February 26, 2021

1.  Welcome Superintendent Pam this Weekend – This weekend at North we will have the opportunity to hear from our Conference Superintendent Pam Braman.  Superintendent Pam is a wonderful leader and a terrific preacher and is leading our conference of Free Methodist churches on to great things.  We’re really glad she is going to be with us this weekend and encourage you to come out to meet and hear from her, or to be sure to catch the service online (live on Sunday at 9:30 and available on our Facebook and Website pages after that).  Welcome Superintendent Pam!

2.  Be Blessed By Reading the Scriptures – We are currently in a sermon series about following Jesus, based on passages from the gospel of Mark.  This week the passage will be from Mark, chapter 6.  Take some time to read through the first six chapters of Mark if you haven’t done so recently – it will help you to be prepared to hear from God this weekend.

3.  Fasting and Prayer For Lent Lent began on 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. It’s not too late to join other Northgaters in 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 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 and the Field Superintendents working with her.  They will be between 3-5 minutes in length and will cover a variety of topics.  

4.  Arbor House Is Holding In-Person ServicesArbor 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!

5.  Pastor Daniel’s New Thursday Night OpportunityPastor Daniel has started a new group for Middle and High School students.  The group meets 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.  

Pastor Daniel is also holding an evening meeting (7pm) at South Campus which is reading 8 classic books by C.S. Lewis.  This is open to everybody and you can sign up for it on our website: northgatefmc.com, or just come out on Monday nights. For more information on any of this contact Pastor Daniel at daniel@northgatefmc.com.

6.  Virtual Connection CardsIf you’re new to Northgate, attending either online or in person, we’d love to have you fill out a virtual connection card.  You can find it in our Northgate App – click on “Connect Card.  If you don’t see it, you may need to update the App – we’ve recently made some changes to it.  Thank you!

7.  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!

8.  Bishop Linda’s Article on “Life-Giving Holiness” Bishop Linda has written a wonderful and in-depth article on one of our core beliefs as a Free Methodist church: entire sanctification, which is one way of talking about what it means to be holy.  In the article Bishop Linda describes holiness this way: “a radical transformation of heart and mind resulting in fully loving God and neighbor.”  Can you think of anything our world needs more right now than people who have been radically transformed and who fully love God and neighbor?  Bishop Linda’s article is well worth taking the time to read so that we can better understand exactly what God wants to do in and through us.  You can find it here: https://lightandlife.fm/life-giving-holiness/.

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.   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).  These groups will meet once a week to walk and pray together.  We hope to be able to offer groups in a variety of places and neighborhoods.  If you’d be interested in joining a prayer-walk group please let Pastor Marsha know by emailing her at marsha@northgatefmc.com.

Prayer-Walk Group Leaders Needed! – In order to offer as many groups as possible in as many locations as possible (see #7 above) we need leaders!  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. You can do this!  If you’re interested in giving it a go, please contact Pastor Marsha at marsha@northgatefmc.com to lead this simple and profound spiritual practice.

Right now we have prayer-walk leaders for Attica, Batavia, Northgate Prayer Walk, Mount Albion Cemetery, Strong Memorial Hospital and Cedar Street Park in Batavia.

We are looking for leaders for LeRoy, Batavia City Hall area, Oakfield, Elba, Bergen, Churchville, Corfu, Medina, or where you live!

You Can Count on This – Acts 9:18 – Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized. – (Read Acts 9:1-30)

The story of Saul’s (later known as “Paul”) conversion in Acts 9 is a powerful testimony to what God can do.  Here was a man whose mission in life was to track down and kill or at least imprison Christians.  Saul thought he was doing this as a God-ordained and holy act of rooting out and destroying what he believed to be a cult that was heretical and dangerous.  What Saul didn’t know was that instead of being a dangerous cult that was threatening his beloved Judaism, Christianity was the fulfillment of all God had been doing through Israel.  

But he was soon to find that out!  Because God chose to call Saul/Paul to turn away from arresting Christians and to become a follower of Jesus himself.  Jesus put Saul on a new path, first revealing himself to Saul as the Savior he needed and then giving Saul a mission to share the good news of Jesus with the world.  Saul became the greatest Christian missionary the world has ever known.  

So many things we could take from this account of Saul’s conversion.  One that we just can’t miss is that God is able to penetrate even the hardest heart.  No one is beyond his power to change.  Don’t give up praying for those who need Jesus, no matter how far beyond his grasp the person seems to be.  Jesus is able!

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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