what's happening at Hope this May?
Thank you so much for checking out our newsletter for the month of May. You are welcome to call the church office (815.623.6545) or check out our website at www.hefc.net if you need further information or to register for different activities.
From Our Pastor

Dear Hope Church family,
We are all busy! I worry that fact is more a disease than a natural state of being. Yet our busy lives makes the regular attendance of church a challenge. What about our kids’ sporting events, or our weekends away, or just some needed down time? Since church attendance in our nation is in steady decline, and since even self-proclaiming committed Christians only attend twice a month, I thought it would be good for me to give you six reasons why attending corporate worship is wonderful.
(1) It is a command from God (Heb 10:24-25). This really should be the only reason that is needed. God commands that we schedule our lives around him, and not the other way around.
(2) It is an act of worship. We gather because God is deserving of praise and we were made to worship him. Your life needs the worship of God like oxygen for it to exist in the manner for which it was designed and for human flourishing.
(3) It is a ministry of selfless service. Your presence is a rejection of your sense of self-sovereignty, that everything is about you or done exactly as you would want it (music, sermon topic, even coffee flavor). By attending church you commit and submit to God and his family in its localized form, choosing God and others above yourself.
(4) It is an encouragement to others. You may think your presence is unnoticed, but it is not. Your smile, your raised hand or open Bible, and your ministering voice during the congregational sing is an essential component of encouraging others who likewise gathered together. Even your pastors are regularly encouraged by the weekly faces of their brothers and sisters who love their Lord through corporate worship. Even if you come and go as if church were a movie theater, your presence is an encouragement.
(5) It is a witness to your neighbors. While others mow their lawns, rest on their decks, or prepare snacks for the big sporting event on television, you show that your allegiance to the true God of rest, the true Champion, the only true God. As 1 Peter explains, you look like an alien in your own neighborhood.
(6) It is a foretaste of heaven. You are aiming and practicing for the day when all divisions are united, all enemies defeated, and nations united, and all work is focused specifically on worshiping and enjoying the fullness of God. Attending corporate worship is beckoning the day when true peace and true rest arrive. That is why the church now worships on Sunday, the day of the resurrected Lord, for all things now point to worship in the New Creation.

For God’s glory,
-Pastor Mickey
Here are the latest opportunities to strengthen
your faith and connect with the community.
The mission of Hope Church is to build a community that loves Christ to reach a community that needs Christ. With that in mind we are reaching out to the community and inviting them to our

Annual Community Memorial Day Picnic held at Leland Park

Monday, May 28 th 11am – 4pm .  

This provides us with an opportunity to show the love of Christ to the community and build relationships. We want to encourage you to invite neighbors, friends, coworkers and family. 
As we organize this event we are in need of help. First and foremost, your prayers are needed for the community and for each other. This is not a Hope event but a community event for us to share the love of Christ. 
We are in need of Volunteers:

·          to Hang Door Hangers on Saturday May 19 th

·          setting up

·          serving food

·          running games

·          c leaning up
·          f ood - side dishes, salad, desserts and cases of bottled water

Sign-ups are being held in the lobby

but you may also email Thomas Karenke at tech@hefc.net or call the office 815-623-6545.
Hope Church cares greatly for the community that we call home. Hope Food Pantry is one of the initiatives that was born out of this care. This month we are gearing up for the summer season of the Food Pantry. Many of the families we serve receive regular help through the school system while school is in session. Families that benefit from free and reduced cost lunches are also eligible to take home backpacks on the weekend that contain food to help those children get proper sustenance during the weekend. During the summer, these families lose the school lunches as well as access to the backpack programs. It is for this very reason that Hope’s Food Pantry opens up weekly during the summer instead of the monthly pattern that we follow during the school year. 

As we gear up for this season of increased demand, we would like to invite our Hope Church family to join us in this journey in a number of ways.
FOOD – we would love your help stocking the pantry. We have bags that we can send home with you that have a shopping list inside. Anyone willing to provide these needed items can get a bag from us at any time this month. Sundays, you will find bags hanging on the food pantry doors across from the library. During the week, simply stop by the office.
VOLUNTEERS – we need more hands sharing the summer load to do this well. Whether you’d like to help unpack and stock the pantry each week prior to distribution, or be a smiling face showing love on the day we open, we need people who are willing to show God’s love to the community around us. For more info about volunteering please email Sarah Helland at farmgirl1518@yahoo.com .

