Hope Notes 2/7/18

February 7, 2018

Dear Friends of Hope,
Have you ever been happily swimming in the ocean or a lake and then suddenly realize your feet can no longer touch the bottom?  If you’re anything like me, it gives you a sudden shiver of fear.  How far down IS the bottom?   I automatically draw my legs up so that I can pretend that the bottom is ‘right there’.  But if they straighten out and touch NOTHING, my stomach lurches.  I had an experience as a teen where that scenario played out in reverse.  I was sailing on the bay out underneath the bridge.  Where the big boats go.  Deep water.  My sailboat overturned and I immediately drew my legs up and began frantically treading water, trying to right the boat.  After what seemed like an eternity of thrashing around, my tired legs had no choice but to dangle down into the water.  I braced myself for that unsettling moment when they would hang suspended in lord knows what depth of water.  And guess what?!  They touched the bottom!  In the middle of the bay!  Under the bridge!  I felt such a huge sense of relief as I simply STOOD UP and took care of the boat.  I was giddy with joy!
Believers, do you have a plan for the next time you find yourself in deep water?  Not literally, but figuratively.  Trials, sorrow, doubt, fear.  Afraid.  With no solid ground to be found.  The psalmist relays such an experience in Psalm 69.  “Save me, O God, for the floodwaters are up to my neck.  Deeper and deeper I sink into the mire; I can’t find a foothold. I am in deep water, and the floods overwhelm me.”  (vs 1-2)  In verse 14, he cries out to God, “….pull me from these deep waters.”   God Himself tells us in Isaiah 43:2, “When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown.”   I thought I was literally in deep water out there in the bay.  And I wasted a lot of time and energy trying to save myself.  All I had to do was put my feet down and feel the sandy bottom of the bay.  All WE have to do is cry out to our God and He will pull us from those deep waters.  He is the ‘anchor of our souls’ (Hebrews 6:19) to hold us steady and firm.  This doesn’t mean He will always rescue us from our trials; however we need not fear to ‘put our feet down’ because He is with us IN the trials.

GOD OUR REFUGE (Psalm 11,12,13)

We’ve seen so many disastrous storms over the past few years and the damage they cause is truly unbelievable.  Whether you’re looking at the loss of life or the devastation to property, it is hard to imagine the overwhelming power of hurricanes.  Lump in other natural disasters like tornadoes, earthquakes, and wildfires, and we start to realize that we are quite fragile and relatively powerless.  Does that mean we are doomed to live scared and running?  David often uses the picture of God as a hiding place – a place of refuge and safety.  When we are up against forces that threaten to overwhelm us, do we know what David knew: that God is a place we can go to be safe?

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!

“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light for my path.”

We are taking a look at Hosea and the story of “Redeeming Love” that’s presented in this book.
NOTE: We are taking a break from our study of Hosea to do a three week mini-series in the book of 1st John. Come join us at 7:00 pm in the Youth Room!

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.”

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.

GOD’S GIRLS WOMEN’S GROUP – 1st & 3rd Mondays at 7:00 in the 3rd-5th Grade Classroom
We are studying the Lysa TerKeurst’s book UNINVITED and would like to invite you to join us!  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!

Feb 11 – Youth Group
Youth Group will meet every Sunday through March 25th.

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

K-5th Grade Bible Study and Epic Hangout Time
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!

For the month of January, we averaged $8185 per week which is above our annual target for 2018 of $7950 per week.  We are thankful for such a good start to the year, and are trusting the Lord to move in each of us to sacrifice and give faithfully to the work we’re doing together at Hope.  Our current total on special projects giving is $10,961 since we started last November.  Our target is $65,000, so we have long way to go, but we are moving forward in faith on planning and setup for the first few projects.  As the Lord blesses us this year, let’s commit to ask Him each time what portion of His provision is meant to be given towards these projects.

Have you been on Hope Share on our website yet?  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!   Here’s just a couple items that you’re missing out on if you haven’t:  Air Hockey Table – Like New! and Futon Couch with Mattress.  Hop on and register today!

Learn how to eliminate debt, build wealth, and give in Dave Ramsey’s proven 7 step program, Financial Peace University. In this 9 week course you will learn what the Bible says about handling money. We will meet for every Tuesday night from 7-9 starting February 20th. Go to this link to register for the class:https://fpu.com/1059345.  Cost is $129.00 per family which includes an FPU kit, one year subscription to their app EveryDollarPlus and one year access to their online teaching videos. Childcare will be provided. For further information or questions, contact Jess St.Petery at j.st.petery@gmail.com or sign up in the back to be contacted.

Are you remembering to put your change into your Choices of the Heart Crisis Pregnancy Center’s baby bottles? You can even keep it simple by writing a tax deductible check made payable to Choices of the Heart and slip it into the bottle.  As local women see their babies on the free ultrasound tests, the percentage who choose life is remarkably increased. Save the babies – fill your bottles and return byMarch 4th. See Wendy Devereaux with questions.

PASSING THE TORCH – First Saturday of Each Month @ 4:00 – 5:30 pm
Attention all men youth group ages and up, this is for you! Hope wants to show our men a passion for leading Christ-like lives. This mentoring program will help us all to come together and explore each other’s perspective on current issues as we navigate life while being lights in this world for our God. Together we can connect our generations and learn from each other by sharing our experiences and what our LORD says about these situations.

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?!

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 ——-Rick Ayusa
Ushers 11:00 ——Dan Rozinski
Counters ———–TBA
Greeters ———– Ken Blythe, Karen Hosey, Ellen Boales, Karl Miller

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.

Standing on Solid Ground,