Hope Notes 02/01/2023

February 1, 2023

Hello Hoper, 
     A faith that hasn’t been tested can’t be trusted.  I wish I knew who first said this to me; I’d like to give them credit!  I wrote it in my Bible and have often found myself repeating it to others. D. Carson said much the same thing in a slightly more eloquent manner: “The staying power of our faith is neither demonstrated nor developed until it is tested by suffering.”  We never really know how we will react to the trials and tribulations of life until they happen. We like to think we would hold unswervingly to our faith, but if it’s never been tested how do we know?  Looking back and remembering any trials we have gone through where we did cling to the “Hope that is the Anchor of our souls” (Hebrews 6:19) can give us a solid foundation to stand on. If you cannot recall a time of testing, know that at some point in your life trials will come. Grapes must be crushed to make wine. Diamonds form under pressure. Olives are pressed to release their precious oil.  Seeds grow in darkness. And yet listen to what 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 promises: ”We are hard pressed on all sides, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.” In short, God never wastes our suffering and we are never alone. He brings good from what seems bad.
      James 1:3 tells us that the testing of our faith produces perseverance.  We certainly need perseverance if we are to endure the things the world throws at us. It’s encouraging to know there is a plan and purpose for our trials.  Going through them is never fun nor easy, but they do allow us to develop strong ‘faith muscles’ and allow us the confidence that God is at work in us, growing our faith and our trust in Him. ”For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” (2 Corinthians 4:17)
Tested and trusting – Lois

SPIRITUAL CARE  

SUNDAY MORNING MESSAGE: 
Show Us The Father (John 14:6-14)
People have all kinds of ideas about God. Some think He is a distant old man sitting on a throne paying little attention to what happens in our world. Others imagine him to be an angry person ready to zap people who do the wrong thing. Still others pretend that He is a soft and warm guy who never gets upset and waves away any idea of right and wrong. All of these ideas (and more) existed when Jesus came to earth. On this night of the Last Supper, Jesus has something to tell His disciples about who God really is.  He explains it to them in a way that seems simple, but turns out to be profound and powerful. How can we really know who God is?  The answer is the same today for us as it was for them. And when we see Him, we’re ready to change the world.

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). 

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. Here is our list of classes for adults:

  • UNOFFENDABLE: Led by Pastor Dave thru Feb 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 tonight, 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
  • THE CASE FOR CHRIST: Begins March 1st, led by Mark Suloff 

VERSE OF THE MONTH:
Matthew 5:6-8
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”

ANNOUNCEMENTS

HOPE YOUTH BAKE SALE: This Sunday!
Looking for an opportunity to support our teens while simultaneously enjoying a few tasty treats? Well you are in luck, because Hope Youth is having a Bake Sale on Feb 5th before and after both services! Purchase a baked good in the lobby and show your love for Hope Youth as we raise money for our upcoming Winter Retreat in February!

WONDERMOMS: New Group!
Moms of preschoolers (0-PreK) are invited to join us on the 2nd Thursday of each month for a group created especially for them! Led by Kara May & Emily DiLorenzo, we’ll have study, prayer, and of course fellowship and coffee! Childcare will be provided, so come and treat yourself and your soul. Our first meeting will be Feb 9th from 10:30-Noon. Join our Facebook Group and RSVP!

CHOICES OF THE HEART: Baby Bottles Out This Sunday!
Help us support Choices of the Heart this month! Please take a baby bottle located at the back of the auditorium and fill throughout the month of February with any extra change. All bottles can be returned to the back table by Sunday, March 5th. For more information, or more ways to get involved with Choices of the Heart, please visit their website, www.choicesoftheheart.com. Any questions please contact Stacy Reid, sreid0905@gmail.com.

GOD’S GIRLS: Feb 6th at 6:30
All women post high school are invited to join our women’s group for a time of study, fellowship, and prayer. We meet the 1st & 3rd Monday of the month at 6:30. Join us for our next meeting as we begin a series studying the four kinds of biblical love. Any questions contact Mary LeBeau at marylebeau@verizon.net 

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!