Cars and crafts—what a combination! Hope Community Church of Rockford will be hosting a unique event from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on October 1. Cars and Crafts for Hope is a benefit to raise funds and collect food for North Kent Community Services, who serves our neighbors in need every day, providing food, clothing and household goods, nutrition counseling and other services. The Craft Fair vendors will be displaying their wares inside the worship center, classic cars of all ages will be exhibited on the grounds, and the The Silver Spork (new to Rockford) will be offering food and beverages. If you are interested in being an exhibitor, please visit Hope’s website to download a craft vendor application, or crafters contact Maddie at (616) 285-4690 and car owners contact Michael at (616) 874-1553. Advance car registration is required because spaces are limited. Hope is located at 7000 Myers Lake Avenue NE, Rockford, a quarter mile north of Belding Road/M-44. For more information, visit Hope Community’s website at www.hoperockford.org or call (616) 874-4673.
Hope Community Church
Hope Community Church in Rockford will be celebrating a “Blue Christmas” worship on Thursday, Dec. 16 at 7 p.m. The “Blue Christmas” service is specially designed for those who are coping with loss or pain. It may be the first Christmas without a loved family member who has recently died, it may be filled with stress related to loss of employment or a broken relationship. The constant refrains on radio and television, in shopping malls and churches, about the happiness of the season and about getting together with family and friends reminds many people of what they have lost or what they are missing. The anguish of the death of a loved one can make us feel alone in the midst of everyone else celebrating. We need the space and time to acknowledge our sadness or emptiness; we need to know that we are not alone. We need encouragement to live the days ahead of us. When our hearts are heavy, hearing Christmas songs that describe “the most wonderful time of the year” rings a bit hollow. Instead we might feel we are living the lyrics of the 1957 hit “Blue Christmas” when Elvis Presley sings, “I’ll have a blue Christmas without you, I’ll be so blue just thinking about you.” Yet, even in the midst of this pain, there is the desire to somehow connect with God. We often feel afraid, angry, ashamed. That’s OK. God is there with us in our pain. Putting words to this season can often be difficult. But we do this together in our address to God. The “Blue Christmas” service is a bit quieter, with a couple of softer Advent and Christmas hymns, Scripture readings, special prayers and a time for all to light candles. The service is shorter than normal worship and, at Hope, does not include a sermon. If your heart is heavy or you wish to give the gift of encouraging presence to those that are, come join us for our special “Blue Christmas” worship service. For more information contact Hope Community Church, 7000 Myers Lake Ave. NE, Rockford, 1/4 mile north of Belding Road, or call (616) 874-4673, or visit www.hoperockford.org.
A very special Christmas concert is planned for Wednesday, Dec. 9, at 7:00 p.m. at Hope Community Church, 7000 Myers Lake Ave., Rockford. The Rockford High School Advanced Women’s Chorus will provide an hour of beautiful music to bring joy to your holiday celebration. This wonderful group often fills the Rockford Fine Arts Auditorium with the beautiful sounds of the season, but at Hope Community Church you will be able to hear them in a much more intimate setting. For more information, call Hope Community Church at (616) 874-4673 or visit www.hoperockford.org. • • •
Hope Community Church is celebrating the canine-human bond with a day of celebration on Sunday, Sept. 13, from 1 to 4 p.m. Over a dozen events are aimed at families with sociable dogs up-to-date on shots and on a leash held by an adult. Prizes and trophies valued over $150 will be awarded in the Pet Costume Contest and the Pet/Person Kinda-Look-Alike Contest. Enter to win a year’s supply of dog food provided by Chow Hound. This fundraiser for Hope Community Church’s build-a-parking-lot fund includes a need-not-be-present-to-win raffle for stunning pet items every half hour, nail trims, ear cleaning, brush-a-pet station, and homemade pet and people baked goods. Mackenzie’s Animal Sanctuary, Paws with a Cause, and the Humane Society of Kent County will be present with events and information. AKC will also provide information for pet parents. Pastor Scott will preside over the Blessing of the Dogs Ceremony, which will be offered several times during the event. Hyer Luv Kennel and Groomers is creating and coordinating this event with Hope Community Church members, Plainfield Pet Hospital, Wise Photography, Iams Corporation, Rockford Animal Hospital, Ada Hospital for Animals, Rogue Valley Vet Hospital, Ric’s and those businesses still coming on board to support the community and Hope Community Church.