JUNEJune 2016
Note from Pastor Mickey

Dear Hope Church family,
Marriage is difficult, and too often the difficulties get addressed way too late in the game. A good, God-honoring marriage requires practice - or practices of grace, humility, and love. Our church family has several marriages that are dealing with difficulties, and it is about time we start addressing good practices before difficulties begin. Prevention is always less painful than restoration. So here are ten suggestions for a healthy marriage.
  1. Marriage needs repentance.
  2. Marriage needs the habits of the gospel.
  3. Marriage needs an allergy to the ways Satan wants to undermine your relationship.
  4. Marriage needs the hard work of relationship building.
  5. Marriage needs ears that listen for understanding.
  6. Marriage needs honesty about sin.
  7. Marriage needs teachability and humility.
  8. Marriage needs to be built around a good church.
  9. Marriage needs the support of others.
  10. Marriage needs a constant application of grace and acceptance.
No matter how well you and your spouse are doing, consider going over these and discussing them together. And if you are single, do not think these suggestions are not for you. Exchange the word "marriage" for "friendship" and you will have a helpful set of suggestions for many important relationships. Christian relationships (married or not) should be the crucible in which the gospel is practiced and lived. Let me encourage us all to apply the gospel to our marriages and significant relationships.
For God's glory,
-Pastor Mickey
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Note from Pastor Brad
"50 and Free!" Campaign
     Over the past year or so, the Elders have been discussing and praying about the possibility of a capital campaign as there are numerous areas of the church we would like to improve. Just about every area of the church can find a legitimate way to spend money to upgrade their area, but we never seem to have the funds available to do much of it Pastor Brad .
     Up until 2008, all capital campaigns that Christian Investors Financial (The financial arm of the EFCA) worked with were campaigns for new sanctuaries, new buildings, and the like. However once the economy took a tumble, one of the more popular campaigns now are ones that focus on debt reduction and elimination. We recognized a number of things about adding on to our existing building given the expected funds we could raise for it.
     First, we already have a lot of space, albeit not always efficiently used. Secondly, we are land locked and parking is an issue. Adding on to our building would likely create different congestion issues. Third, the amount of additional space we could build based on cost estimates would not really give us a significantly bigger footprint and we are also very close to a square footage threshold that could trigger codes that would require the entire building to be brought up to current codes increasing costs dramatically. Fourth, debt limits financial flexibility as many churches are so strapped by their debt that they cannot keep their buildings and ministries effectively funded. It is hard to plan for the future when you are constantly paying backward. Our payments to the bank for the mortgage alone has exceeded 10% of our offerings for many years. And in response we do have numerous property issues we have not been able to address. Lastly we pay more to the bank for the mortgage than we do for all our core ministries combined.
     After dialoguing and speaking to some outside consultants we have decided to go in a slightly different direction than adding onto our building. We will be launching in the fall a "50 and Free" campaign. Let me explain what that is. Hope will be 50 years old in 2018 so our goal is to be debt free somewhere by the end of 2018 or mid-2019.
We will be setting up a goal of raising $1M+ and there will be a two pronged focus for the campaign. Once campaign fees are covered, the first focus is reducing and hopefully eliminating completely, our debt. Currently we owe $829,000. Proverbs 22:17 tells us "The rich rule over the poor and the borrower is slave to the lender." We would like to eliminate the need for a lender for Hope Free Church.
     The second focus will be to do some overall property improvements. So if we are ultimately able to raise $1M or more, we would use any excess funds raised over the debt elimination to do improvements of various kinds that will be prioritized as we assess the property. We have received many requests for upgrades from various sources and most are very legitimate uses, but we simply do not have the availability to do so at this time. Plus, when the mortgage is paid off, we would free up 90k from our annual budget that can be reallocated to other areas of the budget, creating a snowball effect of investing in our ministries and property more than we have been able to for many years.
     We will be taking the next few months to establish a campaign team and you will be getting more specific details by the Fall. We will be establishing several teams to help with this process. If you are interested in serving on one of those teams, please contact me. We will be establishing teams for prayer, communications, special events, advance commitments, and stewardship education. So please be in prayer for how we can work together to become, as a church, 50 and Free!

