Hope Notes 09/28/2022

September 28, 2022

Hello Hoper,
  Pastor Mark’s message this past Sunday (God is Near) made me aware of something that I need to remember.  Not too long ago, I went outside early one morning to fill the birdbath and water some flowers.  The air was heavy with humidity and fog.  As a result, every spider web was visible.  Every silken thread, so intricately woven, was highlighted by the faint rays of sun. Drops of dew glistened from every filament.  You may feel I’m describing a thing of beauty.  But I am not. Webs are objects of fear for me.  I am that person walking through the yard with a stick held high in front of me lest I walk through one of those webs.  Instead of feeling calm because I could now SEE every one of them and therefore avoid them, I had the opposite reaction. It filled me with more fear because I could see how many there were; I felt surrounded by them.
     I believe the same thing is true regarding fear/anxiety/worry in general. The more we ‘see’ them, the more we focus on them, and the more power they hold over us.  Once we begin to notice them, we tend to start looking for them everywhere.  And believe me, what you look for you will find. Wouldn’t it then be better to ‘look for’ our Lord and Savior?  Jeremiah 29:13 promises that if we do, we will absolutely find Him! “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” When we keep our eyes and hearts firmly fixed on Him we have nothing to worry about, nothing to fear. God is near! “The LORD is near to all who call on him…” (Psalm 145:18)  He knows our every need. He is never caught off guard or by surprise.  When we worry about the future, we are borrowing trouble from tomorrow and ruining today.  Instead, we need to stop focusing on our fears (no matter how present they may be) and remember that Jesus is Lord over all.  He is always in control no matter what things may look like!
Lord, may I seek you instead of spiderwebs! – Lois

SPIRITUAL CARE  

SUNDAY MORNING MESSAGE: 
First Love (Revelation 2:1-7)
Do you remember your first crush? Almost inevitably, those first infatuations turn out to be aptly named as they wind up crushing you! We learn about love by loving, and in the case of our first love, we learn about the power of love to lift us up and to bring a deeper wound than we thought possible.  Love is both energizing and dangerous. But some loves are meant to last throughout our lives. Family love is one example.  Not everyone gets to experience that reality, but all of us kind of know that’s how it’s supposed to be. Marriage is another example.  We promise ‘til death do us part’ and we know it is more than just words; it is our deepest aspiration and confident hope. In Revelation, Jesus addresses the first church of the seven by talking about how they have lost their first love. Have you lost some of your passion and drive for the Lord? What He has to say to this church are words we need to hear as well!

WEDNESDAY NIGHT BIBLE STUDY: Christian Sexuality
Join us on Wednesday nights at 7:00 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.”

OCTOBER BIBLE READING PLANS: 
Year 1: Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians 
Year 2: Hosea, Joel, Jonah, Habakkuk, Haggai
Psalms 110-119

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

HOPE MERCH:
We know you want to rep Hope everywhere you go, and now you can! We have a run of merch for you to purchase (at cost!) that includes totes, long sleeved shirts, sweatshirts and more! Check it out here!

“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, or RSVP here

A TASTE OF HOPE: 
New or newer to Hope? Join us on Sundays October 16th & 23rd for a two week introduction to Hope. We will be meeting in GoZone 2 at 10:00am. You’ll hear the story of our church, our philosophy, and what’s important to us. You’ll also get an opportunity to know some of our elders & partners, ask us questions, and experience what small groups at Hope are like. Sign up in the lobby or contact Pastor Dave at dave@hopechristianfellowship.org 

HOUSING NEED:
Our friends at Kids Alley have made us aware of a housing need for a young family of four. They are Afghani refugees who are in the process of getting permanent housing, but could use a place to stay in the meantime. If you or someone you know has accommodations to share or rent, please contact Brenda Hallahan at brendah@kidsalley.org

SMALL GROUPS:
We currently have 10+ small groups meeting in Woodbury, Williamstown, Woodstown, and even towns that don’t start with a ‘W’! If you are interested in joining the 100+ people who have already connected with a small group, contact Dave Hallahan for more information at dave@hopechristianfellowship.org 

