Hope Notes 12/13/23

December 13, 2023
Hello Hoper,
As our children sang about baby Jesus and how He loves them during their Christmas Program this past Sunday, I was filled with gratitude for our church and everyone who works with our children.  They pour into our children’s sweet little souls, telling them about God, His love for them and how He is always with them. I’ve heard my own grandchild say he is never alone because Jesus is with him! I love that they are being given Scripture to plant in their hearts at such an early age.  They are learning they can trust God.
Let me be a little vulnerable here for a moment. This past week we did a little cleaning up in our attic this week and unearthed a box of my childhood books. (We’re talking early 60’s people!) I had saved only those that were really special to me; opening the yellowed and somewhat dusty pages instantly transported me back in time.  I was slightly surprised to realize that I already knew what the words would be on the next page; that’s how ingrained those stories were to me. Many years ago a counselor told me that the reason I loved those books so much and read them so often was because they represented the family and home life I wished I had. They were a safe escape.  Even as a four year old unable to read, I would pour over the pictures and then act out what the little girl in the story was doing. I am grateful that I had that escape, but what truly would have helped me was not a storybook but the Good Book.  God’s Book. His Word. There isn’t another book on this earth that offers the love, redemption, forgiveness, comfort, safety and salvation that the Bible does.  Just listen to some of the many verses that offer up such wonderful reassurances:
Deuteronomy 31:8-9 “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
Psalm 32:7 “You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.” 
 Psalm 121:8 “The LORD keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever.” 
Our children don’t fully know it yet, but they have a glorious foundation being laid for them about their heavenly Father and His love for them.  This happens every Sunday morning and at every one of our children’s programs.  Praise God for that!
So so grateful for our church!
LoisSPIRITUAL CARE  

SUNDAY MORNING MESSAGE: 
Who’s In Charge | GoZone Christmas
(Luke 2:10-12; Phil. 2:9 -18)

We use titles today regularly without knowing where they came from or what they mean. For example, we often use the title “Mister” or “Mr.” in front of a man’s name without knowing that it originated as a title for men of higher social status. While it is frequently used, the meaning of the word has shifted to a simple use as a formal title for any man. Titles were also used in Biblical times. For example, the title “Lord” in the Bible is used over 100 times in the Gospels alone to refer to Jesus. But what does this title mean and what difference does it make as we celebrate the Christmas season?  Let’s look at Paul’s words on the importance of this title and the impact it should have on those who follow Jesus as Lord.WEDNESDAY NIGHT BIBLE STUDIES:
On hiatus until the new year!

PRAYER HUDDLE: New Time!
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 on December 17th, to pray for the services. Meet at 8:30 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

BIBLE READING PLANS: Out now!
We know that one of the best ways to deepen our faith and accelerate our relationship with God is by reading His word! Bible study is an important value to us, so we’re providing you with a few resources as you head into the new year! Check out one of our bible reading plans in the lobby. We have a bible in a year plan, plus two curated plans put together by Pastor Mark available on bookmarks. Or download a plan here!SERVE IN OUR PRODUCTION BOOTH:
Are you interested in serving in our Production Booth? If so, we need you! Our worship ministry isn’t just the stage team, it includes gifted and trained folks who faithfully serve behind the scenes as well. Currently, we have a few gaps that need to be filled and we’re hoping YOU might be interested in getting involved. There are roles on the Media Team (projecting lyrics and scriptures), the Broadcast Team (live streaming to our social media platforms) and on our Sound Team (mixing and running sound). If you have some background or experience but have been on the fence, this is the time to jump in! Even if your experience is limited, we’d love to have a conversation with you, to train you, and to explore this opportunity to serve in this powerful and vital ministry! Please contact Dana Ott for more information at danaott@hopechristianfellowship.org or fill out a Volunteer Card today.

CHRISTMAS EVE:
Christmas Eve falls on a Sunday this year, so in lieu of our morning worship, we invite you to join us at 4:00 or 5:30 for a candlelit Christmas Eve service! Each service will be about an hour long and include scripture reading and song. HopeKids! programs will be available for Pre-K and under; all GoZone kids can join their parents in the auditorium where they can participate in the candle lighting with glow sticks!

COMING IN THE NEW YEAR!

  • Small Group Kickoff Sunday, January 7th
  • Wednesday Night Bible Studies resuming January 11th
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 Brian & Wendy Ball at briwensean@aol.comCHRISTMAS LIGHTS OUTING: 
For the 3rd Tuesday of December we’re doing something different! Meet us at Attilio’s Pizza in Pitman (68 S. Broadway) for a slice of pizza at 6:30. Then we’ll walk around Hagerty’s Christmas Village and enjoy the lights around town!

HOPE YOUTH
HOPE YOUTH GROUP: 
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: Emmanuel
This year for the Christmas season Hope Youth will be exploring all the ways that God enters the lives of his people through a new series called Emmanuel! In it we will take a look at stories in both the old and new testaments where God dives head first into the lives of his people culminating when he entered creation itself as a baby! Whether he enters the messes, joys, or every day lives of his people the Bible shows that God is invested and present. Join us and we learn the true meaning of Christmas, God With Us.

CHRISTMAS PARTY: This Sunday!
Join us as we out 2023 with our annual Christmas Party! Games, Pjs, and prizes galore as we compete in fun Christmas themed challenges and celebrate the amazing year God has led us through. Whether your student is a regular attender or brand new they won’t want to miss this awesome night of fellowship and fun!

BEYOND THE WEEKEND: Winter Retreat
We’re going BEYOND next year for our winter retreat with the Beyond Weekend Winter Retreat! Join us and other youth ministries for a seismic youth event spanning an entire weekend! From January 26th-28th we will be heading to America’s Keswick for a faith and fellowship filled weekend! Live worship and Bible centered teaching anchor a weekend full of fun events and activities. Whether you’re enjoying the indoor pool, hot tub, sauna, or any number of the sport and video game tournaments throughout the weekend you’ll have a blast and make friends! Normally admission is $100 per student but Hope Youth wants to make it possible for everyone to go! That’s why we’ll pay half of every students’ admission fee! For just $50 any student between 6-12th grade can join us on this awesome weekend! Download the permission slip for the Beyond the Weekend retreat, print it out and return it to Youth Director Dan and we will see you there!

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

JOIN OUR TEXT THREAD:
Stay in the loop for all of the most important notifications! Text “”hopeyouth” to (856) 420-6078 to start receiving updates this week!

HOPE KIDS
GOZONE CHRISTMAS PROGRAM: December 17th
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

PAJAMA DAY: December 31st
December is always full of holiday fun as we learn about the birth of our Savior!  To close out this month and celebrate all we’ve learned, we invite all of our HopeKids! children and volunteers to wear their favorite PJs on New Year’s Eve during Sunday services!

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.

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