Jan 3, 2021
Jeremiah 29:4-14 “Settle In”
Thoughts for Reflection: We all have high hopes for 2021, especially after the year that we’ve just had.  You don’t have to look far, however, to see that any immediate change for the better is still fairly far into the future.  Whether it is mutated strains of COVID-19, continuing political turmoil, the moral degradation of society, increased tensions in the Middle East, or the general darkness of the winter season, pinning our hopes on something worldly to go right is ultimately a fruitless endeavor. When the Kingdom of Judah was dragged into captivity, having lost any sense of “normal” for their lives, God spoke to them words of comfort and reassurance.  Even in the swirling chaos that they experienced, God was there and He was still actively working in and through His people.  Rather than sitting and waiting, protesting or resisting, God encourages His people to “settle down” and live as His people in a foreign and hostile land.  Perhaps it is time for the Church to do the same and recognize that even though our world has “changed”, we are still called to the same mission, serving the same unchanging God. Questions to take home:
  1. What is one thing that you’ve been holding on to this year hoping it would return to normal soon?  Do you think that holding on to this has been hindering you in any way?  How could you experience freedom in your life by giving it to God?
  2. How does thinking about our current life as the “new normal” change your perspective for how you think about the things going on around you?  How does your view of God’s work in and through you change?
  3. We, the church, are called to be “Christ’s Hands and Feet”, to minister and proclaim the Gospel in the context that we are in.  What do you think needs to change for us if we are to do this effectively?  What about for you?
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  • Jan 3, 2021Jeremiah 29:4-14 “Settle In”
    Jan 3, 2021
    Jeremiah 29:4-14 “Settle In”
    Thoughts for Reflection: We all have high hopes for 2021, especially after the year that we’ve just had.  You don’t have to look far, however, to see that any immediate change for the better is still fairly far into the future.  Whether it is mutated strains of COVID-19, continuing political turmoil, the moral degradation of society, increased tensions in the Middle East, or the general darkness of the winter season, pinning our hopes on something worldly to go right is ultimately a fruitless endeavor. When the Kingdom of Judah was dragged into captivity, having lost any sense of “normal” for their lives, God spoke to them words of comfort and reassurance.  Even in the swirling chaos that they experienced, God was there and He was still actively working in and through His people.  Rather than sitting and waiting, protesting or resisting, God encourages His people to “settle down” and live as His people in a foreign and hostile land.  Perhaps it is time for the Church to do the same and recognize that even though our world has “changed”, we are still called to the same mission, serving the same unchanging God. Questions to take home:
    1. What is one thing that you’ve been holding on to this year hoping it would return to normal soon?  Do you think that holding on to this has been hindering you in any way?  How could you experience freedom in your life by giving it to God?
    2. How does thinking about our current life as the “new normal” change your perspective for how you think about the things going on around you?  How does your view of God’s work in and through you change?
    3. We, the church, are called to be “Christ’s Hands and Feet”, to minister and proclaim the Gospel in the context that we are in.  What do you think needs to change for us if we are to do this effectively?  What about for you?
  • Dec 27, 2020Luke 2:41-52 “Christmas: Setting the Stage for Mission”
    Dec 27, 2020
    Luke 2:41-52 “Christmas: Setting the Stage for Mission”
    Message from December 27, 2020  
  • Nov 22, 2020Philippians 4:4-7; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Cultivating a Thankful Heart”
    Nov 22, 2020
    Philippians 4:4-7; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Cultivating a Thankful Heart”
  • Nov 15, 2020Psalm 16 “Trust and Contentment”
    Nov 15, 2020
    Psalm 16 “Trust and Contentment”
    Thoughts for Reflection:
    Time and again the Bible reminds us, even commands us to trust God in all things. Life, however, is full of daily challenges to this imperative. We find ourselves longing for things that have been, desiring a return to “normal”, and wanting what comfort we had back. Rather than looking for and delighting in what God has for us in the here and now, our focus is elsewhere and we find ourselves discontent with grumblings and complaints.
     
    The reality for us, though, is that our discontentedness betrays our mistrust of God. We see the bad things going on, whether it's a virus, the economy, the election, or something else going on in our lives, and we lose sight of God’s work in it. In a word, we doubt. Yet, contentment is directly connected to our confidence that God is who He says He is and that He can and will do what He says He will do; that He is in control. Contentment grows in proportion to trust. The more you trust God, the more content you become.
     
    Questions to take home:
    • What specific things have challenged your trust in God this year? Name them specifically and take time to pray and share them with God. Perhaps this needs to be a time or repentance and a renewing of your trust in Him. 
    • Discontentment is almost always accompanied by lies from the enemy.  Of the things you named in question #1, what lies are associated with them. Take some time to search Scripture for Truth to combat and replace those lies. Write down the lie, cross it out, and then write the TRUTH the opposite side of a card or piece of paper and carry it with you this week to remind you.
    • Contentment is found when you reach the place where you can say “Even when I cannot understand I will still trust God.” What can you do to develop a mindset to trust God for all you have and need, thus choosing Contentment, even if you do not understand?
     
