Hope Notes 02/19/2020

February 19, 2020

DEAR FRIENDS OF HOPE ~I have a fond childhood memory of playing in the creek behind my uncle’s farm.  The water was always so cold and clear.  It ran quick and freely, twinkling in the sunlight.  Time may have made the memories sweeter, but I maintain that there was nothing softer or greener than the grass that grew alongside the banks of that babbling creek. I liked to build little dams out of twigs, or pile up rocks to divert the water as it bubbled down its intended path.  Those are the memories that come to mind when I read this verse:  “A king’s heart is like streams of water in the LORD’s hand; He directs it wherever He chooses.” (Proverbs 21:1)  As a child, I thought I was ‘directing’ the water to go where I wanted it.  I could apply that to my life today as well.  Sometimes I foolishly think I am able to guide my own life in the direction I want by making plans and orchestrating things so that they will work out just so. HAH!  Take another look at what that verse says – The LORD directs it where HE chooses. Even a king’s heart with all its power is not exempt from God’s control.  I picture His outstretched, almighty hand cupping the water this way and that to guide it.  I also see it held within His palm, flowing out between His fingertips.  This is the God who holds back the sea!   “…….he gave the sea its boundary so the waters would not overstep his command…..”(Proverbs 8:29)  Why would I NOT want Him in control?  Many of my favorite verses in Scripture attest to this same point.  Here are just a couple:  “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.” (Proverbs 19:21)  “A man’s heart plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9)
I think I like them so much because they remind me over and over that it is truly God who is in control of things.  And really………I want Him to be.  I pray often for God not to let me get ahead of Him.  Whenever I try and take the reins, things wind up in a tangled mess.  It would do me good to remember to let the God who is our ‘Living Water’ direct the course of all the ‘waters’ of my life!
SUNDAY MORNING MESSAGE – Bloody Water (Exodus 7:14-24)
Have you ever had God try to get your attention, but you tried to ignore Him?  As the ten plagues begin, we read that God struck Egypt’s main asset: the Nile River. By turning the water to blood, the Lord is confronting the Egyptians and inviting them to know that He is the true God who rules over even the resources we take for granted. But while Egypt undeniably suffers, Pharaoh pretends that this situation is not worth a response. He goes back to his palace and tries to ignore the Lord. Like many of us, he doesn’t realize that God does not stop when He is working to get through to us. While the message of the first plague is clear enough, Pharaoh refuses to listen and sets a course that will bring much damage to Egypt.

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:  Due to the large participation in Workshop Wednesdays, we’re going to put Bible Study on hold until March.  We are excited about what the Lord is doing in the workshops and we’ll get back to Ephesians in a few weeks.

“When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity. Wealth is worthless in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death.”

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

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

Sundays after the 9:00 worship. Meeting in Pastor Mark’s office.  Studying “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!  
SIGNUP SUNDAY (Formerly Job  Fair) – Sunday, March 15th
Each year, we take a few minutes on a Sunday morning and invite Hopers to signup as volunteers in one of our ministries.  If you’ve been on the sidelines for any reason, we want to encourage you to take a step forward into serving.  Any role, no matter how big or small, is important in what God is doing at Hope.  So towards the end of each service, we’ll spend a few minutes talking about opportunities and then direct you towards those who can answer any questions and get you signed up to serve in the role(s) that best fits you!

WINTER WEEKEND (February 21-23) 
It’s that time of year again! All 8th-12th graders are invited to join us for our Winter Weekend at Refreshing Mountain. The cost of the trip is $80 (see Dave Hallahan for payment options). We’ll be leaving from St. Johns UMC in Turnersville at 6:00pm on that Friday. Contact dave@hopechristianfellowship.org with any questions!

BOWLING – Sunday, March 8th from 4:30 – 6:30 pm 
Join us at Bowlero (Formerly Brunswick Zone) located at 1328 Delsea Dr, Deptford Township, NJ 08096.  Cost is only $5/person.  Come and bowl, come just to cheer folks on, come for the fellowship!  We need to let Bowlero know how many lanes we need, so please make sure to sign up in the lobby.

Are you remembering to put your change into your Choices of the Heart Crisis Pregnancy Center’s baby bottles? You can even keep it simple by writing a tax deductible check made payable to Choices of the Heart and slip it into the bottle.  As local women see their babies on the free ultrasound tests, the percentage who choose life is remarkably increased. Save the babies – fill your bottles and return by March 1st. See Wendy Devereaux with questions.

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.

We are offering four different classes that 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.

Please Note: this class meets from 6:30 – 8:30 and runs through April 1st

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! 

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 —–Bill Berry
Counters ———-Kathy Berry, Wendy Devereaux
Greeters ———-Linda Villanova, Karen Hosey, Ellen Boales, Karl Miller

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.

Lead and I Will Follow,