Hope Notes 02/15/2023

February 15, 2023

Hello Hoper, 
     I recently read something that explained how disciplining ourselves to do something regardless of whether or not we want to will eventually lead to a desire to do it. The example was exercise.  If we pledge to exercise every day we may start off simply being disciplined and determined, but one day we find that if we skip our exercise time, we actually miss it and desire to do it.  I would like to add something to that, not in regards to exercise but pertaining to the daily reading of God’s Word.  I think it goes like this:  We resolve to begin reading.  We discipline ourselves to do so.  Over the course of time we realize that when we miss a day, we truly miss it.  It has become a desire to read His Word.  But I would add that after discipline and desire comes delight. Jeremiah knew that – “Your words became my joy and my heart’s delight.” (Jeremiah 15:16) The psalmist writes,”……his delight is in the Law of the LORD, and on His law he meditates day and night. (Psalm 1:2)
     To delight in something means to derive great joy, to gain great pleasure, satisfaction, and happiness.  Two of the common Hebrew terms for delight are to ‘be inclined towards an object or a person (i.e. God)’ and to ‘take pleasure in’. Makes sense then, that we would want to read a book that brings us all of the above!  Not to mention the wisdom, guidance, and reassurance of God’s mercy, grace, and love.  As we move from discipline to desire to delight in our Lord and in His Word, let us remember this: “The LORD delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.” (Psalm 147:11)  The delight is reciprocal!
From discipline to desire to delight…..Lois

SPIRITUAL CARE  

SUNDAY MORNING MESSAGE: 
Peace (John 14:25-31)
Have you ever taken a minute to think about what it must be like to live in peace? Not for a minute or an hour, but as a normal mode of life – what would a life of peace feel like? Maybe it seems unrealistic because the only way we could figure out to live like that is to be superhuman (which none of us are) or to find some way to calm everything down around us. But Jesus tells His disciples that peace is a gift that He gives. Does that mean He gives it to us too?  It sure seems like that’s what Jesus meant and why John wrote these words down. In this moment, Jesus is talking about a peace that they learn how to live out over time, but one that will feel far away over the next few days for them. Launching this promise right at this moment has meaning for us too. Let’s see what we can learn from Jesus’ offer of peace.

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 
  • THE PANORAMA BIBLE STUDY: Led by Mike Hartwell thru Feb 
  • CHRISTIAN SEXUALITY PART 2: Begins Feb 22nd, led by Pastor Mark & Pastor Dan Last fall, we started a series on Christian Sexuality diving into the tough topics of sex, marriage, and pornography – and what the bible has to say about it. Join us as we continue that conversation, this time addressing homosexuality, transgender identity, and the LGBT community. We’ll hear real stories from real believers who face same sex attraction and gender dysphoria and how they pursue Christ in the midst of it. To catch up on the previous six lessons, click here.
  • THE CASE FOR CHRIST: Begins March 1st, led by Mark Suloff Is there credible evidence that Jesus–the carpenter from the ancient town of Nazareth–really is the Son of God? In this video Bible study, based on the book The Case for Christ, participants journey on a quest for the truth about Jesus. Skeptics dismiss the Jesus of the Gospels by claiming there is no evidence that he was God’s Son. But does their claim hold weight? And, if not, what evidence is there, especially outside the Bible? Lee Strobel–a former legal journalist and one-time atheist–presents the findings of his own search for truth. The first 10 to join this class will get a free book! 
  • Parenting Through The Phases: Led by Pastor Ryan & Kara May coming in April!

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

CHOICES OF THE HEART: 
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, Feb 26th. 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.

WOMEN OF HOPE: Have you heard the news?
Our Monday night Bible study has a new name! Formerly called, “God’s Girls”, is now Women of Hope! We’re excited for this opportunity to extend the invitation to ALL the women here at Hope whether or not you’ve been involved in the past. We’ll be meeting at the same time and same place – 1st and 3rd Mondays at 6:30pm right here at the church.

Please follow our NEW facebook page to stay connected and up to date on studies, events, and fellowship! Our next meeting will be on February 20th, and we’ll be continuing our series in the 4 kinds of biblical love. 

ATTENTION LOCAL BUSINESSES:
Are you a Hoper who also owns a local business? We’re interested in partnering with you to help welcome newcomers to the neighborhood! We’d love to promote your business as we invite new folks to check-out Hope! Contact Pastor Dave if you think your business would be a fit! (dave@hopechristianfellowship.org)

MARCH YARD WORK DAY: Helping Hands Needed!
We have an big undertaking at hand to remove the fence along the back of our property and need your help to accomplish it! Everyone is is able is invited out on Saturday, March 11th at 9:00 to help. We could also use the following tools: crowbars, sledge hammers, rakes, & shovels. If you’ve been looking for a way to serve our building team, but weren’t sure about commi

tting, this one day activity would be an enormous blessing to us! Sign-up in the lobby. Any questions, contact Bill Repas (billrepas@gmail.com)

HOPEKIDS! WORKSHOP: 

We are so excited to announce our first ever HopeKids! Workshop for all HopeKids! team members on Saturday, March 18th from 9:00-1:30! This crucial workshop will allow us to gather all of our teams, refocus on why our calling is so important, and get everyone excited and well-prepared for the work God continues to do in our growing ministry. There will be light morning refreshments, lunch provided, and essential information to fully equip us in serving the next generation. If you serve on any of our HopeKids! teams, please RSVP on Planning Center and join us for a day of fellowship and growth! 

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

OLD TESTAMENT VS. NEW TESTAMENT GOD: Feb 21st
Often the picture of God in the Old Testament can seem at odds with the Jesus of the New Testament. God is framed as angry and vindictive and Jesus is portrayed as all-accepting hippie. We’ll explore our perceptions of both God and Jesus and talk about how we can get closer to knowing who God truly is. Be sure to come early to enjoy our fry bar where you’ll be able to load up a plate of French Fries just the way you like them!

FIRST SUNDAY HANG: New starting March 5th!
Introducing another opportunity to gather as young adults! The first Sunday of each month we’ll be getting together for a simple hangout. Join us at the Hallahans (612 Westover Ct. Williamstown) at 1pm for some light snacks, games, and fellowship.

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: This weekend!
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.

GUYS’ NIGHT: March 10th at 6:30
The thrill of competition. The bonding of brothers. The taste of tacos. A night full of competitive games and prizes is the perfect way to spend your Friday night and an easy invite to friends looking to make their first connection. All guys 6th-12th grades are invited to join us at the church for all this and more!

GIRLS’ NIGHT: March 10th at 6:30
Join us for a movie night – details coming soon! 

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!