Hope Notes 12/23/2020

December 23, 2020

Hello Hoper! Christmas Eve is my favorite day of the holiday season!  I like it even better than Christmas.  In fact, I often find I like the anticipation of things more than the real event. Christmas Eve is a most magical time.  For little ones, it’s the anticipation of Santa.  No matter how much we talk about Jesus’ birthday, you KNOW that Santa is the main thing on their minds!  For me, it’s preparing for Christmas morning, getting the house ready, putting gifts under the tree.  It’s going to church, surrounded by those I love, hearing the gospel, listening to the music, and of course that beautiful glow from all those candles.  It’s the remembrance of that long ago world waiting in hushed expectation for our Savior’s birth.  Christmas Eve is time suspended as God steps out of eternity and onto the earth.  In those moments before Christmas morning, anything is possible.  When you wake up and see all the beautifully wrapped gifts under the tree, remember that the very best present of all is His presence in our hearts.  And the best present we can give Him is our presence.  When we think of how He gave up His rightful place at the Father’s right hand, it should be no sacrifice at all for us to offer Him our presence.  Bow before Him, talk to Him through prayer, worship Him in all things, humble yourself before Him.  Hope and love and salvation were born in that manger on Christmas day.  May that thought plant itself deep into your heart and take root there, not just at Christmas, but all throughout the year. “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”  (Isaiah 9:6)

Rejoicing With You in the Birth of Our Savior!
Lois
SPIRITUAL CARE  SUNDAY MORNING MESSAGE
Peace In Every Season (Ecclesiastes 3:1-17, Matthew 6:21, Proverbs 4:23, Mark 12:30)
Are you a glass half full or glass half empty person? With a year like 2020 coming to a close, it is easy to reflect and see our glass half empty going into 2021. Let’s look at some Scripture to see how our control, or lack of it, and our heart can help us see our glass as overflowing no matter how our year felt.

VERSE OF THE MONTH: Hebrews 12:1-2
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before Him, He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
ANNOUNCEMENTS
CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICE: CANCELLED
It’s with heavy hearts that we have to cancel our outdoor Christmas Eve service due to the impending weather. We are so sad that this annual event won’t be able to happen. Unfortunately we cannot move it indoors due to Covid restrictions. While we will deeply miss being together as a church family, we encourage you to still read through scripture with your family and have your own “service” at home. Thursday we’ll be posting a resource on Facebook with bible verses and songs for you to go through with your family if you’d like. You can also receive a copy by emailing Emily DiLorenzo: emily@hopechristianfellowship.org

CHURCH BUSINESS MEETING: This Sunday after the 2nd Service!
We’ll be having our annual meeting to vote on the 2021 budget and discuss other church plans for the new year. All Hopers are invited to attend, but we need partners for the vote. Partners can vote via in-person ballot if they are unable to stay for the meeting. If you are unable to make it in-person you may watch and vote via Zoom. Contact Pastor Dave (dave@hopechristianfellowship.org) for the Zoom ID. 

2020 GIVING REPORTS:
Giving statements will be ready in January and available for pick-up the first 2 Sundays of the month. All reports not picked-up in church will then be mailed out. If you have any questions, or your address has changed, contact Damon Briggs at dbriggs@mandnco.com

WEDNESDAY NIGHT BIBLE STUDY:
We will be resuming our study in Ephesians on January 6th via livestream only. We hope you can tune-in on Facebook or YouTube! Bible study will remain virtual for the month of January.

SMALL GROUPS:
We will be resuming small groups in January! We’re also planning several short-term groups that will begin meeting in February. Stay tuned for more details! 

HOPE YOUTH
YOUTH GROUP: Currently On Hiatus
We will not be meeting 12/27 & 1/3. Merry Christmas & Happy New Year! 
YOUNG ADULTS
Currently On Hiatus
Stay tuned for plans for the new year!