Hope Notes 10/07/2020

October 7, 2020

Dear Friends of Hope ~
Are you familiar with the fruits of the Spirit?  Quick take a look at Galatians 5:22-23 for a refresher.  I read something the other day in my devotion that really got me to thinking.  Author Ray Stedman said, “Joy is love enjoying itself; peace is love resting; patience is love waiting; kindness is love reacting; goodness is love choosing; faithfulness is love keeping its word; gentleness is love empathizing; and self-control is love resisting temptation.” If you’re anything like me, you’ll need to read that over a few times; I’m STILL rolling it around in my head!  If we use what he says as a springboard, then it would seem that all the qualities of a life controlled by the Spirit are expressions of the first one – love.  Does that mean that if we can master ‘love’, we can reap the benefits of the rest? It would certainly seem so!  But my goodness, love can surely be a difficult thing to master! God commands us to love our enemies. “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” (Matthew 5:44)  Easy to love those who love us back, or those who mean us no harm. Not so easy to love those who bring nothing but aggravation or worse into our lives. We are to love our neighbor as ourselves. “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Mark 12:31)  To me this means thinking of other’s needs before our own. And not just our literal neighbor, but the whole community of those we come in contact with.  One final and most important call to love is to love God above all else.  “Love the Lord your God with ALL your heart and ALL your soul and  ALL your mind and ALL your strength.” (Mark 12:30)  Yes, love truly is the key. And guess what?  As believers, we don’t have to muster up the strength to love all on our own.  We have the ability to love as God does.  1John 4:19 says, “We love because He first loved us.”  So – we can do it – we just need to tap into that resource living inside us and let our lives become a reflection of the love He has for us!
In His LOVE…
From Bondage to Freedom – A Study Through Exodus
October 11 – Exhausted and Overwhelmed (Exodus 18:13-27)
Have you ever heard someone say, “God will never give you more than you can handle”?  When you heard it, did it comfort you or did it confuse you?  Maybe if you didn’t think too deeply, you were encouraged by the idea that seemingly overwhelming things are no match for the power you have to overcome.  But when you look at your life more closely, it is probably easy to see times where life was simply too heavy and too hard for you.  Perhaps there is a reason this saying is not given to us in Scripture (its something people think is in the Bible, but isn’t). In fact, our story today back in Exodus is a perfect example of a person trying to do something good and filling a role God called them to, but being completely overwhelmed.  Why would God give you more than you can handle? Let’s see if we can learn from Moses’ experience.

“Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”
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. Not able to make it in person? We’ll also be livestreaming on Facebook. 

TRUNK OR TREAT: Cancelled 
We’re sad to have to skip out on what is always a highlight of the year at Hope, but we decided it wiser to cancel, due to the lower number of participants and the current covid climate. We look forward to the time when our traditional Hope activities can resume! 

FIGHT CLUB: Last call to join!
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 our offer.  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. Classes will be held Tuesdays from 6:00-7:00 at the church and led by Dan Lein. To sign-up click here. Please note: we are doing what we can to keep this group discreet and private for all the men who attend. 

FREE FALL CLEANUP! October 24th 
Our Young Adults are looking to serve Hopers and community by providing a day of free help (think yard work, housework, light manual labor.) If you have a task that needs completing, sign up here, or email Pastor Dave (dave@hopechristianfellowship.org) Or if you know of someone who could use a helping hand (another Hoper, neighbor, family member) you can nominate them and one of our leaders will reach out! 

We know that the pandemic has affected many of our Hopers (and others!) livelihood. To view a list of the latest job postings in our area click here. If you have a financial burden, contact our Needs Team at needs@hopechristianfellowship.org. There is also a local job fair happening this Saturday October 3rd.HOPE YOUTH
YOUTH GROUP: Sundays at 6:00pm
 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. If you have any questions, please contact our Youth Pastor, Daniel Lein, at danlein@hopechristianfellowship.org

BONFIRE: This Friday, October 9th, 7:00-10:00pm
Join us at the Clark’s house (4 West 2nd Ave., West Deptford) for a bonfire, s’mores, hotdogs and games!

UPCOMING EVENTS: Mark your calendars and stay tuned for details!

  • October 16th: Boys Bowling Night 
  • October 23rd at 7:00pm: Crafts & Movie Night

OCTOBER 20TH: What I’ve learned so far about… Reading the Bible
The Bible has been around for thousands of years and people have been debating about it for even longer. Even within Christian circles there is a spectrum of thought and belief about what the Bible is and isn’t. As you’ve interacted with reading the Bible, what have you learned? How has it worked in your life? What are questions you still have left unanswered about God’s Word?

ATTENTION PARENTS: Kid’s Christmas Program
We’re gauging the interest in having our kid’s Christmas program this year (for both the 2-5 year olds and elementary aged kids!) This is typically a program we never skip, and we are hoping that we can make it happen for Christmas 2020 in spite of all that’s happened this year! If your child would be interested in participating please email Pastor Matt (mattrussell@hopechristianfellowship.org) by October 18th

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!