Pastor Vern's Top Ten

It’s Kickoff Weekend – I’m not talking about football although it is that too for the NFL. But I want to make sure you know that this weekend is the kickoff to our new program year here at Northgate. That means some new things in the Café, new groups starting and established groups restarting, and we expect we’ll see some new visitors and guests as well as members and attenders returning from their summer camps and vacations, etc. We always get excited at “Kickoff” time, and we really hope we’ll see you at one of our services this weekend. Remember, services are 6pm Saturday and 9:30/11am Sunday at North and 10am Sunday at Arbor House.

Here are just some of the groups starting or restarting as well as news about a children's event this Saturday…

1. New Leadership Academy The third cohort of the Northgate Leadership Academy is forming now. We meet once a month for 8 months (September through April) and we watch a leadership talk and then read a book by the speaker in the following month. Some of this year’s speakers and authors will be Andy Stanley, Sheryl Sandberg, Brene Brown, Bryan Stephenson, and Patrick Lencioni. The church covers the cost of the books – what we’re looking for most of all is people who will make the commitment to read the book and be there every month because it's the interactions and conversations together that truly make the experience rich. We meet at 6:00 and we are usually done between 7 and 7:30. For more information or for an application email john@northgatefmc.com.

2. Kid’s Movie Night This Saturday Parents, here’s an opportunity to spend a little time alone this Saturday night. Our Children’s Ministry Team is offering a children’s movie night from 5:30-8pm. The movie will be a kid friendly pirate movie, which ties into the theme in our Children’s Wing this month. Pizza will be provided but please provide a snack for sharing if you can. If you have any questions email Leah at leah@northgatefmc.com.  

3. Want to Have Great Relationships With Your Adult Children? A new small group will be meeting on Sundays at North at 8:30am called “Navigating Life with Adult Children”.  This is a Chip Ingram study, and it will be facilitated by Debbie Vick.  Everyone is welcome!  Please let Pastor Marsha (marsha@northgatefmc.com) know if you’d like to attend or want more information.  

4. Divorce Care and Grief Share Groups Are Forming  A new Divorce Care group will be starting on September 18 at 6pm at the North Campus.  This group is open to anyone who has been divorced, whether or not they attend Northgate.  And a new Grief Share group starts on October 5.  Anybody who has suffered a loss, whether part of Northgate or not, is welcome to come to this helpful and supportive group.  For more information please check out our website or contact John Chadwick at patti.chadwick@juno.com.

5. “Early Birds” Small Group This small group will be meeting again beginning in September.  It’s called “Early Birds” because it meets at 8:30am at North and all are welcome to attend!  This group of people enjoy meeting together and are responsible for the rummage sales we’ve held the last couple of years, which have generated significant funds that have been used to support our work in missions in other parts of the world.  If you’d like more information on this group, contact Pastor Marsha at marsha@northgatefmc.com.

6. “Soul Pain Revealed”  Pastor Marsha and Pastor Vern will share the leadership of this small group which begins in September.  The group will be using a book and study guide developed by local psychologist Dr. Julie Caton, which is about the intersection of spiritual and emotional healing.  Solidly grounded in our Christian faith this group will be helpful to anyone looking to live with more joy!  Contact Pastor Marsha or Pastor Vern to sign up or go to the Northgate website (northgatefmc.com).  The group will meet on Sundays at North at 9:30am.

7. Join Us for “In the Beginning”  On Monday nights at 6:30pm beginning September 13 Pastor Vern will be teaching on the book of Genesis.  We’ll be studying a chapter a week, taking the time to get to understand God’s word better.  All are welcome, and we’ll be meeting in person as well as by zoom.  If you were part of the last Spring’s Revelation study you’ll be getting an email about this one; if you were not part of that study and want to join in on this one, please let Pastor Vern know at vern@northgatefmc.com.

8. Mothers Of Preschoolers (MOPS) MOPS will be meeting this Fall, beginning with a kickoff service on Wednesday September 22 at 6:30pm.  One change to note is that MOPS will be meeting at our North Campus this year (8160 Bank St. Rd. Batavia) and meetings will be held on the 2nd Wednesday in the morning and the 4th Wednesday in the evening.  For more information contact Pastor Marsha.

9.  Men’s Group and Women’s Journey on Wednesday Evenings  All men and women are invited to join these groups that meet separately but at the same time (7pm) on Wednesday evenings. If you are looking for a place where you can meet new people, get encouragement, and fellowship and continue your growth in Christ, these are good places to begin.

10. Dave Ramsey’s Legacy Journey Join Rick & Sara Kent for this 6-week class that is designed to be the follow up to Financial Peace University. If you are in the stage where you are working on building wealth and giving it away, this class will help you develop a solid, biblical plan. This group will meet on October 10,17, 24 and November 7, 14, and 21 at 9:30 in Meeting Room 2/3. There is no cost to participate in this class. If you have questions or need additional information email john@northgatefmc.com.

To learn more about these opportunities, or to suggest an idea for a group the best contact person is Pastor Marsha (marsha@northgatefmc.com). You can check out our website too (northgatefmc.com).

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You Can Count on This – Acts 27:35-36 – After he said this, he took some bread and gave thanks to God in front of them all. Then he broke it and began to eat. They were all encouraged and ate some food themselves. (Read Acts 27:27-44)

This is why I love Paul and why I hope to be a fraction of the leader that he was. Paul is enduring a shipwreck along with many others (275 others in fact). Most of the crew and passengers appear to be frightened and panicked, but then there’s Paul. He is rising to the occasion as a leader, a servant and a person trusting in God to take care of them all, just as God said He would do (v.23). After encouraging everyone and assuring them again that they were going to survive this, he urges them to eat. Taking bread in hand he thanks God for it (in the middle of a terrible storm!) and eats. I suspect he may have distributed bread to others as well, although we’re not told that he did that.

In any event, that’s the epitome of servant leadership. Thinking of others; pointing people to faith in God; refusing to be selfish or complaining or difficult but doing what Jesus would do in that situation (remember when Jesus slept on a boat in the middle of a storm, and then like Paul encouraged his followers to have faith?). I’m no Apostle Paul, but if I can, with God’s help, be just a bit like him in the way he led and served, I’ll be more than satisfied. How can you and I be servant leaders to someone today?

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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