Hope Notes 05/29/2024

May 29, 2024
Hello Hoper,
A woodpecker has taken up residence close to our home. He gets an early start to the day; his pecking begins at sunrise and continues for most of the day. He’s been driving me crazy so I finally looked up why on earth he would be pecking so long for so many days. Turns out he could be looking for a mate, looking for food, or hollowing out a place for his nest. He’s quite the tenacious fellow; he never gives up! He perseveres through wind and rain; nothing can stop him. He reminds me of the persistent widow in the Bible. (Luke 18:1-8) Her story teaches us that effective prayer requires tenacity and faithfulness. We should never give up when praying for something, rather we should have absolute trust and faith in our God. We can count on Him to answer when, where, and how He chooses.
Persistence and perseverance are closely related. The dictionary defines perseverance as ‘persistence in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success’. The Bible defines perseverance as something that produces good results. “we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.”  (Romans 5:3-4)  I guess for Mr. Woodpecker the good result would be a mate, a meal, or a home. Our good results would depend on exactly what God has planned for us.
I would sum it up by saying we exhibit persistence when we continue to do something that seems difficult or would have delayed results such as continuing to pray no matter what. (Or pecking on a piece of wood for days on end!) I feel like we exhibit perseverance when we are experiencing a difficult trial but we just keep going, trusting in God. In God’s timing, both situations will produce a benefit. All we need to do is keep praying and keep going, knowing that heavenly Father Is waiting for just the right time to bless us.
Keep going; God has something great for you  ~  Lois

SPIRITUAL CARE  

SUNDAY MORNING MESSAGE:
Purify Yourself | Communion
(2 Cor. 6:14-7:1)

When cold season hits, many people become more conscious about cleaning surfaces and making sure they do everything possible to keep away from touching what could make them sick. Parents of little ones feel a little hopeless during this time because kids seem to be magnets for all kinds of viruses and even the most vigilant parenting does not seem to keep them away from catching whatever is out there. This is the same idea Paul is talking about in this passage when it comes to spiritual connections. He argues that there are people we should not be deeply connected to. In fact, there are entire areas of our culture we should have nothing to do with since we belong to Jesus. His challenge is for us to live as the temples of the Living God. Let’s see what the Spirit has to say to each of us personally about these matters.

WEDNESDAY NIGHT BIBLE STUDY: 2 weeks left of “Distinctly 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 Five: On this night, we’ll turn our attention to discipleship – what does it mean and how do we accomplish that at Hope? We’ll also start talking about the places in theology where there is debate and why that exists. That will lead us to talking through our stance on some debatable issues like election vs. free will, political involvement, eschatology, supernatural gifts, and Bible versions.

SUMMER BIBLE STUDY: Begins June 19th at 7:00
Once we wrap up our “Distinctly Hope” series, we’ll take one week off on June 12th, and then start our 5 week summer bible study series in the book of Philippians! While we can’t exactly put ourselves in the shoes of the Philippians we can sympathize with a church that is being overrun by a worldly culture and ridiculed for its belief. Though they may not manifest in the same way, we can feel many of the same pressures that the Philippian Christians felt. In this way Paul’s message of encouragement, his directions to evangelize by living out loud for Jesus, and warnings against false teachings ring loudly in our ears. Through this Bible study our goal will be to read Philippians plainly, interpret its original meaning to its original audience, and apply the principles present within the text to our daily walk. Please note: there will not be Hope Youth or HopeKids! programs for this series.

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 WALL:
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!

WOMEN OF HOPE: Monday, June 3rd at 6:30
All ladies post high school and up are invited to join us for bible study, prayer, and fellowship in the GoZone. Bring your bible and a friend! Any questions, contact Mary LeBeau.

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 5:00p (973 Johnson Road, Sicklerville)
  • 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!

SUMMER KICKOFF POOL PARTY: June 23rd at 3:00
The sun is shining, school is coming to a close, and our youth group season is wrapping up so we want to kick the summer off with a pool party! Hosted at 973 Johnson Rd, Sicklerville, Hope Youth will be celebrating the school year, giving our seniors a proper send off, and enjoying some quality time poolside. Whether you are entering 6th grade in the fall, saying goodbye to high school, or anything in between you are invited! We want to make this a really special kick-off though, which is why we are asking for your help! Church isn’t only for those in the know, but also for those who don’t know yet! And while it can be difficult sometimes to invite a friend out to church, pool parties with free food are an easy invite! That’s why we are asking and encouraging you to bring friends along and help us make this a party to remember!

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