Hope Notes 9/5/18

September 5, 2018

Dear Friends of Hope,

September brings back-to-school and you know what that means! First comes school supply shopping, and then it’s time to start the new routine of earlier alarms, lunch packing, homework nagging, and chauffeuring the kids to various activities. Whew, I’m exhausted just typing all that; let’s stop and say some prayers for all those families who have been thrust at warp speed back into the school year! Even though our daughter is grown and married and we no longer participate in these back-to-school rituals, I admit I still feel the urge to run out and get some new pens and pencils (ahhhh the smell of lead!). September always feels like a fresh start to me. The evenings get a tad cooler and the trees no longer bear the vibrant green they wore at the start of summer. Instead they are slightly faded, tinged with yellow proclaiming their desire to be done and fall to the ground, signaling the end of one season and the beginning of another. Here at Hope, we proclaim the beginning of another season by resuming all of our regular programs for children and adults. I love the anticipation of starting afresh with our studies, our fun activities (Trunk or Treat anyone?!), and our Sunday morning worship and message series. Personally, September is a good time to proclaim the beginning of a season meant for deepening our walk with the Lord. Pick up a new devotion book, subscribe to a daily devotion delivered to your email, and vow to spend a little more time in God’s Word. Ezekiel 11:19 reminds us that God puts a ‘new spirit’ in us. Psalm 40:3 affirms that He puts ‘a new song’ in our mouths. Ecclesiastes 3 proclaims ‘to every thing there is a season’. Let this September be our new season of a richer and rooted spiritual life!

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 – The Unblessed Blessed (Matthew 5:3, 4 ,6)
“Lucky you”. Have you ever had someone say that to you and thought, ‘If you only knew what it was really like to be me.”? Sometimes we look at people and think their lives are enviable, but it is likely that stepping into their shoes would cause us to think differently. Jesus begins the Sermon on the Mount with what we call the Beatitudes. And in these, He tells us who is ‘lucky’ – only He uses the word “Blessed”. The genius of this opening to His sermon is that He attaches types of people to this word that remains stunning to us even today. What does Jesus mean when He deliberately calls people blessed who are poor in spirit, who mourn, and who hunger and thirst? Maybe we are too easily convinced that blessing is connected to those who are rich, those who laugh, and those who get to overeat. Whatever He means, it becomes clear very quickly that the kinds of people invited into the kingdom are very different from what His audience expects.
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!

SEPTEMBER CHALLENGE VERSE – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-19
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit.”

Unable to make it out for Wednesday nights? We are going to be LIVE STREAMING on Facebook for our Thinking Out Loud series! Watch and interact from your phone or computer live! We’ll also continue to post videos of the night to our YouTube channel, so you can catch up at anytime. Or, listen to our Podcast on iTunes.

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

We are changing things up on Sunday mornings! We are starting up a brand new worship time for our young ones to teach them all the classic songs that will help them learn and memorize important biblical truths! Starting on September 16th Pre-K and Toddler students will be dropped off together in the 3rd-5th Grade Classroom (after signing in) for a 15 minute worship time. They will then return to their normal classrooms for the remainder of the service. We can’t wait to worship with them!

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.

Hope Share just got easier than ever! Our new page is a closed group for Hopers only. 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! Join the group and start meeting each other’s needs! Visit facebook.com/HCFWoodbury/ and request to join!

For the month of August we averaged $6587 per week bringing our annual giving total down to $7974. This is almost exactly at our target of $7950 per week, and we are asking the Lord to provide for our growth and future needs as we head into the fall.
Also, our current total on giving towards the HVAC projects is $23,223, leaving us plenty of work to do to get to our $65,000 target to repair and replace the aging and non-working parts of our HVAC system in the coming months.

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.
Sign-up sheet and Baptism Class resources are on the platform in the sanctuary. Sign-up deadline is 9/23.

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.

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.

For all Kids Ministry scheduling, please refer to the Planning Center or contact your team leader.
Ushers 9:00 ——-Joe Sambucci
Ushers 11:00 ——TBD
Counters ———–TBD
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.

Starting Fresh in Fall,