Lent Day 9: Mark 8

Read: Mark 8

During those days another large crowd gathered. Since they had nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. If I send them home hungry, they will collapse on the way, because some of them have come a long distance.”

His disciples answered, “But where in this remote place can anyone get enough bread to feed them?”

“How many loaves do you have?” Jesus asked.

“Seven,” they replied.

He told the crowd to sit down on the ground. When he had taken the seven loaves and given thanks, he broke them and gave them to his disciples to distribute to the people, and they did so. They had a few small fish as well; he gave thanks for them also and told the disciples to distribute them. The people ate and were satisfied. Afterward the disciples picked up seven basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. About four thousand were present. After he had sent them away, 10 he got into the boat with his disciples and went to the region of Dalmanutha.

11 The Pharisees came and began to question Jesus. To test him, they asked him for a sign from heaven. 12 He sighed deeply and said, “Why does this generation ask for a sign? Truly I tell you, no sign will be given to it.” 13 Then he left them, got back into the boat and crossed to the other side.

14 The disciples had forgotten to bring bread, except for one loaf they had with them in the boat. 15 “Be careful,” Jesus warned them. “Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and that of Herod.”

16 They discussed this with one another and said, “It is because we have no bread.”

17 Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked them: “Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened? 18 Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don’t you remember? 19 When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?”

“Twelve,” they replied.

20 “And when I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?”

They answered, “Seven.”

21 He said to them, “Do you still not understand?”

22 They came to Bethsaida, and some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. 23 He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man’s eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, “Do you see anything?”

24 He looked up and said, “I see people; they look like trees walking around.”

25 Once more Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. 26 Jesus sent him home, saying, “Don’t even go into the village.”

27 Jesus and his disciples went on to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked them, “Who do people say I am?”

28 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.”

29 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”

Peter answered, “You are the Messiah.”

30 Jesus warned them not to tell anyone about him.

31 He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. 32 He spoke plainly about this, and Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.

33 But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. “Get behind me, Satan!” he said. “You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”

34 Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. 36 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? 37 Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? 38 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”

Listen: 

What stands out to you in this chapter?
Is there anything you are hearing in a new way?
Even after the disciples had witnessed the feeding of the 5,000, they still had doubts about feeding a smaller crowd.  Are there places in your life where you have seen God work and sill wrestle with doubt?
How can we sometimes be like Peter, both confessing Christ and also trying to dictate what we think is best for God and us?  How do we need to “deny ourselves” in these regards?

Pray:

Pray for our Middle and High School students, for their protection and their boldness to walk with Jesus.
For the person/family you’re inviting to join you for worship on Easter Sunday.
Don’t forget to spend time listening as well!


Lent Day 8: Mark 7

Read: Mark 7

The Pharisees and some of the teachers of the law who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus and saw some of his disciples eating food with hands that were defiled, that is, unwashed. (The Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they give their hands a ceremonial washing, holding to the tradition of the elders. When they come from the marketplace they do not eat unless they wash. And they observe many other traditions, such as the washing of cups, pitchers and kettles.)

So the Pharisees and teachers of the law asked Jesus, “Why don’t your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders instead of eating their food with defiled hands?”

He replied, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written:

“‘These people honor me with their lips,
    but their hearts are far from me.
They worship me in vain;
    their teachings are merely human rules.’

You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions.”

And he continued, “You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions! 10 For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and, ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’ 11 But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is Corban (that is, devoted to God)— 12 then you no longer let them do anything for their father or mother. 13 Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that.”

14 Again Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen to me, everyone, and understand this. 15 Nothing outside a person can defile them by going into them. Rather, it is what comes out of a person that defiles them.” [16] 

17 After he had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about this parable. 18 “Are you so dull?” he asked. “Don’t you see that nothing that enters a person from the outside can defile them? 19 For it doesn’t go into their heart but into their stomach, and then out of the body.” (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean.)

20 He went on: “What comes out of a person is what defiles them. 21 For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, 22 adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. 23 All these evils come from inside and defile a person.”

24 Jesus left that place and went to the vicinity of Tyre. He entered a house and did not want anyone to know it; yet he could not keep his presence secret. 25 In fact, as soon as she heard about him, a woman whose little daughter was possessed by an impure spirit came and fell at his feet. 26 The woman was a Greek, born in Syrian Phoenicia. She begged Jesus to drive the demon out of her daughter.

27 “First let the children eat all they want,” he told her, “for it is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”

28 “Lord,” she replied, “even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.”

29 Then he told her, “For such a reply, you may go; the demon has left your daughter.”

30 She went home and found her child lying on the bed, and the demon gone.

31 Then Jesus left the vicinity of Tyre and went through Sidon, down to the Sea of Galilee and into the region of the Decapolis. 32 There some people brought to him a man who was deaf and could hardly talk, and they begged Jesus to place his hand on him.

33 After he took him aside, away from the crowd, Jesus put his fingers into the man’s ears. Then he spit and touched the man’s tongue. 34 He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, “Ephphatha!” (which means “Be opened!”). 35 At this, the man’s ears were opened, his tongue was loosened and he began to speak plainly.

36 Jesus commanded them not to tell anyone. But the more he did so, the more they kept talking about it. 37 People were overwhelmed with amazement. “He has done everything well,” they said. “He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”

Listen: 

What stands out to you in this chapter?
Is there anything you are hearing in a new way?
Some of our best “traditions” started by following the commands of God.  How have you/we turned the commands of God into human traditions?  How can you/we turn back from that?
What was it in the reply of the woman in verse 28 that made Jesus change His mind and help her?  How can we emulate that in our own lives?

Pray:

Pray for the healthiness of the marriages of our church.
Pray for those who are struggling in their relationships.
For the person/family you’re inviting to join you for worship on Easter Sunday.
Don’t forget to spend time listening as well!


Lent Day 7: Mark 6

Read: Mark 6

Jesus left there and went to his hometown, accompanied by his disciples. When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed.

“Where did this man get these things?” they asked. “What’s this wisdom that has been given him? What are these remarkable miracles he is performing? Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him.

Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home.” He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. He was amazed at their lack of faith.

Then Jesus went around teaching from village to village. Calling the Twelve to him, he began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over impure spirits.

These were his instructions: “Take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. Wear sandals but not an extra shirt. 10 Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town. 11 And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, leave that place and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.”

12 They went out and preached that people should repent. 13 They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.

14 King Herod heard about this, for Jesus’ name had become well known. Some were saying, “John the Baptist has been raised from the dead, and that is why miraculous powers are at work in him.”

15 Others said, “He is Elijah.”

And still others claimed, “He is a prophet, like one of the prophets of long ago.”

16 But when Herod heard this, he said, “John, whom I beheaded, has been raised from the dead!”

17 For Herod himself had given orders to have John arrested, and he had him bound and put in prison. He did this because of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, whom he had married. 18 For John had been saying to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.” 19 So Herodias nursed a grudge against John and wanted to kill him. But she was not able to, 20 because Herod feared John and protected him, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man. When Herod heard John, he was greatly puzzled; yet he liked to listen to him.

