Hope Notes 12/20/17

December 20, 2017

Dear Friends of Hope,
The Christmas season has me thinking about gifts.  I love giving gifts, but it’s a little harder receiving them.  I don’t really like to open gifts in front of people.  Just ask my husband; our first Christmas together I put if off so long that he finally volunteered to go into another room so that I could open them in private!  Or how about my father ‘ordering’ me to come downstairs Christmas morning and open my presents!  I know this comes from childhood issues and I am much better now!  But I will never be one of those who open their gifts with wild abandon, tearing off the paper and offering squeals of delight.  (How I secretly envy them!) Thankfully, the most precious gifts of all don’t need to be unwrapped!  James 1:17 tells us that “every good and perfect gift is from above”.  Our heavenly Father knows how to give!  He freely gives us grace and mercy, day after day, moment by moment.  “But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.” ( Ephesians 4:7)  The most cherished Gift of all came, not wrapped in sparkly paper with a bow, but wrapped in swaddling cloths in a humble manger. The gift of God’s Son brings us eternal life.”For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.”  (Ephesians 2:8-9) and   “….the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  (Romans 6:23)   While these gifts do not need to be unwrapped, they DO need to be received.  As we celebrate the birth of Jesus on Christmas by exchanging gifts with others, let’s make sure our hearts are open and ready to receive all the things God is so willing to give.  “Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!”   (2 Corinthians 9:15)

SUNDAY MORNINGS

CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICE
This is the night each year that we gather to anticipate the celebration of Christmas Day.  It is steeped in tradition and family, but there is only ONE reason that we hold it so precious: Jesus Christ our Savior was born.  The Bible tells us that He is God’s Son, sent to rescue each person from death and sin, and to offer restoration of our relationship with our Creator. The hope and peace that are available to each person is the greatest gift ever given, and the story of our Savior begins with the events of Christmas.

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 in the 3rd-5th Grade Classroom
NEED A NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION?  START YOUR YEAR OFF RIGHT SPIRITUALLY BY JOINING THE NEW WOMEN’S BOOK STUDY!  God’s Girls will be starting a new book study in January, and we’d like to invite all women to join us. We’ll be studying the Lysa TerKeurst book UNINVITED beginningJanuary 15, 2018. The church will be providing the workbooks for all participants, so please sign up on the clipboards in the foyer so we can order one for you!  For more information, contact Mary Lebeau 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!

SEEDS OF HOPE – Saturday, January 6th ASCENT ’18 – January 12th – 14th
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.

ASCENT ’18 – January 12th – 14th
This is our middle and high school retreat to High Point Camp! As always we’ll have basketball, laser tag, worship, and an awesome speaker. Our theme this year is “For we live by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:17

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.

HOPE ANNOUNCEMENTS 
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 ——-N/A
Ushers 11:00 ——N/A
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.

Ready to Receive Him,
Lois