Hope Notes 01/04/2023

January 4, 2023

Hello Hoper,  
     During the winter, I like to go outside at night and take big gulps of the cold, frosty air. This past week I went out and stared up at the fresh 2023 sky.  Black, new, unwritten on.  A realm of possibilities in the heavens and the starry skies. “Lift up your eyes on high and see who has created these stars, The One who leads forth their host by number, He calls them all by name; Because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power, Not one of them is missing.” (Isaiah 40:26)  I love that verse!  It makes me feel safe and secure knowing that the God who made the stars and the heavens, the One who calls each star by NAME, knows each one of us just as intimately.  He calls US by name so that we would draw close to Him. We need never feel that we are not known or seen by the Father.  As we enter a new year, we can give thanks to our God for all that He has done for us. We have the assurance that we can look to Him for guidance and strength as we face whatever challenges may come our way. “Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies. He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!” (Psalm 103:2-5)  These are my thoughts on a frosty, starry night at the beginning of a new year. Two verses that give me a good foundation to build on.  I hope that, as you read over them, the Spirit will lay those ‘blessed assurances’ on your own heart in just the way that you need to hear.

Wishing my church family a happy and blessed new year to come! – Lois

SPIRITUAL CARE  

SUNDAY MORNING MESSAGE: 
NEW SERIES: 
One Night: Jesus’ Words to World Changers

Does this world need help? Perhaps it needs even more than that. Jesus’ world certainly did. Just before He died, He spent one last night with His disciples around a dinner table and talked to them about what He knew they needed to know. The result of that conversation eventually changed the world. When you think about it, those last words before Jesus suffered and died have more significance and impact because of when He said them and who He said them to. As we look at these chapters in the Gospel of John, let’s keep in mind that these ideas grounded men who were about to run away from Jesus so that one day they flipped the world upside down.

The Message of Foot Washing (John 13:1-17)
How do you change the world? We start this Sunday by looking at perhaps one of the most unexpected and shocking choices Jesus ever made. The group thought they were getting together to celebrate the Passover together, and suddenly Jesus is washing their feet. This story kicks off the Last Supper narrative in John, and it is put there for a reason. We change the world by humbling ourselves and serving others. Jesus makes it clear that this isn’t something we wait for… it is something we seek out. How does this change the world? It is the way Jesus showed us and the currency of the worldwide revolution of Christianity, so let’s start our series thinking about this story and its impact today.

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. Beginning this Sunday we will meet at 8:40 in the GoZone!

SUNDAY MORNING PRAYER:
Anyone can join us Sunday mornings at 8:30 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 5:3-5
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.”

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

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 REPORT:
For the month of December, we averaged $13,190 per week bringing our final weekly giving average for the year up to $9737. This far exceeded our giving target for the year of $9450. We end the year averaging our highest total weekly giving ever. Our giving grew by 5% over the previous year, while our attendance grew by 15%. Clearly God is adding Hopers to our church and we are excited for the opportunities and challenges in the coming year. Please pray that these trends continue so we can continue to grow in our ability to invite people to know and follow Jesus!

LEVEL UP ON WEDNESDAY NIGHTS: Starts Tonight 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. (HopeKids! programs will be available for all ages.)

  • FOUNDATIONS: Led by Pastor Mark 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. 
  • UNOFFENDABLE: Begins Jan 18th, Led by Pastor Dave In a world ready to be offended and angry, what if Christians were the most unoffendable people on the planet? In this 6-week class, we’ll discover that your right to “righteous anger” is a myth and if you’re willing to give it up you’ll start to live with less stress and more humility and gratitude. Participants are encouraged, but don’t have to, purchase a copy of Brant Hansen’s Unoffendable: How Just One Change Can Make All of Life Better
  • COMING SOON: Stay tuned for more details on these upcoming classes for all adults!
    • “The Panorama Bible Study” led by Mike Hartwell
    • Christian Sexuality Part 2 led by Pastor Mark

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! This is a great opportunity to build relationships with our HopeKids and invest in their families by freeing parents to attend one of our Level Up classes. If interested, email Pastor Ryan at ryanmoreno@hopechristianfellowship.org 

DIRECTORY DAY:
Joining our online, private directory has never been easier! We’re setting up a Directory Day on Sunday, January 29th where you can register to join our directory – including having your photo taken! Our online directory is such an important tool in staying connected as a church body. To be included, simply swing by the coffee room after either service. Registering only takes a minute! Contact Emily DiLorenzo with any questions. emily@hopechristianfellowship.org 

HOPE SHARE: 
As you’re putting away Christmas presents, you might find yourself clearing out the old to make room for the new. Instead of throwing it away, consider sharing it! Hope Share is a private Facebook Group for Hopers to share their gently used items with each other, and ask for items they may need. Apply to join here.

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.

LOST AND FOUND:
Did you have an item go missing while at church? Make sure to check our lost and found bin at the back of the auditorium next to the sound booth! We’d love for these items to be reunited with their owners before we donate them elsewhere. Make sure to take a look!

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

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

MESSY PARTY: Jan 8th Kickoff 
Hope Youth will return from its winter break 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!

LEVEL UP: Wednesday Nights at 7:00 

  • 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!

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

calendar here!

HOPE KIDS
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!