Top Ten - February 2

If you’d like to help out in some area in the church contact Pastor John at If you’re interested in a small group, contact Angelique at

Blood drive at South today (Thursday, February 2)! If you’re receiving this email, it may not be too late to give!

1. Communion at North This Weekend This coming Saturday night and Sunday morning we will be observing communion in our services at North. If you are attending, please prepare your hearts for this special time. If you are joining us online, do the same, but also have your elements ready for when we do this after the message.

2. Divorce Care and Grief Share A new Divorce Care group begins February 4 and is at 5:00 in Meeting Room 2 at North. And a new Grief Share group begins February 7, runs from 6-7:30, and meets at 22 Williams Street in Batavia. Both run for 13 weeks. If you are interested in either group or need more information, please contact Patti at or 585-297-3009.

3. Women’s Night of Worship There will be a special night of worship for women only on February 8 at 7pm. All women are invited, and this is a wonderful opportunity to invite a friend to Northgate.

4. Parent’s Night Out! February 11th from 5-7pm. This is an opportunity for Parent’s to celebrate Valentine’s day without kids! Whether it be a night out with your spouse, or a friend, or just a quiet evening to yourself, enjoy a kids free evening on us!  Care will be provided for children ages 18 months to 4th grade! Pizza and drinks provided. Feel free to bring a snack to share! For more information contact Becca at

5. Parenting Adult Children Debbie Vick will be leading this class at 9:30 on Sunday mornings beginning February 19. The first 6 weeks will be video sessions with Chip Ingram and Jim Burns called “Navigating Life with Adult Children.” Then 9 weeks of reviewing each chapter of Jim Burn’s book Doing Life with Your Adult Children (subtitled: Keep your Mouth Shut  & the Welcome Mat Out.)  If you have any questions, please contact Angelique at

6. Women’s Base Group On February 22 at 6pm a women’s group will begin meeting at South. This will run during the Teen’s Base time so it’s perfect for any moms dropping off their children for Base. Even if you don’t have a child attending Base, if you are looking to be part of a new women’s group, consider checking this one out. For more information contact Allison at

7. Young Ladies’ Small Group A new group for young women has begun and meets on the 2nd/4th Tuesdays at 5:30. For more information contact Angelique at

8. Pray First! For Lent Angelique is also organizing a church-wide study for Lent based on the book Pray First by Chris Hodges. We’re encouraging as many as possible to consider reading this book individually or as a group. If you’d like to organize a group study Angelique can help you with resources – just let her know at We’d like to see these groups start by February 26.

9. Listening to the Language of the Bible If you’re looking for a Bible study that will take you a little deeper, you might really enjoy this one that will be starting soon. The focus of this study will be on Hebrew words that Jesus would have used, which, by understanding their meaning better will enrich our understanding of the Bible. This will be a fun and informative study. For more information contact Angelique at

10. Help Wanted If you have the gift of hospitality and interest in serving others in a Cafe setting, we are looking for people to be in on the rotation for the Saturday Evening
Cafe.  For more information contact Patti Chadwick at or 585-297-3009.

Here are a few opportunities to participate with others in ministry…

1. Flower City Work Camp Pastor DL is taking a group of youth to Rochester the week of April 3 to participate in service opportunities as part of Flower City Work Camp. At this point he is still in need of some adult help! He could use a lunch coordinator and also a few women to chaperone overnight. If you’d like to know more about these opportunities to minister to our youth, contact Pastor DL at

2. Tumaini Women Kenya TWK is a Free Methodist NGO that works with local churches and communities in Kenya. One of the programs TWK is involved with is Wunders.  Wunders provides girls and women in Kenya with the supplies they need during their menstrual cycles. Rob and Terri Noble, Northgate attenders, will be traveling to Kenya to work with TWK on a short-term mission trip in February and they’d like to deliver some supplies to TWK when they go. Specifically, they are asking for donations of Hanes JUST MY SIZE Women’s plus size cool comfort cotton HIGH BRIEF 6 packs, sizes 10, 12 & 14. If you bring these to the church, we’ll see that Rob and Terri get them. They will need these by Sunday, February 12.

You Can Count on This – Galatians 5:16-17 – So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. (Read Galatians 5:1-26)

These verses serve to provide some balance to what Paul has been saying in this letter. Paul has been speaking about the freedom that we have in Christ and encouraging the Galatians not to become caught up in observing laws and rituals that are unnecessary in regard to salvation. But now, without backtracking on what he has been saying, he does remind the Galatian church that their freedom is not for the purpose of doing whatever feels good. That would be to “indulge the flesh.” (Verse 13) Instead, they are free to “serve one another humbly in love.” (Verse 14) And in verses 16-17 Paul makes the point that we are to listen to what God wants of us (“walk by the Spirit”) and “not gratify the desires of the flesh.” As someone who belongs to Jesus, you’re not free to “do whatever you want.”

How could people get this wrong? Well, they might think that since Jesus forgives all their sins, and since they aren’t expected to bring sacrifices to the temple any longer because their sins are forgiven, and since they don’t view keeping the law as the way to a right relationship with God, then they can act as if there are no laws and do whatever they like!

If that sounds somewhat familiar it may be because there are plenty of people who think similarly today. “I can do whatever I want; God will forgive me.” “If it feels right, it must be right.” And so on. If we want to know what a society that goes in that direction ultimately looks like, we just need to read on into the next few verses of Galatians 5. It’s not pretty. And ultimately it results in God’s condemnation.

We are free in Christ – free from thinking that it’s by keeping the law that we are saved from our sins. But we’re only saved from our sins by putting our faith and trust in Jesus. And if we’ve done that sincerely, then we want to follow Jesus by listening to the Spirit and by denying the desires of the flesh that are contrary to the Spirit. We don’t do “whatever we want.” We want to do whatever God wants. We may not live that out perfectly. But with the help of the Spirit we will do so more and more, and we’ll look more and more like what Paul describes in verses 22 and 23.

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.
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