Hope Notes 1/2/19

January 2, 2019

Dear Hope Friends,

Those of you who know me well know how reluctant I am to hop on board any ‘trend train’; yet I feel almost obligated to post about the new year since the Hope Notes will be one of the first things to hit your inbox in 2019! So how about some encouragement to start off this new year? Sprinkled with a little challenge for us all. In case you’re feeling discouraged or downtrodden at the close of 2018, I want to share with you a reminder of just how good our God is…….
God ushered out the old year by giving my daughter Emily and me an afternoon of pure, Spirit filled fellowship at (of all things!) a bridal shower for our missionary to Guatemala, Lauren. It was a shower like no other. Filled with prayer, testimonies to God’s faithfulness, and encouragement for our thirsty souls. Tears flowed freely as we shared in Lauren’s joy. The love story she and Alejandro share is a testimony to God’s faithfulness and the power of waiting on Him to accomplish His purpose in our lives. Ecclesiastes 3:11 reminds us that “He has made everything beautiful in its time.”
We came away filled to overflowing with God’s Living Water, with a healing balm for wounded hearts. Jesus said in John 4:14, “but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” We didn’t know how badly we needed this but our heavenly Father did. That is one encouragement for us all. He knows what we need before we do. “Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” (Matthew 6:8) Here’s another – God is intimately and intricately involved in the lives of His people. He is constantly at work in every aspect of our lives. He is always at work behind the scenes on our behalf. “Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him, on those who hope for His lovingkindness.” (Psalm 33:18)
What is the challenge, you ask? To be aware. To always be looking for God’s hand in your life. He’s there. He loves you. He hasn’t forgotten you. Search for Him in the little things and be amazed at what God has done. “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13) Unexpected blessings came to us in the form of a bridal shower. Who knows where and when God will bless you!

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 – Who Knows? (Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18)
There’s a saying that cryptically asks “if a tree falls in the forest, and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?” That question has been used in many different debates, but we’re going to look at one way it can be applied. People like for others to see when they perform well. It feels good to be noticed, and it feels like it actually makes more of a difference when our good deeds or achievements are recognized. But there’s a dark side to that tendency; it’s called self focus. We start to move from doing what is right simply because it is right, and instead, we begin to want an audience so that we get credit. Jesus addresses this tendency in the Sermon on the Mount and recommends some pretty surprising approaches to doing what is right. Can we take to heart what He teaches?
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!

“Do not fret because of those who are evil or be envious of those who do wrong; for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away. Trust the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.”

One of the most important things we can do in our relationship with God is to read His word. And yet, we often feel overwhelmed or don’t know where to start! The new year is a great time to set a bible reading goal and we have some resources to help! Check out the sign-up table for our bible reading plans. One plan will guide you to read through the New Testament in a year reading about a chapter per day, while the other plan is more of an overview of the entire bible in a year, reading about 15 verses a day. You can also download the PDFs on our website under the “Resources” drop-down.

PLEASE NOTE: Bible Study resumes next Wednesday, January 9th
We will be studying the book of Ephesians and will resume live streaming on Facebook!

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.
Small groups are back! Pick up a study sheet in the lobby or download online!

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: We are starting up again this 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: Starting up again this Sunday, 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)
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: We start up again this Sunday, January 6th.

CHRISTMAS UN-DECORATING – This Saturday, January 5th @ 9:00 am
Calling all our Christmas elves! Doesn’t take long to take down all our beautiful Christmas decorations when we have lots of help! Come on out and join us – it’s also a fun time of fellowship!

JOB FAIR Sunday, January 27th
We will be hosting our annual Job Fair after BOTH services. This is a great time to explore the many different opportunities we have for you to plug into a ministry. There are so many different areas of service to choose from! Start praying now for God’s direction as to where you might best serve. Be sure to stick around and see what it’s all about!

CHURCH BOWLING Sunday January 27th
You won’t want to miss this favorite Hoper’s Event so be sure to mark your calendars now! More details to follow………

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.

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 —–Dan Rozinski
Counters ———-LaTosha Briggs, Melissa McGinness
Greeters ———–Deb Davis, Sharon Sambucci, Jane Hanuszcyzk, Greg Corrado

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.

** 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.

He Knows our Needs,