Top Ten - August 18

1. 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.

2. Meet D.L.! Our new Next Generation Pastor, DL Walter has a weekly newsletter for parents of middle school and high school students. If you have a child in that age group or would like to keep up to date with what’s going on in the youth ministry check out DL’s first newsletter by following this link. If you would like to be added to DL’s newsletter, please email him at dl@northgatefmc.com.

3. Case For Christ Book Study I am starting another book study on Sundays at 12:15 (following second service). We’re going to be studying The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel. If you are interested in joining us please let me know at vern@northgatefmc.com. We’ll get going on Sunday September 18.

4. Mothers & Grandmothers Moms In Prayer International group will begin on October 11, 2022 6-7 p.m. at North campus on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month while school is in session. We meet to pray for our school and/or college aged children, their educational successes and needs while they are enrolled in school and the typical challenges that students meet on a daily basis. Moms in Prayer guides, written by founder Fern Nichols, can be ordered and purchased if desired, however prayer outlines are provided each week. The hour is spent praising God using scripture, silent confession, Thanksgiving for answered prayer and praying for specific needs. You can check out the website for more information (www.MomsinPrayer.org) or contact prayer leader Paula Neumann (585)201-0079.

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. Right Now Media As a church we subscribe to Right Now Media, a web-based video service which offers thousands of videos on all kinds of topics of interest to the Christian community. Included are many Bible studies of various kinds which make leading a family or small group discussion really easy. It’s free for you to use as a Northgate attender, but you do need a password. To get that contact Sherrie in the office at sherrie@northgatefmc.com.

7. 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.
 
8. 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!

9. Prayer Shawl Ministry The Prayer Shawl ministry is restarting on Saturday September 3 at 10am at Northgate North. This group makes prayer shawls which are given out to people going through difficult times in their lives. All are welcome to come and join in; if you don’t know how to knit a shawl this is a great place to learn! The group will meet every first Saturday of the month at 10.

10. Salvation Army Food Pantry The Salvation Army is looking for some help restocking their food pantry. They are especially in need of the following: cereal, canned fruit, mac&cheese, pasta meals, pasta and soup. If you can help out you can take items directly to the Salvation Army between 9 and 3, Monday through Friday, or bring them here to Northgate and we’ll deliver to the Salvation Army. Thank you.

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 12:12 – Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. (Read 1 Corinthians 12:1-31)

Unity amidst diversity. This is the theme of this portion of scripture in 1 Corinthians 12. Specifically, the unity that comes from having the same beliefs about Jesus and faith in Jesus, and the diversity that comes with being people with various backgrounds, cultures, experiences, gifts, interests and so on.

As I think about this theme, I can’t help but also think that this unity amidst diversity that the body of Christ is meant to display is constantly threatened. It’s cliché to talk about how easily unity in Christ is broken in the church, sometimes over “big issues” like politics, but maybe more often over “small issues” like getting annoyed with someone or a change in the carpets or simply “I don’t feel like going to that church anymore; no reason; I just want to try something else.”

Unity requires commitment and perseverance and a willingness to face differences and discuss them openly with a desire to remain connected. Diverse ways of thinking or priorities or preferences can cause rifts in that unity that’s supposed to characterize the church, diversity can bring opportunities to grow wiser and more patient and understanding as we work through our differences. One of the more painful things I’ve experienced in my years as a pastor is having people leave our community without any word of explanation. My wiring is first of all to wonder if I have done something to cause that. I’ve often tried to reach out to find out, but rarely been successful in arranging a discussion, so usually I’m just left to wonder. I’m sure I’ve missed some growth opportunities along the way.

On the other hand, I’ve also experienced many times what it means to be a part of a community that sticks together, works together, supports one another and brings diverse strengths and abilities together to create a strong and healthy church, one that glorifies Christ. When that happens it really is a thing of beauty, like a body where all of the parts are working together to form a strong, healthy whole.

I picture, for example, an elite athlete who has trained himself or herself in such a way that his/her various muscle groups and so on are functioning at their peak, and their mind is completely focused on the task at hand, and what we see as we watch them is someone able to be their very best. Sometimes I’ll see someone running and they are moving so smoothly that it seems (I know it’s not, but it seems) effortless. The body is functioning as it’s meant to function with all the parts doing their thing well (brain, lungs, heart, leg muscles and so on.)

This past weekend I preached around the idea that the church is community of people learning to follow God together. I really believe that this is what we are doing, and that the goal of doing this is to glorify Jesus. In the process, we experience the blessings of following Jesus, including the blessing of being part of a loving, caring, unified and diverse community. Thank you for being a part of that, and for contributing your part to the whole. Together we are better, and together we can bring Jesus the honor He deserves.

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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