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.  Family Fun Night/Cookout On Friday, July 22 our Children’s Ministry Team is hosting a family fun night complete with food, lawn games and an outdoor movie.  This is open to kids of all ages (including adults with a child’s heart!) and starts at 6pm at North.  For more information contact Leah at leah@northgatefmc.com.

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.  Oakdale Christian Academy Looking for Staff Oakdale Christian Academy in Jackson, KY is a Free Methodist affiliated boarding school and they are looking for staff.  There are long-term opportunities but also short-term (2-6 months) and interim (1-2 years) positions available.  For more information about these opportunities go to oakdalechristian.org/employment.

5.  GriefShare This is a support group 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 though 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. Celebrate Recovery CR meets every Thursday night from 6-8pm at North.  Gain freedom from what weighs you down!  This is open to anyone who wants a safe place to get support for whatever is causing them difficulty.  For more information contact Pastor Dave at dave@northgatefmc.com.

You Can Count on This – Acts 21:33 – The commander came up and arrested him and ordered him to be bound with two chains.  Then he asked who he was and what he had done. Read Acts 21:27-40)

Paul is having a very bad day.  Some Jews who were familiar with his teaching and preaching in Asia saw him at the temple and decided to use that opportunity to stir up outrage against him.  They begin shouting that Paul was responsible for turning people against Moses and the Law and their traditions and beliefs and the temple itself.  They also accuse him of bringing a Greek into the temple causing it to be defiled.  That was an assumption on their part, but no matter, the damage was done and a mob forms which drags Paul from the temple and begins to beat him senseless.  The Bible says they were actually trying to kill him.  

The Roman commander in the area learns what is going on and brings his soldiers to the scene, which causes the mob beating Paul to stop.  But then Paul is arrested, and the commander orders him to explain what he had done to bring on that beating and anger the mob.  Sounds like “blaming the victim” to me!  And then, as the commander is trying to get Paul to a safer place the mob again tries to get at Paul, which leads to the soldiers having to hoist him up in the air and carry him away!

Paul experienced a number of “very bad days” and this wasn’t even the worst of them, but it was bad enough.  It’s not easy to endure people’s hatred; or to fear for your life at the hands of an angry crowd; or to be blamed for something that really wasn’t your fault; or to be made helpless in the midst of it all.

The interesting thing is that Paul never seems to accept the role of “victim.”  In fact, Paul always seemed to be in control, even when he has no real control over situations.  How is he able to do that?  I think it’s because he knew he was doing exactly what he was supposed to be doing.  He was under attack because he was sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.  He wasn’t going out to start riots, and he wasn’t going out to defile the temple or to disparage Moses and the Law.  He was sharing Jesus, the fulfillment of the Law!  He was telling people how to experience new life in Christ!  That was his assignment, and he was doing it with integrity and courage.  

There’s a certain kind of strength we can have when we know we’re doing what we’re supposed to be doing.  And a certain kind of peace, regardless of what others may think about what we’re doing.  What has God made you to do?  How can you do that in a way that glorifies 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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