December 8

1. Vintage Christmas The second night of Vintage Christmas is coming up this Friday, December 9. The festivities run from 6-8pm at the North Campus pavilion. Come enjoy the nativity story which will take place on the prayer walk, as well as a Christmas movie, tree lighting, chili, hot cocoa and more! And this is another great time to bring a friend!

2. Great Day of Giving Thank you so much for your generous giving to the “Great Day of Giving.” The donations keep coming in for this! At this point the three charities we will be giving to will each receive over $2600 to help them carry out their work. Another third of the giving will go to Free Methodist World Missions and the remaining third will be used for a capital project here at the church. Thank you again for how you bless others!

3. Angel Tree In the same vein, thank you for your participation in the Angel Tree ministry of the Salvation Army. It’s such a joy to help local people with our giving and we are certainly doing that. We had about 200 tags on the Angel Tree, and I believe we distributed most if not all of them! Thank you!

4. Angel Tree, Part 2 If you’d like to help organize the gifts that will be given to families through the Angel Tree ministry, that will happen between Monday December 12 and Thursday December 15. If you want to be a part of that, or a part of the distribution day (Wednesday December 21) please contact Pastor Chris at chris@northgatefmc.com.

5. Kids Movie Night Save the date! A Kids movie night is being planned for Saturday, December 17. It starts at 5 and runs to 7pm. Kto4 kids and their potty-trained younger siblings are all invited to attend. Please bring a snack to share if you can. Hope to see you there!

6. Creation Museum/Ark & Sight and Sound Trips It’s time to make plans! Angelique has been working on putting together the first of our excursions planned for next year. We are planning a trip to Sight and Sound to see “Moses”! This trip will take place on May 1-3, with travel days on the 1st and 3rd and a 3pm show on the 2nd. We plan to travel by bus (though individuals are of course free to drive separately) and we’ll be staying at “Bird-in-Hand Family Inn.” The cost is coming in at under $500 per person for the bus, hotel, show and two breakfasts. At this point we need to get a firm handle on the number of people who would like to go. We’ll be limited to 34 people for this trip. If you want to be part of it, please email Angelique at angelique@northgatefmc.com and let her know. Thanks!

7. Christmas Eve Services Christmas is coming quickly, and some have been asking about when our Christmas eve services will be held. We’ll have four Christmas Eve services – a 4pm service at Arbor House. And at North, a 5pm child-friendly service that will be especially geared to children; a 7pm communion/candle lighting service and an 11pm communion candle lighting service (these last two services will be very similar).

8. Christmas Day Services Christmas comes on a Sunday this year, and we will be holding services that day. Arbor House will meet at their usual time: 10am. At North we are holding just one service on Christmas, also at 10am.

9. 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.

10. Prayer Shawl Ministry The Prayer Shawl ministry meets the first Saturday of every month 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!

To learn about all of the groups being offered by Northgate please check out this link: https://northgatefmc.churchcenter.com/groups/unique. You can also view the list on the Northgate app.

Can We Pray For You? – Please let us know how. Email us at prayer@northgatefmc.com. And if you’d like to join one of our several prayer teams (Sunday mornings, Wednesday afternoons, the Care Team) please let us know that too.

On Sunday mornings from 9:30 to 10:30 a prayer team meets in meeting room 4. During this time people pray for the services, needs of our congregation and other topics as God leads.  We would love to have you join this prayer team.

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 – 2 Corinthians 11:28-29 – Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches. Who is weak, and I do not feel weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not inwardly burn? (Read 2 Corinthians 11:1-33)

Paul’s ministry has been under attack, and he has just done something he really didn’t want to do, but felt he had to do. He outlined his “credentials” and then listed all of the hardships and difficult experiences he had lived through in his effort to share the love of Jesus with others. After speaking to things like being whipped and beaten, starving and sleeplessness, he speaks the words above.

I have not endured even a small portion of what Paul experienced as a pastor. God has blessed me with wonderful congregations to lead and great teams to work with as I carry out the ministry God’s given me. But when I read his words, I can’t help but recognize that in some small way I can identify with Paul.

When he says he faces daily the pressure of concern for the churches, I identify. As one of your pastors you, the church, are on my mind every day. I don’t get to talk to each of you personally that often, but as a part of the body of Christ here at Northgate I am thinking of you and praying for us. I don’t know of anything more important than having a relationship with Jesus and growing in that relationship. So, making sure that I am doing my part as a pastor/leader is something I constantly reflect on, pray about and seek to improve on.

In addition, as a pastor here I am aware of many situations which our people are going through. Serious illness, family issues, depression, anxiety, grief, crises of faith and so on. These weigh on me as well. My heart aches for those who are wrestling with things

like this, and I pray regularly for the power, grace and mercy of God to be present in these situations.

And like Paul, my heart aches for those who are struggling with sin. We all do to some extent perhaps, but I’m thinking here of those who are being defeated by sin, who have stopped repenting of sin or who feel there’s no hope to overcome sin. Please know that we don’t have to be defeated by sin. Through a relationship with Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit there is hope to win those victories. What’s required is a surrender on our part. If you’re stuck in a pattern of sin, look to Jesus today.

A church is built on relationships. First, a relationship with Jesus. And then our relationships with each other. In a church our size we won’t get to know everyone, but each of us should have and needs a circle of people we can talk with, pray with, cry with, laugh with. To be the people Jesus wants us to be and to keep growing in our faith, we need each other. Sometimes being in relationships like that is going to mean we will hurt, grieve, feel pain. All of that is attached to love. C. S. Lewis said it memorably: “To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken.” It’s true. But the alternative is to have a heart incapable of love. And that’s unacceptable.

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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