Pastor Vern's Top Ten

1.  Bring Your Gently Used Shoes This Weekend  Northgate is participating in a shoe drive that will benefit people in developing countries as well as our local YWCA.  We will be collecting gently used shoes next weekend (March 20/21) which we will give to the YWCA, which will then donate them to an organization that will distribute them to people in developing countries who are escaping poverty through microenterprise (to learn more about this you can click on this link: F2OGroupWhyShoes.pdf.  The YWCA will receive a donation for their part in this.  So you can benefit multiple people by bringing your gently used shoes to either North or Arbor House this weekend!  Thank you in advance for your thoughtfulness!

2.  Also Coming Up – Food Distribution/Volunteers Will Be Needed  In April we may have the opportunity to be part of the Salvation Army/FoodLink food distribution for our area.  We are looking for volunteers to help with that.  The dates for the food distributions are April 14 and 28 and volunteers will need to come to the church around 1:30pm.  Thanks!

3.  April 1st: Flashlight Scavenger Hunt  This spring, we are putting a fun, new twist on the Easter egg hunt! Mark your calendars -- your kids won't want to miss this!  We will be sending out more information in the coming weeks with more details and a link to register! We can't wait to enjoy the Easter season with you and your kids! We are going to need volunteers for this event so if you would like to help out, please let Leah know via email leah@northgatefmc.com!

4.  Coming Soon: Pray Station – The Children’s ministry team is also planning a fun event at the church dedicated to the importance of spending time with God.  This will be built on stations, with each station taking your family deeper into what it means to talk to God. We hope this activity stimulates meaningful conversations about connecting with God and how kids can continue to do so on a regular basis.  More details will be coming out soon.

5.  Virtual Seder Opportunity through Arbor House On April 1st at 7pm, Arbor House will be co-hosting, with the Salvation Army, a virtual Seder. The Seder is a dinner/service that centers on the story of the Exodus and the Passover. We celebrate the Seder on Maundy Thursday, the Thursday before Easter, in remembrance of the Last Supper, when Jesus gathered with his disciples to celebrate the Passover. As we reflect on Israel’s freedom from slavery in Egypt we are also reminded of our freedom from sin because of Jesus’ death and resurrection.
 
Everyone is welcome to join us for the Seder. The Salvation Army is putting together a box of supplies for those who would like to participate, but you will need to sign up to receive one of these boxes. A sign-up will be available until the weekend of Palm Sunday, April 28th. The box of supplies will be available for pick up starting at 10am on April 1st. The virtual Seder will start at 7pm on the Northgate, Arbor House, and Salvation Army Facebook pages. Please register at northgatefmc.com If you have any questions, email Pastor Chris at chris@northgatefmc.com.

6.  Gift A Family an Easter Meal This Year  Rosalina is again organizing a distribution of bags with supplies to provide Easter meals for migrant families living in our area.  If you’d like to contribute to this act of generosity the cost of each bag is $30.00.  If you write a check, just indicate on the memo line that this is for “Easter bags.”  Thank you!

7.  International Child Care Sponsorships Will Be Available On Easter we will have a new group of Gahanda children available for sponsorship.  We’ve received some new profiles, to go with some that we have now, for a total of 37 sponsorships.  Many of you are already sponsoring children in Gahanda and it’s making a huge difference in their lives and the lives of their families and their community.  Thank you for what you are doing!  If others are interested in sponsoring a child there will be a table set up in our lobby where you can do that.  Sponsorships are $30 per month (but increasing to $38 per month in July).

8.  Pastor Marsha is Going to Senegal Please keep Pastor Marsha in prayer as she prepares for a trip to Senegal in Africa.  Marsha is going as a member of our Conference Ministerial Education and Guidance board, on the invitation of a group of pastors in Senegal who are interested in uniting with the Free Methodist Church.  Please prayer for her preparations for this trip which begins on April 17.  

9.  When Are the Easter Services This Year? On Easter, of course.  Sorry!  I couldn’t help it.  But seriously, we will celebrate Easter on Saturday April 3rd at 6pm and Sunday April 4th at 6:30am (our sunrise service) and 8, 9:30 and 11am at North.  Arbor House will hold their Easter service at 10am.  We hope to see you at one of these services but if you can’t make it there, we will livestream the 9:30 service and it will be available on Facebook and our Website after that.  We are definitely looking forward to celebrating the resurrection of Jesus with you!

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 11:24a – "He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith…” (Read Acts 11:1-30)

His name was Barnabas.  He is most likely the same man known as Joseph in Acts 4:36-37 who sells a field and gives the money to the church.  Perhaps it was generous acts like that that led the apostles to call him Barnabas, which means “son of encouragement.”  And if he is the same Barnabas that we read about in the rest of Acts, he is a really remarkable man.  It seems he is always willing to be an encourager, and to be content with not being in the highest position.  For example, when the apostles were skeptical of Paul’s conversion, Barnabas stood up for Paul.  When he recognized that the new Christians in Antioch needed to be taught more about the faith, Barnabas went and got Paul to come do that.   When Paul was sent to preach the gospel around Asia Minor, Barnabas went as well, although it was clear that Paul was the lead in that endeavor.  When Paul and Mark had a disagreement, Barnabas sought to be a peacemaker between them.

And here in Acts 11 we read that Barnabas was a “good man, full of the Holy Spirit.”  Reading on we learn that many people came to know the Lord through the life of Barnabas.  I’ve always thought that it would be enough if that could be said of me at the end of my life.  That I was a good man, filled with the Holy Spirit, and that people came to know Jesus through my life.  I won’t put myself on the same level as Barnabas – I know I don’t deserve that.  But I do hope that in some smaller way my legacy will resemble his.  To the praise and glory of Christ.

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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