Hope Notes 03/29/2023

March 29, 2023

Hello Hoper,  
How do we react when life throws us a curveball?  It could be a minor inconvenience like an unexpected glitch in our plans, a day that goes awry when things don’t go as planned, or when unforeseen events interrupt the flow of life. Or it could also be a life altering bombshell – a diagnosis no one wants to receive, the news that a loved one has died, or the loss of a job and all the income it provides.  Unfortunately, any number of things can blindside us at any time.  Lest you think I’m all doom and gloom, let me just say that curveballs can also come in the form of something wonderful. An engagement, the birth of a baby, or an out of the blue piece of good news!  But those kind of things don’t usually throw us for a loop.  We simply accept them and rejoice.  It’s what we do when the curveball affects us negatively that matters.  Since scripture tells us to‘give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus’ (1Thess. 5:18),I’m going to assume we need to readjust our reactions a bit.  There’s no way I could get into a whole discussion on the hardship of giving thanks in difficult situations in a Hope Notes opening, so let me just focus on one thing.  We know that God always has our best in mind. (Jeremiah 29:11) We know that He will never leave us or forsake us. (Hebrews 13:5)  So perhaps we should try reacting with PRAISE not panic!  We can praise Him for what He’s already doing in the specific situation, even though we may not be able to see it.  Instead of ranting over our ‘messed up’ day, let’s offer Him praise for being in control of it and allow Him to guide us through it.  I find He often turns my day upside down and then offers me the chance to serve Him or be a blessing to someone else instead. This is when I have to humbly remember that I often ASK Him to be in charge of my day; why would I then be upset when He does?  For those heart stopping, gut wrenching situations we can offer Him praise that He is our Father, that He loves us, and that He’s still on the throne.  We don’t know what will happen, but thankfully He does.  It’s a simple catchphrase – Praise not Panic – so let’s try and repeat it to ourselves as needed.  Which sometimes may be more than once a day!
Learning to Praise not Panic……Lois

SPIRITUAL CARE  

SUNDAY MORNING MESSAGE: 
ONE WEEK
For Passion week, we’re going to step out of our series on ‘One Night” and take a trip back to the week before that night. Jesus did and said a few things that will help us see His mission and our week of Easter celebrations more clearly. Let’s take a couple weeks (Palm Sunday and Easter) to look at what happens in John 12 and be reminded of who Jesus is and what He came to do for this lost world and our desperate souls.
 
HERE COMES THE KING | PALM SUNDAY
(John 12:12-19)

On this day, we celebrate the triumphant entry of Jesus into the city of Jerusalem amidst cries of worship and honor. In that moment, it seems clear to all who watch (even Jesus’ enemies) that He can take over as King. Yet only a few days later, Jesus dies on a cross. What is the point of this episode in Jesus’ life and what did His disciples learn from it? It turned out that God’s work at that time was to open a door of invitation for all who would believe. Normally, kings rode into a city in power to conquer by force.  But the church was about to be birthed through faith and grace. The King that rode into Jerusalem that day still keeps the door open for all who would believe.

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:

  • PARENTING THROUGH THE PHASES: Led by Pastor Ryan & Kara beginning April 19th You have approximately 936 weeks from the time your child is born until he or she moves on to what’s next. The time will fly by—and kids change and grow a lot throughout the process. Join us as we work through the Parenting Through the Phases small group study! We’ll discuss what phases kids go through, what they need the most in each phase, and equip you with four conversations you should have with your kid in the phase they’re in now.
  • GRIEVING WITH HOPE: Led by Lorraine Otis beginning April 19th Whether it’s the loss of a loved one, the end of a relationship, or any other number of circumstances that leave us feeling unstable, grief can drive us to a place where we’re not sure how we can go on. If you are currently, have been, or know someone in that stage now, this study will take you through the Psalms where you’ll lead you into the arms of our compassionate, healing God, who weeps with you, walks with you, and offers hope in the midst of pain. 
  • YOU ARE NOT YOUR OWN: Led by Pastor Dave beginning April 19th We live in a world that tells us that we belong to ourselves and it is up to us to determine our identity and values. As Christians, we may know that this isn’t true or at least recognize that it sounds off, but the fact is we all are affected by it one way or another. Join us for this 4-week class as we explore our common notions of freedom and what it truly means to be free. (Participants are welcome to buy You Are Not Your Own: Belong to God in an Inhuman World by Alan Noble but it is not mandatory.)

ANNOUNCEMENTS

BAPTISM SERVICE: April 12th at 7:00
Come hear fellow Hopers share their testimonies and give praise to the work Christ is doing in their lives! This service is always powerful, encouraging, and moving – you’ll want to bring the tissues! Come out and support your brothers and sisters in Christ as they make this public declaration of faith. 

