Pastor Vern's Top Ten

1.  Mission Cruise Here’s a great opportunity to get away from things, learn about what God is doing in Europe, and take a cruise on the Mediterranean Sea all at once.  Free Methodist World Missions is offering this cruise which leaves from Spain on October 24 and travels to Italy before returning to Spain.  One of our FM Bishops, Keith Cowart will be on board along with other mission leaders to share about the work of the FM Church in Europe.  For more information on this cruise you can go to https://encountereurope.blogspot.com

2.  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.

3.  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.

4.  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.

5.  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.

6.  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.  

7.  Café Help “When will the café be opened again?”  People have been asking and here’s the answer: the Northgate café will re-open the first weekend in September.  We’re using the time between now and then to do some enhancements to the café and make things a little nicer.  We are also using this time to find some folks who would like to be café leaders!  If you are looking for a way to serve others and get to know a lot more people at Northgate contact anthony@northgatefmc.com.  He’d love to chat!

8.  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.  

9. Habitat Day If you like to swing a hammer or are interested in learning how to swing a hammer, maybe you’d like to be part of a Northgate Habitat for Humanity build day.  Pastor Chris is planning one for Saturday August 21.  We are limited to 8-10 people, so please let him know soon if you are interested.  If there is an abundance of interest we may be able to schedule another one too.  You can contact Chris at chris@northgatefmc.com.

10. Pastor Daniel Praise Moment  We all love Pastor Daniel and he loves everyone he meets!  Last week I received something from a Northgate family that I’d like to share with you.  It’s their thoughts about some of the things they particularly love about Pastor Daniel:
•We have enjoyed watching Pastor Dan keep getting better and better when he preaches.  
•Dan is great at making jokes and allowing himself to be the butt of them.
•Dan's smile makes us smile
•As with our other Pastors, we are aware in the very best way that Dan is human.
•Pastor Dan always seems approachable
•He did a bang-up job at parking lot trivia during COVID
•Dan wears some cool shirts...we notice, and not in a creepy way :)
•One of my favorite pieces of Dan wisdom, or “dandom” for short, has been the reminder that whatever age you are, your stuff can be big to you.  It's a good reminder.

You Can Count on This – Acts 22:15 – You will be his witness to all people of what you have seen and heard. (Read Acts 22:1-30)

From time to time in our services we are taking a few minutes to talk about how we can share our faith with others.  For several reasons, this is something that many Christians find intimidating and difficult to do.  We don’t want to offend people.  We don’t know what to say.  We don’t know how to start the conversation.  We’re afraid if we’re asked questions we won’t have the answers.  We don’t want to seem peculiar or odd.  Etc.

If you have felt any of those things or felt like a “second-rate” Christian because you don’t share your faith more, you’re certainly not alone.  And spending our time focusing on where we haven’t done better and feeling badly about that rarely helps us to make the changes we’d like.  So we’re having these “teaching moments” in our services in order to help us all to get better at telling people about Jesus.

And if you’ve stumbled in this area because you didn’t know what to say, take a cue from the Apostle Paul.  In chapter 22 of Acts Paul tells his story.  Granted, it’s a dramatic one and we don’t all have dramatic stories.  But we do all have a story.  And in verse 15 a man named Ananias told Paul what his life was going to be about: tell people what you have seen and heard.  

This is where we start when it comes to sharing our faith.  We start with sharing how Jesus has made a difference in our lives.  What have we “seen” in regard to the changes Jesus has made in us.  What have we “heard” from Jesus that has made a difference in our lives.  If you’re not sure how you’d respond to that, maybe take some time this week to think about it, or find a Christian friend and talk about it!

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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