21 Finally the opportune time came. On his birthday Herod gave a banquet for his high officials and military commanders and the leading men of Galilee. 22 When the daughter of Herodias came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his dinner guests.

The king said to the girl, “Ask me for anything you want, and I’ll give it to you.” 23 And he promised her with an oath, “Whatever you ask I will give you, up to half my kingdom.”

24 She went out and said to her mother, “What shall I ask for?”

“The head of John the Baptist,” she answered.

25 At once the girl hurried in to the king with the request: “I want you to give me right now the head of John the Baptist on a platter.”

26 The king was greatly distressed, but because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he did not want to refuse her. 27 So he immediately sent an executioner with orders to bring John’s head. The man went, beheaded John in the prison, 28 and brought back his head on a platter. He presented it to the girl, and she gave it to her mother. 29 On hearing of this, John’s disciples came and took his body and laid it in a tomb.

30 The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. 31 Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”

32 So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place. 33 But many who saw them leaving recognized them and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. 34 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.

35 By this time it was late in the day, so his disciples came to him. “This is a remote place,” they said, “and it’s already very late. 36 Send the people away so that they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.”

37 But he answered, “You give them something to eat.”

They said to him, “That would take more than half a year’s wages! Are we to go and spend that much on bread and give it to them to eat?”

38 “How many loaves do you have?” he asked. “Go and see.”

When they found out, they said, “Five—and two fish.”

39 Then Jesus directed them to have all the people sit down in groups on the green grass. 40 So they sat down in groups of hundreds and fifties. 41 Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to his disciples to distribute to the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. 42 They all ate and were satisfied, 43 and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish. 44 The number of the men who had eaten was five thousand.

45 Immediately Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. 46 After leaving them, he went up on a mountainside to pray.

47 Later that night, the boat was in the middle of the lake, and he was alone on land. 48 He saw the disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them. Shortly before dawn he went out to them, walking on the lake. He was about to pass by them, 49 but when they saw him walking on the lake, they thought he was a ghost. They cried out, 50 because they all saw him and were terrified.

Immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” 51 Then he climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down. They were completely amazed, 52 for they had not understood about the loaves; their hearts were hardened.

53 When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret and anchored there. 54 As soon as they got out of the boat, people recognized Jesus. 55 They ran throughout that whole region and carried the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was. 56 And wherever he went—into villages, towns or countryside—they placed the sick in the marketplaces. They begged him to let them touch even the edge of his cloak, and all who touched it were healed.

Listen: 

What stands out to you in this chapter?
Is there anything you are hearing in a new way?
What does it mean “A prophet is without honor in his/her home town”?  How do you think this will have relevance to us as we move outward into the Hopkins community?
The feeding of the 5,000 is a relatively familiar passage.  Read it again with an open mind.  What new impressions pop out at you?

Pray:

Pray for the healthiness of the marriages of our church.
For the person/family you’re inviting to join you for worship on Easter Sunday.
Don’t forget to spend time listening as well!


Lent Day 6: Mark 5

Read: Mark 5

They went across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes. When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an impure spirit came from the tombs to meet him. This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain. For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones.

When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him. He shouted at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? In God’s name don’t torture me!” For Jesus had said to him, “Come out of this man, you impure spirit!”

Then Jesus asked him, “What is your name?”

“My name is Legion,” he replied, “for we are many.” 10 And he begged Jesus again and again not to send them out of the area.

11 A large herd of pigs was feeding on the nearby hillside. 12 The demons begged Jesus, “Send us among the pigs; allow us to go into them.” 13 He gave them permission, and the impure spirits came out and went into the pigs. The herd, about two thousand in number, rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned.

14 Those tending the pigs ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened. 15 When they came to Jesus, they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. 16 Those who had seen it told the people what had happened to the demon-possessed man—and told about the pigs as well. 17 Then the people began to plead with Jesus to leave their region.

18 As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. 19 Jesus did not let him, but said, “Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” 20 So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.

21 When Jesus had again crossed over by boat to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered around him while he was by the lake. 22 Then one of the synagogue leaders, named Jairus, came, and when he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet. 23 He pleaded earnestly with him, “My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.” 24 So Jesus went with him.

A large crowd followed and pressed around him. 25 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. 26 She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. 27 When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28 because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” 29 Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.

30 At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?”

31 “You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’ ”

32 But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. 33 Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. 34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”

35 While Jesus was still speaking, some people came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. “Your daughter is dead,” they said. “Why bother the teacher anymore?”

36 Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”

37 He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James. 38 When they came to the home of the synagogue leader, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly. 39 He went in and said to them, “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.” 40 But they laughed at him.

After he put them all out, he took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was. 41 He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” (which means “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”). 42 Immediately the girl stood up and began to walk around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished. 43 He gave strict orders not to let anyone know about this, and told them to give her something to eat.

Listen: 

What stands out to you in this chapter?
Is there anything you are hearing in a new way?
How does the reaction of people to Jesus’ work casting out a demon surprise you?  How do you think you would have responded?
What do you think about things like this happening today?  At HCC?  Do you see yourself participating in something like this?  Why or why not?

Pray:

Take time to lift up those in our church and community who are struggling with illnesses and oppression.
For the person/family you’re inviting to join you for worship on Easter Sunday.
Don’t forget to spend time listening as well!


Lent Day 4: Mark 4

Read: Mark 4

Again Jesus began to teach by the lake. The crowd that gathered around him was so large that he got into a boat and sat in it out on the lake, while all the people were along the shore at the water’s edge. He taught them many things by parables, and in his teaching said: “Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times.”

Then Jesus said, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”

10 When he was alone, the Twelve and the others around him asked him about the parables. 11 He told them, “The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables 12 so that,

“‘they may be ever seeing but never perceiving,
    and ever hearing but never understanding;
otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!’”

13 Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable? 14 The farmer sows the word. 15 Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. 16 Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. 17 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 18 Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; 19 but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. 20 Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown.”

21 He said to them, “Do you bring in a lamp to put it under a bowl or a bed? Instead, don’t you put it on its stand? 22 For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open. 23 If anyone has ears to hear, let them hear.”

24 “Consider carefully what you hear,” he continued. “With the measure you use, it will be measured to you—and even more. 25 Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.”

26 He also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. 27 Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. 28 All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. 29 As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.”

30 Again he said, “What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it? 31 It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest of all seeds on earth. 32 Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds can perch in its shade.”

33 With many similar parables Jesus spoke the word to them, as much as they could understand. 34 He did not say anything to them without using a parable. But when he was alone with his own disciples, he explained everything.

35 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”

39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.

40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

41 They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”

Listen: 

What stands out to you in this chapter?
Is there anything you are hearing in a new way?
In what ways may the “soil” of your life need some amending to see the Word of God better take root?
Are there places in your life where you are more readily hiding the “light” you have under a basket?

