Hope Notes 01/03/2024

January 3, 2024
Hello Hoper,
Is there anything more hopeful than a fresh new planner (Hello 2024!) waiting expectantly to be filled with all the possibilities of a new year? I love picking out something new and tossing away the old, along with all the missteps and disappointments. (If only!)  Anyway, I enjoy filling in the birthdays and recurring events, taking time to reflect on all that has been and all that might be. But make no mistake about it, no matter how carefully I write things down and plan the upcoming week, things will change.  Just because it’s written down in my nice new planner doesn’t mean it will happen.  Every day I ask the Lord to be in charge of my day.  And sometimes He flips everything upside down. We must remember that it is GOD who organizes our lives.  “A man’s heart plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9 NKJ)  James 4:14 (GNT)  reminds us that we don’t actually know what tomorrow brings, even if we’ve written down in permanent marker! “You don’t even know what your life tomorrow will be! You are like a puff of smoke, which appears for a moment and then disappears.”  I think that this year I will make more of an effort not to get flustered or frustrated when my carefully planned out week goes astray.  Instead I will take comfort in knowing that God is in control and He has plans and purposes for my day and my life that are ultimately for my good. “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.” (Proverbs 19:21)“A person’s steps are directed by the LORD. How then can anyone understand their own way? “(Proverbs 20:24)
Check out the above verse reference…..see what I did there? You’re welcome.  Lois

SPIRITUAL CARE  

NEW SERMON SERIES:
Our Most Compelling Invitation

In today’s world, Christians are seen as people who have a faith that probably isn’t based in reality.  But most people don’t mind if we believe, so long as we don’t try to get them to believe. In fact, a few years ago a study was done on how many Christians think it is wrong to share the faith with unbelievers, and shockingly about half of millennial Christians agree that believers should not witness.  With this kind of pushback from the outside and reluctance from believers, we may feel like it is hopeless to see the lost get saved.  However, we’re going to take the next few weeks and look at what we have that fits perfectly with the struggles and needs of our current culture. If we turn our attention to these things, we may just have an irresistible reason to invite the world to know Jesus.HOLY HABITS | COMMUNION
(Acts 2:42-47)

What do you do often enough that it defines your life? Perhaps you go to some location most days or you have a daily exercise regimen. Anything that you do on that kind of a regular basis will have deep echoes into your life. The question is whether or not we notice what is becoming life-forming habits. If we want to be like Jesus and live as vibrant Christians, what kind of patterns should we intentionally choose and make room for in our lives? We’re going to take a few weeks and look at the types of behaviors and habits that provide what our souls deeply need. As a side benefit, when we build these patterns into our lives, we get to invite a lost world into the type of connection and relationship that they desperately want and need!

WEDNESDAY NIGHT BIBLE STUDIES: Starts January 10th!
We’ll have HopeKids programs for all ages, as well as a study for Hope Youth, and several adult classes rolling out over the coming weeks, so be sure to check back for full descriptions! Join us at 6:30 for hot coffee and a sweet treat before heading into our studies at 7:00.

  • UNSTUCK: How to Live in the Freedom Jesus Gives, Led by Pastor Mark beginning Jan 10th  People often find themselves living in patterns that are unhealthy or empty. We don’t mean to, but we somehow wander into habits that we can’t shake.  As Christians, Jesus asks us to follow Him, and that certainly does not include living stuck in sin or addiction. From fear and worry to substance abuse to gossip to bitterness or anger – we all know somewhere that we seem to always lose our footing. We’ll take 8 weeks in this study to look at what God’s Word teaches us about living free.  So join us and find out how you too can get unstuck!
  • CONQUERING CODEPENDENCY: Led by Pastor Dan beginning Jan 24th  Codependency can be easily described as the compulsion to fix everyone and everything. If you are familiar with that gut wrenching need to please others, or if you feel personally responsible for the feelings of others, codependency may be something that you struggle with. This 8 part series, derived from Pat Springle’s Conquering Codependency workbook, is designed to put us face-to-face with some of the habits, mindsets, and attitudes that have kept us feeling trapped in our relationships and help us to see a healthy path forward through the freedom offered in Jesus Christ.

