Hope Notes 8/29/18

August 29, 2018

Dear Friends of Hope,

Back when I was young, the Catholic school I attended had an annual event during Lent that made my little heart soar with hope. For years I had begged my parents for a sibling; they did not cooperate! And so, when the chance came to ‘buy a Pagan Baby’, I was all over it! In case you’re wondering what the heck I’m talking about…….a Pagan Baby was defined as ‘an unbaptized child who does not know about God’. The nuns gave us little cardboard boxes with pictures of sad looking children from around the world. We were told to put our coins in them, and once we had $5.00 we could get our own Pagan Baby; we could even name them! Imagine the joy I felt! I could not wait for that poor little Pagan Baby to arrive on my doorstep. (Ok, I can hear you all chuckling.) I guess you know that my dream of having a sibling from across the ocean never happened. I was devastated; I felt betrayed. However, as children do, I somehow put that disappointment behind me and moved on! Note: Before I continue, let me clarify something. The dictionary states that pagan is a term no longer in technical use; it is a derogatory term denoting a heathen.
So what brought these Pagan Babies to mind, you ask? Believe it or not, it was the “Pray for Me” campaign we are doing with our youth! (Not that they are ‘pagan’ by any means!) That memory came rushing back to me when I was thinking about the idea of being paired with one of our youth, being assigned if you will, an individual to pray for. Thinking of that young person as ‘mine’ for the duration of the program (and hopefully continuing beyond). I’m excited to see who God gives me, much like me waiting and wondering about which Pagan Baby would come to me. It made me remember those long ago cardboard boxes filled with not just spare change, but with the hope and dreams of my very own baby to care for and tell about God. I may not have been able to ‘buy’ a Pagan Baby when I was little, but today I can partner with one of our own young people here at Hope, pray for them, encourage them, and nurture them in their walk with the Lord. Ecclesiastes 4:9 tells us, “Two are better than one” and in vs 12 we are told that “A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand together and conquer.” I apply this to uniting with someone in prayer, encouragement, and support. Which is actually a much more productive deal than simply purchasing a Pagan Baby!

The greatest sermon ever preached still has unbelievable power to change us. Jesus spoke these words about 2000 years ago to a large audience on a hillside, but He meant them to challenge us as well. The thoughts upend normal thinking on almost every spiritual front, and if we want to follow Jesus, much of what He represents starts here!

SUNDAY MORNING MESSAGE – A Very Different Kingdom (Matthew 5:1-2, 17-20)
The Magic Kingdom in Disneyworld is a place that feels like stepping out of reality and into fantasy. The slogan for the Magic Kingdom is ‘The Most Magical Place on Earth’. Stepping into the theme park is meant to take guests away from their mundane or over-stressed lives and allow them to live in a ‘kingdom’ where things are different and fun. They are in the escape business… But it is interesting that they used the term ‘kingdom’ to define this place where things operate on a different set of values. As believers, we are called to a kingdom, and it is a culture with dramatically different values than the kingdom of this life and this world. But have we as Christ followers really lived in this different kingdom? Or have we acted like we belong to the kingdom of this world? As we kick off our discussion on the Sermon on the Mount, we’re going to take a ‘big picture’ look at what Jesus’ says the kingdom is like. And we’re going to buckle up for a journey through some of the most powerful words ever spoken!
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!

“The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.”

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 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.

9/5 Can Someone Be Gay and Be a Christian?
We are surrounded today by LGBTQ discussion and issues. Decades ago, this wasn’t an issue that most believers had to sort through. But today, we are each finding ourselves in need of some answers we can believe in. What does the Bible actually teach on same sex attraction? Does God make people gay? If so, how can there be anything wrong with it? And if not, why are so many finding themselves attracted to the same sex? What should a LGBTQ person do with those feelings? Most of all, we want to talk about how we respond to PEOPLE instead of arguing over issues. Our discussion will be open and respectful, and all viewpoints are welcome to join us. In the end, we all look to God’s Word as our guide on how to think and respond to this issue.

9/12 Jesus: Republican or Democrat?
If just reading that title makes you nervous, this is the discussion for you. If you’re tired of Christians feeling pressure to align with a particular party, or guilty for voting a certain way, this is the discussion for you. How should we as believers be faithful to our calling as citizens of Heaven while participating in our privilege and responsibility as American citizens? It probably is a lot more nuanced than most political discussions turn out to be. We’ll have some who are engaged in politics professionally share how they deal with the realities we all see, and we’ll ask what the Bible has to say to guide us in how we act politically.

9/19 What should We Do with #Metoo?
9/26 Sorting Out Science vs Creation
10/10 Immigration – What Should Christians Want?
10/17 Addressing Depression
10/24 Racism

Stay tuned for more information and to learn how you can get involved in a Small Group!

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 is on hiatus until September 17th. New meeting time will be 6:30 pm.
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 begins again on September 9th!

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

Hey 6th Graders! Don’t forget in the month of September we will be having a special GoZone Class just for you during the 11:00 service! Hope to see you there!

Bullying is a serious issue in our schools and can have devastating effects on a child’s perception of themselves and the world. We want our HopeKids! to know how to handle it when it happens to them. We also want to make sure they aren’t the ones being the bullies! In the month of September we’ll be doing a special Back To School series on bullying at the 9:00 and 11:00 services on Sunday mornings. Even if your child hasn’t faced this type of situation yet, they will eventually so we want to make sure they are prepared! And if you know a child struggling with this topic make sure to invite them out as well! All are welcome!

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 resumes September 9th!

Our HopeKids! love the game called GAGA! It’s all they want to play on Sunday nights! Gaga is a version of dodge ball that requires a hexagon (or an octagon, we’re not picky) to play in. We need a handyman to build us a court! The church will cover the cost of the materials, we just need your skill! If you’re interested in helping out please see Matt Russell for more details!

For the formation and spiritual connection of Small Groups.
For Trunk or Treat.
For the upcoming elections of officers during the month of October.

We are looking for one or two volunteers to join the Post Service Check Team after the 11:00 AM service on Sundays. It only takes around 10 or 15 minutes every other Sunday. Please contact Paul Rochat at prochat54@gmail.com.

We are looking ahead to a mission trip to help our Guatemalan missionary, Lauren Pupchick the last week of August, 2019. We are in the very preliminary stages of planning. Please contact Kirsten Hoy at Kirstenavhoy1024@gmail.com or 609-941-6426 for further information.

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. Stay tuned for a sign-up sheet!

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 ——-Rick Ayusa
Ushers 11:00 ——Dan Rozinski
Counters ———–Kathy Berry, Wendy Devereaux
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.

Rescued From Darkness,