We look forward to serving beside you, Greg Lynas
Resource Center
You can search for, renew, and reserve resources from home! Our online catalog is available on the church website at hefc.net/resources/library . In order to log into your patron account, you will need to stop into the Resource Center to pick up your patron number and password. If you have questions or experience problems, please e-mail hefclibrary@gmaili.com .
Look for these resources on the New Arrivals shelf in May:
A Moonbow Night by Laura Frantz
Promise Me This by Cathy Gohlke
Dangerous Passage (Sothern Crimes 1) by Lisa Harris
The Tomb: A Novel of Martha by Stephanie Landsem
Fault Lines by Thomas Locke
Dolled Up to Die (Cate Kinkaid Files #2) by Lorena McCourtney
Annabel Lee (Coffey & Hill #1) by Mike Nappa
The Legacy (Secrets of the Shetlands #3) by Michael Phillips
Of Stillness and Storm by Michele Phoenix
Room for Hope by Kim Vogel Sawyer
Pastor Brad
From the Desk of Pastor Brad
After every five years, the Elders graciously allow for Pastors to take a Sabbatical. After serving here now for almost 11 years, I will be taking my second Sabbatical in May, 2018. Ministry here at Hope has been such a huge blessing for me and my family. We are deeply thankful for the family of God here and the close friendships we have with our brothers and sisters in Christ. Although I will be local for most of that time, I will not be here at Hope during the month of May as I take a break, visit a few other churches where I can be anonymous, and spend time with my wife. I would appreciate your prayers during this time simply that God would refresh me, and deepen my walk with him. Ministry, though full of blessings, can sometimes weigh heavy on staff. So even though I will be out of pocket for a month, I do look forward to my return in June. Thank you all for your prayer support.  

Online Giving
In a recent survey, e-Giving has been shown to be the preferred method of giving for a majority of people in each age range surveyed. Ages surveyed range from 25-74 and each of the five segments reported anywhere from 52-75% preferred e-Giving as opposed to more traditional methods. Hope Church offers a variety of ways you can do this which allows for greater ease, consistency, and can take forgetfulness out of the equation. If you give traditionally by check or cash, you can easily move over to e-Giving by one of three options. 
First , you can go online and click on the “Give Online Here” button under “Ways to Give.” It will walk you through the process very easily. 
A second way is to simply text your amount to 815-401-1311. First time users of this service will have to do an initial setup which should take less than a minute. 
Thirdly , you can also contact our Treasurer, Shannon Nordgren, to have an amount automatically deducted from your Checking or Savings Account once per month.  
We wanted to let you know there are options for giving here at Hope.
Pastor Prayer Partners
Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892) is known as the ‘prince of preachers.’ He was a Baptist minister in England whose ministry was blessed by God. It is not an exaggeration to say that thousands came to Christ through his preaching. Some of these services drew as many as 10,000 people at a time!

But Spurgeon never took credit for the success of his ministry. Instead, he always pointed to the hundreds of people who came before services and prayed for God’s blessing. He said any success he had comes from God in answer to their prayers. Spurgeon was often fond of calling these prayer gatherings the church’s “boiler room.”

In Spurgeon’s day, steam was the main power source. Boiler rooms were powerhouses that drove everything from home heating systems to enormous machines in factories. While boiler rooms were never the most glamorous part of a building they were absolutely essential. Spurgeon said, “If the engine room is out of action, then the whole mill will grind to a halt. We cannot expect blessing if we do not ask.”

Spurgeon recognized that the prayers of God’s people were essential in fueling his preaching and his church. We have a ministry here at Hope that is similar called Pastor Prayer Partners (PPP). It is a ministry of men who gather for prayer during our first and second services. Men, if you have never tried PPP and would like to join other men in helping our boiler room of prayer ministry grow because “We cannot expect blessing if we do not ask.” It’s a time where we pray for the Pastor preaching that day as well as the ministries going on in the building. It is a great way to seek God about all he is doing in our midst.

If interested, contact Dwight Gunderson or the church office. Or simply stop by the prayer room on a Sunday morning.  
Mission Update
When we last featured the Backstrom’s, they were living and working in Malaysia. Jim and Merry Carole returned to the US last year and are living in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.  Their goal is to return to Asia, probably settling in China. At present, their leave time is uncertain. What follows is Jim’s summary of their plans.