Resource Center News
Play BINGO with us this summer!  Pick up your Summer Reading BINGO card at the Welcome Center or at the Resource Center.  Read and mark off any five book categories in a row and you will earn a tasty prize from Culver's!
Planning a long car trip this summer?  We have audio theater and audio books to keep your mind - and heart - engaged during the ride.  We highly recommend the Down Gilead Lane or Adventures in Odyssey series for families.
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.
Look for these resources on the New Arrivals shelf in June:
  • Sacred Rhythms: Arranging Our Lives for Spiritual Transformation by Ruth Barton
  • They Say We Are Invidels: On the Run from ISIS with Persecuted Christians from Iraq and Syria by Mindy Belz
  • Changes: 7 Biblical Lessons to Make Sense of Puberty by Luke Gilkerson
  • But I'm NOT a Wicked Stepmother! Secrets of Successful Blended Families by Kathi Lipp
  • The Beautiful Pretender (Medieval Fairytale) by Melanie Dickerson
  • Blackmoore by Julianne Donaldson
  • Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson
  • The Sweet By and By (Songbird #1) by Sara Evans & Rachel Hauck   
  • Traces of Guilt by Dee Henderson
  • The Headmistress of Rosemere (Whispers on the Moors #2) by Sarah Ladd
  • Diagnosis Death (Prescription for Trouble #3) by Richard Mabry
  • Anchor in the Storm (Waves of Freedom #2) by Sarah Sundin
  • Zion Covenant series #'s 7-9 by Brock & Bodie Thoene 
  • God Knows All About Me by Make Believe Ideas (ages 0-4)
  • Berinfell Prophecies #'s 2-3 by Wayne Thomas Batson (ages 8-12)  
  • Owlegories Vol 3: The Fire, The Duck, The Seasons
  • Summer's Shadow
  • When Calls the Heart: It Begins with Heart (Season 3 Vol 1)
  • When Calls the Heart: Troubled Hearts (Season 3 Vol 2)
WWJD: What Would Jesus Do
Operation Christmas Child
Upcoming Dates for Operation Christmas Child Events:

Wednesday June 8 & July 6      Sewing Group Meets for Pillowcase Dresses in                                                      Drake Hall
**There will be a group of ladies meeting in the Drake Hall on Wednesday, June 8 from 9 am to 1 pm to work on pillowcase dresses for the Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.   Mark your calendar and come when you can, leave when you must.   It is a good time of fun and fellowship working together to help others.
**We are still in need of more brightly colored, cotton, printed fabrics for the dresses.
Sunday August 21 and 28         School Supply Collection in Church Lobby
Saturday September 17            Countdown Kick-Off Breakfast Party
Sunday October 16 - Nov 6       Donation Collection Weeks for Packing Party
Saturday October 29                  Prep Party
Saturday November 12              Packing Party
Monday November 14 - 21         National Shoebox Collection Week
**November 21 is the final deadline for all shoeboxes to be dropped off at Hope
November 28 - 30                     Tentative Dates for Service Project Trip to OCC
                                                Distribution Center in MN
**Please continue to collect new items for our shoeboxes as you are able throughout the year....items for sewing kits and fishing kits; soap, washcloths, and toothbrushes, plus plastic travel containers for soap/toothbrushes; hair combs/brushes/hair accessories; small toys and beanie babies; individually wrapped candy; school supplies; jewelry; shirts, socks, flip-flops; etc.  Just NO chocolate or other candy that can melt, NO glass, or war-related items.
**Remember to save your kids cereal boxes (with cartoon picture covers) for puzzles.
** Please also make homemade cards with personal messages for the kids, using markers, stickers, stampers, paint, etc.
Thank you for supporting this important outreach ministry!!
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Mission Report
This month's focus is on our missionary to Costa Rica, Ted Kautzmann and his wife Juli. They have recently returned to Costa Rica from Minneapolis where they have served in the past. They work for ProMeta whose mission is to educate and train future Christian leaders throughout Central and South American. Ted is involved in creating curriculum and assisting students so that can ultimately obtain an accredited degree through their Biblical studies at ProMeta. The resources that are provided through ProMeta are technological in nature rather than a traditional brick and mortar university setting which has a far shorter reach. In Ted's last newsletter he spoke of a student by the name of Alex who was told by the National University of Costa Rica that the ProMeta-SATS degree he has received will allow him to enter their doctoral program. Alex is an interesting person. Since he began studying with ProMeta he has published several books about children at risk. Latin American cities are full of abused and abandoned children. Through his efforts he seeks to make churches aware of the need and teach them how to care for the children in desperate circumstances. Please pray for the students that ProMeta seeks to help in their Biblical education, ProMeta in the work that they do, and for Ted and Juli as they continue to resettle in Costa Rica along with their extended family back in the United States who face their own set of challenges.
Respectfully Submitted, The Mission's Board

Please return the Baby Bottle Fundraiser for Stateline PregnancyCenter by Father's Day, June 19

Hope Free Church
anderson gardens long
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.
In This Issue

Quick Links

support group
(Awesome, Wise, Lively Singles Support Group)
Come join us on June 11 at 12:30 pm at
Pat Snyder's home 215 Ventura Court, Machesney Park

Menu: Potluck luncheon
RSVP: Pat Snyder, 815-282-9877
Come join the fun, games, and fellowship!
White Cross
anderson gardens long
Sharon Vinson & Connie Ruden, Coordinators

