Hope Notes 3/20/19

March 20, 2019

Dear Hope Friends,

Our family was in Florida a few weeks ago so we missed a Sunday service. It felt like we missed so much more! While it’s true that it was just one worship session and one message, there’s more to it than that. We missed the fellowship that naturally occurs on a Sunday morning. We missed making connections with new folks. We missed opportunities to serve, whether in some ‘official’ capacity or just a spur of the moment need being recognized and met. A piece of trash picked up. Help given to a newcomer confused about nursery or bathroom locations. Questions answered. (Lots of opportunities to serve on a Sunday morning!) Add to that the mid-week Bible study, Small Groups, or meetings each of us was unable to attend and you’ve got quite a good deal of missed ‘church’! It made me feel so disconnected and lonely for my church family! I hope that every one of you reading this feels the same way. I remember when, as new Christians, we decided every Saturday night if we were going to church or not the next day! Somewhere along the way, church became such an important part of our lives that there was literally no decision to be made. Church was no longer an obligation, but a treasured privilege as a follower of Christ. Regular church attendance is a life altering and soul filling experience. It’s crucial to our spiritual growth. We go to church in order to get together with other believers to worship Jesus Christ, and hear the Scriptures together, and encourage one another in the faith. “And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:25) You will find numerous references to the early believers ‘church’ experiences scattered throughout Scripture. “All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer.” (Acts 2:42) We are shown how Jesus Himself went to the synagogue on the Sabbath. “He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom.” (Luke 4:16) If Jesus needed it, how much more do we?! Colossians 3 gives instructions on how to live as believers. Verse 16 says, “Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.” What better place to do that than at church! If any of you are in that place of ‘deciding’ whether or not to attend church on Sunday, let me encourage you to take the plunge and just make it a habit. Before you know it, you’ll be wondering why you ever thought you needed to make it a choice!

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 Golden Rule (Matthew 7:12-14) COMMUNION
When you play sports, coaches have a bunch of sayings they use to try to get the players to reliably perform well. The short quips summarize some wisdom from years of experience, and help players stay on track in split-second decisions they have to make in the course of a game. Whether a player accepts them or decides to ignore them will likely have a huge impact on their performance (and probably their playing time too). Jesus coaches His followers with a simple summary that we’ve called the “Golden Rule”. It is pretty well-known and often repeated. But do His followers actually live it? We’re going to open our ears as Jesus teaches us what this rule means and how to put it into practice.

You won’t want to miss our choir’s presentation of “The Story-The Musical” which is based on the book by Max Lucado with music written by Nichole Nordeman. It’s not just a Resurrection story, it’s the bigger, beautiful, miraculous story of God’s redemptive plan from Genesis to Revelation. The performance dates will be Good Friday (April 19th) at 7:00 pm and Easter Sunday (April 21st) at both services.

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!

For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does He withhold from those whose walk is blameless.

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!
Are there ways you can give beyond money?

We have resources to help you stay committed to reading. 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!

MIDDLE SCHOOL GROW GROUPS – Sundays @ 9:00 following worship
All 6-8th graders are invited to join us for an 8-week class where we’ll explore what we believe and why we believe it.

30 HOUR FAMINE (March 22-23) – This Weekend
Students should arrive at church at 6:00 pm Friday to check in. We will be breaking fast at 6:00 pm on Saturday. See Dave Hallahan with any 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!

One of the things we value most here at Hope is connection. Our new online directory will make it easier than ever to connect to each other! The directory is private and secure, and will be for Hopers only. To register your family, simply visit: hopechristianfellowship.org/directory. Deadline to register is March 31st. Any questions, contact Emily DiLorenzo at emilydilorenzo@hopechristianfellowship.org

If you are 15 years old before mid July come out and join us! We can have up to 5 non-church members; invite friends and family to join as well! Games are played week nights at Atkinson Field and GCC Church in Sewell. Season runs from April through mid June. Contact Lenny Little with any questions. 856-701-3583 or littlemanlenny@yahoo.com.

Have you seen our new Prayer Wall in the coffee room? Be sure to check it out and pick up a prayer request, leave your own, or both! Requests can be anonymous or leave your name, whatever you feel comfortable with. Take and leave as many as you’d like! This is a great way to connect to each other and bear one another’s burdens.

SPRING CAFE` Sunday, March 24th @ 7:00 pm – This Sunday!
Ready for a fun night of entertainment, fellowship, and food? Sign up if you’d like to share your talent with us and also to bring a snack to share. Look for signup sheets in the lobby. Contact Kim Biglin with any questions: Kimmi_b@comcast.net.

BAPTISM SERVICE – Sunday, March 31st @ 7:00 pm
Be sure to join us for this special service! Listening to the testimonies of those who made the decision to be baptized is powerful and encouraging. This truly is a service like no other!
Lots of fun stuff coming up for Hopers!
Ladies Tea – May 18th
Craft Fair – June 1st
VBS – July 22nd thru 26th

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.

Ushers 9:00 ——Mike Hartwell
Ushers 11:00 —–Bruce Clark
Counters ———-Kathy Berry, Wendy Devereaux
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.

** 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.

Committed to Worship,