April 2018 Newsletter
What's Happening at Hope This Month?
Thanks so much for checking out our newsletter for the month of April . You are welcome to call the church office if you need further information or to register for different activities at 815.623.6545.
From Our Pastor
Dear Hope Church family,

You might be surprised to hear that some researchers from Cambridge University decided to explore the reasons why children think they can hide or go unseen simply by closing or covering their eyes. They published their findings in 2012 in the Journal of Cognition and Development , in which they explored how this culturally-universal phenomenon manifests itself. Their research discussed how children feel they are hidden as long as they cannot see, even if the rest of their body is exposed. Adults can display the same traits, covering or closing our eyes when scared – as if the “monster” before us could not hurt us as long as we do not look at it.

This universal trait can often manifest itself among Christians. When problems and difficulties come, we can turn a “blind eye” and ignore them, hoping that they are not real or will simply disappear. Even adults feel this impulse and practice it. We do not want to talk about or deal with problems, or we keep them from others (cover them) so that we can act as if everything is fine (when it is not) and problems are not really there. This is not what God wants.

Our church family, both individual families within the church and the corporate body as a whole, is facing many challenges. The tendency is to simply cover our eyes to them and act is if the problem “monster” is not there. Let me remind all of us that the first day of this month we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus – the event that defeats all “monsters” and domesticates all problems, even death itself. Join me in looking at the problems facing us through the spectacles of the resurrection of Jesus! And let me encourage you to discuss with your family and your brothers and sisters at Hope Church how your specific problems are seen different and correctly through “resurrection spectacles.”

For God’s glory,
-Pastor Mickey

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We are excited about our upcoming sermon series titled "Creation Matters.” 
This continued exploration of creation will pick up the conversation from
The Creation Project that aims to understand God’s Word and God’s world
in a way that is faithful to scripture and informed by science.

On Sunday, April 29, at 12 noon there will be a Creation Project
congregational celebration and debriefing in Fellowship Hall
with a Q/A with the focus group. A light lunch will be served.
Easter Week Events

Good Friday Service
Friday, March 30 at 7 pm

Easter Morning Services
Sunday, April 1, 9 am
and 10:45 am

Childcare provided up through 4 years olds Easter Sunday morning.
Are you interested in learning about membership at Hope Church? Then come join us for our next membership class on Saturday, April 14 from 8 am to 3 pm. It will cover what we believe as a church and the ministries of the church with an emphasis on how to get involved. Whether you are brand new and want to check it out or have been here for many years and have never taken this step, this class is for you. A continental breakfast and a lunch are provided. Call the church office to sign up (815.623.6545)
AWANA Sparks Turtle Speed Winners
Lucy Nelson
Greta Korleski
Ezekiel Evans
AWANA Sparks Turtle Design Winners
Elinor Hunt
Gavin Bauman
Lucy Nelson
TNT Speed & Design Winners
Speed winners
1 st – Emily Schmitz
2 nd – Taylor Schreier
3 rd – Cole Nelson

Design winners
1 st – Ivy Korleski
2 nd – Sumner Korleski
3 rd – Alysen Adams
ALL AWANA CLUBS
Upcoming dates:
April 16           Prince/Princess night
April 23           Last night to say verses
April 30           AWANA Award Ceremonies
Timber-Lee Camp
It’s not too late to get a scholarship to go to Camp Timber-lee. Pick up an application from the children’s check in areas or ask at the church office.
Something NEW
This fall, Hope Kids will be launching a new TWEEN Sunday school class. We will be pulling the 4 th and 5 th graders out of our regular Sunday School, giving them their own space and an exciting new curriculum. In preparation for this, we have decided to invite the 4 th graders to join us at Camp 5-6, and rename it to Rescue Reef
Camp 456.
Vacation Bible School 2018
Hope Kids! Join us this summer for Vacation Bible School 2018!

SHIPWRECKED
Let’s venture onto an uncharted island where you survive and thrive, and where you are anchored in the truth that Jesus carries you through life’s storms!
 
