Pastor Vern's Top Ten

1. The Rummage Sale is Back This Year Tell your friends!  The rummage sale being organized by our Early Birds small group opens its doors this Friday (8am to 4pm) and Saturday (8am to Noon).  There’s a gym full of all kinds of items from clothing to books to furniture and sporting equipment.  And the prices are great!  All proceeds go to our Connected Community in Gahanda, Rwanda so encourage people to come out and find some needed items and some good bargains and promote a great cause in the process.  Thanks!  

2.  Men’s Group is Getting Started Again – The Mens Group is starting up again on Wednesday May 12 at 7pm.  Led by Mike Marsh this is a wonderful group of guys who help each other continue to grow as Christian men.  All men are invited to attend and the group meets at the North Campus.

3.  Pickleball at South Campus Beginning in May, Northgate is offering a community Pickleball League for both recreational and competitive players. The league is being designed with all age ranges and ability levels in mind to promote a fun but meaningful program. Northgate Pickleball will begin on May 12th at 3:00PM and 8:00PM and will take place at our South Campus. All equipment required will be provided and there is no fee for participation. League play will be established in June/July and will run throughout the year. If you have any questions or would like to assist in the construction of the program, please contact Pastor Daniel at daniel@northgatefmc.com.

4.  Mother and Child Paint Night Mothers of all ages are invited to bring their children of any age to our South Campus gym on Friday May 14 for Paint Night. Mandy from “The Art of Mandy” will be leading this and the fun starts at 6pm.  Space is limited so sign up by calling the office (343-4011) or going to our website (northgatefmc.com).

5.  Missions Meeting Coming Up The Missions Team is getting together again.  We’ll have a meeting on May 16 after the second service to discuss mission work in Hungary and Rwanda and to pray about future plans.  Anyone is welcome to attend, and we’ll meet at North in Room 2/3.  Blessings!

6. Elections for the Administrative Team/Summit Meeting The weekend of May 15 and 16 we’ll have a special worship service devoted to celebrating what God has been doing around Northgate.  This will serve as our annual meeting, which we call the Summit Meeting.  Also, members will be voting for our Administrative Team members that weekend.  Biographies for nominees can be found at http://northgatefmc.com/elections.  

7. Parents’ Event Leah (our Children’s Ministry Director) and Pastor John are planning a special night for parents on May 20 from 6-8pm.  This informative evening will feature three panelists discussing how to have a conversation with your children about sex, addressing shame, and talking about how to help our kids safely navigate the internet.  Sign-ups will be available on our website soon, and childcare will be provided for the evening.  For more information contact Leah at leah@northgatefmc.com.

8. An Update on the Mission Work in Hungary Our Free Methodist missionary in Hungary, Gerry McNamara, recently sent us an update about some of the work happening there.  We can praise God for how He is using them to spread the gospel!  The ministry is currently at work in four cities in Hungary and they hope to see a fifth location soon.  A European Worship Service was held on April 17 at which Gerry preached, and this summer the church in Gyor will hold a vacation Bible school at the state orphanage there.  Please keep the McNamaras and all of this in prayer, and if you want to interact with the McNamaras you can reach them at g.k.mcnamara@gmail.com.  

9. We Now Have an AED on Site Located next to the Volunteer/Security Office you’ll notice a white box.  Inside is an AED, an Automated External Defibrillator.  This device is used when someone experiences a sudden cardiac arrest.  The staff is going to be trained in the use of the AED and in CPR over the next few weeks.  But we want to be sure that you know this is available should the need ever arise.  Though we pray we will not ever need to use it.

10. All Babies Cherished Spring Festival – All Babies Cherished will be holding its spring festival on Saturday, May 22 from 10am to 3pm.  This takes place at the Batavia City Centre Mall Concourse and there will be more than 35 vendors including crafters, artists, artisans and others.  There will be games for children and food trucks also.  

You Can Count on This – Acts 16:18 – She kept this up for many days.  Finally Paul became so annoyed that he turned around and said to the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!”  At that moment the spirit left her. (Read Acts 16:16-40)

I’m curious… what are your first thoughts when you read that Paul commanded a spirit that was not of God to come out of a young lady who was following him around, and it did?  Do you think that it must be a made-up story, that things like that don’t really happen?  Do you think that it’s something that might have happened then, but things like that don’t happen now?  Do you think that the idea of a woman being possessed by a spirit is an old-fashioned belief based in ignorance and misunderstanding?  Do you think it’s just another reason to doubt the truth of the Bible?  Or do you accept this account as it’s written – the freeing of a woman who was a slave to a spirit by the power of Jesus Christ?

In our “modern” world it’s easy for many people to discount stories like this.  We know better than to believe that there are spirits that can affect people like this, right?  And if people are troubled by something, what they need is counseling or medication, right?  Well, I definitely support people getting good counseling when needed and taking medication if that’s needed.  But I also believe we should not minimize the power or the need to pray for people who are struggling or wrestling with something.  

I’m not saying that everyone who struggles or wrestles with something is under the influence of a spirit like this woman was.  But what I will say is that whether they are or not we should pray for their freedom from the thing that is keeping them trapped.  We can’t always know if a spirit is at work.  But we can always pray for Jesus to free people from their addictions, depression, anxiety, anger, bitterness, whatever.  Praying for people to be free is our responsibility as followers of Jesus.

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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