Hope Notes 06/14/2023

June 14, 2023

Hello Hoper,  
     I walked past a honeysuckle bush in our backyard the other day and the sweet aroma instantly transported me back to my childhood.  Who else remembers plucking flower after flower and ‘drinking’ the nectar?  We had an overgrowth of those bushes in my yard and I remember sitting in their shade on hot summer days partaking of their sweetness.  I also may or may not have eaten the azaleas that grew next to them.  Don’t judge me; they were slightly sour and a good counterpart to the sugary honeysuckle!
     Scripture talks about pleasing aromas too. The Old Testament Israelites offered fragrant items to God for the atonement of their sins, such as the meat of lambs and other animals, certain breads and incense containing particular ingredients. However, this was only a temporary solution to their sins.  Jesus offered Himself to redeem mankind from our sins. That’s why Paul refers to Jesus as a fragrant offering in Ephesians 5:2. “….walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” He certainly was the most pleasing fragrance to the Father! Our prayers are another delightful aroma to our God.  “Let my prayer be accepted as sweet-smelling incense in your presence.” (Psalm 141:2 GWT)  My only experience with incense is back in the ‘hippie’ days of the early 70’s. I remember sitting in my room enjoying the smell of cinnamon as the smoke drifted upwards and watching it swirl on the breeze from my open window.  I love comparing that memory to our prayers being lifted on the breeze straight to our Father’s heart and perfuming heaven with their aroma!
     Lord, thank you for giving us the fragrance of all those sweet smelling flowers to enjoy. Thank you for taking pleasure in our worship and devotion, for rejoicing in our prayers.  May they always be a sweet aroma, pleasing to you.
Thankful for fragrant memories…….Lois


When Walls Fall | An Update from Seeds of Hope’s Bill and Brenda Antinore
(Joshua 6:1-16, 20-23)

Life is challenging.  In fact, it is so full of challenges that many people are convinced they can never find peace or joy or even hope. Yet God’s people are invited to walk by faith in the power of God.  One story that illustrates this perfectly is the story of Jericho.  The army of Israel is essentially asked to just go through some seemingly powerless motions.  The point of God’s instruction to His people here is to teach them about battles and victory.  If you or someone you know is facing a giant wall that never seems to fall, this story is for you!

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!

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: Wednesdays at 7:00 thru June 21st
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. 

It’s not too late to join these classes:

  • SURVEY OF THE GOSPELS: Led by Dwight Lein 
  • THE SEARCH FOR SIGNIFICANCE: Led by Jess St. Petery 
  • GRIEVING WITH HOPE: Led by Lorraine Otis

NIGHT OF WORSHIP: Wednesday, June 28th at 7:00
God has been so faithful and this night is a time to intentionally lift up songs of praise for the ways He has come through time and time again! There will be HopeKids! programs available for nursery and pre-school children and we’ll even have the coffee on – you don’t want to miss this night of worship, praise, and prayer!


God wants you, we need you, so let’s team together to Make Hope Happen! We currently have several ministries with needed positions: coffee team (serves Sunday mornings), production team (serves weekends), weekend building check, and kitchen team (serves during the week.) All of our teams rely on a group of volunteers that work on a rotating schedule to ensure no one person is left carrying the load! Come partner with us! Fill out a volunteer form here, or contact emily@hopechristianfellowship.org with questions! 

CAPE MAY WOMEN’S RETREAT: Limited spots available!
Exciting news for our ladies – we have re-opened registration for our upcoming women’s retreat in October! We currently have less than 10 spots available at the $200 price point, and several spots remaining at a higher price point. For details on rooming and costs, contact Sherri Riddell (esriddell1194@gmail.com). For all the details, and to secure your spot and register, fill out the form here

Our needs team is looking for some helping hands to assist a Hoper with moving from Woodbury to Philadelphia. If you are available Saturday, June 17th or June 24th, contact Chick Dougherty at 215-435-0380 or chickdoc@verizon.net

WOMEN OF HOPE: Last meeting before Summer Break!
Join us on Monday, June 19th at 6:30 as we continue our Quest study and take a look at the life of Esther. This will be our last meeting before we take a break for July & August. Feel free to bring a friend! Coffee and snacks will be provided. See you then!

Each summer in the month of August we take a break from traditional youth group to have weekly pool parties! This is always such a fun time of fellowship and a great way to close out summer break with our students before heading into the school year. You can be an instrumental part of this valuable time together by hosting us! Click here to sign-up and contact Pastor Dan (danlein@hopechristianfellowship.org) for more any questions!

