Hope Notes 08/21/2019

August 21, 2019

Dear Hope Friends,

As I sit on our back porch I see the lightest dusting of leaves along the edges of our tree line. I’m reminded of the Augusts of my childhood when I would see the same scattering of yellow leaves and my heart would become heavy. It seemed as though my sense of dread increased with every leaf that fell. Fall was coming. Which meant school was approaching. Which meant there would be a whole bevy of worries to contend with. It always made my birthday month bittersweet because the celebration was tinged with fear of the upcoming school year. I was worried about the kids who would tease me. (Back then we didn’t call it bullying, but now I know that’s what it was.) I was afraid of riding the school bus. I was frightened of the nuns and all their rules. Their long, black habits and headgear seemed like something out of a scary movie. It’s no wonder any possible excitement over my birthday was snuffed out like a candle in a hurricane.
Now do you know what I feel when I see those leaves? I feel a sense of excitement. Joy that autumn is on its way. A change of season. A breath of fresh, cooler air to wipe away the stale heat of summer. A new beginning. Those childhood fears are long gone. Hope has pushed up against fear like summer against fall. How I wish I could tell that little girl not to worry. That she had a friend in Jesus, a loving Father in heaven who was looking out for her. How the words found in Scripture would bring her peace. The God presented to me at that school was one meant to scare us into behaving. Add that fear to my already long list and you can imagine the results.
I’m thinking how those fallen leaves foreshadow the change of season. The Old Testament foreshadows the plan that Christ fulfills. How they are now a sign of the promise of the new season to come. Just as we are ‘new creations in Christ Jesus’ (2 Corinthians 5:17). The breath of fresh autumn air is like the life giving breath of God. ‘The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.’ (Job 33:4) And as for all those fears? As I’m looking through Scripture for verses to refute them, I am blown away by how many there are! And even though I don’t feel particularly fearful right now, reading them is so soothing and reassuring. They pour warmly over my soul, filling in all the crevices. I guess the point of all this is to point out the difference having a relationship with Jesus can make, no matter the age. His presence in our lives marks us as believers, Christ followers, children of God. It’s never too early and it’s never too late to turn our hearts over to Him, surrender our lives, and experience the peace a faith filled life can bring. ‘Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.’ (Philippians 4:7 NLT)

One of our challenges as a church for this year has been to find a way to integrate newer or disconnected people into our family. This can be difficult for any number of reasons, but we believe that we have the power of God through the Holy Spirit in each of us to accomplish this work for God’s kingdom. We’re going to spend a few weeks talking about WHY and HOW we all can have a part at bringing outsiders in.

SUNDAY MORNING MESSAGE – Jesus Invited People In (Matthew 4:18-22 / Acts 4:13 / Luke 6:35 / John 1:12)
Being invited to an event can be an incredible privilege. There may be some instances where the invitation is less ‘welcome’ because of frustration or irritation, but most of the time, the largest impact of receiving an invite is that you feel included and that you matter. Of course, no invitation can actually add value to your person, but the power of invitation is truly profound. As a church, we talk about inviting people out to church all the time, with the understanding that we are also trying to invite them into the family of God. And that exact picture is why we work so hard to integrate people. We’re going to take a few weeks and talk about one of our challenges for this year: Meaningful Integration. How do we effectively move people from ‘guest’ to ‘part of our family’? Let’s see the Lord together on this and see what we can learn about reflecting Jesus.

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 resumes September 4th. We will be studying the book of Ephesians. The Book of Ephesians is a beautiful revelation of the Church and the spiritual blessings we have in Christ Jesus. Paul explains the mystery of the church and gives practical insight into living as believers.
“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
Do you have a friend group or family circle that needs you to courageously bring up church and find a way to invite them to join you?

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. Next series is ‘Black & White’ – starting in September! 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!

The Kids Alley Learning Center is hiring two lead staff for the following age groups, K- 2nd grade students and 6th – 8th grade students. The Learning Center is an after school program for children from Camden and Woodlynne. Your role as a lead staff person for your classroom is to assist children with homework, provide educational enrichment, monitor the child’s progress throughout the year and provide necessary support where we are able.
This position requires you to oversee the volunteers in your classroom as well to ensure that every child is being helped. You will be responsible to maintain a safe, pleasant atmosphere in the classroom as well as the discipline of your students. We are a faith based program which seeks to build Strong Hearts, Strong Minds, and Strong Bodies.
Hours: Monday through Friday 2:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Hourly Rate: $12.00 – $13.00 an hour
Contact: 856-546-1098 or email: learning.center@kidsalley.org

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.
PLEASE NOTE: We currently do no have enough performers to hold the cafe. If you’ve been on the fence about whether or not you should sign up……now’s the time to hop off and do it! Deadline is this Sunday, August 25th.

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, Pastors Matt and Dave 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 ——Rick Ayusa
Ushers 11:00 —-Bill Berry
Counters ———-LaTosha Briggs, Melissa McGinness
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.

Keeping Close to the Cross,