Hope Notes 12/22/2021

December 22, 2021

Hello Hoper ~
One of the things I enjoy most during the Christmas season are the lights.  On Christmas trees, on houses, draped over bushes and wrapped around porches.  They give a festive glow to the outdoors, and inside they make everything seem cozy. I love to turn off all the house lighting and have the tree and our manger be the only source of illumination.  Because, of course, nothing makes the lights look prettier than darkness!  I know that Christmas can feel dark for some people for any number of reasons.  You many have just lost a loved one, lost a job, destroyed a relationship or be struggling with finances.  Whatever the reason, there is hope.  You are not alone. God is right there with you.  Remember, He sent His baby Son to earth just for you. Born to die. Light of the world. If there is one truth that leaps out at us from the pages of Scripture at Christmas, it is this: Jesus came to be the Light of the world! Light came into this dark world when Jesus was born in Bethlehem. “In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:4-5)  That’s what our Christmas celebration is all about!  Although your personal darkness may be painful, it’s the perfect setting for His Light.  Alone in the darkness, His Light becomes all the more obvious and shines all the more brightly.  It’s there for you – a beacon of hope for you to cling to. I invite you to go sit in a darkened room and let the lights of Christmas remind you of our own Light in the darkness.   Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)
The Light of the World Has Come! – Lois

SPIRITUAL CARE  SUNDAY MORNING MESSAGE
Waiting for Salvation (Matthew 2:12-20)
Christmas Cantata

Most of our morning this day will be filled with music from our choir. We are going to have ‘Bonus Christmas’ because the whole Christmas thing probably ends a day too soon. And then we’ll take a few minutes at the end and look at a part of the story of Jesus’ childhood that’s hard to read.  There are refugees running from death in fear. But in all of it, we see the reality that Joseph follows the Lord’s instructions and waits to be safe. But this safety isn’t probably as ultimate as we would think.  And that’s why the Christmas story has lasted for thousands of years and is still changing lives today!

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

SUNDAY MORNING PRAYER:
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). 
2022 BIBLE READING PLANS: Bookmarks available now!
Did you know that one of the best ways to grow your relationship with God is to read the bible regularly? We want to equip you to do so by providing a bible reading plan for the upcoming year! We’ve created a year-long plan as well as a “read through the Psalms” option. If you followed along with our plan last year, we also have Year 2 available for you now! Both of these are available on bookmarks for you to keep in your bible and follow along with. Make sure to pick one up this Sunday in the lobby! 

HOPE DAILY: Available on Apple Podcasts & Spotify!
Another way we hope to equip you in engaging with the word on a regular basis is through our devotional podcast, Hope Daily. We post a 10 minute episode daily, Monday through Friday. You’ll hear from a variety of our staff as they share devotional thoughts and scriptures. You can listen on Apple, Spotify, or on our website
ANNOUNCEMENTS
CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICES: 4:30 & 6:00
We hope that your whole family will join us for a candlelit Christmas Eve service this Friday! Each service will be less than an hour long and include scripture reading, songs, and a candle lighting (with glowsticks for our kids!) 

SMALL GROUPS: Launching January!
We already have 5 small groups kicking off this January! To view all the details and sign-up click here. Plus more will be forming and you can start your own. Contact Pastor Dave for more information at dave@hopechristianfellowship.org

  • The Story: Seeing the bible as one continuous story
  • You’re Not Far: Rethinking religion and its rules
  • Artist’s Small Group: A time for creativity & study
  • The Beatitudes Project: A journey into the unexpected (meets online!)
  • Married Couples: Date night & study 

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY: 
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?
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 be sure to pickup a workbook!
YOUNG ADULTS
The Young Adults ministry at Hope is a group of post-high school through their twenties adults truly seeking to explore life, engage culture, and empower change while remaining grounded in the Word of God. This Ministry was born out of a spiritual need for Young Adults to have a forum to express their deepest, most challenging questions of faith and to not be intimidated while doing so. Topics of conversation range from diving into specific books or passages of the Bible, to pressing current events and hot world topics. We will resume meeting on the 1st & 3rd Tuesdays of the month at 7:30 in January. For questions contact Pastor Dave at dave@hopechristianfellowship.org
HOPE YOUTH
There will be no Youth Group 12/26 or 1/2 – Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

WEDNESDAY NIGHTS:

Join us starting January 5th at 7:00 for a 10 week bible study series called “Real Relationship: Actually Getting to Know Jesus.” This study is open to all teens ages 6th grade and up. Any questions contact Pastor Dan at danlein@hopechristianfellowship.org

GOOGLE CALENDAR:
Parents, stay up to date with everything happening by adding the Hope Youth Google calendar to your own! Click here to view

HOPE KIDS
Children are very important to us at Hope. Three out of four Christians decide to follow Christ before the age of 12, so we believe our children’s ministry is vital to the life and growth of the Church. We are serious about God and serious about fun!

SUNDAY MORNING PROGRAMS:
We offer childcare and classes from our littlest Hopers to our 5th graders every Sunday morning at both the 8:30 & 10 services. Each classroom is staffed with friendly and enthusiastic teachers and helpers who are background checked to ensure your child’s safety. Our WonderZone! serves our youngest children, who are full of wonder about who God is! We have an infant room, one-year-old room, toddler classroom, and a pre-K classroom in order to serve each child with an age-appropriate curriculum. K-5th graders gather in the youth room for our opening service called The GoZone! where we GO for God, GO for growth and GO forever through worship, games and an interactive lesson through teaching and videos. The K-5th graders are then split up into age appropriate small groups to dive deeper into the lesson where they can share their own experiences and ask any questions they may have. 

WEDNESDAY EVENING PROGRAMS:
Beginning January 5th at 7:00 we will be offering programs for all children ages 0-5th grade. We hope this frees parents up to come out to Wednesday Night Bible Study! Plus, we love the opportunity to have another chance in the week to engage with our Hope kids and teach them about Jesus. 

For questions about WonderZone contact Kara May at karamay@hopechristianfellowship.org

For questions about GoZone contact Pastor Ryan Moreno at ryanmoreno@hopechristianfellowship.org