Hope Notes 12/27/17

December 27, 2017

Dear Friends of Hope,
The winter landscape is such a change from the lush greens of spring and summer, or the vibrant colors of autumn.  It is often described as bleak; nothing but blacks, browns, and whites with the occasional patch of evergreen thrown in.  But it certainly is pretty when things are covered in snow, pristine and sparkling.  That’s when it transforms into something restful; even soothing.  Sounds are muffled.  You can’t see the drab and dirty earth that lies beneath the snowy mantle. The snow blankets the threadbare branches of the trees and softens their stark silhouettes. The snow brings beauty where there was none and provides a soft covering over anything harsh.  No wonder the Lord said in Isaiah 1:18,   “Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow.” But when the snow melts?  There, in all its glory, is the desolate and brown earth.  And the branches are once again laid bare before us.  The starkness of winter reveals many things that are hidden during the other seasons.  Think of how you can see all the nests up in the trees. All of God’s creatures’ hiding places are exposed.  In winter, I no longer have a barrier between our yard and the neighbors.  All that’s left of the vines, bushes, and trees are spindly sticks and tree trunks.  There’s no place to hide!
That’s how it is between us and God.  We may think we have successfully hidden away parts of ourselves from Him, but truly there is no hiding.  No covering up.  No sparkly white covering to mask our sin. God sees into our souls just as easily as I can see between the branches and into the neighbor’s yard.  So then, why not surrender and bare our souls to Him?  Psalm 139 is filled with references to God’s omniscience and His omnipresence.  It tells us how there is nowhere we can go that He is not there.  He knows the words we would speak before we speak them.  He knows when we wake and when we sleep. Why not let Him have the raw, the unfiltered, the hidden parts of ourselves?  We can offer our true selves to Him with confidence because He already knows us!  And He loves us! Have no fear and remember this: “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)


WHEN I CAN’T GO ON (Psalms 5 & 6)
Human beings have limits. Sometimes, we give up too easily. But many times, we feel our exhausted bodies or hearts giving way.  Whether it is a physical, emotional, relational, or spiritual struggle, we all find ourselves in dark moments when it feels like we can’t go on.  David felt this way too, and the two Psalms we’ll look at today capture his thoughts and prayers during a moment like this. Our faith doesn’t wipe away how difficult and painful life can be. And it can feel like God is abandoning us or ignoring us.  But this song reminds us that we can have a conversation with ourselves in our faith and it can make a miraculous difference, allowing us to endure in hope.

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

Kick-start the new year with a renewed dedication to  your relationship with the Lord. A straightforward way to grow as a believer is to dig into God’s word. We’ve printed a “Bible-in-a-Year” program to help you read through the entire bible once, and the Psalms 4 times! Pick up a copy in the lobby on the glass tables.

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 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.

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

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.  

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 ——-Bruce Clark
Ushers 11:00 ——Dan Rozinski
Counters ———–Mike & Lois Hartwell
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.

I Will Not Hide,