Pray:

Ask God to prepare your heart for Worship tomorrow and for Pastor Jim as he prepares the message.
Pray specifically for the “storms” in your life and that God would supernaturally calm them.
For the person/family you’re inviting to join you for worship on Easter Sunday.
Don’t forget to spend time listening as well!


Lent Day 3: Mark 3

Read: Mark 3

Another time Jesus went into the synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Some of them were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal him on the Sabbath. Jesus said to the man with the shriveled hand, “Stand up in front of everyone.”

Then Jesus asked them, “Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they remained silent.

He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored. Then the Pharisees went out and began to plot with the Herodians how they might kill Jesus.

Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the lake, and a large crowd from Galilee followed. When they heard about all he was doing, many people came to him from Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, and the regions across the Jordan and around Tyre and Sidon. Because of the crowd he told his disciples to have a small boat ready for him, to keep the people from crowding him. 10 For he had healed many, so that those with diseases were pushing forward to touch him. 11 Whenever the impure spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, “You are the Son of God.” 12 But he gave them strict orders not to tell others about him.

13 Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him. 14 He appointed twelve that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach 15 and to have authority to drive out demons. 16 These are the twelve he appointed: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter), 17 James son of Zebedee and his brother John (to them he gave the name Boanerges, which means “sons of thunder”), 18 Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Zealot 19 and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.

20 Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat. 21 When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.”

22 And the teachers of the law who came down from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Beelzebul! By the prince of demons he is driving out demons.”

23 So Jesus called them over to him and began to speak to them in parables: “How can Satan drive out Satan? 24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. 26 And if Satan opposes himself and is divided, he cannot stand; his end has come. 27 In fact, no one can enter a strong man’s house without first tying him up. Then he can plunder the strong man’s house. 28 Truly I tell you, people can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter, 29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin.”

30 He said this because they were saying, “He has an impure spirit.”

31 Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him. 32 A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, “Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you.”

33 “Who are my mother and my brothers?” he asked.

34 Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 35 Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”

Listen: 

What stands out to you in this chapter?
Is there anything you are hearing in a new way?
Jesus addresses the rigid “law-keeping” of the religious leaders here.  Where are there places in your life where faith and relationship have been replaced with “law-keeping”?
What do you think Jesus means when He makes the statement in verse 34 about his family?  What implications are there for us here?

Pray:

For the person/family you’re inviting to join you for worship on Easter Sunday.
Take some time to pray specifically for Hopkins Community Church, our mission and vision, and particularly our community of faith here.
Don’t forget to spend time listening as well!


Lent Day 2: Mark 2

Read: Mark 2

A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”

Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, “Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”

Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, “Why are you thinking these things? Which is easier: to say to this paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’? 10 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the man, 11 “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” 12 He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”

13 Once again Jesus went out beside the lake. A large crowd came to him, and he began to teach them. 14 As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” Jesus told him, and Levi got up and followed him.

15 While Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. 16 When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

17 On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

18 Now John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting. Some people came and asked Jesus, “How is it that John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees are fasting, but yours are not?”

19 Jesus answered, “How can the guests of the bridegroom fast while he is with them? They cannot, so long as they have him with them. 20 But the time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them, and on that day they will fast.

21 “No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. Otherwise, the new piece will pull away from the old, making the tear worse. 22 And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins.”

23 One Sabbath Jesus was going through the grainfields, and as his disciples walked along, they began to pick some heads of grain. 24 The Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?”

25 He answered, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need? 26 In the days of Abiathar the high priest, he entered the house of God and ate the consecrated bread, which is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions.”

27 Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. 28 So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”

Listen: 

What stands out to you in this chapter?
Is there anything you are hearing in a new way?
Jesus spends a lot of time with “sinners” and the “sick” people.  Who is God calling you to spend more time with?  Maybe this has some bearing on the name of the person/family you are being prompted to invite to Easter?

Pray:

For the person/family you’re inviting to join you for worship on Easter Sunday.
Take some time to pray for the missionaries HCC supports and others you know in the ministry.
Don’t forget to spend time listening as well!


Lent Day 1: Mark 1

Read: Mark 1

The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God, as it is written in Isaiah the prophet:

“I will send my messenger ahead of you,
    who will prepare your way”—
“a voice of one calling in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord,
    make straight paths for him.’”

And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River. John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. And this was his message: “After me comes the one more powerful than I, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

12 At once the Spirit sent him out into the wilderness, 13 and he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him.

14 After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. 15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”

16 As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 17 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” 18 At once they left their nets and followed him.

19 When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. 20 Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.

21 They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. 22 The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law. 23 Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an impure spirit cried out, 24 “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!”

25 “Be quiet!” said Jesus sternly. “Come out of him!” 26 The impure spirit shook the man violently and came out of him with a shriek.

27 The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, “What is this? A new teaching—and with authority! He even gives orders to impure spirits and they obey him.” 28 News about him spread quickly over the whole region of Galilee.

29 As soon as they left the synagogue, they went with James and John to the home of Simon and Andrew. 30 Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they immediately told Jesus about her. 31 So he went to her, took her hand and helped her up. The fever left her and she began to wait on them.

32 That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed. 33 The whole town gathered at the door, 34 and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. He also drove out many demons, but he would not let the demons speak because they knew who he was.

35 Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. 36 Simon and his companions went to look for him, 37 and when they found him, they exclaimed: “Everyone is looking for you!”

38 Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.” 39 So he traveled throughout Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons.

40 A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.”

41 Jesus was indignant. He reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” 42 Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cleansed.

43 Jesus sent him away at once with a strong warning: 44 “See that you don’t tell this to anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.” 45 Instead he went out and began to talk freely, spreading the news. As a result, Jesus could no longer enter a town openly but stayed outside in lonely places. Yet the people still came to him from everywhere.

Listen: 

What stands out to you in this chapter?
Is there anything you are hearing in a new way?
Part of Jesus’ message is one of repentance; is there anything the Spirit is prompting you toward of convicting you of?

Pray:

Take time to confess any sins that the Spirit is bringing up.
Take time to express thanks for the life of Christ.
For the person/family you’re inviting to join you for worship on Easter Sunday.
Don’t forget to spend time listening as well!


HCC Informer: 2/11/2021

Good Morning HCC!

Coming to you with information regarding the ministry life of Hopkins Community Church!

First, thank you to everyone who helped make the Huizinga funeral luncheon happen.  Your donations of food and time are GREATLY appreciated and a blessing to the Huizinga family in their time of loss.  It truly represents the best of the love that HCC shows to each other and the community.

Please remember that we have a number of different giving options for you whether in person, via mail, ACH, and also online.  You can check them out at:

We are continually grateful for your ongoing generosity and support and encourage your continued commitment to God through faithful tithing and giving.
 
Discipleship Opportunities:
Thursday Evening Discipleship Group: EXPECTANCY: Learning to grow, pray, and operate in the power of the Holy Spirit.
We will be AT CHURCH from 7:00 – 8:30 PM.  No prior participation required!  You can also join the meeting via ZOOM using the following link:
…or by using the following meeting ID and password:
Meeting ID: 823 8607 1626
Password: HCRC1237
 
People of the Book (Sunday evening Bible study) will now be meeting after church on Sunday mornings from 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM.  
 
