Hope Notes 04/03/2019

April 3, 2019

Dear Hope Friends,

Have you noticed how every year around Easter, there are numerous programs on TV with more ‘religious’ content? Seems like producers all want to take a stab at depicting the events leading up to Jesus’ death on the cross. Or perhaps putting out a biography (so to speak) of Jesus Himself. And let’s not forget the annual showing of The Ten Commandments! One of the things I’ve noticed in these productions is how they show people falling down, waving their arms around; just generally making fools of themselves while they bow down to and worship their man made false idols. It actually reminded me of the news footage showing the hysteria of the Beatles’ fans back in the 60’s! Anyway, as believers we all know that we are called to worship only the one, true God. “You shall have no other gods before me.” (Exodus 20:3) No problem, right? We certainly don’t bow down before statues (or rock stars)! But listen to the definition of idolatry, according to Webster’s dictionary: ‘Idolatry is the worship of idols or excessive devotion to, or reverence for some person or thing.’ Catch that? So for believers, an idol is anything that replaces our utmost devotion to our one, true God. We are told over and over in Scripture to stay away from idols. Here are just two very clear verses: “Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.”(1 John 5:21) and ‘So then, my dear friends, keep away from the worship of idols.” (1 Corinthians 10:14) We all have idols we have worshiped in some capacity. Careers, relationships, sports, money, power, possessions. But make no mistake. These idols are finite. Fragile. Temporary. Unworthy of our devotion. They will fail us. There is no sound, no telltale rumble in the ground, when an idol falls. And fall they will. Only our God is worthy of our reverence, our glorification, our worship. He is the only One who will never fail. He will ever leave us. For God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” (Hebrews 13:5) He is able. “God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” (2 Corinthians 9:8) There is no one or nothing else on earth that can make these promises to us. Let’s all take some time this Easter season to make sure that our allegiance, our trust, and our devotion belong to our Lord alone.

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 – Building on Solid Ground (Matthew 7:21-27)
A few years ago, a hurricane was bearing down on New Jersey. For those of us who had lived here for a long time, this was a rather unique event. A major storm projected to make landfall on the coast of our state was unsettling and we didn’t quite know what to expect. When the storm hit, it did unbelievable damage: blowing homes from their foundations and creating more destruction than we had ever seen. Jesus uses the picture of a catastrophic storm to sum up His sermon. Just like Superstorm Sandy, Jesus talks about the storms of life beating against the lives we’ve built. His point is that what we choose to do with what He’s said is the difference between weathering the storm or collapse. In painting this picture, He directs all of us to go beyond just thinking about what He has taught. Instead, we are called to live in response to Jesus’ words. And the choice we make on this issue decides whether we stand or fall.

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!

I will not look with approval on anything that is vile. I hate what faithless people do; I will have no part in it. The perverse in heart shall be far from me; I will have nothing to do with what is evil.

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!
Find someone at Hope today that you don’t know and go talk to them; ask their name and find a way to remember it.

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.

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!

HOPEKIDS! EASTER EGG HUNT (Ages 5 and under) Saturday, April 20th
Join us for a fun filled morning of games, crafts, and an Easter egg hunt. This event is for our Pre-K, Toddlers and Nursery aged HopeKids! along with their parents or guardians. Please RSVP in your child’s classroom by April 14th or by contacting Matt Russell at mattrussell@hopechristianfellowship.org.

We at Choices of the Heart want to let you know what a blessing it has been to partner with you in the Baby Bottle Bank campaign. We appreciate your invaluable efforts at making this campaign such a success. We praise God for allowing our ministry to come into your church. The amount collected from your church during the 2019 Campaign totaled $2,839.63 to date. Also, 106 Baby Bottles have been returned and 49 have not been returned. If possible, please return any remaining Baby Bottles. We are thrilled by your generosity during this campaign. We hope to count on your continued support. God has called us to the vital ministry of saving lives and leading women into the presence of Jesus Christ. He has called you to the task of aiding us to accomplish this work. From the bottom of our hearts, THANK YOU!

Once again we are collecting items for the Seeds of Hope Ministry. Their mission is to demonstrate the life changing love of Jesus to inmates, ex-offenders, poor, homeless, and those trapped in addictions and prostitution. We can help by bringing in
men’s jeans/sweatpants, ladies jeans/leggings, and baby wipes. The blue donation bins will be at the front and back doors from April 7th – April 28th. For further information, contact Stacy Reid at 856-294-7324.

Register to be a vendor at our upcoming craft fair on June 1st from 9:00 am – 2:00 pm. Registration will be first come, first served based on availability of spaces and tables. Visit hopechristianfellowship.org/craftfair to register. Contact Emily DiLorenzo for any questions
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.
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.
Please help us stock up on the following items:
Jelly, Cold Cereal (kid friendly, Laundry detergent, Canned chicken or tuna, Meat and Poultry in 1 lb packages

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 ——Joe Sambucci
Ushers 11:00 —–Damon Briggs
Counters ———-LaTosha Briggs, Melissa McGinness
Greeters ———–Michelle Baumiester, Kathy Repas, Lisa Minner, 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.

** 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.

Bought with His Blood,