Hope Notes 1/23/19

January 23, 2019

Dear Hope Friends,
I’m sure you’re familiar with this expression – ‘when God closes a door He opens a window’. It’s a platitude many people use to try and bring comfort to someone disappointed in their life’s direction, or perhaps to explain a change in their own set of circumstances. It’s one of those phrases used so often that many mistake it for being a biblical reference. Its origin is most likely comes from Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone. He said: “When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.” So, while this particular phrase is not in the Bible, there ARE many verses referencing open and closed doors! Let’s look at some of the closed doors first:
The very first ‘closed doors’ in Scripture occur in Genesis 3, when Adam and Eve disobey God and are driven out of the Garden of Eden. That gates are shut and an angel is placed there to guard against their re-entry. God’s punishment. We find God closing the doors to the Ark in Genesis 7:16. “A male and female of each kind entered, just as God had commanded Noah. Then the LORD closed the door behind them.” God’s protection. When I encounter a closed door, I sometimes struggle to know if God has closed the door or if it’s simply an obstacle put there by the enemy. See, it’s not always God who closes a door. Nothing like making things difficult, am I right?! Scripture and prayer and listening for the Spirit’s promptings are really the only way I can so my best to discern what’s happening. But God knows my heart, so even if I’m wrong, I trust He will redirect me.
How about some ‘open door’ verses? In Acts 5:19, “…..an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors for the apostles and brought them out.” God’s power. In 2 Corinthians 2:12 we see how the Lord ‘opened a door of opportunity” for Paul. God’s direction. Matthew 7:7 is a familiar passage, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” God’s grace. I love when God opens a door for me, but I also find that I can be fearful to walk through it. I have to pray for courage!
In closing, I want to leave you with my favorite verse about doors found in Revelation 3:7 – “This is the message from the one who is holy and true. He has the key that belonged to David, and when he opens a door, no one can close it, and when he closes it, no one can open it.” Thankful for that Truth!

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 – Forgiven and Forgiving (vs 12, 14-15)
The Lord’s Prayer – Part 3
One of the hardest parts of any relationship is forgiveness. Each of us is desperate to be forgiven; our eternal destiny hangs in the balance. But in human relationships, forgiving those who hurt us, and asking for forgiveness when we hurt others are two of the most difficult tasks. In Jesus’ prayer, He talks about forgiveness. He starts by talking about our need for God to forgive us. Then He couples it with our action of forgiving others. What does He mean to communicate by this? And can we know that we are forgiven? We’ll start in the Lord’s Prayer, and then we’ll expand our discussion to other places in Scripture that discuss forgiveness.
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.”

Each month we’ll focus on one of our church goals for 2019 and have a weekly challenge to help us achieve it! Let’s ask the Lord to work through us this year!
January – Share Jesus
Find a strategy to put into words what it means to give your life to Jesus.

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.

Come join us for this study on the book of Ephesians. It’s a good mid-week boost for our spiritual growth. If you are unable to make it out, you can watch our live stream 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.

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.

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!

High School Poconos Trip (1/25-27) – This Weekend!
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!

BOWLING – Sunday, January 27th – This Sunday!
Join us for our annual church bowling event at Brunswick Lanes in Deptford! Cost is $5 and includes shoes. Please arrive at 3:45 to get checked in and assigned to a lane. Not a bowler? Come out for fellowship and to cheer for your favorite bowlers! Sign-up in the lobby if you plan to bowl so we can have a headcount. RSVP to our FB event and share with friends and family!

We’d like to issue a welcome to our newest partner, Daniel Lein. It’s always so nice to have another ‘official’ member of the Hope family! If you’ve been thinking about joining, it’s easy! Grab a Partner Application form out in the lobby, fill it out and give it to Pastor Mark or one of our elders. Wouldn’t you love to belong to something that’s doing God’s Kingdom work?!

Love to read but not sure what? Made a resolution to read more? We’ll read a book a month and then meet the first Saturday of the month to discuss that book. Most of the books will be in the Christian non-fiction category and will encourage you to grow in your faith. If this seems like a great fit for you, sign up in the lobby. Any questions contact Dave Hallahan. For February we’ll be reading Gospel Fluency: Speaking the Truths of Jesus Into the Everyday Stuff of Life by Jeff Vanderstelt. Note: readers are responsible for their books.

We’re hosting another FPU series – perfect for the new year! Classes begin January 29th and run through March 26th on Tuesday evenings from 6:30-8:30 pm. The first night is a FREE preview night! David Ramsey is now offering two types of memberships. The first is a yearly membership which is $109 and a monthly membership which is $69. Further details can be found at financialpeace.lpages.co/fpu-updates-overview/ To sign-up directly, visit: https://fpu.com/1081295. There is also a sign-up sheet in the church lobby. Any questions, contact Jess St. Petery at j.st.petery@gmail.com.

JOB FAIR Sunday, January 27th – This Sunday!
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!

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 ——Bob Baumiester
Ushers 11:00 —–Tom Albright
Counters ———-TBD
Greeters ———–Deb Davis, Sharon Sambucci, Jane Hanuszcyzk

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.

Desiring His Direction,