Top Ten - May 13

*PLEASE MAKE A NOTE! Next weekend (Sunday, May 22) we are having a special morning of worship outside under a tent. There will only be one service that morning, starting around 10am at the North Campus. (We will have our normal Saturday service at 6pm). Following Sunday’s worship, we’ll be serving picnic food and enjoying a time of games and fellowship. Please bring a lawn chair if you are able, and a friend for this special morning of worship!

1. Summit Meeting On the weekend of May 21/22 we will hold voting for our Administrative Team. In order to vote you must be a member of Northgate. The Administrative Team is the leadership team of our church that handles personnel matters, oversees policy and helps our staff stay on track with the mission of our church. If you’d like to know who has been nominated to join this team you can find that information on our website, northgatefmc.com, or at the Information desk.

2. New 12:30pm Study – “The Case for Miracles” Pastor Vern is starting a new “The Case for…” book study on Sunday May 15 at 12:15pm. We studied The Case for Heaven last Fall, and this Spring we’re going to study The Case for Miracles. Everyone is welcome to attend and feel free to bring a lunch if you like.

3. Early Birds Rummage Sale A Wonderful Success! Thanks again to everyone who helped put on last week’s rummage sale. A total of over $2000 was raised for our Connected Community in Gahanda, Rwanda. After consulting with our partnership leader there, Ephaste, a decision was made to use the funds to purchase a scooter for Pastor Alex. This will make it a lot easier for him to visit families spread out over the hills around the church!

4. Exodus Study We’ve just started a new Bible study on Monday nights at 6:30. Pastor Vern is teaching through the book of Exodus. If you’d like to join us, we meet both in person (North Campus) and by Zoom. To get on the email list to get the notes before the study, and the Zoom link if you need it, let Pastor Vern know at vern@northgatefmc.com.

5. ABC Run For Barb - June 4 Details will be coming up, but you might like to keep the morning of June 4th free. That morning is the All Babies Cherished “Run Baby Run” event which launches from our South Campus. In addition to helping support this local ministry which aids women who are pregnant and moms, there is interest in honoring Barb Ettinger through participating in the 5K run/walk. Barb recently passed away and had served for decades as our Nursery Coordinator. She was a wonderful servant, and this seems like a perfect way to remember her. I’ll let you know more as things develop.

7. Meeting for All Interested in Being Part of the “Set Free” Movement – Inspired by recent presentations at our church by Free Methodist missionaries Gerry McNamara and Kevin Austin, Northgate is launching a Set Free Team! We are in the early stages of praying and considering how we can "Live in the direction of freedom" together. If you want to help end human trafficking in our time and in our region, please join us for an organizational meeting on Sunday, May 29th, at 12:30p.m. in Meeting Room 2/3, North Campus. For more information, visit setfreemovement.com and/or email Pastor Marsha marsha@northgatefmc.com.

8. Women’s Conference at Pearce Church The “Shameless Pursuit Women’s Conference” is going to be held on May 21 at Pearce Church in North Chili. Christian women of Western NY are invited to join this one- day Women’s Conference, which will consist of worship, breakout sessions with well-known Rochester speakers, and teachings from keynote speakers Kathryn Garrett and Bonnie Hoeflein. The conference runs from 9:30am-4pm. ASL will be provided. To learn more and sign up, go to www.shamelesspursuitwc.org.

9. Prayer Groups You are invited to join with others to pray for our church and community on Wednesdays at 1 and Sundays at 9:30. The Wednesday Prayer Group prays for one hour in Meeting Room 1 at North Campus and on Sunday people gather in Room 4 for an hour and pray for our services and congregational needs. Everyone is welcome to either or both of these prayer meetings.

10. Men’s Bible Study – On Wednesday nights at 7pm a group of guys from Northgate get together in Room #1 at North for a Bible study. Everyone is welcome and starting next Wednesday the group is beginning a new study in the book of Haggai. For questions 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 16:10 – Greet Apelles, whose fidelity to Christ has stood the test. (Read Romans 16:1-27)

As Paul comes to the close of his letter to the Romans, he is compelled to mention a whole group of people who are dear to him. Some have personally helped him in his ministry; others have been like family to him; and some are dedicated to sharing the gospel with others by holding church services in their homes. Most of these individuals are unknown to us, except for the brief mention Paul makes of them, but all of us who are Christians today owe them our thanks as well, because they were among the faithful believers in the early church who ensured that knowledge of Jesus and the gospel would continue to spread.

As I read this chapter over, I kept coming back to verse 10. Paul asks the recipients of his letter to “greet Apelles.” I wish we knew more about Apelles, but what we do know is this: his “fidelity to Christ has stood the test.” Just one sentence, and a short one at that, but it says a lot, doesn’t it? It tells us that Apelles is a follower of Jesus, at a time when being a follower of Jesus could put your life at risk. It tells us also that Apelles had “stood the test.” What kind of test? Was he jailed for his faith? Was he shut out of the markets? Did his family disown him? Had he gone through a terrible illness? While we might like to know what test he had successfully endured, the fact that we’re not told specifically means we can identify with him regardless of what test we might face for our faith. Finally, we know that Apelles “stood” the test. He didn’t quit on Jesus when he was tested! Whatever “it” was, his faith, and his fidelity to Jesus, came out on top!

I’m glad Paul took the time to mention Apelles, and I’m glad God preserved for us this letter to the Romans. It’s such a source of encouragement, hope and joy for me! May you find it to be so too!

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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