Hope Notes 04/07/2021

April 7, 2021

Hello Hoper!
     I had a memory pop up on Facebook, and as I revisited it I began to look at it with a different perspective.  Let me share with you a little story entitled Terror at the Drugstore Drive-Thru.  I pulled up and put my prescription in the drawer without a care in the world.  Suddenly a spider dropped down on its web and began blowing wildly about in the wind.  I immediately went into panic mode; thrashing around, frantically trying to back away from the possibility of an up close and personal visit from Mr. Spider. The cashier stared at me as I continued flailing about. All I wanted to do was shut my window, but she continued asking me questions, unaware of my dilemma.   I couldn’t even look her in the eye because I was so busy keeping my eye on the spider.  Finally she said to me, “Are you alright?”  Relieved that she had finally noticed my plight, I exclaimed, “NO! There’s a spider about to drop into the drawer or my car!”  She just looked at me with a puzzled expression and said……..’so?’  I then drove away in shame.
      I wasn’t in any actual danger, the fear came because of what I had my eyes focused on.  If I had been looking at the cashier or out my front window, Mr. Spider would simply have continued his descent onto the ground and scurried away.  However, once I saw him I couldn’t look away and thus began my foray into fear.  If we focus on the problem, the impossibility of the situation, the perils ahead……we will find ourselves fearful, anxious, worried and unsettled.  If we want to have peace and assurance, we need to keep our eyes firmly fixed on Jesus. “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!” (Isaiah 26:3 NLT)
     The Bible teaches that the only way to rise above life’s circumstances is to put our focus on Jesus and KEEP it there.  The account of Peter walking on the water in Matthew 14:25-31 is a wonderful example of what we can accomplish when we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, and what will happen when we don’t.  I want to be a wave walker like Peter, don’t you?  I can’t promise that the next time I’m confronted with a capricious little web maker I won’t run away screaming, but I’ll do my best to remember the life lesson God gave me and follow His instructions:  “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith…..” (Hebrews 12:2)

Pursuing His Perfect Peace – Lois

Partnership is Essential for God’s People (Numbers 11:16-17, 24-30)

Navigating life seems so much simpler when you do it alone. There’s no one to consult or ask permission. There are no other opinions to consider. You can make decisions for a single set of viewpoints and desires. However, being alone is not good.  God even says this at the beginning of man’s history: It is not good for man to be alone. One way this truth gets reflected in God’s kingdom is that we partner together in the church. God’s design is for us to need one another, and that means we team up whenever we can. It begins with intentionally sharing leadership.  But it includes the simple respect and trust that is needed to work together. In Israel’s story, their complaints have discouraged Moses to the breaking point. God’s answer is to share the work of leading and to give His Spirit to seventy of Israel’s elders. Let’s be reminded today how vital it is for us to choose to work together.

Proverbs 27:1-2
“Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring. Let someone else praise you, and not your own lips.”

Each day this week, focus on being present to the moment. Ask God what he is calling you to today and then act on it.

Join us in reading Romans! And be sure to pick-up a bookmark in the lobby for a complete list of the books in our bible reading plan!
We averaged $10,371 per week for the month of March bringing our annual average up to $9337 per week.  That means through the first quarter of the year, we are right at our giving target ($9325 per week).  We are grateful for every person who faithfully and sacrificially gives to support Hope and would invite every Hoper to join the cause!

BIBLE STUDY: In-person tonight!
Bible study will begin meeting in-person (in addition to being live streamed) starting April 7th! We’ll meet in the auditorium so there is plenty of room to space out. We’ll be continuing our study in Ephesians. Starts at 7:00.

MEN’S BREAKFAST: This Saturday 8-9:30
Men 18 years of age and older are invited to our monthly Men’s Breakfast. We feature prayer, full participation study—all enjoyed with a great breakfast and terrific fellowship.

This group meets on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of each month at 12:30pm. We are committed to encouraging one another to lead obedient, fulfilling lives as followers of Jesus. Keep your eyes peeled for announcements regarding a quarterly event as well! Contact Jess St. Petery (856-673-6809 or j.st.petery@gmail.com) for more information or with any questions!

SUNDAY Q&As: Starting this Sunday!
Has a Sunday message ever left you with unanswered questions? It doesn’t have to anymore! For the three weeks after Easter we’ll be trying out an in-person Q&A session after the second service. You’ll be able to submit questions electronically at either of our two services and our pastoral staff will address them following the 10:00am service.  Join us in-person or check out the recorded Q&A on our YouTube and Podcast feeds. 

Join us Saturday, April 24th at 7:00 for snacks, fellowship, and some friendly competition. It will be a great way to get to know other couples at Hope! Open to couples engaged or married for 5 years or less. Sign-up here.

“When Life Gives You Lemons…”

Join us for a night of lemonade and laughs on Friday, April 7th from 7-9pm! We’ll also serve coffee and sweet treats and hear from some of our ladies about the ups and downs of life, and the goodness of God in the highs and lows! If you’re post high school and up, you’re invited to sign up in the lobby or online here. You don’t need to bring a thing, but feel free to invite a friend!

Thursdays at 7:00 | May 6 – Jun 10

Many times, being a Christian seems like a lot of “do not’s” which turn our faith into nothing more than restrictive legalism. But what if being a Christian is all about freedom? For six weeks we are going to look at The Greatest Commandment and begin to explore the freedom and wholeness that comes from loving God and our neighbors. Jesus brilliantly boiled down what it means to follow God into a couple sentences. We think it will be refreshing to explore this command together and help one another apply it to our lives at a deeper level. Sign-up here!

Thursdays at 7:00 | May 6 – Jun 10
It can seem increasingly unlikely, but the issues that threaten to divide us are not stronger than issues the Church has faced throughout her history. In the boiling pot that was 2020, a variety of different issues have bubbled up to the surface. We cannot ignore them and we shouldn’t divide over them. But what if we can’t all agree? How do we disagree without dividing the church? Over these 6 weeks, we’ll look at biblical principles, apply them to contemporary issues, and practice disagreeing with one another. Sign-up here!
1st & 3rd TUESDAYS at 7:30pm
Open to anyone graduated high school through their early 20s. Stay tuned for upcoming events!

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

DIY personal pizzas, board games, and Hamilton… what more could you possibly want on a Friday night? Join Mackenzie on Friday, April 16th at 6:00 at her house for a super fun girl’s night! Her address is: 973 Johnson Road in Sicklerville. 

We are very happy to announce the new and improved GoZone Virtual Experience! Instead of the livestream, our GoZone kids who can’t make it to church will have their VERY OWN virtual experience designed specifically to be as accessible and exciting as possible for children at home. Make sure you’re following HopeKids Ministries on Facebook so your child can watch!

Our Sunday morning program for K-5th graders meets in-person at the 8:30 & 10:00 services.