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
- Christmas Concert Tomorrow (Friday) Night – If you’re getting this by email, then this Friday night, December 1st, is our 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, and to take in the beautiful job our decorating team did preparing us for Advent/Christmas! We even have live Christmas trees around the church this year!
- Announcing Our New Pastor of Congregational Care – Last weekend we said “See you later” to Pastor Greg and Jackie. We are sad to see them go, while we celebrate that they will be close to their children and grandchildren. When Pastor Greg announced his leaving to me, I wondered who God might have in mind to attend to all that Greg was responsible for. I believe God has brought us Pastor Marsha Rivers to do that. She was interviewed by me, other staff members and our Delegates, offered the position and prayerfully accepted it. She will begin on January 2nd. I am excited to welcome Marsha and her family to Northgate, and I think you will be too!
- Great Day of Giving Report – As of today giving to this special offering is at $20,514. Thank you to everyone who gave out of your heart and generosity. We will be able to bless our missionaries serving in various parts of the world, as well as three local groups caring for people. Those local groups (Mercy Flight, Hope Haven and Men’s Warehouse ministries) will each receive $2,279.33 to help them do what they do for others. Thank you for making that happen.
- Angel Tree – 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.
- Youth Basketball – January brings a new year of youth basketball at our South campus, thanks to Nate and Julie Varland and their amazing team of volunteers. This runs from Saturday, January 6th to Saturday, February 24th (9:00 – 10:15am for 2nd and 3rd graders; 10:15- 11:15am for 4th, 5th and 6th). Cost is just $15 to register. Stop by the registration table on December 10th or 17th for more information or to ask about volunteering (no basketball experience needed!) And you can contact Nate and Julie at 813-4118 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
- We’ll Have a SEED Table Next Weekend – December 9th and 10th you will have the opportunity to purchase items from a SEED table in the lobby. SEED is a Free Methodist ministry that promotes entrepreneurship among people living in places our missionaries are serving. There will be some beautiful handmade items on the table, just in time for gift giving.
- Donut Delivery – Thanks to Suzy and Louis for leading donut delivery on Christmas Eve this year. This is a fun way to bless people who have to work that day – all you have to do is deliver a box of donuts on your way home after the 10am (note the special time) service on the morning of Christmas Eve. If you’d like to participate, please sign up at the Information Desk.
- Thank you, Karen and the Care Team – Northgate 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 email@example.com.
- Help a Youth Attend Snow Camp – Next Gen Director Dan Calkins has booked Circle C camp for January 19-21, 2018 for a Snow Camp for youth between 12 and 18 years old. The cost is $94 and includes all activities, food and lodging for the weekend. Registrations need to be received by January 14th. Some members of the congregation have offered to scholarship youth who’d like to attend but can’t afford it. If you’d like to do the same, just indicate “Snow Camp” on the memo line or envelope, and for more information contact Dan at Daniel@northgatefmc.com
- Blood Drives – Here’s another good way to give this season – donate some blood. The Red Cross will be holding a blood drive at our South campus next week Tuesday (December 5th) from 2-7pm. Giving blood may save a life, so if you have the chance, stop down at South on Tuesday.
Bonus! – Thanks to Lisa Cochrane and two more 3rd grade teachers for engaging Attica students in our mission with Gahanda! There was a beautiful write up about it in the “Update.” Awesome!
You Can Count on This – Matthew 15:28 – “Then Jesus said to her, “Woman you have great faith! Your request is granted.” (Read Matt. 15:21-28)
Here’s the thing. Jesus’ disciples were so annoyed by this woman’s persistent pleading they wanted to send her away! Instead Jesus pressed her to allow her to disclose the depth of her faith, and then blessed her. Are we more prone to “send away” or to bless? Are we easily annoyed by those different from us (she was a Canaanite) or those who are in genuine need of help and are making that known? Do we ever wish they would just go away? If so, take heart, so did the disciples, but Jesus loved them as much as he loved this woman. And he loves us, even while he is teaching us how to bless.
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.