Christmas is more than warm feelings and sweet memories. The true message of Christmas is one that goes beyond Christmas season.  And we’ll take a few moments at the end of the service to look at some of the most famous words that Jesus ever said, and what they mean for us.

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:  Bible Study is on hiatus until January 10th

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.

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!

MERRY & BRIGHT ALL NIGHT – THIS WEEKEND
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!

SEEDS OF HOPE – Saturday, January 6th 
We are going to Seeds of Hope to serve at their soup kitchen. We’ll meet at the church at 8:00 am. This opportunity is open to middle and high school students.

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.

CHILDREN’S CHRISTMAS PROGRAM – DRESS REHEARSAL THIS SATURDAY 12/16
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.

HOPEKIDS TODDLER & PRESCHOOL CHRISTMAS PROGRAM – DRESS REHEARSAL THISSATURDAY 12/16
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.

HOPE ANNOUNCEMENTS 
GIVING REPORT
Since announcing our special HVAC project less than a month ago, we’ve received $9,000 in giving! Our budget goal is $65,000 so we are off to a great start.  We are so grateful for the generous way in which you’ve responded.  We are trusting in our God to not only lay this need on our people’s hearts, but to provide ways that make it possible for you to give as you feel led!  Please continue to pray for the ways and means to see that this project is able to be completed.

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 ——-Joe Sambucci
Ushers 11:00 ——Damon Briggs
Counters ———–Damon Briggs, Bill 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.

Blessed with Eternity,
Lois