Hope Notes 01/25/2023

January 25, 2023

Hello Hoper,  
“I DON’T WANT TO HAVE TO!” My grandson looked at me with tears in his eyes and issued this plaintive, pitiful plea. Oh sweet boy, how I understand! The Lord knows there have been many times that I have said, ‘But God I don’t WANT to have to…..(insert one of any number of things.)’ The list could go on and on, couldn’t it? For instance, there was the time when I knew God was calling me to let go of a circle of friends that no longer exemplified the lifestyle I had embraced as a believer. I kept making excuses, the biggest one being that I could be a light to Jesus for them. Except that isn’t always how it plays out, does it? Anyway, true to His tenacious nature, God was not about to let me get away with that. He sent a series of circumstances that mostly took the decision out of my hands. Del Fehsenfeld Jr. said, “In order to experience revival, most of us do not need to hear more truths; we simply need to obey that which we already know.” I already knew what I should do, I just didn’t want to. Nor did I know how to. And I needed that revival in my heart! Later on I was able to realize the graciousness of our God for taking care of that for me.
     One of the most tongue twisting passages in Scripture is found in Romans 7:15-20. We know what we’re supposed to do. We long to obey God in our heart, and we know obedience is God’s path to blessing, but we have a struggle actually doing it. Sometimes we just don’t feel like obeying! In John 14:15 Jesus said, If you love me, keep my commands.” Our love for God should motivate proper behavior and the kind of obedience that pleases Him. No matter if we feel like it or not! Samuel asked a significant question of Saul in 1 Samuel 15:22  “What is more pleasing to the LORD: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams.” The next time we find ourselves saying, ‘I don’t WANT to have to…’ let us bring those two verses to mind. I have a feeling we just might decide to obey.
Obedience leads to blessing  – Lois

SPIRITUAL CARE  

SUNDAY MORNING MESSAGE: 
An Untroubled Heart | Communion
(John 14:1-6)

Is it possible to live in such a troubled world with an untroubled heart? We hope so… we want it to be true…  but most of us either don’t know how to get there or don’t believe that we can. At the Last Supper, Jesus has some very interesting words for His disciples that leads to one of the most famous statements He makes. How does Jesus being the Way, the Truth, and the Life connect to having hearts that are at rest in the chaos of this world?  Thinking about what is about to happen after this dinner, why would Jesus say this to the disciples at this moment?  Perhaps John records these words for us so that we can know what Jesus invited the disciples to know and believe.  One way we change the world is by living with an unshakeable hope in the ups and downs of life.

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 8:40 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.”

ANNOUNCEMENTS

LEVEL UP ON WEDNESDAY NIGHTS: 
Wednesday nights in 2023 we are focusing on taking your relationship with Jesus to the next level by offering programs for all ages built to strengthen your faith and deepen your spiritual knowledge. In addition to Pastor Mark’s “Foundations” study, here is our list of classes for adults:

  • UNOFFENDABLE: Begins Tonight, 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
  • THE PANORAMA BIBLE STUDY: Begins Feb 1st, led by Mike Hartwell The Panorama Bible Study gives a condensed overview of Scripture from Genesis to Revelation. Included is a timeline illustrated with drawings to give you a visual of the events.
  • CHRISTIAN SEXUALITY PART 2: Begins Feb 22nd, led by Pastor Mark

HOPEKIDS! VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES:
At Hope we’re committed to charting a course towards lifelong faith for our children, and we need YOUR help to do it! Right now we are looking for volunteers willing to serve in a HopeKids class 1 Wednesday a month, so that our volunteers are all able to both serve our kids AND attend Wednesday night classes. We are also experiencing awesome growth in our GoZone classes on Sunday mornings! So, we need more small group leaders to help facilitate that growth and continue to support our elementary kids with strong relationships and Christian role models. Please contact Pastor Ryan (ryanmoreno@hopechristianfellowship.org)  if you’re ready to invest in the next generation’s faith!

DIRECTORY DAY: This Sunday!
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 

GALENTINE’S TEA:
You’re invited to a “Galentine’s” Day Tea! Saturday, February 11th from 10:30am – 12:30pm. Leave the boys at home and come kick it with the best gals around for a celebration of friendship and love! We hope you can join us for brunch (tea sandwiches and finger foods), coffee, tea, and of course, sweet treats. We’ve got some great games planned and even a fun craft that you can share with a friend – you don’t need to bring anything but yourself and your girl gang if you’d like! Look for the event on Facebook and remember to sign up in the front foyer today so we can get an accurate headcount – don’t miss out!  Contact Dana at 

danaott@hopechristianfellowship.org for more information.

HOPE KIDS & YOUTH SUPER BOWL PARTY:
On February 12th a team will be crowned Super Bowl champs and your family is invited to find out who here at church! In lieu of our normal Sunday nights, Hope Youth and HopeKids Hangout are joining up for an epic Super Bowl party AND parents are invited! We’ll be streaming the game plus we’ll have classic game day snacks, competitive challenges, and prizes! Join us starting at 6pm until halftime! 

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

WHEN GOD FEELS ABSENT: Feb 7th
Most Christians would affirm God’s omnipresence – the truth that God is everywhere, always present. But what does it mean to live like that’s true? If we’re honest there are plenty of times where it is hard to believe that God is present and working. Join us as we talk through what to do in the circumstances. 

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

WINTER RETREAT:
From February 17th-19th Hope Youth will be worshipping God, learning more about him, and fellowshipping with one another! The retreat will take place at Mont Lawn retreat center, an exciting cabin complex in the Poconos packed with fun activities like an indoor basketball gym, archery, rock climbing and so much more! Admission is $100 and all 6th through 12th graders are welcome so don’t forget to invite your friends and family! If you can’t afford the fee, contact Pastor Dan about getting sponsored by the church! Download a permission slip here.

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: 
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! Our current series is a 12 week study on the New Testament. 

SUNDAY MORNING PROGRAMS:
We offer childcare and classes from our littlest Hopers to our 5th graders every Sunday morning at both 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.

WEDNESDAY NIGHT PROGRAMS:
We’re so excited to invest in our HopeKids! on Wednesday evenings, during our Level Up series, by providing classes for infants through 5th graders! Our elementary kids will be paired up with our preschoolers for a portion of the evening to work together on a craft, game, or activity. We can’t wait to see how God works in & through our elementary kids to serve, lead by example, and encourage our preschoolers! Your kids won’t want to miss out on these fun-filled Wednesday nights, engaging their faith and learning more from God’s Word!

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

Check out our social media (and more) here!