Hope Notes 10/10/18

October 10, 2018

Dear Friends of Hope,

I am willing to bet that every now and then, each one of us would like to be on the receiving end of a clear cut sign from God. Some kind of tangible proof that would ease our minds, give us an answer, bring peace to our hearts. And God, in His loving mercy, will sometimes do just that. But we don’t want to have a faith built on signs and wonders. “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of Christ”. (Romans 10:17) I once knew someone who continually asked God for a sign for most everything. For direction. For decisions. For reassurance. She would pounce on every little thing and declare it a sign. But then you know what would happen? She would begin to doubt. “Maybe that butterfly (or whatever) was just a coincidence. I need to ask God to show me three yellow butterflies by noon tomorrow.” You get my drift. There can be no certainty when we are the ones designating the signs or demanding a particular sign. We can certainly ask God to confirm our decisions without restricting Him to doing it our way. We can ask that the Lord show us in some clear way (of His choosing) if a choice we’re making is not in accordance with His plan for us. And He will. “In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6) When we submit to God and ask Him for clarity, He honors that request. I used to doubt that God would really be able to make something crystal clear to me. I kept asking “But how will I know?” Thankfully, God did not write me off as some doubting, faithless lady. He showed me over and over just how clear He could make things! And always in a way that I would never have thought of. Now I find it much easier to simply pray “please make it clear” and have the assurance that I know He will. And while a sign might seem nice, we need to seek the Savior, not the sign.

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 – Murder is as Bad as…. (Matthew 5:21-22)
On the list of sins, most people illustrate the darkest and most evil extreme by talking about murder. Something about taking the priceless life of another human being is so vile that it automatically elevates homicide to the top of the list. And it’s common for people to say “It’s not like I’m a murderer or something…” when they want to admit they’ve made mistakes, but also say they aren’t an evil person. However, Jesus’ words about His kingdom are revolutionary. He equates murder with some things we’ve all done. Why would He do this and what does this mean for those of us who follow Him? Perhaps we have been
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!

“You Lord keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light. With your help, I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall. As for God, His way is perfect; the Lord’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in Him.”

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.

Over the next few weeks we’ll be looking at topics where those who do not have experience can gain from those who do. So, if you have any experience with the upcoming topics (Depression, Racism, etc) we’d love to have you come out and share with us so that we can all learn more and be better prepared to engage with one another.
10/10 Immigration – What Should Christians Want?
How should Christians think, talk, and act in the current American immigration debate? Some think that being a Christ follower means we should honor the laws and expect / demand that others do the same. Others think it means that we welcome most if not all foreigners into our country with open arms. Is there a genuine Biblical answer here? And how can we be a part of the solution instead of feeding into the destructive discourse? Let’s put our hearts and minds together on this topic and see what our Lord teaches us.

10/17 Addressing Depression
10/24 Racism

We have a variety of small groups set up for you to join! This is an easy way to get connected and grow closer to your fellow Hopers. Check out the Small Groups Bulletin Board to see what’s going on or 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!

GUYS & GIRLS NIGHT – Friday, October 12th – This Friday!
All high school and middle school girls are invited to Bunny Dougherty’s house (22 S Horace Ave, Woodbury). All the guys are invited to the church for bonfire, snacks, and games from 7:00-9:00 pm. See Dave Hallahan if you have questions.

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!

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.

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 averaged $8131 per week for the month of September, bringing our annual average up to $8010. We remain slightly above our annual average giving target of $7950. We’re praying for significant growth in our giving to meet the increasing expenses of our growing church. And we’re thankful for each person who gives faithfully and sacrificially!
For our special projects (HVAC) we have currently received $23,993 towards our $65,000 goal, leaving us with about $41,000 to still raise. Please pray that the Lord will provide and that each of us will be able to do our part in meeting the needs of our building.

Attention Hope Partners! Now is the time to place your votes for 2019 Deacon team members and Leadership team members. Remember, only partners can vote and we need everyone to participate! Voting forms and instructions are located on the sign-up table in the lobby. Submit completed forms in the offering bin, or give to Pastor Mark. Forms are due by October 28th. For any questions, see Pastor Mark.
TRUNK OR TREAT – Saturday, October 27th @ 3:00 – 5:00
You don’t want to miss out on this incredible event. Start getting involved by helping now! Here are some of the things we need:
1. Register your trunk! Fill out a registration card and submit it to Matt Russell.
2. Help us spread the word! Take a lawn sign, posters, or flyers. (Located at the front and rear doors of the church.)
3. Donate candy! Bins located at front and rear doors of the church.
4. Bake goodies! Sign-up or see Bunny Dougherty. (Table located in the back of the auditorium.)
5. Volunteer to help the Hospitality Tent on the day-of. Help to hand out baked goods and serve drinks. Sign-up or see Lauren Miller.
6. Volunteer to help set-up on the day-of. Sign-up or see Matt Miller or Mike Hartwell.

It’s time to start prepping for how we can share and celebrate God’s greatest gift! Whether you are a trained vocalist or just someone who enjoys singing, we’d love to have you join us for this year’s Christmas Cantata. Performances will be Friday, December 14th at 7:00 and Sunday, December 16th at the 9:00 and 11:00 services. Sign-up now in the lobby (open to anyone 9th grade and up!) Practices will begin Wednesday, October 10th at 7:00. See Dana Ott with any questions: danaott@hopechristianfellowship.org

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!

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.

Meats – Chicken, Hamburger, Meatballs (1 lb. packages, frozen), Spaghetti Sauce, Cereal, Hamburger Buns, Jelly, Toilet Paper, Laundry Detergent.

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 ——Ryan Winstel
Counters ———–Mike & Lois Hartwell
Greeters ————Lorraine Koch, Noretta DiLenge, Ron DiLenge, Patty Tomasetti

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.

He is My Sign,