Hope Note 05/27/2020

May 27, 2020

Dear Friends of Hope ~  Science says that we need four basic things in order to survive:  Water/ Air/ Food/ Light.  Now look what the Bible tells us about Jesus: He is our Living Water.  “Jesus replied, ‘If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.”(John 4:10 NLT) He is the Breath of Life. “Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” (Genesis 2:7)   He is the Bread of Life. “Then Jesus declared, ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” (John 6:35)  He is the Light of the World.  “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12) Scientists apply the Rule of Three’s for three out of the four things necessary for live.  Did you know we can live for three weeks without food, 3 days without water, and only three minutes without air?  I wondered how long we could live without light.  I found many theories about what would happen if the sun disappeared, however I couldn’t find any conclusive timeline.  But it DID make me think about Jesus, the Son of God.   HE isn’t going to disappear. “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6)  God had no beginning and has no end.  “Before you created the hills or brought the world into being, you were eternally God, and will be God forever.” (Psalm 90:2 GNT)  I know I can’t live without those four essential elements, but I also know I cannot live without Jesus as the rock and center of my life.  He is my living water, my breath of life, and my eternal bread of life  Science was right – we surely do need Jesus to live!

The Firstborn (Exodus 13:1-16)
How’s your memory?  There are many reasons that our minds don’t work as well as we want them to, including sleep patterns and diet.  But the bigger reality is that we all tend to forget over time.  Even the best of us are more likely to remember things we focus on and forget the things we never think about.  Of course, our Creator knows this and He has given us instructions on what to do about it for our spiritual well-being.  As Israel prepares to leave Egypt, God speaks to them about some new ‘rules’.  But if you look a little deeper, these instructions are really about remembering how God had rescued them. We’ll look at the nature of God’s method to help them remember, and then we’ll ask if there are any ways we can do the same.

MAY CHALLENGE VERSE – Isaiah 55:8-9 
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Now available on Spotify, Goodle Podcasts, and Apple Podcasts!
Every Monday through Friday Pastor Mark & Dave will be publishing short devotional thoughts on our new podcast, Hope Daily. 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. 

Just 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 
SMALL GROUPS  If your small group is still hoping to meet, we have some resources that may be of use to you!
Please note that the final Small Group Study Sheet will be going out May 31st.
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

This Tuesday (6/2) we will be BACK IN PERSON at the Hallahans!  We’ll be roasting s’mores, staying 6-feet apart, and discussing the fallout and continued road through Covid-19. Your thoughts and experiences are vital to this convo so be there!  612 Westover Ct Williamstown, NJ 08094

ZOOM YOUTH GROUP May 31st  @ 6:00 pm
Join us this Sunday at 6:00 as we continue our Zoom gatherings. We’ll also share some ideas we have for our in person gatherings this Summer.
Meeting ID: 851 8768 8751  

If you haven’t already, make sure to ‘Like’ our HopeKids Ministries on Facebook and request to join the group(s) below in order to follow all of our curriculum postings:
HopeKids! WonderZone (0-5yr) Facebook Group
HopeKids! GoZone (K-5th) Facebook Group

GoZone: 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.  
HopeKids! Hangout:  Friday nights from 7:00 – 7:45 for all K-5th Graders
The link to the meetings will be posted on Facebook. 
Contact Kara May (karajoellxo@gmail.com) or Matt Russell (mattrussell@hopechristianfellowship.org) with any questions.ANNOUNCEMENTS
We are busy making plans for that wonderful day when Hope can reopen our doors to everyone!  One of the things we will need to be doing is sanitizing the things that get touched often – bathroom fixtures, door handles, etc.  We are getting many strategies in place for this and more, but we need some help.  If anyone is willing to take a turn in between services, please contact Mike Hartwell at mhredeemed@gmail.com.  Please note that plans are all very ‘loose’ right now; we just want to get ahead of things so we are ready to go when we are given the green light.

Thanks to the generosity of our Hopers, we have a nice stash of food and supplies in our Food Pantry.  If you find yourself in need, or just can’t find an item you’ve been looking for, contact our Needs Team at needs@hopechristianfellowship.org and we will see if we can help!

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 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

He is Life,