August 17, 2017
The Top Ten this week will be a little different. I want to share with you our Bishops’ “Response to Charlottesville” from their August newsletter.
Free Methodists have a mission to love God, love people and make disciples of all nations. We love and embrace all people as we seek to bring wholeness to the world through healthy biblical communities of holy people. Our denomination’s founders spoke and acted against the institution of slavery while also opposing class distinction, and we continue that legacy of opposing racism in the midst of new expressions of hatred and violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, and other cities and states.
Without a doubt, racism is the pinnacle evidence of evil among humanity. It is pride, hatred, fear, disunity, elitism, ignorance and disrespect of God’s creation and God Himself — all wrapped into one of sin’s many expressions. Free Methodists must work to undermine it, seek justice to prevent it, and love people out of it. It was our original and present call. We categorically condemn any claims from any group committed to white supremacy. Jesus is supreme. We can only be complete in Him, and only by following Him will we arrive at where we need to be and where we deeply long to be.
We commit to respect and seek the flourishing of all persons of all ethnicities, which means all Free Methodists should repudiate the hate and bitterness being fomented by people and groups in the name of the United States or Christianity. We call on government leaders to name and denounce the evils driving the varied white supremacist groups. We call the church to pray for Charlottesville and all people killed, injured or traumatized by this weekend’s tragic events.
Board of Bishops/Free Methodist Church – USA
From Pastor Vern: I became a Free Methodist in 1999, and I am grateful to be part of this denomination. From the beginning our denomination has been focused on freedom, justice, compassion, sacrificial love and proclamation of the grace of God, which is for all people regardless of race, socioeconomic status, gender, etc. These values should not surprise us, because they are the values of Jesus Christ, easily discovered by anyone who picks up a Bible and reads the gospels. These values should also be easily discovered by anyone who looks at the lives of those of us who call Jesus our Savior, and by anyone who joins us at Northgate for worship. May God make it so.
- 2018 Northern Europe Prayer Journey – You are invited to be part of a Prayer Journey, April 25 – May 8, 2018. Meet our European Free Methodist missionaries and churches, and explore the major cities of the northern region of central Europe – London, Paris, Brussels, Oostende, Bruges, Budapest and Gyor. Share the company of Yvonne and Bishop Roller, Mitch and Lynn Sue Pierce, Larry Winkles and Gerry McNamara. Europe is in desperate need of the gospel, and this will be an opportunity to learn more about that, and discover what God would have us do. Pastors, Prayer Warriors, and People of godly influence are enthusiastically invited to be part of this. For more information, you can contact Pastor Mitch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Youth Leaders – As we look ahead to the Fall one of the areas where we could use some help is in the BASE program on Wednesday evenings. Youth Director Sean would love to talk to you if you are interested in investing in the lives of our Middle School and High School Teens. This is a place where you can make a huge difference in someone’s future, so please prayerfully consider it and contact Sean for more information (email@example.com).
- Small Groups Open to New Members – Warren (“Woody”) and Sandy Wood hold a Thursday evening, 7pm, Bible study at their home (9145 Creek Rd. Batavia). People are welcome to join them. For more information, you can call Woody at 716-560-1807.
And Mike Marsh has begun a weekly men’s group, using Right Now Media resources on Wednesdays at 7:00pm, here at the church in Meeting Room 1. All men are invited to join this small group. For more information on that, you can contact Pastor Greg at firstname.lastname@example.org
- “Here and Now Festival” – The Here and Now Festival is just a few weeks away, August 25-26, 2017 in Austin Park. Thank you to everyone who has signed up to volunteer. The Northgate tent is all staffed but the festival itself is looking for more volunteers for clean up, safety and the prayer tent. To sign up please see Karen VanWyngaarden, email email@example.com visit the website www.greattabernacle.org.