Hope Notes 04/05/2023

April 5, 2023

Hello Hoper,  
     I’m springing off of last week’s opening, When Life Throws You a Curveball (and how we react when it does).  I guess I had more to say about it than I realized!  I always want to know how or why something happens.  I’m naturally curious by nature and the desire to understand the ‘why’ of things goes right along with that. In our family, I’m known for ruining a story by stopping to ask how or why.  It stands to reason then, that I would sometimes ask God WHY something happened.  But here’s the thing.  God doesn’t owe us any explanations.  This is hard because it doesn’t satisfy our need for understanding.  Wouldn’t it be so much easier to withstand a trial if you knew what the purpose was, how long it would last, and why God was allowing it?  Yet that is not the way faith operates.  We NEED to grow our faith and trials are often God’s way of doing just that.  “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you encounter trials of many kinds,  because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Allow perseverance to finish its work, so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:2-4)
     Back to my main point of this little discussion – God doesn’t owe us any explanations. And if you have any doubts about that, just remember this:  His thoughts go way beyond ours. “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD. And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9)  He’s the Author of creation. “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1)  He is the King of the universe.  “For God is the King of all the earth; sing to him a psalm of praise.” (Psalm 47:7) Now that doesn’t sound like anyone who needs to explain His actions to us!
PS: The tomb is empty!
Lois

SPIRITUAL CARE  

SUNDAY MORNING MESSAGE: 
We Would See Jesus | Easter
(John 12:20-36)

This is a morning that we celebrate together the resurrection of our Savior in power and glory. We are reminded again that nothing in this world compares to what He has done for us and what He can do for each person who believes. And in that simple truth comes a challenge. We’re not trying to get people to see us; we’re trying to show them Jesus. When some men came asking to see Jesus, Jesus had some words in response that help us understand what it takes for His disciples to point people to Him. He says if He is lifted up, He will draw all men to Himself.  This may mean more than you think it does.  Let’s take Easter morning to allow Jesus to teach us how to make Jesus known in our lives and in our 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:
Please note, there is no Wednesday Night program tonight! See you at Good Friday Service!

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

GIVING REPORT:
For the month of March, we averaged $9748 per week bringing our annual average down to $9854 per week. Both of these numbers remain well above our decreased target for 2023 of $9300 per week. As discussed at our business meeting, this level of giving through the first quarter allows us to re-evaluate our budget and address cost of living raises for our staff as well as needed projects and funding for our church operation. Please pray with our elders as they make these decisions. And pray that the Lord will continue to expand our financial abilities for the future of Hope!

GOOD FRIDAY SERVICE: 
Bring the whole family this Friday at 7:00 for scripture reading, song, and communion. Nursery will be available for children 2 and under. This service will be less than an hour long, but will be one of the most powerful you’ll experience all year! We can’t think of a better way for you to start the Easter weekend. 

EASTER SUNDAY: Spread the word!
Let’s celebrate our Risen King together this Sunday! We’ll have freshly baked muffins & coffee, and a photo spot so you can make sure to snag the perfect family photo! Easter Sunday is an amazing opportunity to invite others out to Hope to hear the good news of Jesus Christ. Help us spread the word by sharing our Easter image on social media, or by leaving us a Google or Facebook review! These reviews show up when people search for a church in their neighborhood. Your positive words could be just the encouragement they need to choose to visit Hope! 

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. 

MORNING OF WORSHIP:
We’re looking forward to a special time of worship as we pour out our praise on Sunday, April 16th. This service will be an hour of singing with a focus on the freedom we have in Jesus Christ! Come ready to sing – expectant for the Spirit of God to move in a powerful, life-changing way! We need your heart and your voice to be a part of bringing glory to our Lord!

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). 

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

PIZZA, PRAYER, & PRAISE: April 18th at 7:00
We’ll enjoy a pizza dinner together, then move into a prayer walk where we will be able to spend time lifting a variety of concerns to God. We’ll finish the night turning to Him through song & praise. Don’t miss what is sure to be an amazing night!

HOPE YOUTH
YOUTH GROUP: Sundays 6:00-8:00
Please note there is no Youth Group this Sunday. Happy Easter!

Open to all teens 6th-12th grades! Contact Pastor Dan Lein with any questions: danlein@hopechristianfellowship.org

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: April 12th
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: April 14th
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
HOPEKIDS HANGOUT: 
Please note there is no HopeKids Hangout this Sunday. Happy Easter!
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!