Hope Notes 12/14/2022

December 14, 2022

Hello Hoper ~
     This past weekend we took our grandson to the SJ Holiday Light Show where you drive through a one mile display of all kinds of lighted Christmas scenes complete with music. It was quite a spectacular scene!  His little eyes shone just as brightly as those lights as he looked upon it all in wonder. Christmas lights are one of the things I enjoy the most during this holiday season. On Christmas trees, on houses, draped over bushes and wrapped around porches.  They give such a festive glow to the outdoors, and inside they make everything seem cozy. I love to turn off all the house lighting and have the tree and our nativity be the only source of illumination.  Because, of course, nothing makes the lights look prettier than darkness! 
     I know that Christmas can be painful for some people for any number of reasons.  You many have just lost a loved one, lost a job, destroyed a relationship or be struggling with finances.  Whatever the reason, there is Hope.  You are not alone.  God is right there with you.  Remember, He sent His baby Son to earth just for you.  Born to die.  Light of the world.  That’s what our Christmas celebration is all about!  Although your personal darkness may be painful, it’s the perfect setting for His Light.  Alone in the darkness, His Light becomes all the more obvious and shines all the more brightly.  It’s there for you – a beacon of hope for you to cling to. I invite you to go sit in a darkened room and let the lights of Christmas remind you of our own Light in the darkness.  Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”  John 8:12
His Light is My Hope … Lois

SPIRITUAL CARE  

SUNDAY MORNING MESSAGE: 
An Unlimited Invitation | GoZone Christmas Program*
(John 3:16-19)

If you could invite lonely and needy people to your Christmas table, would you? Of course, that’s a difficult question. We don’t know who is lonely unless they tell us (and we believe them). The same thing goes for those in need. But it’s likely that our hearts would WANT to include as many as possible if we truly believed we could help meet their needs. Christmas is good news because God’s heart is just like that.  He wants to include everyone possible in His goodness and grace. Christmas tells us that story because Jesus, God’s own Son, came to be born as a baby so that He could invite as many as possible into the love of the Father. But He doesn’t force anyone to accept the offer. So, if you’ve never responded to this offer with a yes, will you? And if you have accepted this offer, will you share it with as many as you can? *Please note the children’s performance will not be live-streamed for privacy purposes, 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!
  • COMING SOON: Stay tuned for more details on these upcoming classes for all adults!
    • “Unoffendable” led by Dave Hallahan
    • “The Panorama Bible Study” led by Mike Hartwell

WEDNESDAY NIGHT HOPEKIDS TEAM: Opportunity to Serve
Do you want to support our HopeKids, but you aren’t able to commit to Sunday morning classes? Consider joining our HopeKids Wednesday Night team! On Wednesday nights, our HopeKids programs are smaller and more focused on childcare. That means that joining our Wednesday night team is a great opportunity to build relationships with our HopeKids and invest in their families by freeing parents to attend one of our Bible study classes, with a smaller commitment than our Sunday programs! Join us in supporting our Hope families! If interested, email Pastor Ryan at ryanmoreno@hopechristianfellowship.org 

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. This Sunday, 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

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

SEEDS OF HOPE: Opportunity to Help
Seeds of Hope is teaming up with Angel Tree to provide Christmas gifts for families in Philadelphia who have an incarcerated family member. We’d love for our Hopers to partner with them in this endeavor! You can help share the light of Jesus to a family in need. To participate, visit their website here

CHRISTMAS CAFE: Tonight at 7:00
Join us for fellowship, some treats, and entertainment provided by our very own Hopers! You’ll have a great time and leave in the Christmas spirit! 

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: 1 Volunteer 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

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

CHRISTMAS PARTY: This Sunday!
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
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!

WONDERZONE PAJAMA DAY: This Sunday!
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!

GOZONE CHRISTMAS PROGRAM: This Sunday!
Our elementary kids will be performing “Good News Ahead: The Signs of Christmas!” on December 18th! Rehearsal will be on Saturday, December 17th at 10:00am. Click here for all the details.Contact Pastor Ryan with any questions at ryanmoreno@hopechristianfellowship.org 

HOPEKIDS HANGOUT: January 8th Kickoff!
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! 

NEW YEAR, NEW TESTAMENT!
We’re kicking off the new year and picking up where we left off by jumping into a 12-week overview of the New Testament with our What’s in the Bible? friends. There will be special snacks, games and activities to celebrate both the new year and the new testament—you won’t want to miss it!

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!