- Back in the Building – We will resume our in-person gatherings for worship this coming weekend (1/9-10). The regular schedule will apply – Saturday at 6pm; Sunday at 9:30 and 11am. There will be children’s ministry at both Sunday services. We are asking people to keep masks on throughout the services as long as our local rates of infection remain as high as they are. Of course we will be doing our sanitizing before and after each service. And if you are more comfortable viewing the worship service from home, the 9:30 service will be broadcast live and will be available on our website and Facebook pages after that.
- Celebrate Recovery is Taking a Break – The Leadership Team of our Celebrate Recovery group has decided to take a break for a while, so there will be no CR meeting on Thursday nights until further notice. I want to take this moment to thank the CR leaders for their many years of service to our church and our community. Many people have found hope and healing through CR and the commitment of its leaders. Thank you for all you’ve done and enjoy some much-earned rest.
- Help With the Ministry at Crossroads House – The recent newsletter from Crossroads House (a comfort care home in Batavia) contains a list of items they could use. The list includes things like air freshener spray, applesauce & pudding cups, Murphy’s Oil Soap, Windex, copier paper, trash bags and more. To see the whole list and to talk with someone about how you can help with their wish list, go to this webpage: https://www.crossroadshouse.com/wishlist
- Come to Base or Ember! – Middle School students are encouraged to check out Base, which is meeting on Monday nights from 6-8pm at our South campus. And Ember meets on Wednesday mornings at 9:15 at Pub Hub Coffee and Monday Nights at 8:30pm at South Campus. This is a gathering of people in their 20s. For more information, contact Pastor Daniel at email@example.com.
- Share With Someone Who is in Need – No one should go hungry, and if you or someone you know needs a place to get a hot meal at lunchtime, Monday through Friday, please be aware of the soup kitchen operated out of the 1st Baptist Church on East Main St. in Batavia. The kitchen is open from 11am to 1pm and all are welcome.
- Might God Allow Us to Make an International Mission Trip in 2021? – I don’t know the answer to that at this point. We don’t know what 2021 is going to look like and whether this would be possible. But I am praying that we will get the opportunity and I’d like you to pray about it as well. I think it would be wonderful if we could send teams from Northgate to Gyor, Hungary and Gahanda, Rwanda. In the past few years we’ve done both, but due to COVID it couldn’t happen in 2020. Let’s pray about it happening again in 2021, but even if we can’t go let’s continue to financially and prayerfully support our missionaries and our mission work in those places, as well as Japan, Ecuador and Spain. And if you’d like to hear more about what Gerry McNamara is doing as a missionary in Gyor, you can read his blog at https://hungaryforchrist.com.
- Attend A Group For Women With Food Issues – Joyce Wagner is a counselor who has done trainings for our staff and board here at Northgate. We think Joyce is wonderful and wanted to let you know about a new group she is starting in January. This group is for women who struggle with food issues and body positivity. There is a cost for attending and some optional reading. If you’d like to know more about it you can contact Joyce at 585-733-9465 or go to her website: restorationcor.com.
- Grief Share and Divorce Care – We are planning to open up both Grief Share and Divorce Care groups later this month. If you know of someone (maybe yourself?) who could benefit from participating in either one of these groups, please contact the church office for more information (office&northgatefmc.com or 343-4011). There is no cost to attend the groups and they are based on biblical principles.
- Blood Drive Coming Up – There’s another blood drive coming up on February 4. This will take place at our South Campus (350 Bank St. Rd.). We consistently hear about the need for more blood donors, so if you are able to be one here’s your opportunity!
- Welcome to Pastor Chris – Please welcome Pastor Chris to his new position as Lead Pastor at Arbor House! Pastor Gloria has been serving as the lead there but has retired as of the end of December. Pastor Chris is now appointed to that position and is also taking on a role as Pastor of Missional Engagement. In that role he will be seeking to help us as a church to be more involved in local mission opportunities. Congratulations Pastor Chris and God bless your ministries!
You Can Count on This – Acts 4:29-31 – “Now, Lord… enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly. (Read Acts 4:1-37)
Am I looking to God for my strength and hope?
Am I asking God to make me bold to speak His word?
Do I believe God can still heal and perform signs and wonders through Jesus?
Am I persistent in prayer?
Do I expect God to move among us?
Will I seek God’s heart and mind fervently – really wanting to hear from God?
Do I want God to lead me?
Do I recognize the places in my own heart and life where I need healing?
Am I placing my hope in what God alone can do?
Is knowing God more important to me than anything else?
These are some of the questions that come to my mind when I read this passage, and this chapter from Acts. I’m struck by the fact that the disciples of Jesus had one, single-minded mission. To proclaim the hope that could be found in Jesus. They didn’t seek to cause a political revolution. They didn’t rise up in violent protest. They stayed focused on their mission to tell the world about Jesus and the salvation found in Him. They sought God’s power to do that with boldness and without fear. And God answered their prayers, and ultimately whole societies were changed. May the church seek that boldness and that missional focus again today.
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.