January 2016
Hope Free Press
January Newsletter

Hope Church

Hope Free Church, let's WELCOME 2016
by living out our Vision Statement


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.topofpage
Helpful Links
click on our website links at


Thank You  


 nativity scene


The Staff would like to thank you, the family and friends of Hope, for your most generous and thoughtful Christmas gift. It is a blessing to serve our Lord here at Hope!! Pastor Mickey, Pastor Brad,  Pastor Jim,  Pastor Fana, Carolyn, Dana, Vera, and Audra. 


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Mission News
Operation Christmas Child Mission trip to Processing Center

Even though we have finished our Christmas celebration, the shoebox gifts that we packed, have just begun their journey.

This year we had 26 people serve at the processing center in Minnesota. Not only from Hope Free, but our group included folks from 6 different churches around the area.

We heard the weather report....expecting 12 inches of snow in Minneapolis, but God is faithful and after a bit of "slow goin'" we all arrived safe and sound.

It's always a great blessing, when you lay your hands on the first box....knowing you will be the last to touch it before it arrives in the hands of a precious child. We stopped many times and chose a box to pray over. When the semi trailer was full, they would make an announcement for anyone wanting to pray over the truck before it began its journey.

All the boxes that we processed the 3 days of our trip went to Kenya. It will be months before the children receive the gifts.  Please say a pray that the boxes reach their destination...knowing they will have to get through customs, pass the tax free inspections, etc. etc.  Not forgetting, the logistics of the volunteers over there that have to get the boxes to the kids.

Tuesday evening, a few of us met in the lobby of the hotel to play the game "left, right, center" We all started with 3 dollars each, the winner gets the pot. Of course we donated the pot to the processing center for shipping money. Lots of fun was had by all.

The last box was processed on Dec. 17th. A total of 787,455 shoeboxes were processed at the Minn. Center in 3 weeks. 
That took lots of working hands. If you are interested in going with us next year, send your name and info via email to 

Women of Hope
Diggin Out1
Front Porch  

Friday, Jan. 15 
  Fellowship Hall
Come gather on the front porch in Fellowship Hall  Friday,  Jan.15 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. 

  This is an event where women experience pampering, indulge in lots of tasty treats, play games, have a short devotional, and occasionally make a craft. Imagine a place you could invite your neighbor or coworker to experience the love of Christ ~~ the place they'd want to be even if religion freaks them out ~~ a place where women could hang out and belong ~~ a place that would  be an entryway to life-changing friendships ~~ a safe, fun place to "test the waters" of church. 

 Won't you and your friend come sit on the FRONT PORCH with us? 
Winter Breakaway Retreat
February 26 & 27
in Delavan, WI
    Rachel Inouye  
Our guest speaker will be
Rachel Inouye
and she will be speaking on 
I Stand in Awe
Rachel Inouye's transparency and authenticity in her relationship with Christ makes an impact on the lives around her. She is a gifted communicator with great ability to articulate and apply God's word in everyday language for everyday situations through stories and scripture. She desires to encourage women in their relationship with God. As a former educator and home school mom, she loves teaching.  She is married to Michael and has two sons, Michael and Andrew, one daughter, Grace and one daugther-in-law, Amy (married to Michael).  Rachel serves at Elmbrook Church in ministries that allow her to use her gifts of music and drama. She is energetic, eager and in love with her Lord. She brings radiant enthusiasm to the things in which she is involved
The Three Sessions:
The Solitary Journey - Together

Heart For God - Loved by God - Lavishly

Keeping the Awe in The Awesome God

Our retreat begins at 
7 pm Friday and ends
at 3 pm on Saturday. 

Cost for the retreat will be $75 for 2 to a 
queen room. 

Registration will begin on Jan 3 and ends 
Jan 24.


Kids of Hope

Timber-Lee logo  
It's not too early to make plans to go to Camp Timber-lee this summer. There are camps of varying lengths for kids going into 2nd grade through High School and even the whole family! See the
2016 catalog at

Hope Church will be offering scholarships again this year. Watch the bulletin board and bulletin inserts for more information.

Kids Hope
Please be in prayer for our mentors as well as the mentor kids as they start up again this month

There is a Leaders Meeting Monday, January 4 at 6:30 pm for adult and student leaders.

AWANA returns from the holiday break on 
Jan 11th.

