Hope Notes 08/19/2020

August 19, 2020

Dear Friends of Hope ~
     A friend I knew back in high school recently reached out to me via social media.  I haven’t seen her in 48 years.  (Please note that it PAINS me to have actually done the math and arrived at that number.  How is it even possible I am old enough for that to be true?!)  Anyway…we did the usual rehashing of memories and then turned to more recent updates about the life we live now.  Hers was a sad story, comprised of many poor choices and resulting hardships.  A life of floundering and looking to be loved.  It made me feel sad for her and almost embarrassed to share the life God has given me.  But I did; God has been too good to me for me not to!  Editing God out of my life story, all that He has done and all that He has given, would be taking credit for something I totally couldn’t do for myself.  I want to follow the directive of Psalm 29:2 – “Give to the LORD, the glory due to his name…..”  I cannot take any credit for things that are due completely to His grace and mercy.   “Not to us, LORD, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.” (Psalm 115:1)
     Her response to my summary was also sad to me.  There were two main things she said to me.  She first said, “Your life seems so clear.”  I never really thought that about my life, but the Scripture in Ephesians 2:10 came right to mind: “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”  I told her that if there is any clarity or direction in my life, it is only because God put it there.  She then proceeded to tell me this – “I know you have a close fellowship with the people from your church; I am spiritual and pray to God all the time but I have no church. Therefore I have no friends here.”  Her ‘spirituality’ has gone from being Wiccan to now praying to God, along with many New Age beliefs. 
    There are many things we’ve been able to discuss – my personal testimony, the plain and simple Gospel message, etc.  But for some reason the one thing that really stuck out to me was that she made the connection between having a church family and having friends.  For me that fellowship is such a direct and happy result of my relationship with Jesus Christ.  I don’t believe I would have sought out a church had I not gotten saved and responded to the call for believers to “…not give up meeting together” (Hebrews 10:25) and to “Follow the steps of the good, and stay on the paths of the righteous.” (Proverbs 2:20)  An unexpected benefit of all this social distancing stuff is that she is able to have access to any number of churches in her area to kind of ‘test them out’ and hear the message of salvation.  (Not to mention being able to listen to our very own HCF YouTube channel!)  I am hoping she will one day give her life to Jesus, walk into a church, and find herself surrounded by people willing to be her friend.  As for us at Hope, may her story serve as a reminder of all we have as a church family and friends of God.  “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend.”  (James 2:23)
Your sister-in-Christ,
Lois
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SPIRITUAL CARE  SUNDAY MORNING MESSAGE
August 23 – What Am I Learning?
If you’re a believer, you are someone God has been working on every single day.  No matter if you’ve been a Christian for a little while or a long while, God keeps teaching us. And we (hopefully) are learning every day. This year has been unique with its challenges, struggles, and uncertainties.  So we’re going to take this morning and hear from our church leaders on what God has been showing them in the past few months.  Chances are their experiences will be something we all can learn from!

AUGUST CHALLENGE VERSE: Proverbs 3:24-26
When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked, for the Lord will be at your side and will keep your foot from being snared.
ANNOUNCEMENTS
SMALL GROUPS
September will be here before you know it, and we’ll be launching our Small Groups! Stay tuned for all the details on how to get join or start a Small Group, and to hear about the different Small Groups we’ll be offering at the church over the course of the fall! In the meantime, you can be praying about what direction God wants you to go in – whether that might mean hosting or attending! 

MARRIAGE NIGHT: Deadline to register is August 30th! 
We’d love to have you and your spouse come to this “date night” we’ve planned on Friday, September 18th from 7:00 – 10:00! We’ll be hosting a one-night broadcast event right here at Hope designed to encourage husbands and wives with a refreshing vision for God-honoring relationships. Laugh and learn together as we hear from marriage experts and discover how to cultivate a healthy marriage on a lasting biblical foundation. Cost to attend is $15.00 per person; make sure to register yourself and your spouse separately by August 30th here. Open to anyone who is married or engaged!  

HOPE YOUTH
YOUTH GROUP  
Be sure to follow @hcf_hopeyouth on Instagram and/or facebook.com/hcfhopeyouth to participate in Bible reading programs and catch all announcements for future events!
YOUNG ADULTS
MEETS 1st & 3rd TUESDAYS OF THE MONTH AT 7:30
SEPTEMBER 1ST – What I’ve Learned So Far About… Womanhood
Just like being a man, there are plenty of would-be-teachers out there telling us what it means to be a woman or what to expect a woman to be. What lessons – good, bad, or seemingly neutral – have you gleaned on what it means to be a woman? What does the Bible have to say about this?

HOPEKIDS! MINISTRY 
SUNDAY MORNINGS
We are excited to reopen HopeKids! Ministries at our 8:30 and 10:00 services. 
For more detailed information, please visit our Post Quarantine Protocol Sheet.

HOPEKIDS! HANGOUT
HKH is on hiatus through September. We’hoping to start meeting again in October, but will finalize a plan as we get closer to the fall. Check back for details and make sure you’re following us on Facebook for all of the latest info!