Hope Notes 01/22/2020

January 22, 2020

DEAR FRIENDS OF HOPE ~I love this expression – A smart person knows what to say; a wise person knows whether or not to say it!  Kind of sums up one of the fundamental differences between being smart and being wise, doesn’t it? Being smart is about having intelligence.  Being wise is about having experience, knowledge, and good judgement.  Hence, knowing ‘whether or not to say something’.  Another difference between being smart or being wise is that smart people often focus on absorbing as much knowledge as possible and then showing the world what they know.  Wise people can find knowledge gleaned from their experiences and aren’t so focused on showing it unless it is called for.  However, as believers we know that the best source of wisdom comes straight from our heavenly Father!  1 Corinthians 1:25 says, “For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom…”  That’s pretty wise, wouldn’t you say?  Without godly wisdom, even the wisest among us pale in comparison.  Our own human wisdom cannot compare to His.  “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.” (James 3:17)  What a clear definition of godly wisdom!  So how do we get some of this? No one accumulates wisdom on their own, nor does it come by accident. We must pursue it by asking God!  “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.”  (James 1:5)  God is more than willing and happy to impart His wisdom on us.  We can find it in His Word.  We can find it through listening to the advice of other godly Christians.  But there is one admonition.  We must not only pursue wisdom, we must then accept the instruction.  It does no good to just listen and not act upon.  “Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future.” (Proverbs 19:20)  It does no good to just read the Word and then go on our merry way.  That’s why James 1:22 tells us that we must be ‘doers of the Word, not just hearers’.  So, we can aspire to be super smart (and maybe appear on Jeopardy), or we can aspire to become wise through applying what we read in God’s Word, what we hear from godly Christians, and by learning from our own experiences.  I don’t think I’ll ever be on Jeopardy (or even win at Trivial Pursuit), but I’d like to think my wisdom tank is growing fuller with every passing year!
SUNDAY MORNINGS   
SUNDAY MORNING MESSAGE – God Has an Answer (Exodus 5:22-6:9)
 Have you ever prayed for God to do something, and it seemed like nothing happened?  Perhaps you faced some kind of crisis and you asked God to intervene and resolve the problem, but it just stayed put. Then you hear how God is faithful and doesn’t forsake us, and it is hard to even listen. What should you do in that scenario? We step into a story today where God’s people were asking for rescue from slavery and death. Any of us in that situation would struggle to feel like God had answered our prayers while we remained slaves.  Yet, we read today that God did answer their prayers… but with a promise instead of an immediate action.  What does that mean for us today?  Can God be faithful even when we haven’t yet seen things change?  And why would He answer with a promise instead of action?

MESSAGES AVAILABLE   
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!

OPPORTUNITIES FOR SPIRITUAL GROWTH 
WEDNESDAY NIGHT BIBLE STUDY 7:00 – 8:15 
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.

JANUARY CHALLENGE VERSE –  John 15:5
 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

OPPORTUNITIES FOR FELLOWSHIP
SMALL GROUPS
Our small group sheets are out! Find them on our website under Resources.

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. Contact:Dave Hallahan at dmhallahan5@gmail.com

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.  We have a breakfast the second Saturday of every month at th Hollywood Diner @ 9:00 am.  We encourage everyone to come on out – especially if you aren’t able to make it to the Monday night meetings!
All women are welcome to attend! For information, contact Mary Lebeau 856-316-6301 (call or text) or marylebeau@verizon.net

GOD’S GIRLS ‘SOUPER’ BOWL PARTY – Monday, February 3rd
Do you make a good soup? Come and join us for a little friendly soup competition!

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!  Current 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?
Follow us on Social Media:  Twitter and Instagram  @hcf_hopeyouth and  Facebook.com/hcfhopeyouth

MIDDLE SCHOOL GROW GROUPS
Sundays after the 9:00 worship.  New series, “Seriously, What Would Jesus Do?”

CHILDREN’S MINISTRY 
GO ZONE 
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

HOPEKIDS HANGOUT – SUNDAY EVENINGS from  6:00 – 8:00 pm 
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!  
HOPE ANNOUNCEMENTS 
SNACK DONATIONS 
Help our littlest Hopers by donating a snack or supply! Our nursery through Pre-K classes will be posting their needs on the bulletin board outside of the GoZone. Stop by and “shop” the board for an item you’d be willing to donate. This is an easy way to help our kids that makes a big difference in their Sunday morning experience! You can drop your items off in the kitchen by February 2nd!