WOMEN OF HOPE: Spring Soup & Salad Night
Women of Hope want to invite you to come out and join us for a “Spring Soup & Salad” night on April 3rd at 6:30pm. We’ll meet at our regularly scheduled time & place but this time we’ll step out of the current study and enjoy dinner and some fellowship. Even if you haven’t been part of our Monday night group, we’d love to have you! Sign up in the front foyer if you’re able to come and if you’d like to make a soup or salad, there’s a spot for that too. Contact Mary Lebeau (marylebeau@verizon.net) or Michele Gabriel (momichga6@gmail.com) with any questions.

SEEDS OF HOPE MINISTRY OPPORTUNITY:
Seeds of Hope is having a Good Friday outreach on Friday, April 7th at their location in Camden from 12:00–3:00. They will have a prayer station, grill some hot dogs, and have iced water to hand out to people on the street. This will take place in the “Heal Camden” lot right next to their ministry home on Broadway. Volunteers can drop in and stay for as little or long as they like. It is an awesome way to practically demonstrate the love of Christ and the Lord always provides opportunities for us to share why Good Friday really is good. If you’d like to volunteer, RSVP to Stacy Reid at sreid0905@gmail.com 

LET’S TACO ‘BOUT IT: Women’s Event
Let’s Taco ‘Bout a Party! We’re getting together on Friday, May 5th at 6:00pm to enjoy a taco bar with all the fixings and some girl talk with your friends and other Hope gals! After dinner, we’ll carve out some time to “taco ’bout” something that you may be struggling with or have questions about. If you’d like to submit a topic or question for discussion, simply click here! Also, be sure to sign up in the front foyer and let us know you’ll be coming. If you’d like to bring a dessert to share, there’s a spot for that too! Our women’s events are open to all ladies post high school and up and you can contact Dana Ott with any questions (danaott@hopechristianfellowhip.org). 

EASTER AT HOPE:
Mark your calendar for the following Easter events coming soon!

  • HopeKids! Easter Jam on April 1st from 10:00-Noon (register here
  • Good Friday Service on April 7th at 7:00 (nursery provided for children 2 and under)
  • Easter Sunday Services at 9:00 & 10:30

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

FIRST SUNDAY HANG:
Join us on the first Sunday of each month for a time of fellowship! This Sunday, April 2nd we’ll be at Brian & Wendy Ball’s house (239 Penn Ave. Westmont, NJ) for pizza and games from 1:00-4:00. 

WHAT’S GOD DOING IN YOU: April 4th
From the time we are little we are asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” In Christian circles this becomes some form of “What are you going to do for God?” While questions like this have their place, they aren’t the whole story. God is also seeking to do a work in you. Where do you sense that God is currently working in you? Plus for a fun activity we’ll be dying Easter Eggs!

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

NEW SERIES: “Messiah” Isn’t a Name
Join us for the two Sundays leading up to Easter for a new study on the word Messiah. Where does it come from? What does it mean? And how does it apply to Jesus and others? We’ll be taking a look at some key characters throughout Scripture who filled the role of Messiah for Israel and point to the ultimate Messiah, Jesus Christ.

WEDNESDAY NIGHT BIBLE STUDY:
Have fun and dive deep with us on Wednesday nights at 7:00 as Hope Youth explores the story of David through the books of 1st and 2nd Samuel. With more time dedicated to study, Wednesday nights will be a great opportunity to learn more about God’s word and grow together in communion and conversation. We hope to see you there! 

MOVIE NIGHT:
It’s showtime with Hope Youth! Join us for a fun afternoon at the movies during Spring Break! On Wednesday, April 12th at 2:30pm Hope Youth is headed to AMC Deptford 8 to watch “The Super Mario Bros. Movie.” Tickets are 30% off, so if you are interested in coming contact Pastor Dan ASAP at danlein@hopechristianfellowship.org  

LAUNCH TRAMPOLINE EVENT: 
Launch into the last stretch of school with the Hope Youth Launch event! Summer’s just around the corner and we wanna jump right in at Launch Trampoline Park! All 6th – 12th graders are invited to attend. Join us at 1500 Almonesson Road in Woodbury from 6:00-8:00p on Friday, April 14th; cost is $20. Sign-up here!

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

calendar here!

HOPE KIDS
EASTER JAM 2023: This Saturday!
Get ready for an Egg-stra Special celebration at Easter Jam 2023! We’re excited to host another awesome Easter event for the whole family with songs, games, and an Easter story for all ages. Join in the experience on Saturday, April 1st from 10:00-Noon! Sign up HERE or at either Registration Table on Sunday!

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! We are finishing our “What’s in the Bible?” series and moving forward to the next!  Join us on Sunday, April 16 from 6-8PM as we start our “Tell the World!” series about carrying the message of God’s love with you wherever you go!

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!