Hope Notes 1/10/18

January 10, 2018

Dear Friends of Hope,
In the winter, I find that there are a few ‘winter only’ smells I love.  One is when the heater first kicks on and the radiators begin to warm up.  I can’t really describe it to you; just know that it’s a very comforting smell!  Warm and cozy. Another is the way the oven smells when it’s been preheated and I first open it up.  Nothing is in it, yet the warm air that drifts out is laden with past roasts, potatoes, cakes, and cookies.  Somehow they all combine to form this delectable aroma! I always take a big whiff before placing whatever I’m making in the oven. (Please tell me I’m not the only one who does this!)  My family is always teasing me about how I smell everything, but guess what?!  Smells were very important to God, too!  On sixteen different occasions in the Old Testament book of Leviticus, an ‘aroma’ is mentioned as something pleasing to God.  More specifically, the aroma of a sacrifice.  The New Testament brings this full circle by revealing Christ as the final and ultimate sacrifice:  “Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”  (Ephesians 5:2)  Not only does the Bible refer to sacrifices as having a pleasing aroma, but did you know that we as believers have an aroma as well?  “For we are to God the sweet aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.”
(2 Corinthians 2:15
 Oh boy.  That means that our walk with God needs to leave a sweet fragrance trailing behind us; we don’t want to leave a nasty stench!  Obviously, we won’t inspire others to desire a relationship with Jesus if all that emanates from us is a foul odor! Since Scripture has told us that God is pleased with fragrant offerings, we need to be certain that the ‘sweet aroma of Christ’ is what we give off.  It pleases me to think that the God who created the universe enjoys the gift of scent as much as I do.  He may not be sticking His head in an oven to inhale the hot air, but I know He’s taking a whiff of us!


Let’s say you have a moment of brilliance.  An amazing idea springs into your mind and you just know that it is one of your greatest.  Then pretend you share it with someone in your excitement, and you just know they are going to be excited with you.  But instead, they steal your idea and claim it for their own.  They get all the credit and everyone thinks they came up with it themselves.  That would really be deflating!  To have someone take the credit for something you did.  Our song from Psalm 9 for today reminds us that we should be careful not to do this exact thing to God.  How often do we take credit for what God actually provides and does?  David challenges us to give thanks with all our hearts and to recognize the incomparable power of God that is at work in our lives and in our world.

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!

“My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.”

We are taking a look at Hosea and the story of “Redeeming Love” that’s presented in this book.
PLEASE NOTE:  Bible Study resumes TODAY, 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 two 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.”

BOWLING – Sunday January 28th 

The event you’ve all been waiting for!  Join us as we take over a part of Brunzwick Zone in Deptford from 3:00-5:00 pm.  Cost is $7/person for 2 hours of bowling and shoes. Spectators are free. Need help covering the cost? Let us know. You don’t want to miss out on this fun fellowship event! Sign-up in the lobby now!

Still looking to get involved in a Small Group? It’s not too late to join! Check out our Small Group bulletin board in the hallway to see information on available groups. Study sheets are  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.

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 resumes January 15th.

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!

ASCENT ’18 – January 12th – 14th This weekend!
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

Jan 14 – No Youth Group
Jan 21 – Youth Group
Jan 28 – No Youth Group (Bowling 3:00 – 5:00)

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 are having a GoZone! team conference on Saturday morning, January 13th from 9:00-11:30! This meeting will be a chance for us to discuss what’s coming up in 2018 and how we can make the GoZone! even better for our HopeKids!  If you are not currently a volunteer with our K-5th graders, but are interested in getting involved this year, please join us!  If you have any questions or concerns, contact Matt Russell at mattrussell@ hopechristianfellowship.org

HOPEKIDS RETURNS!! Our weekly K-5th grader bible study and epic hangout time is back on Sunday nights starting January 14th Join us for a study of God’s word, snacks, video games, theme nights and epic skits!  We’ll kick things off with a pizza party so come hungry and bring a friend!

Pastor Mark, Dana, Dave, Matt & Emily all want to express their gratitude for the congregation’s Christmas gift! We are thankful for your generous hearts and feel so appreciated. We are blessed to do what we do, and gifts like this make it that much sweeter. Thank you!

JOB FAIR – Sunday, January 28th  
We will be holding our Annual Job Fair after each service so that everyone gets a chance to hear about all the different opportunities to serve at Hope. Talk with representatives from each team and sign-up for a role that fits you best!

Check out our updated church website! We’ve given the site a reboot to make it easier for you to stay connected to what’s happening and how to serve here at Hope. Two places you’ll want to be sure to check out are the “Starting Out” menu if you’re new, and the “Going Deeper” menu if you’re looking to get plugged in to serving. Visit hopechristianfellowship.org to see these pages and more!

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 go to our website (hopechristianfellowship.org), click on ‘Going Deeper’, and you will see all our ministries and the various teams they have. You can also check out our Ministry and Service Opportunities brochure (on the glass tables) and 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 ——-Bob Kerr
Ushers 11:00 ——Ryan Winstel
Counters ———–TBA
Greeters ———– Debbie Davis, Sharon Sambucci, Jane Hanuszczyk, Greg Corrado

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.

Breathing in His Grace,