Hope Notes 4/25/18

April 25, 2018

Dear Friends of Hope, 
I read this verse the other day and something caught my eye.  Did I read that correctly? ‘For it has been grantedto you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him.’ (Phil 1:29)  A thought began to form and so I looked at a different version of the same verse: “For you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for him.’  AHA – yes, there was the confirmation I was looking for!  The word granted means “shown favor, given freely as a gift”.  What?!  To suffer?  A gift?!  Sure enough, the NLT says it is a privilege to suffer for Christ.  Paul is most definitely not presenting suffering for Jesus as a curse, but as a benefit.  Being granted the privilege of suffering isn’t a concept that we can easily wrap our minds around, is it?  It’s much easier to understand being granted grace and mercy.  But if we dig a little deeper, we see in Acts 5:41 what the apostles thought about this: ‘So they went on their way from the presence of the Council, rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for His name.’  Does this make you rethink things a little?  That perhaps we should embrace suffering as a badge of honor and a privilege that we (like the apostles) have been considered worthy to suffer for His name?  Not only that, but 1 Peter 4:13 instructs us to “….rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ”.  Rejoice?!  I’m not liking this too much!  What is the upside to all of this?  Well, apart from the blessings that come from simply being obedient to what God has called us, we find another reason in Romans 8:17: ‘Now if we are children, then we are heirs–heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory’.  Catch that?  We share in His glory.  The glory that we are part of far outweighs any persecution we endure for Jesus’ sake.  When we share in Christ’s suffering (mostly at the hands of non-believers), it means that we are His.  We belong to Him.  He counts us worthy.  Shouldn’t we then be more able to rejoice in these temporary persecutions?  They mark us as part of God’s family.  And we have the all surpassing glory that will be revealed in us. The next time I feel as though I’m being persecuted for my faith, I’m going to remind myself of these things…….and thank God that He allowed that particular word in that particular verse to jump out and grab me!


In the famous movie, The Wizard of Oz, one of the characters is looking for courage. Ironically, that character is a lion!  He goes with the crew to ask the wizard to give him courage.  But in the end, he finds out that he had courage all along.  He mistakenly thought that since he was scared in the face of danger that he was lacking the ability to be courageous.  Being a Christian can be quite the same.  We are faced on many fronts with dangers and threats, both big and small.  And our world adds their voices of panic to our own internal ones on a daily basis.  So we can be scared – and often with good reason.  But that doesn’t mean we can’t be courageous.  In fact, our mission as children of God depends on us living with courage.  Let’s look at how David thought this issue through and see if we can learn from one who has walked this path before us!

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)

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!

But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve… But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.

WEDNESDAY NIGHT BIBLE STUDY – 7:00 pm in the Youth Room
We are taking the next two weeks to study the book of Joel.  Please join us for this med-week spiritual boost!

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.”

Our last Small Group study sheet for the season will be put out on April 29th.We’ll be taking an official hiatus from Small Group until September, but if your group would like to continue to meet on it’s own over the summer, feel free! In the meantime we’ll have other opportunities to connect with one another, starting with Workshop Wednesdays coming in June! Stay tuned for more info.

YOUNG ADULTS – 1st & 3rd Tuesdays at 7:30 in Youth Room
We’re taking a break for the month of May and will be resuming in June on a new night! Join us the 1st & 3rd TUESDAYS at 7:30 in the youth room. Open to anyone who has graduated high school up to their early thirties. 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!

Go Zone is our Sunday Morning kid’s service, planned especially for K-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 more nursery workers
**For provision of funds and workers to accomplish our HVAC projects (AC Units plus Boiler Replacement).
**For financing for larger projects (roofing, sound, flooring)

LANDSCAPING / PLANTING DAY – This Saturday, April 28th
Meet at the church at 9:00 am.  We are planning on planting about 60 plants at the front of the building.  We need ALL HANDS ON DECK!

Lauren Miller and Pat Keith are organizing a ‘Need Prayer?’  booth at Hope’s Craft Fair on May 12th. We’d love to have some fellow HOPERS join us to pray with folks who need prayer.  If you can volunteer to man (Yes – MEN, too!) the booth for a while that day, please contact Lauren at lmlauren.miller@gmail.com or Pat at pfkeith@hotmail.com.  You can text Lauren at 609-617-3763.Finally, there is also a sign up sheet in the front Lobby. If you only have 30 minutes to spare or if you can stay longer, we hope you’ll help us and BLESS OTHERS that day.

Calling all those who are new to Hope within the last 6 to 12 months!  We are inviting you to a luncheon on Sunday, June 3rd in the Auditorium at Hope following the 11:00 service. No need to bring anything – just your family (kids too)!  Please sign up in the front lobby so we can get a head count.  It’s an opportunity to meet and visit with Hope’s Leadership Team and wives and other new folks.  We look forward to seeing you that day.

Join us on May 13th for a very special Mother’s Day service. We’ll be honoring our moms and celebrating all that they mean to us.  But we’re going to also to invite everyone to consider honoring their mothers by standing up for mothers around the world who don’t know where their daughters are on this day.  And for young women and girls who could grow up to be great moms, but don’t have that chance because they are caught in modern day slavery.  We’re welcoming Tim Nelson, International Development Director from Hope for Justice who is flying in from the UK to be with us this morning.  He will join Pastor Mark in presenting an opportunity to take this Mother’s Day and make it resonate beyond flowers and cards into stuff that can change people’s lives and eternities!

We’re a family here at Hope and we love to share in each others joys and even sorrows. We want to make sure that your important life moments get shared so we can lift one another up in prayer, celebrate together, and at times cry together. If you have news to share, such as a birth announcement, engagement, or passing of a loved one, email your story (and picture if you have one!) to Emily DiLorenzo (EmilyDiLorenzo@hopechristianfellowship.org) and we’ll make sure it gets posted to our social media! HOPE CRAFT FAIR – Saturday, May 12th from 9:00 – 3:00
We’ve had a great response from vendors eager to participate in our Craft Fair! We’ll have over 60 vendors selling handmade items, gifts, home decor, and more! Plus food from Brother Bear’s BBQ.Now it’s time to get the word out so EVERYONE can join in on the fun!  Invite friends, family, neighbors, etc. Help us spread the word by picking up a flyer, poster, or yard sign in the lobby and ‘paint your town’ with them!  See Emiily DiLorenzo with any questions.

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 our kitchen located on the  front left side of the auditorium after the service.  One of our pantry workers will be in 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!  Hop on and register today!

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.

Join us the first Saturday of every month for a work day at the church. We can use any level of skill – don’t be intimidated! Check out the bulletin board near the back entrance to see the upcoming projects our team is planning to complete.

For all Kids Ministry scheduling, please refer to the Planning Center or contact your team leader.
Ushers 9:00 ——-Bruce Clark
Ushers 11:00 ——Bill Berry
Counters ———–Kathy Berry, Wendy Devereaux
Greeters ———– Lorraine Koch, Ken Blythe, Lisa Minner, Patty Tomasetti

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 Am His,