Pastor Vern's Top Ten

1. Congratulations Graduates! Congratulations to all our Northgate graduates.  Whether you are graduating from kindergarten, elementary school, middle school, high school, college, military academy or something else, we say, “Job well done!”  In your honor we will be making a donation to the Paul Vasvári Street children's home in Győr, Hungary.  This is an orphanage that a team from Northgate served at several years ago by putting on a Vacation Bible School.  By the way, that would be a wonderful thing for a team to think about doing again next year – it’s an experience that could change your life.

2.  Youth Pickleball League Pastor Daniel is beginning a free youth pickleball league this summer for both middle school and high school students.  Pickleball will be played weekly on Thursdays at 1pm beginning on July 1st at Northgate’s South Campus (350 Bank Street Road, Batavia).  Free pizza the first week!  There is no cost, and no equipment or knowledge of the game is required to attend.  All that is needed is the ambition to have a great time while learning an awesome game!  Bring a friend and learn to “dink,” “stay out of the kitchen” and, hopefully, don’t get “pickled!”  For more information, contact Pastor Daniel at

3.  Additional Pickleball Opportunities at South CampusA 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

4.  Celebrate RecoveryCR 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 at 6pm on Thursday nights.

5.  Men’s Group The 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.

6.  The Next Missions Meeting The Northgate Missions Team gets together to talk 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 Night On 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 DistributionThe 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 Walk As 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 fourth of these videos.  The theme is “Cross-Cultural Collaboration” and you can watch the video here:

You Can Count on This – Acts 20:24 – However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me – the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.  (Read Acts 20:1-38)

This is part of Paul’s farewell address to the leaders of the church in Ephesus.  It is well worth reading all of it – from verses 13-38.  Paul reminds these leaders of what he had intended to do in Ephesus, and he challenges and warns them and prays with them, before saying goodbye to them with tears all around.

Ever since Jesus called Paul to serve Him by sharing the gospel Paul was a man on a mission.  He was single-minded and devoted to his task, but he was also a man who could clearly communicate his love for people, as evidenced in the way the Ephesian elders felt about him.  

Being able to be task-driven, and people-centered at the same time, is something that doesn’t always come easy to me.  There are times I’m so focused on the task in front of me that I don’t pay enough attention to the people around me.  And sometimes it goes in the other direction, and I neglect the task.  I try to find the balance, but maybe finding the balance isn’t always what’s needed.

Paul’s task, his assignment, was to share the gospel with others.  It was his number one job, and as indicated in the quote above, it was something he wanted to do well, for Jesus.  But sharing the gospel is a people-centered thing.  The gospel (the good news about Jesus) is driven by God’s love for people, and the love He wants us to have for people.  It’s something we are to share because it is “good news” for people and can literally change the direction of their lives.  I’m sure that it was love for Jesus and love for others that drove Paul so much.  So he didn’t necessarily “balance” task and people, in the way I’ve thought about it.  I think it was more that they were so closely linked in his mind that both were primary.  

We can love others and not share the gospel.  We can share the gospel without loving others.  But our calling is to love others so much we must share the gospel with them.

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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