White Cross Update
Sharon Vinson & Connie Ruden, Coordinators 
Looking for a way to start the New Year by serving God and others?  How about committing to be one of God's servants at Hope by helping in the White Cross ministry?  We'd love to have your helping hands at our monthly White Cross workdays or even at home.  In January you have two opportunities to attend work sessions:  January 5 and 19 from 8:30 am to noon or whatever part of that time you can donate.  We meet in Drake Hall.
Through the efforts of many helpers, we should be able to send 3 totes of rolled bandages and layettes to Tandala Hospital and Clinics in the Democratic Republic of Congo soon. We also continue each month to prepare quilts for Rockford Rescue Mission, MELD, and Boone County Pantry.
When you join us, our projects will include tying quilts, packaging layettes, cutting materials for receiving blankets and quilt tops, etc.  Just bring your scissors and come enjoy some fellowship with other willing workers for Jesus. We will also discuss a NEW project for Operation Christmas Child.
Our needs this month include:
  • Lightweight flannel for receiving blankets (1 sq yd each blanket)
  • Single- or double-fold bias tape for kimonos (any color)
  • Gallon storage bags (ziploc style) for dress kits and layettes
  • Sheets, sheets, & more sheets for quilt backs (flat, double or larger, any color)
  • Campbell's labels for education (for local schools)
  • Blankets & mattress pads for inside of quilts 
We look forward to seeing many workers make a difference in God's kingdom as we try to supply for the needs of those in Congo and locally.  

support group  
(Awesome, Wise, Lively Singles Support Group) 
Come join us on
January 9 at 12:30 pm
Fireside Room, HEFC
MENU:    Cheddar broccoli and taco soups,  salad & dessert
RSVP:   Sharon Vinson, 623-6857 or
815-543-5644 (cell)
ACTIVITIES:    Fellowship, and fun.

Dear Hope Church family,
Although he did not write New Year's resolutions like we do today, Jonathan Edwards, a significant pastor-theologian in young America, wrote 70 resolutions on everything from his spiritual life to his eating habits and time management. For example, regarding suffering Edwards wrote: "Resolved, when I fear misfortunes and adversities, to examine whether I have done my duty, and resolve to do it, and let the event be just as providence orders it. I will as far as I can, be concerned about nothing but my duty, and my sin" (#57). Or, regarding prayer: "Resolved, never to count that a prayer, nor to let that pass as a prayer, nor that as a petition of a prayer, which is so made, that I cannot hope that God will answer it; nor that as a confession, which I cannot hope God will accept" (#29).
We would do well to follow the example of Edwards and think of one or two resolutions for the New Year. This kind of resolution is concerned with more than cardio and calorie, but with living a life fully devoted to God. What might such a resolution look like for 2016? Here are my two resolutions for 2016:
"Resolved, to make prayer the source and sustenance of my life and ministry, relying not on my own strength or abilities, but on the promises, power, and providence of God."
"Resolved, to look at and respond to people as Jesus did, with an abundance of love, grace, and mercy."
May the start of 2016 be directed toward God in every part of our lives!
-Pastor Mickey

Senior Saints Luncheon
January 13, 12 Noon
Happy New Year to everyone. I hope you had a great time getting together with family and friends during Christmas and New Year. Generally, this time of the year is known by so many interesting resolutions that people start to work on. However, I suggest that whatever resolution that we have, let "Walking Close with God" be the top of the list for 2016. He is faithful to bring us this far and also he is faithful to complete what he established in us. This is the only confidence that we have to compel us to face tomorrow. As Scripture says:  "Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus" Philippians 1:6. So, my friends stay on the course and have confidence in Christ Jesus, the Captain of our journey called "Life" as we launch into the 2016.
I'm looking forward to seeing you at our January luncheon on January 12th, 2016. Please invite a friend or a neighbor to join us on this day. But remember, don't forget to pick up the phone and call Betty Alexander (815-623-2336) to hold a spot for you. Please take care and I will see you later...

Winter Bible Study Offerings:


Men Of Hope

1 & 2nd Timothy    
Do you feel like the world presents you with more problems than you can handle? Timothy faced all of these tough issues as a young church leader. But Paul encouraged him to put aside timidity and insecurity and to find strength in Christ. In 1 & 2 Timothy we also find the support we need to follow through in obedience to God's Word. Come join us for a 10 week study running January 13-March 16. Contact the church office to register.    
2 Timothy 2:2 - "and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also." Men of Hope - Who are you going to bring along with you?
Facilitated by:
Pastor Brad and joined by Chris Noble, Kyle Butts and Olle Larson.


$7.00 per person 


Registration has begun!

Women of Hope

The Armor of God by Priscilla Shirer 

When: Wednesday  Mornings 9-11 am

Beginning: January 27 to March 16
Cost of Book: $13 


     All day, every day, an invisible war rages around you - unseen, unheard, yet felt throughout every aspect of your life. A devoted, devilish enemy seeks to wreak havoc on everything that matters to you: your heart, your mind, your marriage, your children, your relationships, your resilience, your dreams, your destiny. But his battle plan depends on catching you unaware and unarmed. If you're tired of being pushed around and caught with your guard down, The Armor of God study is for you.
     The Enemy always fails miserably when he meets a woman dressed for the occasion. The Armor of God, more than merely a biblical description of the believer's inventory, is an action plan for putting it on and developing a personalized strategy to secure victory. (7 sessions).