Community Engagement:
Our next Blood Drive will be on March 9, 2021 (please note the date change).  More information will be posted when it is available.  We will be hosting a blood drive at church every 8 weeks during 2021!
 
Prayer Updates:
We lift up the Huizinga family after the passing of Rich’s brother Tom.  May God grant them comfort and peace.
 
Lauren Wolffis, a friend of Kristin VanderSyde, was just diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer that has spread to her liver.  She is 26 years old and is looking at a mastectomy and chemotherapy for at least 4 months.  Please hold her up in prayer that God would do a great work of healing in her life.
 
Pastor Mark Heijerman from Martin Reformed Church continues to struggle with COVID.  We praise God that he has been trending slowly upward in this fight but he is still in critical contidition.  Please continue to pray for him that God would do a great work of healing in his life.
 
Mike Stearns continues to recover from his eye surgery.
 
Mitch Punches, a member of the Hopkins Community, is home but is sill dealing with a lot of pain.  Pray for healing, patience, and strength as he goes through therapy.
 
Amanda Weber’s uncle, John, received word that he will not need Chemotherapy to fight the cancer they found.  They will have to do radiation, however, which will be much better for him.
 
Lenora Kas 91, mother of Pat Lodenstein, passed away.  Pray for peace and comfort for Pat and Dave.
 
Louise Allen, sister of Carol Boverhof, continues to battle cancer.
 
Prayer for many of those who are dealing with COVID-19, whether personally or in extended families at this moment.
 
Sunday Morning Worship (9:30 AM):
This Sunday, Pastor Jim will be preaching from 1 Kings 18:36-45 as we begin to lay the groundwork for HCC’s new Vision:” Boldly Bringing the Good News of Jesus Christ to the community of Hopkins through expectant prayer, effective evangelism, and radical obedience to the Holy Spirit.  The message is entitled “Vision in Action: Praying Radically“.
 
The Community Room (multipurpose room) will be open and available for use during worship by those desiring to follow CDC physical distancing and masking guidelines.  Everyone is welcome in this room (regardless of wristband color choice); we ask that all those who choose to be there respect the guidelines laid out.  A screen, projecting the service, as well, as speakers will be set up to allow those that choose to use this room to participate fully in the worship service in a physically distanced and safe space.  An alternative entrance is available for those with health concerns; you may also enter through the front doors and foyer area.
 
For those that would prefer to remain in their vehicles, we welcome you to tune your radio to 97.3 FM.
 
We will continue to Livestream our worship services for those unable to make it or uncomfortable gathering in large groups.
You can join us live on Youtube here:
Please subscribe to the channel for future updates!
 
You can also join us live on Facebook here:
 
Please remember to evaluate your own health and that of your family for the consideration of our whole church family.
 
Have a blessed weekend  

PASTORS

Jonathon VanderWall (Lead Pastor)

Jim Harrison (Prayer, Discipleship, Leadership Development)

ELDERS

Dick Boverhof (District 4: M-R) – Vice President

 Sally Burgess (District 3: I-L)

 Curt Leep (District 2: F-H)

 Dan Kisner (District 1: A-E) – Clerk

 Kyle Hoffmaster (District 5: S-Z)

DEACONS

Troy Clement (District 2: F-H) – Head of Deacons

Joel Eding (District 3: I-L)

Rich Huizinga (District 4: M-R) – Executive Team

Mike Maule (District 5: S-Z)

Tyler VanderSyde (District 1: A-E)

Eric Porter (District 3: I-L)

ADMINISTRATIVE & SUPPORT STAFF

Kathy Westendorp (Office Administrator)

Lisa Harms (Cleaning & Custodial)

Kevin Dewey (Facilities Management)

VOLUNTEER LEADERS

Rachael Dewey (GEMS)

Bill Hennip (Cadets)

Carrie Mulder (Children’s Discipleship, 3 yrs – 5th Grade)

Cindy Kukor (Youth Discipleship, 6th – 12 Grade)

Cindy Lowman (Walk-out Worship)

Carol Boverhof (Hospitality)

Dan Kisner (Security)



HCC Informer: 2/4/2021

Good Morning HCC!

Coming to you with information regarding the ministry life of Hopkins Community Church!

With the reports of rather extreme winter weather, at least for this year, coming this weekend, we just wanted to remind you of our closing policies:
1. Sunday morning closings will be posted by 7:30 AM on Sunday morning.  Sermons will be posted online (live or pre-recorded).
2. Evening Event cancellations will be made at least an hour ahead of the time of the event.
3. All closings and cancellations will be posted here on our website, social media websites, sent out via email & REMIND texts.
4. All closings will be posted on regular TV and radio stations.

As always, we will do our best to communicate information as quickly as possible when we make decisions about our ministry events and gatherings.

Please remember that we have a number of different giving options for you whether in person, via mail, ACH, and also online.  You can check them out at:
We are continually grateful for your ongoing generosity and support and encourage your continued commitment to God through faithful tithing and giving.
 
Discipleship Opportunities:
Thursday Evening Discipleship Group: EXPECTANCY: Learning to grow, pray, and operate in the power of the Holy Spirit.
We will be AT CHURCH from 7:00 – 8:30 PM.  No prior participation required!  You can also join the meeting via ZOOM using the following link:
…or by using the following meeting ID and password:
Meeting ID: 823 8607 1626
Password: HCRC1237
 
People of the Book (Sunday evening Bible study) will now be meeting after church on Sunday mornings from 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM.  
 
Community Engagement:
Our next Blood Drive will be on March 9, 2021 (please note the date change).  More information will be posted when it is available.  We will be hosting a blood drive at church every 8 weeks during 2021!
 
Prayer Updates:
Lauren Wolffis, a friend of Kristin VanderSyde, was just diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer that has spread to her liver.  She is 26 years old and is looking at a mastectomy and chemotherapy for at least 4 months.  Please hold her up in prayer that God would do a great work of healing in her life.
 
Mike Stearns, had another successful eye surgery at U of M. Please pray for peace for Mike as he continues to recover.
 
Mitch Punches, a member of the Hopkins Community, came home last week but is sill dealing with a lot of pain. God has truly worked a great miracle in bringing him through the last week and we continue to pray for His work in Mitch’s recovery.
 
Amanda Weber’s uncle, John, received word that he will not need Chemotherapy to fight the cancer they found.  They will have to do radiation, however, which will be much better for him.
 
Lenora Kas 91, mother of Pat Lodensteins’s is under the care of Hospice.  Please pray for Lenora and her family as she goes through this hard time, may God give her comfort and healing.
 

Joan Riksen’s Daughter, Renee Gorman had a mastectomy on Jan 12th.  The surgery was successful!  Please pray for ongoing healing for her and that she wouldn’t need any more treatment for this cancer. 

 
Louise Allen, sister of Carol Boverhof, continues to battle cancer.
 
The liver cancer that June Krug has received a great report that her cancer is gone!!  We praise God for His healing work in her life!
 
