April Newsletter
Hope Free Press

April 2016 Newsletter

Dear Hope Church family,
I know it is spring and not winter, but I wanted to address a common misconception I have heard in Christian circles regarding Christmas. Have you ever seen an abbreviation for Christmas like this: Xmas? Does it offend you, as if Christ is being removed from Christmas? Let me tell you why it is not only appropriate, but even nearly as old as the New Testament.

While X may look like the English letter X (as in xerox), it is actually a Greek letter, which involves the English letters "ch." The Greek letter X is the first letter in the name of Christ, and was commonly used as a short-hand abbreviation for the name of Jesus. In fact, many common and important Bible names and characters were used in abbreviated form to save space on paper (papyrus), which was expensive and therefore in short supply. For example, common names like God, Peter, Paul, Jesus, Christ, Mary, etc. were abbreviated by the first letter of their name in most of the Greek manuscripts of the New Testament. These abbreviations were called "sacred names," or nomina sacra in Latin, since they were the important people in the Bible. If you were to look at a 6th century manuscript of Romans, every occurrence of the name of Christ would have an X (that is, the Greek letter for Ch). This was hardly a maneuver to take Christ out of Romans!

Since the majority of educated people in the past took classical Greek or Latin, it was common for such abbreviations to be used in regular, written discourse. I have always wondered if the more British term for using the bathroom, "use the loo," comes from the similar sounding Greek word that can mean "bath" or "flush" (luoō). For those trained as part of their regular education in classical Greek or Latin, such abbreviations became Anglicized, or put into English practice and use. That is where the abbreviation Xmas comes from - again, not an English letter but the Greek one, Ch-mas. Xmas is the "sacred name" abbreviation for the holiday that celebrates the birth of Christ: Christmas. It is hardly taking Christ out of Christmas; in fact, it is putting Christ into our holiday celebration in the actual language God wrote that name in the original New Testament.

For God's glory, Pastor Mickey

From the Desk of Pastor Brad 
As we were preparing for the budget for the next fiscal year we found numerous outsourcing costs that we could pool together and bring in house to provide a more consistent presence here while also providing some cost savings.  This included janitorial services and lawn mowing services.  So after looking at options we created a new position of Custodial Tech.  This position will be responsible for the janitorial, minor maintenance in the building, lawn care and some sound technician duties.  The cost savings from no longer using part time outsourced companies allows us to hire a full time presence here for these things. 
With that in mind we would like to give a warm welcome to Thomas Karenke to our staff team here at Hope.  Thomas brings an incredible servants heart to the church as he has been a significant help in many areas over the years. Thomas has a passion for the church body and he brings expertise in the maintenance and sound tech areas. This is rare to find someone with skills in both these areas and he brings a lot of good ideas for helping in these areas as well.  Thomas starts formal employment here on April 17. When you have a chance, please welcome him to the team.  

Children's Ministry

Vacation Bible School

WHEN:            June 20 - 24
TIME:             9am - 11:45am
WHO:              Pre-K (3yrs and potty-trained)
                         through entering 4th grade
WHAT:            CAMP 5-6
THEME:         "ASCENT": Conquering Challenges with God's Mighty Power
WHEN:            July 11 - 15
TIME:             5:30pm - 8:00pm
WHO:              Kids entering 5th through entering 6th grades
**REGISTRATION FEES for both camp weeks will be $20 per child with a family max of $45. This includes one T-shirt per child and one music CD per family.
**REGISTRATION BEGINS MAY 1ST. You may register in the church lobby on Sunday mornings or call the church office during the week at 815-623-6545.
**WORKER SIGN-UPS will begin on May 1st.  Please be thinking/praying about what area you may like to serve in.  It will take a lot of leaders/helpers to make these camp weeks a success for the kiddos this summer! 

Camp Timber-lee
Timber-Lee logo Discounts are still available if you register before 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 timber-lee.com
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 or Drake Hall.

Kids Hope USA Mentoring
Kids Hope Have you ever seen a child's eyes light up when they are in for a surprise?  Well, guess what...you could see that look every week when you mentor a child at the Kinnikinnick School District!  Although we are approaching summer, you can still be trained and be ready to mentor before the school year ends.  We have children that are looking for your companionship!  If you are willing to give one hour a week to meet with a child that could use an ongoing relationship, please get in touch with Melissa Peshek, Jamie Anderson or Vera Juhlin.  Thank you for your consideration!!
clapping-baby.jpg 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 
Elementary SS & Worship for Kids
running-backpack-children.jpg Thank you to everyone who helped with our special Easter event!  The kids had a great time playing games, doing crafts and learning about what Easter is all about. We had 11 visiting families; pray that they will start attending church.

