Hope Notes 10/14/2020

October 14, 2020

Dear Friends of Hope ~
     “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”  Did your parents drill that into your head when you were a child?  I’ve heard that saying repeated so many times that I actually began to wonder if it was a Bible verse I’d somehow overlooked. My curiosity got the best of me (as usual), so I checked.  Nope – not in Scripture.  So of course I Googled it.  And guess what?  We can all thank Thumper from the Disney movie Bambi!  Sweet little rabbit.  Probably had no idea how that simple string of words would take on a life of its own!  Most likely because it is so needed and so true.  Thumper’s timely words echo the sentiment of another common phrase, ‘speech is silver; silence is golden’. In case you’re wondering, yes I Googled that too.  Credit the book written by Thomas Carlyle in 1836, The Tailor Retailored.  Consider your trivia content for the week met!
      Now just because neither of those phrases come from the Bible doesn’t mean the topic is not addressed.  Probably one of the most familiar verses to speak to this is found in Ecclesiastes 3:7, “A time to keep silence, and a time to speak.”  It’s often best to stay quiet if you can’t say something kind or meaningful.  Our society will tell you that silence is foolish, that we should always speak up! But silence isn’t foolish. The Bible says: “A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.” (Proverbs 29:11)  Sometimes it’s better to say nothing at all than to say something that shows our ignorance. We often jump too quickly in with our thoughts and opinions without thinking things through.  If we can restrain our words, then we wisdom enough to know when to keep our mouths shut, because with many words comes the chance for saying the wrong thing.  It’s better to say nothing than to say something we’ll later regret. “Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.” (Proverbs 17:28)  That’s not always easy to do, especially when everyone else is weighing in on a subject and we feel the need to contribute.  I never want to be that person who sometimes speaks just to feel important.  “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!” (Psalm 141:3)  Would you like one last example of keeping silent when you really feel like spouting off? Look no further than Isaiah 53:7 “He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth.”  Jesus never opened His mouth.  This blows me away.  If our Lord could keep silent under the most unimaginable of circumstances, surely I can manage to heed the admonition of skillful silence.
Be Still and Know….
From Bondage to Freedom – A Study Through Exodus
October 18 – Sanctified People (Exodus 19:1-8)
How much have you heard about ‘the saints’ in your life? Some religious traditions take great care to memorialize people who reportedly have lived lives overflowing with goodness. When we hear the word ‘saint’ in front of someone’s name, we think of them as being on a higher plane spiritually. But the word simply means holy ones who are set apart. Another word we can use for that is sanctified. And Israel was being set apart and called out to be a holy people by God in the Exodus story. They were far from ‘overflowing with goodness’. But they belonged to God and the Lord was going to work to form them into a nation that was sanctified.  Today, all believers in the New Testament are called saints.  The same idea that God was working out in Israel applies to us today. How is God working to set us apart, and how can we step into this amazing privilege?

“Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”
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! 

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! 

For the month of September, we averaged $9811 per week bringing our annual average to $9387.  We continue to see our annual average right around our target of $9400 per week.  God has been good to each of us and to our church in this uncertain year, and we give thanks for each person’s faithfulness and sacrifice.  If you’re a part of Hope and you’ve aren’t giving regularly, please pray about what the Lord would have you give weekly as a part of our church family!

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

CRAFT NIGHT: October 23rd, 7:00-10:00pm
We’ll be watching Jurassic Park while doing fall crafts! There will be a pumpkin decorating contest with a $20 Amazon gift card reward for the winner. We’ll also have pizza and fall themed snacks, like apple cider donuts, pumpkin spice cookies, hot cocoa, and more!
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 this Sunday! 

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!