Howard Lodenstein is home!  Please continue to pray for Howard and Jo as he does therapy to regain his strength.


Prayer for many of those who are dealing with COVID-19, whether personally or in extended families at this moment.
 
Roger and Pat Modreske (friends of Florence Balfort) continue to recover from a car accident.
 
Sunday Morning Worship (9:30 AM):
This Sunday, Pastor Jon will be preaching from James 5:13-20 as we begin to lay the groundwork for HCC’s new Vision:” Boldly Bringing the Good News of Jesus Christ to the community of Hopkins through expectant prayer, effective evangelism, and radical obedience to the Holy Spirit.  The message is entitled “Vision in Action: Effective Prayer“.
 
The Community Room (multipurpose room) will be open and available for use during worship by those desiring to follow CDC physical distancing and masking guidelines.  Everyone is welcome in this room (regardless of wristband color choice); we ask that all those who choose to be there respect the guidelines laid out.  A screen, projecting the service, as well, as speakers will be set up to allow those that choose to use this room to participate fully in the worship service in a physically distanced and safe space.  An alternative entrance is available for those with health concerns; you may also enter through the front doors and foyer area.
 
For those that would prefer to remain in their vehicles, we welcome you to tune your radio to 97.3 FM.
 
We will continue to Livestream our worship services for those unable to make it or uncomfortable gathering in large groups.
You can join us live on Youtube here:
Please subscribe to the channel for future updates!
 
You can also join us live on Facebook here:
 
Please remember to evaluate your own health and that of your family for the consideration of our whole church family.
 
Have a blessed weekend  

PASTORS

Jonathon VanderWall (Lead Pastor)

Jim Harrison (Prayer, Discipleship, Leadership Development)

ELDERS

Dick Boverhof (District 4: M-R) – Vice President

 Sally Burgess (District 3: I-L)

 Curt Leep (District 2: F-H)

 Dan Kisner (District 1: A-E) – Clerk

 Kyle Hoffmaster (District 5: S-Z)

DEACONS

Troy Clement (District 2: F-H) – Head of Deacons

Joel Eding (District 3: I-L)

Rich Huizinga (District 4: M-R) – Executive Team

Mike Maule (District 5: S-Z)

Tyler VanderSyde (District 1: A-E)

Eric Porter (District 3: I-L)

ADMINISTRATIVE & SUPPORT STAFF

Kathy Westendorp (Office Administrator)

Lisa Harms (Cleaning & Custodial)

Kevin Dewey (Facilities Management)

VOLUNTEER LEADERS

Rachael Dewey (GEMS)

Bill Hennip (Cadets)

Carrie Mulder (Children’s Discipleship, 3 yrs – 5th Grade)

Cindy Kukor (Youth Discipleship, 6th – 12 Grade)

Cindy Lowman (Walk-out Worship)

Carol Boverhof (Hospitality)

Dan Kisner (Security)



HCC Informer: 1/28/2021

Good Morning HCC!

 
Coming to you with information regarding the ministry life of Hopkins Community Church!

As Hopkins Community Church continues to seek ways to extend and offer discipleship opportunities to our partners in ministry here, we are taking a look at Discipleship Hour and the possibilities surrounding it currently.  We recognize that this is a very multi-faceted discussion, particularly in this ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic.  We are also considering what this looks like in light of our Mission and Vision and how we can best equip and empower people and families here at HCC.  We are committed to Lifelong Growth and discipleship for all ages and want to offer options and opportunities that will best fit our community of faith!

This information will be used to gauge the church’s feelings on this matter and determine if a viable option can be created and support this.  

At this time this is an information stage only.  We understand that there are concerns with these types of decisions and there are families that can view this topic very differently.  This Survey is intended to see where we are at and determine what options we can perused and supported with the resources we have.

You can use the following link to take this short survey:

 https://www.hopkinscommunitychurch.net/discipleship-hour/

Please remember that we have a number of different giving options for you whether in person, via mail, ACH, and also online.  You can check them out at:
We are continually grateful for your ongoing generosity and support and encourage your continued commitment to God through faithful tithing and giving.
 
Discipleship Opportunities:
Thursday Evening Discipleship Group: EXPECTANCY: Learning to grow, pray, and operate in the power of the Holy Spirit.
We will be AT CHURCH from 7:00 – 8:30 PM.  No prior participation required!  You can also join the meeting via ZOOM using the following link:
…or by using the following meeting ID and password:
Meeting ID: 823 8607 1626
Password: HCRC1237
 
People of the Book (Sunday evening Bible study) will now be meeting after church on Sunday mornings from 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM.  
 
Community Engagement:
Our next Blood Drive will be on March 9, 2021 (please note the date change).  More information will be posted when it is available.  We will be hosting a blood drive at church every 8 weeks during 2021!
 
Prayer Updates:
Lauren Wolffis, a friend of Kristin VanderSyde, was just diagnosed with breast cancer.  She is 26 years old and is looking at a mastectomy, chemo, and radiation in the very near future.  Please hold her up in prayer that God would do a great work of healing in her life.
 
Mike Stearns, had another successful eye surgery at U of M. Please pray for peace for Mike as he continues to recover.
 
Mitch Punches, a member of the Hopkins Community, will be coming home on Friday (tomorrow)! God has truly worked a great miracle in bringing him through the last week and we continue to pray for His work in Mitch’s recovery.
 
Amanda Weber’s uncle, John, was diagnosed with cancer this week.  Please pray for God’s healing hand on his life and for wisdom for the doctors as they determine courses of treatment in the coming days.
 
Lenora Kas 91, mother of Pat Lodensteins’s is under the care of Hospice.  Please pray for Lenora and her family as she goes through this hard time, may God give her comfort and healing.
 

Joan Riksen’s Daughter, Renee Gorman had a mastectomy on Jan 12th.  The surgery was successful!  Please pray for ongoing healing for her and that she wouldn’t need any more treatment for this cancer. 

 
Louise Allen, sister of Carol Boverhof, continues to battle cancer.
 
The liver cancer that June Krug continues to battle liver and lung cancer.  Please pray with us that the chemo is effective and the side effects are mild. She remains at home in strict quarantine.
 
Howard Lodenstein is home!  Please continue to pray for Howard and Jo as he does therapy to regain his strength.


Prayer for many of those who are dealing with COVID-19, whether personally or in extended families at this moment.  Pray for the hospitals and medical personnel that are dealing with so much sickness right now.
 
Roger and Pat Modreske (friends of Florence Balfort) continue to recover from a car accident.  Roger is on his way to a full recovery.  Pat, however, is in a critical care facility in Grand Rapids as they continue to try to save her leg.  She remains in good spirits.
 
Sunday Morning Worship (9:30 AM):
This Sunday, Pastor Jon will be preaching from Acts 2:42-47; Matthew 6:5-15;  1 Timothy 2:1-4; James 5:13-20, and a variety of other Scripture passages as unpack HCC’s new Vision:” Boldly Bringing the Good News of Jesus Christ to the community of Hopkins through expectant prayer, effective evangelism, and radical obedience to the Holy Spirit.  The message is entitled “It All Begins with Prayer“.
 
