|A Note from Pastor Mickey
Dear Hope Church family,
In our most recent congregational report I wrote about a decision made by the staff and the elders regarding the staff Christmas gift. We have decided that we will no longer facilitate a financial Christmas gift for the staff. Let me share with you two of our reasons First, the staff has always felt appreciated by Hope Church; I certainly have felt the appreciation, and I can confirm that the rest of the staff feels the same way. While we all have appreciated the annual financial gift at Christmas, it was never the sole source of our sense of appreciation, and it never should be.
Second, the church - and ministers of the gospel - must be especially wary of linking the work of God with money and financial gain. This is even more significant in America, where money and material things are so easily a means of giving honor and praise. The Bible does exhort the church to care for its ministers (1 Tim. 5:18: "don't muzzle the ox!"), but it also explains that the church and especially its ministers are called to a life of sacrifice and suffering. The gospel, though a great cost to God, is totally free to us. And the "gain" or "profit" the Christian experiences far eclipses the riches this world can offer. Jesus is our "profit." And as Paul explains in one of his letters, our prize or gain is not money, but the honor of serving you with the gospel and seeing it plant, root, and grow (1 Thess. 2:19-20).
So I say let appreciation abound! But may appreciation be communicated not simply with dollars, but with something far more valuable: the bond of love between brothers and sisters in Christ. In fact, I would go so far as to encourage you to be even more appreciative of your brothers and sisters at Hope Church - but don't aim simply for the people who have their faces on the website. Thank the people who are easily missed and often serve without receiving any appreciation. Thank those who watch and teach your children during one of the Sunday services, Awana or VBS. Thank those who do tech and sound in the balcony every service. And thank those who park cars for people in need, or who participate in Hope's Helping Hands ministry, or who mentor the 20 kids in our community, or who host young adults (the Well) on Sunday nights, or who lead your small group regularly, or who prepare food for funerals or for Senior Saints. Get the point? Let appreciation abound in ways that money cannot and should not communicate.
For God's glory,
Good Friday Service
Friday, April 14
Sunday, April 16
8:00, 9:30 and 11:00 am
|Men of Hope
If you are looking for a fantastic opportunity to hang out with other men this Spring and Summer, then our softball ministry is looking for you. We play on Thursday nights in Beloit. We are always looking for new guys to come join us. Contact Pastor
|Women of Hope
The Front Porch
Reach out and Touch
Ladies, come gather on the front porch in Fellowship Hall
Friday, March 24
from 7-9 pm. Join us on the porch ~ make new
friends, put the cares of the day behind, kick back and relax ~~ bring a friend.
The topic is Reach out and Touch.
Won't you and your friend come sit on the FRONT PORCH with us??
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|Operation Christmas Child
We'd like to encourage you to continue collecting for Operation Christmas Child! There have been a couple of changes that Samaritan's Purse has made for this year. One is that they will no longer be accepting toothpaste or candy in the shoeboxes. And the other focus is that they receive shoeboxes filled with "quality" items that are new. So rather than filling lots of boxes with low quality or used items, we are going to focus on possibly giving a lower number of boxes, but making sure we have quality donations in them. Clearance racks at the end of each season, and after holidays, are great places to find great deals. And of course during back-to-school time is the best time to purchase school supplies for the boxes. Our goal is to have one "WOW" item in each box (ball, doll, purse, Barbie, small lego set, toy car/truck, etc.)......something that will really stand out to the child upon opening their gift. Below are some suggestions for "most needed" items in each category.
School supplies: loose-leaf paper, crayons, markers, scissors, erasers, pencil sharpeners, blue or black ink pens, glue sticks (we do not need notebooks or pencils as we have lots of them left from last year's collection)
Hygiene: toothbrushes, travel toothbrush holders, combs, brushes, ivory bar soap(unscented), washcloths, travel soap holders
Clothing: shorts, t-shirts, socks, flip-flops, Crocs, hats, gloves
Toys: barbies, small baby dolls, jewelry, small stuffed animals/beanie babies, jump ropes, small purses, coloring books, playdough, matchbox/hotwheel cars, small balls, deflated soccer balls with pumps, bouncy balls/super balls, small cars/trucks, puzzles, small toy figures, slinkies, unopened McD's toys
Functional Items: small flashlights/batteries, items for fishing kits (fishing line, fake bait, bobbers, weights, hooks), items for sewing kits (needles, pin cushion, pins, thimbles, small scissors, tape measure, cotton material bundles), small tools (screwdrivers, small hammers, tape measures, plyers, nails/screws), re-usable small cloth tote bags
*Please store any items that you purchase at your home until we begin our collection dates at church in late Summer/early Fall.
