Hope Notes 09/01/2023

September 1, 2023

Hello Hoper,  
      For quite some time now I’ve been wondering about the number of Public Storage places that have popped up.  I know this will make me sound like an old person, but years ago there was no such thing.  The other day I passed a pickup truck piled high with ‘junk’ and on the side it proudly advertised ‘Junk Removal Service’.  How did we as a society acquire so much stuff that we need people to store it for us and people to haul it away?  I feel it says a lot about what our culture values.  But doesn’t Scripture caution us against that very thing?  “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21) The dictionary defines treasure as ‘wealth, anything a person greatly values, or something highly prized.’
     So, what’s valuable both now and in eternity? I would say it’s what God cares about: treating people right, forgiveness and loyalty. Leading people to the saving grace of His Son. After all, we’re called to be His ambassadors. So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us.”(2 Corinthians 5:20) We’re meant to use possessions and love people, not love possessions and use people. Keeping our eternal perspective affects our earthly priorities. “He (Jesus) told the people, “Be careful to guard yourselves from every kind of greed. Life is not about having a lot of material possessions.” (Luke 12:15 GWT) I don’t necessarily think of treasure as just wealth; we can be greedy and hoard all kinds of things from our material possessions, to our money, our talents, or our time.
     We can choose to focus our lives on temporary wealth, but God offers us treasure that lasts forever: a relationship with Him that begins here and continues for eternity in heaven. Nothing’s worth more than that!

“Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income…”
(Ecclesiastes 5:10) ………Lois

SPIRITUAL CARE  

SUNDAY MORNING MESSAGE: New series! 
In The World But Not Of It

Those who follow Jesus actually don’t belong to this world. Jesus says exactly that in John 15. Peter says we’re citizens of heaven. Both Peter and Paul say we’ve become a part of the family of God. But we still live in this world and we have to deal with decisions, tasks, pressures, and ideas while we’re here. So in John 17:14-18 when Jesus says that He has sent us into the world, but that we are not ‘of the world’, it means that we need to understand how to live as people who think differently, believe differently, and live differently while interacting in our mission field for Jesus.
 
Does God Have the Right? | Communion
(Genesis 22:1-18)

What are your rights? People will tell you that you should know them and be willing to fight for them. But where do they come from and how do we know what we have the right to?  Some would say that as Americans, the Constitution gives us rights.  The founding fathers seemed to think in the Declaration of Independence that God is the One who gives human rights. This brings us to our discussion today. What rights does God have in our lives and in the universe? Those who refuse to submit or follow the Lord would say (explicitly or otherwise) that God can’t ask them to accept His definitions of right and wrong.  God doesn’t have the right to judge people or to dictate what is good and what is evil. As believers, we’re starting off our series on how we live in this world, but we are not of this world. This one issue is so foundational to the difference between us and this world. We’ll look at Abraham and see how he answered this question and then we will let God show us where we need to respond in the same way.

WEDNESDAY NIGHT BIBLE STUDIES: September 6th at 6:00
We’re just 2 weeks away from resuming our Wednesday night programs! And you won’t want to miss our kickoff, because we’re having a pizza party and ice cream sundaes for the whole family at a special time! Moving forward, we’ll meet at 6:30 for fellowship & coffee before heading into our classes at 7:00. There will be programs for kids, teens, and adults! Choose from one of the below studies and sign-up in the lobby so we can save you a seat and a slice!

  • “Hedonists for Heaven” led by Pastor Dan: Life is full of weight, be it tragedy or the daily grind, and at the end of the day all we want is a break. The hedonist believes that the break is the thing, that seeking joy and pleasure is not only the goal, but the meaning of life. What if I told you that, as Christians, that should be our goal too? The only difference between a Christian and a hedonist in fact is that we know where real pleasure is found, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
  • “Faith, Identity & Hope in a Fallen World” led by Pastor Ryan: Can we be confident in God and the Bible? Where should we find our sense of self, our value, and our purpose? How can we hold onto hope when things around us feel so hopeless? We’ll tackle those questions together as we look at what the biblical narrative has to say about faith, identity and hope in a fallen world.
  • “What Does The Bible Say About the Future?” led by Pastor Mark: If you’ve heard of ‘the Rapture’, the ‘Tribulation’, or any of the other Biblical concepts, we’ll see where these ideas come from and look at the debate around them. It won’t be a “have it all figured out” class. But it will help you know both how to study your Bible and the overarching ideas that Christians have about End Times Prophecies.

