Hope Notes 07/24/2019

July 24, 2019

Dear Hope Friends,

Evil comes into our lives in many forms. When I was little, I was convinced it was in my closet in the form of a heinous leprechaun. (Of course, he was only there in the middle of the night!) I would gather up all my courage, grab my trusty jump rope and leap out of bed to tie the handles of my closet together so he couldn’t escape! There was no logic to any of this. Where was he during the day? Why did I think that the jump rope could contain him? None of that entered my six year old mind. I only knew that he was there and I could keep him at bay by tying those handles together. Do we think the same thing about evil today? That we can keep it from entering our lives entirely by our self-will or self-protection? While we cannot control the evil that is out there in the world, we do have some control over the evil we allow into our own souls. The dictionary defines evil (n) as ‘the force in nature that governs and gives rise to wickedness and sin’. Evil is a slippery, sneaky thing. It will creep into our lives on silent tip toe. Ephesians 4:27 tells us not to ‘give the devil a foothold.’ That’s all he needs. Just one little niche. One little crack in our armor and, if we are not vigilant, he will gradually pry that crack open until it becomes an abyss. Before we realize it, sin can run rampant inn our lives. ‘Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.’ (1 Peter 5:8) But enough with the gloom and doom! We have a protector in our heavenly Father. ‘But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.’ (2 Thessalonians 3:3) He has made it clear what we need to do in order to deter Satan from having his way with us. ‘Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.’ (James 4:7) We need to stand firm against the enemy’s attacks. Refuse to allow him access to our hearts. ‘Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil.’ (Proverbs 3:7) We need to give God our greatest respect and highest place of honor. We must not rely on our own wisdom to make wise choices. Turn away from evil temptations, habits, and lifestyles. While binding that malevolent leprechaun behind my closet doors gave me a false sense of security, binding my heart to God’s through His Word and prayer will truly keep the enemy at bay.

One of our big goals as a church family for 2019 is to take a step forward in Sharing Jesus. This is a challenge for us as a church to increase our intention and skill level in reflecting Jesus. And it is also a personal challenge to each of us to grow in our calling as witnesses. So we’ll take a few weeks and talk through several ideas that can help us. There is no more directly eternal purpose to our everyday existence than telling people who don’t know Jesus how they can know Him. Of course, the Enemy would love for us to hide our light, but Jesus told us to put it on a hill. Let’s get better at Sharing Jesus together!

SUNDAY MORNING MESSAGE – The Kind of People Who Need Saving (Luke 15:11-32) / VBS CLOSING
This is one of our FAVORITE Sundays of the year – the closing program for our VBS. The whole church has enjoyed an unbelievable week, and we get to gather one last time to learn, to sing, and to enjoy what the Lord has been doing all week in our kids and workers. After we get to watch our kids share what they’ve learned, we’re going to take a look at a story that Jesus told. His point was that people need forgiveness; they need rescue. He uses a family to illustrate what He’s trying to teach, and the family dynamics show us a lot about our Heavenly Father’s heart. Whether this story is meant to show you that you need saving, or whether it is to remind you that people around you every day need saving, let’s take to heart what Jesus means to teach us in this story!

Fellow Hopers – Please do your best to be at church for this special service. We’ll be discussing our church’s ‘Family Business’ and things that are ahead for us as a church body. Hoping that everyone who holds Hope dear to their heart will be able to join!

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 1st & 2nd Grade classroom 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!

Bible Study will be on hiatus for the summer. During the month of July, come on out to Hope and help decorate for VBS!

“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.”

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!
July – Growth in Giving
Pray with us that the Lord will abundantly provide for our church’s present and future financial needs.

YOUNG ADULTS – First & Third Tuesdays @ 7:00 in Youth Room
Come join us for food and fellowship and study Open to anyone who has graduated high school up through their twenties. For our August 6th meeting, we’ll be having a BBQ and playing outdoor games before we continue with our Adulting series. Bring a friend! 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!
Follow us on Social Media: Twitter and Instagram – @hcf_hopeyouth and Facebook.com/hcfhopeyouth

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!

FALL CAFE – Sunday, September 1st @ 7:00
We’re getting ready to kick off fall with our much enjoyed Cafe! This is a great time to share your talent with fellow Hopers; it’s always a fun time! Don’t be shy – we’re an easy audience! Sign up sheets coming soon. Please sign up with your talent and also let us know what kind of goodie you’d like to bring!

“Pastor Mark and Dana are so excited to celebrate the wedding of their daughter, Kara and her fiancé, Tanner in just a few short weeks! They would like to extend an invitation to everyone in our Hope family to attend the wedding ceremony on Friday, August 2nd at 5:00 pm right here at church. As much as they would love to have everyone celebrate at the reception as well, the limited space and budget make that impossible. Thanks for your grace and understanding as they prepare for the big day. We are looking forward to seeing Tanner and Kara begin their life together and would love to share the joy with you!”

ANNUAL CHURCH PICNIC – Sunday July 28th, 5:00 – 8:00 – This Sunday!
One of our biggest events, held the Sunday of VBS closing, which makes it easy to invite friends and family who’ve attended VBS and/or our VBS Closing Program! We’ll have food, yard games and the ever favorite water slide!! Please sign up in the lobby to bring a side/dessert or to help set up.

Comforting Hearts is a new ministry at Hope which seeks to minister to those in the church facing healthcare situations. It is our desire to bring encouragement, comfort, and hope to our brothers and sisters in Christ during these challenging moments. Visitation can be immediate, as a medical crisis arises, or prearranged in situations involving pre- or post-surgical care, or for extended illnesses in home, hospital or rehab centers. To arrange a visit, or for more information, call or text John McCarson at 856-677-7796

We post all of our Sunday morning messages as well as Wednesday night bible studies on our YouTube channel. It’s a great place to catch up on a lesson you might have missed. Subscribe to our channel, Hope Christian Fellowship, and never miss a video! You can even set-up notifications for when we post new content! If you’re interested in helping our video ministry, contact Charlie Peterson at cajapeterson2@gmail.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.
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 ——Joe Sambucci
Ushers 11:00 —–Damon Briggs
Counters ———-LaTosha Briggs, Melissa McGinness
Greeters ———–Deb Davis, Sharon Sambucci, Jane Hanuszczyk, Patty Bunnell

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 VBS week – all those who attend, all those who serve the children, and all those behind the scenes!
** 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.

Protected by the Holy One,