The Community Room (multipurpose room) will be open and available for use during worship by those desiring to follow CDC physical distancing and masking guidelines.  Everyone is welcome in this room (regardless of wristband color choice); we ask that all those who choose to be there respect the guidelines laid out.  A screen, projecting the service, as well, as speakers will be set up to allow those that choose to use this room to participate fully in the worship service in a physically distanced and safe space.  An alternative entrance is available for those with health concerns; you may also enter through the front doors and foyer area.
 
For those that would prefer to remain in their vehicles, we welcome you to tune your radio to 97.3 FM.
 
We will continue to Livestream our worship services for those unable to make it or uncomfortable gathering in large groups.
You can join us live on Youtube here:
Please subscribe to the channel for future updates!
 
You can also join us live on Facebook here:
 
Please remember to evaluate your own health and that of your family for the consideration of our whole church family.
 
Have a blessed weekend  

PASTORS

Jonathon VanderWall (Lead Pastor)

Jim Harrison (Prayer, Discipleship, Leadership Development)

ELDERS

Dick Boverhof (District 4: M-R) – Vice President

 Sally Burgess (District 3: I-L)

 Curt Leep (District 2: F-H)

 Dan Kisner (District 1: A-E) – Clerk

 Kyle Hoffmaster (District 5: S-Z)

DEACONS

Troy Clement (District 2: F-H) – Head of Deacons

Joel Eding (District 3: I-L)

Rich Huizinga (District 4: M-R) – Executive Team

Mike Maule (District 5: S-Z)

Tyler VanderSyde (District 1: A-E)

Eric Porter (District 3: I-L)

ADMINISTRATIVE & SUPPORT STAFF

Kathy Westendorp (Office Administrator)

Lisa Harms (Cleaning & Custodial)

Kevin Dewey (Facilities Management)

VOLUNTEER LEADERS

Rachael Dewey (GEMS)

Bill Hennip (Cadets)

Carrie Mulder (Children’s Discipleship, 3 yrs – 5th Grade)

Cindy Kukor (Youth Discipleship, 6th – 12 Grade)

Cindy Lowman (Walk-out Worship)

Carol Boverhof (Hospitality)

Dan Kisner (Security)



HCC Informer: 1/20/2021

Good Morning HCC!

 
Included in this Informer post is information on SMALL GROUPS (launching January 24) and other Discipleship opportunities, Community Engagement, Prayer updates, and our Sunday morning worship service.
 
On Sunday, January 24 at 4 PM we will be launching a new round of SMALL GROUPS!  The Covid pandemic really cut us off early last year and so we are reorganizing and relaunching small groups using ROOTED as our primary small group material as well as the next step of NEW ROOTED material, Life in Rhythm, for those who have already been through the original stuff!  There is something for everyone in these groups!  Get ready to experience God’s transformative work in your life!  Sign up at:
 
TODAY IS THE LAST DAY TO SIGN UP FOR SMALL GROUPS!
 
Please remember that we have a number of different giving options for you whether in person, via mail, ACH, and also online.  You can check them out at:
We are continually grateful for your ongoing generosity and support and encourage your continued commitment to God through faithful tithing and giving.
 

Discipleship Opportunities:

Thursday Evening Discipleship Group: EXPECTANCY: Learning to grow, pray, and operate in the power of the Holy Spirit.
We will be AT CHURCH from 7:00 – 8:30 PM.  No prior participation required!  You can also join the meeting via ZOOM using the following link:
…or by using the following meeting ID and password:
Meeting ID: 823 8607 1626
Password: HCRC1237
 
People of the Book (Sunday evening Bible study) will now be meeting after church on Sunday mornings from 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM.  
 

Community Engagement:

Our next Blood Drive will be on March 9, 2021 (please note the date change).  More information will be posted when it is available.  We will be hosting a blood drive at church every 8 weeks during 2021!
 

Prayer Updates:

Lauren Wolffis, a friend of Kristin VanderSyde, was just diagnosed with breast cancer.  She is 26 years old and is looking at a mastectomy, chemo, and radiation in the very near future.  Please hold her up in prayer that God would do a great work of healing in her life.
 
Mike Stearns, had another successful eye surgery at U of M on Friday. Please pray for peace for Mike as his recovery involves laying on his stomach for 7 days getting up 15 minutes out of the hour; it is really hard on him.  
 
Mitch Punches, a member of the Hopkins Community, is now at Mary Freebed for ongoing therapy and recovery!  God has truly worked a great miracle in bringing him through the last week and we continue to pray for His work in Mitch’s recovery.
 
Amanda Weber’s uncle, John, was diagnosed with cancer this week.  Please pray for God’s healing hand on his life and for wisdom for the doctors as they determine courses of treatment in the coming days.
 
Lenora Kas 91, mother of Pat Lodensteins’s is under the care of Hospice.  Please pray for Lenora and her family as she goes through this hard time, may God give her comfort and healing.
 
Joan Riksen’s Daughter, Renee Gorman had a mastectomy on Jan 12th.  The surgery was successful!  Please pray for ongoing healing for her and that she wouldn’t need any more treatment for this cancer. 
 
Louise Allen, sister of Carol Boverhof, continues to battle cancer.
 
The liver cancer that June Krug continues to battle liver and lung cancer.  Please pray with us that the chemo is effective and the side effects are mild. She remains at home in strict quarantine.
 
Howard Lodenstein is home!  Please continue to pray for Howard and Jo as he does therapy to regain his strength.
Prayer for many of those who are dealing with COVID-19, whether personally or in extended families at this moment.  Pray for the hospitals and medical personnel that are dealing with so much sickness right now.
 
Roger and Pat Modreske (friends of Florence Balfort) continue to recover from a car accident.  Roger is on his way to a full recovery.  Pat, however, is in a critical care facility in Grand Rapids as they continue to try to save her leg.  She remains in good spirits.
 

Sunday Morning Worship (9:30 AM):

This Sunday, Pastor Jon will be preaching from Matthew 9:35-38; 29:18-20; Acts 1:8, and a variety of other Scripture passages as we begin to lay the groundwork for HCC’s new Vision:” Boldly Bringing the Good News of Jesus Christ to the community of Hopkins through expectant prayer, effective evangelism, and radical obedience to the Holy Spirit.  The message is entitled “A God-Sized Dream“.
 
The Community Room (multipurpose room) will be open and available for use during worship by those desiring to follow CDC physical distancing and masking guidelines.  Everyone is welcome in this room (regardless of wristband color choice); we ask that all those who choose to be there respect the guidelines laid out.  A screen, projecting the service, as well, as speakers will be set up to allow those that choose to use this room to participate fully in the worship service in a physically distanced and safe space.  An alternative entrance is available for those with health concerns; you may also enter through the front doors and foyer area.
 
For those that would prefer to remain in their vehicles, we welcome you to tune your radio to 97.3 FM.
 
