2.11.21 Top Ten

February 11, 2021

1.  Communion at North This Weekend – Please be aware that this weekend (Saturday 2/13 & Sunday 2/14) we will be observing communion in our services at North.  If you will be meeting with us on-line you will want to have communion elements (bread and juice) available for our time of communion.

2.  Arbor House Reopens for In-Person Services – This Sunday Arbor House has returned to in-person worship services.  The service begins at 10am and meets at our South Campus building at 350 Bank St. in Batavia.  Arbor House offers a liturgical style worship service and all are welcome!

3.  Pastor Daniel’s New Thursday Night Opportunity – Pastor Daniel is starting a new group for Middle and High School students.  The group will meet virtually on Thursday nights at 7pm using Right Now Media.  For more information contact Pastor Daniel at daniel@northgatefmc.com.

Also Remember – Base is meeting on Wednesday nights.  There’s open gym at 5pm and the meeting starts at 6pm.  Ember (for young adults) meets on Wednesday morning at 9:15 at Pub Coffee.  Beginning on February 15 there will be an evening meeting (7pm) at South Campus and this group will be reading 8 classic books by C.S. Lewis.  This will be open to everybody and you can sign up for it on our website: northgatefmc.com.  From the home page go to “connect” – “groups” – “learn more” and click on the green “Lewis” icon next to “Unique groups”.  For more information on any of this contact Pastor Daniel at daniel@northgatefmc.com.

4.   Fasting and Prayer For Lent – Lent begins this Wednesday, February 17th and is a time of reflection and preparation to celebrate the glorious resurrection of Jesus, and our new life in Christ, at Easter. Northgate will again be fasting together, from Feb. 17 – April 4, to as a way of drawing closer to God and each other through this season. If you would like to participate with us in this ancient spiritual practice by abstaining from food for one day (or part of a day) each week, or from a particular food or activity for a day (or part), please email me (vern@northgatefmc.com) or Pastor Marsha (marsha@northgatefmc.com).  

Also let one of us know if you’d like to receive a link to a daily video prayer throughout Lent. These prayers will be led by Superintendent Pam Braman and the Field Superintendents working with her.  They will be between 3-5 minutes in length and will cover a variety of topics.  

And here are two online options to consider for Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent:

1) Arbor House, the Northgate congregation that worships at our South Campus, will share an Ash Wednesday meditation on their Facebook page starting at 11:00am. Tune in at 11 or watch later in the day, at your convenience. Contact Pastor Chris (chris@northgatefmc.com) if you want more information.

2) Seedbed, a Christian organization that shares our Wesleyan theological approach to faith and life, is hosting an Ash Wednesday service online from 6:00 to 8:00pm Eastern time. There are three options for viewing this live streamed event:

- Church Online Platform - https://newroom.online.church/
- YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1rBTQRXNXac
- New Room Website: newroomconference.com

5.  How Can We Pray For You? – The Northgate staff loves to pray for you – it’s an honor and a privilege.  We also have a Care Team that regularly prays for many people in our congregation.  Please help us know how we can pray by submitting your requests to one of the pastors, or through the Northgate APP, or by emailing (prayer@northgatefmc.com) or texting (585-204-0645).  Thank you!

6.  Soul Pain Revealed – The focus of Soul Pain Revealed, a book by Christian psychologist Dr. Julie Caton, is on “bridging the mental health landscape with the faith-based landscape” with the intention of helping people improve their mental health and lessen their suffering.  This past year a lot of us have found ourselves feeling more anxiety and depression and have had to deal with significant losses.  I am interested in knowing who might like to participate in an 8-week group where we’ll seek God’s help and guidance to improve our mental health and our souls.  If you’re interested, let me know and if we get enough we’ll figure out when/how to meet.  Contact me at vern@northgatefmc.com.

