1. Congratulations to Stephen Emanuele!Last week in this Top Ten I announced that Daniel Calkins was affirmed for Conference Ministerial Candidate by the Free Methodist Church. This is his next step towards ordination as a Pastor. On Sunday of this week I learned that Stephen Emanuele was also affirmed as a CMC, which means both Daniel and Stephen will be inducted as Conference Ministerial Candidates on May 25th at Pearce Memorial Church. Everyone is invited to come and congratulate them – I’ll give you more information about this as we get closer to it.


  1. Celebrating Northgaters Going on MissionThree of our Northgate people are headed out on mission trips this year, in addition to Pastor Vern and Pastor John who are going to Rwanda in March. Jordyne Amo is going to El Salvador as part of Young Life; Angelo Dispenza is going to Haiti with Mission of Hope; and Lyndsay Debo is going to Kenya through the Free Methodist Quizzing program. Blessings to all!


  1. And Two More…In addition to the group mentioned in the item above, Chip Tiede and his daughter Cierra are also participating in a mission trip this year. They will be going to Nicaraugua to serve Jesus! This is shaping up to be an incredible year for Northgate people serving in this way, and I definitely want to celebrate that.


  • Let’s also celebrate those who are doing mission work right here in our backyard. Like those who have stepped out to start new small group studies, and those who are helping their neighbors and caring for others. I’ve heard many stories about this type of local mission work this week, and I am so humbled to be among a group of people who get what it means to serve Jesus, both locally and globally. Blessings to you all!


  • P.S. – If you are interested in learning more about mission opportunities, the next meeting of the Northgate Mission Team is Sunday, January 28th at 12:30pm (Meeting Room 3 at North.)


  1. Do You Know of a Teen Mom Who Could Use Some Support?If you do, please contact Pastor Gloria (Gloria@northgatefmc.com). She’d love to talk with you about our Teen MOPS program that is ready to go. A leadership team has been meeting and preparing to minister to young people who find themselves in this situation, and all we need now are the moms. It can be a long and hard road for a young mom to navigate in life, and we’d like to help, so please keep this program, the leaders and the moms in prayer. Thank you.


  1. Women’s Journey Bible Study – Women’s Journey has just begun a new study focused on being able to understand and defend the truth of who Jesus is. They will be getting together in Meeting Room 2 at North on Wednesday nights at 7pm for the next six weeks studying the book, “The Case for Christ” by Lee Strobel. If you are interested in joining them please contact Cricket Johnson (585 815 5356 or cricket@2ki.net ), so that study guides can be ordered. And… New Women’s Bible Study – Hey Ladies! Have you ever felt Less Than, Left Out or Lonely? Well, you are officially Invited!  Join Melissa Vanelli for this six-session (bi-weekly) Bible study starting Tuesday, January 16th at 6:30pm (Meeting Room 2 at North).  We will be using the book Uninvited by Lysa Terkeurst.  For more information contact Melissa at lissyv37@yahoo.com or visit https://www.facebook.com/events/153486131968513/


  1. Monday Night Discipleship GroupThe Monday night Digging Deeper group will be starting up on February 5th at 6:30pm in Meeting Room 3 at North. We’ll be engaging in a study of the book of Acts, which is exciting to me as it’s a study of how God was at work in the early church – a time of explosive growth for the kingdom of God! You are welcome to join us any/every week. Copies of the schedule are available at the Information Desk or by writing me at vern@northgatefmc.com


  1. Women of the Word – A new 8 week online Women’s Bible Study is beginning Monday, January 15th. The topic will be “Made for Community” and will take us on an adventure through both the Old and New Testaments. To sign up contact Patti Chadwick at patti.chadwick@juno.com or 585-297-3009 or sign up on the Facebook page at:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/50870109


  1. Saturday AM Men’s MeetingA new men’s meeting is taking place in the North Café on Saturday mornings. The next gathering is January 20th at 9am and this group is open to all men. They will be discussing Resolution For Men, a book by Randy Alcorn. For more information contact Dan at Daniel@northgatefmc.com. Also remember there is a Wednesday Night Men’s Group led by Mike Marsh at 7:00pm at the North Campus in Meeting Room 3.


  1. Financial Peace – Are you ready to change your financial future? Our next semester of Financial Peace University will be held on Wednesday nights, starting on January 24th from 7-8:30 at our North Campus. You can find the link to register on our website or in the events section on our app. If you have questions please email john@northgatefmc.com.


  1. An Encouraging WordJust got off the phone with a friend who is recovering from surgery, and he shared something with me I’d like to pass on to you, because it’s encouraging and it’s catchy: “A set back is a set up for a comeback!” I like that – and it connects with this weekend’s message: “Hopeful Words”!  Don’t let set backs keep you down – it may just be the first step to a comeback!


You Can Count on This – Matthew 17:18 – Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed at that moment. (Read Matthew 17:14-21)

  • Sometimes I read about what Jesus said and did, and I have to admit that I’m not sure what was going on. Jesus’ healing of this young boy is clear enough, and gives me great hope that one day Jesus is going to heal all of us of all of our afflictions. Praise the Lord! But it’s Jesus’ words in verse 17 that confuse me. Why did he speak so… angrily? Who was he speaking to? What was he upset about? Most commentators I read say he was speaking to the father of the boy and the crowd, not his disciples. And some connect his words here to the words of God spoken by Moses in Deuteronomy 32:20 (go ahead and read that verse.) They say the point Jesus seems to be making is that the father and the crowd lacked faith in Jesus, despite all they’d seen him do up to this time. If that’s true, it makes it more wonderful to me that Jesus healed this boy, in spite of their unbelief. How great is it that Jesus shows mercy to those of us who doubt and struggle. And he does. We may not always understand him (I’m still pondering the meaning of his words here) but we can trust in his goodness, love and mercy.
  • 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.