December 2018 Newsletter
What's Happening at Hope This Month?
Checkout our website for more details:
From Our Pastor
Dear Hope Church family,
In 1841, Charles Dickens was on a book tour in the United States. Sitting in his hotel room in New York City, Dickens was reading the newspaper while he ate his breakfast when he came across an advertisement that got his attention: “Run away, a negro named Arthur. He has a considerable scar across his breast and each arm, made by a knife, loves to talk much of the goodness of God.”
It is remarkable to think that this slave spoke of the goodness of God so frequently that the slave owner thought it to be a recognizing trait for anyone who might see him. The contrasting traits of this unnamed man are stark: a “considerable scar” and “much talk about the goodness of God.” Even more, that a man in such horrific circumstances “loves to talk much” about God’s goodness when his own situation was quite the opposite?
I wonder what recognizable traits people who work with us and know us would use to describe us and our frequent conversation topics. Would others see a noticeable talk of God’s goodness, even in difficult circumstances? We may never know anything more of this slave named Arthur, but I pray that we know well the good God about whom he so frequently spoke, especially when we find ourselves in difficult situations in our lives.
For God’s glory,
-Pastor Mickey
Sunday Morning Schedule
December 2 and 9 will have the normal Sunday Morning programing.

December 16 we will have a 3 hour Christmas Celebration for all elementary kids. There will be normal Sunday Morning programing for Nursery and Preschool.

December 23 and 30 there will be childcare through preschool ages only to allow our older children to worship with their families on these significant days.

Kids Christmas Celebration
This special Christmas event will be filled with fun activities, such as singing Christmas carols with a live band, making a manger craft, decorating cookies, and playing Christmas games!

Sunday Dec. 16th from 9:00am-12:00pm

*We encourage kids to stay and participate all morning in the activities.

Located in Drake Hall at Hope Church for Kids in Kindergarten through 5th grade 

Please pick up a flyer in the kids wing at Hope and invite a friend to come along!

It is so exciting when a child invites a friend to AWANA! Please pray for all of our clubbers, that they will notice those around them who need to know Jesus and invite them to club. Also pray that their friends actually visit and then want to continue coming.

We will be taking a break over Christmas; our last night of club for the year will be December 17th. Leaders please mark your calendars for an all leader meeting on Jan 7, 2019 at 6:30 pm.

Upcoming Dates:
Dec 3 - Pajama Night
Dec 17 – Christmas Celebration
Dec 24 – Jan 7 – No Awana Club
Jan 7 – Leader meeting for adult and teen leaders
Jan 14 – Awana resumes
Jan 21 – Bring a Friend Night

Please pray about becoming either a mentor or a prayer partner for a child in the Kinnikinnick School District. 

Contact Melissa Peshek ( or Jamie Anderson ( for more information. Applications are available in the church office. 

Also, pray for the mentor kids as they approach the winter holidays. This is often a stressful and worrisome time for them.

Safe Families
As families in our church host more children, we are seeing the needs that our host families have and challenges they face. 

Right now, the best way we can support our host families is to develop a robust team of people who are willing to do babysitting and/or short term respite care for them so that they don’t burn out. 

There is an application, approval process and training for this position. Call Vera in the church office (815-623-6545) for more information or check out the Safe Families website at
The Operation Christmas Child ministry at Hope would like to thank those of you who participated in this year’s Shoebox Packing Party, as well as those who served, donated, prayed for, and prepared items for the shoeboxes. A special thank you to the White Cross ladies for all of the unique dresses and shorts that were sewn throughout the year.

Hope Church packed just over 900 boxes full of needed items for children around the world, and each child will each receive the Gospel message in their own language along with their gifts. Please be praying for these boxes as they get shipped overseas, and for the hearts of the children who will receive them, to be open to the Good News of Jesus!
support group
AWLS Support Group
(Awesome, Wise, Lively Singles)
will meet on Saturday, December 8,
at Hope in the Fireside Room at 12:30 pm

Menu: Chicken casserole, bread, salads, & Christmas cookies

Please bring 6 cookies to help have a variety for our dessert
Plan to stay for devotions, visiting or playing games.

Sharon Vinson 815-623-6857 or 815-543-5644
Winter Retreat

Save The Date March 8 & 9

This years women's retreat will be held at Lake Lawn Lodge in Delavan, Wisconsin, with guest speaker Jen Thorne.

More information to come!

First Things

As you prepare to celebrate the birth of our Savior, we want to challenge you to consider a deeper commitment to corporate prayer. We believe that God will open some amazing doors when we begin seeking his will in deeper ways as a body.

The result of this belief is the birth of an evening we are calling First Things. We will now gather once a month on the FIRST Wednesday of each month to pray and worship as a body. This makes sense since it is always at the beginning of the month as chance for us to put First Things first.

So, please join us this Wednesday, December 5, at 6:30 pm upstairs in the Youth Room. Childcare is available for PreK and younger.

Thank You Note

Dear Hope Family,

How do I thank you for the privilege of serving 24 years at Hope? The time went incredibly fast!
I have had the exceptional opportunity to serve under numerous pastors who have taught me so much about ministry and striving after God’s own heart. It has been amazing to watch God move in, around and through the joys and the heartaches of our lives to accomplish his purposes. What a blessing it has been to serve alongside you all at Hope. Thank you for your humbling words at my farewell November 11. Your words of encouragement and support will be a lasting reminder of who it is we serve. So, to my brothers and sisters in Christ, God’s blessings!

Love, Carolyn
White Cross News
Won’t you consider coming to our White Cross work day on the 4th of December as we prepare quilts, rolled bandages, and layettes for those in need? We will NOT meet on the 18th.  Just a “heads up” regarding January’s work days: Since the first Tuesday falls on New Year’s Day, we have cancelled that work day, and we will only meet the third Tuesday of January (1/15/19).
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. During these winter months, we want to primarily concentrate on quilt making to help those in need locally.
Needs this month:
• Old blankets, mattress pads for inside of quilts
• Flat sheets (any color, size, or pattern) for quilt backs and/or rolled bandages
• Fitted sheets (any color or pattern) for rolled bandages
• Single-Fold bias tape (any color) for kimonos
• Ziploc style gallon size storage bags for packing layettes
• Campbell’s Boxtops for Education (for local schools)
Just bring your scissors and your servant’s heart and we’ll teach you the rest. If you have questions, please contact Sharon Vinson at 815-623-6857 or Connie Ruden at 815-623-8444.
Senior Saints Luncheon
Tuesday, December 11 at Noon at Hope Church

The menu for December will be ravioli with various sauce choices, salad, garlic bread and dessert.

The program this month will be presented by Levon Kline and the Men’s Quartet and a brief devotional will be given.

Invite a friend to come with you!

To be sure we will have enough food and seating available, please call Betty Alexander at 815-623-2336 by Wed., Dec. 5 to make your reservation for you and your friends.
It's time for holiday reading! We label all Christmas resources with a sticker on the binding, so you can find them easily. We have books, music, and movies for all ages to help you celebrate the season.  
Look for these new Christmas resources in December: 

Catching Christmas by Terri Blackstock 
My Merry Christmas by Sally Lloyd-Jones (for kids) 
An Endless Christmas by Cynthia Ruchti 
Jacob’s Bell by John Snyder 
The Christmas Heirloom by Karen Witemeyer, Kristi Ann Hunter, Sarah Loudin Thomas, & Becky Wade 
Engaging Father Christmas (DVD)