Top Ten - July 28

Join us for an hour of prayer and worship next Wednesday, August 3, at 6pm. This is our monthly “Centered” service and it is held in the North Campus sanctuary.

1. Apple Tree This weekend you will see apple trees in the lobbies at North and South. These trees will have apples tags hanging from them and each tag will list the school supplies needed by a child of a particular age. We’d love to have you take a tag, purchase those supplies and return them to either North or Arbor House by Sunday August 21. We’ll then get them over to the Salvation Army which will be distributing the supplies to children who need them. Thank you for participating in the Apple Tree project!

2. 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.

3. Volunteer Opportunity Catholic Charities has a program whereby people over 60 who are limited in their ability to leave home are visited on a weekly basis by volunteers who engage in activities and conversation with them. Alternatively, these seniors can receive a call from a volunteer to check in or talk by phone. If you know someone who could benefit from this service, or if you are interested in being a volunteer, you can contact Lisa Wittmeyer at 585-343-0614 x3804 or 716-341-6751.

4. Missions Update Larry and Katie Winckles, FM missionaries to Hungary supported by Northgate, send us a regular newsletter updating us on their ministry in Budapest. Some highlights from the last newsletter include…
•In-person services resumed this past spring at the church, but people have been slow to return. Please pray for Pastor Peter and the church.
•Pastor Zsuzsa completed a booklet designed to help young, at-risk youth protect themselves from human trafficking. Please pray for this ministry.
•The church continues to help support efforts to provide food and supplies to the people of Ukraine and to transport people to safer places. Please pray for safety and for peace.
•A new team member, Erin Kingsley, has arrived and is learning the language as she prepares to assist with the ministries of the church. Please pray for Erin to learn quickly and adapt to her new ministry duties.

The last item in that list has reminded me that Northgate is interested in providing a missional opportunity to someone from our congregation, who would be available to spend one, two or even three months in one of the locations where we support FM missionaries. If you’d like to know more about this, please contact Pastor Vern at vern@northgatefmc.com.

5. Men’s Campout We have a group of men planning a campout to be held in the woods behind our building at North. This is scheduled for September 2-3. This will be a wonderful time of fellowship and worship and we’d love to see a great group of guys participating. For more information, please contact Pastor John at John@northgatefmc.com.

6. Grief Share and Divorce Care If you or someone you know has experienced a loss and is walking through the feelings of grief or has experienced a divorce and is coming to terms with that, and would like to know how to handle grief or divorce from a Christian perspective, we have a group for each here at Northgate. New sessions of Grief Share will begin on September 20 at 6pm, meeting at 34 Williams St. in Batavia. And new sessions of Divorce Care will begin on September 24 at 6pm at our North campus building (8160 Bank St. Rd. Batavia). For more information contact Pastor Vern at vern@northgatefmc.com.

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, 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.

8. 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.

9. Would You Be Interested in Taking a Trip? – Some people have asked me about the possibility of making an excursion to a couple of places here in the U.S. I’m wondering who else might be interested. One of those trips would be to Sight and Sound in Lancaster, PA. Next year they’ll be putting on “Moses.” If you’ve never seen one of their live shows, I can tell you that they are spectacular.  The other trip would be to see the Creation Museum and the Ark Encounter, both located in Kentucky. I have not been to either yet, but people from our church who have tell me they are worth the trip. If you’d be interested in us putting together a group trip to either Sight and Sound or the Creation Museum/Ark Encounter, please let me know. I would be planning these trips to take place in 2023. You can reach me at vern@northgatefmc.com. Thanks!

10. Looking for Small Group Leaders I’m beginning to think about the Fall and one of the things I’d like to begin to plan for is resuming small groups. Connecting with others and helping each other to grow in our faith is an important part of what we are to do as a church body, and a small group is a place that can happen. If you are interested in being part of a small group, or if you are interested in leading a small group, please let me know. I’d love to hear from you and I’d love to help with either of those things. You can reach me at vern@northgatefmc.com.

One more thing… I have reserved a table for the All Babies Cherished banquet taking place on Thursday, September 8 at 6pm in Batavia. There will be a nice dinner (no cost) and a speaker, and an opportunity to make a pledge/donation to ABC. I have seven spots left at my table. If you’d like to join me, please let me know! Thanks! (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 – 1 Corinthians 10:12-13 – So if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. (Read 1 Corinthians 10:1-33)

Temptation to sin is something we all have to deal with. Turning our lives over to Christ does not mean we will ever be free of temptation, not as long as we live on this earth and before Jesus returns. Being tempted to sin is not sinful in itself (remember that Jesus was tempted to sin by Satan at the start of His earthly ministry), and we do not need to feel guilty or ashamed for experiencing temptation. Instead, we should learn from temptation and trust God’s Holy Spirit to help us overcome temptations.

One of the things that we should learn is compassion. Struggling with sin is a human reality, and we need to be compassionate toward those who are struggling to get free from sin. Galatians 6:1 tells us “If someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently.” Knowing our own struggles should make us sensitive to others. That doesn’t mean we excuse or ignore or minimize sin; it does mean we try to help others in a kind, caring and compassionate manner.

That verse goes on to say that we should also “watch ourselves” or we may also be tempted. In other words, while helping others overcome their sin struggles, we need to be careful not to be pulled in a sinful direction ourselves.

What else can we take away from this? Well, I think we need to remember that through faith in Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit we can overcome sin in our lives. The things we might struggle with today do not have to be things we just accept. God wants us to overcome sin and will help us to do that.

But what if we do sin? John addresses that in his first letter, 1 John. There we are encouraged to confess our sins and to know that we have “an advocate”, Jesus Christ, who has paid for our sins already. By trusting in Him we are forgiven, and we do not need to “beat ourselves up” about our sins. Confess them, learn from experiences where we succumb to sin, receive God’s forgiveness and love and grace through Jesus and trust God to keep working to help you eventually live a sin-free life. (Philippians 1:12-13)

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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