  • Nov 8, 2020Philippians 3:1-14 “Where Our Confidence is Found”
    Nov 8, 2020
    Philippians 3:1-14 “Where Our Confidence is Found”
    Thoughts for Reflection: As we gather for worship this Sunday morning we may or may not actually know who the President of the United States is going to be for the next four years.  We may or may not agree with who got elected.  There may or may not be questions regarding the nature and veracity of the election in our minds.  This week began with a great deal of questions, none of which really seemed to be answered. Truthfully, though, for those who are following Jesus, not much should be changing from our perspective.  Our confidence doesn’t come from governments or political parties, from laws or even the constitution.  The goals and calling of Christ-followers doesn’t change based on election outcomes or the cultural climate.  We do not put our hope in human leaders or political promises of any sort.  Instead, our confidence is found in the shed blood of Jesus and in the empowered call that He has placed on our lives to follow Him and proclaim Him daily with our whole lives. Questions to take home:
    1. Take a moment to evaluate how you have been over the last week.  How have you felt the impacts of the election coverage?  Read Hebrews 13:8 and some of the surrounding verses.  What do you feel like the Spirit is saying to you here?  What are you going to do about it?
    2. 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 talk more about our Spiritual Armor (Ephesians 6:10-18).  How can you apply these verses to your life now and in moments of uncertainty?  What does it mean for you to “take every thought captive”?  How will you practice that this week?
    3. This year, and particularly the last month, has been tumultuous; anxiety and uncertainty have been a constant in the media and culture.  Take a few minutes to take stock of your own life?  Have there been places where you have given into fear?  Have you strayed in your devotional life?  Prayer life?  Generosity?  Loving attitude?  Witness for Christ?  What adjustments might you need to make to put Christ back at the center of your life again?
  • Nov 1, 2020Matthew 6:25-34 “Remember who I AM”
    Nov 1, 2020
    Matthew 6:25-34 “Remember who I AM”
    Thoughts for Reflection:
     
    So much is swirling around in our lives these days. As we move toward what many feel is the climax of 2020, with all of its angst and anxiety, it seems that the collective tension around us is getting worse and worse. With the near-constant drone of political ads, health advisories, natural disasters, and all of the fall-out of these things in our “normal” lives, the proverbial storm that we are experiencing is intense, persistent and, most of all, exhausting. Maybe you, like me, have even found yourself asking questions like “will we be ok?” and “where is God in all of this?”
     
    Anxiety about the world around us is certainly nothing new for humans. In Jesus’ time, the Jews faced the occupation of Rome and the new constant threat of political uprising and revolt. An event like that would have led to more extreme measures taken by the Romans, ultimately seen in the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 and the scattering of the Jewish people (not to mention the church). Jesus’ words to us today in Matthew speak into that cultural environment, reminding us about the TRUTH of God’s steadfast love and faithfulness in the midst of life’s storms.
     
    Questions to take home:
    • Read Isaiah 43:1-3. What strikes you about this passage? What are the fires and floods in your life right now? How does the truth of this passage impact how you go into this week?
    • Read Luke 8:22-25. We can feel a lot like the disciples in this passage. As the winds blow and the waves wash over our lives, how have you found yourself reacting? What in this passage convicts you?
    • Read Philippians 4:4-9. In the midst of all this chaos, how has your prayer life been? How does the promise in this passage assure you? How will you lean into this passage this week?
    • Read Hebrews 12:1-3. Today is Reformation Sunday, a day we remember the Protestant Reformation. Many struggled and even died to see a great reform in the Church. What does their witness and what they fought for teach us about the priorities in our lives? How does that encourage you?
  • Oct 11, 2020Colossians 3:12-17 “HCC Values: Connecting in Community
    Oct 11, 2020
    Colossians 3:12-17 “HCC Values: Connecting in Community
    Sunday Worship Service: October 11, 2020
    Scripture: Colossians 3:12-17
    Pastor Jon VanderWall Preaching
     
    Check out this week's bulletin:
     
    Thoughts for Reflection:
    We continue to unpack our Mission Framework. This is the “what,” “why,” and “how” of our God-given identity as a church. HCC exists to connect people to Christ and community. This mission statement, the “what” is driven by the key values, the “why,” that we uphold as a church. We are spending the next few weeks talking about these specific values: Absolute Truth, Holy Spirit Power, Lifelong Growth, and Connecting Community.
     
    Hopkins Community Church values 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. HCC lives out our value of Connecting in Community 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, and being active participants in, and contributors to, the greater Hopkins community.
     
