The Top Ten is coming a day early this week – so I don’t interrupt your Thanksgiving meal, or football watching!  And as you read, please excuse me if the opening of each item seems repetitious.  I hope you know that I mean every word of thanks!
Blessings on your Thanksgiving holiday, and I hope we’ll see you this weekend for worship!
Pastor Vern

Note: Christmas is coming! Christmas Eve weekend services will be as follows:

  • Saturday, 6pm at North – Worship service led by our Arbor House team
  • Sunday (Christmas Eve), 10am at North – One morning service led by Arbor House
  • Sunday (Christmas Eve), 5pm Family Service; 7 & 11pm Candlelight/Communion Services


  1. Thank you, Greg and JackieIt’s so appropriate that on Thanksgiving week we would be giving thanks for Pastor Greg and Jackie, and the many, many ways they have loved the people of Northgate and this community. No one has logged more miles visiting people in the hospital, going to lunch with people to tell them about Jesus, or getting what they needed to host people at dinner in their home. You will be greatly missed, Greg and Jackie, even as we rejoice in you being able to be near your children and grandchildren. May God’s blessings be with you, now and always.


  1. Thank you, Northgate Volunteers – Thank you to all who came out for the open house last night, and for the staff who helped make it happen. There was such a wonderful mood in the church last night as people gathered around tables or moved around saying “hello” and catching up. My heart was genuinely filled up as I watched this happen and thought about how much our volunteers contribute to the success of our ministry as a church. We are better because of our terrific volunteers. Thank you, all of you, and have a wonderful Thanksgiving.


  1. Thank you, Church, for your Operation Christmas Child Boxes – 681. That’s how many OCC boxes were brought to Northgate and sent out from here this past weekend. That’s a record number for our church. Every box will be delivered with a message about the love of Jesus for all people, so please take a moment and offer a prayer that these 681 children will hear that message and respond to his love by entrusting their lives to him.


  1. Thank you, Church, for your gifts to the Great Day of Giving – I say this so often, to many different individuals and groups, but only because it’s true. Northgate, you are a generous church. Last weekend we received our “Great Day of Giving” offering, and once again you showed your love through generous giving. Gifts are still coming in, but as of right now we are at almost $20,000 for that offering! Through that giving we will be able to bless three local agencies/ministries, Free Methodist missionaries, and a church project which will help us do our ministry well. That’s possible because, well, because you are generous!


  1. Thank you, Dick and Jean ParkmanI don’t know how many years they’ve been doing it (more than a few!) but every year Dick and Jean Parkman organize our Angel Tree ministry. Through Angel Tree we are able to make a child’s Christmas a great deal happier than it would be otherwise. It’s very simple… just stop by the table in the lobby and take a tag from the tree, get it recorded, and then as you are doing your Christmas shopping pick up some gifts for the child on your tag. Gender and age and other information will be on the tag to help you do that.


  1. Thank you, Bible Trek Volunteers (and our Early Childhood People too!)We have terrific people who care about the children of Northgate every week, and we are grateful to each and every one. This weekend, the weekend after Thanksgiving, however, we do give our Bible Trek people a break – so no Bible Trek this weekend. We will still have Nursery through Preschool available – so a special thanks to those leaders who will be here. You are all a blessing to this church.


  1. Thank you, all of you who are caring for someone with cancerNorthgate wants to help you with what can be a challenging ministry. We will hold a Cancer Care Ministry Training from January 9th through February 27th 2018.  This 8-week training will be held on Tuesday evenings from 6:30-8:30. These classes are for individuals looking to serve those living with cancer.  To sign up or for more information please email


  1. Thank you, Karen and the Care TeamNorthgate has a wonderful team of laypeople who make it their primary mission to care for others. They pray, take meals, do visits, send cards, make calls and in these ways and others they try to ensure that people with a physical, spiritual or emotional need are cared about. This is a critical ministry in our church and we are thankful to Karen VanWyngaarden for leading it. If you’d like to be involved, know more about the Team, or have a need you want them to know about, you can contact Karen at


  1. Thank you, Dan and all our Youth LeadersThank you for loving our teens. And parents, Next Gen Director Dan Calkins has booked Circle C camp for January 19-21, 2018 for a Snow Camp. Snow Camp is for all young people between 12 and 18 years old. The cost is $94 and that includes all activities, food and lodging for the weekend. Registrations will need to be received by January 14th. For more information please contact Dan at


  1. Thank you, Anthony, for arranging our Christmas Concert – Next week on Friday night, December 1st we will hold a Christmas Concert at North with Brothers McClurg and special guest speaker Mark Buchanan. Mark is a well-published Christian author and he will be spending the weekend with us. The concert begins at 7pm, but you’re welcome to come at 5:30pm for some stew, hot chocolate and socializing with friends.


You Can Count on This – Matthew 15:20 – “These are what defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile them.” (Read Matt. 15:1-20)

Did Jesus just give us a justification for not washing our hands? No! There are great reasons to wash our hands. Jesus was confronting some people who made washing/not washing their hands a matter of sin. It might be unsanitary to not wash, but it’s not sinful. God is not as concerned about unclean hands as he is about unclean hearts. Are you concerned that your heart is not clean? Then go to Jesus in prayer, and ask him to forgive your sin and cleanse your heart, and he will. (Read Luke 7:36-48)

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.