White cross is sewing sundresses again for the girl boxes, and shorts for the boys....watch for meeting days on the church calendar or church emails if you'd like to help.
The OCC ministry would love it if any of the adults or youth/children at Hope would
make personalized cards at home
throughout the year, using items such as stickers, stampers/pads, markers, paper/cardstock. We'd like to include one card with every shoebox we pack this year!
We receive letters throughout the year from villages/people that have received our shoeboxes from Hope. We have one 12-year-old child that is requesting a penpal. If you'd be interested in corresponding with this child please let us know.
Thank you for your support of this ministry!
|Hope Free Church
Our vision is to be a church whose passion for God gives rise to a heart for the lost and is demonstrated by our love for one another.
Hope E Free, I never wrote an "official" thank you for all the help with my mom's service and everything. We appreciate all you did for our family! Kristine Stensland
We would like to thank our church family for all their prayers, thoughts and concerns during my mom's illness and passing. The windchime is beautiful and will be something that will always remind us of Mom. We take comfort in knowing she is in the company of our Heavenly Father and is no longer in pain or discomfort. Cherish every minute with your loved ones because only God knows when He will call them home. Thank you, Jamie Anderson and family
Dear Hope Free Family, Thank you for the beautiful floral arrangement, cards, visits, thoughts and prayers as we grieved the loss of Sheila's mom. We will be with her again one glorious day.
Tracy & Sheila Stenger
12 Noon, March 14
The Senior Saints of Hope EFC anticipate getting together for their March luncheon on Tuesday, March 14, at 12:00 noon, in the Fellowship Hall of
The menu for March is corned beef and cabbage, potatoes, and dessert.
The program will be presented by Northern Illinois Raptor Rehab and Education. (This program will be a little longer than normal.) Pastor Fana will give a devotional.
Be sure to invite a friend to come with you!
Reservations for the meal are needed. They can be made by calling Betty Alexander at 815-623-2336 by March 8th. Leave a message on her answering machine with your name, phone number (in case of bad weather) and number attending.
A $4.00 donation is suggested for the meal.
White Cross Update
Won't you consider coming to one or more of our two March work days on the 7th and 21st as we prepare quilts, rolled bandages, and layettes for those in need. While still working on our usual items, over 100 dresses and shorts have been prepared for Operation Christmas Child over the winter towards our November deadline. Our group gathers in Drake Hall from 8:30 to noon and always enjoys fellowship, food, and satisfaction of serving others while we work side by side.
Praise the Lord! We have been blessed by connecting with Holiday Inn in Rockford and have received over 70 bags of sheets, bedspreads, pillowcases, etc. The pillowcases we are sending to Rockford Rescue Mission. The sheets are being used for rolled bandages while the bedspreads are being used inside the quilts for batting. What a blessing!!
Needs this month:
~Old blankets, mattress pads for inside of quilts (watch garage sales)
~More helpers to sew dresses and shorts for the Operation Christmas
~Flat sheets for quilt backs
~Single-Fold bias tape (any color) for kimonos and
~Campbell's Labels and BoxTops for Education (for local schools)
Just bring your scissors and your servant's heart and we'll teach you the rest. Call Connie at 815-623-8444 or Sharon at 815-623-6857 if you have questions.
A.W. L. S.
Awesome, Wise, Lively Singles)
will meet on
Saturday, March 11, 2017
At HEFC in lobby by kitchen
at 12:30 pm
: Corned beef, cabbage, potatoes & carrots, broccoli salad, & desserts
Sharon Vinson 815-623-6857
The Worship Planning Team will be hosting its first Worship Workshop on Saturday, April 8th from 8:30 AM to 1:00 PM. Worship team members and sound/video technicians will come together to look deeper at the core values of the Hope worship ministry as well as gain some practical instruction on harmonies, sound mixing, worship leading tips for instruments and vocals, and more. Any questions should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Kids of Hope
Camp brochures and church scholarship applications are available in the lobby and from the church office. Hope church is offering scholarships of $125 to each child or teen from the church and to a first time friend. Returning friends are offered $75.00.
