Hope Notes 12/12/18

December 12, 2018

Dear Hope Friends,

Our memory is a funny thing, isn’t it? Some things are indelibly stamped into it and somethings are so fleeting that they barely make an imprint. Sometimes trivial things stay locked in there for eternity, making an appearance every now and then for no apparent reason. (I guess that’s good if you like to play Jeopardy!) And yet sadly, some things that I consider extremely important refuse to be called up. For instance, my mom died 30 years ago; I cannot remember the sound of her voice. It is barely a wisp of a memory. Sometimes a sound soft as gossamer whispers across my mind; I can almost hear her, but not quite. On the other hand, I can recall with complete accuracy the very first time I saw my future husband stroll across the parking lot at work, paper bag lunch in hand, wearing his navy work pants. It’s as if God knew (well…..obviously He did know) that this moment needed to be locked in. What process goes into choosing the memories we keep and those that are buried deep within our minds? Scientists tell us they are all there; we just aren’t able to recall each and every one. And yet it seems like we have an all too easy access to some things we’d love to forget. You know the stuff I’m talking about…..our failures, our hurts, our guilt, our shame, our sins. Why is that?! I guess that’s just the way our memories work. But what about GOD’S memory? Wouldn’t you like to have a memory that works like His?
Our God has the capacity to remember everything, and the power to choose not to remember as well. What does God remember? Here’s just a few examples: Our good works. “God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.” (Hebrews 6:10) His promises. “He remembers his covenant forever, the promise he made, for a thousand generations…” (Psalm 105:8) Our troubles. “He does not forget the cry of the afflicted.” (Psalm 9:12) Isn’t that comforting? And what one big thing has our merciful God chosen not to remember? Our sins. That’s right. You heard me. Jeremiah 31:34 clearly states, “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” What a beautiful gift! So, I may never understand the intricacies that make up my own memories, but the Bible is full of references to God’s memory. And I am certain that He remembers the sound of my mother’s voice.

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 – Mary’s Prayer (Luke 1:46-55)
Cantata – “We Have Our Savior”
Christmas season is one of the most loved times of the year. And we’ve had the privilege of enjoying it each of the past several years with a choir of Hopers lifting up their voices to celebrate the birth of Jesus. This year, we are excited for all three performances as our choir shares this music with us, and as together we are reminded why Christmas is the biggest holiday of the year. We’ll also take a few minutes and look at how Jesus’ mother prayed while she was still pregnant with Him, and what her words mean for us today. Christmas is about giving because our Creator gave the greatest gift of all… He gave us a Savior!
PLEASE NOTE: We will not be live streaming the Sunday services on the 16th or the 23rd (Cantata/Kids Christmas) so make sure to make it out to the 9:00 or 11:00

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!

DECEMBER CHALLENGE VERSE – 1 Thessalonians 5:15
“Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and everyone else.”

PLEASE NOTE: Bible Study is on hiatus until January 9th
Join us then as we begin our study of Ephesians!

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.
PLEASE NOTE: Small groups are on hiatus and will resume January 6th.

Young Adults – First & Third Tuesdays @ 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.
Please Note: We are on hiatus until January 15th.

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
Please Note: On hiatus until Monday, January 7th.

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: On hiatus until January 6th

Rooted Youth Game Night (1/19)
High School Poconos Trip (1/25-27)
Middle School Grow Groups (SUNDAY MORNINGS in FEBRUARY)
Parents vs Youth Night (2/10)
AND SO MUCH MORE!! Be sure to follow on Facebook (Rooted – HCF Youth Group) and Instagram (@hcf_rooted) for updates!

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!
Please Note: On hiatus until Sunday, January 6th.

Mark your calendar! You don’t want to miss out on this entertaining, but powerful, holiday event. And it’s a great service to invite friends and family to! Performances will be Friday, December 14th at 7:00 and Sunday, December 16th at the 9:00 & 11:00 services. Questions? Contact danaott@hopechristianfellowship.org
HopeKids! Christmas Program practices have begun! Make sure to have your kids out each and every Sunday at the 9:00 or 11:00 services. Performances will be Sunday, December 23rd at both worship services. Make sure to invite your family and friends!
We are still in need of a few volunteers to help us make this program a success! Contact Matt Russell if you are interested.

CANDLELIGHT CHRISTMAS EVE – Monday, December 24th at 5:00 @ 7:00
Join us for an evening of scripture reading and song as we prepare our hearts for Christmas morning and celebrate our Savior’s arrival! Each service will be an hour long. We will be taking a benevolent offering to help families in need.

Just a friendly reminder that the speed limit in our church’s neighborhood (and surrounding) is 25 mph. When you’re running late on a Sunday morning, it can be easy to forget, but let’s try and be more conscientious to our neighbors and help keep this area safe!”

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.

Canned tuna and chicken. Spaghetti sauce and angel hair pasta (not whole wheat). Toilet paper in individual wrapping (Such as Scotts). Laundry degergent. Frozen vegetables.
Also – if anyone has earned a free turkey, turkey breast, or ham and would like to donate it to the pantry.

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 ———–Damon Briggs, Bill Berry
Greeters ————Harriet Brittingham, Mary LeBeau, Joan Schaaf, Michele Schmidt

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.

** For our upcoming Christmas events as we share the Hope that is found in Jesus.
** That the Lord would help us effectively integrate new folks so they will easily and quickly feel like they are fully connected at Hope.
** That God would lead us to the right man for the future Assistant Pastor position and provide the necessary weekly giving growth to add him to staff.

Remembering Our Savior,