March 2016
lion and lamb

March Newsletter 

Hope Free Press 

A Note from Pastor Mickey

topofpageDear Hope Church family,

On Sunday, February 21, I went to a memorial service for the youth pastor of a neighboring Evangelical Free Church, Rock Valley Chapel, who died at the age of 25. He was married as well as the father of two young boys under three years old. With a beautiful mixture of tears and laughter, I saw a church family remember their pastor, brother in Christ, and friend. I sang with them as they praised God's goodness and love in the midst of their own, real loss.
I was reminded of the prayer of the Psalmist: "Show me ... the number of my days; let me know how fleeting life is"
(Ps 39:4). The Psalmist not asking to know the exact amount of his days, as in how many he has remaining, but is seeking to live in light of the brevity of life. As he explains in v. 5: "the span of my years is as nothing before you. Everyone is but a breath, even those who seem secure." The Psalmist asks the Lord for a biblical perspective on his life, so that he will look no further than God in all circumstances: "But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you" (v. 7).
Are you and I living with this perspective on our lives. Before being too surprised at the mere twenty-five years of life God assigned to Eric Lindberg, remember that your life is also described by God as "a breath," and only secure in outward appearances. In the providence of God this could be the last thing you read - or I write. Let us live with our brevity in mind, so that our lives reflect a gravitas (i.e., a weight, seriousness, and dignity) that helps us live each day with intentionality and praise. Where is your hope if not in the Lord?
For God's glory,
-Pastor Mickey

Men of Hope
Men of Hope
Softball sign ups

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.  This year we already have enough for four teams.  Are you willing to help us get to five???  Contact Pastor Brad if you are interested.  or 815-623-6545

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Women of Hope
The Front Porch

Ladies, come gather on the front porch in Fellowship Hall  Friday,  April 8 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 Community and everyone should bring (if they can) their top/best item that they would sell at a garage sale for a gift
 exchange activity we'll be doing. 

Won't you and your friend come sit on the FRONT PORCH with us?? 
Operation Christmas Child

As we look ahead to our Operation Christmas Child collection season this Fall, there are many ways you can help and support this ministry even now.....
*You can join the White Cross ladies or Deb Borcean's sewing group, as they are working on 500 sundresses for the Girl shoeboxes, as well as shorts for the Boy boxes.

*You can donate brightly colored, cotton, printed fabrics for the sun dresses and shorts.

*You can save your kids cereal boxes (with cartoon picture covers) so we can make puzzles with them at our Prep Party this Fall.

*You can make melted tye-dye crayon chunks, in muffin tins (various shapes available).....see instructions on Pinterest....great way to use up all those broken crayons in your drawers and craft/toy bins.

*You can purchase items for sewing kits and fishing kits, and maybe even put some together for us at home.

*You can donate ladies knit gloves for homemade baby dolls to insert in cradle purses, made by Sharon Moreland & friends.

*You can donate soap and washcloths, and even bundle them for us with a piece of ribbon if you'd like.

*You can make homemade cards with personal messages for the kids, using markers, stickers, stampers, paint, etc.

*You can keep your eye out for clearance sales and Dollar Store/Dollar Spot items for the shoeboxes.....items such as toothbrushes, small toys, beanie babies, individually wrapped candy, school supplies, soap, plastic travel containers for soap/toothbrushes, hair combs/brushes/accessories, jewelry, shirts, socks, flip-flops...etc. Just NO chocolate or other candy that can melt, glass, or war-related items.

*You can pray for the kids that receive these boxes....that we will meet a physical need they may have, and that they would be receptive to the gospel message that they receive with each box.

Thank you for your support of this ministry!!

