4 Things to Be Aware Of…
Election Day is Coming – Next Tuesday is the last day of this year’s Presidential election. Obviously, the election of our nation’s leader is a very important event. Please pray and do as God leads you. And if you want to pray at the church we’d like you to know that the sanctuary will be open from about 9am until 4pm.
We Don’t Have to Just Endure Our Emotions – Anxiety, anger, sadness, depression… there are times that every one of us experience emotions like this to an extent that they threaten to overwhelm us. We can do something about that! Right Now Media has a whole section of video resources addressing emotions and our mental health. God wants us to be emotionally well, and if you’d like to check out some things that may help you with that, you can find them here: https://www.rightnowmedia.org/Library/52
- And if you need to get a free subscription to Right Now Media you can as an attender at Northgate. Just contact our church office to get signed up.
Let Us Know How We Can Minister to You – As your pastors and ministry leaders we want you to know that we always love to hear from you and we especially love to know how we can pray for you and with you! Please do not hesitate to contact us. Our pastors and ministry leaders contact information can be found at http://northgatefmc.com/about/ or send prayer concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Starting a New Bible Study on the End Times – Monday nights we’ll be studying what the Bible says about the end times. You can come in person (North, Room 2/3) or join by Zoom at 6:30pm. Contact Pastor Vern for more information.
The Children’s Wing is Open – The Children’s Wing is open again – for both the 9:30 & 11am services. The infant through K-4 rooms are all staffed and ready to welcome your children in a safe and fun environment. For more information you can contact Children’s Ministry Director Leah at email@example.com.
- And a huge thank you to those who have said “yes!” to ministering in the Children’s wing. We really appreciate it and so do the kids!
Ten Things To Do…
- Come and Pray, or Be Prayed Over – Speaking (and listening) to God through prayer is perhaps the most important thing we can do as followers of Christ. On Wednesdays there are two opportunities to join with others in prayer. At 1pm a small group meets to pray primarily over our church and for each other. At 7pm a group meets in the sanctuary where we spend a bit of time learning how to pray, and then pray together for personal, local, national and world concerns. We also would love to pray for anyone in need of healing, whether that is from physical or emotional issues.
- And even if you can’t make one of those meetings, we still want to know how we can pray for you. Send us an email or fill out the virtual prayer card on our Northgate app. If you haven’t downloaded it yet you can find it where you get your phone apps.
- Read a Challenging Article on Church Attendance – This article may challenge you but it may also help you to understand some of the things that are challenging pastors and church leaders today. If you read it and want to discuss it, please contact me! And please, if you read it, read it all the way through!
- 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 if you’ve aged out of high school you’re invited to Ember which 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Watch a Message on Racial Reconciliation and Holy Unity by our Bishops – Our Free Methodist Bishops recently spoke on the issues we’re facing in our nation and suggest some actionable steps we can take towards unity. You can find the message on Vimeo here: https://vimeo.com/455884086.
- Learn About How We Can Get Better at Sharing Our Faith – Last weekend Pastor John encouraged us to share our faith with others. If you find that idea intimidating, you’re not alone. Right Now Media has a new Bible study called “Jesus in the Secular World” that might help. This might make for a good individual or group Bible study. There is a free small group discussion guide available to download as well.
- Deal With a Hurt, Habit or Hang-up – Celebrate Recovery meets every Thursday evening at 6:30 (including any and all holidays that fall on a Thursday, unless there is a serious snow storm) at our North Campus. Our CR leaders guide and assist those of us who are gaining joy and freedom in Christ as we apply the 12-Steps of Celebrate Recovery to the hurts, habits and hang-ups we all struggle with. All are welcome! We believe anyone and everyone would benefit by attending this group, where we allow God to transform our lives. We are able to share openly and honestly about our struggles with people we come to trust, who will maintain confidentiality, and who will not judge us. For more info, go to: https://northgatecr.weebly.com/
- Watch an Informative Series on Right Now Media – A pastor I have learned a lot from, Kyle Idleman, has a series on Right Now Media called “Redeem the Screen.” It’s a three-part series on the way we use social media, for good or bad. Each part is only about 15 minutes long so you can watch the whole thing in under 45 minutes. I haven’t seen it yet, but a friend recommends it so I am planning to see it and I’m passing it on to you!
- Learn About the “Perspectives” Course – If you are interested in learning more about the history of the church and God’s missional purposes for the church, check out the Perspectives Course being offered at The Chapel in Buffalo starting in January. This course presents “the biblical, historical, cultural, and strategic aspects of God’s heart for the nations.” If you want more information contact Tonya Previglian at 716-753-0310 or go online to www.perspectives.org/Buffalo21.
- Get Your Blood Pressure Checked – Ann Cervone will be available to check blood pressures this Sunday (11/1) and every other Sunday following that in the main office during worship time. Please stop by if you’d like her to check your blood pressure.
- Share a Celebration – What are you celebrating these days? One way we encourage one another is by sharing our celebrations, and I’d love to share yours! Please email me (email@example.com) or text me (585-993-1506) and let me know what you are celebrating. I’ll compile what I receive and share them. Thanks!
You Can Count on This – John 21:3 – “I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. (Read John 21:1-14)
This scene comes some time after Jesus appeared to the disciples following His resurrection. We know it’s more than a week later because Jesus appeared to Thomas a week after the resurrection, but we don’t know exactly how much time had passed. What we do know is that Jesus is not with the disciples when they decide to spend a night fishing.
I’m not a fan of fishing, but in my mind I’m picturing these men out on the water, in the dark, in a boat, sitting quietly, getting no action from the fish, and thinking about all that had happened in the previous weeks. Just a few men, alone with their thoughts, trying to make sense of the death of their friend, and then His resurrection from the dead, and what it was all about.
When life has gotten complicated and confusing we tend to want to go back to something familiar and comfortable. For these men fishing was probably that something. It was a job they knew well, and could do without a lot of thinking. It may have provided them a chance to collect their thoughts and rest a bit.
Still, they are fishermen. So how frustrating was it that they spend the night fishing and caught nothing? Did they consider it a lost night? Were they disappointed? I don’t know but I do know that they were about to have a significant experience that would take them back three years and be part of propelling them forward for decades.
Because when morning came there was someone standing on the shore who suggested they try to catch fish one more time, by throwing their nets off of the right side of the boat. And behold! Their catch was so large they couldn’t even bring it into the boat!
Now, something like this had happened before, hadn’t it? Luke recorded a similar experience (5:1-11) except that that time Jesus had been in the boat with some of the disciples. At that time they were just beginning to know who Jesus was. But when it happened again after Jesus’ resurrection, it didn’t take them any time at all to know! “It is the Lord,” John said, and as fast as they could they went to Him.
A long night; no luck accomplishing something; lots to think about; confusion; discouragement; surprise! Been there? I have. Maybe you have too. What I’m going to take away from this reading today is that after that long night the disciples came face to face with Jesus and everything changed. Jesus was there to meet them at the shore and that made all the difference. If you’re in the midst of a long, fruitless night right now, don’t despair. Just look up and look to Jesus.
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.