We will continue to Livestream our worship services for those unable to make it or uncomfortable gathering in large groups.
You can join us live on Youtube here:
Please subscribe to the channel for future updates!
 
You can also join us live on Facebook here:
 
Please remember to evaluate your own health and that of your family for the consideration of our whole church family.
 
Have a blessed weekend  

PASTORS

Jonathon VanderWall (Lead Pastor)

Jim Harrison (Prayer, Discipleship, Leadership Development)

ELDERS

Dick Boverhof (District 4: M-R) – Vice President

 Sally Burgess (District 3: I-L)

 Curt Leep (District 2: F-H)

 Dan Kisner (District 1: A-E) – Clerk

 Kyle Hoffmaster (District 5: S-Z)

DEACONS

Troy Clement (District 2: F-H) – Head of Deacons

Joel Eding (District 3: I-L)

Rich Huizinga (District 4: M-R) – Executive Team

Mike Maule (District 5: S-Z)

Tyler VanderSyde (District 1: A-E)

Eric Porter (District 3: I-L)

ADMINISTRATIVE & SUPPORT STAFF

Kathy Westendorp (Office Administrator)

Lisa Harms (Cleaning & Custodial)

Kevin Dewey (Facilities Management)

VOLUNTEER LEADERS

Rachael Dewey (GEMS)

Bill Hennip (Cadets)

Carrie Mulder (Children’s Discipleship, 3 yrs – 5th Grade)

Cindy Kukor (Youth Discipleship, 6th – 12 Grade)

Cindy Lowman (Walk-out Worship)

Carol Boverhof (Hospitality)

Dan Kisner (Security)



HCC Informer: 1/7/2021

Good Afternoon HCC!

Included in this Informer email are information on SMALL GROUPS (launching January 24) and other Discipleship opportunities, Community Engagement, Prayer updates, and our Sunday morning worship service.
 
On Sunday, January 24 we will be launching a new round of SMALL GROUPS!  The Covid pandemic really cut us off early last year and so we are reorganizing and relaunching small groups using ROOTED as our primary small group material as well as the next step of NEW ROOTED material, Life in Rhythm, for those who have already been through the original stuff!  There is something for everyone in these groups!  Get ready to experience God’s transformative work in your life!  Sign up at:
 
Please remember that we have a number of different giving options for you whether in person, via mail, ACH, and also online.  You can check them out at:
We are continually grateful for your ongoing generosity and support and encourage your continued commitment to God through faithful tithing and giving.
 
Discipleship Opportunities:
Thursday Evening Discipleship Group: 
EXPECTANCY: Learning to grow, pray, and operate in the power of the Holy Spirit.
We will be AT CHURCH from 7:00 – 8:30 PM.  No prior participation required!  You can also join the meeting via ZOOM.  If you would like the ZOOM link, please contact Pastor Jon via text or Facebook.
 
People of the Book (Sunday evening Bible study) will now be meeting after church on Sunday mornings from 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM.  
 
Community Engagement:
Our next Blood Drive will be on February 2, 2021.  More information will be posted when it is available.  We will be hosting a blood drive at church every 8 weeks during 2021!
 
Prayer Updates:
Mitch Punches, a member of the Hopkins Community, was involved in a head-on collision and is in the hospital fighting for his life after receiving critical injuries in several parts of his body.  Please pray for God to work a miracle in Mitch’s life leading to his full healing.
 
Amanda Sal’s uncle, John, was diagnosed with cancer this week.  Please pray for God’s healing hand on his life and for wisdom for the doctors as they determine courses of treatment in the coming days.
 
This weekend we will be hosting the God Dreams Vision Retreat for the search team and members of the consistory.  Please pray for God to give us wisdom and discernment as we consider together God’s Vision for HCC over the next several years!
 
The Consistory will meet for the first time in 2021 on January 18.  Please pray for wisdom and clarity as we prayerfully consider our direction as we move forward as a church!
 
Braden Wamhoff fell on the ice and broke his arm.  Please pray for full healing for him!
 
Lenora Kas 91, mother of Pat Lodensteins’s is under the care of Hospice.  Please pray for Lenora and her family as she goes through this hard time, may God give her comfort and healing.
 

Joan Riksen’s Daughter, Renee Gorman has been diagnosed with breast cancer and will be having a mastectomy on Jan 12th.

Joan Riksen has a good friend, Carolyn Schafer, that has an open sore on her leg that will not heal, please pray that God will lay His healing hands on her leg and heal it. Carolyn also has family members that are suffering from the Covid-19 and other severe illnesses,  please keep this whole family in your prayers. 

 
Esther White (grandmother of Liz Antvelink) is improving.
 
Louise Allen, sister of Carol Boverhof, continues to battle cancer.
 
The liver cancer that June Krug continues to battle liver and lung cancer.  Please pray with us that the chemo is effective and the side effects are mild. She remains at home in strict quarantine.
 
Howard Lodenstein is home!  Please continue to pray for Howard and Jo as he needs to continue to regain his strength.
Prayer for many of those who are dealing with COVID-19, whether personally or in extended families at this moment.  Pray for the hospitals and medical personnel that are dealing with so much sickness right now.
 
Roger and Pat Modreske (friends of Florence Balfort) continue to recover from a car accident.  Roger is on his way to a full recovery.  Pat, however, is in a critical care facility in Grand Rapids as they continue to try to save her leg.  She remains in good spirits.
 
We continue to hold up Donna Kerber and her family, the Maher family, the Paffhouse family, the Kerber family, the Wamhoff family, the Robyler family, and the Kitler and VanderSyde family as they continue to mourn recent losses in their families.
 
Sunday Morning Worship (9:30 AM):
We will return to in-person worship and Pastor Jim will be preaching this Sunday from Luke 9:1-6, 10 and 2 Timothy 2:2 in a message called “Making Disciples Jesus’ Way“.
 
The Community Room (multipurpose room) will be open and available for use during worship by those desiring to follow CDC physical distancing and masking guidelines.  Everyone is welcome in this room (regardless of wristband color choice); we ask that all those who choose to be there respect the guidelines laid out.  A screen, projecting the service, as well, as speakers will be set up to allow those that choose to use this room to participate fully in the worship service in a physically distanced and safe space.  An alternative entrance is available for those with health concerns; you may also enter through the front doors and foyer area.
 
For those that would prefer to remain in their vehicles, we welcome you to tune your radio to 97.3 FM.
 
We will continue to Livestream our worship services for those unable to make it or uncomfortable gathering in large groups.
You can join us live on Youtube here:
Please subscribe to the channel for future updates!
 
You can also join us live on Facebook here:
 
Please remember to evaluate your own health and that of your family for the consideration of our whole church family.
 
