Hope Notes 11/30/2022

November 30, 2022

Hello Hoper ~
We’ve all probably heard the saying, ‘When God closes a door, He opens a window’. This specific phrase is not found in the Bible; it’s actually from the movie, The Sound of Music.  I’m also not so sure if I believe it.  Sometimes a closed door is simply a closed door.  A direction from God. The first doors known in the stories of Scripture are the gates of Paradise, the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve, having broken God’s only commandment to them, are forced to leave Paradise. The gates of the garden are shut and an angel is set at the gate to guard against their re-entry. Now THAT is a closed door!  With not one open window in sight.
     If you are facing a closed door, one thing that I’ve found helpful to remember is this: a closed door does not always mean a locked door. Sometimes God will close a door for a season in order to prepare you for what He has planned in the future.  It’s hard for us to keep in mind that God’s timing is not usually running on the same timeline as ours. Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.”  The next time you sense that God has closed a door on something, try waiting patiently and prayerfully to see if He reopens it once He has accomplished His purpose with the waiting. Notice that I am not saying He will open a window.  He may leave us in a room that feels shut tight with not a window of escape in sight until He deems the timing right to reopen that door.
     A closed door may mean move on. This is a tough one to accept.  Especially when whatever is on the other side of that door is something you desperately want. Leaning into the wisdom of Proverbs 3:5-6 is vital when it comes to something like that. “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.”  He not only knows what is best for us, but always wants the best for us!
     One final helpful thought. On the other side of every ending (closed door) is a new beginning. We need to learn how to be thankful for closed doors because they can help guide us to the right one, the one that God has left open for us to take us into our new beginning. “Behold, I am about to do something new; even now it is coming.” (Isaiah 43:19)
Don’t want to walk through any doors He hasn’t opened……. Lois

SPIRITUAL CARE  

SUNDAY MORNING MESSAGE: 
New Series – Christmas is Good News
This time of year, it seems the whole world celebrates. Before the darkness becomes a burden, it is an excuse to light up our homes and look forward to the excitement that one night promises to deliver on Christmas morning. But the seasonal celebration isn’t actually the reason that Christmas is good news. It is good news even if you have no one to celebrate with or even if your life has been turned upside down. We’re going to look at some of the reasons that Christmas is the source of hope for those who trust Jesus. Every person can find this hope in Him. Those who already have trusted Jesus as Savior have to remember to live in the good news of Christmas!
 
There Is A God (John 1:1-5, 14)
Here we are in December and it is time to celebrate Christmas! In the coming weeks, we’re going to look at why Christmas is good news for everyone. And today we start by talking about the way Christmas relates to one of the big questions of history and of our lives: Is there a God? Jesus’ arrival settled that question for all time. There is indeed a God of the Universe, all-powerful and glorious. Why is that good news for us?  We’ll take a look this morning at the impact of this reality on everyone’s life.

LEVEL UP ON WEDNESDAY NIGHTS: Coming January!
Have you felt the need to take your relationship with Jesus to the next level? Wednesday nights in 2023 are your chance to do just that. We’ll be offering classes for our teens and adults that will create opportunities for you to deepen your faith in Christ and grow in your knowledge of the Bible. Be on the lookout as new classes rollout through January. (Childcare will be available for all ages.)

SMALL GROUPS:
Please note our final study sheet for the year will be out on December 4th, and will return beginning January 8th. Click here to view the latest sheet.

2023 BIBLE READING PLANS: 
Bookmarks are out in the lobby now! Pick one up and to begin a year-long bible reading plan put together by Pastor Mark & Pastor Dave. Plans can also be viewed here

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. Meets 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:
Matthew 11:28-30
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

DECEMBER BIBLE READING PLANS: 
Year 1: Proverbs 
Year 2: Job
Psalms 139-150

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

LADIES CHRISTMAS EXTRAVAGANZA: This Friday at 6:30
All ladies (post high-school and up) are invited to our Christmas Extravaganza and Ornament Exchange! Please join us for a night of food & fun, a wrapped ornament exchange ($10 or under), and a devotional thought from Dana. Feel free to invite friends or family – the more the merrier! Contact Dana Ott with any questions at 

danaott@hopechristianfellowship.org

DECEMBER COLLECTION: GWCM Food Pantry
For the month of December, Hope will be collecting non-perishable food items for the Greater Woodbury Cooperative Ministry food pantry. Specifically GWCM is in need of: cold cereal, mac & cheese, peanut butter, grape jelly, pasta, pasta sauce, and soups. Place donations in the bins at either entrance. To see what other items can be donated click here

ANNUAL BUSINESS MEETING: This Sunday
We’ll be having our annual business meeting after the second service. Partners will be able to vote on the budget at the meeting, or by using a signed ballot if you’re unable to stay. 

