Hope Notes 02/26/2020

February 26, 2020

DEAR FRIENDS OF HOPE ~This past Sunday I took the same walk down the same hallway that I always do.  But something was different.  Our once dingy hall had been adorned with brand new carpet! It was fresh and clean and made such a difference in the whole appearance of things!  But you know what?  Underneath it was the same drab, worn-down linoleum.  The scuff marks and stains from years of use were still there.  It made me think of Jesus’ reprimand to the Pharisees.  He gave two good examples of how we can appear ‘clean’ on the outside, but inside we are still dirty. “Then the Lord said to him, “You Pharisees are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy—full of greed and wickedness!”  (Matthew 23:25-26)  We are so careful with our appearances.  I’m not talking physical, but in how we present ourselves to the world.  We strive to give the right impression – that we have it all together, that our finances are just fine, that we sit in prestigious positions in our jobs, that we are spiritually on fire………you get the idea!  Jesus then goes on to tell the Pharisees this:  “You are like whitewashed graves that look beautiful on the outside but inside are full of dead people’s bones and every kind of impurity.”  (Matthew 23:27) We spend too much time and money on making ourselves look ‘beautiful’. We feel we must cover all the imperfections, be they grey hairs or bad skin, lips that aren’t full enough, or hips that are too full!   We are living in an age that sometimes values perfection in people’s appearance more so than what their character is.   It’s okay to have a fault line in your integrity, but certainly not on your face! (Can you say Botox?)  However, God cares more about our inside than our outside. “But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)  Since we can see it’s quite obvious what matters to God, don’t you think that is what should matter to us as well?  I’m going to let that new carpet be a reminder to me that I need to be sure I’m not just covering something up in order to look good on the outside, but rather making myself clean from the inside out!
Psalm 95:6 says “Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.”  We’ve set aside this morning to do exactly that. Whether you are in a storm or on a mountain top, join us this day to give God praise and thanks. He is worthy of our worship and as His people, it is fitting that we intentionally come together to worship Him!

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!

WEDNESDAY NIGHT BIBLE STUDY 7:00 – 8:15 Resumes this Wednesday, March 4th!
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.

“Lord, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, Lord. Repeat them in our day, in our time make them known, in wrath remember mercy.”
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!  
Fellow Hopers – we have a member who is requesting hand-me-down 2T girl’s clothing (spring/summer)for his granddaughter whose single mom was baptized here at Hope. If you are able to help with this, please leave the clothes in the far back corner of the kitchen by the Food Pantry.   

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!

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.
HOPEKIDS! EASTER EGG HUNT Saturday, April 4th 10:00 am – 12:00 pm RAIN OR SHINE!
Join us for a fun-filled morning of songs, games, and an Easter egg hunt!  This event is for our Pre-K, Toddlers, and Nursery-aged HopeKids! along with their parents or guardians.  Please RSVP at the registration table by March 29th or by contacting Kara May at karajoellxo@gmail.com.  Open to all children ages 5 and under. 

This is the final week to return your Choices of the Heart baby bottles. If you still have one to return and forgot it, please leave it next week at the rear of the sanctuary by the sound team or give to any Deacon or Elder. It’s NEVER too late! The babies whose lives were saved and helped by your generosity thank you!  A total received will be announced in a few weeks.

BAPTISM SERVICE Sunday, March 4th @ 7:00 pm
Make sure to mark your calendars for this powerful and encouraging service that is like no other!  When else do we have the privilege of listening to the testimony of those who have decided to take this public step of being washed clean and made new in Christ?!  It’s also a way to support and encourage those who are being baptized.  See you there!

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 ——Nick DellaRova
Ushers 11:00 —–Damon Briggs
Counters ———-Damon Briggs, Bill Berry
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.

Washed Clean by His Blood,