Hope Notes 09/18/2019

September 18, 2019


I’ve always thought of clouds as wispy, delicate, vaporous bits of ‘fluff’. I’ve walked through clouds way up high in the Rocky Mountains and that’s what they felt like. Misty and ethereal. If you’ve ever been on a plane ride you’ve probably traveled through one. The plane simply glides right through it. However, the United States Geological Survey explains that a cumulus cloud measuring one cubic kilometer weighs about 550 tons, or 1.1 million pounds. The cloud is heavy with water and water vapor. They say the reason it stays aloft is because the density of the drier air beneath it is greater. Totally blew my theory about clouds out of the water. Totally gave me a fear that one might come crashing down on me. But my heart reminded me that I have no reason to be afraid; the reason those clouds stay where they are supposed to is because our Almighty God put them there! His hand holds them in place. He designed the atmosphere and the cloud to do exactly what He planned.
Clouds are mentioned in Scripture on many occasions, and often used to illustrate the imminent presence of God. We first see this example in Genesis 9:9. “I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth.” When God led His people out of Egypt, He did so by guiding them in a pillar of cloud. “The Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way” (Exodus 13:21) There are many references in between but the last place in which clouds play a significant role is in the ascension and in the return of Christ. After His resurrection, Jesus took His disciples up to a high mountain where “He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight” (Acts 1:9). And finally, “He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him. (Revelation 1:7).
I do not have to be afraid that a cloud will come crashing down on me; the Creator of the universe made sure of that! And rather than fear, I can look to the sky and see clouds as Scripture intends – a beautiful reminder of the presence of upcoming return of our Lord.

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 – The Serving Zone (Mark 10:34/Galatians 5:13-15/Galatians 6:2/Philippians 2:1-4) COMMUNION
In sports competitions, someone who is really performing at their peak is said to be ‘in the zone’. That phrase has expanded to other realms as well – academics, business, art, and so much more. Getting ‘in the zone’ is a way we talk about functioning as well as possible and seeing the best version of the results we’re shooting for. In church, we are aiming for spiritual progress and growth. It starts when people find Jesus (or He finds them!) and they give their life in faith to Him. But the way a church works most effectively is when each person in the church is in the ‘serving zone’. We connect more deeply, we accomplish more, and we are maturing together when we all serve. Granted, many people opt out of serving because it is inconvenient, hard, or a sacrifice. But since we follow the one who set all of those considerations aside to lay down His life for us, we also should pursue serving others. As we look to find ways to bring outsiders in, we want to understand this powerful pattern!

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 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!

Join us for our study in 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.
“If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right. But if you show favoritism, you sin…”

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!
September – Meaningful Integration
Pray for the Lord to help us find ways to show people how they can deeply ‘belong’ at 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. 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 in the Youth Room
Come join us as the women of Hope begin their new season on Monday, September 16, at 6:30. We will be holding a Celebration of our Roots – a time to share the story of God’s Girls at Hope, to celebrate the past and look to the future. It will be a special time of celebration, and all women are welcome to attend. 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!

We would like to give a warm welcome to our most recent partners: Pam Flaherty, Michael Gross, Carolyn Jefferson, Constance Kane, and Steve & Katie Salayda. We just love having people take the extra step of making Hope their official home church! . If you’ve been thinking about becoming a partner, now is the time to do it! This way you will be able to vote in our upcoming elections! It isn’t hard; all you need to do is fill out a form and give it to Pastor Mark. Forms are located in a folder on the signup table in the lobby.

Help us grow this vital resource that keeps our church family connected! You can update your information and photo at any time. Access the directory online or on the mobile app. Contact directory members directly from the site. You have individual usernames and passwords so that your information is secure. It’s so easy and convenient! Be part of this by registering your basic infomation at: hopechristianfellowship.org/directory. Contact Emily with any questions at emilydilorenzo@hopechristianfellowship.org.

We are approaching that time of year when we allow our HopeKids! to serve Jesus by putting on their Christmas Programs! We have a program for 3-5 year olds and the K-5th graders. We need help organizing the program, supervising the practices, and helping the kids prepare for the big day. If you’re interested in helping, please reach out to Matt Russell.

The GoZone! is looking for additional AV team members. No prior technical experience required; one Sunday per month scheduling. Please contact Brittany (bleybe@gmail.com) if you are interested or have any questions!

Our Building Team is looking for a few volunteers to join up with our Pre-Service Check Team. We take a quick run through the building looking for trash, making sure lights are working, etc. We like to make sure Hope is putting our best face forward for those attending! For more information, see Mike Hartwell or contact him at mhredeemed@gmail.com

Want a quick and easy way to serve? Our Youth Pastor Dave is looking for some volunteers to stick around after the 11:00 service and help take down about half the chairs in order to get the auditorium ready for Youth Group. Should only take about 15 minutes of your time. See Mike Hartwell or contact him at mhredeemed@gmail.com.

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. Small Group study sheets can be found in the lobby and on our website. 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 (chickdoc@verizon.net).

Saturday, October 26th from 3:00-5:00 with a rain date on October 27th. Stay tuned for details!

BAPTISM SERVICE Wednesday, October 16th @ 7:00 pm
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. Classes will be held Wednesday October 2nd & 9th at 7:00. Sign-up in the lobby today!

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 ——Mike Hartwell
Ushers 11:00 —–Tom Albright
Counters ———-Kathy Berry and Wendy Devereaux
Greeters ———–Irene Riddell, Pat Keith, Charlotte Zediker, Jeanne Wurst

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.

The billowing clouds are the dust beneath his feet……(Nahum 1:3)