Hope Notes 12/11/2019

December 11, 2019

     Last Sunday I was looking at all our toddlers up on stage for their Christmas Program.  So many shapes, sizes, and personalities!  Some were totally into it, singing, shaking their bells, and doing all the hand motions.  Some were a little stiff and shy.  Some were crying.  Some looked like they’d rather be anywhere at all instead of up front!  It was such a perfect encapsulation of God’s diversity in creation. I read an article by Dennis Lee that said how God made over 300,000 species of beetles. Now some might call that creative overkill. But God loves variety. Also, did you know that in one cubic foot of snow there are 18 million individual snowflakes and not one of them alike? We can’t tell the difference; it’s just snow to us, but God notices and created every single one of them.  So it should come as no surprise to us that He carefully crafted each one of us to be one of a kind.  We truly are ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’ (Psalm 139:14).  You know that old saying, “God broke the mold when He made you”?  Well it’s true!  He DID break the mold because there’s only one you!
      God also created everything in this world for a purpose, from the lowly beetle right on up to us humans!  And each one of us has a unique purpose.  We aren’t here by accident.  We didn’t just evolve or show up as the result of some biological purpose.  We are who we are because God made us that way. “God has made us what we are, and in our union with Christ Jesus he has created us for a life of good deeds, which he has already prepared for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10)  Catch that? He made us who we are, and then He created good deeds for us to do!  Mine aren’t the same as yours.  And then, guess what? He has given each of us what we need to do those deeds! 1 Peter 4:10-11 informs us that, “God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts.”  Isn’t that cool?! Back to those toddlers on the stage.  God has already instilled a purpose and a giftedness in every single one of them.  Their little personalities are already on display; I don’t know about you but I can’t wait to see what God does with and in their lives!

CHRISTMAS PROGRAMS (Taking a break from our Exodus Series)
SUNDAY MORNING MESSAGE – Good News (Luke 1:1-8, 14-15 / Romans 1:16-17) Cantata

Our Christmas Choir is excited to share this year’s musical presentation with all of us.  Their voices will join millions of others over the last 2000 years that have celebrated the birth of Jesus in song.  But what about Jesus and His life inspires such singing?  How many other religions are so full of celebration and joy?  We’re going to look at a familiar Christmas word that you’ll hear many times in the cantata: Noel. While we know this has something to do with Christmas, we’ll talk about where this word came from, and how it connects to the Christmas story.  It’s a service you don’t want to miss!

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.
Please Note:  Bible Study will be on hiatus through December.  We will resume on January 8th.

“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.”

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!
Are there ways you can give beyond money?

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.com
Please Note:  Young Adults is on hiatus until January 12th.

YOUNG ADULTS – New Year/New Topic – January 7th
Join us 1/7 for our first meeting of the year to talk about “What do we do with the gifts we never wanted?” Plus there will be pizza! 

GOD’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
Please Note: God’s Girls will not be meeting in December.

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
Please Note:  Youth Group is on hiatus.  We will resume January 12th with a new series (dis)CONNECTED.  Between our phones, tablets, and computers we are able to stay connected to people and events all over the world.  But is it possible that this untethered access it too much of a good thing?  
Middle school grow groups will begin 1/12 after 9:00 worship with a new series, “Seriously, what would Jesus do?” 

We have lots of fun activities planned, including a guest appearance from the Grinch!  Bring $25 for ice skating and pizza, along with a $5 White Elephant gift.  You won’t want to miss this!  (Drop off at the church.  Pick up is 8:00 am Saturday.)

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!  
Please Note:  HopeKids Hangout is on hiatus until January 12th.
This past year we have been beyond blessed with a booming kids ministry! With the addition of so many little ones, you may have noticed our classrooms have been getting crowded. But come the new year we will have new classroom assignments to resolve this issue. The official swap will happen January 5th, so stay tuned for all the details!

Join us Sunday, December 22nd at both services for our annual HopeKids! Christmas Program. Our elementary school aged Hopers will tell us the story of  the one time in history a star marked the miraculous birth of our Savior, by performing the musical drama, “A Star is Born.” This service is always moving, entertaining, and a great Sunday to bring friends and family to!
Reminder for Parents: Don’t forget we have a rehearsal Wednesday, December 18th at 7:00, and a final dress rehearsal on Saturday, December 21st at 9:00 am. 

Our choir will be performing “One Noel” for our annual Christmas Cantata! Come listen to a soulful celebration of the season proclaiming the joy and hope brought to us through the birth of Jesus. Our Friday night performance is a great opportunity to invite out friends and family who might have a church they already attend, so make sure to take advantage of this time in addition to our two Sunday morning services! 
CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICESThis year’s services will be at 4:30 & 6:00 and will each be no longer than an hour. Bring your family for a time of scripture reading, song, and carols, with a candle-lighting at the end of each service. We will have special glow stick candles for our little ones at the 4:30 service! 
One of the most important things we can do in our relationship with God is to read His word. And yet, we often feel overwhelmed or don’t know where to start! The new year is a great time to set a bible reading goal and we have a resource to help! Check out the sign-up table for our bible reading plan. This plan will guide you to read through either the New Testament or the entire bible in a year, reading five days a week.

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 ——Rick Ayusa
Ushers 11:00 —–Damon Briggs
Counters ———-Mike & Lois Hartwell
Greeters ———-Harriet Brittingham, Mary LeBeau, Joan Schaaf, Michele Schmidt

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.

Created by the King,