Hope Notes 07/03/2024

July 3, 2024
Hello Hoper,
One time, at our former church, one of the members got up in front of the pulpit and began regaling us all with how holy he was because he would be fasting for the next thirty days.  I forget what the point of this fast was, but I will never forget his attitude of false humility while he bragged about his spiritual superiority.  What came to mind immediately was this passage of Scripture found in Matthew 6:1-4 NLT. “Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven. When you give to someone in need, don’t do as the hypocrites do—blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I tell you the truth, they have received all the reward they will ever get. But when you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.  Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.”
Jesus tells us that our Heavenly Father sees what we do in private, even if others don’t. He also sees what we do in the open and why. He doesn’t want us to announce at the top of our lungs that we gave to the poor, or made a huge sacrifice, or fasted for any amount of time in order to gain the admiration of others. It should be enough to know that God sees these things; we don’t need to broadcast it to the world.  I don’t believe He is saying you can never do something good for the Kingdom if anyone else is around.  I think He is saying the purpose of your good deed shouldn’t be to gather glory for yourself. The following verse expounds on that thought.  “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)
A final word about humbly bragging fasting man: During the month that followed, he could be found in the hallowed halls of church, telling anyone within earshot just how weak and hungry he was. Thereby securing his place as the holiest of all.  Disgusting.


The Lord Who Makes Me Holy
(Leviticus 20:1-8; John 15:1-8)

Turn on the news, scroll through social media, or phone a friend and before you know it you will be given some kind of advice, tip, or life hack. Everyone is trying to explain how this can be done quicker, how you can do that for less money, or how you can avoid this chore. Everyone thinks that they are an expert, except of course the experts, who get drowned out in the noise or simply ignored for being too traditional. Whether we recognize it or not we do that with God constantly, substituting His good commands for spiritual life hacks, only digging our holes deeper. If you want out of the hole and your tired of being disappointed by the wisdom of the world, look no further than The Lord Who Makes Me Holy.

SUMMER BIBLE STUDY: Tonight at 7:00
Join us as we continue our 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 Philippine 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. 

FALL BIBLE STUDY: Teachers Wanted!
Do you have a heart for teaching and want to lead a Wednesday Night class? We are looking for interested teachers who would like to head up a study in the fall! Send your class topic, outline, and description to Pastor Mark at markott@hopechristianfellowship.org by July 21st.

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!

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).


July 18th is the 20th anniversary of the start of Hope! We’ll be celebrating in little ways all throughout the month of July, plus having a special celebration during Sunday services on August 11th. We’d love to hear how Hope has changed your life – whether you’ve been here from the start, or just joined us! Send your favorite Hope memory, testimony, or even funny story here.

All moms of our WonderZone (0-PreK) are invited (along with their kiddos!) to join us for a park playdate on the 2nd Thursday of each month! On July 11th we’ll meet at Washington Lake Park in Sewell (Parking Lot D) from 10:30-noon. More information about our WonderMoms group can be found on their Facebook, or by contacting Emily DiLorenzo.

TENT SET-UP: July 20th at 8:30
Many hands make light work, and we’d love your help setting up our big tents for VBS & the church picnic! Join us on Saturday, July 20th at 8:30 for a quick set-up that will make a BIG impact on the kids and volunteers coming through Hope over the next week! Sign-up in the lobby or contact Drew DiLorenzo to help.

ANNUAL CHURCH PICNIC: July 28th at 3:00
We’ll be closing out VBS week with a bang! We’ll have games, waterslides and more – plus dinner at 5:00 for the whole family! But we need your help to make this tremendous event possible! Make sure to sign-up in the lobby to bring a dish to share, or to help with set-up. You don’t want to miss out on participating in this amazing tradition at Hope!

KIDS ALLEY COLLECTION: Donations due back July 14th!
Hope is supporting Kids Alley by collecting items for the upcoming school year for kids in need! Help fill a child’s backpack or locker by viewing the list of items needed here, and donating in the bins located at the front and rear entrances at church any Sunday between now and July 14th. For questions please contact Jodi Jacoby.

VBS: Kid’s Registration now open!
This year’s VBS theme is SCUBA, and you will discover how you can dive deep into friendship with God! From July 22-26 you will participate in memorable Bible-learning activities, sing catchy songs, and learn amazing lessons about how God’s love for you is DEEPER and BIGGER than the world’s greatest oceans! It will be an unforgettable week celebrating God with one-of-a-kind Bible Adventures, collecting Bible Memory Buddies, and exploring the wonders of God’s creation. You won’t want to miss this FREE week! Our Preschool VBS for our 3-5 year olds takes place in the mornings (9:30am-12:00pm). Our Elementary VBS for our K-5th graders runs in the evenings (6:00pm-8:30pm). Register here!

VBS: Crew Leaders & Nursery Help Needed!
This year’s VBS theme is Scuba, where kids will discover how they can deep dive into friendship with God. From July 22-26, we’ll have an unforgettable week celebrating God and making an eternal impact in the lives of our kids. We’re looking for an energetic group of crew leaders who will connect with the kids everyday one-on-one! We could also use some helping hands in our nursery to snuggle our volunteer’s babies so that they can serve with our bigger kids! If you want to be a part of this amazing week, sign-up here.

If you want to help prepare the many decorations that will transform our church for Scuba VBS, then come on out to our VBS Prep Nights! We will be gathering each Tuesday from 7:00-9:00p in the GoZone. Come for as many of those dates as you can, and stay for as long as you’re able! We’re excited to work with you to bring this year’s theme to life!

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 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!

  • Park & Games, Sunday 7/21 at 12:00p at Red Bank Battlefield
  • S’mores & More, Friday 8/9 at 6:00p

For any questions about Hope’s Young Adults contact Brian & Wendy Ball at: briwensean@aol.com

Parents, stay up to date with everything happening on our calendar here!

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

For any questions about Hope Youth contact Pastor Dan at: danlein@hopechristianfellowship.org 

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