Hope Notes 12/08/2021

December 8, 2021

Hello Hoper~
Doesn’t it seem like time goes by faster and faster the older we get?  I have no idea how I got to be 65, with my mailbox (and inbox) suddenly flooded with Medicare ads and suggestions to join AARP. Also, there must be some mistake on that high school reunion invitation; I cannot possibly have graduated 47 years ago!! I still feel like the same person on the inside, but when I look in the mirror, the outside tells a different story. Whenever we see these kinds of reminders, we know that time has passed. We cannot recover even one of the minutes that has gone by. Time is like a flowing river. You cannot touch the same water twice.  The water that has flown by will not pass again. Time is one of the greatest gifts that God has given us, but it is a limited gift.  There is an expiration date.  That date is different for every person, but we all have one. Therefore, “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise…” (Ephesians 5:15)  Let’s not waste the time God has so graciously given us chasing after foolish pursuits, worrying over every little thing, squandering precious time. “Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12 GNT)  Those of us with children know all too well how quickly the years go by.  We mark time by their birthdays, milestones, school years.  We humans are finite and as such we have a limited view of time.  In Psalm 90:4, Moses uses a simple yet profound analogy in describing the infinite, timelessness of God: “For a thousand years in Your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night.”  Our marking of time is irrelevant to God because He transcends it!  I guess all I’m trying to say is we have a priceless commodity in our hands; let’s not misuse it or take it for granted. We cannot transcend time like our heavenly Father, but we can show our gratitude by making the most of every minute that He’s given us.
Take Time to Make Time – Lois

Waiting for God to Come (Matthew 1:22-25)
WonderZone Christmas Program

Have you ever imagined what it would be like to meet God face to face? We probably have ideas of how we’d feel depending on what we think He’s like. For those who are Christians, we should be looking forward to that moment with excitement and confident hope! But for anyone unsure of what that encounter will bring, it could be a very fearful thought. Throughout the centuries before Jesus’ birth, God’s people were waiting for this very moment.  They had been told that God Himself would come to them, and that was their hope. We’re going to talk today about WHY it was so full of hope for them, and how different that was (and still is) from any other concept of deity that existed in their time. And we’ll be invited to celebrate the wonderful news that God has come!

Jeremiah 33:3
“Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”

If you’ve been following along with the Hope bible reading plan, we’re ending the year on 1&2 Corinthians. Stay tuned for more information about our plan for 2022! 

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
ADOPT A FAMILY: Order gifts now!
We have been tremendously blessed with a large donation that has allowed us to purchase a significant portion of the gifts from our Amazon list! We are so happy to be able to help families in need this Christmas season, and it’s not too late to participate! Simply visit the Amazon wishlist by clicking here, and purchase a gift or gifts! You can also purchase them in person and bring them to church Sunday. If you have any questions, contact Pastor Dan directly at 856-285-9016 or danlein@hopechristianfellowship.org. Gifts need to be at church no later than Sunday, so if you’re ordering from Amazon just check that the shipping will ensure their timely arrival! 

Hope Staff is looking for willing hearts & hands who have an hour available to serve during the following times: Tuesday or Wednesday afternoons or Saturday evenings. If this sounds like something you could do, sign-up in the lobby and we will contact you with more information. Any questions about volunteering can be directed to Emily DiLorenzo at emily@hopechrsitianfellowship.org

BIBLE STUDY: Do I Have To Live Stressed Out?
Coming Wednesday Nights starting January 5th from 7-8pm 

You may know someone who lives stressed out, and there’s a pretty good possibility that person is you. As we start the New Year, we’d like to invite you to explore with us whether or not we are doomed to live forever overwhelmed by stress.  Does being a Christian have any impact on how we walk in stressful situations?  Can we discover truths in Scripture that help us see clearly on what a faith approach means to the uncertainties and pressures of life?  We’ll look at some of God’s promises and explore ten lies that trip us up and cause us to get lost in stress. Join us in person or via livestream each week. A workbook will be available for everyone who signs up to help us keep track of what we’re learning and help us put it into practice. Don’t miss out on this transformative study, and make every effort to join us in person for the best possible experience! Sign-up in the lobby now and to ensure you receive a workbook! 

All ladies (post high-school and up) are invited to our Christmas Extravaganza and Ornament Exchange at 6:30 this Friday! 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.” Contact Dana Ott with any questions 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: Sunday 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

Please note that the following regular programs are on hiatus for the month of December and will resume in the new year!

  • God’s Girls
  • Young Adults
  • Wednesday Night Bible Study
  • Small Groups

Join us Tuesday, 12/21 at 7:30 for some Christmas food and fun! Bring a $10 (or less) White Elephant Gift. Invite friends – the more the merrier!

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)

CHRISTMAS PARTY: 12/19 at 6-8:00p
For the last youth group of the year, Hope Youth is having a Christmas party! Wear your favorite Christmas PJs and get ready to enjoy some holiday themed games and treats! We will also be doing a white elephant gift exchange! The spending cap is $5 so we are encouraging our students to get silly, and creative! Hope to see you there! 

We are so excited to see our tiniest Hopers perform their Christmas Program this Sunday! Please keep our little ones and the WonderZone team in prayer as the prep for their big day! Just a reminder, this service will not be live-streamed (due to privacy & copyright issues) however, Pastor Mark’s message will be posted to Facebook & YouTube later in the day. Contact Kara May with any questions: karamay@hopechristianfellowship.org

The GoZone Christmas program, “Secret of Snowflake County,” will be performed on Sunday, December 19th at both services. Just a reminder, this service will not be live-streamed (due to privacy & copyright issues) however, Pastor Mark’s message will be posted to Facebook & YouTube later in the day. Contact Pastor Ryan at ryanmoreno@hopechristianfellowship.org