Top Ten - June 17

1. Father’s Day Ice Cream Join us the weekend of Father’s Day (618-19) and get dad (and the family) a free ice cream! We’ll have ice cream in the café on Saturday night and Lugia’s ice cream truck on Sunday. We look forward to seeing you there!

2. An Evening with the Mendakoffs Tanya Mendakoff, comes from Mariupol, Ukraine and together with her Russian husband, Michael, serve the fatherless and the refugee. They were working with the community in Saint Petersburg when they had to flee to safety at short notice. "We had to leave everything," she said. The family had two days to pack up what they could carry in three suitcases and make their way to safety through Finland. "We had to leave 20 years of our lives behind, with all the friends, family and memories we had collected over that time." Tanya and Michael had been working with street children and orphans, through a charity they founded in 2003, SunErgos International. Their start was in Russia, but now they also serve in Ukraine, working with at risk children and poor families. Since the war, the Mendakoffs have sent relief aid to Mariupol. They serve families sheltering in cellars and living in very poor conditions, helping to provide necessities such as bread, water, gas, and medicine, along with the word of God to people in desperate need of hope.

Tanya and Michael will be with us at Northgate on Monday, June 27 at 7pm to share their story and help us to understand better what God is doing in Russia and Ukraine. All are invited to attend what is sure to be a very enlightening evening. For more information contact Pastor Chris at chris@northgatefmc.com.

3. A New Family Event: Aquaball We have a new family event coming up on Saturday June 25 called “Aquaball.” Aquaball is like kickball with kiddie pools and is for the whole family. Our Children’s Ministry Team is organizing an aquaball tournament for the 25th starting at 11am. Registration will be available soon on the website, and you can get more information from Leah at leah@northgatefmc.com. You can register to be part of the fun by going here: https://northgatefmc.churchcenter.com/registrations/events/1300093

4. Centered Night for Prayer and Worship The next evening of prayer and worship will take place on Wednesday July 6 at 6pm. Join us for an hour of centering ourselves on God’s presence and seeking His mercy and grace. We meet in the sanctuary at North.

5. Northgate 101 At a recent medical appointment my doctor asked me about the difference between Free Methodist and United Methodist. I was very happy to share that information with her! Do you know the difference? On three Sundays in July the pastors will be taking turns meeting with people interested in learning more about the Free Methodist denomination and Northgate Church. We’ll talk about where our denomination came from (we had very local origins even though we are now spread around the world) and what makes us distinct (like the “5 Freedoms”). We’ll also cover what is needed if someone is interested in becoming a member of the church (though this gathering is for everyone – whether interested in membership or not.) Northgate 101 will take place at 9:30 on July 10, 17 and 24 at the North Campus in Room #1. We look forward to seeing you there!

6. Kids Camp is Coming Up Camp will be held July 11-15 at our North Campus for children ages 3-9. For more information or to register check out this link: https://northgatefmc.churchcenter.com/registrations/events/1300091. And if you are interested in helping as a volunteer you can find information on that here: https://northgatefmc.churchcenter.com/registrations/events/1282908

7. Stay Informed Click on this link to see what’s happening this summer at Northgate. http://northgatefmc.com/summerschedule. And if you can’t “click” you can pick up the summers special events card at the Information Desk.

8. 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, a Set Free Team has formed at Northgate. This group is considering how to be part of helping people to “live in the direction of freedom" together. If you want to help end human trafficking in our time and in our region, please attend one of the monthly meetings, held on the last Sunday of the month 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.

9. Worship Outdoors Mark your calendars for Friday, August 19. That night we are planning to hold an outdoor worship service at our North Campus. This might be a great opportunity to invite a friend to come and see what Northgate is all about.

10. 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.

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 – 1 Corinthians 5:2 – And you are proud! Shouldn’t you rather have gone into mourning and have put out of your fellowship the man who has been doing this? (Read 1 Corinthians 5:1-13)

Last week we saw Paul do a bit of scolding of the Corinthian church. He was upset about their arrogance and pride. In chapter five Paul writes about a specific example of that pride and says some things that may make us stand up and take notice.

Paul has heard about one of the members of their “house church” (most likely the Corinthian Christians were like a small group worshiping together in someone’s home at this point). This member was reportedly sleeping with his stepmother. That would be bad enough, but even more than that – the rest of the community wasn’t appalled by this – they were proud. Proud of what? Most commentators think it was pride in their ability to be tolerant and gracious toward this person. By saying he should be “put out of your fellowship” it seems like the man doing this was professing to be a follower of Jesus as well.

Paul is shocked that the church is able to be so tolerant of sin in this man, even to the point of appearing to be okay with it. He tells them that they should stop allowing him to attend their worship gatherings, even saying “hand this man over to Satan” until he repents of his sin. That may sound very harsh to our ears, but Paul’s intent and hope is that the man will be convicted of his sin, repent, stop sinning and be saved. By not making it clear that his sinful behavior is sin, the fellowship was enabling him to think he was “okay” when he clearly was not.

As Christians we are constantly faced with questions about how we deal with sin in this world. Of course, the place we start is with our own sin (Luke 6:41-42) before we can legitimately call out sin in others. We also need to continue to seek the place where grace and truth meet (Ephesians 4:15). It’s not always easy to do – to show grace and mercy but also to be honest and clear about sinful behavior – but we are expected to do both. And there will be times when someone’s behavior is so clearly sinful that difficult conversations or actions (like distancing from the individual) may be necessary. Especially, as in this case, when that person claims to be a Christian but is completely unrepentant about their sin. Distancing wouldn’t usually be the first step, but it may become a necessary step.

Sin is the ugly result of human disobedience to God. We are all sinners (Romans 3:23). And sin has serious and damaging consequences. We can’t go lightly on sin but whatever we do when faced with a situation like this, our hearts should be in sync with that of Paul. Our desire should be that the people we are concerned about “may be saved on the day of the Lord.” Just as all have sinned, all can be saved through repentance of their sin and faith in Jesus Christ (Acts 3:19). We need to call sin what is, and lovingly speak to those we have relationship with about the sin in their lives and about the forgiveness of sin and power over sin available through Jesus Christ. We also need to be humble enough to let people who love us speak to us about the sin our lives. Our goal should be to see sin destroyed, and people saved.

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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