Wednesday morning childcare is 

provided for infants to 5-years-old.

Please make sure to sign up your child when you register.  

Elijah by Trisha Knaul 

When:Wednesday Evening 6:30-8 pm

Beginning: January 27 to March 16

Cost of Book: $5


James tells us that Elijah was a man just like us. This man Elijah walked into the throne room of a king to confront sin then hid for three and a half years while the people suffered the consequences of idolatry and un-repentance. Elijah lived the ultimate mountaintop experience only to run away in fear when he came down from that mountain. As we study the lives of Elijah and others, we will identify our idols and explore the impact our lives have on those around us. When we watch Elijah struggle through the wilderness, we will also discover some pitfalls of a life committed to God and explore ways of avoiding them. Elijah experienced passion, provision, power, burnout, and restoration. Join me as we discover with a man like us-what we are capable of doing when we are walking with God. 


Register in the Lobby Sundays, Jan. 3, Jan. 10,

ending Jan. 17 or call the church office at 815.623.6545



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From the desk of Pastor Brad          
Back in September, Vera Juhlin presented to the elders a list of needs within the children's ministry. The needs included security and staffing related issues. It was later decided to start making a few changes in how we handle building issues to better help with security. Some minor changes have been made including locking the north door to the building during services and also putting a partition in the nursery area.  We are also investigating the potential need to upgrade the building in several ways but primarily in the children's area.  In early 2016 we will be gauging the feasibility of building upgrades and if this is the right time.  Please be in prayer for us as we seek God's will for these things.
     A second issue pertained to staffing.  The overall needs of the ministry have grown, praise God, to the point where we needed to add a part-time Children's Assistant.  After a couple months of formulating a job description to best suit the needs of the Children's ministry, an offer was made and accepted by Vicky Steege who will join our ministry staff in January.  Please welcome her to the team when you can.  She has exhibited an excellent work ethic and done a fantastic job with VBS and Awana, as well as other areas in the past.  

Resource Center News

Interested in how you can minister to children with special needs?  A generous donor has given the library these wonderful resources that will help you get started:
Steps by Shelli Allen and Dr. Linda Barboa
Gospel Light's Special Needs Smart Pages by Joni and Friends
Leading a Special Needs Ministry by Amy Fenton Lee
The Special Needs Ministry Handbook by Amy Rapada
Special Needs Ministry for Children by Pat Verbal
In addition to the above donations, look for these resources on the New Arrivals shelf in January:
  • Of Different Minds: Seeing Your AD/HD Child Through the Eyes of God by Maren Angelotti
  • Hoodwinked: Ten Myths Moms Believe and Why We Need to Knock it Off by Karen Ehman
  • #Struggles: Following Jesus in a Selfie-Centered World by Craig Groeschel
  • The End of Me: Where Real Life in the Upside-Down Ways of Jesus Begins by Kyle Idleman
  • Life Without Limits by Nick Vujicic
  • Out of a Far Country: A Gay Son's Journey to God; A Broken Mother's Search for Hope by Christopher Yuan
  • The Golden Braid by Melanie Dickerson
  • Secrets of Sloane House by Shelley Gray
  • One More Wish by Robin Jones Gunn
  • Undaunted Hope (Beacons of Hope #3) by Jody Hedlund
  • I, Saul by Jerry B. Jenkens
  • Can't Let You Go by Jenny B. Jones
  • Look to the East (Great War #1) by Maureen Lang
  • The Fatal Tree (Bright Empires #5) by Stephen R. Lawhead
  • Miracle Drug by Richard L. Mabry
  • Network of Deception by Spencer E. Moses
  • A Matter of Heart (Lone Star Brides #3) by Tracie Peterson
  • The First Hostage by Joel Rosenberg
  • Mary Magdalene by Diana Wallis Taylor
  • The House that Love Built by Beth Wiseman
  • Laugh-Out-Loud Knock-Knock Jokes for Kids by Rob Elliott (ages 8-12)
  • More Laugh-Out-Loud Jokes for Kids by Rob Elliott (ages 8-12)
  • A Boy's Guide to Discovering His Bible by Jim George (ages 8-12)
  • King's Heart
  • The War Room
  • Heart and Home (When Calls the Heart season 2)
  • Follow Your Heart (When Calls the Heart season 2)
Please mark your calendars for the Parent Pastor Meeting on the 17th at 5 pm. We'll talk about important spring/ summer related events. I will share some insights/ challenges to help us shepherd our teens better.
This year we will be at Camp Timber-lee for WinterBlast 2016 March 4-6. Permission slips are available online and in the youth room. They are due, with deposit, by Feb 7th.  The great news is that we've found a way to reduce costs and we still have scholarships! The Total cost is $110 (not including any optional extras at camp), but this is an event that we want to take as many teens as we can to, so don't let money be an obstacle. We will work with families who need scholarships. As usual there will be a sibling discount for families with multiple students in youth group. The first child is full price, the second is 50% off.
We are planning on serving in the Baja Peninsula of Mexico specifically in the city of  La Paz, this summer. Applications are available online and in the youth room the first week in January. We estimate that the cost for this trip may be approximately $1200. We will be involved in sports ministry and service ministry. This is primarily a high school trip. Spots are limited and selection of the team depends on meeting criteria communicated in the application. This is an exciting opportunity that will stretch your faith in a great way. Don't make money an obstacle, if God is calling you to go, He will provide for you.
We are always looking for volunteers to help with the youth ministry - especially female volunteers. Please inquire with Pastor Jim for more information! As always thanks for your love and support. Keep praying for our teens!
Some details are subject to change (but we'll keep you posted!)