Camp 456 week (Rescue Reef) will be held the evenings of June 18 - 22. This camp is for tweens going into 4 th, 5 th and 6 th grades next Fall.
“Shipwrecked” VBS week will be held the mornings July 16 th-20 th. This week is for children 3 years old (and potty-trained) up to entering 3rd grade in the Fall.

Families, as you are planning your summer calendars make sure to save those dates. Start thinking about whom you might invite to come along with you too.
 
Volunteer sign-ups will be in the church lobby at the beginning of May. Adults of all ages, and teens, be thinking and praying about how you might be able to be involved with serving as we prepare for these events. It takes almost 100 volunteers to put on a successful VBS.

Decorating our “creations” will begin mid-April. Keep a lookout in the church lobby for VBS Decorating Workday Schedules. If you’d like to be part of the decorating team please contact Vicky Steege at vicky@hefc.net, or just show up at any of our work days.

Child registration will begin in early May. You may sign your kids up for VBS or Camp 456, in the church office, in the church lobby on Sunday mornings, or online at hefc.net.

Items to save for VBS (please bring to the church office):
Leftover Easter grass from your Easter baskets (plastic or paper)
Cellophane basket wrappings
Clean, empty, individual size water bottles
Clear 2-liter pop bottles
Tubes from wrapping paper rolls
Artificial greenery that you are looking to get rid of
Packing Peanuts
Mini white Christmas string lights
Student Ministries
Greetings Hope Family,

This is always an exciting time of year for me. Easter around the corner. Forecasting for the summer. Finalizing details for student trips. There is a lot of hustle and bustle. It all reminds me about why we put this energy into our Student Ministry. We love to see students engage God and his family relationaly, and all of these things help us work towards these goals. We are constantly asking questions about how we can facilitate these goals through our programs and efforts, but relationships drive what we do here. 

I am constantly telling our students that we want to walk through life with them, not simply have them attend youth group. But I wanted to take this opportunity to tell our parents and everybody else that calls Hope Church home, the same thing. We want to be a resource to parents, build relationships with you, let you know what we are doing through our programs and why we believe it will help our students develop better relationships with God and his family. If you have questions, prayer requests, concerns or ideas, please contact me and set up a time to visit. Whether it’s helping parents think through the implications of smartphones and how to set boundaries in their household, or praying alongside parents who are trying to figure out the best way to engage a teen that might be struggling with faith, I want our Student Ministry team to walk alongside any families that wish to engage. Maybe you don’t have students in your house, but you just want to share ideas of things that made an impact on you when you were growing in your faith. Consider this an open invitation to talk.

In Him
Greg Lynas
MISSION OF THE MONTH
STATELINE PREGNANCY CENTER

Hope Church supports Stateline Pregnancy Center on a monthly basis. SPC was incorporated in 1985 and existed as a Pregnancy Hotline. A few years later, they moved into a building on Grand Avenue in Beloit where they began seeing Clients on a one on one basis. Fast forward 32 years to January, 2018 and the Lord has provided a building on Prairie Avenue where the ministry can be expanded.




Quoting Director of SPC Marybeth Karstedt, “Seeing abortion minded women have their babies is a glorious thing. It’s the “why” of what we do. We are selling security. Our client needs to “buy” security and peace of mind by the time she finishes her appointment and walks out our door. Everything SPC does matters. That is why our new PATIENT FOCUSED APPROACH is considered the FIRST STEP TO LIFE. IN 2017, SPC saved 45 babies from abortion, that we know of. Dozens of pregnancy centers in the US using this new approach are seeing their babies saved numbers triple.” Stateline staff have been trained in this new process and are excited to be using a new and better way to relate to their clients.  For more information, contact Stateline Pregnancy at 608-365-5433 or www.statelinepregnancyclinic.org 

Click here for your invitation to the SPC Annual Banquet
Hope Church desires to be more committed to and intentional in prayer, in obedience to God's Word and following the example of our spiritual forefathers. One way to implement prayer with real intentionality is to have bi-monthly prayer "gatherings" (e.g., concerts of prayer) hence First-Third Gatherings.
These gathering take place in the middle of the week on the first and third Wednesdays of each month at 6:30 in the Fellowship Hall. There are only 4 meetings left this Spring. They are April 4 & 8 and
May 2 & 16.
A Child Dedication will be held on Sunday, May 13 during second service .