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 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

GIVING REPORT:
For the month of December, we averaged $10,487 per week bringing our final annual average to $10,099. This remains above our target for 2023 of $9650 and above our new target for 2024 of $9950. As we head into the new year, we know that we have financial challenges to save for a potential new location. We also are praying that the Lord brings us His choice for our Assistant Pastor. Our deep gratitude goes to each person who has sacrificed and faithfully supported this ministry through giving. Please continue to partner with us as we start a new year of serving His Kingdom together at Hope!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!

WONDERZONE MIDWEEK VOLUNTEERS NEEDED:
If you’re looking for an opportunity to serve during the week, we are looking for YOU! Our daytime midweek ministries are growing and in need of help on once-a-month rotations with various shifts through the day — opportunities available on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, or Thursdays!  Some of our ministries involve serving preschoolers while others involve organization and preparation for weekly children’s programs. Serving in this behind-the-scenes way has a massive impact on our church family and makes way for continued growth. If you’re looking to get plugged in, contact Kara May today!

HOPE SHARE: 
Doing some New Years purging? Don’t throw it out – share it! Join our private Facebook Group for Hopers to share gently used items and request items they might need!

YOUNG ADULTS
Meets 1st & 3rd Tuesdays at 6:30 
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.comJANUARY 2ND: New Year, New Series New Time!
You won’t want to miss our new series, “Dinner with Jesus.” We will enjoy a meal together at 6:30, followed by a discussion centered on what happened around the meals in the Gospel. Start the new year off right as we dive into God’s word.

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! Any questions? Contact Youth Director, Dan Lein.
NEW SERIES: Owning Your Faith
In a contentious age of conflicting opinions and snappy arguments it can be difficult to know what you believe, but as you grow and enter adulthood it becomes more and more evident that, whether it is strong or not, your faith is your own, and no one else’s. In this series Hope Youth will look throughout the narrative of the Bible and see how God’s people have owned their faith throughout history and what exactly they had faith in. Through this teens will see and learn the power of ownership, in their work, relationships, and faith.

WEDNESDAY NIGHT BIBLE STUDY: Starts January 10th!
On Wednesday nights Hope Youth jumps feet first into the Word of God and practices prayer and Biblical study. We are going chapter by chapter through the book of Psalms and hone the key skills of Bible study that will help teens read on their own for the rest of their lives! It’s a great opportunity to connect through the Word with fellow teens, recharge in the middle of the week, and grow as a believer!

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
HOPEKIDS! MOVE UP: This Sunday!
Every year on the first Sunday of January something amazing happens—our Kindergarteners transition from the WonderZone to the GoZone for the first time, and our 6th graders transition from the GoZone to church in the auditorium.  If you see a new young face in the auditorium with you, say hello! And if you see a little one wearing a GoZone sticker, congratulate them on their first day!

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.

HOPEKIDS! HANGOUT: Resumes January 7th
How can I discover who God really is? How can I get a slice of pizza and play some basketball? The answer to both of these questions is by coming to HopeKids! Hangout on January 7th from 6:00-8:00pm to kick off the new year and our new series, “The Heart of God!” If you’ve got K-5th graders in your life, you won’t want them to miss a single Sunday night of us opening God’s word and digging into who He is—so that we can know and love Him more!

WEDNESDAY NIGHTS IN THE GOZONE:
Wednesday night programs are starting back up on January 10th, and we have exciting plans for our GoZone (K-5th) friends! Each week we will be looking back at our Bible story from Sunday morning in a new way and doing fresh activities to reinforce our monthly theme. Plus, we’ll be storing God’s Word in our hearts by learning and practicing a new Bible verse every week—so you won’t want your kids to miss a single Wednesday!

WEDNESDAY NIGHTS IN THE WONDERZONE:
Our Wednesday WonderZone programs will be up and running again beginning January 10th! The Nursery team is excited to love on your little ones (0-2), while our Preschool (3-5) team dives into an Alphabet Scripture Memory study! Every week they will learn a new Bible Verse, and each week they return with their verse memorized, they’ll earn a letter to attach to their Scripture Sash! Your kids will want to join us every Wednesday night to plant God’s Word in their hearts, earn all of their letters, have fun building a foundation of faith, and even have a chance to connect with our GoZone kids every week!

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