Kingdom Initiatives & Training -
Jim & Merry Carole Backstrom

Mentoring and training followers of Jesus in America and Asia to make known the Kingdom of God to unreached and unengaged peoples

Meaning By various means including prayer, informal modeling and mentoring, and more formal teaching and training, recruit, inspire and further equip those of various age groups in (primarily) America and Asia to better understand the Kingdom of God and then proclaim it with accompanying demonstration of its power to the end that those peoples currently without the gospel may become disciples of Jesus. Because of our seven years of experience in Malaysia in outreach to the Malay Muslims, as well as the strategic importance of penetrating the Muslim world, priority will be given to equipping and supporting others to reach this huge and growing segment of peoples worldwide. Because of our calling to the Chinese and over twenty years of experience ministering to and with them, we plan to focus our efforts with workers from China.

Ministry Objectives 4/2018 - 5/2019
1.  Continue developing more prayer support for raising up trained Kingdom workers to reach unreached peoples.
2.  Prepare missions courses. In an emerging partnership with Bethany Gateway Mission (Minnesota) develop and possibly teach a 30 hour course on history of missions (The Acts of God in Missions), aimed at recruiting and training of missionaries from China.
3.  Continue missions mentoring and learning with those in different stages of recruitment, training, and service. This includes John & Alice (India), Daniel & Esther (Thailand), David (U.S.), and a few Chinese co-workers in Malaysia. 4.  Determine when we should return to Asia to train workers, most likely living in Kunming, (south) China, in an area with many unreached minority groups.

If you would like to partner in prayer with us by receiving our bi-monthly ministry updates (G2N - Generations to the Nations) and/or bi-weekly prayer updates (P&P - Praise & Prayer), please contact us - jmcbackstrom@swissmail.org , or call at 815-981-0932). 
Thanks to all of our church family and pastors for praying for us, sending cards and calling over the past two years. There are just no words that can express the gratitude that we feel. Thank you to all the women who have given their time through the Meal Train to provide meals. This has answered a great need for us. Thank you too, to the men of Helping Hands who have been such a blessing as you have helped with projects around the house that have been done with great care and concern. God has blessed us with a caring and giving church family.  Thank you, Rich & Sharon Holmin
support group
AWLS (Awesome, Wise, Lively Singles)
 Support Group
DATE Saturday, May 5, at 12:30 pm
PLACE: Fireside Room, HEFC 
MENU:  Meat Loaf, Au gratin potatoes, salad & dessert
RSVP:  Sharon Vinson 815-623-6857 or
ACTIVITIES:   food, games, devotions, and fun 
White Cross
Calling all volunteers!!! Won’t you please come to one or both of our two May work days on the 1 st and 15th as we prepare quilts, rolled bandages, and layettes for those in need. While still working on our usual items, extra help is needed to prepare sun dresses and boy’s shorts 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 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.  
Child Dedication
 will be held at both services Sunday,
May 13.
A child dedication ceremony is not about the salvation of the children, but is (1) for the children to be presented to the Lord for his blessing, (2) for the parents to dedicate themselves to their task, and (3) for the congregation to commit to praying for and ministering to the child and parents. 
If you would like to dedicate your child please contact the church office at 815-623-6545.

Congregational Business Meeting

Members, mark your calendar for the Annual Congregational Meeting on Sunday, May 20 at 5:00 pm.

We will be voting on next year’s budget, so please plan to attend this meeting.
It’s hard to believe, but another AWANA year is over! Approximately 150 kids were registered for club this year. Of course, not everyone was there every night, but on average 100 or so kids were reciting memory work, interacting with leaders, playing games, learning Bible truths and growing in their faith. None of this would have been possible without all of our volunteers! We were blessed to have teens as young as 12 join adults as old as retirement age joining together to help the kids learn the basics of the faith. So, thank you to everyone who gave of their time and energy this AWANA year.

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.

Summer Sunday School
Summer teachers are needed for both the 9:00 and 10:45 hours. This is a good time to “try out” Kids Ministry and see if it is for you without making a long term commitment. Call the church office or email Vera Juhlin at vera@hefc.net or Vicky Steege at vicky@hefc.net

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 renaming it to Camp 456.
Hope Kids! Join us this summer for Vacation Bible School 2018!