Awana Upcoming dates:
April 4 - Prince/Princess Night
April 18 - Last night to say verses
April 25 - Awana Closing Ceremonies

Grand PRIX
Design winners: 1st Jasmine Urstadt, 2nd Brook Jones, 3rd John McKenzie

Speed winners: 1st Nick Hill, 2nd Aidan Mulligan, 3rd Trudane Peterson

old-book-spines.jpg Resource Center News
Visit our website at www.hefc.net/resource-center to view our online catalog and find our Facebook page.   If you have questions or experience problems, please e-mail hefclibrary@gmail.com.
Look for these resources on the New Arrivals shelf in April:
  • Engaging Today's Prodigal: Clear Thinking, New Approaches, and Reasons for Hope by Carol Barnier
  • The Shaping of a Christian Family: How My Parents Nurtured My Faith by Elisabeth Elliot
  • Just Show Up: The Dance of Walking Through Suffering Together by Kara Tippetts
  • Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World: How One Family Learned That Saying No Can Lead to Life's Biggest Yes by Kristin Welch
  • Storming the Black Ice (Pacific Rim #3) by Don Brown
  • A Dream of Home (Hearts of Lancaster Hotel #3) by Amy Clipston
  • The Preacher's Lady by Lori Copeland
  • The Calling (Seer #2) by Rachelle Dekker
  • Buried Secrets (Men of Valor #1) by Irene Hannon
  • Love at Any Cost (Heart of San Francisco #1) by Julie Lessman
  • Sky Zone (Crittendon Files #3) by Creston Mapes
  • Unbreakable (Road to Kingdom #2) by Nancy Mehl
  • Logic's End by Keith Robinson
  • My Princesses Learn to Be Brave by Ami Carlson (4-8)
  • My Princesses Learn to Share by Ami Carlson (4-8)
  • The Super Gifts of Spring: Easter by Dandi Mackall (4-8)
  • A Surprise for Lily (Adventures of Lily Lapp #4) by Mary Ann Kisinger (8-12)
  • That's Not Hay in My Hair by Juliette Turner (8-12)
  • The Calling (Seer series #2) by Rachelle Dekker (12+)
  • A Daring Sacrifice by Jody Hedlund (12+)
  • Siren's Song (Storm Siren #3) by Mary Weber (12+)
  • King's Folly (Kinsman Chronicles #1) by Jill Williamson (12+)
  • Born to Win
  • A Matter of Faith

Life Line Screening at Hope Church Saturday, May 14

An annual wellness visit helps you to build a plan for better health. Five tests are offered: Carotid Artery/Plaque Screening ($70); Hearth Rhythm Screening ($70); Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Screening ($70); Peripheral Arterial Disease Screening ($60); Osteoporosis Risk Assessment ($60). You can choose to do individual screenings or all 5 tests for $149.

To register for your screening and to receive $10 discount, Please call 888-653-6450 or visit www.LifeLineScreening.com/community-partners.

Front Porch
Ladies come gather on the front porch in Fellowship Hall 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 will be doing.
     Won't you and your friend come sit on the FRONT PORCH with us?
In This Issue
Quick Links

God at Work
To the HOPE Family, Many thanks for the flowers and expressions of sympathy at our father's passing?
Thank you,
Jean Schumacher & Linda Rickels
Thanks for all your thoughts and especially your prayers. Everyday Chase is getting better. Thanks, The Chase Quentin Family

Senior Saints

Senior Saints Luncheon
Tuesday, April 12
at Noon
at Hope Free Church 

The menu for April is ham loaf, scalloped potatoes, mixed veggies, lettuce salad and dessert.

The program will be presented by Emmy Christensen and Pastor Fana will give a devotional message.

Be sure to invite a friend to come with you!

Please be sure to call Betty Alexander
at 815-623-2336 by Wednesday, April 6 to make your reservation for you and your friends, so that we will have enough food and seating available.

Leave your NAME, PHONE NUMBER (in case of bad weather) and NUMBER ATTENDING.

A suggested donation for the meal is $4


Awesome, Wise, Lively Singles

 Come join us on

April 9 at 12:30 pm

Fireside Room, HEFC

Menu:  Chicken casserole, vegetable,
 salad & dessert

RSVP:  Sharon Vinson, 815-623-6857
or 815-543-5644 (cell)

Bring your voice so we can make a joyful noise unto the Lord!


heart quilt
Sharon Vinson & Connie Ruden, Coordinators
In April you have three opportunities to attend work sessions to create more items to send abroad or to be used nearby.   Come on April 5, 19, and 23 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 rolled bandages and layettes abroad and prepare warm, colorful quilts for clients at Rockford Rescue Mission, MELD, and Boone County Pantry.  Another goal is to assist Operation Christmas Child project by sewing pillowcase dresses, boys' shorts, and/or totebags to be placed in as many shoeboxes as possible come November.
When you join us, just bring your scissors and come enjoy some fellowship with other willing workers for Jesus.
Our needs this month include:
  • Old blankets & mattress pads for quilt insides  (May the weather cooperate  so that garage sales start soon!!!!!!)
  • Lightweight flannel for receiving blankets (1 sq yd each blanket)
  • Single-fold bias tape for kimonos and pillowcase dresses (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 & Boxtops for Education (for local schools) 
We look forward to seeing many workers make a difference in God's kingdom.

Annual Business Meeting

Mark your calendars for our Annual Business Meeting Sunday, May 22

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 April 10th  as the Auction takes place on the 17th 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!)



April 17th Auction in Youth Room 
La Paz Mission Fundraiser! 
Upcoming Events
April 8         Dare2Share 2016
April 8         Front Porch 7-9 pm Fellowship Hall
April 12       Senior Saints Luncheon
April 16       La Paz Training 9-11am
April 17       Silent Auction in Youth Room all morning
April 25        AWANA Closing
May 14        Life Line Screening
May 22        Annual Business Meeting