7.   Prayer-Walk Opportunities Coming Up – Looking forward to warmer weather and more time together, we will be starting several Northgate Prayer-Walk Groups the week following Easter (April 4). The concept is simple: To lead a prayer-walk group, set a starting time and place near where you live; let friends and neighbors know; then go for your walk. We suggest a 30-45-minute walk, once per week, for 6-8 weeks. Gather prayer requests ahead of time and/or on-the-spot. Group members can pray aloud or silently as you walk. Also allow time for fellowship and discussion. Sound refreshing? It is! To the body, mind and spirit. If you are willing to lead a prayer-walk group where you live, Northgate would like to give you a complimentary copy of the book, God Walk: Moving at the Speed of Your Soul by Mark Buchanan. Use the book as the basis for discussion and/or inspiration with your group. Contact Pastor Marsha at marsha@northgatefmc.com to lead this simple and profound spiritual practice.

8.  A Letter From Our Missionaries in Hungary – Dear friends at Northgate FMC,
We thank God for his provision and for your partnership in ministry!  We know that 2020 posed unprecedented challenges for everyone, and we want you to know that your faithful prayer and year-end giving made it possible for us to end the year in the clear.  We are moving on in expectation and hope in 2021, as co-laborers with Christ and you, seeking to cooperate with God’s Kingdom purposes.  The need is even greater in this critical time for the truth of God’s saving love to be made known.
The following two items are from the most recent Prayer Letters.  We invite you to praise God and pray with us!
- Zsuzsa (Set Free Movement in Hungary coordinator, assistant pastor of the Budapest church fellowship) shared the exciting news that a new member has joined the Set Free Movement in Hungary!  Szandra will help organize a Set Free team in Pécs, a city in southern Hungary.  She had already been involved infighting injustice, organizing the Walk for Freedom for several years in Pécs to raise awareness of the issue of human trafficking. She is also involved in preventive work in schools and children's homes is a part of our Set Free prayer team. Please pray for Szandra as she seeks God's guidance in her ministry going forward.

- Péter (lead pastor of the Budapest church fellowship) and Zsuzsa have begun a video series on evangelism and discipleship.  Pray for the Holy Spirit to speak into the hearts and lives of those who view the weekly videos, inspiring in them the desire to grow as disciples who can lead others to faith in Jesus, and for opportunities to build connections with them.

It is our privilege to pray for you as well, that God would bless, strengthen, and encourage you as you continue to serve.  May we all keep our eyes fixed on Jesus. In His love,
Katie and Larry Winckles

9.  Financial Peace University Classes Coming – New FPU groups will be starting soon.  An online group will begin on Sunday, February 28 at 6pm and an in-person group begins on Wednesday, March 3 at 6:30.  You can get more information and sign up for either of these from our website, northgatefmc.com.  Go to “connect” – “groups” – “learn more” and click on the Financial Peace icon.  

10.  Check Out the Northgate Kids Page on YouTube – Don’t forget to see what our Children’s Team is putting up on YouTube on the Northgate Kids page.

You Can Count on This – Acts 8:12 – But when they believed Philip as he proclaimed the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. (Read Acts 8:1-25)

This account of what happened in Samaria is a very interesting story!  Philip, a Christian leader, went to Samaria, a place Jews had previously avoided, but as a Christian Philip intentionally went there to proclaim the news about Jesus.  The people of that area had, the Bible says, been under the spell of a man named Simon.  He had tremendous influence over the people, but it was not an influence for God.  However, when Philip preached about Jesus, people recognized the truth and gave their lives to Christ.  In fact, even Simon gave his life to Christ!  

It's easy for any of us to fall “under the spell” of charismatic people.  Simon must have been very charismatic in order to have the power he had over people!  But praise God for the greater power of the gospel.  The gospel is the good news about Jesus Christ and His power to set us free from sin and to make us members of His kingdom.  That power is still at work in the world, setting people free from all kinds of things that keep them spellbound and trapped.  And we who know Jesus have the opportunity to spread that good news, just like Philip did.  Which means we have the opportunity to see people set free and brought into Jesus’ kingdom, and there is no greater experience than that.  May God help us to share the good news that Jesus is Savior, Lord and King!

When you’re not sure what you can count on in the world around you, know this: You can count on God keeping his word.  So read what God has to say in scripture!  And count on it.

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