Hope Notes 05/22/2024

May 22, 2024
Hello Hoper,
Our Wednesday night series, Distinctly Hope, covers what makes Hope “Hope’, how and why we do what we do, and what it means to be a Hoper. Basically, Hopers show up at church, give financially to the church, and serve the church. I wanted to expand on serving a little.
The Bible talks about tithing. We read about giving the “first fruits” (Proverbs 3:9) and the best of what we have. This means we are called to give God the first and best, not what’s leftover or of little value. And not just in reference to our money. It means our time, our gifts, and our talents. We should be using the talents and gifts God has given us to serve him and others. The Bible tells us to “serve one another in love”. (Galatians 5:13) When we serve others, even when carrying out a seemingly ordinary task, we are serving God. And because we ultimately serve God, every job has dignity and should be done to the best of our ability. Ephesians 6:7 says, “Serve wholeheartedly as if you were serving God and not men.” 
Another way we serve God is by using our talents in the church to further his kingdom. We all have significant contributions to make. God has given each of us a unique combination of gifts and talents. “God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.” (1 Peter 4:10 NLT)  Did you know that God has a special job custom designed just for you and for me. It also means that He will provide us with what we need to do those jobs. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying ‘God doesn’t care about your ability just your availability.’ God is faithful. He will equip you. He has already equipped you! Don’t believe me? Read Ephesians 2:10“We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God has prepared in advance for us to do.” Your special ability may be large or small but it is yours given to you by God. Ask Him to help you use your unique talent. It feels so good to serve Him!  Seek God’s wisdom in discovering and using your talents. Give God the first and the best of everything you have. You will experience the joy and the blessings that can only come from obedience to God.
He is worthy of our first and best ~  Lois

SPIRITUAL CARE  

SUNDAY MORNING MESSAGE:
We Commend Ourselves (2 Cor. 6:3-13)

When you’re applying for job, it can feel like all you’re doing is bragging about yourself. In order to advocate for your ability to be considered for the job, you have to rehearse all the reasons you would be a good hire. That can feel self-focused and certainly self-promoting. As a Christian, we’re supposed to be humble. Is it possible to be humble while reminding those who need it of the reasons you are worthy of trust? Paul takes this task on in our passage today. His reason is that the Corinthians are pushing Paul away when they need to be looking to him for instruction. In fact, the very reason we have 2 Corinthians is because the Lord wanted them to listen to Paul. So Paul takes a few sentences to humbly show them that his life proves him trustworthy. Today, we can look at what Paul says here as a challenge to our own ways of living as believers who demonstrate that others can trust us.

WEDNESDAY NIGHT BIBLE STUDY: Distinctly Hope
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. Join us at 6:30 for hot coffee and a sweet treat before heading into our studies at 7:00. We’ll have HopeKids & Hope Youth programs for all ages. 

  • Week Four: This week, we will get into a little more about the feel of our church. Our discussion will start at our concept of church-building and how it drives our approach to everything from decision-making, to follow-up on visitors, to evangelism. We’ll also talk about being a grace-filled church, about how change is a norm for Hope, and about our approach to dress code. And we’ll have some time to talk about the Biblical teaching on serving in church.

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

VBS DONATION BOARD:
This year HopeKids! is doing Scuba VBS, an underwater-themed adventure that will teach kids how to dive deep into relationship with their Creator! As we plan & prepare to make an eternal impact in the lives of all who attend, we need support from people like YOU who are willing to donate items for the various activities, games, and decorations that will help inspire and energize the VBS experience! We have various options for items you can donate on the wall by the GoZone, next to the HopeKids! bulletin board—just pick an item, tear off the slip (feel free to take more than one!), and leave your donations in the HopeKids! donation baskets in the kitchen. Thank you for your support!

LADIES SUMMER SUN & FUN:
Hey Ladies! Summer is around the corner and what’s more fun than a pool-side picnic lunch with friends? We hope you’ll join us on Saturday, June 29th from 11:00am – 2:00pm for the first of two “Summer Sun & Fun” events. This one will be at the Baumiester’s home (750 Fairview Ave. Woodbury Heights, NJ 08097). There are two sign up sheets in the front lobby – one is to let us know that you can attend and the other is if you’d like to bring a side dish or dessert to share. We’ll supply the sandwiches and cold drinks but we’ll need a headcount for set up and supplies. Remember your bathing suit and towel if you’d like to swim – and by the way, the pool is amazing! This is an event for all our ladies post high school and up and feel free to invite a friend. Contact Dana at danaott@hopechristianfellowship.org for more info. Be on the lookout for our 2nd event scheduled for August 16th!

HOW TO GIVE:
Pastor Mark challenged each Hoper to give just $5 per week more to help us meet our budget goals and plan for the future of our building! You can give in-person by check or cash using the offering slot at the back of the auditorium (in the sound booth.) We also have the option to give online using a debit or credit card. 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, or scan the QR code under the offering slot!

SUMMER DATES:
Summer is just around the corner and we already have fun plans in place for our Hopers! Mark your calendars for the upcoming events, and stay tuned for all the details!

  • Hope Youth Pool Party, June 23rd
  • Ladies Sun & Fun, June 29th
  • VBS, July 22nd-26th
  • Church Picnic, July 28th
  • …And more to come in August!!!
YOUNG ADULTS
NEW SUMMER SCHEDULE & SERIES: Meets the 3rd Tuesday 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. We’ll be diving into “10 Questions Jesus Asked” on the 3rd Tuesday of June, July, and August. Plus we are going to have a fun event each month! Save the dates (see below) and stay tuned for the details! Any questions, contact Brian & Wendy Ball at briwensean@aol.com

  • Pool & Pizza, Saturday 6/8 at 6:00p
  • Park & Games, Sunday 7/21 at 12:00p
  • S’mores & More, Friday 8/9 at 6:00p

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: Midweek Series
Join us on Wednesday nights at 7:00 for this 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.

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! FIELD DAY: Sunday, June 2nd from 4:00-6:00
All HopeKids! (ages 0-5th grade) and their families are invited to join us in kicking off the summer season with a field day! There will be games and activities for everyone: from water tables and ball pits to obstacle courses and tug-of-war! And come hungry, because there will be a cookout-style dinner starting at 5:30 as well. You won’t want to miss this event, so register your kids here.

GOZONE GRADUATION DINNER PARTY:
Do you have a 5th grader in your life? Ever wonder how you can help them grow in their faith? Well do we have good news for you! Pastor Ryan & Pastor Dan are teaming up to host a Go Zone Graduation dinner party on Friday, June 7th from 6:30-8:30pm in the GoZone! Join us for free food, exciting games, and move-up gifts. Plus we’ll be doing a deep dive into their next stage at Hope and committing to team-up to help with their spiritual growth. We are inviting ALL 5th graders and their parents/guardians out to this awesome event! Since we are providing food for students, as well as their parents/guardians, we request that you RSVP here!

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.

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