Hope Notes 07/31/2019

July 31, 2019

Dear Hope Friends,

You’ve probably heard the quote, “Your life may be the only Bible someone may ever read”. I don’t know about you, but I think that is one scary thought! Whether we want them to or not, our lives bear testimony to Christ’s redeeming work. Like it or not, comfortable with it or not, we ARE witnesses. “You are my witnesses, says the Lord, my servants whom I have chosen to know and believe in me and understand that I am the Lord.” (Isaiah 43:10) Once people know we are believers, trust me, they will keep a close eye on how we live our lives. How we react to situations. How we speak about others. When I’m wearing a Christian tee shirt or displaying a Christian bumper sticker, you’d better believe it keeps me accountable!
Once people know we are believers, they will often come and ask us for prayer. I’m sure you’ve had that office mate, neighbor, or family member approach you and tell you their requests. Just as surely, one of them may ask you a question about your faith! Sometimes this happens in the most unexpected way at a most unexpected time. I once had a doctor ask me (in the middle of a treatment) if I thought he was saved because he had signed a ‘contract’ saying he was turning his life over to Christ. Mind you, he only signed because that was the requirement from his teacher if he wanted to be tutored. (Crazy, I know!) I had to quickly come up with thought provoking questions and reasonable ‘answers’ to lead him to his own conclusion. Because, of course, I certainly don’t know his heart at the time and only God knows the truth of his contractually forced conversion. I also had a different doctor tell me (in the middle of a procedure) that he wasn’t sure if he was saved or not. Oh my goodness! You can imagine the conversation that followed. Another time, during dress rehearsal for a dance recital, the instructor stopped us and asked me if I thought the costumes were immodest. She said, “If the moral barometer of the class thinks they’re okay then we’re good”. Yikes!
If you’re like me, these encounters can take you off guard. We need to be ready at all times! “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” (1 Peter 3:15) The only way we can truly be prepared is to rely on the power of the Holy Spirit to give us words to say. “So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives…” (Galatians 5:16 NLT) If we keep our focus on submitting to God and living as He would have us do, our lives will be a much better witness and we won’t feel so unprepared with our response to those unpredictable questions!

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!

Teen Service
Paul says in 1 Timothy 4:12 “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young.” Our Teen Service is a chance for Hopers to show our teens that we value them and do not ‘look down on’ them. Join us as our young people take over our morning service to share powerful music, words, and examples of what it means to be a follower of Jesus!
God often calls us into positions where we feel inadequate. This feeling is probably strongest when it comes to raising up the next generation. Whether you are a parent, aunt or uncle, older cousin, teacher, ministry volunteer, or working with kids in any other capacity we all have a stake in the future. Each generation poses a different set of challenges, but this morning we’ll look at three biblical virtues – vigilance, confidence, and transparency – along with some practical steps to helping this generation step into their faith.

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.

“For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him.”

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!
August – Share Jesus
Who can you invite out to Hope?

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!

WEDDING NEWS – This Friday!
“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!”

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 ——Bob Baumiester
Ushers 11:00 —–Bruce Clark
Counters ———-Damon Briggs, Bill Berry
Greeters ———–Susan DiPilla, Karen Hosey, Linda Villanova, Karl Miller

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.

Bearing Witness to His Name,