Pastor Vern's Top Ten

1.  Small Group Leaders Do you want to help others to form relationships in the church and grow in their relationship with Jesus?  That’s the role of a small group leader!  We have some openings for small groups this Fall on Sunday morning and Pastor Marsha would love to talk with you if you are interested in serving in this way.  She can help you get equipped and find materials so that you feel ready.  Please contact her at marsha@northgatefmc.com if you are interested in learning more.

2.  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.

3.  Youth Pickleball League Pastor Daniel has started a free youth pickleball league this summer for both middle school and high school students.  Pickleball will be played weekly on Thursdays at 1pm at Northgate’s South Campus (350 Bank Street Road, Batavia).  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 daniel@northgatefmc.com.

4.  Additional Pickleball Opportunities 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.  GriefShare This is a support group is for those who’ve experienced the death of a loved one.  It's a Christ-based program that offers a place to talk as well as information on what normal grief is like and how God can help us in the midst of grieving.  Pastor John Chadwick has led our GriefShare program for many years, and it is offered at no cost to anyone who could benefit from it, whether or not they attend Northgate.  For more information, contact Pastor Marsha at marsha@northgatefmc.com.  

6.  Sidewalk Ministry Judi Piscitello is one of a few people who faithfully take part in a peaceful and non-confrontative ministry on the sidewalk in front of the local Planned Parenthood building.  They do not disrespect or malign people who are there but only seek to share the love of Jesus with them through their words, offers of prayer and materials they give out.  More people are needed to help with this ministry, and if you’d like to know more about it you can let me know at vern@northgatefmc.com.

7.  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, July 25 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.  

8. 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.

9. Prayer Walk Everyone is invited to use the prayer walk behind the church as a place to walk and pray.  The path begins in the grassy area just behind the building at North and continues into the woods.  There are benches where you can sit and pray, and one of them is placed before a cross which makes it an ideal spot to stop and consider all that Jesus has done for us and thank Him for doing it.  We hope you enjoy the prayer walk!

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 fifth of these videos.  The theme is “God-Given Revelation” and you can watch that video here: https://vimeo.com/546415173/3a2b665f9b

You Can Count on This – Acts 21:24 – Take these men, join in their purification rites and pay their expenses, so that they can have their heads shaved. Then everyone will know there is no truth in these reports about you, but that you yourself are living in obedience to the law. (Read Acts 21:1-26)

When Paul arrives back in Jerusalem, he is made aware that his ministry has raised some controversy.  Some of the new Jewish-Christians there have been led to believe that Paul instructs people to completely abandon the teachings of Moses.   That’s creating some conflict among them and so Paul is asked to demonstrate that he has not become “anti-Jewish” by helping some of them to complete their Nazirite vows (see Judges 13:1-5).  Since this is not something that would violate Paul’s conscience toward Christ, he is willing to do that in order to keep this issue from becoming one that divides the Christian community.

It takes much wisdom, discernment and prayer to know how to respond in situations like this.  As Christians we never want to compromise our behavior so that we offend Jesus, but we also don’t want to make errors in the other direction – such as by making issues of things that are not really issues at all.  We have to be honest with ourselves and careful not to rationalize things simply to convince ourselves it’s okay.  For example, we would never want to get drunk with someone as a way to “form a friendship so we can tell them about Jesus.”  On the other hand, joining a book club where non-Christian books are read might be a great way to meet people, assuming the books that are read don’t bring offense to Jesus.  Again, wisdom is needed.

The point is, we need to honor Christ with all we do. But in some situations, we can go along with things that don’t in themselves dishonor Christ.  How to know what to do when?  Pray, read scripture, talk to Christian friends and let the Holy Spirit lead.

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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