- We Will Observe Communion This Weekend – Hi Everyone! Please be aware that we will be observing communion in our services this weekend. Please be prepared with some juice and bread. Even if we are physically separated, we are united in Christ always, and it’s always a blessing to take communion with each other. “See you” this weekend!
- What I Am Reading Re: Racism – I’m a reader. But you know that, don’t you! I wanted to share with you some of the books I am now reading or have in my queue to read re: racism. I am not finished with any of them yet, so I’m letting you know this so you can check them out for yourself, not necessarily as a recommendation, though each of them comes highly recommended by others. They are: How to Be an Antiracist, by Ibram X. Kendi; Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehesi Coates; White Fragility, by Robin Diangelo; and Just Mercy, by Bryan Stevenson. What are you reading on the subject of racism? Let me know!
- Conversation on Race with Pastor G. – I had the wonderful opportunity to sit down with Pastor G., the campus pastor at Roberts Wesleyan. He is a black man who shared with us his thoughts and feelings about his experience with racism and what we can do together to change things. You can find the conversation on our Facebook page – Northgate FMC.
- Arbor House Study Group – Pastor Gloria is hosting a study on the Lord’s Prayer on Wednesday nights. Pastor Gloria is lead pastor at our Arbor House location, but this study is open to anyone whether or not you are a part of that congregation. For more information on how to get connected to this Zoom group contact Pastor Gloria at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Planning is Underway for a Drive-In Service to Be Held Later This Month – We are planning a drive-in service for sometime later this month at the church. More details will be coming out on this, but some things I can tell you now. The number of cars will be limited and pre-registration will be required. People won’t be able to get out of their cars and bathrooms will not be open in the church. And Pastor John will be preaching from somewhere high in the sky! Beyond that, stay tuned!
- An Amazing Turnout at the Food Drive This Past Wednesday – What an unbelievable turnout at the food distribution this past Wednesday. 51 volunteers loaded 413 cars with boxes and bags of food, made possible by the coordination of the Salvation Army with Foodlink and local farmers. That means something like 1000 people were assisted this week, perhaps more! Thank you everyone for doing your part to minister to people during a difficult time.
- Need Some Good News? – For a number of weeks now we’ve been inundated with news that’s been difficult to hear. While there has been some better news lately, there’s still plenty that is bad. I came across a website that may help to encourage you – it’s called “Good News Network” and you can find it here: https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org.
- New Children’s Service Begins This Weekend – Starting this weekend our Children’s ministry team will be offering a new service for kids on our Northgate Kids Facebook page. Children’s Ministry Director Leah Lennon will speak about it in our regular service, but you might want to have the kids set up to take in their service on a laptop or computer. Thank you to Leah and Katie and Lukas for making this happen!
- Opportunities to Give to Others – These opportunities to serve are continuing:
- Blood Drives! – We continue to support the American Red Cross efforts to collect much needed blood. We’ll get you the date on the next blood drive as soon as we have it.
- Food Drives Continue As Well! – We’re also continuing to collect food for the Salvation Army Food Pantry, which has seen a greatly increased amount of traffic since all this began. You can drop food off at the North Campus (8160 Bank St. Rd.) on Mondays from 10-4pm. Volunteers will get the food from your trunk or back seat so you won’t have to get out of the car. Thanks for helping feed local people who are struggling because they’ve lost their job or hit financial hardship.
- Art Supplies For Migrant Children – Arbor House (our service that meets at the South Campus – 350 Bank St.) is collecting art supplies for the children of migrant workers in our area. This is a need that was brought to the attention of the Arbor House staff and has come about as a result of the schools being closed and schooling being done at home. If you want to help you can drop off art supplies at the parsonage next to the church – just drop them at the front door and we’ll see that they get distributed to those who can use them.
- Stay Connected! – There are many ways to stay connected as a church until we can regather. Here are some…
- Bible study groups are held on Monday, Wednesday & Thursday nights (write email@example.com for more information on those).
- Prayer meetings are held on Monday morning (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Wednesdays at noon (email@example.com).
- Our worship services are on Facebook (Northgate FMC) and our website (northgatefmc.online.church) at 6pm on Saturday and 9:30 on Sunday and are accessible after that on Facebook and our website (northgatefmc.com/media).
- Our Northgate Care Team is working very hard to make sure people are cared for and if you have a need or concern that you want some help with you can contact them through Pastor Marsha (firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com ). We may be physically separated, but we do not have to be relationally separated! Let us know how we can minister to you!
You Can Count on This – John 8:48 – The Jews answered him, “Aren’t we right in saying that you are a Samaritan and demon-possessed?” (Read John 8:31-59)
It’s a dangerous thing to speak truth to power. Jesus had been confronting religious power-people about their sin and the hatred in their hearts for him, and instead of listening and examining their hearts they became more and more outraged, finally just ascribing all that he had to say to his being “demon-possessed.” At the end of the discourse, they seek to stone him to death, but he escapes them.
Whenever truth is spoken to people in power who don’t want to be taught or to understand, there is the risk of this happening. The risk that the truth-teller will be marginalized, attacked verbally, and even attacked physically. These individuals are just too afraid to consider the truth and respond to it. But Jesus never backed down on telling the truth, regardless of how it was taken. He simply kept telling it. Until they crucified him. Praise God, the truth-telling of Jesus goes on as the Holy Spirit encourages the followers of the Risen Jesus to be bold and courageous to speak it, and as people open up the Bible and read it. His truth will not be denied and will ultimately change the world forever.
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.