Hope Notes 10/18/23

October 18, 2023
Hello Hoper,
This is the time of year when we begin to see the trees shed their dead leaves.  We watch as the prettily colored leaves fall to the ground.  If left alone, they will decompose and eventually go back into the ground to nourish it and prepare for next season’s growth. What might look like useless, dead leaves is not wasted.  It’s a process of rebirth, so to speak.  In a similar vein, our heavenly Father is also in the business of rebirth and never wasting things.  Something I often remind myself of is ‘God never wastes pain’.  Never means ‘at no time in the past or future; on no occasion; not ever’. Let’s insert that definition into the aforementioned promise: God, at no time in the past or future; on no occasion; not ever, wastes pain. That is so comforting to me! You won’t find that exact phrase in Scripture, but I believe from the depths of my soul that it’s true. How do I know that? Because our God is good and only wants good for us. “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11 NLT) Pain and suffering are an inevitable result of living in a fallen world. And yet God’s Word assures us that He can take those tribulations and work them for our good. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28) In ALL things! He is always working behind the scenes to accomplish His purposes in our lives; for our good and His glory. We can rest assured that “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.”(Romans 5:3-4 NLT)  Like the dead leaves of a tree in autumn, God will make sure that no trial or suffering is ever wasted.
For His glory……LoisSPIRITUAL CARE  

What We Do With Power
(Matt. 20:20-28; Phil. 2:3-5; Eph. 4:11-13)

When we’re kids, we think it will be great when we grow up and can be ‘the one in charge.’ Of course, when we arrive as adults, we find out that we’re not nearly as free to do what we want as we thought we’d be. It is normal to think that the person who has the power to decide is the one to be envied. Jealousies in jobs or churches or families often come from this mindset surrounding leadership and power. But God’s people use power differently than those in the world. Let’s see what Jesus had to say about this and what His life shows us.WEDNESDAY NIGHT BIBLE STUDIES:
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 next week! Read the descriptions below. Sign-up in the lobby now!

  • “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).


HOPE HARVEST: Rain Date Plan
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 the event of inclement weather, we will be posting on Friday at noon if we need to shift to Sunday, October 22nd from 3:00-6:00pm. The announcement will be on Facebook, Instagram, and our Website! If Hope Harvest is moved to Sunday, HopeKids! Hangout and Hope Youth will be cancelled.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.

Get ready for Kickoff Sunday for Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes. Free shoeboxes will be available in the rear of the auditorium with instructions on how to buy, pack and prepare to ship your Christmas gifts for kids around the world. Pick up yours and prepare to have fun while making an eternal difference in the lives of impoverished kids. Finished shoeboxes are due back at Hope on Sunday, November 12th.

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.

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.comFALL 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!

30 HOUR FAMINE: November 11th-12th
Every 30 hours roughly 7,000 kids will die of starvation. We don’t think that’s right, so Hope Youth is raising awareness and money to better serve and feed families around the world. We’re doing this through 30 Hour Famine with World Vision, and organization committed to feeding communities as well as providing them with the education and equipment to feed themselves in the future. A simple donation of $40 can feed a child for a whole month and you wouldn’t believe what more can do. Join us in raising money to fight hunger by donating on our World Vision event page here. If your student is interested in taking part in this service opportunity they can join us through the link above, and in-person from 6:00pm on Friday, November 10th to 2:00pm on Saturday, November 11th.

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

This year, our little ones will share where we can find Jesus in our program, “Where’s Baby Jesus?” You’ll want to have your little ones in class and on time so that they don’t miss out on practicing our songs and lines each week! Listen to the songs on Google Drive or watch the songs and lines with motions on our YouTube playlist! Contact Kara May with any questions at karamay@hopechristianfellowship.org

Our GoZone Christmas Program is “Hotel Noel,” a fun and inspiring story of a family who learns the true meaning of Christmas after getting stranded by a snowstorm! Program practices are officially getting started, so make sure your kiddos start listening to their songs.  Click here to access this year’s GoZone Christmas music now! If you have any questions, reach out to ryanmoreno@hopechristianfellowship.org

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