Easter Services
Good Friday Service
Friday, March 25
7:00 pm

Worship Services 
Sunday, March 27
8:00, 9:30 and 11:00 am 
Hope Easter 2010

In This Issue
Note from Pastor Mickey
Men of Hope
Women of Hope
Operation Christmas Child
Mission Update
Student Ministries
Kids of Hope
Resource Center
Hope Free Church
Quick Links
Thank You
Senior Saints
White Cross
White Cross Update
Please come help us continue our efforts to help those in need.  Our March work days are on Tuesday, March 1, and Tuesday, March 15 in Drake Hall from 8:30-12:00.  We hope to concentrate on preparing pillowcase dresses for Operation Christmas Child, completing quilts for local ministries, and preparing layettes and rolled bandages for the Tandala Clinics in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Should you wish to donate items for our use, we could use the following:
  • Mattress pads, used blankets to use inside the quilts
  • Single-fold bias tape (any color) for edging pillowcase dresses & kimonos for layettes
  • Gallon-size Ziploc plastic STORAGE (not freezer) bags for shipping layettes
  • Lightweight flannel for receiving blankets (one yard = one blanket)
Please pray for good health for our volunteers and that our recipients will be blessed as they receive our donations/creations.

Mission Update
The Haven Network
In 2004, Mrs. Jean Heise of Rockford heard Dr. Byron Calhoun, MD, speak on his research concerning babies with a terminal diagnosis.  At that time, Dr. Byron was head of the Maternal Fetal Medicine Department at Rockford Memorial Hospital.  Mrs. Heise met with Dr. Calhoun and it was decided that a Christian perinatal hospice should be founded in Rockford, thus The Haven Network was formed.  Currently, The Haven has offices at 124 North Water Street in Rockford.  Twelve years later, The Haven is still providing multiple services to parents and families who need direction and support when their baby is terminal.
The Haven has five key beliefs:
  • We believe each baby is handcrafted by the Triune God and is a valued member of the human family.
  • We believe each baby, pre-born or newly born, is worthy of tender, palliative care until natural death.
  • We believe every family member, regardless of race or creed, deserves to be treated with honor and dignity.
  • We recognize that parents have the primary role in caring for their baby and deserve support and encouragement, enabling them to be the best parents possible in their time of grief.
  • We are honored, as staff and volunteers, to be the servants of Christ and will strive to model His example of compassionate care.
The Haven can provide multiple services at the request of the family. Some of the help available for clients: Family focused care beginning at the time of a negative pre-natal diagnosis, bereavement literature, spiritual and grief support and the opportunity to join a parent's support group, Healing Hearts. A Certified Grief Counselor and Director of Grief Services is available twice a month in the Haven offices. The first appointment is free.
Additionally, Hearts in Heaven, a parents support group, is a ministry designed to help those who have lost children due to miscarriage, stillbirth and death. The group is led by trained people who have faced similar issues.They can tell you that you can survive this problem and that there are blessings on the other side. The ministry is designed to help families work through the grief and get their needs met, whether they are financial, social or spiritual.
For more information regarding The Haven Network and their services, call 815-962-1512 or see their Website at

Student Ministries

We are going to Dare 2 Share Evangelism Training Conference this year on April 8-9. It will be at Life Changers International Church in Hoffman Estates. The cost for admission is about $60, but cash for food for the two days of the conference will be necessary. Permission slips are available online. Slips and admission cost are due on March 13th. If you need financial help going to this amazing event, please talk to Pastor Jim as soon as possible.
Sign up for the Silent Auction starts this month. Consider what kind of like new item, baked good, or service you might donate to help our teens going on the summer mission trip to La Paz, Mexico. All items must be brought to the youth room by March 27th as the Auction takes place on the 3rd of April.
You can make an impact on the spiritual lives of teens at Hope by volunteering to serve as a youth leader on Sunday nights. Contact Pastor Jim if you have an interest in teens and are a committed believer.
Some details are subject to change (but we'll keep you posted!)
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Kids of Hope

