Hope Notes 12/07/2022

December 7, 2022

Hello Hoper ~
    I have a confession.  I don’t like decorating for Christmas. Don’t judge me; it doesn’t make me a Grinch by any means!  I enjoy the season and celebrating with my family. I like the warmth and coziness of a lighted Christmas tree in a darkened room.  I like giving gifts to those I love. I just don’t like the decorating and consumerism frenzy that is often unleashed at this time of year. And I have a feeling I’m not alone in that!  I especially love what goes on at Hope during the Christmas season – the Children’s Christmas Programs, the special services, the Christmas worship songs, and all the holiday happenings.  I love seeing our church decorated for the season (Hey, I didn’t say I don’t like decorations; I just don’t like decorating!).
     I am overwhelmed by the thought of Jesus stepping out of eternity and into a fallen world.  Giving up His rightful place in heaven.  Setting all that aside to live among us here on earth.  “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)  For believers our touchstone is the birth of Christ.  I wouldn’t know how to celebrate Christmas without that and I am thankful we attend a church where we are continuously drawn back to Jesus’ birth as our focus! “Today in the city of David a Savior has been born to you. He is Christ the Lord!” (Luke 2:11)
Looking forward to all the Christmas celebrations here at Hope……. Lois

SPIRITUAL CARE  

SUNDAY MORNING MESSAGE: 
Relational God | WonderZone Christmas Program*
(John 14:6-17; 2 Corinthians 5:16-21)
This morning, we get to enjoy a favorite for all Hopers: our Preschool Christmas Program. After they have shared the message of Christmas, we’ll take some time to keep talking about why Christmas is good news. Jesus’ arrival tells us that God is relational. That means He wants and seeks personal relationships with people. How does the birth of Jesus tell us that?  We’re going to look at Jesus’ words at the Last Supper to see what He says about why He came and who He’s connected to. Then we’ll see that it’s also the reason behind why Jesus came – because a relationship with us meant that much to Him! *Please note the children’s performance will not be livestreamed for privacy purposed, but the message will be. Tune in around 10:30 to watch. 

LEVEL UP ON WEDNESDAY NIGHTS: Coming January 4th at 7:00!
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.)

  • FOUNDATIONS: Open To All Adults 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 are returning on Wednesday Nights to continue our lessons on ‘Foundations’.  We talked about the Authority of the Bible and the Character of God last September. Now we will pick up where we left off and continue through the Nature of Salvation as well. 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 continue to target a few places to find our footing. 
  • BECOMING THE BRANCH: 9th-12th Grades Ready to take your faith to the next level? Students will learn how to grow in the Lord and produce the fruit that he calls us to produce. From fresh ideas to practical application, this devotional series will be a great opportunity for senior high teens to dig deep and firmly plant their roots in Christ!
  • I’VE GOT QUESTIONS: 6th-8th Grades What’s the trinity? How long ago did God create the world? What’s for dinner? All questions we have heard tweens ask, and while we might not have the answer to every question, we want to train our Junior High students on how to ask those questions, where to look for answers, and what to do with the answers that we get. Junior Highers are a naturally curious bunch and we are so excited to direct that curiosity toward Jesus!

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: Meet in GoZone 2 
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. For the next two Sundays (12/11 & 12/18), we will meet at 8:15 in GoZone 2. 

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

GIVING UPDATE:
For the month of November, we averaged $12,994 per week bringing our annual average up to $9449. Essentially, we are now at our annual giving target of $9450 per week. This is clearly a miracle from our Lord and a testament to the giving, sacrificial, and faithful hearts of Hopers.  After the first week of November, we were down over $15,000 from our giving total needed, and three weeks later, we are even. Thank you to each person who responded to our call earlier this month, and to all who give to support God’s work here at Hope. We’re praying that this is the start of the Lord unleashing resources so that we can press forward for His kingdom in the coming year.

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

CHRISTMAS CAFE: Sign-Up to Perform!
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. 

CHRISTMAS CHILDCARE: Nursery Help Needed
Our HopeKids! Ministry could use just one more set of hands to help in the nursery on Christmas morning at the 10:00 service. We’d love if you could help us care for our littlest Hopers so that our Hope families can attend a service worry-free! If you are able to volunteer for this service, email Kara May at karamay@hopechristianfellowship.org

SUPPORT HOPEKIDS! MINISTRY:
Check out our new HopeKids! Donations Board posted outside of the GoZone. Stop by and “shop” the board for an item you’d like to donate, and be sure to return items to the “HopeKids!” donations baskets in the kitchen!

RIDE NEEDED:
Young man new to Hope needs rides to/from church. He currently walks about 45 minutes to church. It would be a short drive; right off Broad Street near the Colonial Diner.  If interested, contact our Needs Team at needs@hopechristianfellowship.org for more information.

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

CHRISTMAS PARTY: December 20th at 7:00
The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear! The second best way is to come to the Young Adults Christmas Party! We’ll have plenty of snacks, desserts, and even a hot chocolate bar! Bring a White Elephant gift ($10) and be ready for lots of games!

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! 

MESSY PARTY: 2023 KICKOFF! 
Hope Youth will return from its winter break on January 8th with a massive Messy Party! We don’t usually encourage students to make a mess but that is precisely the goal on Messy Night, where students will compete in various gross-out and mess activities with prizes in the line! So make sure you wear something you don’t mind ruining!

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: On Hiatus Until Jan 8th
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!