Hope Notes 12/24/2019

December 24, 2019

DEAR FRIENDS OF HOPE ~For this special Christmas Hope Notes, I’d like to share with you a devotion from Dr. David Jeremiah.  It speaks so wonderfully of the love Jesus has for us; He willingly stepped down from His rightful place in eternity and came to earth as a baby – born to die for us.  Let His manger lead us straight to the cross.  Rejoicing with you in the birth of our Savior! Wishing all my Hope family a Merry and Meaningful Christmas!

“Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel,” which means, “God with us.” (Matthew 1:23)
     The uniqueness of Christianity is based on the remarkable person of Christ and His dual nature – He is both the Son of God and Son of Man.  He was, is, and always will be God.  He is absolutely God.  He is God in His essence, His nature, and His eternal person.  He is fully God, and He is God in every way.  But when the Holy Spirit overshadowed the virgin Mary, God entered into the human family.  At His birth in Bethlehem, He was named Emmanuel, which means, ‘God with us’.
     The sacrifice that was made for us in becoming a man is beyond our comprehension.  To lay aside the wonders of glory to enter this world filled with sin and disorder to redeem unworthy humanity from our sins – that kind of love is hard for us to fully grasp  This Jesus who became one of us so that He could understand our weaknesses and sorrows will forever be the God-Man.
We can never understand the inexpressible change that occurred through the virgin birth of Jesus, but we know this – If Christ would do that for us, He loves us very much.  Because He does, and because He is with us, we can boldly pray and ask for direction for every aspect of our lives.

CHRISTMAS PROGRAMS (Taking a break from our Exodus Series)
SUNDAY MORNING MESSAGE – Resolution and Purpose  (2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 / 1 Corinthians 12)

 Description: Why are we always making New Year’s resolutions? Why are they so hard to keep? As we come upon this time of year, we tend to reflect on where we have been and what we have done that has improved our experiences and outlook in life. This week we take a look at some Scripture that will show us the path to seeking God approved resolutions that can lead to life changing purpose for ourselves and for all we encounter.

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!
Pray with us that the Lord will abundantly provide for our church’s present and future financial needs.

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?” 

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!

Just a heads up that we will be taking an offering on Christmas Eve that will go entirely to our Benevolent Fund.  This is the fund we draw from in order to help out one of our own who may be experiencing a financial need.  Please prayerfully consider whether God is leading you to contribute.

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! 

UN-DECKING THE HALLS Saturday, January 4th @ 9:00
Sadly, we do have to take down those beautiful Christmas decorations.  But we always have fun doing it!  We’d love for you to come and lend a hand.  Contact Deb Caranci with any questions http://debcaranci@gmail.com

CHURCH GAME NIGHT Friday, January 17th
Hope’s Small Groups is hosting a game night for all adults at Hope! Whether you are currently part of a small group, interested in joining one, or just need a night out for some competition join us at 7:00 pm for an awesome night of fun and fellowship. Mark your calendars now; sign-ups will be out soon!

Just in time for Christmas shopping, Hope is now on Amazon Smile! Through this program, Amazon donates .5% of your purchases to support our ministry. It costs you nothing and is an easy way to contribute to Hope. Simply visit smile.amazon.com and select our organization and proceed to shop as normal! 
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! This plan will guide you to read through either the New Testament or the entire bible in a year, reading five days a week.Bible reading plans are on the signup table and available on our website under ‘Resources’.

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 ——Joe Sambucci
Ushers 11:00 —–Dan Rozinski
Counters ———-Damon Briggs, Bill Berry
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.

Bowing Before His Manger,