Hope Notes 04/14/2021

April 14, 2021

Hello Hoper!
     It’s such a balm to my soul to see the signs of Spring returning!  The trees’ stark winter branches have softened into a hazy yellow green, soon to be replaced by the bright and full green of summer.  I love seeing all the flowers reappear, lending pops of color to the earth.  Even the sky seems a brighter blue.  One of the things I like most is the ability to finally open the windows and let the fresh air in.  Isn’t that the best?!
     My heart and soul are often in need of ‘fresh air’.  It could be that a devotional I’ve been reading begins to feel stale.  Or my prayer life seems to be on auto pilot.  Or maybe I’m living too cautiously, afraid to let the Spirit in to do His work.  Sprinkled throughout Scripture are many metaphors comparing the Holy Spirit to wind.  The same words in Hebrew and Greek can be translated either spirit or wind. There are many metaphors sprinkled throughout the Bible illustrating this relationship.  “The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:8)  The wind definitely blows where it wants and the Spirit works in ways and places we cannot imagine or control. Both are also invisible.  John 14:17 talks about the world not accepting the Holy Spirit because it cannot see him or know him.  We can see the effects of the wind, but we cannot see the wind itself.  And although we cannot ‘see’ the Spirit, we can certainly see the effects of his work on people’s lives.  We can feel the wind and we can feel when the Spirit takes over in worship or in our prayers.   
     With the new season upon us, I think it’s time to open up the windows of our hearts and let some fresh air in!  It won’t take much; sometimes you only have to open the ‘window’ the tiniest bit to let the breeze blow through.  And who knows?  You just might find yourself blown away by the crazy holy wind of the Spirit!  “Suddenly a sound like a mighty rushing wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw tongues like flames of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit……”  (Acts 2:2-4)

Holy Spirit Breathe on Us – Lois

Dead to Sin, Alive to God
Romans 6

On Easter we saw that we all have problems (or are a problem) too big to solve on our own.  The world needs Jesus and as individuals we need Him too.  Easter weekend reminds us that Jesus is our solution and went to great lengths to do so.  But what now?  We have received forgiveness; how does this change us?  For many, we accept the fact that our eternal destiny is a problem too big to solve.  But then our day-to-day goes right back to our best efforts.  We work harder, pray harder, read the Bible more, and put in all sorts of efforts to earn the salvation we have been freely given. On the other side of the spectrum, we just give up trying to become better.  We give in to our temptations and pile up the grace that Jesus offers.  In Romans 6, Paul offers a different option.  Paul calls us to wake up to the new reality.  We are dead to sin and alive to God.

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.”

In Matthew 6, Jesus says something similar to our Proverb right after encouraging us to “Seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness.” This week spend time praying about what it looks like for you to seek his Kingdom.

Join us Sunday mornings at 8:00 in Pastor Mark’s office to pray for that morning’s services. 
BIBLE STUDY: Ephesians
Meets every Wednesday night in the auditorium at 7:00, as well as live on Facebook and YouTube. This is a great opportunity for a mid-week spiritual boost and a chance to spend time with church family. Don’t miss! 

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!

Has a Sunday message ever left you with unanswered questions? It doesn’t have to anymore! For the remaining weeks of April, 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.

If you’ve been reading along with us for this month’s bible book, meet with us on Zoom to discuss! Pastor Dave will lead in conversation. Bring your feedback and questions! April 29th at 7:00. Meeting ID: 810 7220 2635.

“When Life Gives You Lemons…”

Join us for a night of lemonade and laughs on Friday, May 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, 7:00 at Church | 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, 7:00 at Church | 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

GIRL’S NIGHT: This Friday!
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.