Hope Notes 7/25/18

July 25, 2018

Dear Friends of Hope,

I recently read something in a devotion that really intrigued me. I decided to look into it further and was disappointed to learn it was a bit of a misstatement. Not exactly false, but it wasn’t exactly true the way it was presented. The author stated that the words ‘fear not’ are written in Scripture 365 times. One for every single day because God knew we would struggle with fear. How cool would that be?! Some of you are probably rolling your eyes because apparently this is an old debate (according to the dates on articles I was reading). So I’m a little late to the party. Anyway……while those exact words are not specifically mentioned 365 times, the idea of not being afraid, of trusting God, etc is a big theme of the Bible. We can all agree on that! But this slightly disappointing experience made me think two things in particular:
1) Don’t just believe something you read even when it’s written by a Christian or other trusted source. For that matter, don’t just believe everything your pastor says simply because he’s your pastor. Go to the source of Truth – God’s Word. Check it out for yourself. Research. We should not simply accept as fact every nice thing we are told about the Bible because it sounds good; we should verify the accuracy. As Christians, we are exhorted to test what we hear and what we read. “Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the world.” (1 John 4:1)
2) So WHAT if ‘Fear not’ really doesn’t appear 365 times in the Bible?! Wouldn’t it apply even if God only said it once?! God only needed to say “let there be light” (Genesis 1:3) once, and there was light. We shouldn’t need to hear it that many times to know that God does not want us to be afraid. In fact, ‘fear not’ is not a suggestion; it’s a command. Some form of ‘fear not’ is one the most common instructions to us in Scripture. It doesn’t make it any less valid because it doesn’t appear once for every day of the year.
Now what? Yes, I’m a little disappointed that this misrepresentation is being presented as fact, but I get the gist of it. And it makes me more aware to be sure and ‘test’ the things I read or hear. It also compels me to remember that God’s commands need only be spoken once for us to heed them!!

SUNDAY MORNING MESSAGE – We Are Witnesses (Acts 5:29-39) – VBS CLOSING
The week of VBS is a time of energy and activity. We feel privileged to welcome all of the kids who come out to learn about Jesus. And we love that we get to help families who are trying to raise their kids to be good people. But the big reason we do this is because we’ve been changed. We’re going to close our VBS week by looking at some of the earliest followers of Jesus. They were witnesses just like we are of what God wants to do in each person’s life. We want to be a part of Him doing that work in your life! One more time this week, let’s look at what this is all about, and how your life can be more than you ever imagined!
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!

“Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”

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.”

We’re on hiatus for the summer, but we have a lot planned for the fall!
“Thinking Out Loud” Series: Starting in September, we’re going to take Wednesday nights and talk through together as a church family some of the pressing cultural issues of today. We may disagree with one another, but we’ll have the discussion anyway. We’ll treat one another with respect and work towards understanding each other. And in the end, we’ll pray that the Lord will lead each one of us in our response to these issues. We want to have open hearts to God’s direction. And we want our church to be a place where we can discuss anything – even when we disagree – with the love we’re called to have for each other.
Special Note: We’re setting aside one of these nights as a discussion of the #MeToo movement. Pastor Mark is asking anyone who has experienced sexual aggression or misconduct, and would be willing to briefly share with us, to let us know. Reach out to Dave Hallahan (dmhallahan5@gmail.com) for more details. Thanks in advance for your courage!

CHURCH PICNIC – Sunday, July 29th @ 5:00 – This Sunday!
Our church picnic is legendary! We have inflatables, water slide, games, lots of food and of course a ton of fun! Bring friends and family and be prepared for an amazing time!

SIX FLAGS // TOBY MAC CONCERT – Saturday, August 4th
All ages welcome!! Tickets are still available ($50) for a day at Six Flags followed by a Toby Mac concert that night! Church van will leave around noon. See Dave Hallahan if you’re interested.

MOVIE NIGHT – Sunday, August 5th @ 7:00 pm
Adult Movie “The Case for Christ”
Kid’s Movie – “Moana”

ICE CREAM SOCIAL CAFE – Sunday, August 12th @ 7:00 pm
Who doesn’t love an old fashioned Ice Cream Social?! Ours is even better because we also have entertainment provided by our own Hopers! Sign up sheets are in the lobby.

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, 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!
Please Note: Rooted will be on hiatus for the remainder of the summer and will begin again in September.

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: Our Hangout is on hiatus for the summer and will return in the fall!

Bill McGinness (a partner of Hope) is once again continuing his participation in the Deacons (formally Saints) Softball Prison Ministry that is affiliated with Gloucester County Community Church. He is just $300 away from his goal of being able to participate in the crusade the team is taking to Kentucky at the end of July. If you feel God leading you to give financially, it would be greatly appreciated. Prayers for this endeavor are coveted also! Checks can be made payable to Bill McGinness.

BAPTISM SERVICE – Wednesday, October 3rd
Our next Baptism Service will be Wednesday night, October 3rd. If you’re interested in being baptized, there will be two classes prior to the service that you’ll need to attend. Classes will be held 9/23 & 9/30 immediately following the second service. Lite lunch will be provided. Signup sheet is in the lobby.

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.

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.

For all Kids Ministry scheduling, please refer to the Planning Center or contact your team leader.
Ushers 9:00 ——-Joe Sambucci
Ushers 11:00 ——Tom Albright
Counters ———–Kathy Berry, Wendy Devereaux
Greeters ————-Deb Davis, Sharon Sambucci, Katrina Mariani, 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.

His Word is True,