Pastor Vern's Top Ten

1.  Good Friday Service – Next Friday (4/2) at 7pm our Arbor House pastoral team will be offering an in-person Good Friday service at 350 Bank St.  The community is invited to come and spend some time in reflection on the sacrifice Jesus made by going to the cross in order to pay for our sins.  For more information contact Pastor Chris at chris@northgatefmc.com.

2.  Thank You for Donating Your Shoes! – Thank you so much for donating your gently used shoes this past weekend.  We received over 300 pairs of shoes!  As always you stepped up as a church and demonstrated your generosity in a tangible way, and as a result microenterprises in developing nations and our local YWCA Domestic Violence program will benefit.  

3.  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!

4.  April 1st: Flashlight Scavenger Hunt – There is still time to sign up for this Kids event taking place next week.  The scavenger hunt begins at 5:30pm and is going to be a lot of fun.  You can sign up on our website, northgatefmc.com, and if you’d like to volunteer to help with this event please let Leah know at leah@northgatefmc.com!

5.  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.

6.  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.

7.  The Rummage Sale is Back This Year – Our Early Bird group is going to hold their rummage sale again this year, after having to miss last year due to COVID.  The proceeds from this rummage sale goes to support mission work and this year it is going to be held on May 7 and 8.  So start setting aside those items you’d like to donate and we’ll let you know when and how to bring them in for the sale.  Thanks!

8.  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).

9.  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.  

Also, Pastor Marsha is inviting you to help supply first aid materials to donate to Senegal:

First Aid Supplies for Senegal – Ever wish you could hop into someone's suitcase when they're going on a trip? Luggage restrictions won't allow Pastor Marsha to take us with her to Senegal in Western Africa, but she is taking a suitcase full of first aid supplies to distribute to the communities she visits, and you can add something to that! Marsha leaves April 17 as a member of our Conference Ministerial Education and Guidance board, on the invitation of a group of Senegalese pastors who are interested in uniting with the Free Methodist Church. Items she is collecting:
•Bandaids/bandages/dressings, etc.
•Antibiotic ointment (like Polysporin)
•Vitamins (adult/children – pills and liquid)
•Advil/Tylenol (generic is fine)
Please bring these items to the North Campus lobby by April 15, and please pray for Pastor Marsha and the collaborative team with whom she will be ministering.

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.

Right now we have these prayer walk opportunities lined up (actually one is a “prayer-run” opportunity!). These begin on April 6th.
•Tuesday (Batavia)
o5:30pm This is a Running Group – Arbor House (South Campus) with Doug Forsyth
•Every Other Wednesday (Rochester)
oEarly-mid morning (times vary) Jericho Walk at Strong Hospital with Mark Logan
•Every Wednesday (Batavia)
o6pm Northgate Prayer Walk (North Campus) with Suzy Jarrett and Louis Smith
•Thursday (Batavia)
o6pm DeWitt Recreation Area with Anthony Hoisington
•Thursday (Batavia)
o6pm Arbor House (South Campus) with Pastor Chris Landon
•Sunday (Albion)
o4:30pm Mount Albion Cemetery with Greg & Sherrie Staines
•Sunday (Bergen)
o6pm Hickory Park with Pastor Vern

You Can Count on This – Acts 12:14 – When she recognized Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed she ran back without opening it and exclaimed, “Peter is at the door!”  (Read Acts 12:1-25)

I can’t help but smile every time I read this verse.  It’s one of the most humorous things I read in the Bible!  Peter has been miraculously set free from jail and made his way to Mary’s house, and when he knocks on the door and the servant Rhoda comes to answer she is so overwhelmed she just leaves him there, outside, and turns back to tell the others who have been gathered together praying for Peter’s release from jail!  Meanwhile poor Peter is left outside the door and has to keep on knocking, no doubt hoping the jailers won’t catch up to him and take him back to jail!  Tell me that’s not humorous!

But on a more serious note, it’s a wonderful story of God’s provision for Peter.  God answers the prayers of the gathered church and sends an angel to get Peter out of jail.  They can hardly believe that God has indeed answered their prayers.  Why are we so often surprised by that?  Perhaps, as we pray more, and see more answers to prayer, we will become more accustomed to it, and instead of reacting with disbelief, we’ll react with pure gratitude every time we see an answer to prayer.  

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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