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). 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

WONDERMOMS BRUNCH:
All moms of preschoolers (0-5) are invited to join us for our kickoff brunch on Thursday, September 14th from 10:30-noon. We’ll have food and fellowship, as well as some games and giveaways! As always, childcare will be provided. Plus we’re giving out a free copy of our new study, “Risen Motherhood,” to the first 10 moms who arrive! We’re also excited to announce that we will now be meeting twice per month – the second and fourth Thursdays! Be sure to join our Facebook Group so you can RSVP and stay up to date with the latest. Contact Kara May (karamay@hopechristianfellowship.org) or Emily DiLorenzo (emily@hopechristianfellowship.org) with any questions! 

WONDERMOMS CHILDCARE: Opportunity to Serve
Our WonderMoms group serves as an important time for our moms who are in the trenches with their little ones. It’s a chance to find respite for their souls as they take some time to study God’s word with their sisters in christ. If you’d like to help make this possible, please consider volunteering for childcare! We need people available for 1-2 Thursdays per month from 10:15-noon. Contact Kara May (karamay@hopechristianfellowship.org) if you’re interested!  

MEN’S BOWLING LEAGUE:
Join our Hope League for a time of fun, fellowship, and friendly competition. First game is Monday, September 11th at Bowlero lanes in Deptford at 6:20pm. The league runs for 32 weeks and costs $20 per week. Sign-up in the lobby now and see Bruce Clark with any questions (609-820-4858).

WOMEN’S RETREAT: Final Payment Due
Just a reminder for our ladies attending our upcoming Cape May Retreat; your final payment is due by September 3rd. If you have questions about your balance, reach out to Sherri Riddell (esriddell1194@gmail.com). And it’s not too late to join us! We currently have 6 spots available at the $200 price point, and several spots remaining at a higher price point. For all the details, and to register, fill out the form here

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

FALL KICKOFF: 
Join us for our first meeting of the fall on Tuesday, September 5th at 7:00pm right here at the church. We will enjoy pizza and something sweet. Come — bring a friend, get connected, be encouraged and be challenged as we continue our series on the “Pursuit of Happiness.”

HIKING EVENT: Saturday, September 16th
We’ll be taking a fall hike and enjoying a picnic at Valley Forge Park. Meet for a picnic at noon (bring your own lunch) at Wayne’s Woods picnic area (8000 S Outer Line Dr, King of Prussia, PA) and we’ll follow it with a 2-3 mile hike. Wear good shoes and bring a friend!
 

HOPE YOUTH
HOPE YOUTH + HOPEKIDS HANGOUT: Kickoff September 10th
HopeYouth and HopeKids! Hangout are back and we’re kicking off the school year together with a party! Our teens (6th-12th) and elementary school (K-5th) friends are invited to come out to the HY+HKH Glow Night from 6-8pm for a night of glow-in-the-dark fun.  Wear your finest neon and come prepared to eat glow-in-the-dark foods, drink glow-in-the-dark drinks, and play glow-in-the-dark games! It’ll be an exciting night—and an opportunity to learn how we can carry Jesus’ light with us into the school year on a mission to share it with everyone we meet. Don’t miss it!

WEDNESDAY NIGHTS: Starts September 6th
Hope Youth is diving deep into the Word on Wednesday Nights! Join us for some fun and some focus as we crack open the book of Psalms and see what awesome truths we can learn! Taking it one chapter at a time, we’ll learn about these ancient poems and see just how they speak to us today! It’s also a great opportunity to group with friends, pray for each other, and grow closer to God. Hope to see you there! 

OCEAN CITY WEEKEND: September 22nd-24th
Our favorite retreat of the year is right around the corner! This is sure to be an awesome weekend of fun, fellowship, and encountering Jesus as we dive into the new school year. All high school students are invited and you can sign up with the permission slip here! If you have any questions contact pastor Dan! 

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

calendar here!

HOPE KIDS
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 NIGHTS: Starts September 6th
None of our HopeKids! will want to miss our Wednesday night programs this Fall! We’ll be digging into Bible stories about harmony and integrity, looking at different verses of the Bible each week, and pairing our elementary and pre-K kids together to enrich the experience through crafts, games, and partnership. You don’t want your kids to miss out on these fun-filled nights; engaging their faith and learning more from God’s Word!

HOPE YOUTH + HOPEKIDS HANGOUT: Kickoff September 10th
HopeYouth and HopeKids! Hangout are back and we’re kicking off the school year together with a party! Our teens (6th-12th) and elementary school (K-5th) friends are invited to come out to the HY+HKH Glow Night from 6-8pm for a night of glow-in-the-dark fun.  Wear your finest neon and come prepared to eat glow-in-the-dark foods, drink glow-in-the-dark drinks, and play glow-in-the-dark games! It’ll be an exciting night—and an opportunity to learn how we can carry Jesus’ light with us into the school year on a mission to share it with everyone we meet. Don’t miss it!

For any questions about HopeKids! Ministry contact us at: kids@hopechristianfellowship.org 

Check out our social media (and more) here!