Hope Notes 10/04/23

October 4, 2023

Hello Hoper,  
Hebrews tells us, “Let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as in the manner of some, but exhorting one another.” (10:24,25) So we know God instructs us to participate in church, but why? Dr. David Jeremiah shares several powerful reasons:

  • The Body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:13): every Christian is a part of the spiritual body of Christ… to be a part of the universal church without being a part of the local church is to miss out on God’s plan to manifest the reality of Christ to the world… and to you!
  • Maturity (Ephesians 4): The body of Christ becomes stronger and more mature when every member participates 
  • Spiritual Gifts (Eph. 4:12): These individual gifts are intended for the building up of the body of Christ… so the church can continue to change the world. The church can only grow when all its members are contributing in the unique ways God has equipped each person. 
  • Positive Peer Pressure (Hebrews 10:25): “Exhorting one another” is how we are challenged to grow in Christ. The local church is God’s primary venue for spiritual transformation.
  • Perseverance: Your ability to stay the course as a Christian is directly linked to your participation in the body of Christ. Our enemy constantly seeks to detour God’s people away from God’s path. Staying in community allows us to be encouraged and persevere through difficulties with support. 

Aren’t you so thankful to have a church like Hope to be a part of? Maybe you need to take one step further and begin to actively participate in the body of Christ! We have so many opportunities to get connected beyond a Sunday morning; whether its serving in kids ministry, attending a small group, or volunteering for Hope Harvest – just to name a few! This week, pray over where God is calling you to take one more step towards connection! 


Worry and Fear (Josh. 1:6, 9; Matt. 6:25-34; Phil. 4:6-7)
Do you have any reason to worry? Of course you do! Human beings are not able to control the world around us, nor are we able to direct everything in our own lives. There are dangers aplenty – many of which we do not see. So we have no choice but to worry and fear, right? Wrong! As believers, we live with a different view of security and life itself. There are many passages in Scripture that teach us not to fear (“fear not” is found 365 times in the Bible). So how can a Christian live life free of worry and fear? We live in this world, but we are not of it. Let’s learn how that applies to the scary and dangerous parts of our lives.

Join us Wednesday nights this fall at 6:30 for coffee & fellowship before heading into our classes at 7:00pm. There are programs for kids, teens, and adults. In fact, new classes are beginning soon! Read the descriptions below. sign-ups coming soon!

  • “You Might Be A Pharisee If…” led by Dwight Lein begins October 25th: A Biblical look at biases and traditions in the local church and in each of us.
  • “Find Rest” led by Damon Briggs begins October 25th: Are you a tired Christian? Does your life seem like one endless rush after another? Jesus invited us to come to Him to find rest.  How can we do that when there’s so much to do?  In this study, we’ll explore together the Scriptures that teach us how we can step into the kind of rest we need.
  • “Leading at Hope” led by Pastor Mark on Nov 1st & 8th: A discussion of some of our basic approaches to leadership for anyone who is serving in a leading role, or who wants to learn more about Biblical approaches to leadership.

One of the best ways to get integrated and connected at Hope is through a Small Group! The following groups will be meeting this fall. Make sure to sign-up in the lobby to attend! We also are offering a Small Group Orientation for anyone who is interested in hosting a group! 

  • Apologetics Group – Hosted By Mark Sulloff: Come join a new small group book study that will help believers articulate a more sophisticated defense of their faith as well as answer the questions of those with doubts. The title of the book is: “I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist,” by Dr. Norman Geisler. We will be meeting at 6pm at the church every other Sunday starting on October 22nd.
  • Artisans & Craftsmen Small Group – Hosted by Ann & Mike Schweigart: “And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability, and knowledge in all kinds of craftsmanship, to design artistic works.” (Exodus 31:3-4a) Join us, Thursday nights at 7:00pm at the Schweigart’s (141 Kenton Ave, Pitman 08071) as we discuss “The Christian & The Creative Spark in a Consumer-Driven World.” 
  • Small Group Orientation – Led by John Smythe: Wednesday, October 25th at 7:00 or Sunday, October 29th following the second service

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). 