Have a blessed weekend  

PASTORS

Jonathon VanderWall (Lead Pastor)

Jim Harrison (Prayer, Discipleship, Leadership Development)

ELDERS

Dick Boverhof (District 4: M-R) – Vice President

 Sally Burgess (District 3: I-L)

 Curt Leep (District 2: F-H)

 Dan Kisner (District 1: A-E) – Clerk

 Kyle Hoffmaster (District 5: S-Z)

DEACONS

Troy Clement (District 2: F-H) – Head of Deacons

Joel Eding (District 3: I-L)

Rich Huizinga (District 4: M-R) – Executive Team

Mike Maule (District 5: S-Z)

Tyler VanderSyde (District 1: A-E)

Eric Porter (District 3: I-L)

ADMINISTRATIVE & SUPPORT STAFF

Kathy Westendorp (Office Administrator)

Lisa Harms (Cleaning & Custodial)

Kevin Dewey (Facilities Management)

VOLUNTEER LEADERS

Rachael Dewey (GEMS)

Bill Hennip (Cadets)

Carrie Mulder (Children’s Discipleship, 3 yrs – 5th Grade)

Cindy Kukor (Youth Discipleship, 6th – 12 Grade)

Cindy Lowman (Walk-out Worship)

Carol Boverhof (Hospitality)

Dan Kisner (Security)



Thanksgiving Like No Other

Scripture: Psalm 34:1-10

Of David. When he pretended to be insane before Abimelek, who drove him away, and he left.

I will extol the Lord at all times;
    his praise will always be on my lips.
I will glory in the Lord;
    let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
Glorify the Lord with me;
    let us exalt his name together.

I sought the Lord, and he answered me;
    he delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant;
    their faces are never covered with shame.
This poor man called, and the Lord heard him;
    he saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him,
    and he delivers them.

Taste and see that the Lord is good;
blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
Fear the Lord, you his holy people,
for those who fear him lack nothing.
10 The lions may grow weak and hungry,
but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.

Meditation

As we prepare for the celebration of Thanksgiving, it is no secret that we are supposed to be thinking about things that we are thankful for.  We are reminded of pilgrims who had nothing, barely surviving their first year in North America, and celebrating a “feast” that would likely appear meager to us by today’s standards.  Many will ask around the table this Thanksgiving holiday, what we are thankful for and will, undoubtedly, struggle to find answers.
 
2020 has been a rough year.  It is likely that your Thanksgiving celebration will look like no other you have experienced in your life.  It may be lacking people or comfort, depending on where you find yourself.  There is much that would take our focus off of the many blessings we experience daily as both the People of God in Christ and as citizens of the United States of America.
 
As I reflect on this Psalm, the title line is telling.  David is “extolling the Lord” despite the fact that he has just survived an encounter with an enemy king by pretending to be insane.  He is the Lord’s anointed King of Israel and yet he was humbled to the point of feigning insanity, drooling on himself amongst other things, in order that he might get away from an enemy’s clutches.
 
Yet, reflecting on this later, David praises the Lord.  He could have been dismayed at the humility he felt, acting like a fool in front of royalty.  What he recognizes, though, is God’s work of protection and deliverance that has taken place.  Truly God’s faithfulness was on display here.
 
It would truly be easy for us to focus on the negative this year.  Less family, more restrictions, pandemic, and politics.  There is so much that could be said.  David chose to glorify the Lord despite his constant trials, and what we see… what he sees time and again is God’s continued faithfulness.  As he writes, “those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.”
 
I wonder what this looks like for us in our current situation?  When we choose to look for the good things that the Lord is doing rather than at the difficulties of our situation, perhaps we will gain a new perspective, not just on our current situation and the things for which we have and give thanks, but also on what the Lord is preparing us for as we continue to move forward in Him.

Prayer

Omnipotent and eternal God, you watch over your children, with your tender and loving care. I thank you this day for your mercy and grace. I am grateful for your healing power, and for the abundant blessings, you have given me. But most of all, I am thankful for the promise of salvation, given through your Son, our Lord. Through him, when all is completed, there will be no more sickness or pain. I pray in his name. Amen.  (written by David Bennett)


State of the church (Part 7 of 7): Mission Framework

This post is part of a six-part series. Links to other posts can be found below:

State of the church (Part 7 of 7): Mission Framework

 

Hopkins Community Church MISSION

Hopkins Community Church exists to connect people to Christ and Community

 

Hopkins Community Church VALUES

Absolute Truth

We affirm the supremacy of Christ, the centrality of the Gospel, and the absolute truth of scripture.

Living out our value of Absolute Truth is demonstrated by:

  • Endeavoring to glorify Christ in all we say and do;
  • Ensuring that all of our ministries, programs, and events are centered and rooted in Christ;
  • Upholding scripture as the sole source of absolute truth.

Holy Spirit Power

As individuals and as a church, we have a growing desire to be led by the Holy Spirit, and to experience the power of the Holy Spirit.

Living out our value of Holy Spirit Power is demonstrated by:

  • An ever-increasing desire to more deeply experience the power of the Holy Spirit;
  • Equipping people to grow in their ability to recognize and follow the Spirit’s leading;
  • Equipping people to grow in praying in accordance with the Holy Spirit’s leading.

Lifelong Growth

We are committed to cherishing and enfolding children and youth, and to discipling people of all ages, so that all might experience an increasingly full life in Christ.

Living out our value of Lifelong Growth is demonstrated by:

  • Making sure that every young person feels welcomed, valued, and able to connect with others;
  • Teaching and modeling for children and youth what a vibrant, healthy life in Christ entails;
  • Equipping, encouraging, and praying for all who connect with Hopkins Community Church.

Connecting in Community

We are a welcoming, accepting, compassionate church that strives for deep connection with Christ, with one another, and with the greater Hopkins community.

Living out our value of Connecting in Community is demonstrated by:

  • Embracing our call to be ambassadors for Christ by sharing Christ’s love with words and actions.
  • Warmly welcoming and enfolding all who enter our doors;
  • Being active participants in, and contributors to, the greater Hopkins community.

 

Hopkins Community Church STRATEGY

Worship

          Every person regularly participating in Spirit-filled worship of God

Grow

          Every person growing deeper in their relationship with Jesus Christ

Serve

Every person using their Spiritual Gifts to build the church both inside and out

Hopkins Community Church MEASURES

Our measures tie to our values and reflect mission attainment:

Absolute Truth

I am firmly rooted and centered in Christ, above all else.

Scripture informs my faith and deeply influences how I live my life.

 

Holy Spirit Power

Prayer is a high priority, and in times of prayer, I feel closely connected to God.

I am increasingly tuned in to the Holy Spirit’s leading and am obedient to follow.

I have a solid grasp of my spiritual gifts and am actively using my gifts.

 

Lifelong Growth

Compared to a year ago, my faith has deepened and my fears have lessened.

I seek opportunities to study God’s Word and grow deeper in my relationship with God.

I seek opportunities to share my testimony of how I came to faith in Christ.

I seek opportunities to share with others what God is doing in my life now.

 

Connecting in Community

I actively seek opportunities to share the Gospel with people.

I actively serve in our church.

I seek opportunities to serve the broader Hopkins community.

I am generous with my time, talent, and treasure. 

 
Check out our Giving Options:  http://www.hopkinscommunitychurch.net/giving