If you are interested in having a child dedicated please call the church office at 815-623-6545.
 
If you are looking to learn more about the Bible and make connections with others in the church, come join us in one of our Adult Bible Fellowships.
9:00 – Fellowship Hall – Multigenerational
CURRENT STUDY:
Balancing Life's Demands
Do you need help prioritizing your life? If so, you’re not alone. The frantic pace of life is wearing many of us out. Our biggest struggle is balancing all of the stuff we have and do. Every week we juggle a long list of “to do’s.” Go to work … church … school … gym … grocery store … spend time with kids, friends, family, etc. Repeat. But have we ever slowed down long enough to evaluate our priorities or even find out what  God’s  priorities are for our lives? God knows that when the stuff of our life gets out of balance, devastating things happen. That’s why He wants to help us get our lives back in balance!

9:00 – Room 8 – Basics Class
This class is designed for those newer to the faith and younger in their walk with Christ. The track includes multiple short studies on some of the basics of faith in Christ. 
Current study: “The Life” - The Life answers the question “What does a disciple do in relationship with God?” Through this vital disciple making experience, each group member discusses and practices some of the following disciplines: reading the Bible, prayer, community, serving and evangelism.
10:45 – Fellowship Hall
50s+
Current study: Gospel of John - The Gospel of John reveals an unmatched portrait of Jesus and is arguably the most theologically and philosophically profound account of his life, death, and resurrection in the New Testament.
From revealing Jesus’ cosmic identity as being with the Father “in the beginning,” to recounting the many miraculous signs attesting to his mission and divinity, this guide encourages us to worship Christ as Lord and to follow him on mission in the world.

10:45 – Fireside Room
50s+
Current study: Ephesians - The letter to the Ephesians is a source of great encouragement, clearly proclaiming the mystery of the gospel and the supremacy of Jesus while applying that theology to practical living. Made alive in Christ, believers have received a bountiful inheritance and lavish blessings from God, fueling us for holy living. 
Small Groups
Small Groups are a fantastic way to get deeply connected here at Hope Church. Most of our groups are sermon-text based groups but we are also looking to add some more men’s and women’s only small groups. Groups meet either weekly or twice per month and we have multiple options. If you are interested in a small group you can sign up on the website or contact Pastor Brad at pastorbrad@hefc.net.  
support group
AWLS
(Awesome, Wise, Lively Singles)
 Support Group
 

DATE Saturday, April 14, at 12:30 pm
 

PLACE: Fireside Room, HEFC 
 

MENU:  Casseroles, salad & dessert
 

RSVP:  Sharon Vinson 815-623-6857 or 815-543-5644
 

ACTIVITIES:   food, games, devotions, and fun 
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White Cross News
Won’t you consider coming to one or more of our THREE April work days on the 3 d , 17th and 28th as we prepare quilts, rolled bandages, and layettes for those in need. While still working on our usual items, sun dresses and boy’s shorts are being prepared for Operation Christmas Child from now until November when the shoeboxes are filled. 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.

Needs this month:
~Colorful lightweight fabrics for sun dresses
~Old blankets, mattress pads for inside of quilts (watch soon-to-come garage sales)
~More helpers to sew dresses and shorts at church or at home for the Operation Christmas Child project
~Flat sheets (any color or design) for quilt backs and/or rolled bandages
~Fitted sheets (any color or design) for rolled bandages
~Single-Fold bias tape (any color) for kimonos and OCC dresses
~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.  
 
