Hope Notes 6/6/18

June 6, 2018

Dear Friends of Hope,

Remember those ‘Ancient Chinese Handcuffs’, the trick where you get your fingers in the ends of a woven straw cylinder? Well, one of my family members managed to get my fingers into one of these last week. (Don’t ask how!) The harder you pull trying to get your fingers out, the tighter the cylinder becomes. It’s a trap. I was thinking about it, and isn’t that kind of the way it is when we are facing adversity? We struggle, we rail against it, we pull back harder and harder. Sometimes we practically shake our fists at God and shout “why?!” The enemy loves to keep us trapped in that endless cycle. I had my own personal experience with this many years ago. I spent almost five years fighting against the fact that my back was permanently damaged. I couldn’t accept it. I kept looking for solutions and refusing to change certain lifestyle choices, which only made things worse. I gritted my teeth and clenched my fist in the face of God. Yes, the enemy was very happy. But once I finally accepted things as they were, I began to experience God’s blessings. At last I felt peace; I was settled in my soul able to feel gratitude for many of the things I once fought against. And then you know what happened? Some people began to accuse me of ‘giving up and not trying hard enough to be healed’. That really shook me…………until I remembered Paul’s thorn. “Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:8-9) Paul didn’t continue to rail and fight against what God had allowed in his life. He accepted it and recognized that he had all he needed in God’s own strength and grace. And so it is with us, my friends. We don’t need to pull away harder and harder from adversity. God is usually using it to help us gain a deeper faith and a stronger reliance on His strength instead of our own. The next time you are facing a particularly difficult circumstance, remember those Chinese Handcuffs. Don’t fight so hard against it. Ask yourself what God may be doing and, as with the handcuffs, stop resisting. Bring your fingers together (in prayer). You will find the trap loosens, the enemy loses his grip on you, and you will begin to experience God’s peace in the midst of it all.

SUNDAY MORNING MESSAGE – Desperate for God (Psalm 42)
There are times when children can be a bit dramatic. All of us have probably walked this path growing up. We saw something that we wanted so desperately that we thought we’d die without it. When we expressed this to our parents, we were often met with the rolling of eyes or sighs of exhaustion / disappointment. But have you ever realized that we were made to crave? Just because our longings wind up on trivial or short-sighted targets doesn’t mean we should avoid being desperate to have something. We just need to know what we should be desperate about. This psalm expresses a deep thirst for the Lord. The writer is someone who has embraced the craving for God’s presence, power, and deliverance in their life – though not in a way that makes him bitter or that pushes God away. Let’s look at what life experiences brought him to this place of thirst for God.

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!

JUNE CHALLENGE VERSE – Galatians 5:14-15
“For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: Love your neighbor as yourself. If you bite and devour one another, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.”

We’re taking a break from our regular bible study in the month of June and having Workshop Wednesdays. There are six classes to choose from. Check them out below and be sure to join us!

God never promised to exempt Christians from common human experiences such as rejection, loss, depression,doubts, injustices, etc. In this workshop we’ll read about several characters in the bible that faced the same challenges we do today. They we’ll take a look at Psalm 116 and learn about God’s repeated assurance: “I hear you. I am with you.” Life’s challenges can strengthen our faith if we allow the biblical examples God gave us to show us how.

At times we lose sight of our purpose. This may happen during times of transition, soul-searching, or after traumatic experiences. Perhaps we just aren’t sure how God wants to use us. Jesus taught us we are not to “hide our light under a bushel,” yet at times we might feel like we can not shine as brightly as we should. We’ll be exploring what our purpose is and what God requires of us through a series of expressive writing prompts and bible study. Through this we will attempt to free ourselves from the things that hold us back from knowing our true purpose.

When is the last time you sensed the presence of God in your worship? Whether alone with Him in a quiet space or in
corporate worship with the family of God? Maybe it’s time for a fresh perspective and an opportunity to deepen your practice of praise! We’ll dig into Darren Whitehead’s book and uncover the transformational language of worship and praise to God!

Are you just starting out your journey with Jesus? This workshop will take you from those very first steps through what the bible has to say on some of the main topics of Christianity. You’ll see it for yourself and feel like you know these things firsthand. Also, if you’re a believer who would be interested in using this study to share your faith with others, come out and join us through this series.

Ever wonder if you are following God’s plan for your life or not? God wants you to know what His will is for you. Join us as we
continue to dive into what God’s word says about what it takes for us to align ourselves with God’s will for our lives. If you missed the workshop last year, don’t worry. There will be a review and notes for you to take home to catch up.