Easter Sunday, April 16:
There will be NO Elementary Sunday
school or Worship for Kids on Easter Sunday so that your family can Worship together.
There WILL be childcare for Nursery and Preschool age's at all three services. We will need more than the usual number of workers to staff the additional service so please consider serving in this way. Contact Caroline Ahlberg (815-988-9780) to volunteer for the nursery or Chris Fosler (815-243-0446) to volunteer for preschool.
Easter Outreach Event
Invite a neighbor, classmate, grandchild...anyone who needs to know how much Jesus loves them!
Invitations are available in the preschool and elementary classroom areas.
Join us on our high-flying Easter Adventure as we celebrate that Jesus is Alive!!
Kids will have loads of Easter fun at each station through challenging games, unique experiences, crafts, snacks, and fun gizmos....all while learning more about the true events surrounding Jesus' death and resurrection!
When: Sunday, April 9th
Time: 9am - 12pm
Where: Pre-School Hall and Drake Hall
Who: PreK - 5th graders
We are looking for donations of plastic Easter eggs & things to fill them such as:
small candies (no hard candies)
small prizes such as stickers or temporary hand tattoos/decals
small toys such as bouncy balls, etc.
We also need a lot of helium quality 12-inch balloons in a variety of colors.
Our VBS program for kids ages 3 years old through entering 4th grade, will be held the week of June 19 - 23 from 9 am until 11:45 am. Camp 5-6 for kids entering 5th and 6th grades will be the week of July 10 -14 from 5 pm until 8 pm. Our theme this year is Maker Fun Factory! The kids will learn that they were uniquely created by God for a specific purpose, and He loves them! Save the dates on your calendar now, invite a friend, and don't miss the fun!! Registration will begin in early May.
An exciting VBS requires many volunteers! General worker sign-ups will begin in early May. If you are willing to head up a particular area, such as crafts, decorating, missions, preschool, registration, please talk to Vera Juhlin or Vicky Steege now at 185.623.6545, as we are already starting to make plans!
Awana Club Race Day is Saturday March 18, 2017. Sparks Club Turtle races will be in Fellowship Hall and TNT Club Grand Prix races will be upstairs in the Youth Room.
Schedule of Events:
TNT time trials / Testing of Weight & Speed 10am -12 noon
Fellowship Lunch with pizza, salad and veggie snacks 12 noon - 1 pm
Sparks Turtle Racing 1:00 - 2:30 pm
TNT Grand Prix Racing 1:00 - 4 pm
Turtles: $3.00 includes entry fee and pizza for racer
Grand Prix car kit: $3.00
Grand Prix Entry Fee: $3.00 includes pizza for racer
Pizza, Salad & Veggie Snacks for non-racers: $3.00 (5 & under free)
Please continue to pray for our 20 mentors as they meet weekly with the children. There are still several months of school and testing to work through. Pray that the kids would be able to focus and learn even though life is very uncertain.
With 2 months of ministry under my belt here at Hope, I am feeling more and more comfortable in my new church family. I am having a blast getting to know the students and have a lot of hope for what the future holds. We are evaluating potential changes that could be made to the program next school year to more effectively accomplish our ministry goals, but what form these changes will take are still being weighed. Just know that we are working hard to build a ministry that shepherds our teens well.
You will notice that there are no special events on the calendar at this time, other than the Denver Mission Trip (more about that in a minute). Right now, we are taking some time to focus on the core program and regular rhythms of discipleship and relationship building. We just launched a new Sunday School curriculum that will spend 18 weeks exploring the Trinity and the character of God that is revealed through his triune nature. We are working on getting students more used to interacting with each other and God's word during small group time on Sunday nights as we attempt to enhance the relational connections our students build with each other as the body.