Won't you consider coming to one or both of our June White Cross work days on the 7th and 18th as we prepare quilts, rolled bandages, pillowcase dresses for Operation Christmas Child, and layettes for those in need.  We will not meet on the third Tuesday (21st) due to Vacation Bible School.  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: 
*Old blankets, mattress pads for inside of quilts (check garage

*Used, clean flat sheets (any color or pattern) for quilt backs and/or rolled bandages



*Used, clean fitted sheets of any color or pattern for rolled bandages


*Single-Fold bias tape (any color) for kimonos and pillowcase dresses


*Ziploc style gallon size storage bags for packing layettes


*Campbell's Labels for Education (for local schools)


Just bring your scissors and your servant's heart and we'll teach you the rest.  

Thank You

Brothers and Sisters, Thank you for your prayers, cards and beautiful flowers during my recovery from knee replacement. The healing process is still underway, and after almost 3 weeks, I am doing very well. I feel so blessed to be a Child of God and a member of our family.
Tom Mathews

Student Ministry

Our La Paz, Mexico trip is fully funded - above and beyond our expectations and we haven't received all of the monies from our support letters yet. If you were still thinking of donating even though we are fully funded, please don't hesitate! We will use whatever we get for the mission whether that is on supplies or creative ways to bless our missionary partners. More than anything we hope you will commit to praying for us, the people we will be ministering to, and our mission partners. Just as a reminder, those who are going are; Pastor Jim, Audra Dobson, Nathan Rivers, Nathan Stevens, Austin Moore, Amanda Juhlin, and Amanda Stevens. Thank you for your love and support.
Here is the letter that Pastor Mickey shared at the congregational meeting and which I shared on Facebook.

My dear Hope Church family:
     When I was in college I was involved in InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and on a particular Retreat we were asked to draw a picture that would represent our relationship with Jesus Christ. I drew a picture of Jesus and I on a tandem bike. He was in the front hunched over the handlebars pedaling with all his strength and steering us wherever he would take us to go. I was in the back holding on for dear life with a big smile on my face with my feet out to my side unable to rest them on the pedals because we're simply going too fast. I've always viewed my life is such an adventure with Jesus at the lead deciding the direction of my life.
     As many of you know this last year has been one of the harder, more frightening turns in that adventure. The loss of Victoria meant not only losing my best friend and partner in this life but also an altered course for many of my dreams. For the past couple years I have sensed the Lord preparing me for something that I couldn't quite put my finger on.
I've been in youth ministry for about 15 years now and it has been a wild ride - sometimes bumpy sometimes smooth, but always good because God was using me. When we came to Hope Victoria and I we're leaving a church that had gone through a major trauma and we had our own scars to heal from. Hope has been a place of healing, restoration and growth for both Victoria and I. Pastor Bob basically told me that it would be. He told me that Hope is a healthy Church that loves and protects its pastors. I saw that immediately in the way that we were accepted and loved and encouraged. We both felt like it was a seamless fit for us. This last year I have never felt more loved by my church family, and that is what makes this letter so difficult. I can barely hold back the tears thinking about how excellent I have been treated here by you, my church family. Thank you for your love.
It seems that the pilot of this tandem bike that I am riding has yet another turn for me. You see in the past few years I've been able to exercise some spiritual gifts and have experiences & affirmations that lead me to conclude that it is time for me to move on from youth ministry. This is not an easy way of thinking for me. Youth Ministry has been a very central part of my identity for 15 years. More recently Pastor Mickey, Pastor Brad, and the elders have strongly encouraged me to pursue a ministry that better uses my gifts in preaching, teaching, and strategic leadership.
     So it is with great sadness that I resign from my position as the Associate Pastor of Youth and Small Groups here at Hope. I don't know exactly where I'm going next this is a big and frightening step of faith into the unknown. But I do know my pilot. He is faithful and true. And if he has called me on another great adventure I know that he will not only be with me throughout the whole of it but that he will go ahead of me and prepare the path for me and enable me to take it.
     It has been agreed with the elders and the pastor's that I will be done with my time here at the end of August 2016. I'm turning in this resignation at this time so that the church may begin the process of pursuing my replacement.
     It is my desire that this process and transition would go as smooth and peacefully as possible. I hope that those close to me trust that this is not a reaction to my recent loss. It is not tragedy, or hardship, or any moral failure that drives me on but the challenging and ultimately glorious purpose of God. I love you all. Thank you again for your great care and support.
Christ's humble servant and yours,
James S. Oakley

Some details are subject to change (but we'll keep you posted!)


Kids of Hope

WHAT:            Vacation Bible School
WHEN:            June 20 - 24
TIME:              9:00 am - 11:45 am
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:         5:30 pm - 8:00 pm
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.