For the month of September, we averaged $8353 per week bringing our annual average significantly down to $10,045.  While our average still remains well above our target of $9650, we need to see our giving recover from the summer slump so that we can be resourced for all the Lord has in the coming months and years.  Please pray with us about closing the gap between September’s giving and where we were earlier this year.

HOPE HARVEST: Taking Donations!
We’re so excited for our amazing fall event planned for Saturday, October 21st from 3:00-6:00pm. Hope Harvest will be open to the public (and all Hopers, of course) for fall family fun! In order to make Hope Harvest happen, we need our Hopers to help! Stop by the back of the auditorium this Sunday to sign-up to donate to this big event! We’ll have several items to choose from, including but not limited to, apples, pumpkins, apple cider, and more! 

NIGHT OF WORSHIP: October 18th at 7:00
J.I. Packer said “The Trinity is the basis of the gospel, and the gospel is a declaration of the Trinity in action.” Our God is three in one. The Father, who is Lord over all creation, the Son, who came to dwell among us and suffered to save us from our sin, and the Holy Spirit, who dwells within us, changing us from the inside out. We are going to come together this night to worship the fullness of who God is in this Trinity. 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.

BAPTISM SERVICE: November 15th at 7:00
Baptism is an important symbolic opportunity to declare your testimony, and decision to follow Christ, in front of the church body! We’d love you to participate if this is something you’ve yet to do in your journey of faith. To participate, you’ll need to attend two classes – each will be held after the second service on Sundays Nov 5th & 12th. Sign-up at the front of the auditorium now! Any questions can be directed to Pastor Mark.

In our HopeKids! Ministries, we get to have fun on more than just Sunday mornings! There are a handful of mid-week opportunities to pour into our children and make a meaningful impact on their lives and in the lives of their families. If you have availability during the week (mornings, afternoons, or evenings), we would LOVE to have you partner with us in serving our little ones. Contact Kara May at karamay@hopechristianfellowship.org to join the fun!

2024 OFFICER ELECTION: Ballots out now!
It’s that time of year again! Deacon and leadership team nomination ballots are available in the lobby for all Hope Partners. We need every vote possible so make sure you pick one up and turn it in by October 29th. Any questions about the voting process can be directed to Pastor Mark (markott@hopechristianfellowship.org) or one of our elders (leadership@hopechristianfellowship.org).

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 Brian & Wendy Ball at briwensean@aol.com

Join us at Young Adults as we continue our series on the Pursuit of Happiness. This week we will be discussing relationships and the importance of evaluating if they are healthy. What happens when we prioritize our relationships with people over our relationship with God? How can our dependence on Jesus produce healthier relationships with those around us? See you then!

FALL BONFIRE: October 31st at 7:00
Join us at Isaiah & Julia Owens’ home (115 S Drexel St, Woodbury) for a fall evening fireside! Enjoy s’mores and apple cider donuts as you warm up by the fire with friends. 

All teens 6th-12th grades are invited to join us on Sunday evenings from 6:00-8:00p for fellowship, fun, and study! 

SUNDAY NIGHT SERIES: How To Read The Bible for Dummies
How do you even use the Bible? It’s big, it looks weird, and it’s written by folks who are long dead and lived far away. How can this be useful in your day to day life, let alone the guiding light? These and many other questions are precisely what our new series seeks to address! By learning reading techniques, basics of interpretation, and helpful habits the Bible will go from a dusty book on your shelf to a vital part of your daily life. 

We’re 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! 

Parents, stay up to date with everything happening on our calendar here!

CHRISTMAS PROGRAMS: Practice starts October 15th!
It’s never too early for Christmas here at Hope! Our GoZone and WonderZone classes will be starting up practices with their Christmas music on October 15th, so make sure your kids are there—on time and ready to sing! We’ll also be handing out a parent letter and CD to make sure you have all the information you need about the programs! If you’d like to preview the WonderZone songs with your preschoolers so they can be ready for our first practice, you can listen 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.

HopeKids! Hangout is back for all kids in K-5th grades, and we’re starting a new series called Jesus Lives, Follow Him Boldly. This fall we will be talking about why we put our faith in a LIVING savior, and what living out that faith means for anyone who believes, no matter how young or old. Join us for those conversations + exciting games, fun activities, and, of course, snacks! Hope to see you there from 6:00-8:00!

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!

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

Check out our social media (and more) here!