Hope Notes 11/20/2019

November 20, 2019

     Have you heard the saying “Pray to God but row the boat”?  I don’t know where I first heard it, but it has been a useful touchstone for me over the years. I remember my husband and I were paralyzed with uncertainty when he was considering opening his own business.  We decided to ‘pray to God’ for wisdom and guidance, but ‘row the boat’ by moving forward with business decisions.  Unless and until we heard from Him to stop.  Of course, it would all be much easier if God would just drop us a clearly written set of instructions (oh wait……the Bible!) or hit us over the head a big arrow pointing to the exact path He wants us to follow.  Except it usually doesn’t work that way, so we need to keep our ears and hearts open to His response,  while moving prayerfully forward being careful to heed His direction along the way.
     I confess that this week I have been doing a lot of rowing my own boat and forgetting the pray to God part.  And let me tell you, the effects of that are nothing you want to experience.  Feelings of frustration, worry, anxiety, defeat, helplessness, and exhaustion can be your companions if you’d like to try that method of living life.  No??  Doesn’t sound fun?  Then join me in remembering that seeking His face must come FIRST in all things.  “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” (Mathew 6:33)  Once I finally remembered what I should be doing, I had a lot of tearful conversations with God asking how to turn all this over to Him when I feel like it all rests on my shoulders.  After all, I can’t just ‘do nothing’, can I?  Not exactly, but if I continue to pray I can row my boat with the strength He gives me, not all on my own.  I’m not made for all rowing and no praying.  That’s not how God wants any of us to live. He knows that the fruits of that kind of life are all bound to leave us depleted and stressed.  He wants us to turn to Him first and then keep things in prayer while we row.  His peace, power, and rest await. “Come to me, all of you who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28)


This is a can’t-miss Sunday. As our nation turns its attention to thankfulness, we turn our hearts to sharing together as a family how good God has been to us. We’ll sing songs of gratitude together, and then we’ll open up the floor for anyone to briefly share their thanks to God. Every time we  do this, we find that God uses His faithfulness in each other’s lives to encourage us and build our hope. So let’s join together in gratitude today!

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.  This book 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.

“I will sing of the Lord’s great love forever; with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations.  I will declare that your love stands firm forever, that you have established your faithfulness in heaven itself.”

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!
Remember what it was like to be ‘new’ somewhere?  Follow the Golden Rule (Matthew 7:12) and do for others what you wished someone had done for 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.  Currently studying ‘Finding Truth’ by Francis Chan. Contact:Dave Hallahan at dmhallahan5@gmail.comGOD’S GIRLS WOMEN’S GROUP – First & Third Mondays at 6:30 in the Youth Room
Come and join the women of Hope as we encourage and support each other.  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. HOPE YOUTH MINISTRY 
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!  
HopeKids! Christmas Program practices have begun! Make sure to have your kids out each and every Sunday at the 9:00 and 11:00 services. Performances for toddlers/preschoolers will be Sunday, December 8th at both worship services. Performances for our K-5th Graders will be Sunday, December 22nd at the 9:00 and 11:00 services. Make sure to invite your family and friends!
We are still in need of a few volunteers to help us make this program a success! Contact Matt Russell if you are interested.

It’s time for us to reach out and ask for some help from our Christmas Elves!  Decorating Hope is always a fun way to kick off the start of all our Christmas activities!  You can count on lots of friendly fellowship while making our church look festive.  Contact Deb Caranci with any questions: debcaranci@gmail.com

This past Sunday  Susan DePilla, bob & Michele Esser, and Linda Lennox all made that extra step and became  partners in the body of Hope. What a pleasure and privilege it is for us when we get to welcome those who’ve made that decision!  It’s super easy – there are Partner Forms out in the lobby.  Just fill one out and give it to Pastor Mark or one of our elders.  We’d love to have you join us!

In order to make sure as many children as possible receive boxes, we are extended our final deadline to Sunday, November 24th.Please bring your completed box this Sunday. We will NOT be accepting any completed boxes any later than immediately after the end of the 11:00 service.

ANNUAL BUSINESS MEETING Sunday, December 1st (immediately following the 11:00 service)
All are welcome to attend, but partners are needed to vote! We have two important items on the docket: next year’s budget, and the decision to appoint Dave Hallahan as our assistant pastor. The budget is posted on the bulletin board at the back of the church for review, and copies are available on the sign-up table.   In order to expedite our meeting, we ask that you present any questions you may have regarding the budget to one of our elders sometime before the meeting. We will have ballots available for voting if you are unable to stay for the actual meeting.CHRISTMAS CAFE Sunday, December 1st at 7:00 pm
We’re starting off the Christmas season at Hope with a cafe! If you’ve got a talent to share, sign-up in the lobby now! Prefer to sit back and be entertained? You can still help out by signing up to bring a dessert! Our cafes are always a great time of fun and fellowship.

LADIES CHRISTMAS PARTY Friday, December 6th at 6:30 pm
We’re so excited for the holidays and what better way to kick off the season than with a party!? All our ladies (post high-school and up) are invited! f you’re able to bring a treat to share, that would be great. We’ll be playing some fun games including a silly gift exchange; be sure to bring a wrapped gift ($5 – $10 price point) so you can join in! Feel free to invite friends or family – the more the merrier! Be sure to sign up in the lobby. If you have any questions, you can see or contact Dana Ott danaott@hopechristianfellowship.org

SAVE THE DATE!** Pre-K Christmas Program, Sunday December 8th at both services** Cantata, Friday December 13th at 7:00 pm, Sunday Dec 15th at both services** Elementary Kids Christmas Program, Sunday December 22nd at both services** Christmas Eve Services 4:30 & 6:00
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!HOPE’S  FOOD PANTRY 
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 —–Ryan Winstel
Counters ———-LaTosha Briggs & Melissa McGinness
Greeters ———–Rick Ayusa, Kathryn Messick, Kathy Repas, Helen Mastalski

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.

Praying and Rowing….