Hope Notes 9/19/18

September 19, 2018

Dear Friends of Hope,

Driving down the road on our way to Hope one Sunday, Michael (my hubby) exclaimed, “Look – there’s The Edge church!” I quickly looked all around but didn’t see this new church that had apparently appeared since last week. He laughed and said he was referring to the Edge Gym. Their parking lot was jammed packed. On a Sunday morning. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised; we’ve been going to church every Sunday for so many years that I just forget it’s not what everyone does! I thought about all the other ‘churches’ people attend. We have the Choose Your Sports Fields church, the Mighty Mall church, the Almighty Golf Course church, the Church of Careers, and the infamous ‘Bedside Baptist’! I don’t judge these people; when we first got saved, we truly didn’t understand why we had to go to a building to have church. We felt like we could surely read the Bible and pray at home. We used to decide on Saturday nights IF we were going to go to church. It wasn’t a given; it was a choice each week. Totally up for grabs depending on what was going on Sunday, or what had gone on Saturday evening!
Here’s what we didn’t get – Church is not a place to go, rather it is a living body where God wants you to become a part of, for your good and His glory. You can’t connect with other believers sitting at home. “Let us not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:25) We aren’t able to learn from our pastor’s preaching. Timothy thought it was pretty important – a much needed tool for growth. “Preach the word; be urgent in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine” (2 Timothy 4:2) Let’s not forget about worship. We can certainly worship on our own, singing along with praise songs at home or in our cars. But corporate worship is a different animal, and can only be done with others. John Piper says, “Christian worship is a collective, communal, congregational practice–and the gathered sound and harmony of a congregation singing as one is integral to the practice of worship. It is a way of “performing” the reality that, in Christ, we are one body.” Lastly, church is an excellent place to use the gifts God has given us. There are as many different opportunities to serve in your church body as there are diverse gifts among us. “We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.” (Romans 12:6)
For us, almost forty years later, it doesn’t even enters our minds to make a choice about going to church. The decision has been written in our hearts for years and is simply a part of who we are and what we do. All those ‘churches’ I mentioned above? They can’t begin to compare with the One True Church – that living body of believers put together for God’s glory and our good!

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 Hated Holy Ones (Matthew 5:8, 10-12)
We want people to like us. Maybe you care less than others, but we all care what people think of us. Being rejected or criticized hurts. And our natural way of thinking is that when we are good people, others should like us! But Jesus says that we are ‘blessed’ when we are following Jesus and doing what is right, but we get persecuted. Hearing this and considering its implications is mind-blowing. It may mean we need to really re-think our concept of suffering and hardship. What if the deepest faithfulness and eternal good comes when we face opposition and rejection, but continue to love, give, and do what is right? Jesus advocates embracing this idea by pointing to the prophets of Israel. Men like Isaiah, Jeremiah, and many others were hated and tortured – even killed – for the sake of following the Lord. Do we consider them ‘blessed’? Would we consider ourselves ‘blessed’ if we found ourselves in that place? Let’s dig into these words from Jesus!
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.
9/19 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 Our Science vs Creation
It’s possible you’ve never heard either side of this discussion, but most people have heard the argument more than they’d like to. We’re going to take a look at how we take what science is telling us and deal with what we read in the first two chapters of the Bible. Plus, we can go further and see if there are any other parts of the Bible that tell us what happened when the world was made. It probably takes a healthy dose of humility to have this discussion, but we’re confident that we can come together as a church family and discuss this very important topic.

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

Christmas is right around the corner and come October, HopeKids! will be gearing up for another great year of celebrating Jesus’ birth, through musical programs! We need volunteers who are willing to help with all of the preparation including teaching the songs and script, supervising practices and putting the program together for both the K-5th program and the Pre-K program. Please contact Matt Russell if you are interested.

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!

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

URGENT! STRONG BACKS NEEDED – This Saturday, September 22nd @ 8:00 am
Looking for a few guys with strong backs for Saturday morning. We’re going to be wheelbarrowing concrete from the truck to the side of the church building. Should only take an hour. We could also use a steel wheelbarrow. If you are able to commit to this, please contact Mike Hartwell at mhredeemed@gmail.com. We are ordering the concrete and trusting God to supply the workers!

K-LOVE TRAINING PROGRAM – Tuesday, October 9th from 7:00 – 8:00 pm
Interested in becoming a volunteer for K-LOVE radio station? K-Love will be hosting a volunteer training event here at Hope. For more information, contact Rob Jacoby at rjacoby107@comcast.net

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
REMINDER FOR THOSE BEING BAPTIZED: Classes are being held this week (September 23rd) and next (September 30th) immediately following the second service. A lite lunch is being provided.
REMINDER FOR OUR CONGREGATION: It’s always an incredible encouragement to everyone who comes and it’s a wonderful opportunity for our Hope family to encourage those being baptized! Come out and support our brothers and sisters in Christ as they share their testimonies and take this next step in their faith journey!

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 ——-Nick DellaRova
Ushers 11:00 ——Bill Berry
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.

We Are the Body,