Top Ten - April 12

1. Costa Rica Breakfast This Saturday from 9:00-10:30 our Costa Rica mission trip participants will be hosting a traditional Costa Rican Breakfast of Gallo Pinto, along with pancakes and some of the world's best Costa Rican coffee. Ample seating will be available in our gym at the South Campus for you to relax and savor breakfast while learning more about this trip. For those with limited time, we'll provide to-go containers.

To ensure we prepare enough food, we kindly request that you RSVP at While breakfast is complimentary, we will be accepting donations to support this Costa Rica Missions trip.

2. Playground Work Work on the playground is going really well and we are finally getting to the place where the finish line is in sight! Thank you to everyone who came out during the last work week – over 25 different people helped out! The next work week is April 15-20, from 9-noon. You don’t need to be skilled in construction, just willing to pitch in and follow directions!

3. Early Birds Rummage Sale People have started to ask if the rummage sale is happening this year… and the answer is yes! The dates for the rummage sale that benefits missions work are as follows:

Set up:
  • Monday, May 6 through Wednesday, May 8 – 10am-1 pm and 5-7 pm
  • Thursday, May 9 – 10am-1pm
  • We need muscle to unload cars and move furniture boxes to/from customer’s cars.
Sales help:
  • Friday, May 10 – 8am-4 pm
  • Saturday, May 11 – 8 am-2pm

For more information contact Linda or Tom Schmidt at 585-615-6501

4. Thank You for Providing Easter Baskets to Migrant Families This Easter weekend 30 migrant families in our area enjoyed a wonderful Easter meal thanks to your generosity. This is just one of the ways we let people in our community know that we are aware of them, and that Jesus loves them. Thank you for helping to make that happen!

5. Service Opportunity A person at Northgate has been connected with a woman in need, and we have a great opportunity to show up and love her well! Her yard fell into disrepair, and she is being cited and fined for it, unless she can get it all cleaned up. The reason this happened is that she was fighting some medical issues and didn’t want to let anyone know. She doesn’t stand a chance of doing this on her own, it’s too big of a job, but if we get a good crew, we could knock it out with a good Saturday of work. We are planning a workday on Saturday, May 4 at 9:00 to get this taken care of.

Please email Pastor John ( if you are interested in joining this crew or to get more details.

6. Sight and Sound Trip to See “Daniel” The details are set for the next Sight and Sound trip, which is planned for Tuesday, July 9th through Thursday, July 11th. Angelique has arranged everything from bus to hotel reservations, show tickets and food. Last year’s group had a wonderful time and we look forward to seeing a terrific show and enjoying one another’s company again this year. If you’d like to be a part of it contact Angelique at She’d like to have deposits for this trip in as soon as possible.

7. Do You Have Young Children’s Clothing You No Longer Need? If you have some that would be appropriate for children from 18 months of age to 3T, Courtney Mead, our Toddler Room Coordinator is looking to have some on hand in case a change of clothes is necessary. You can connect with Courtney at

8. New Caregivers Group Warren and Nancy Savage will be leading a new session of the Caregivers group on the first Tuesday night of the month at North. The group will meet at 6:30pm. If you would like more information about it, please contact Angelique at

9. Flower City Work Camp – Meals Thank you to everyone who donated food or paper products to help make lunches happen for the Flower City Work Camp. We really appreciate it – your help made it so easy to provide those meals to the kids and their adult mentors!

10. Gather to Pray Here are some opportunities to pray together at Northgate…
  • Prayer meeting Wednesday at 1pm at North in Room #1
  • Centered: the first Wednesday of the month at North at 6pm (Sanctuary)
  • Sunday mornings at 9:30 at North in Room #4
  • Prayer rail: Before and after services on Saturday/Sunday and also while we are singing/praying during services
  • Anytime the church is open people are welcome to come and pray in any available room or in the sanctuary. The church is generally open Monday through Thursday from 9:30 to 4pm, Saturday from 4 to 7:30pm and Sunday from 8am to 1pm. Arrangements can be made to be open at other times too, if needed.

You Can Count on This – Hebrews 12:16-17 – See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son. Afterward, as you know, when he wanted to inherit this blessing, he was rejected. Even though he sought the blessing with tears, he could not change what he had done. (Read Hebrews 12:1-29)

Deb and I are watching a series based on books by Karen Kingsbury. The series revolves around the Christian parents of adult children and the trials and joys of that family’s life. We just got started on it, and the main theme in these early episodes has to do with the infidelity on the part of a son-in-law and his wife’s efforts to respond to that in a God-honoring manner. I can’t tell you where this goes, as we’re only a few episodes in at this point.

I thought of this when I read through Hebrews 12 in preparation for this devotional, and I came to verse 16. I thought of how many people have, through sexual immorality or other sins, “sold their inheritance rights.” That is, how many people have given away something precious and wonderful by engaging in sinful behavior or by spurning the relationship that God desires to have with them.

The author of Hebrews is encouraging a congregation to help one another not do just that. We have a responsibility to help one another avoid sexual sin or other kinds of sin by warning one another (lovingly, gracefully, truthfully but clearly) where we see someone in danger of making a decision that will cost them the blessings God wants them to have.

Esau let his immediate physical desire for food lead him to thoughtlessly give up his rights as the oldest son to an inheritance and a blessing. Later he regretted his decision, but it was too late. He sacrificed his blessing to satisfy his hunger. Tragically something like this happens when someone lets their sexual desires lead them to cast aside a marriage by having an affair. Or when we allow a momentary desire to express our anger inappropriately to cause damage to a relationship. Or when we seek to meet any desire in a way that violates God’s will for us.

James 4:1 tells us that it is our desires that are engaged in a “battle within” us that cause the relational problems we encounter in this life. In other words, we allow our desires to reign over us, instead of turning to God and asking Him to help us control our desires, or to meet them in the ways He instructs us to. And when we give free rein to our desires, we are most likely to land in a place of regret, having given up something precious for something fleeting and ultimately unsatisfying.

Fortunately, God is merciful and gracious. If we will ask Him for help controlling our desires, He will help us. If we confess when we fail and ask for His forgiveness, He will forgive us. And if we are trusting Christ and listening to the Holy Spirit, we will come to live with less regret and more joy.

Pastor Vern

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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