Hope Notes 08/07/2019

August 7, 2019

Dear Hope Friends,

Why am I so surprised and amazed by answered prayers? Why am I so quick to believe God for someone else’s needs, yet often slow to trust Him with my own? I know the Lord is faithful. I know He hears my every whispered prayer. And yet…….I still fall to my knees in disbelief that our almighty, powerful God cares enough for this unworthy soul to repeatedly reach down from heaven to answer my cry.
I’m going to tell you a story that took place 24 years ago but remains a beacon of light in my heart that still burns bright whenever I think of it. In the midst of suffering through a long bout of back pain, I was crying out to God to help me through the pain, to help me trust Him, to help me lean on Him. “Lord, please just send me someone or something to give me hope”. Within minutes of this plea to heaven, a friend of ours appeared at the door. I opened the door and he said, “The Lord told me to come and pray with you”. God took my prayer and directed it right to his faithful servant. I am so thankful that he was tuned into the Holy Spirit’s prompting – and that he was obedient. He was definitely ‘walking by the Spirit’ that day! “If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:25) He stayed less than 15 minutes, but it gave me such a sense of peace and hope! “Find rest in God alone; my hope comes from Him” (Psalm 62:5) The Lord used him to show His love for me, to tangibly remind me that He was with me always. That He hears me. “Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you… (Jeremiah 29:12)
Of course, God doesn’t always answer prayer immediately like that. But He does always answer. We know the answers don’t always show up when we want or often the way we want. But we need to trust in His timing and His wisdom. I just wish I still didn’t get ‘surprised’ by His prompt responses! It makes me feel less than faithful. But I’m working on it. One last takeaway from this little story – if you feel the Spirit leading you to do something………do it! Call that person, write that note, stop by someone’s home. You never know the effect your act of obedience will have!

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!

If you’re a Hoper, we need you here this day. We’re going to talk about some of the things that are ahead for us as a church, and some of the practical steps you can take to make us more effective in our work for Jesus. Gathering together to talk through all of these issues is one way that God gives us to coordinate our efforts and focus on the things that matter right now for our church. Even if you’re away, we’d ask that you tune in to see and hear what we’re talking about so that each of us can do our part, just like Paul says in Ephesians 4:16 when he compares us to a body that needs every part doing what it was made to do in order to function. Let’s set our minds on our calling and ask the Lord to use this discussion in our church for His kingdom!

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 and on YouTube “Hope Christian Fellowship”.
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
Be on the lookout for conversations that are actually opportunities God is giving you to share Jesus.

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/ICE CREAM SOCIAL – Sunday, September 1st @ 7:00
We’re getting ready to kick off fall with our much enjoyed Ice Cream Social 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 are in the lobby.
Contact Kimmi Biglin at http://kimmi_b@comcast.net with any questions.

It can be hard to make good relational connections on a busy Sunday morning. Small Groups is a more intimate setting that allows for deeper relationships to form. In order to get a jump on beginning, take the month of August to consider who you might like to have in a small group, or to find a small group to plug into! If you need help connecting or have questions about how we do Small Groups here at Hope, see Dave Hallahan, Damon Briggs, or Chick Dougherty!

Our Missons Team will be serving breakfast with Seeds of Hope Ministries and would love to have as many Hopers join them as possible! The event is Saturday, September 7th, at 8:15 am at the Volunteers of America, 271 Atlantic Ave. Camden, NJ 08104
Anyone interested please sign up in the lobby. All volunteers are welcomed to bring seasonal clothing or toiletry donations the morning of as well. For additional information please reach out to Stacy Reid at 856-294-7324 or http://sreid0905@gmail.com.

BAPTISM SERVICE – Wednesday, October 16th
Baptism is an important event in the believer’s walk with Jesus Christ. The Bible talks about water immersion baptism in which a believer makes a public confession of their faith. Has God been prompting you to take this step? If you are wondering what it means to be baptized in the Christian faith, Pastor Mark will be leading a series of classes to help you understand. Watch for dates for classes to be announced soon!

Interested in joining our men’s bowling league? Doesn’t matter if you’re experienced or have never bowled before! We want you to join us! Sign-up in the lobby or contact Bruce Clark at http://brucec77@verizon.net for more info.

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 ——Nick DellaRova
Ushers 11:00 —–Dan Rozinski
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.

Amazed by the Almighty,