Hope Notes 09/23/2020

September 23, 2020

Dear Friends of Hope ~
When I was little (way, way back in the dark ages) I experienced what they now call bullying all throughout my elementary school years.  Back then it was ‘just teasing’ and no one thought twice about it.  No one told an adult.  And if they did, the adult never took any steps to curtail it.  Even my own mother downplayed it and told me to simply ignore it.  But as a shy, anxious little girl I didn’t really have the tools to stand up to those classroom meanies.  I had a number of strikes against me.  I was the tallest in my class (shocker, I know), I had curly hair (horrors), and I had a funny last name (Weisbrot – which quickly become Wise Brat).  Add to that the aforementioned shyness and you can only imagine the daily tears and fears that surrounded going to school.  Somehow all those taunts became a part of who I believed I was. Long after those names had stopped being hurled at me I carried them in my soul. Once I met Jesus however, all that changed.  I learned that what other people say to you and about you Does. Not. Matter.  Let me say that again for the people in the back.  It does not matter!  There is only One who matters.  His name is Jesus and let’s take a look at what HE says about us:
You are fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:14
You are a child of God.  John 1:12
You are set free.  Galatians 1:5
You are forgiven and redeemed.  Ephesians 1:7

You are loved.  Jeremiah 3:13
Oh how I wish I had known this as a child!  Parents, fill your children up with the knowledge and assurance of God’s love for us.  Help them engrave the Scriptures on their little hearts.  Let there be no room in their souls for the darts and arrows thrown at them by the enemy via other’s ridicule.
One last thing I will say. God never wastes pain.  My experience as a child has given me a heart for the underdog, the bullied, the outcast, the fearful.  God uses all circumstances in our lives to bring about His purpose.  “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)  Dig deep into the wounds of your childhood or more recent hurts.  Like the pearl formed inside an oyster by the irritation of sand, God can transform a hurt into a pearl – a healed wound to be used for good, for His purpose.
Exchanging Pain for Pearls…..
September 27 – Better Truth (John 14:6; Psalm 147:5; 1 John 3:20; Titus 1:2; John 11:1-4)
Truth is tricky. While knowing the truth would seem to be a pretty necessary part of life, it is quite common to hear people talk about truth like it is personal or moldable. Some part of us feels like we’re on a quest for discovering what’s true and real. Then hearing that truth is unknowable and relative erodes any hope of finding what we need. On top of that, we are surrounded by people who are essentially yelling at us to listen as they tell us what ‘truth’ we should believe. Jesus wants us to have better than all of this confusion and frustration.  He tells us that He is the truth, and He came to give it to us through His life. What we need are answers we can rely on, and our Savior doesn’t want us to live without them. Instead of continuing on the search with tools and ideas that will never bring us to answers, we are invited to know better truth through Jesus.

Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.
TRUNK OR TREAT: Registration open now!
We’re hoping to have our annual Trunk or Treat this year on Sunday, October 25th from 3:00-5:00pm BUT we need a minimum amount of cars to make this event possible! If you know you’d like to be a trunker this year, sign up here! We’ll be making the final decision by the beginning of October, so sign up ASAP! 

CHURCH BUSINESS MEETING: Wednesday, October 7th at 7:00pm
Join us for a  full update on the spending work for the HVAC and building projects. The elders will share the progress as well as the many adjustments we’ve had to make along the way. Plus, there are new projects we’re tackling! So we’re calling for all those who are a part of Hope to join us if you can as we move forward together.

HELP NEEDED: The Marriage Course
We are looking for several volunteers that would be willing to help set up, serve dinner, and clean up for our Friday night Marriage Course (see times and dates below). You don’t need to be available for the entire series, even just one or two nights would be fantastic! We just need 2-5 people to help each night. We’re hoping for 2-3 to help at the beginning (set up/ serving) and 2-3 and the end of the evening (reset for Sunday services). We’d love to ask older teens, young adults, single adults, or those who may be unable to attend with their spouse to consider lending a hand for an evening! If you think you may be able to help out, contact Dana Ott at danaott@hopechristianfellowship.org.
Sign-up online now!
For a listing of all our available groups, check out the information here! We have many different options, so you’re sure to find a fit that’s right for you! Or, if you’re thinking of starting your own, contact Dave Hallahan at dave@hopechristianfellowship.org. Also check out these special short-term groups below!

THE MARRIAGE COURSE: 7-week Small Group, Fridays from 6:30-9p, starting Oct 9th
This small group is designed to help couples invest in their relationship and build a strong marriage. Through the seven weeks this course will cover: Strengthening Connection, The Art of Communication, Resolving Conflict, The Power of Forgiveness, The Impact of Family, Good Sex and Love in Action. There is a $100 cost per couple. This cost includes dinner, dessert, and beverages each week and course materials. Think of it as your weekly date night! Sign-up here!

FIGHT CLUB: 8-week Small Group, Tuesdays from 6p-7p, starting Oct 6th
This small group is designed for men to unite in their struggle against pornography. Pornography is an epidemic, affecting over 80% of men, twisting our ideas of sexuality and killing us in the process. But there is hope; James 5:16 says,  “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective”. No judgement, no condemnation, only healing and support is on offer. We seek to “Carry each other’s burdens” (Gal 6:2), and in that way all feel a little lighter. Using Tim Chester’s Closing the Window: Steps to Living Porn Free we will be looking at the ways we can both spiritually and practically fight The Fight against pornography. Sign-up here!
YOUTH GROUP: Sundays at 6:00pm
Our goal at Hope is to provide a space where young believers and seekers can grow in their faith, and find that they have a loving and welcoming place in the family of God. Students from 6th to 12th grade are invited to join us for games, snacks, and the Word of God as we engage in fellowship and seek to grow in our relationship with our savior. There will be some changes amidst the pandemic, including bagged snacks and youth group outdoors! If you have any questions, please contact our Youth Pastor, Daniel Lein, at danlein@hopechristianfellowship.org

SUNDAY MORNINGS: Livestreaming & In-Person!
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. If you’re unable to join us in-person, your kids can still watch GoZone on Facebook & YouTube!