CHRISTMAS CAFE: Talented Needed
Do you have a hidden talent? Well it’s time to show it off at our upcoming Christmas Café on Wednesday, December 14th at 7:00! Share your talent with your fellow Hopers and enjoy some fellowship & food as we get into the holiday spirit! Not one for performing? You can bring a treat for everyone to enjoy! Sign-up to perform or bring a goodie in the lobby. Questions about participating? Contact Kylie Austen at kylieausten@hopechristianfellowship.org

CHRISTMAS SERVICES:
This year Christmas falls on a Sunday, which is extra exciting because it means we get to be together as a church family for this holiday! Please join us at 8:30 or 10:00 for a special hour long service with scripture reading and song. We’ll recount the Christmas story together and take time to celebrate the birth of our Savior! And we’ll even have a Hope mug for each adult (while supplies last)- our Christmas gift to you! Bring the whole family, HopeKids! will have childcare provided for children 2 and under. 

NEW YEAR, NEW TIMES:
Take note! Beginning Sunday, January 1st our service times will shift to 9:00 and 10:30! We will continue to livestream the second service. 

FELLA-SHIP EVENT: BATTLE OF BATTLES
From the minds that brought you Fight Club, we present AN EPIC ONE NIGHT EVENT on January 13th at 6:30! Battle of Battles will be a night full of competition (Chili Cook-Off, ping pong, cornhole, arm wrestling and more!) and a conversation on one of the hardest battles facing men today. This event is open to men 18+ and free to join. Sign-up in the lobby to attend and to enter the Chili Cook-Off. See Pastors Dave or Dan with any questions.

YOUNG ADULTS
Meets 1st & 3rd Tuesdays at 7:00
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 ground in the Word of God. Any questions, contact Pastor Dave at dave@hopechristianfellowship.org

IT’S OKAY TO NOT BE OKAY: Dec 6th
We missed our opportunity to talk about this in November, but we feel it’s important enough to come back to. Join us as we have a discussion around mental health and the Bible.

HOPE YOUTH
YOUTH GROUP: Sundays 6:00-8:00
Open to all teens 6th-12th grades! Contact Pastor Dan Lein with any questions: danlein@hopechristianfellowship.org

ADVENT SERIES: 
Dedicating time every year to anticipate Jesus’ imminent return is a powerful practice, one that we hope to bring to Youth Group this year! We are excited to explore the story of Jesus’ birth and the hope it brings for us today in a world that feels so hopeless. This series, though small, will be jam packed with powerful truths that students will be able to carry with them and practice for years to come. 

CHRISTMAS PARTY:
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, the annual Hope Youth Christmas party! All students from 6th to 12th grade are welcome to join us in their favorite pair of PJs as we celebrate the season with food, fun, and fellowship! Students are also welcome to bring a gift (valued at $5 or less) for our white elephant gift exchange. The party will be held on December 18th from 6-8pm, can’t wait to see you there! 

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

calendar here!

HOPE KIDS
WONDERZONE PAJAMA DAY:
For the month of December in the WonderZone, we’re learning about Jesus’ birth with “Pajama Party” activities! To help us celebrate all we’ve learned, we invite all of our WonderZone children and volunteers to wear their favorite PJs on 12/18 during Sunday services!

WONDERZONE CHRISTMAS PROGRAM: 
This year, we will sing about “The Real Christmas Story” at our program on December 11th! You’ll want to have your little ones in class and on time so that they don’t miss out on practicing! Click here to listen to the songs! Rehearsal will be on Saturday, December 10th at 10:00am. Click here for all the details. 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! You’ll want to have your kids on time in the GoZone so that they don’t miss out! Click here to listen to the songs! Rehearsals will be on Wednesday, December 7th at 7:00pm and Saturday, December 17th at 10:00am. Click here for all the details.Contact Pastor Ryan with any questions at ryanmoreno@hopechristianfellowship.org 

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. 

Our last HK Hangout for the year will be November 27th. We’ll see you again starting January 8th!

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!