Hope Notes 04/24/2024

April 24, 2024
Hello Hoper,
When I was little I went to church (Catholic) because I had to; my parents took me.  Once I got old enough they would drop me off, and I would then hightail it down the street to the Methodist church where I felt much more at home.  Even then, before I’d really begun my spiritual journey, God was leading me in a different direction. Many years later and a few churches in between, Hope has been our home for almost 20 years!  I love so much about our church – the worship, the preaching, the people and the programs.  I love serving and worshipping here and am so thankful that God led us to this special place.
Finding a church that feels right is a very personal thing. Take the preaching. There are many different styles that speak to individuals in the way each one needs to hear. In fact we can all hear the exact same message and each get something different from it.  God has a way of using the pastor’s words to burn their way into our souls just the way we need to receive it. “I will give you shepherds (pastors) after my own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding.”(Jeremiah 3:15)  And how about worship?  What a vast array of choices there are: contemporary worship songs, powerful old hymns, full on bands or perhaps simply an acoustic guitar.  Everyone has their own personal preference.  But God’s heart sings with joy right along with us any time our voices sing praise to Him no matter WHAT we are singing.  What is crucial is not HOW we worship, but THAT we worship! “Come let us worship and bow down…” (Psalm 95:6)
Some of us reading this are still on the journey of trying to find the ‘right’ church.  Others have made Hope their home.  I guess my point in all of this is simply to remind us of the many different facets there are to a church, and to remember that no one church can please everyone.  The important thing is that we GO to church, SERVE at church, and remember that God has brought every one of us together here at Hope; His special mix of diverse personalities and preferences.  “We should not stop gathering together with other believers, as some of you are doing. Instead, we must continue to encourage each other even more as we see the day of the Lord coming.” (Hebrews 10:25 GWT)
Thankful to have found our church home  ~  Lois

SPIRITUAL CARE  

SUNDAY MORNING MESSAGE:
Reconciled to God (2 Cor. 5:16-20)

When a relationship has been broken, it takes real work to see it restored. Whether words have been spoken that leave lasting emotional damage, or actions have been taken that have brought about significant damage, putting things back together isn’t quick or easy. In the same way, mankind’s fractured relationship with our Creator is not easily fixed. But by a miracle of God’s grace through the cross of Christ, it can be completely healed. Paul talks about how this truth affects his life in our verses for today. Let’s see how knowing that reconciliation is possible with God changed Paul’s life.

WEDNESDAY NIGHT BIBLE STUDIES: 
Join us at 6:30 for hot coffee and a sweet treat before heading into our studies at 7:00. We’ll have HopeKids programs for all ages, and several adult classes rolling out over the coming weeks.

  • THE LIFE YOU LONG FOR: Led by Dana Ott through April 24th
  • HIGH ANXIETY: Led by Pastor Ryan through April 24th
  • COMING SOON! DISTINCTLY HOPE: Led by Pastor Mark beginning May 1st If you’re a part of Hope, we’d love to have you commit to this six-week discussion about the uniqueness and details of our church. Each week, Pastor Mark will give a summary overview of the main elements that show up over and over at Hope. It would be great if every Hoper knew how our church worked, our story, our doctrine, our core values, and the various roles at Hope. We’ll also take time to talk about our distinctive approach to discipleship, evangelism, worship, giving, serving and even sexual ethics and gender roles in church. These weeks will help seasoned Hopers as well as new ones.  We’ll be better able to function as a church with more clarity and alignment. So, join us!

We would love to live-stream our “Distinctly Hope” series so as many Hopers as possible can have the opportunity to see it. If you plan to be here on Wednesday nights, and would be willing to help, we can teach you! Please contact Ken Shinn if you are interested in serving!

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

ONLINE GIVING: 
Did you know that you can give using a debit or credit card online? You can even set-up a recurring payment plan. We use Simple Church, which is a safe and secure software specifically designed for churches! To give to Hope online, click here!

SEEDS OF HOPE COLLECTION: Last Sunday to donate!
For the month of April, we’re helping our partners at Seeds of Hope Ministries in Camden by collecting items for those in need. Please consider donating the following items: men’s jeans (all sizes), women’s leggings/jeans (sizes 0-8), mens & women’s t-shirts. All donations can be dropped in the collection bins at either entrance of the door. 

ONLINE DIRECTORY: 
Even if you missed our Directory Day this past Sunday, you can still be a part of this essential tool that keeps us connected! Our directory is password protected and available to Hopers only. There is even a new mobile app that makes staying in touch with other Hopers easier than ever. To be a part, contact Emily DiLorenzo.

WEST END GOOD NEWS CLUB: Opportunity to Serve
Matt & Jordan Berger are serving our local elementary schools by spreading the good news of Jesus with students during their after-school programs. They are excited to share they have an opening at West End Elementary – practically in our backyard – and wanted to give Hopers first dibs! Volunteers would serve on Thursdays from 3:00-4:00 for a fall session and spring session. For more information, contact Matt!

VETERAN’S BENEFIT SEMINAR:
Please consider joining us on Tuesday, May 14th at 7:00pm if you are interested in learning about VA benefit programs related to aging and survivor benefits. The seminar will cover: Veterans Pension, Survivor Pension, Burial benefits, and Dependency Indemnity Compensation (DIC) for surviving spouses. This seminar is not about increasing your service connection; it’s about how the VA can fit into elder planning. Bring a friend that might need to hear this information as well. Fill out this form to attend. Any questions can be directed to Mike Holovacs.

YOUNG ADULTS
Meets 1st & 3rd Tuesdays at 7:00
10 QUESTIONS JESUS ASKED: New summer series starts May 7th
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. During our current series, “Dinner With Jesus,” we meet for dinner and then have bible study, so be sure to come with an appetite! Any questions, contact Brian & Wendy Ball at briwensean@aol.com

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

AN ALL-TERRAIN FAITH FOR ROUGH RELATIONSHIPS:
Whether it’s with friends, family, or romantic partners, relationships can get rocky. With the world shouting its own ideas about love and the emotional turbulence of being a teen, relationships can feel like trying to navigate a rough mountain trail with a Ferrari. You might look good on the outside, but inside you’re a jumbled mess. Join us as we turn to God as our guide and install an all terrain faith for these rough relationships. Strap in!

WHAT IS LOVE: New Midweek Series
Join us starting April 10th for this new Wednesday Night Bible Study series! In a rapidly developing world of changing definitions it can be daunting for any student to navigate the tricky emotion of love. In this Bible series students will explore what the Bible has to say about love, redefining not just romance but the true love that we see exemplified perfectly in Jesus Christ.

GUYS & GIRLS NIGHT: May 3rd from 6:00-9:00p
Back by popular demand, Hope Youth will be having a Guys’ and Girls’ night! Our gents will be gathering around a proper bonfire for some flame grilled food and backyard sports at John McCarson’s house (860 Main Street Sewell, NJ 08080.) Meanwhile our ladies will be gathering together at the Peterson residence (833 Hardingville Rd, Monroeville, 08343) for a color-themed craft night! The ladies are making encouraging prayer jars for one another all while enjoying some delicious snacks! Mark your calendar and invite a friend!

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
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: Sundays from 6:00-8:00p
Come to HopeKids! Hangout for games, snacks, and Bible study! We’re digging deep into the Bible with our new series, “The Heart of God.” Each week we will be reading different passages from Scripture on a quest to learn more about the character and nature of our Creator, and reinforcing those lessons with activities and games to go along with it. If you have a K-5th grader in your sphere of influence, draw them nearer to God by sending them to HopeKids! Hangout!

WEDNESDAY NIGHTS IN THE GOZONE:
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:
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