Hope Notes 03/11/2020

March 11, 2020

DEAR FRIENDS OF HOPE ~     You know that saying “When God shuts a door He opens a window”……or does He shut the window and open a door?  I’m never quite sure, but I DO know this – it’s not a Bible verse! I also know that, while we do serve a God who certainly does open or shut doors, we need to humbly accept that He has the authority to say no (close a door) without having to say yes (open a window) to something else.  Sometimes He simply closes the door.  Closed doors shouldn’t bother us.  What we often view as failures or disappointments often turn into blessings in disguise.  A closed door can be God’s way of protecting us.  Therefore, we shouldn’t try and open our own doors.  Have you ever felt deep down inside that you were prying open a door God was calling to remain shut?  I know I have!  Sometimes another person shuts a door on us.  Those are the situations where we must allow the Lord to open that door.  His mighty strength and power will open doors so that no one can shut it.  “This is what you must write to the angel of the church in Philadelphia: I am the one who is holy and true, and I have the keys that belonged to David. When I open a door, no one can close it. And when I close a door, no one can open it.”  (Revelation 3:7 CEV)
     I read an interesting message on the Lord opening doors (I can’t credit the pastor because I forget who it was!).  But he used the Red Sea as an example.  He said that when we struggle in vain in our own strength against barriers, we must remember to allow the Lord to open the doors for us.  He opened the Red Sea to let His people pass through it. “Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided, and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left.” (Exodus 14:21-22)  But He closed it when the Egyptians tried to use the way He had opened for His people.  “Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Stretch out your hand over the sea so that the waters may flow back over the Egyptians and their chariots and horsemen’. Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at daybreak the sea went back to its place. The Egyptians were fleeing toward it, and the Lord swept them into the sea.” (Exodus 14:26-27)  The doors the Lord opens for us cannot be used by our enemies.  The way of escape for us will become the way of destruction for them.
     I’m learning to stop putting my hand on that doorknob to either yank a door open or slam it shut.  I really don’t want what’s behind ‘door number one, two, or three’ if it’s not what God has for me.  And if it is something in His plan for me, then I absolutely want it opened by the One who ‘opens a door that no one can shut’!
SUNDAY MORNING MESSAGE – Negotiating With God (Exodus 8:16-32)

If you’ve ever been in the unfortunate position of having your supervisor tell you that you no longer have a job, you know from experience how difficult that can be.  You probably didn’t see that moment as an opportunity to ‘negotiate’.  Maybe when you were hired, or after a very good year, you asked for more than was offered.  But negotiation requires some kind of standing or leverage, and when you’re being let go, you have neither.  Pharaoh has been shown that he truly has no leverage or standing before God Almighty.  God sends two more plagues, and the Egyptian magicians can’t reproduce them (let alone stop the plagues God sends).  Yet Pharaoh tries to negotiate with God.  Before we jump to some kind of judgment on him, let’s ask ourselves if we do something similar with our Lord.  Do we try to offer less than He asks for?

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 Today, Wednesday, March 11th!
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.”
Find our Small Group sheets 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

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!  
Join us for an intimate time of communion, Scripture reading, and song

In order to accommodate the large number of people we have attending on Easter Sunday, we are offering THREE identical services this year at 8:30, 10:00, and 11:30!  Pick the one that best suits your family and come enjoy the celebration of our Risen Savior! 

Ken Blythe is organizing two trips to see Queen Esther at Sight & Sound in Lancaster.  Dates are Tuesday, June 16th OR Tuesday, July 14th. Cost is $68/person which includes ticket & gas.  Expect to buy your own lunch while there. You can sign up for either trip in the lobby. We are limited to 13 individuals for each trip.

Our church will be serving breakfast with Seeds of Hope Ministries, Saturday April 4th at 8:15 am. The breakfast is served at the Volunteers of America, 555 Atlantic Ave Camden. Anyone interested please sign up in the lobby. All volunteers are welcomed to bring seasonal clothing or toiletry donations the morning of as well. Any additional information please reach out to Stacy Reid, 856.294.7324 or sreid0905@gmail.com.

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.   

Come on out and enjoy the fresh air and fellowship that comes with playing on a church league! We will be teaming up with Pitman Methodist Church.  Season starts April 13th and runs through June.  Games are weeknights with the exception of Wednesdays (6:30, 8:00, and 9:30). Open to anyone 16 years old and up.

SIGNUP SUNDAY (Formerly Job  Fair) – This 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!

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. 

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 ——Bob Kerr
Ushers 11:00 —–Bruce Clark
Counters ———-LaTosha Briggs, Melissa McGinness
Greeters ———–Irene Ridell, Pat Keith, Charlotte Zediker, Jeanne Wurst

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.

He Is Faithful,