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 from 5:30 – 8:00pm the week 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 from 9:00 – 11:45am the week of July 16 th -20 th . This week is for children 3 years old (and potty-trained) up to entering 3rd grade in the fall.
Child registration for both camp weeks will begin on May 1 st online at www.hefc.net , or by calling the church office at 815-623-6545. You may also sign your kids up for VBS or Camp 4-5-6 in the church lobby some Sunday mornings beginning May 6 th . Start thinking about what friends or neighbors you might invite to come along with you too!

Volunteer sign-ups will be in the church lobby beginning May 6 or you can call the church office and ask to speak with Vera Juhlin or Vicky Steege. 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

VBS decorating/prep work days have begun. Schedules are available in the church lobby. We invite anybody to come and help at any of our work days, when it is convenient for you. No certain skill level needed, we have projects for everyone!

Items to save for VBS (please bring to the church office):
Easter grass (plastic or paper)
Cellophane basket wrappings
Clean, empty, individual size water bottles (no caps needed)
Tubes from wrapping paper rolls
Artificial vines & leafy greenery that you are looking to get rid of
Styrofoam Packing Peanuts
Refillable plastic baby wipe containers
Neighborhood Get-together

Hope Church wants to help you host a
Neighborhood Get-Together

How: by providing invitations, helpers, ideas
and other resources
Date : We desire to reach out into our community during the month of August
with multiple get-togethers throughout the Stateline area.

Time: The host can determine the time - it could be a morning brunch, a lunch or dinner time gathering

Sign up:  June 10 - 24, you can sign up to host a get together or sign up to help someone else who's hosting a get together. When you sign up, we'll provide you with an information packet.

Pray for these Neighborhood Get-Togethers as we seek to reach into the community around us.
Baby Bottle Campaign

Your change can FILL a bottle...FOR LIFE!

Won't you take one on Mother's Day, May 13 ~ fill it with spare change, cash or even a check and return to church by Father's Day June, 17.
Stateline Pregnancy Clinic exists to share the life changing message of Jesus Christ by providing practical help and loving support to those facing an unplanned pregnancy.

Thus, your participation in the Baby Bottle Campaign will benefit literally thousands of women, children and men in the coming years. 

Please place the baby bottle you have been given in a visible location as a reminder to pray for the safety and salvation of mothers and their unborn children. Put your pocket change (dollars and checks are good too!) in the bottle as an offering to help those families. Return you bottle to Hope by Father's Day. June 17.

This school year has been a fun and exciting time for Hope Student Ministries. As we move towards the end of my 1 st full school year as Student Pastor, I realize that a lot has happened. 

We have changed some of the ways we do things. From ending high school Sunday School to changing the structure of our Sunday evenings to end with small group instead of an organized game, everything we did was run through a filter of how to deepen relationships that matter. We want to teach our students and our body that they are one and the same. We want students going home with the last thing on their mind being the conversations about how scripture intersects with their lives. Sure, we still want to have a blast and play games, but let’s do that at the beginning of the night to break the ice so they are prepped for those deeper conversations that come later. While these changes can sometimes be difficult to process in the beginning, we trust that making decisions based on core principles will bear fruit as we learn new ways to interact. 

This has all been incredibly fun for me because we are starting to see some of the fruit of these decisions in our ministry. Students are beginning to realize that they need relationships and seek them in new ways. I have watched some of our high school girls seek out conversations with mentors to process difficult life decisions. I have watched these same girls invest in some of our middle school girls and even spend time with them outside of youth group. I have had high school guys who have sat through church lessons their entire lives realize that they need more than simple head knowledge and ask to be mentored as a result. I have witnessed leaders who have started paying more attention to the needs of students inside of their school and family arenas. I have watched people from the body approach me and ask if they could explore involvement in students’ lives because they realize that there is more to being part of God’s family than sitting through a sermon once a week. It has been a lot of fun to watch.

We are heading towards a busy summer, and we hope to have a lot of fun, but I didn’t want to get there without stopping and acknowledging the growth that God is bringing inside this body. I look forward to planning next school year and seeing where God takes us. If you’d like to join us on this journey, feel free to set up a time to meet with me. Thank you to all of the leaders who invest weekly in our students.  None of this happens without you.
Greg Lynas
815.623.6545 hefc@hefc.net www.hefc.net