The one big event on the horizon for now is Mission Denver 2017. We will be taking a team of students to work with impoverished families in inner city Denver. I have worked with this missionary team 5 times in the past and am always pleased with the way they share the light of Christ in some pretty dark places. We are finalizing our team this month and moving forward with fundraising. Because of my start date, and how quickly the trip is approaching we may not be able to orchestrate the silent auction fundraiser that this body is used to seeing in recent years, but stay tuned for ways that you can financially partner with this ministry effort. For now, we simply ask that you be praying for our team and the work ahead.
Mission Denver 2017 - June 3rd-12th
- We will be taking our high school students on an inner-city mission trip to Denver this June 3-12. We will be assisting a Denver based inner city mission organization who is reaching underprivileged areas of Denver through a network of house churches. If you want to be a part of the team, we need to know immediately as planning is already underway.
In this month's Mission newsletter we would like to share with you some of the details of Kati Juhlin's mission's trip in August to Guadalajara, Mexico. For those of you who don't know, Kati is the daughter of Doug and Vera Juhlin. She is in her final year at the University of Arizona where she studied linguistics and Judaic studies.
A year ago while studying in Israel she felt called to pursue a career as a teacher of English to people of other languages. This mission trip offers her an excellent opportunity to teach English in Guadalajara for ten months with TEAM (The Evangelical Alliance Mission) before she moves on to her graduate studies. Kati first learned about TEAM from her younger sister Amanda who participated in the Hope Church Youth Group mission trip to La Paz Mexico. Kati's mission trip offers her the opportunity to teach English, improve her Spanish, immerse herself in the Mexican culture, all the while being mentored by veteran missionaries. She is excited to join a team of missionaries who are passionate about using English and relational evangelism to spread the gospel.
While in Guadalajara Kati will be helping teach English classes for all ages and levels at TEAM's Guadalajara Community Center. She will also be helping facilitate home Bible study groups with the goal of encouraging community members to study the word of God instead of relying on religious traditions.
Kati would appreciate your prayers for guidance as she discerns God's will for her life after the trip and graduate school and where she would be lead to serve and teach. Please pray for Kati as she teaches for the first time and for the gospel to shine through the team as they minister to this community.
Kati's contact information:
Respectfully Submitted, The Hope Church Mission's Board
Save the date for the Stateline Pregnancy Clinic Annual Banquet April 27, 2017
as well as Saturday, March 18 from 9-10:30 Annual Pancake Breakfast in Avalon, WI
If you've never visited the Resource Center before, please come check us out! We have a huge selection of resources for all ages. We are located in the north-west corner of the church building, just follow the signs to the library. The Resource Center is open between and after Sunday services, and available to everyone who attends Hope.
Look for these resources on the New Arrivals shelf in March:
No Little Women: Nurturing Women in the Household of God
by Aimee Byrd
Habits of Grace: Enjoying Jesus through the Spiritual Disciplines
by David Mathis
Same Kind of Different as Me: A Modern-Day Slave, and International Art Dealer, and the Unlikely Woman Who Bound Them Together
by Denver Moore & Ron Hall
I am n: Inspiring Stories of Christians Facing Islamic Extremists
by Voice of the Martyrs
A Note Yet Unsung
(Belmont Mansion #3) by Tamera Alexander
The Shattered Vigil
(Darkwater Saga #2) by Patrick Carr
Because You're Mine
by Colleen Coble
(Seer series #3) by Rachelle Dekker
(Elite Guardians #3) by Lynette Eason
Operation Zulu Redemption
by Ronie Kendig
Finding Sanctuary series #'s 1-2 by Nancy Mehl
A Beauty Refined
by Tracie Peterson
The Second Half
by Lauraine Snelling
You Don't Know Me
(Deep Haven #6) by Susan May Warren
Good Pictures Bad Pictures: Porn-Proofing Today's Young Kids
by Kristen Jenson
Peter's Perfect Prayer Place
by Stephen and Alex Kendrick
Light Up New York
(Faithgirlz Glimmer Girls #4) by Natalie Grant
C.S. Lewis: Master Storyteller
by Janet & Geoff Benge
Elisabeth Elliot: Joyful Surrender
by Janet & Geoff Benge
(Kinsman Chronicles #2) by Jill Williamson
I'm Not Ashamed