Are you new to Hope within the past few months? Our staff and leadership team would love to welcome you and your family! Stop by the GoZone 2 on Sunday, June 25th in between services for a coffee & pastry and to meet with some of our team! The reception is open house style, so swing by any time between 9:45-10:45. 

Hey ladies! Summer is almost here and what’s more fun than a pool-side picnic lunch with friends? We hope you’ll join us on Saturday, July 8th from 11:00am – 2:00pm for our “Sip ‘n Dip Ladies Event” at the Baumiester’s home (750 Fairview Ave. Woodbury Heights, NJ 08097). There are two sign up sheets in the front lobby – one is to let us know that you can attend and the other is if you’d like to bring a side dish or dessert to share! We’ll supply the sandwiches and cold drinks, so we’ll need a headcount for set up and supplies. Remember your bathing suit and towel if you’d like to swim! This is an event for all women post high school and up – hope to see you there! (Contact Dana at danaott@hopechristianfellowship.org for more info.)

VBS is back July 24-28th and we need YOU! We’re looking for a group of awesome volunteers who are ready to invest in the faith of our children! As a VBS volunteer, you can help us create a life-changing event with an eternal impact on every child that attends. We need prep night helpers, decorations team members, registration team members, snack team helpers, church decorators, and crew leaders! If you’re ready to serve in one or more of those areas fill our our VBS Volunteer Form now

Summer is almost here and we’ve got a VBS planned that’s going to be out of this world! Our theme this year is Stellar – Shine Jesus’ Light! You won’t want your kids to miss out on learning how they can shine Jesus’ light with our awesome VBS songs, Bible adventure lessons, Bible memory buddies, and more! The fun happens July 24th-28th from 9:30AM-Noon for our 3-5 year olds and 6PM-8:30PM for our K-5th Graders. Sign your kids up today!

Would you like to help us put together a truly out of this world VBS this year? One way you can do that is by donating supplies! We have various items available for donation posted to our Donation Board in the hall by the GoZone—just pick an item, tear off the slip (feel free to take more than one!), and leave your supplies in the HopeKids! donation baskets in the kitchen. Thank you for your support!

If you want to help prepare the many decorations that will transform our church for Stellar VBS, then come on out to our VBS Prep Nights! We will be gathering from 7-9PM on Tuesday 06/27, Thursday 07/06, Tuesday 07/11, and Tuesday 07/18 in the GoZone. Come for as many of those dates as you can, and stay for as long as you’re able! We’re excited to work with you to bring this year’s theme to life!

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

OUTDOOR MOVIE NIGHT: June 20th at 7:30
We’ll be watching a movie outdoors at the Hallahan’s (612 Westover Court, Williamstown)! Bring a chair, towel, or blanket and come ready to enjoy some popcorn and the joy of backyard movie watching.

YOUTH GROUP: Sundays 6:00-8:00
*Please note there is no Youth Group on Sunday, June 18th!*

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

On our final Sunday night we’re gonna have a blast with games, prizes, and special frozen treats. It’ll be a proper send off for the great year of youth group we’ve had as well as a kick-off to our upcoming summer events. With all the fun and fellowship going on there’s no better Sunday night to join us and invite some friends!

TEEN VBS VOLUNTEERS: Free Six Flags trip!
VBS is coming and we need all hands on deck, and Hope Youth is reporting in! If you are, or know someone who is, going into 7th-12th grade this fall we want their help in making VBS a fun and welcoming environment for all the kiddos who come by! Whether they’re decorating, leading a crew, or helping with a station, teens are always the ones that the VBS kids look up to. We also want to reward Hope Youth students for making an impact and investing in the future of the kingdom With that in mind, we are inviting all student volunteers who help out with VBS six or more times this summer to Six Flags free of charge on August 10th! If you’re interested in this being a part of this epic summer, sign up for VBS and get in touch with Pastor Dan for more details! 

While the regular Hope Youth season is coming to a close our summer season is just getting started! In addition to our annual August Pool Parties we will be having awesome opportunities to hang out together weekly throughout the summer! The schedule is coming soon (keep your eyes locked to @hcf_hopeyouth on Instagram) but we wanted to give you a taste of these Summer Hangs to come on Wednesday June 21st from 7-8pm! If you are looking to get a teen you know involved this is the perfect event as it is designed especially for fellowship and fun, giving students ample opportunity to develop relationships with leaders and each other. It’s an event you won’t want to miss out on, and one we can’t wait to see you at! 

Parents, stay up to date with everything happening on our

calendar here!

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.

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!