Hope Notes 11/24/2021

November 24, 2021
Hello Hoper~
We had our Praise Service this past Sunday and what a service it was!  The worship team blew the roof off the place, wouldn’t you agree?  Listening to people share how thankful they are for the things God has been doing in their lives just opens up a whole well of gratitude in my own heart.  It’s such a perfect way to get our mindset tuned into being thankful for all the things the Lord has done and is doing in our lives. All too often, Thanksgiving is simply a delicious meal to mark the start of the holiday shopping season. Unfortunately, for some people the Thanksgiving holiday is really the only time spent reflecting on the good things in their lives.  In addition, for unbelievers, God is often not acknowledged as the source of these good things.  James 1:17 tells us that “Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights…”  We need to remember that ALL the good things, big and small, come from God.  It’s not just the miracles in our lives, it’s the little things like simply having what we need for each day or enjoying a beautiful sunset or savoring a delicious cup of coffee with a friend.  Our thankfulness should be a continuous thing, no matter the situation. “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1Thess 5:18)  Being thankful and acknowledging our heavenly Father as the source glorifies Him.  “He who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving honors me….” (Psalm 50:23)  Let us remember all these things as we begin this holiday season.  We need to make an effort to not have our ‘sacrifice of thanksgiving’ begin and end on turkey day!

Wishing all my Hopers a Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving – Lois

Messy People (Matthew 1:1-17)

As we kick off Christmas season, it brings into focus the family we do (or don’t) have in our lives. We’d all like to have the type of family that is full of fun and life and brings joy to our hearts – especially at Christmas.  But many of us don’t have that.  Instead, our family contributes to the mess in our lives.  If any part of your family life is difficult, you may find it interesting how Matthew begins his telling of the story of Jesus’ life.  Let’s take a look at this introduction and notice what he includes and what we can learn from it about the story of Jesus and of Christmas.

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
2022 OFFICER ELECTION: Due back this Sunday!
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. 

Looking for a way to help a family in need this Christmas? Hope Youth has once again partnered with Adopt a Family to serve families who can’t afford to purchase presents this year. To participate, visit the Amazon wishlist by clicking here, and purchase a gift or gifts! Youth Pastor Dan will take care of the rest. If you have any questions, contact him directly at 856-285-9016 or danlein@hopechristianfellowship.org. Purchases need to be made by December 13th. 

For the month of October, we averaged $11,126 per week, bringing our annual average up to $9176.  This remains below our giving target for this year of $9325. We are only 2% behind last year’s giving, and are confident that through the faithful sacrifice and generosity of Hopers, we’ll end our year fully funded. The proposed budget for next year represents a modest 3% increase over current giving levels and less than a 2% increase over our giving average for the last 3 years. The final weeks of this year are a launching point for the way the Lord will use all of us for His kingdom through giving. Pray with us that we all can be attentive and faithful in all that He calls us to give.

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.) 

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! 

Mark your calendars for these upcoming Christmas events that you won’t want to miss! Please note: None of these services will be live-streamed, however Pastor Mark’s message will be recorded and posted to our YouTube and Facebook.  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
YOUNG ADULTS YOUNG ADULTS RETREAT: A Life That Matters (12/3-12/5)
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 Tuesday, 12/21 at 7:30 for some Christmas fun! Details coming soon. 

Please Note: There will be no Youth Group on 11/28 

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