Pastor Vern's Top Ten

1. Angel Tree and Virtual Shoebox  This weekend you can stop by the Angel Tree in the lobbies at North and South and pick up a tag which you can use to shop for some items to give to a child this Christmas. This is a program we assist the Salvation Army with each year. Also, at the Angel Tree table there will be tags which you can use to guide you in making a donation to a Virtual Shoebox program which is run by our missionaries in Bulgaria. Consider being a blessing to a local child, and a child in Bulgaria through these opportunities!  And thank you!

2. No Kto4 Classes This Coming Weekend Parents… please note: There will not be a Kto4 class the weekend after Thanksgiving. We will still have childcare for the younger children.

3. MOPS Volunteers Needed Mothers of Pre-Schoolers is a wonderful program lending support to all moms of young children, and it meets at our North Campus. One of the essential features of MOPS is that childcare is offered to moms who attend the program, to give them a little break and to allow them a chance to fellowship and learn and grow spiritually with other moms. Those who provide the childcare are, therefore, serving in valuable way! We need some volunteers who can watch pre-school age children once a month, either on Wednesday morning or Wednesday evening, for a couple of hours. If you can help, please contact Pastor Marsha at marsha@northgatefmc.com and from all the moms at MOPS... thank you!

4. Christmas is Coming! – Yes, it is, and we’re looking forward to a wonderful celebration of Christ’s birth! This year we are bringing back “Vintage Christmas” – our community-minded festival that will be held in our “backyard” on December 3 and 10 from 6-8pm. We’re looking for some volunteers to help us make this a wonderful time for everyone who attends. We need people to read, stoke the bonfire, help in the parking lot, serve as trail guides and more. If you’d like to help and couldn’t make the meeting last Sunday, just contact Anthony at anthony@northgatefmc.com.  Thanks!

5. “Wrestling with the Mysteries of Suffering, Pain, and God’s Sovereignty” That’s the subtitle of a book by Joni Eareckson Tada called A Place of Healing. Pastor Vern and Pastor Marsha are starting a new group using this book to help us explore the topics of suffering and healing and the questions we have around these topics. You are welcome to join us on Sundays at 9:30am in Room 1 at North. And if you have any questions, just ask! This study will begin on November 28. For more information please contact Pastor Marsha or Pastor Vern. You can reach us at vern@northgatefmc.com or marsha@northgatefmc.com.

6. Christmas Wish List – Genesee Orleans Ministry of Concern The Genesee Orleans Ministry of Concern is holding their annual Christmas Program again this year. This program allows families to fill out Christmas Wish Lists for each child of possible gifts for the holiday season. All gifts are provided via donations from organizations and individuals in the community. If you’d like to donate, they will accept clothing, winter apparel, shoes/boots, books, toys, games, gift cards, wrapping paper, bows, and much more! Electronics are not accepted. And if you could benefit from this program, or know someone who could, please know that it is open to all children up to age 18. Families may come in and fill out a Wish List or call to be added to the list. Last year gifts were distributed to 279 children and the hope is to be just as successful this year! Thank you for any support you can offer. Their phone number is 585-589-9210.

7. Curious About Life After Death? Pastor Vern has just started a new group where we’ll be talking about things like near death experiences, heaven, hell, reincarnation and so on. We’ll meet for an hour beginning at about 12:30 (after second service) in Room 1 and people are invited to bring a bag lunch if they like!  We’ll be using a new book by Lee Strobel titled The Case for Heaven. If you’d like one ordered for you please contact Pastor Vern at vern@northgatefmc.com.

8. Can’t Get Enough of the Christmas Hymns? Our Caregivers group is sponsoring another hymn sing, focusing on Christmas hymns, on Tuesday 12/7 at 6pm at the South Campus. If you enjoy singing the Christmas songs and enjoy times of good fellowship, please plan to join in!
 
9. Women’s Craft Night Wednesday, December 8, all women of the church and their friends are invited to a women’s craft night. This will begin at 6pm and will be held in our Northgate North Campus café.

10.  Join Pastor Daniel for Game Nights Pastor Daniel is hosting game nights at South, on Monday nights from 6-8pm. A variety of board games are provided, and people of all ages are invited to come and bring a friend. This is a great time to get to know some new people and form more connections in the Northgate family. For more information contact Pastor Daniel at daniel@northgatefmc.com.

To learn more about these opportunities, or to suggest an idea for a group or a gathering, or to inquire about reserving space at the church or the pavilion you can always email the office (office@northgatefmc.com) or call 343-4011. You can check out our website too (northgatefmc.com).

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You Can Count on This – Romans 5:8 – But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Read Romans 5:1-11)

There’s a sign hanging behind me in the office that has just two words on it: “But God…” It was a gift from a Northgate family who have (sadly) since moved south (I miss them very much!). They made the sign and gave it to me after I preached a sermon in which I emphasized this short phrase… “But God.”

Those are two very powerful words. A quick search on my Bible app tells me that these two words are used in this way 60 times in the NIV Bible. Many times, though not always, they indicate that something terrible was about to happen, or could have happened, but then God intervened and changed the course of events, he made everything different.

That’s the meaning here in Romans 5:8. In verse 6 Paul notes that we were powerless to do anything to change our ungodly nature. But then Jesus came, and he died for us ungodly people. Then Paul notes how rare and surprising it is that someone would voluntarily give their life up to save the life of an ungodly person. He does this by noting how rare it is for someone to give up their life to save the life of a godly person, let alone an ungodly person! But that’s the love of God. “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” And in this we have an incredible witness to the love that God has for us.


This is so powerful. Christ died for us, while we were still sinners. Before we got ourselves all “cleaned up” (as if we could). Before we became righteous and holy. While we were still acting as and living as sinful people Jesus came and gave his life for us. He did this so that we could become righteous and holy. So that we could become “clean” and so we could be freed from the slavery of sin. Jesus didn’t die for good people; he died for us. But in dying for us, and through our faith in him, we become good.

This Thanksgiving week that is a truth that we ought to be very grateful for. Jesus died for us, for me, while I was still a sinner, because God loves me that much. Praise the Lord.

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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