Hope Notes 09/14/2022

September 14, 2022

Hello Hoper,
Whose approval are we looking for – Society’s approval? People’s approval? Or what about cultural approval?  We all love a good pat on the back or to feel like we fit in.  It’s easy to find ourselves chasing after any of those.  But seeking approval from any of these sources will prove to be a futile effort because all those measures can change on a whim.  The good news is that the only approval we need to be seeking is God’s.  And He transcends society, people, and culture!  If we focus on Scripture instead, we will be well on our way to freedom from the bondage of desperately searching for commendation from hollow sources.  A reminder from Paul in Galatians 1:10 NLT points us in the right direction. “Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.”  It can be hard to push aside those feelings of insecurity when we sense the disapproval from someone over a decision we’ve made, the path we’ve chosen, or even just the opinion that we have on a certain subject.  But if we can continue to remind ourselves that GOD is the One we answer to and the One we need to please, those feelings will begin to grow dim.  We have purposes in this life that are far greater than trying to gain favor with people, society, or culture. Remember this – “For we speak as messengers approved by God to be entrusted with the Good News. Our purpose is to please God, not people. He alone examines the motives of our hearts.”(1 Thessalonians 2:4 NLT)
Only His approval matters – Lois

SPIRITUAL CARE  

SUNDAY MORNING MESSAGE: 
Who Is Jesus? (Revelation 1:8-16)
Sometimes when you’re watching a movie or a TV show, you see and actor and kind of recognize him or her, but you can’t quite remember where you’ve seen them before. In our world today, we whip out our phones and look up their name and their career so that we can connect the dots. It’s good to get an answer to the question “Who is that?” even if it’s for something as trivial as just not having to keep wondering.  But the question of “Who is Jesus” is more than just a mental exercise or an answer to some trivia question.  Your answer to that question is the defining decision of your life.  The Apostle John knew Jesus as his friend on earth for about three years.  But then John meets Jesus in heaven and is overwhelmed with who Jesus really is.  Let’s pray that as we read about John’s experience that we see Jesus afresh and that this vision changes our lives too!

WEDNESDAY NIGHT BIBLE STUDY: “Foundations” 
We hear a lot about ‘deconstructing’ Christians today.  And we face questions as well as casual but presumptively certain statements about God, Christians, the Bible and truth. How can we navigate these waters without losing our faith?  We’re going to kick off our Fall Wednesday Nights with three introductory lessons on ‘Foundations’.  Each week we’re going to look at a major topic that we can later digest in more detail.  But if we are informed and trained in these areas, the chances of us being taken off guard by a skeptics comments or even losing our way when we question our faith are greatly diminished.  We want to find solid ground to stand on in the current cultural discussions and debates, so join us as we target a few places to find our footing. Tonight at 7:00; in-person only; childcare provided. 

CHRISTIAN SEXUALITY: New series coming soon!
Join us on Wednesday nights at 7:00 starting September 28th for this six week study. We’ll take a Christ-centered look at sex, marriage, and sexual identity. There are big questions facing both individuals and the church at large surrounding these topics, and we’ll explore the answers God has given us in scripture together as a church family. We’ll discuss sex in marriage, singleness, pornography, shame & forgiveness, and God’s love for us. Single or married, parent or not, there is something for everyone to learn. You won’t want to miss out on this time of study and conversation. This series will be in-person only; childcare provided.

PRAYER HUDDLE:
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 the Youth Room. 

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). 

VERSE OF THE MONTH:
Proverbs 15:1

“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word can stir up anger.”

SEPTEMBER BIBLE READING PLANS: 
Year 1: 1 & 2 Corinthians 
Year 2: Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon
Psalms 103-109

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

ANNOUNCEMENTS

“NEW TO HOPE” FELLOWSHIP:
Are you new to Hope within the past six months? Our staff and elder team would love to get to know you! We invite you (and your family!) to join us for cake and coffee on Friday, October 7th at 7:00pm. Sign-up in the lobby. 

GOD’S GIRLS: Game Night
God’s Girls is kicking off their fall season with a Game Night on Monday, September 19th at 6:30. Join them for a night of fellowship and fun! This group is open to all women over the age of 18 and meets on the 1st & 3rd Mondays of the month for study, prayer, and fellowship. Any questions, contact Mary LeBeau (marylebeau@verizon.net)

SMALL GROUP KICKOFF:
We’re so excited to kickoff a new season of small groups for the fall! We believe that relationships with other believers are essential to growing in our faith and one of the best ways to pursue these relationships is through our small groups. You can sign-up to join one of our existing groups, or form your own! Not sure where you fit? You can request for us to help place you in a group! Visit this link to get started, or contact Pastor Dave (dave@hopechristianfellowship.org)

WOODBURY FOOD PANTRY CHRISTMAS COLLECTION:
For the month of September, Hope will be supportingGreater Woodbury Cooperative Ministries in collecting Christmas gifts to give to those visiting the food pantry this December. We are collecting canvas tote bags, throw blankets and scarves for women. You can purchase items and place them in the bins located at the front and rear entrances of the church, or you can purchase an item online through Amazon without having to worry about shopping & dropping them off! Thank you for helping us spread the love of Jesus this Christmas. Any questions please contact Wendy Ball, briwensean@aol.com 

YOUNG ADULTS
Meets 1st & 3rd Tuesdays at 7:00
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

NEW SERIES: God, what is going on?
Throughout this series we’ll look those things in our lives – both personal and global – that leave us wondering what God is up to. We’ll be able to share moments we had those questions and see how Christians have handled them in the past. 

HOPE YOUTH
YOUTH GROUP: Sundays 6:00-8:00
Youth Group is back with a BIG month of events you won’t want to miss! A breakfast night, a game night, even a night themed around the alphabet? (Okay maybe just trust pastor Dan on that last one.) And all of it centered around our new series, Least of These! We will dive into the idea of how Christians should be marked by their habit of helping others and their willingness to do humble themselves through acts of service. Open to all students in 6th through 12th grade.

SENIOR HIGH SMALL GROUP:
This small group will provide our senior high students with the opportunity to dive more deeply into the Word and create a space to more vulnerably and openly discuss faith and how it comes up against the challenges of the world. Meetings will be held on the first Thursday of every month at 7:00. Our next meeting will be October 6th, location to be announced!

OCEAN CITY RETREAT: September 23rd-25th
Ocean City has always been a great kick-off event for our senior high (9th-12th grades) as well as a time for students to build bonds that our brief time on Sunday nights doesn’t quite allow for. It’s also a whole weekend of making new friends, playing games, and encountering God so if you’re looking for another good event to invite a friend to, this is the big one! Contact Pastor Dan for a permission slip!

HOPE YOUTH CALENDAR:
Parents, stay up to date with everything happening on our

calendar here!

HOPE KIDS
HOPEKIDS HANGOUT: 
All elementary kids are invited to join us in the GoZone on Sunday nights from 6PM-8PM for an extra dose of fun and Bible study. Just like on Sunday mornings, we gather together for games, Bible stories, and prayer—but with an extra hour there’s twice the excitement, bigger games, and more time to get to know each other! This September we will be continuing our journey through What’s In the Bible, picking up where we left off and brushing up on our Old Testament knowledge. 

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. 

For questions about WonderZone (0-PreK) contact Kara May at karamay@hopechristianfellowship.org

For questions about GoZone (K-5th) contact Pastor Ryan Moreno at ryanmoreno@hopechristianfellowship.org

Follow us on Facebook & Instagram at HopeKids Ministries