Hope Notes 05/18/2022

May 18, 2022

Hello Hoper ~
     Would you rather ask for forgiveness or permission?  We all fall into one category or the other.  What that says about our personalities I’m not sure!  Some people bristle at the thought of having to ask permission.  I don’t look at it that way; I feel it’s often simply being thoughtful or kind. It also removes the possibility of hurt feelings, misunderstandings, or botched plans.  (I guess now you know which category I fall into!)
      Thankfully, God is gracious enough to grant us both, although His ‘permission’ comes with a few conditions. Let’s remember that He is in charge of all things. “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it”. (Psalm 24:1)  It makes sense then that nothing takes place without His sanctioning it. If we can grasp this truth, we should be able to stop worrying about a lot of things! God has the final say. Even Satan had to ask permission, but was limited to only what God allowed him to do.  (Job1:6,12 & 2:6)  Pilate thought he had all the authority, but Jesus said to him, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above.” (John 19:11) As for us, the words in 1John 5:14 show us a condition we must follow: “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.”
      I think we can all agree that God’s forgiveness is one of His most recognized attributes. “He has not punished us as we deserve for all our sins, for his mercy toward those who fear and honor him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth.” (Psalm 103:10-14) But dare I say, even forgiveness comes with a condition.  We have to ASK for it. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9) Yes, as believers all our sins are forgiven – past, present, and future. Yet as we walk in the light, we see our sins more clearly; as we see them more clearly, we confess them; as we confess them, God is faithful to forgive, over and over again. (That concept deserves its own post to fully explore!)
      This got a little long, even though I did my best to shorten it!  If you’ve made it this far, I congratulate you.  Suffice it to say, I will always ask God’s forgiveness; not because I’m afraid I’ve NOT been forgiven, but because it’s good for my soul.  I will always ask God’s permission because I don’t WANT to be stumbling around in the dark on my own.  I’d much rather be in His light, walking the path He sets before me.
 Ready to ask permission AND forgiveness – Lois

Offerings (Numbers 28-29)
One of the best parts of your birthday as a kid is the presents you get.  A close second is the cake. No one seems to get tired of getting presents and eating cake. Underneath the rituals, a birthday celebration has deeper meaning.  We gather to celebrate the blessing of life and God’s gift of another year of living.  People need patterns like this as we navigate the ups and downs of our days. As our study through Numbers concludes, we’re going to take a survey of a couple of chapters near the end of the book where God gives instructions to His people on regular patterns of celebration and ritual with deeper meaning. These symbols and actions were to help Israel stay connected and faithful to their Lord. And it just could be that we need symbols and actions as well – patterns that help us remember who God is, what He’s done, and how we are connected to Him.

If you’re volunteering on a Sunday morning, whether its greeting, HopeKids!, in the sound booth, etc., please join us for a team prayer huddle! We want to gather together everyone who is serving that morning to pray for the services. Meet at 8:15 in GoZone 2. 

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). 

Proverbs 19:11
“A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense.”
Year 1: 2 Samuel
Year 2: Exodus 1-20; 32-34
Psalms 52-67

HOPE DAILY: Available on Apple Podcasts & Spotify!
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. Listen on Apple, Spotify, or on our website
For the month of April, we averaged $9775 per week which brings our annual average up to $9525 per week.  This is above our annual giving target of $9450.  We are deeply grateful for all those who faithfully and sacrificially support Hope and we believe that this trend reflects the plans God has for our future.  We pray that we will continue to see this kind of provision through the year so that we can keep going forward for God’s Kingdom!

A family at Hope has a somewhat urgent need for a housing arrangement. They are in need of a three bedroom house or accommodation. If you are able to help us fulfill this need,  , please contact our Needs Team at needs@hopechristianfellowship.org

Did you know we have an Online Directory just for Hopers? It’s secure and customizable; change your profile picture, address, and phone number at any time! It’s an easy way to find other Hoper’s contact info. You can even download an app on your phone! Help us stay connected and sign up by May 29th. Any questions, contact Emily DiLorenzo at emily@hopechristianfellowship.org

If God has brought you to Hope and convinced you over time that this is the church for you, we’d love for you to become a partner. This is our way of doing ‘membership’, but we use the word ‘partner’ instead because it connects us to the Biblical idea that we are called to partner together in ministry (Philippians 1:3-6). As partners, we share the burdens and work of the ministry together, and we serve our Lord as a team. Partners are able to vote on our budget, as well as elect deacons and leadership team candidates. To become a partner, grab a form from the lobby or download one here, fill out, and hand in to Pastor Mark or any of the elders. Any questions, contact Pastor Mark at markott@hopechristianfellowship.org

FIGHT CLUB: Tuesdays at 7:00 
This confidential group for men will be using Tim Chester’s “Closing the Window: Steps to Living Porn Free” to look at the ways we can both spiritually and practically fight The Fight against pornography. Fight Club will meet at church in Go Zone 2 and run for 6 weeks. For more information, contact Dan by text (856-285-9016) or email danlein@hopechristianfellowship.org

Join us in-person at 7:00pm in the Youth Room for a mid-week spiritual refresher! We’ll be picking up where we left off in the book of Ephesians. Bible study will run from April 20th – through May 25th. (Childcare for Pre-K provided)
Men, join us for food and some friendly competition on Saturday, June 11th starting at 10:00a. Register here as an individual or a team: teams will be 3-5 people. We’ll have hot dogs & burgers after. Come early at 8:00 for a full breakfast! 

In lieu of our normal “Workshop Wednesdays,” this June we are highlighting three of our ministries that do not meet weekly throughout the year. So for these four consecutive weeks you’ll get to experience God’s Girls, Men’s Breakfast, or Young Adults as a special series at 7:00pm on Wednesdays. Sign-up in the lobby!

  • Men’s Breakfast – At Night!
    We’ll be centering our study on Romans 12:1-2. What does it mean to be a living sacrifice? How do we avoid being conformed to the patterns of this world? How do we go about being transformed by the renewing of our minds? Through all of this we’ll look to recognize the sovereignty of the Father & Son and train ourselves to walk in the Spirit. Open to all men 18 and older.
  • Young Adults – Becoming Who We Want To Be
    None of us just arrived at the person we are today. We’ve been shaped and molded to be who we are – both intentionally and unintentionally. Over these four weeks we’ll look at practices that will root us in the ways of Jesus so we can become who we were created to be. Open to high school graduates through their 20s.
  • God’s Girls
    Join us for a time of fellowship, study, and prayer as the women of Hope. We’ll be looking at the parables of Jesus. Open to all ladies 18 and older. 

Meets 1st & 3rd Tuesdays at 7:30
The Young Adults ministry at Hope Christian Fellowship is a group of post-high school through their twenties adults truly seeking to explore life, engage culture, and empower change while remaining ground in the Word of God. Any questions, contact Pastor Dave at dave@hopechristianfellowship.org

Come out to the Hallahan’s (612 Westover Court, Williamstown) on Sunday, May 29th at 1:00p for food, games, and fellowship! 
YOUTH GROUP: Sunday Nights 6-8:00pm
Students ages 6th-12th grade are invited to join us on Sunday nights for a time of fellowship, fun, and study! Contact Pastor Dan with any questions: danlein@hopechristianfellowship.org

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

Sunday Nights from 5:00-7:00p in May & June:
K-5th graders are encouraged to come out for exciting, fun-filled nights of fellowship with games, music, food, and deep dives into God’s Word! No need to sign-up, just show up! Contact Children’s Pastor Ryan for more details: ryanmoreno@hopechristianfellowship.org
Follow us on Facebook & Instagram at HopeKids Ministries