“Facing the (Semi) Unexpected”

What a week.  I’m praying that you have kept safe and warm in the midst of this crazy cold, snowy weather.  And I’m sure you, like me, are looking forward to Saturday and Sunday when it’s supposed to be much warmer and we can come together and enjoy worshiping the Lord and fellowshipping with each other.

I’m a “routine” person, and weeks like this one challenge me to be able to adapt my routine and alter my expectations and plans to face and handle the unexpected changes that come into my life, and to do it with a good attitude!

We can’t really say that this week’s weather was “unexpected” – the forecasters were pretty accurate about this storm.  That doesn’t necessarily mean, though, that we were prepared to face it.  We may have had enough food, etc.  But were we prepared to face it “attitudinally.” (I think that’s a word.  Pastor Marsha?)

By that I mean, were we prepared to have our schedules and routines disrupted, and ready to handle that with grace and a smile and determination to be our best, in Christ?

Life regularly throws us curve balls.  Many of them much more troublesome than this, and how well we deal with them helps us to understand something about how much we are trusting in Christ.  We’re going to have rough days, but hopefully we are learning to “arm ourselves with the same attitude” (1 Peter 4:1) as Jesus did when he suffered.  That is, trusting in God to see us through and take care of us, knowing that nothing can separate us from his love.

And if you are struggling through something today, and need a scripture to give you encouragement, one of my favorites is Psalm 121.  Maybe it will be an encouragement to you as well.

Blessings, and stay warm and safe.
Pastor Vern

  1. MOPS Volunteers NeededEvening MOPS has an opportunity for those who would be willing to hold babies.  The next meeting is February 12th and each 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month, from 6:30-8pm.  Our provision of childcare at these meetings is a great way to let moms grow to know Jesus. Please contact Traci@northgatefmc.comfor more information.


  1. Welcome Home!Our Puerto Rico mission team has made it safely home after a week of service there. Thank you for keeping them in prayer and thank you to those who went and picked them up from the airport on Tuesday.  We’ll get a report from them to share will everyone soon.


  1. Digging DeeperThe Monday night discipleship group will begin meeting again on February 4that 6:30pm(North campus; Room #3). We will be studying the books of 1st, 2nd, and 3rdJohn.  These are short letters found near the end of the Bible, that are packed with important messages about our relationship with God.  Everyone is welcome to attend this group.   If you’d like to be able to get the book that we’ll be using, it is in the Christ-Centered Expositionseries (1, 2, 3 John) and is available at Amazon and Christianbook.com.


  1. Financial Peace UniversityThe next FPU course starts on Wednesday, February 6th. A lot of Northgaters have found financial peace by attending the course and following through on the teaching.  If you’d like more information about FPU look for FPU on our website (northgatefmc.com) under the “Build” section or contact Pastor John at john@northgatefmc.com.  


  1. Coffee Talk on Addictions/Mental HealthThe next “Coffee Talk” takes place on Thursday, February 7that 6pm.This is an opportunity to get support and information on addictions and mental health issues, especially if you are someone who cares about a person who is experiencing difficulties in these areas.  For more information contact Brandon Switzer at bswitzer8165@yahoo.com.


  1. Prime TimersPrime Timers are meeting on Thursday, February 14that noon. This is a pot luck luncheon primarily attended by people over the age of 55, but open to all.  After the meal there is usually a short talk by a staff member or invited member of the community.  If you are available and interested in coming, all you have to do is show up!


  1. Food/Exploration/DialogueOn Thursday, February 21st, the next FED Talk will be held at Arbor House at 6pm. The topic to be discussed is “The LGBTQ Community and the Church” and the presenter will be Doug Cullum, Vice President and Dean at Northeastern Seminary.  Come and enjoy a light meal and a meaningful conversation on a contemporary topic.


  1. Mission Support TeamDid 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 angelo_dispenza2002@yahoo.com.


  1. Community Life: Wednesday Prayer GroupsYou 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.


  1. Membership Classes Coming UpThe 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.


You Can Count on This – Luke 3:21 – When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened.  (Read Luke 3:21-38)


This weekend we’ll be celebrating communion together.  In a few weeks we hope to be celebrating some baptisms (if you are interested in baptism, please talk to one of the pastors.)  These are the two sacraments (holy rites) that we recognize as a church. Sacraments are practices that Jesus told us to continue to do, and that God uses to remind us of His grace and through which He changes us and strengthens our faith.  In addition, when we take communion together, or witness someone’s baptism, it is a special time of connection as a body, drawing us closer together as we remember what Jesus has done for all of us.  It’s a part of what it means to be a church, a “koinonia”, or a fellowship.   Or, if you prefer, a family, brothers and sisters in Christ. 


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.