Does life seem more complicated these days? I think some of that has to do with getting past childhood – I think things are often simpler for those too young to see how things can be gray, or to understand the nuances of issues or how there can be numerous angles to things. But I also think life has gotten more complicated. Even in everyday ways. I’m reminded of a missionary friend who said whenever he comes home and goes into the cereal aisle of a large grocery store he has trouble making a decision on what box of cereal to buy because there are way too many choices!
So many of the issues that seem to be dividing us as a people are not things we can simply say “Right!” or “Wrong!” to and stop there. We need to be able to dialogue and learn from each other and we need to work to understand each other and figure how what is true, right, loving, holy. Most importantly, for us who follow Jesus, we need to discern what he says, how he feels and what he would have us do. We need his wisdom.
I shared with a group last night one of my favorite scriptures from Psalm 25:5 – Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior and my hope is in you all day long. Guide me – yes, Lord, please do that. I need your guidance.
How does it come to us? Jesus promised us a guide, the Holy Spirit. Speaking to his followers shortly before his crucifixion, Jesus said, “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth… the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.” (John 16:13, 15)
So I pray, asking God to teach me through his Spirit what he wants me to know. And I listen to people, and I read, and I reflect and I seek to understand and I try to grasp the heart of Jesus and then I try to respond to that. I am confident that if I get it wrong, God will show that to me. Because I want him to, and because he promises to “guide me (and you) into all the truth.”
- Women’s Night of Worship– A night of worship for the women of Northgate and their friends is scheduled for February 27that 7pm. Come on out for a wonderful evening singing worship songs together to the praise of God!
- Places to Serve– Pastor Marsha asked all of the new “Woven” groups to find a place to serve others. Serving together is a great way to build relationships and honor the Lord! This weekend Special Olympicsis holding their winter games in Rochester, and while it may be too late to help with those, there are other opportunities to volunteer and help with this wonderful organization. You can find out how to volunteer by going to this link… https://www.specialolympics-ny.org/lend-a-hand/volunteer/
- Israel Tour Informational Meeting– OnMarch 26th at 6:30pmPastor Vern is hosting an informational meeting regarding a tour of Israel that we’d like to take in Spring of 2020. Pastor Mike Kuhlkin of the Perry Free Methodist Church has been on two trips with the company we are considering using, and he will be here to discuss his experiences with us. This meeting is open to anyone who is interested, no commitment necessary at this point, and will take place in Meeting Room #3 at the North Campus. For more information contact Pastor Vern at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- “IF” Video Conference– OnMarch 29thand 30thour women are invited to attend a video conference called “IF”. The name of the conference was inspired by the thought, “IF God is real, then what…” More information about this conference will be coming out soon, but if you want to talk with someone about it, contact Pastor Marsha at email@example.com
- Right Now Media Has an Easter Holiday Channel– Northgate subscribes to a media service called “Right Now Media” that has thousands of Bible studies, marriage and family studies and children’s programming available at no cost to our attenders. For Easter 2019 they have a special “Easter Channel” with material for all ages. If you would like to access the materials available on Right Now Media just contact Allison in the office to get a password. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Mission Support Team– Did you know that Northgate has an active Missions Planning Team that meets monthly to discuss how we are involved in local and international missions, and to pray and plan for the future? The next meeting is Sunday, February 24th, at about 12:15pm in Meeting Room #3 at the North Campus. Everyone with an interest in missions is welcome to attend. And if you can’t make the meeting but would like to be a “Mission Support” person, there’s a place for you also. We need people to be in regular prayer about our mission work. If you are interested in being part of prayer team, contact our Mission Team Leader, Angelo Dispenza at email@example.com.
- Community Life: Wednesday Prayer Groups– You are invited to join with others to pray for our church and community on Wednesdays at 1 and 6 p.m.The 1 p.m. Prayer Group prays for one hour in Meeting Room 3 at North Campus. The 6 p.m. Prayer Group meets at North Campus also. If weather allows, this group often goes on a prayer walk as well. We’d love to include you in either of these prayer opportunities! And please remember to come down front after our worship services if you’d like to have prayer with someone.
- Membership Classes Coming Up– The next series of Membership classes begin on Sunday March 3rdat 9:30am. The class meets for three consecutive weeks, and if you are interested in learning more about Northgate, or in becoming a member, please plan to attend. You can sign up at the Information Desk. For more information just contact one of the pastors.
- Midweek On-line Book Study– Pastor Marsha is beginning an on-line book/Bible study on Wednesday, March 6that noon. The group will be using a book by Philip Yancey and Brenda Quinn called Meet the Bible, which offers a great way to get to know the Bible. This group will meet by way of “Zoom” which is a free download, so it’s a study that might work for you if you (or someone you know) are homebound or on a work break. For more information contact Pastor Marsha at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Runners… Want to Join Together for a Good Cause?– I’m organizing a team to run in support of our local crisis pregnancy center, All Babies Cherished. It’s scheduled for Saturday, June 8th, so there’s plenty of time to get ready for it! If you’d like to help me form a team of runners, please let me know – you can reach me at email@example.com.
You Can Count on This – Luke 4:43 – But he said, “I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.” – (Read Luke 4:31-44)
This passage raises all kinds of questions for us! How do people become demon-possessed? Can it/does it happen today? Do demons have the power to cause sickness? Why did Jesus tell demons to stop saying that he was the Son of God? All fascinating questions. But don’t miss the main point of this passage: Jesus demonstrated his power to heal sickness and overthrow demons. When he healed people and cast out demons he was bringing the kingdom of God into the world – and this was the good news – that God was present, overcoming evil and announcing that a new day was dawning. One day the whole world will be free of demons, sickness and everything else that causes pain and sorrow.
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.