**We will continue registration up until VBS week. Please register your child as soon as possible so that we have  an accurate count and can plan how many supplies and workers we will need. 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 are still going on a well, and we are still in need of people to fill quite a few positions for the June VBS week. Please think/pray 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!

**Hope will be hosting a mini carnival for our closing family event for VBS week, which will be held on Friday evening, June 24th from 5:00 pm to 8:30 pm. The whole family is invited to attend! We will need some more workers to help that evening as well.  Please sign up to help in the lobby.

**There are two donation boards at the VBS display table, with tags for needed supplies for camp weeks, as well as the carnival. Please consider donating if you are able as this will help us considerably with the ministry costs involved with VBS!   

**We are also in need of some items to borrow from the congregation for decorating props...small one person tents, Christmas trees, logs, hiking gear (backpacks, boots, etc). We're still collecting brown paper grocery bags too.
**Our VBS Prep Work Days are underway and we need your help to transform Hope into Mount Everest. There are jobs creating decorations as well as craft prep jobs. Please stop by the VBS Lobby Display Table to pick up a copy of our work day schedule. Come whenever you are able to. Please only brings kids over 10 yeas old to help.
**We will be having an All Leader/Workers VBS Meeting on Tuesday June 14 at 6:30 pm in the Fellowship Hall which should only last an hour. Please make very effort to attend so that we're all on the same page with what's happening during VBS week and we can make sure everyone has the appropriate materials and schedules, etc. Thank You!
Timber-Lee logoCamp Timber-lee
There are still a few spots open at Camp Timber-lee, so register now!
The following students will be at Timber-lee during the month of June
            Noah Hansen    June 12 - 18
            Brady Moore     June 12 - 18
                                                   Jacob Klink       June 26 - July 1
                                                   Ben Klink          June 26 - July 1

Kids HopeKids Hope USA Mentoring
Summer is the perfect time to prepare to mentor a child in our local schools when school starts next fall.  We still have children on our waiting list from this year and next fall that list will grow!  If you are willing to give one hour a week to meet with a child that could use an ongoing relationship with a loving adult, please get in touch with Melissa Peshek, Jamie Anderson or Vera Juhlin.  
smiling-blanket-baby.jpg Nursery
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
child-finger-painting.jpg Preschool
The preschool department is in need of a teacher for the following time slots:
9:00 am 4 year olds
10:45 am 4 year olds

running-backpack-children.jpgElementary SS & Worship for Kids
We are gearing up for our summer programing. Our regular teachers will be taking a break so we are looking for people who are willing to give a few Sunday mornings to teaching or helping with elementary aged kids. There are openings at both the 9:00 and 10:45 hours

Mov'in On Up
Kids who will be going into 6th grade next fall will start attending the Jr High Sunday School and Youth Group on June 5
All other children in the preschool and elementary departments will advance grade levels on August 21. Children who are attending 4-year-old Kindergarten will stay in the preschool area in the fall. Children attending 5-year-old Kindergarten will move to Drake Hall on Aug 21.
Congratulations Graduates
High School Graduations
Abby Curtis                   Lauryn McKenzie
Jared Fosler                  Ross Neir
Emily Green                  Emma Platzbecker
Kaetlyn Helland           Nathan Rivers
Carly Johnson              Xan Seagren
Lauren Lee                   Heather Wallman
                                        Nick Winebrenner
College Graduates
Jake Ott
Rockford University, Bachelor Degree in Biological Sciences with minor in Chemistry
Rebekah Rivers
Olivet Nazarene University, Bachelor Degree in Elementary Education
Matthew Larson
(Rebekah River's fiancÚ), Olivet Nazarene University, Bachelor Degree with a
major in Chemistry and a minor in Criminal Justice.   

Kaitlynn VanderVaal
Graduated with a Master of Arts in Creative Business Enterprises at Newcastle University, United Kingdom

Graduation Open Houses
Lauren Lee, Saturday, May 28 at 5 m t 6882 Strong Box Circle, Roscoe
Ross Neir, Sunday, May 29 from 1-5 pm at 9303 River View Trail, Roscoe
Nick Winebrenner, Sunday, May 29 from Noon-4 pm at 4454 Stamford Court, Roscoe
Nathan Rivers, Sunday, June 5 from Noon - 4 pm at 320 W. Mechanic Street, Rockton
Carly Johnson, Sunday, June 12 from 2-5 pm at Porter Park, 6545 Windflower Ln., Roscoe
Emma Platzbecker, Sunday, June 12 from 2-8 pm at 9377 Southdown Ct., Roscoe
Jared Fosler, Saturday, June 18 from 2-5 pm at 2083 Havaview Drive, Rockford
Abby Curtis, Saturday, July 9 from 3-7:00 pm at 14929 Prairie Way, South Beloit