Hope Notes 9/12/18

September 13, 2018

Dear Friends of Hope,

There’s a strange phenomenon going on at Hope. Any ideas what I’m referring to?? It’s the overarching lack of a real generation gap. Perhaps you’ve experienced it. I know I have! I’ve not only watched genuine friendships develop between generations but have been the happy recipient of those relationships myself. The ease with which our young people converse with us ‘oldies’ is amazing. I see care and compassion flowing from young hearts to hold and vice versa. When I was young I didn’t have any ‘friends’ who were my parent’s ages. I love that this is more of the norm at Hope. True, social media seems to have erased some of those age obstacles; friends of all ages can ‘like’and comment on your posts, helping to establish common ground. But I like to think it’s our common bond of Jesus Christ that erases those barriers. We belong to the same family of God; we worship Him together on Sunday mornings. How can that not form a bond between you?! Psalm 145:4 says, “One generation shall praise your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts.” We often hear about how the younger generation should turn to those older than them for wisdom and advice. “Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise.” (Proverbs 19:20) But there is another side to that! Listen to what Elihu says in Job 32:7-9. “Age should speak; advanced years should teach wisdom.’ But it is the SPIRIT (emphasis mine) in a person, the breath of the Almighty that gives them understanding. It is not only the old who are wise, not only the aged who understand what is right.” What do you think about THAT?! It’s not always about your age, it’s about the wisdom you have attained through the Holy Spirit and God’s Word. So, we can learn a lot from the younger generation. Jesus stresses that we need to “receive the kingdom of God like a child” in order to enter it at all. (Mark 10:15) I really enjoy the fervor with which they live out their faith. They have a view of the world that is open and receptive – just the condition God wants our hearts to be. Open to following His plans for our lives. Receptive to His presence and guidance. Let’s not discount those younger or those older than us. We all have a lot we can bring to the table of friendship in the family of God. Proverbs 27:9 offers a tender thought – “A sweet friendship refreshes the soul.” No matter the age, here at Hope you can have friendships grounded in Truth which truly do refresh your soul!

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 Generous Weaklings (Matthew 5:5, 7, 9)
Have you ever thought what you’d do if you won the lottery… not just a few hundred dollars, but millions and millions of dollars? Most of us believe we would pay off some bills, take a few nice vacations, and maybe buy a new house. But then, we almost always talk about how we’d help people in need, or give to good causes. And while this reflects a heart that recognizes the good in giving, we have to admit that we think about generosity as something we’d do if we had way more than we need. But Jesus says that the Kingdom is a place where people are generous no matter what. He puts the label ‘blessed’ on people we tend to not want to be. These types of people (meek, merciful, and peacemakers) are generally people who give to others at their own expense. If we really want to trust Jesus and follow Him, we need to dig into what He means!
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 LIVE STREAMING our Thinking Out Loud series on Facebook! 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.
9/12 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 ?
Whether you have experienced it or not, our culture has been less than safe or kind to many who have been victims of sexual aggression or misconduct on the part of others in powerful positions. We’re going to hear from some of our own on this very topic, sharing from their own experiences. Then we’re going to ask ourselves to discuss what we should be doing in light of these realities. Where has God called us to bind up the broken-hearted and minister to the shattered? What should be our approach to making our world a better and safer place? Come ready to be challenged, moved, and engaged in the Lord’s heart for broken people

9/26 Sorting Out Science vs Creation
10/10 Immigration – What Should Christians Want?
10/17 Addressing Depression
10/24 Racism

Visit the table in the back of the sanctuary to sign-up for a small group and to get more information and resources. Small Group Sunday will be September 30th. Contact Dave Hallahan (dmhallahan5@gmail.com) or Chick Dougherty (chickdoc@verizon.net) with any questions.

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 WOMEN’S GROUP – First & Third Mondays at 6:30 pm
For information, contact Mary Lebeau 856-316-6301 (call or text) or marylebeau@verizon.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

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!

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.

“PRAY FOR ME” NIGHT – Sunday, September 16th
Calling all prayer champions! You are invited to join Rooted Youth Group for dinner, games, and worship from 6:00-8:00 pm. Along with all of the other festivities, you’ll have an opportunity to meet your student and pray with them.

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!

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.

For all Kids Ministry scheduling, please refer to the Planning Center or contact your team leader.
Ushers 9:00 ——-Bob Kerr
Ushers 11:00 ——Tom Albright
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.

Jesus Calls Us Friend,