    Questions to take home:
    • On a scale of 1 to 10, how true is this statement for you: “I actively seek opportunities to share the Gospel with people.”
    • On a scale of 1 to 10, how true is this statement for you: “I actively serve in our church.”
    • On a scale of 1 to 10, how true is this statement for you: “I seek opportunities to serve the broader Hopkins community.”
    • On a scale of 1 to 10, how true is this statement for you: “I am generous with my time, talent, and treasure.”
    • Prayerfully consider these questions and the results you have places. Are they where you hope they would be? How could you move toward improving these numbers in the coming month?
  • Oct 4, 2020Ephesians 4:1-16 “Values: Lifelong Growth”
    Oct 4, 2020
    Ephesians 4:1-16 “Values: Lifelong Growth”
    Thoughts for Reflection:
     
    We continue to unpack our Mission Framework. This is the “what,” “why,” and “how” of our God-given identity as a church. HCC exists to connect people to Christ and community. This mission statement, the “what” is driven by the key values, the “why,” that we uphold as a church. We are spending the next few weeks talking about these specific values: Absolute Truth, Holy Spirit Power, Lifelong Growth, and Connecting Community.
     
    Hopkins Community Church values 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. We live out our value of Lifelong Growth 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.
     
    Questions to take home:
    • On a scale of 1 to 10 how true is this statement for you: “Compared to a year ago, my faith has deepened and my fears have lessened.”
    • On a scale of 1 to 10 how true is this statement for you: “I seek opportunities to study God’s Word and grow deeper in my relationship with God.”
    • On a scale of 1 to 10 how true is this statement for you: “I seek opportunities to share my testimony of how I came to faith in Christ.”
    • On a scale of 1 to 10 how true is this statement for you: “I seek opportunities to share with others what God is doing in my life now.”
    • Prayerfully consider these questions and the results you have places. Are they where you hope they would be? How could you move toward improving these numbers in the coming month?
  • Sep 27, 2020Luke 10:1-15 “Values: Holy Spirit Power”
    Sep 27, 2020
    Luke 10:1-15 “Values: Holy Spirit Power”
    Thoughts for Reflection: We continue to unpack our Mission Framework. This is the “what,” “why,” and “how” of our God-given identity as a church. HCC exists to connect people to Christ and community. This mission statement, the “what” is driven by the key values, the “why,” that we uphold as a church. We are spending the next few weeks talking about these specific values: Absolute Truth, Holy Spirit Power, Lifelong Growth, and Connecting Community. Hopkins Community Church values 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. We live out our value of Holy Spirit Power by cultivating an ever-increasing desire to more deeply experience the power of the Holy Spirit, teaching people to grow in their ability to recognize and follow the Spirit’s movements, and equipping people to grow in praying in accordance with the Holy Spirit’s leading. Questions to take home: On a scale of 1 to 10, how true is this statement for you: “Prayer is a high priority, and in times of prayer I feel closely connected to God.” On a scale of 1 to 10, how true is this statement for you: “I am increasingly tuned in to the Holy Spirit’s leading, and am obedient to follow.” On a scale of 1 to 10, how true is this statement for you: “I have a solid grasp of my spiritual gifts and am actively using my gifts.” Prayerfully consider these questions and the results you have places. Are they where you hope they would be? How could you move toward improving these numbers in the coming month?
  • Sep 20, 20202 Timothy 3:10-17 “HCC Values: Absolute Truth”
    Sep 20, 2020
    2 Timothy 3:10-17 “HCC Values: Absolute Truth”
    Thoughts for Reflection: Last week the “Search Team” shared the mission framework of Hopkins Community Church, a framework of identity for us as a community of faith.  HCC exists to connect people to Christ and community.  This mission statement is driven by the key values that we uphold as a church.  We are spending the next few weeks talking about these specific values: Absolute Truth, Holy Spirit Power, Lifelong Growth, and Connecting Community. Hopkins Community Church values Absolute Truth.  We affirm the supremacy of Christ, the centrality of the Gospel, and the absolute truth of Scripture.  We live out our value of absolute Truth 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, and upholding Scripture as the sole source of absolute Truth. Questions to take home:
    1. On a scale of 1 to 10, how true is the following statement for you: “I am firmly rooted and centered in Christ, above all else.”?
    2. On a scale of 1 to 10, how true is the following statement for you: “Scripture informs my faith and deeply influences how I live my life.”?
    3. Prayerfully consider these questions and the results you have places.  Are they where you hope they would be?  How could you move toward improving these numbers in the coming month?
  • Sep 13, 2020Matthew 9:35-38 “Connecting People to Christ and Community”
    Sep 13, 2020
    Matthew 9:35-38 “Connecting People to Christ and Community”

    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. 
  • May 31, 2020Acts 1:3-11; Acts 2:1-41 “Pentecost”
    May 31, 2020
    Acts 1:3-11; Acts 2:1-41 “Pentecost”
  • May 24, 2020Hebrews 4:14-16 “How to Pray Boldly”
    May 24, 2020
    Hebrews 4:14-16 “How to Pray Boldly”
  • May 17, 2020Philippians 2:1-11 “Casting Your Cares”
    May 17, 2020
    Philippians 2:1-11 “Casting Your Cares”
  • May 10, 2020Deuteronomy 6:4-9 “The Purpose of Parents”
    May 10, 2020
    Deuteronomy 6:4-9 “The Purpose of Parents”