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 Tuesdays at 7:30 in Youth Room
Open to anyone who has graduated high school up to their early thirties. Contact Dave Hallahan at dmhallahan5@gmail.com.

God’s Girls will be having a summer of fellowship, and is inviting any woman in the church to fellowship with us! You’re invited to attend any or all of the following events. Please come out and get to know the other women who call Hope home. Check out our summer schedule:
Monday, June 18 – 2nd Annual God’s Girls Picnic – Red Bank Battlefield, National Park NJ 6-8 pm Please sign up in church and bring a side or covered dish to share.
Monday, July 2 – Tell Your Story Testimony Night featuring our own Charlotte. She will be sharing her testimony, and everyone else is invited to follow her lead.
Monday, July 16 – Movie night hosted by Lorraine (I Can Only Imagine)
Monday, August 6 – Special lesson taught by Kathy
Monday, August 20 – Craft lesson taught by Jodi – if interested, you will need to purchase some materials ahead of time. Jodi will let us know soon.
For information, contact Mary Lebeau 856-316-6301 (call or text) 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!

DELANCO CAMP WORK DAY – Saturday, June 9th – This Saturday!
Meet at the church at 8:00 am and we’ll head out to Delanco Camp to help them prepare their grounds for the Summer! Bring a few $$ for lunch on the way home! See Dave Hallahan w/ any questions.

END OF YEAR BBQ – Sunday, June 24th
This year we’ll be celebrating the end of the school year with a pool party and the Ocean City Boardwalk! We’ll be caravanning to the Palamaro’s (Leah Hallahan’s parents) after the second service. We’ll swim there and grill up some food, then head to the boardwalk after that. We’ll return to church around 9:00pm. Bring money for rides or anything else you may want on the boardwalk. Rides will be provided. See Dave Hallahan with any questions.

MIDDLE SCHOOL @ DELANCO CAMP – July 15th thru 21st
Last year was a great time! And we are making our return for another awesome week! All students heading into grades 7-9 are welcome and can register at delanco.org/register. Use the coupon code: Hallahan18 for a $50 discount.

SIX FLAGS // TOBY MAC CONCERT – Saturday August 4th
We’ll be heading to Six Flags for all the rides and sticking around for TobyMac! Tickets are $50. See Dave Hallahan to purchase your ticket and guarantee your spot!

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!

Please Note: There will be no GoZone! on Father’s Day – kids will be in the service with their dads for our special GoZone! Takeover Service!

VBS – SHIPWRECKED – July 23rd thru 27th
VBS will be here before we know it!! This year our theme is Shipwrecked! We made a bulletin board outside of the GoZone! room, where anyone can take a slip and return that donation to be used for the week of VBS! (Each donation=approximately $20) All donations are due back by July 1st and can be returned to the 1st & 2nd grade classroom. Thank you in advance, for supporting VBS in this way!

For the month of May we averaged $6737 per week bringing our annual weekly average down to $8023. This remains above our target giving for 2018 of $7950 per week. As we enter the summer, we are praying that the Lord will provide as each Hoper sees the opportunity to invest in what God is doin gin our church each week.
For our HVAC projects, we have now received $20,343 out of our needed $65,000. Our building team is finalizing permits and plans to make sure we have working AC through the summer and especially for VBS. Thank you to all who continue to sacrifice and give towards these projects. Please join us in prayer for God to provide for this needed work through our church family.

Seeds of Hope is a ministry in Camden seeking to demonstrate the life changing love of Jesus to inmates, ex-offenders, poor, homeless, and those trapped in addictions and prostitution. Our Missions Team will be setting out blue cans on June 10th to collect the following donations: New/gently used t-shirts; baby wipes, and feminine products. The cans will be placed at the front and back doors and labeled with the items needed. They will be there thru Sunday, June 24th. Contact Stacy Reid at sreid0905@gmail.com or (856-294-7324).

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!

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.

Our pantry is well stocked with canned soups and vegetables. We would greatly appreciate donations of the following items: Ground Beef, Hot Dogs, and Boneless Chicken Breasts all in one pound packages. We also need cold cereals. Thank you!

For all Kids Ministry scheduling, please refer to the Planning Center or contact your team leader.
Ushers 9:00 ——-Rick Ayusa
Ushers 11:00 ——Ryan Winstel
Counters ———–Kathy Berry, Wendy Devereaux
Greeters ———–Harriet Brittingham, Mary LeBeau, Joam 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.

Bending to His Will,