- What’s Going on At Northgate? – I’m trying hard to keep things as normal as possible during these “strange days”, which means I’ll keep putting out the Top Ten each week. In addition, be sure to check the Northgate website to keep up to speed on what’s going on, what’s not going on and where we’re headed (northgatefmc.com).
- Runners – Get Ready! – The All Babies Cherished 5K is planned for Saturday, June 13. You can run in this event, or walk, or even push a stroller (I’ve seen it more than once!). Your participation will help support one of the good ministries here in Batavia. Sign up at https://runsignup.com/Race/NY/Batavia/ABCrunbabyrun?rsus=100-200-07d9ddd6-0742-4b85-a091-537918d97fa5
- Food Drive for the Salvation Army Food Pantry– This coming Monday, March 23, from 10am-4pm, you can bring food items to 8160 Bank St. Rd. and we’ll collect them for the Salvation Army’s food pantry. The food pantry is going to get a lot more use in the coming weeks and we can help. They especially need canned fruits and veggies, canned meats, PB, jelly, soups or chili in cans, pastas, rice, beans, breakfast items, snack items for kids and shelf stable milk.
- Northgate 101 (Membership Class) – When will this happen? Well, we’ll have to see! Obviously we have had to postpone that for now. As soon as we get the go ahead to once again meet at the building we’ll get it rescheduled and get the announcements out on that.
- Missions Night Postponed – Unfortunately we also had to postpone the mission night we had planned. We were going to hear from Gerry McNamara, our Free Methodist missionary in Hungary; J.R. and Becky Crouse who are Free Methodist missionaries in Ecuador; and Mitch and Lynn Sue Pierce who are members of our congregation and who lead the efforts of our Free Methodist missionaries in Northern Europe. We had a great night planned! We will plan it again, as soon as we are able, but we’ll have to be a bit flexible since we had hoped to have all of these individuals in attendance and their schedules might not permit that now. But we’ll figure it out. The main thing at the moment is to be in prayer for all of our missionaries who are dealing with the same kinds of things we are, though in places where the resources might not be as available or the church is a lot less present.
- What About the “IF Gathering” – I’m starting to sound like a broken record! Yes, this event has been postponed as well. The good news is that we are able to host it any time throughout this year so when things get back to “normal” we’ll put it on the calendar and let everyone know. Stay tuned!
What’s going to happen to “Journey to the Cross” and Easter?
- Journey to the Cross – At this point it looks very possible that we will be doing our Easter services on-line. But we’re not there yet and things can change (God is able to whatever He likes!) so we’re not making that decision yet. In the event that we are still strictly on-line that week we are planning to do a special “Journey to the Cross” that you can participate in from home. More to come on that!
- United Way Day of Caring – I haven’t heard that anything has changed with this yet. Day of Caring isn’t until May 13 but I’m taking registrations for our team now. Every year the staff of Northgate and members of our congregation participate in this event, where we get to show our love for our community by engaging in some act of service. If you want to register email me with your T-shirt size!
- Volunteer Appreciation Picnic – I know this is really early – but you might want to mark your calendar for our Volunteer Appreciation picnic which we are planning for Saturday, May 16, from 4-8pm. This event is open to anyone who volunteers in service to the church. Maybe you serve in the Nursery once a month… you’re invited! Maybe you shovel snow when needed… you’re invited! It doesn’t matter how often you serve or where you serve – if you have helped out anywhere we hope we’ll see you there so we can say “Thank you!”.
- 10. Spiritual Gifts Training – If you are interested in learning more about spiritual gifts, and taking an inventory to discover your own gifts, you might want to go over to Right Now Media and take a look at the course called “Discovering Ourselves: Design” led by Wayne Cordeiro. I’ve appreciated Pastor Cordeiro’s books and insights. And Right Now Media is available free to Northgate attenders – just contact the church office for information on how to sign up.
You Can Count on This – John 4:23 – Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. (Read John 4:1-26)
It seems everyday, as I read the Bible, I am reading in the context of this current crisis and seeing things in a fresh way. Jesus tells the woman at the well that a time was coming when worship would not happen on a mountain in Samaria (her environment), or in Jerusalem, but that worship would happen “in the Spirit and in truth.” We are not able to worship right now in our normal environment for gathering, but true worship isn’t confined to a place – it’s a matter of the heart, filled with the Spirit of God, connecting with, praising and listening to God. So don’t stop your worship, wherever you are. Wherever you are, worship!
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.