Treasurer Report

Online Giving:
We would like to announce that we now have the ability to allow people to do online giving through our website. On the upper right hand corner of our cover page on the website (www.hefc.net) there is an icon for online giving. If you are looking for an option to help you with consistency or if you forget the checkbook and online giving is easier for you, we now offer that option. The icon looks like this:
 There are numerous electronic options:
1.  If you give monthly, we can automatically debit your checking/savings account. We have applications you can submit to the Church Treasurer, Shannon Nordgren, or the Executive Pastor, Brad Schreiner. There are no fees associated with this method. Call 815.623.6545
2.  You can give online via the link provided with one-time gifts, weekly, or bi-weekly or monthly to draw from your checking/savings account with a minor transaction fee that is deducted from the total contribution to the church. (Example - a $100.00 donation would show up as a full donation on your year-end giving report, but the church would net $99.55.)
3.  You can give online via the link provided with one time gifts, weekly, or bi-weekly, or monthly to charge a credit/debit card with a minor transaction fee as well as a 2.75% merchant fee. (Example - a $100.00 donation would show up as a full donation on your year-end giving report, but the church would net $96.80.)

4.  In the coming months the service we use is supposed to be launching text-to-give options as well.


Are you a widow or widower, single mom or dad, recovering from a medical condition or surgery, struggling through financial hard times?


The men and women of Hope would like to help. Faucet leaking, toilet won't stop running, light switch won't work, light bulb burned out, drain plugged, computer locked up? We have added a new way of helping those with short term needs of rides to doctor appointments, therapy, or simply picking up items from a pharmacy. We also know that some won't call because they don't want to bother anyone. Please call us and let us be a blessing to them.

Please contact the church office at 815-623-6545, Ken Ruge at 815-988-7788 or email at ruge.ken@gmail.com or Linda Johnston at 815-623-6030 or 815-742-5548



Valet Parking

Beginning Sunday, December 27 we will offer Valet Parking for anyone who is physically unable to make the walk from the parking lot or if you need help getting into the building. 
Please drive up to the sanctuary entrance circle drive for valet assistance. 

The Well (our young adult small group) is hosting
a Worship Night for all ages, January 9 at 6 pm.
Please join us, along with the Celebration Choir and the Worship team for an evening of singing and worship.

Everyone is welcome!

Operation Christmas Child
As the Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes, that we all packed, are making their way to their destination, please continue to be in prayer for the children that will receive them in other parts of the world.
A couple of things that you all could be collecting during the year are: the covers of children's cereal boxes (cartoon type pictures) that we can make puzzles out of for next year's shoeboxes; and also
clearance cotton material with bright kids prints on them, for sundresses and possibly shorts, that the White Cross group is going to sew for the kid's shoeboxes. Material can be placed in the White Cross bin down at the end of Drake Hall, under the coat rack.....or bring in to the church office. White Cross will be working on these throughout the year.
     At the Women's Retreat in February, we will be working on making some personalized cards for next year's shoeboxes, as a service project. If you're planning to attend, and happen to have some stamps/stamp pads, or other scrapbooking supplies that you'd like to share, we'd appreciate that.
    Thanks for your continued support of this ministry

Hope Evangelical Free Church                         www.hefc.net 
5656 Elevator Road                                           hefc@hefc.net
Roscoe, IL  61073                                              815.623.6545