Hope Notes 11/17/2021

November 17, 2021

Hello Hoper~
     One of the most often quoted Scriptures in the Bible is a twenty six word parade of love that begins with “God so loved the world….” (John 3:16)  In fact, it’s so often repeated that it’s easy for the magnitude of those twenty six words to be diminished into merely an easy to remember memory verse. I’m guilty of that myself.  I don’t often sit and ponder that particular verse; after all I’ve heard it many times and know what it means.  Or do I?  The action of love reflected in that verse is simply too much for my pitiful human mind to comprehend.  Lately I’ve been thinking about how to feel or receive God’s love for us, as well as how to love Him in ways that are pleasing to Him. Comparing love between humans with love between mankind and our heavenly Father just doesn’t equate. So I searched the Scriptures for some answers.
     I didn’t have to look too hard to find a couple of very simple answers on how we are to love God. “Loving God means keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome.” (1John 5:3)  Jesus Himself said, “If you love me, you will obey what I command.” (John 14:15 NIV) Okay, that’s pretty clear. We can show our love to God by doing what He asks us to do.  We love others, pray, serve, seek Him first above our own desires.  We love Him for who He IS, not for what He can DO.  He’s already done the greatest thing of all, sacrificing His only Son to pay the penalty for our sins!  We should love Him with everything we’ve got. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” (Mark 12:30)
     For me, I think that feeling God’s love comes down to two main things:  We need to believe what He has said. “For the mountains may move and the hills disappear, but even then my faithful love for you will remain.” (Isaiah 54:10 NLT)  His love isn’t going to just one day disappear. “The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying, I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.” (Jeremiah 31:3)  His love for us is everlasting and unfailing.  And we need to trust what He has done. “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)  If we are believing and trusting, then our hearts will be open to receive all the ways He shows us His love every single day.  And we can rest secure in the knowledge that “……there is nothing in all creation that will ever be able to separate us from the love of God which is ours through Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:39)

Trusting in His Love – Lois

Praise Service

Each year on the Sunday before Thanksgiving, we step out of our normal routine to kick off the week of gratitude. As believers, we have so many reasons to give thanks. So we’ll sing together, and then we’ll allow people to share a short word of thanks to God for the past year and for His work in their lives. You are invited to join us and to share (if you’re brave enough!). But we guarantee you don’t want to miss the blessing of this morning.

Jude 17-19

“But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. They said to you, “In the last times, there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” These are the people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.”

Join us Sunday mornings at 8:00 in Pastor Mark’s office to pray for that morning’s services. Contact Bob Baumiester for more information (rbaumiester@gmail.com).    ANNOUNCEMENTS
Thank you to everyone who helped by sharing their recommendations. We’ve put together a list of therapists that many of our Hopers have seen or that Pastor Mark has met with. We hope this will be a helpful resource if you’re in need of counseling. Click here for all the info!

2022 OFFICER ELECTION: Due back Nov 28th!
Deacon and leadership team nomination ballots are available in the lobby for all Hope Partners. We need every vote possible so make sure you pick one up and turn it in by November 28th. 

We’ll be having our annual business meeting after the second service. Partners will be able to vote on the budget at the meeting, or by using a signed ballot if you’re unable to stay. Copies of the proposed budget are available in the lobby now. Contact Pastor Mark or a member of the elder team with any questions (Mike Hartwell, Ryan Winstel, Damon Briggs, Pastor Dave.) 

SMALL GROUPS: Meeting tonight!
Calling all Small Group hosts! If you have hosted or would be interested in hosting small groups in 2022, join us Wednesday 11/17 at 6:30! Bring any ideas or questions you have regarding small groups as we prepare to lay the groundwork for the next year of our small group ministry. See Dave Hallahan (dave@hopechristianfellowship.org) with any questions. 

Out of the 200 boxes that were taken, we are still missing about 80 boxes. In order to make sure as many children as possible receive boxes, we are extending the final deadline to Sunday, November 21st. Please remember to put your label on the box and mark if it’s a boy or girl and age group. We will NOT be accepting any completed boxes after the end of service 11/21.

We’re so excited for the holidays and the opportunity to get together and celebrate Christmas with our Hope ladies! Mark your calendars now for Friday, December 10th at 6:30pm. All ladies (post high-school and up) are invited to our Christmas Extravaganza and Ornament Exchange! Please join us for a night of fun, a wrapped Christmas tree ornament exchange ($10 or under), and a devotion to remind us that “every good and perfect gift comes down from the Father of light.” Sign up in the front lobby and if you’re able to bring a snack or sweets to share, that would be great!  See Dana Ott with any questions or reach her at danaott@hopechristianfellowship.org. Feel free to invite friends or family – the more the merrier! 

We’re in need of some helping hands to transform the church for Christmas! Our deacon team will be gathering on Saturday, November 27th at 9:00 to decorate the building. Please sign-up in the lobby if you’d be willing to help. Please note – childcare will not be provided. Contact Rob Jacoby with any questions at rjacoby107@comcast.net

Mark your calendars for these upcoming Christmas events that you won’t want to miss! More details coming soon!

  • WonderZone Christmas Program: December 12th at both services
  • GoZone Christmas Program: December 19th at both services
  • Candlelit Christmas Eve Services: 4:30 & 6:00
  • Christmas Cantata: December 26th at both services

We all long for a life that matters. We also all receive conflicting messages on what kind of life matters. Join us for this weekend away at Delanco Camp as we explore together what it means to have a life that matters and what we can do to attain it. The cost is only $25 and includes meals for the weekend. See Dave Hallahan for more information.

Join us on Sundays from 6-8:00 to hangout, have snacks, play games, and deepen our relationships with God! Open to all middle school & high school students. Any questions, contact Pastor Dan (danlein@hopechristianfellowship.org)

WONDERZONE CHRISTMAS PROGRAM: Practices happening now!
Christmas is one of our favorite seasons in the WonderZone! This year we’ll celebrate and sing, “Hooray for Baby Jesus!” at our WonderZone Christmas program on December 12th at both services! Be sure to get your child’s practice CD and help your little one get ready for their big performance! If you have any questions about this year’s WonderZone Christmas program, please contact Kara May at karamay@hopechristianfellowship.org

GOZONE CHRISTMAS PROGRAM: Practices happening now!
It’s October, which means the holiday season is upon us and it is time to start looking forward to our children’s Christmas program! The GoZone Christmas program, “Secret of Snowflake County,” will be performed on Sunday, December 19th at both services. Make sure your child receives their listening CD if they haven’t already. If you have any questions, contact Pastor Ryan at ryanmoreno@hopechristianfellowship.org