Hope Notes 04/15/2020

April 15, 2020

Dear Friends of Hope ~Have you noticed how dire circumstances (Umm…. like the ones we’re seeing right now) seem to bring out either the best or the worst in people?  They don’t magically change us into something we aren’t already. They reveal our true character. Extremes make you more of who you are.  So Believers, who are we?  To start with, we are God’s masterpieces. “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10)  Do you think God would create a masterpiece, only to have it revealed as fraudulent?  Looking good on the outside, but having a cruel heart on the inside?  I Peter 2:9 tells us that we are “a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” Wow – that’s a pretty impressive pedigree.  I think we need to live in a way worthy of the character God tells us we have.  Even more important, we are God’s temple. “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16)  We usually refer to this verse when we are cautioning against abusing our bodies through drugs, alcohol, smoking, etc.  I’m using it in this instance to remind us that God’s Spirit dwells within us.  Would the Holy Spirit lead us to be selfish, judgmental, greedy, or simply unkind?  I don’t think so!  I would hope and pray that that when the extreme conditions we find ourselves in make us ‘more of who we are’, we would be found to be more like who God created us to be and less like what our human nature would so easily have us become.  Let’s show the world how believers can respond to trials – with our eyes firmly on our Savior and our character rooted in God’s design for us.

Message – The God of Loss (Exodus 10)
What have your experiences with loss taught you?  We all face loss as a part of this life no matter who we are. Losses can affect us, whether big or small.  And many of them are just part of living in this fallen world.  But sometimes, God chooses to take something precious away from us because we’re on the wrong track.  He works to get our attention before it is too late by removing something important from our lives.  We may feel like God is being unkind…. but He is truly being good.  God brings tremendous loss to Egypt so that Pharaoh will respond to God’s command.  In the end, Pharaoh loses even the audience with God’s prophet, Moses.  When a big loss isn’t enough to turn us from wrong, our Lord will find a way to use loss yet again to show us what we’re hurtling towards.  Let our prayer be that we will hear God in the small losses instead of needing the big ones to get our attention.

“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have because God has said, Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you. So we say with confidence, The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?”

Every Monday through Friday Pastor Mark & Dave will be publishing short devotional thoughts on our new podcast, Hope Daily. They are available for listening on our website, Spotify, and coming soon to Apple podcasts! Please note this is a separate account from our regular Hope Christian Fellowship podcast where you can find our normal Sunday sermons and Wednesday night bible studies. 

WEDNESDAY NIGHT BIBLE STUDY LIVE STREAMING ON FACEBOOK @ 7:00 pJust because we can’t meet together in person, we can still ‘be together’ in our own homes as we tune in and listen to Pastor Mark!  We’ll be continuing on in our study of Ephesians.  Don’t miss this opportunity to stay connected and hear God’s Word.FELLOWSHIP 
HOPE YOUTH  Online Movie Night – Friday, April 17th 
This Friday will be a Netflix viewing party! Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram to get the link once it is available.
ZOOM YOUTH GROUP – Sunday, April 19th 
After a week off, we’ll be back to meeting online. Join us for a brief teaching, small groups, and some game time. Dave Hallahan is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting. 
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 856 3442 7949

YOUNG ADULTS  Zoom Meeting Tuesday, April 21st
Zoom Meeting (4/21) – After kicking off our discussion on Spiritual Disciplines, we’ll focus in on silence, solitude, and prayer. These aren’t all the same thing, but there’s definitely overlap. How easy or difficult is it for you to practice these? What techniques have worked for you? We’ll discuss these and more.
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 860 0791 5457  

SMALL GROUPS  f your small group is still hoping to meet, we have some resources that may be of use to you!
Zoom – This is a great video conferencing app that you can use on your phone or computer. The free version does limit to 40 minute calls.
Google Hangouts – Another great video conferencing app. This limits to 10 users at a time.
In addition to these apps that allow you to see each other, Mark has continued to post our Small Group Study Sheets. If you are looking for something else you could check out one of the following free video based small group studies. Everyone in your small group could watch separately and then you join a video call to discuss. 
Anthology – This is free year round, so check it out and bookmark it.
RightNow Media – This is normally subscription base, but they have made several of their studies available during this time.
If you have any questions, need help, or are looking for ideas other than what is listed here please contact  Dave at dave@hopechristianfellowship.org

On the HopeKids! MinistryFacebook page we have formed two new groups for parents to join!  Our HopeKids! WonderZone group is for our 0-5 year old families, and our HopeKids! GoZone group is for our K-5th grade families.  If you haven’t already be sure to ‘Like’ HopeKids Ministries on Facebook and then request to JOIN the group(s) below to follow all of our curriculum postings!  
HopeKids! WonderZone (0-5yr) Facebook Group
HopeKids! GoZone (K-5th) Facebook Group

HopeKids! Ministries will be doing our best to stay connected to our HopeKids! families.  We will be posting videos of our regular Sunday Worship, Lesson, and Scriptures for the WonderZone and GoZone every weekend.  The GoZone! will also include an attachment of activities that parents can do with their kids that go along with the lesson!