TRUNK OR TREAT
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 29TH 3:00-5:00
(October 30th Rain Date)
For those of you who are new to Hope, this is an amazing way to reach our community and have a lot of fun doing it! We decorate our cars, hand out candy, and have hot drinks and goodies for people to snack on while they fellowship. Here are all the ways you can get involved:

  • BE A TRUNKER: Register your car using a form in the lobby or you can sign-up online now! Any questions, contact Pastor Ryan at ryanmoreno@hopechristianfellowship.org
  • BAKE SOME TREATS: We hand out homemade goodies to each of the Trunk-or-Treaters that come through our line! If you enjoy baking, we’d love for you to sign-up to make treats! Grab a packet on Sunday or contact Bunny Dougherty at bunny.doughterty@gmail.com
  • HELP WITH HOSPITALITY: Our hospitality team would love to have some warm and friendly faces to hand out treats and hot beverages to all of our visitors! Sign-up in the lobby or contact Bunny Doughterty at bunny.dougherty@gmail.com
  • HELP WITH SET-UP: We need some helping hands to set-up our tents, our welcome archway, and a few other areas of our layout. If you’re interested, we’ll need volunteers to arrive at 1:00pm the day of. Contact Mike Hartwell at mhredeemed@gmail.com or sign-up in the lobby!
  • DONATE CANDY: Bins are located at both entrances of the church for you to drop-off bags of candy. 
  • SPREAD THE NEWS: Grab a yard sign and pass out flyers (both in available in the lobby at church!) Share our images on social media! 

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
Senior High Series: Christian Sexuality
The topic of sex, marriage, & sexual identity is inescapable in our world, and rather than forfeit that conversation, we want to be on the forefront of it in the lives of the next generation of believers. That’s why we’re using a curriculum designed by Christian scholars and experts on how faith intersects with our sexuality. It doesn’t shy away from any topic or subject, and always turns to Scripture for how to answer and approach rather than bending to what the world has to say. 

Junior High Series: Who Am I?
As students make the big transition from elementary school to middle school (and Go Zone to youth group) the world also starts asking them tough and difficult questions. In just a few short years the world will try desperately to put our 6th and 7th graders into as confining a box as possible. The core of this series is that our central identity is “loved by God”; who God has made me to be, how I can live into that, and why that identity God has made for me is one worth being. Who Am I? will help our students develop a firm foundation for the future. 

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 at the Lein’s (text Pastor Dan for address: 856-285-9016) 

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

calendar here!

HOPE KIDS
WONDERZONE CHRISTMAS PROGRAM:
Christmas is one of our favorite seasons in the WonderZone! This year, we will sing about “The Real Christmas Story” at our  program on December 11th! Practices will begin on October 9th at both the 8:30 and 10:00 services. You’ll want to have your little ones in class and on time so that they don’t miss out! Be sure to get your child’s practice CD and parent letter with more details about the upcoming program. Click here to start listening to the songs today! Contact Kara May with any questions at karamay@hopechristianfellowship.org 

GOZONE CHRISTMAS PROGRAM:
Our elementary kids will be performing “Good News Ahead: The Signs of Christmas!” on December 18th! Kids will learn the many signs of Christ’s birth as foretold by the prophets through catchy scripture-based songs and a fun script! Practices will begin on October 9th at both the 8:30 and 10:00 services. You’ll want to have your kids on time in the GoZone so that they don’t miss out! Be sure to get your child’s practice CD and parent letter with more details about the upcoming program. Click here to start listening to the songs today! Contact Pastor Ryan with any questions at ryanmoreno@hopechristianfellowship.org 

VOLUNTEER APPRECIATION NIGHT:
To show our gratitude for our awesome HopeKids! Volunteers, we will be hosting an appreciation night on Friday, October 14th at 7:00pm. There will be games, desserts, and gifts for each of our team members! If you are currently serving on any of our HopeKids! teams, let us know that you can make it by 

submitting your RSVP here!

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, enthusiastic, background checked team members to ensure your child’s safety. Our WonderZone! serves our youngest children from infants through Pre-K, who are full of wonder about who God is!  K-5th graders gather in the GoZone! where we GO for God, GO for growth and GO forever.

For any questions about HopeKids! Ministry contact us at: kids@hopechristianfellowship.org 

Check out our social media (and more) here!