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR REGISTRATION TABLE
We are looking for volunteers for our Sunday morning HopeKids! registration table. If you are interested or have questions about the position, contact Anita Little at alittleshopper@gmail.com.

WORSHIP MINISTRY OPPORTUNITY 
Our Worship Ministry is looking for some skilled musicians and/or gifted vocalists who may want to explore the opportunity to get involved with our stage team here at Hope! If that sounds like you and you consider Hope your home church (faithfully attending 3 months or longer) please reach out to Dana at danaott@hopechristianfellowship.org; she’d love to set up a time to have a coffee & chat about your interest, skill levels, past experience playing or singing, and your availability. Our Philosophy of Worship is available on our website under “Music Ministry” which is a drop down under “Going Deeper” – that’s a great place to get a feel for what we value and how we desire to serve any given Sunday. Looking forward to how He may add to our team in 2020!

INTERESTED IN SOUND TEAM? 
We could use a few volunteers for various positions in our Tech Booth. Our Sound Board Team is for people who have aptitudes with technology and an ear for mixing live music.  We will train you for our specific setup.  And our Broadcast Team needs people who are familiar with basic computer skills and willing to help us with recording and streaming.  Let us know if you can help by reaching out to set up a conversation with Pastor Mark (markott@hopechristianfellowship.org).

BAPTISM
If you are interested in being baptized, Pastor Mark will be holding classes on Sunday, February 23rd & Sunday, March 1st after the second service. The baptism service will be Wednesday, March 4th @ 7:00 pm. Please sign up so that we can get an idea of how many are interested. Signup sheets are in the lobby.

FEBRUARY WORKSHOP WEDNESDAYS   
We are offering four different classes that will meet Wednesday nights in February at 7:00 pm. These classes are great for those who are not yet a part of a small group or who are just looking for an additional study. See descriptions below for each workshop. Sign-up in the lobby!

I’M TOO BUSY FOR THIS CLASS (Dave Hallahan)
How are you? Busy. Aren’t we all? Can you imagine a world where that’s different? Barely, right? But take a moment and imagine Jesus being in a hurry – snapping at Mary for dropping the humus, losing his temper on Peter for improperly storing the fishing nets, ignoring an ailing woman to go and heal a soldier’s daughter. Imagining Jesus in a hurry is as difficult as imagining my life at rest. But in this class we’ll look at 4 practices of Jesus that we can incorporate into our lives to bring our bodies and souls to rest.

LET ME TELL YOU A STORY ( Nick DellaRova)
In our post-modern society, the Christian seeking to fulfill Jesus’ Great Commission is faced with two challenges:   words have lost their meaning, and the Bible is poorly understood (or flatly rejected) outside of the church.   How, then, can we effectively communicate the Truth  to our friends/families/neighbors….to the world at large?    We will explore the literary styles employed in Scripture, and talk about how we express our faith now.   To help us, we will look at certain themes in Biblical communication:   Discipline, Parable, Prayer, and Personal Experience.
PARENTING: FULFILLING THE CALL (Matt Russell)
This workshop is for all parents – future, new, or experienced –  that want to improve their skills and become more effective at faith based parenting. We’ll be focusing on ways to communicate, discipline, encourage, and love our kids in a way that reflects God’s love and grace for us. There is no one right way to parent, but our hope is that this class will help teach you to parent in a way that establishes a firm spiritual foundation in your children’s lives and have an eternal impact on them!

FINANCIAL PEACE UNIVERSITY (Jess St. Petery)
Please Note: this class meets from 6:30 – 8:30 and runs through April 1st
We’re hosting Dave Ramsey’s FPU series – perfect for the new year! To sign-up directly, use our unique class link: (fpu.com/1108568) for $99 or sign-up in the church lobby to have the link sent to you via text. If you are on the fence, please join us on the first night for a FREE PREVIEW. Any questions, contact Jess St. Petery at j.st.petery@gmail.com or 856-673-6809.  

AMAZON SMILE
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! 

BIBLE READING PLANS FOR 2020
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 available on our website under ‘Resources’.

OPPORTUNITIES TO SERVE
CONNECTING AND SERVING AT HOPE 
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.

THIS WEEK’S SERVANTS 
Ushers 9:00 ——Rick Ayusa
Ushers 11:00 —–Damon Briggs
Counters ———-TBA
Greeters ———-Deb Davis, Sharon Sambucci, Jane Hanuszczyk, Chuck Perrong

HOPE’S PRAYER TEAM
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.

Seeking Wisdom,
Lois