In the WonderZone, our goal is to post the weekly Worship, Lesson, and Bible verse video every SUNDAY.  We will also be having a follow up activity/video with Miss Kara on THURSDAY afternoons.  Additionally, there will be DAILY resources posted on the HopeKids! WonderZone group page to provide activities your family can participate in to revisit the weekly lesson!

The GoZone will be hosting ZOOM small group meetings on Tuesday nights.  The K-5th girls will be meeting from 6:55-7:25 and the K-5th guys will be meeting from 7:30-8:00.  The link to the meeting will be posted on Facebook.   On Friday nights ALL K-5th graders are invited to join us for HopeKids! Hangout from 7:00-7:45 on ZOOM.  

Please feel to contact Kara May (karajoellxo@gmail.com) or Matt Russell (mattrussell@hopechristianfellowship.org) at any time with questions, concerns, or needs you may have! We want to support you and encourage you through this difficult time, and we are here for you!ANNOUNCEMENTSLIVE STREAM 
Our live streams are now also available on our website.  Anyone can go to our website and watch our Sunday Services or any other live stream from our church by simply going to our website (www.hopechristianfellowhip.org) and clicking on ‘view live stream’.  This means we can share our church services to anyone – even people without Facebook or YouTube accounts. 

GIVING TO HOPE While we are not meeting in person, you all have proven in many ways that church is still very much happening. Your response to donating for our food pantry and your commitment to connection have truly been a blessing.
As a church, we also continue to have bills to pay. So we ask that you be as faithful as you can be in giving to Hope. We have updated our online giving categories to better reflect where our money is going. These additions include our benevolent fund which is being used to help meet the tangible needs of our Hope family during this time.  If you are currently in need (food, financial, or otherwise) don’t hesitate to reach out to needs@hopechristianfellowship.org.
Listed below are some ways to give:
1.  ONLINE GIVING – Visit hopechristianfellowship.org and click ‘give online’.
2.  TEXT-TO-GIVE –    609-251-4223
3.  MAIL A CHECK –    246 King St. Woodbury, NJ  08096

Now more than ever it’s important that we are able to stay connected with each other.  We can have access to the entire church directory on our laptops or on our phones through the app.  We’re better able to connect if we are all participating in the directory.  To sign up, simply contact Emily at emilydilorenzo@hopechristianfellowship.org and she will get you set up!

 If you’re looking for ways to help Seed of Hope,check out the following:
1.Drop-off one case of water and/or individual packaged snacks (like cheese crackers, granola/protein bars, trail mix, etc.) in bulk to the following locations:
Seeds of Hope Ministries, 1700 S. Broadway, Camden, NJ 08104
Contact Percy Carter at carterpercy68@gmail.com or 856-209-8005 before coming to make sure someone will be here to receive it. 
OR Seeds of Hope, 1 W. Walnut Avenue, Merchantville, NJ 08109
Contact Rebecca Bieber at rebecca@seedsofhopeministries. org or 609-304-6748 before coming.

2.As a family, together and make sandwiches(turkey & cheese, beef bologna & cheese)…place them in individual sandwich bags and drop them off to:
Seeds of Hope Ministries, 1700 S. Broadway, Camden, NJ 08104
 Please contact Percy Carter at carterpercy68@gmail.com or 856-209-8005 before you come.  

We at Hope would like to reach out to your loved ones who are in Nursing Homes, Assisted Living, hospitals, or just ill and shut in alone at home by sending them a nice note or a cheery card.  You can email Lorraine Otis at otislorraine20@gmail.com with names and addresses of those who would enjoy a card.  If anyone would like be on a list of volunteers sending these notes and cards, please email your name to Lorraine as well.  

If you or anyone you know is facing the loss of their job, Governor Murphy recently posted this helpful information:
Businesses across New Jersey are looking to hire THOUSANDS OF WORKERS, including those who lost their jobs or have had hours reduced as a result of COVID-19. Check out this link in order to help with your job search:  https://jobs.covid19.nj.gov

God’s Masterpiece..