Camp Timber-lee
Timber-Lee logo Timber-lee has opened registration for the 2016 summer camps.  You can find the full catalog at  All families who attended camp last year should have gotten a catalog in the mail.  Additional catalogs and Hope Church Scholarship information are in the lobby.
Are you an Early Bird?  Sign up for camp before March 16, 2016 and get the special Early Bird Pricing. There is a smaller discount if you register between March 16 and May 18, 2016.
Open House Visits:  Want to see Timber-lee before you decide to go to camp?  There will be Open House Visits on April 9, April 10, and April 17.  Register online at
Scholarships:  You can apply for a summer camp scholarship directly from Timber-lee online.  In addition, Hope Church is offering $125 scholarships to each camper who is a regular attendee of any of the Kids of Hope or Teens of Hope ministries.  Look for more information in the church lobby.
Some exciting changes are taking place this summer with our kids programming at Hope! Our traditional VBS will be available for 3-year-olds through kids entering 4th grade. The 3yr-olds will now occupy the preschool wing, with programming that is slightly less structured and will offer more free-play time. We are then adding a new program called "Camp 5 - 6" for kids entering 5th and 6th grades, which will also be structured a little differently, and will have activities more appropriate for the "tweens". These changes will also free up more space for our ever-growing summer kids programs.

WHEN:            June 20 - 24
TIME:              9am - 11:45am
WHO:              *Preschool Peak VBS (3yrs/potty-trained) - Preschool Wing          
                           *Pre-K/Entering Kindergarten (4 & 5 yr olds) - Drake Hall                                          *Everest  VBS (Kids entering 1st through 4th)

WHAT:           CAMP 5-6
                        GODS MIGHTY POWER
WHEN:           July 11 - 15
TIME:              5:30p - 8:00p
WHO:              Kids entering 5th and 6th grades

Awana Upcoming dates:
March 19 - Grand Prix
March 21 - Easter Celebration
March 28 - No Club - Spring Break 
April 4 - Prince/Princess Night
April 18 - Last night to say verses
April 25 - Awana Closing Ceremonies

Kids Hope USA Mentoring
Kids Hope
Please pray for the four new mentors that have started meeting with students.  Also pray that we would be able to find 3 female and 2 male mentors to minister to waiting children.

baby bottle
We are now using an online sign up service to do the nursery scheduling. If you are a regular nursery worker (or want to be one) and have not received an invitation to a site called "Sign Up Genius", please call Caroline Ahlberg or the church office.


Extra workers are needed for both the Good Friday service and for Easter morning.  Please call Chris Fosler or the church office if you are available to serve.

Elementary SS & Worship for Kids
You are invited to bring a friend to a special elementary only,Egg-Cellent Easter Adventure!
When:            March 20, 2016          
Time:             9:00am - 12:00pm           
Where:          Hope Church - Drake Hall 
Kids will be able to jump in or out of activities at the event, as needed, for dropping off and picking up, but we encourage you to stay the whole time.

Elementary Reminder: 
For the Good Friday service and Easter morning services there will be NO Sunday School or Worship for Kids.  We know you will want to share those special services with your parents and the rest of the church body.

Resource Center
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.
Visit our website at to find our Facebook page and view our online catalog.   If you have questions or experience problems, please e-mail
Look for these resources on the New Arrivals shelf in March: 
  • Hiding in the Light: Why I Risked Everything to Leave Islam and Follow Jesus by Rifqa Bary
  • Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God by Timothy Keller
  • Parables: The Mysteries of God's Kingdom Revealed Through the Stories Jesus Told by John MacArthur
  • If I Run by Terri Blackstock
  • Until the Dawn by Elizabeth Camden
  • The Shock of Night (DarkWater Saga #1) by Patrick W. Carr
  • Mermaid Moon by Colleen Coble
  • Chasing Hope by Kathryn Cushman
  • A Spy's Devotion (Regency Spies of London #1) by Melanie Dickerson
  • The Mistress of Tall Acre by Laura Frantz
  • Buried Secrets (Men of Valor #1) by Irene Hannon
  • Courage to Dream series #'s 1-2 by Susan Anne Mason
  • Unbreakable (Road to Kingdom #2) by Nancy Mehl
  • Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay 
  • The Action Bible (ages 8-12)
  • The Action Bible Handobook: People, Places, and Things (ages 8-12)
  • In Fear of the Spear (Imagination Station #17) by Marianne Hering (ages 8-12)
  • Light of the Last (Wars of the Realm #3) by Chuck Black (ages 13+)
  • Game Over (MindWar #3) by Andrew Klavan (ages 13+)
  • Rebels (Safe Lands #3) by Jill Williamson
  • Indescribable
  • Owlegories Vol. 2: The Ant, The Fruit, The Butterfly