Hope Notes 2/28/18

February 28, 2018

Dear Friends of Hope, 
As I write this, my heart is overflowing with praise and thankfulness to our great God.  I had a God sized problem that needed immediate attention.  Not only did God solve the problem, He did so in a way that left no doubt that the solution was God ordained.   He knew that I needed not only resolution, but the assurance that the resolution was from Him.  What a loving God we serve!  I won’t bore you with the details; suffice it to say that the enemy had managed to press all the right buttons to set off an alarm system of doubt regarding an upcoming trip.  He always attacks us in our weakest areas.  He knows I don’t like things unsettled, up-in-the-air, or filled with last minute changes.  And boy, he threw every single one of them at me!  But you know what?  I know that God is much stronger than the enemy. Satan’s power is limited; God’s is limitless.  Satan’s power is temporary; God’s power is eternal. 1 John 4:4 assures us that   “….the one (Jesus) who is in you is greater than the one (Satan) who is in the world”.  The best way to combat my doubt and anxiety was to leave the matter completely in the Lord’s hands.  God’s power to protect us far outweighs Satan’s power to attack us. I prayed for God to make a way and to make it clear what should be done. I wanted to be sure that it wasn’t me clearing the path and plowing forward.  I needed to know that God Himself was going ahead of me, removing obstacles, taking care of all those loose ends and details, and preparing the way. “The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.”  (Psalm 37:23)  Turns out God’s solution was far above anything I could have done, (of course!) leaving no room to doubt that it was all His doing.  The evidence was clear; He got the glory!!  And my heart got the peace it needed.  When God says Yes, the enemy’s No is rendered powerless.  “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31)  Who loves us and cares for us more than our heavenly Father?  No one!  “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” (1 John 3:1) 

If you’re trying to invest in the stock market, one thing they tell beginners is that it is good to ‘diversify’.  Basically, that means you don’t want to do all of your investing in one fund or one realm in case something unforeseen causes that particular area to fall apart.  Having your investments spread out can help you be protected.  But with God, that same principle would bring you ruin. Many through history have tried to cover all their bases by worshiping many gods.  The thought was that if one god were to be false or weak, at least we were also serving other gods who could still help us.  But the true and living God is not one of many, and will not be served as part of some spiritual portfolio.  Instead, He demands exclusive faith.  Much like a marriage only works when the relationship is completely exclusive of other romantic connections, God is only truly ours when we worship Him alone.

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!

MARCH  CHALLENGE VERSE – Matthew 5:44-45
But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven.  He causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

WEDNESDAY NIGHT BIBLE STUDY – 7:00 pm in the Youth Room
We are taking a look at Hosea and the story of “Redeeming Love” that’s presented in this book.

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

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.  Anyone planning to attend can RSVP to Ryan Winstel at  rawwin@comcast.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!

 ROOTED IN YOUR HOUSE – Friday, March 9th from 7:00 – 9:00 pm
Join us as we take youth group to the Peterson’s house!  We’ll enjoy food, games, and plenty of laughs. No need to bring anything other than yourself! The Peterson’s live at 833 Hardingville Road,  Monroeville, NJ 08343.

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!

WORSHIP NIGHT – Wednesday, March 14th @ 7:00 pm

You won’t want to miss this evening of music and praise!  It’s sure to be a powerful night. Come out for a time of worship in lieu of bible study.

ANNUAL SPRING CAFE – Wednesday, March 21st @ 7:00 
A fun night of entertainment and fellowship! Sign-up in the lobby to participate in our cafe! Don’t have a talent to share? Come out and enjoy performances and snacks! Sign-up to bring a goodie in the lobby. Contact Kimmi Biglin at Kimmi_B@comcast.net for more information.

HOPE CRAFT FAIR – Saturday, May 12th from 9:00 – 3:00
We’re excited to host our first ever craft fair here at Hope! This event will be open to the public and free to attend – rain or shine! We need our crafty Hopers to register now if you’d like to have a space as a vendor. Registration is first come, first served based on availability of spaces. Each crafter will be provided one 8′ table and 2-3 chairs (as supplies last). You are encouraged, but not required, to bring a tent. Registration is FREE until April 8th, afterwards cost will be $10. To register, simply fill out a form (located on the sign-up table in the lobby) and give to Emily DiLorenzo or register online at http://www.hopechristianfellowship.org/craftfair

Sign-up in the lobby to be a part of Hope’s coed softball team. Games will be played on weeknights April – June (no Wednesday nights.) There will be 16-18 schedules games plus playoffs. We will be joining our brothers at Pitman Methodist to form a softball team. Players must be 15 years old before the start of the season to play. Any Questions, please contact Lenny Little at littlemanlenny@yahoo or 856-701-3583.

This is the final week to return your baby bottles!  If you still have one to return and forgot it, please leave it at the rear of the sanctuary by the sound team or give to any Deacon or Elder. It’s NEVER too late! The babies whose lives were saved and helped by your generosity thank you!  A total received will be announced in a few weeks.

Is your family in need of some  food assistance?  We have a small food pantry here at Hope and want to help you during your difficult time. Head on over to Donations Basket in the front left side of the auditorium after the service.  One of our pantry workers will be there to assist you.  You can also speak to one of the ushers or Pastor Mark and they will direct you to someone who can help.

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!

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).  Keep your eye on this section as we post any pressing needs.

Praise God! We are so excited that Hope is in the midst of another baby boom! In order to best serve the parents and infants here at Hope, we are looking to add an additional team member to each of our amazing nursery teams that serve on Sunday mornings. If you are interested in becoming a Nursery Team Member and blessing the parents at Hope with loving arms to care for their little ones, please contact Leah Hallahan (leahhallahan@gmail.com) or Matt Russell (matthewrussell@hopechristianfellowship.org) as soon as possible! Thank you!    PLEASE NOTE:  Due to this bountiful blessing of babies, the nursery has moved to the 1st & 2nd grade classroom.

We’d like to be able to offer breakfast, lunch, and dinner items to families who come to us for assistance.  The following donations would be greatly appreciated:  Hot or cold cereal, Hearty soups, Peanut butter & jelly, Canned tuna or chicken, Pasta & pasta sauces, Ground beef (1 lb. packages), Canned vegetables & fruit, Toilet paper.  Donations can be placed in the “Food Pantry” basket located at the front, left side of the auditorium.

For all Kids Ministry scheduling, please refer to the Planning Center or contact your team leader.
Ushers 9:00 ——-Bob Kerr
Ushers 11:00 ——Tom Albright
Counters ———–TBA
Greeters ———– Irene Riddell, Pat Keith, Charlotte Zediker, Jeanne Wurst

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.

His Love and Power are Boundless,