Pastor Vern's Top Ten

1. Angel Tree Northgate, you never cease to step up and generously give so that others can rejoice! You did it again this year with our participation in the Salvation Army Angel Tree program. We gave out a record 175 tags and you took care of all of them! That means 175 families with children will enjoy a brighter Christmas this year. Thank you for sharing God’s love with them. Let’s pray that in receiving these gifts the love of Jesus gets communicated and received as well.

2. Christmas Eve Celebrations We are planning to hold our regular Christmas Eve services this year at North. We’ll have the “child-friendly” service at 5pm and communion services at 7 and 11pm. The 7pm service will be streamed. Arbor House will hold their Christmas Eve service at 4pm. There will not be a service on Saturday night (Christmas Day), but we will have one service Sunday morning, the day after Christmas, at 10am. This will be a shorter service than usual, with lots of singing and a brief message. For the following weekend, New Year’s weekend, we will be joining together in the John Wesley Covenant Renewal Service on Saturday (New Year’s Day) at 6pm and Sunday (9:30 and 11am).  If you have any questions about the upcoming schedule of services, check our website, or just ask! You can reach the office at 343-4011, or Pastor Vern at vern@northgatefmc.com.

3. Salvation Army Bell Ringing Our local Salvation Army is looking for additional bell-ringers for their annual Red Kettle Campaign. It’s a great thing to do by yourself, with a partner, or with your children. To find out times and locations call the Salvation Army office at: (585) 343-6284.

4. Pastor Daniel is Leaving/Not Leaving Pastor Daniel has served our young people well for the last four years as our Youth/Young Adult Pastor. During that time, he also earned his Master of Divinity degree, and explored whether or not he was being called to itinerant ministry (the availability to serve churches as a lead pastor, wherever the Conference needed him.) He has discovered, as he said in the weekend services, that he feels called to Northgate and not to itinerant ministry, and he has decided to take a position with the Arc GLOW. That means he will no longer be on staff here, but we are very pleased that he is going to continue to minister to our youth as a volunteer! We want to thank Pastor Daniel for his commitment to our youth and seek God’s blessings on him and his family as he makes this transition. Thanks Daniel!

5. Centered Night of Prayer and Worship  The next night of prayer and worship will be Wednesday January 5 at 6pm. All are welcome to join us for an hour of singing and prayer. People who have come have commented on how much they get out of this quieter time of reflection. If that is something you need in the middle of your week consider joining us!

6. Another Way to Help Others This Christmas Again this year our South Campus will be the go-to location for the Salvation Army gift distribution. They expect several hundred families to come and pick up donated gifts on Wednesday, December 22, from 2-4pm. Volunteer help would be appreciated that day, and on the “packing days” which are December 20-21. If you can help, please let Pastor Chris know. You can reach him at chris@northgatefmc.com.

7. 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!

8. “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.

9. 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. 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.

10. 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.

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 6:21-22 – What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. (Read Romans 6:15-23)

When I look back on my life, I have a number of regrets. And they all have to do with things I did that God calls sin. At the time I could justify my actions, or excuse them, or simply not care what others (even God!) thought about them. But that’s all changed. Now I see that the way I was living, and the ways I was acting, was sinful, and I was on a path that led to spiritual death.

Praise God, He led me to know Him and His Son Jesus Christ, and I have received forgiveness for my sins, and I now seek to live as a “slave to God.” I’ve discovered that my past path was not one that led to happiness, but that the path of holiness does. I couldn’t be happier than I am living my life as a follower of Jesus. I don’t spend much time focusing on my regrets; instead, I focus on the changes that Jesus is making in me and the promise that He will make me a “finished product” someday, and that I will enjoy the rewards of eternal life!

I hope you have discovered new life in Jesus also. If you haven’t, we’d love to talk with you about how to do so. Just reach out to us and let’s talk!

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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