Pastor Vern's Top Ten

1. Northgate 101 “Northgate 101” is a place where you can learn more about our church – whether or not you’re thinking about becoming a member.  If you want to become a member we do ask you to attend!  The first session was last Sunday, but there are two more – this Sunday and the next – and you are welcome to attend even if you couldn’t make it to the last one.  We meet on Sunday at 9:30 in Room 1.  If you have any questions, just ask one of the pastors.  Thanks!

2.  Father’s Day Ice Cream Social In recognition of Dads (and all the men of our church) we’ll have ice cream treats available Saturday night, and we are having an ice cream truck at North on Sunday.  It looks like it’s going to be a beautiful day, so come and worship the Lord with us, and then enjoy an ice cream on Northgate!  

3.  Men’s GroupThe Men’s Group is meeting on Wednesdays 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.

4.  Pickleball at South Campus A community Pickleball League for both recreational and competitive players is now underway. The league is designed with all age ranges and ability levels in mind to promote a fun but meaningful program. Northgate Pickleball happens on Wednesdays at 2:00PM 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.

5.  Celebrate Recovery Our CR group took a little time off so our leaders could rest and refresh, but the meetings are happening again now on Thursday nights at 6pm.  CR is a place where you can find support and encouragement for whatever “hurts, habits or hang-ups” you might have experienced or be experiencing now.  All are welcome and the meetings are at the North Campus in Room 2/3.  

6.  The Next Missions MeetingOur Missions Team has resumed meeting again, and it was great to be together and thinking about local and global missions, and Northgate’s role in both.  Our next meeting will be Sunday, June 27 after the 11am service.  We meet for an hour or so, and anyone with a heart for missions in the local community or around the world is welcome to join us.  We meet in Room 2/3.  

7. Prayer and Worship NightOn Sunday nights once a month we are meeting for a time of prayer and worship at 6pm.  The next gathering is on July 11th in the sanctuary at North.  Everyone is invited to participate in this time of seeking God’s heart and healing and offering up our worship to the Lord.  We’ll begin and end with worship songs and in between we’ll spend time in prayer.  We’d love to see you there.

8.  Food Distribution The next Salvation Army/Food Link food distribution happening at Northgate is going to be June 28 at 2pm.  If you’d like to volunteer, please come at 1:30. We usually serve for about an hour and a half, and we can always use people to greet people and place boxes of food in the cars.  Also, this will be the last food distribution, so let’s thank the Salvation Army and Food Link for allowing us to join in on this good act of love.

9. Prayer WalkAs the weather has gotten warmer, we’re spending more time outside.  Why not combine a walk with making new friends and spending time in prayer?  We have a group that walks and prays from our Northgate North campus on Wednesdays at 6:00pm and all are welcome to join.

10. The Free Methodist Way Our Free Methodist leaders have been working on articulating our denomination’s values in a fresh way. The result is a document titled “The Free Methodist Way” and now they have created some short videos that speak to each of the five values they were led to anchor on.  This week I’m sharing the link to the third of these videos.  The theme is “Christ-Compelled Multiplication.”  You can watch the video here: https://vimeo.com/545422934/b659d4f1c8

You Can Count on This – Acts 19:23 – About that time there arose a great disturbance about the Way.  (Read Acts 19:23-41)

I would venture a guess that most of us aren’t the kind of people who like to create a disturbance.  We probably seek to be peacemakers or to want to see less conflict, not more.  

Sometimes there is a need to cause a disturbance.  When we see people being treated unjustly or abused or harmed, we need to have the courage to speak up and respond in the ways that God calls us to, even if that results in disturbing others.  Proverbs 31:9 says, “Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.”  We can’t be “peace at any cost” people, because for some the price they would demand for peace is too high.  

Sometimes we may cause a disturbance simply by speaking the truth about what we believe.  This happened when Paul spoke about Jesus to people in Ephesus.  A riot began to break out, fomented by the anger of a seller of idols named Demetrius.  He was apparently seeing a dip in his business as people listened to Paul explain the truth about God and gave up their interest in buying Demetrius’ idols of false gods.  Fortunately, a wiser head prevailed, and the city clerk calmed the people down before things got seriously out of hand.

As Christians we’re not people who go around looking for a fight.  But neither are we to be people who shy away from saying what we believe and acting on that.  We will often find ourselves at odds with the culture around us, and sometimes that may mean a disturbance will be created.  We can pray that when that happens God moves the hearts and minds of people to act in accordance with His will and His desires.  But whether or not the culture around us responds to God, we must stay faithful.  

As I think about this I’m reminded of our Free Methodist history.  At various times Free Methodists created a disturbance because they stood up for what they believed to be God’s direction.  For example, our denomination began in 1860 in part with the desire to speak up for those who were being held in slavery.  That meant being part of a group that was willing to disturb the peace in order to be faithful to God.  It takes courage and conviction to do things like that.  May God bless us with both.

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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