Thank Yous
Thanks so much for your gift! We enjoyed time with our family here in the states. It was great to be together. Blessings on you as you follow Christ this New Year.  Julie Kautzmann
 
The Hope Evangelical Free Church family, Thank you so much for sending myself, as well as other service members such a thoughtful Christmas gift. Your support and prayers mean a lot to me. I will be bringing the devotional books with me on my upcoming deployment where worship services are limited. You have provided me the best and most perfect gift! The Amazon gift card was also helpful for deployment preparations. I hope you all had a wonderful day celebrating our Lord’s birth and wish you many blessing in the New Year!  Gratefully, LTJG Joshua Llewellyn
 
Thank you so much for the flowers and warm thoughts and prayers. Mom’s faith was very important to her and thank you for your part in her spiritual support.  The Keyser family
 
Dear Hope Church Family, I am so thankful for you, the cards, calls and visits have been very special to me. Thanks so much church family for your prayers and love showed to me.  God bless you. Love, Pat Snyder
 
Dear Church, I thank each one of you for your prayers for my healing. I was told I was a fast healer. That is because of your many prayers on my behalf. Thank you again.  Thru Christ, Linda Marshall
 
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Dear Hope Free Family – Thank you for all of the ways that you have demonstrated God’s love during my hospital stay and now recovery. The flowers were cheerful and a bright spot in my room!

Our family appreciates the calls, texts, meals, offers of help and especially prayers! We could not have made it through this without our church family.  God bless each of you, Deb Rasmussen
 
 Thank you very much for your help with Christine’s services.  – The Family of Christine Schmitendorf
 
A very special thank you to all my family and friends who attended my 90th birthday party and for all the beautiful cards and notes. May God bless you all as He has blessed me these last 90 years.    Joan Hanson  
 Front Porch

The theme for our Friday, April 20, 7-9 pm Front Porch is House of Hospitality. As part of our activity, we are asking ladies to bring a recipe to give away. 

Won't you bring a friend as we gather to encourage and enjoy one another?
 
Resource Center
We are excited to finally purchase the Drive Thru History series on DVD! In a style all his own, Dave Stotts speeds through ancient worlds, biblical landmarks, and the foundation of America to give you a fast-paced encounter with the people, places and events that have shaped our world and Christian Faith. His adventures include on-location explorations, loads of animations and narration that's definitely "outside the classroom." In his newest installment, Dave travels to over 50 ancient sites in Israel to deliver the Gospels in a fresh and compelling way.
Look for these resources on the New Arrivals shelf in April:
Non-Fiction:
The Fruitful Wife: Cultivating a Love Only God Can Produce by Hayley DiMarco
Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist by John Piper
Your copy should address 3 key questions: Who 12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You by Tony Reinke & John Piper
Party of One: Truth, Longing, and the Subtle Art of Singleness by Joy Beth Smith
Awe: Why It Matters for Everything We Think, Say & Do by Paul David Tripp
Fiction:
If I Live (If I Run #3) by Terri Blackstock
A Portrait of Emily Price by Katherine Reay
Unquiet Ghosts by Glenn Meade
North! or Be Eaten (Wingfeather Saga #2) by Andrew Peterson
The Monster in the Hollows (Wingfeather Saga #3) by Andrew Peterson
The Kremlin Conspiracy by Joel Rosenberg
DVD:
Drive Thru History – America Collection
Drive Thru History – Ancient Collection
Drive Thru History – The Gospels Collection
Drive Thru History – Holy Land Collection
Same Kind of Different as Me
Click Here to register for Camp Timber-lee Spring Work Weekend 2018
Senior Saints Luncheon
fabric kites
Join the Senior Saints Tuesday, April 10,
for lunch, fellowship and a program.
April's menu is ham, corn casserole, scalloped potatoes, crescent rolls and of course a wonderful dessert . The program this month will be presented by Judy Wubbena and Casey Ehlers will give a brief devotional.

Invite a friend to come with you and PLEASE call Betty Alexander at 815.623.2336 by Wednesday, April 4, to make your reservation for you and your friends.
A suggested donation for the meal is $4.00