Three Things to Be Aware Of…
30 Days of Fasting and Prayer – You are invited to participate in 30 days of fasting and prayer for ourselves, our families, our church, community, nation and world. From September 1-30 Pastor Marsha and Pastor Vern will provide short prayer guides via email each day, and will host a time to talk about the experience of fasting and to pray together on Wednesdays (Marsha – 12pm; Vern – 7pm). We’ll send out Zoom links for those gatherings to those who sign up.
While we do not approach fasting as a “requirement” we do affirm that fasting can be a powerful way for us to connect more closely with the Lord. And Jesus does say that God rewards fasting (Matthew 6:16-18).
Each participant in this time of prayer and fasting is encouraged to choose the type of fast that will work for them, such as fasting from one meal one or more times per week, fasting from 6am to 3pm (or another range of hours) one or more times per week, fasting from certain foods, etc. While sometimes people fast from other things (television, Facebook, etc.) we’ll encourage fasting from food for this experience.
If you are new to fasting you may want to read the book Revival Starts Here by Dave Clayton. It’s a short, easy to read orientation to fasting. And if you have any questions about this you can email Pastor Marsha or Pastor Vern (firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com).
We’ve all been through a lot this year, and we’re still going through it. In addition there are important events coming up in the life of our nation. This is a perfect time to focus ourselves more intently on seeking God’s heart and direction, and I believe fasting and praying together through September will help us do that. If you want to be a part of this, please let us know!
The Children’s Wing is Re-opening – Plans are underway to reopen the Children’s Wing beginning the weekend of September 5/6. Our leaders are conferencing on how to do this safely and still make it a great place for the kids to be.
Kickoff Weekend is Coming – September 12/13 will be our official “kickoff weekend” for the fall. We’ll have a coffee truck here that morning and the coffee is on us. We also plan to have Northgate logo masks to give out to a limited number of people in each service. If you want one, come early!
Ten Things To Do…
- Pick Up a Box and Fill it With Food – One of the wonderful things our church has been able to do since COVID hit is to assist with getting food to hungry people in our community. The need continues to be there, and we want to continue to help. So on the weekends of September 19/20 and 26/27 we’ll have boxes available at the church that people can pick up and return full of groceries the weekend of October 2/3. Then those boxes will be distributed at the food distribution day following that. Thank you for being a blessing to our community!
- Join a Prayer Summit – In response to our Free Methodist Bishops calling us to prayer, the National Prayer Ministry is hosting a first-ever ONLINE Prayer Summit. Beginning this Sunday and continuing each Sunday through September 27, six weeks of online Summit events will provide specific focus points to unify our prayers. Called “By My Spirit” the summit begins this Sunday, August 23 at 6pm. You can participate live at https://facebook.com/fmcusa or watch later at https://fmcusa.org/prayersummit.
- Read Our Daily Bread – Many of you enjoy the devotionals and daily Bible readings from “Our Daily Bread.” And many of you normally pick them up at the church when you are here. We’ve put out the current Daily Breads on tables in the Adult Wing hallway and in the back hallway so you can get it on your way out of service. And if you’re not yet attending the in-person services you can sign up to get it delivered to your home or delivered by email at https://odb.org/getprint/.
- Volunteer in Our Children’s Ministry – Thank you so much to all of you who have shown up and volunteered to help with cleaning and other tasks, which has allowed us to open our building to services again. Now we need to ask for volunteers in another area: Children’s Ministry. If you’d be willing to serve in this area and help us to open these rooms, we would very much appreciate it. Please contact Leah, our Children’s Ministry Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org to offer your help. And thank you!
- Sign up For Membership, Baptism or Dedication – Things are starting to feel a bit more normal here, and normally in the fall we’d offer a Membership Class and an opportunity for adult/child/infant baptism or infant dedication. We’re working on getting the Membership Class scheduled and also getting it on our website for those who aren’t ready to come to in-person services yet. It would be very helpful to us to know who is interested in membership, baptism or dedication. Please email the office (email@example.com) or call (343-4011) to let us know what you are interested in!
- Come to a Night of Worship – If you have been missing being able to sing with our praise team mark your calendar for a night of worship under the stars on September 18. This will be an outdoor event and the current guidelines limit attendance to 50 people in any one gathering outdoors, so we will be asking you to register so we can keep track of numbers. More information will be coming in the next few weeks.
- Join a Bible Study on the Book of Zechariah – The Monday night Bible study group will be studying the book of Zechariah beginning on August 24 at 6:30pm. This is a Zoom study, so if you’d like to join in please contact Pastor Vern to get the link. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Get Support Through Grief Share and Divorce Care – A Grief Share group will begin September 15 from 6 to 7:30 and run for 13 weeks. And Divorce Care will begin on September 19, also from 6-7:30, and run for 13 weeks. If you would like to sign up for one of these, or need more information, please contact Pastor Marsha at email@example.com.
- Join a Study on the Holy Spirit – This ongoing study is held at 7pm on Thursday nights and is led by Pastor Vern and Pastor Marsha. We’re currently reading a book by Jack Deere called Why I Am Still Surprised by the Power of the Spirit. If you’d like to join in you can via Zoom. Contact Pastor Vern or Pastor Marsha (firstname.lastname@example.org) for the link.
- Participate in the New Room Conference – Northgate will be participating in a virtual event called A Night with New Roomon Friday evening, September 25, 2020. It will be a two-hour, live-streamed meeting with God around our collective need, as the Body of Christ, for a great spiritual awakening. We will host a viewing of the event in our North Campus sanctuary, and it can also be watched in your home. Thanks to the generosity of many who support the host organization, Seedbed, it will be a FREE EVENT, but participants must register. Please join us for an inspiring, sobering, and deeply encouraging time together – either in-person or online. Contact Pastor Marsha (email@example.com) to learn more about New Room.
You Can Count on This – John 15:9 – “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.” (Read John 15:1-27)
Maybe you’ve heard people say that if you feel far away from God, guess who moved. Or maybe this is the first time you’ve heard that! In any event, there’s truth in that statement. God has promised to never leave us or abandon us (Deuteronomy 31:8). Here in John 15 Jesus tells us to remain in his love. That says to me that his love for us will always be there, and that it’s up to us to stay connected to that love. Jesus won’t stop loving us. But we may disconnect ourselves from experiencing His love. How? It can happen by persisting in sin. It can happen by letting our love grow cold. It can happen by neglecting to meet with God through the reading of scripture and prayer. It can happen by letting ourselves get so busy with other things that we stop thinking about God. It can happen by forgetting that we belong to Him. It can happen by thinking only of ourselves. There are many ways to disconnect ourselves from the love of Jesus, but the good news is that His love is constant, merciful and forgiving, and always ready to be shared with us the moment we look to him again.
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.