Top Ten - May 2

This is a communion weekend (May 4/5) – if you are joining us online, please have your juice and bread ready, and whether you are attending in-person or online, please be prepared spiritually. (1 Corinthians 11:27-29)

1. Last Weekend We Celebrated! This past weekend we had the joy of celebrating a baby dedication, eight baptisms, and 12 new members to Northgate. That’s in addition to other baby/child dedications we’ve had recently, and several other people who are ready to become members as well. What a wonderful testimony to what God is doing here through all of you! Several of the new members specifically mentioned people who had invited them to come to Northgate and expressed their gratitude for that. Let’s keep inviting people, and watching what God does as we are faithful to Him! And if you are interested in a dedication, baptism or church membership, please let Pastor John know –

2. Early Birds Rummage Sale The rummage sale hosted by the Early Birds group and benefitting our Costa Rica youth mission group and our Gahanda Connected Community, is coming up next week. The dates for the rummage sale are:

Set up/Unloading cars/Moving furniture boxes:
  • Monday, May 6 through Wednesday, May 8 – 10am-1 pm and 5:30-7:30 pm
  • Thursday, May 9 – 10am-1pm
Sales help:
  • Friday, May 10 – 8am-4 pm
  • Saturday, May 11 – 8 am-2pm
For more information on helping or contributing please contact Linda or Tom Schmidt at 585-615-6501.

3. Prime Timers Luncheon The next Prime Timers luncheon is on Thursday May 9 at noon at the North Campus. But please note that the room is different this month due to the tables being used at South Campus for the rummage sale. We’ll meet in the Children’s Wing like we did last year. Also, for this month’s meeting we are asking that disposable diapers be brought for All Babies Cherished, especially larger sizes like 5,6, and 7.  And don’t forget the dish to pass and/or dessert to share, and to invite a friend!  

4. Family Photos with a Purpose On May 11 and 12, the weekend of Mother’s Day, we will be offering a chance to have a photo taken by a Northgate volunteer photographer. Donations for this will be accepted which will be used to support a women’s farm in Gahanda – one of the new missions activities taking place in our Connected Community there.
  • Please note: We could use a few more people willing to take photos on that Sunday, May 12, in particular. If you would be willing to donate your services to this, please contact Allison at And thank you!

5. Group Leader Appreciation Dinner Angelique is inviting all Northgate group leaders to an appreciation dinner on May 23 at 5:30 here at the North campus. Whether you lead a prayer group, Bible study, ministry group, Children’s class, etc. you are invited. We want to recognize and appreciate our leaders… we would not be the church we are without you. So please plan to come, and please RSVP to Angelique by May 13 so she can be ready for you. Thanks!

6. Northgate Workday It’s time for a spring cleanup around our campuses and the staff will be getting at it on Wednesday, May 15. This work usually entails raking, spreading mulch, cleaning up stones from the snowplowing over the winter, cleaning out closets, etc. We’d be more than happy to have anyone join us that day if you have some time to spare and would like to help out. For questions, contact Mark at Thanks!

7. The Summit This is our annual church meeting (Society meeting for you long-time Free Methodists!) and we will hold this during our worship services over the weekend of May 18/19. We’ll take some time to celebrate the things that God has been doing around Northgate and what we envision God doing here as we move forward. We also will be voting for our administrative team (the A-Team) and the Nominating Team. Only members can vote, and if you’re not sure whether or not you are a member you can check through the church office, or 343-4011.

8. Costa Rica Missions Team Car WashThe next fundraiser for the group going to Costa Rica this summer is going to be a car wash on Sunday, May 19. Donations will be accepted. Please keep the team in prayer as they get closer to their mission trip this summer.

9. Next Playground Work Week The progress on the playground is entering a very exciting phase and we can’t wait for it to be open! To that end we are going to have another work week from Monday May 20 through Friday May 24, from 9am to noonish. There will be something for everyone to do and lunch will be provided when the work is done. If you have some time available that week and are looking to do something for our kids, we hope to see you there!

10. Father’s Day Ice Cream Father’s Day this year comes on Sunday, June 16. We know dads like ice cream, so that weekend we will be providing it. Saturday night we’ll have ice cream treats available, and Sunday there will be an ice cream truck. This is an opportunity to invite dads that you know to come and worship with us and have an ice cream on us too.

You Can Count on This – James 2:22-23 – You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. (Read James 2:1-26)

There are two big themes that I see in the second chapter of James. The first, which covers verses 1-13, is about treating all people the same, whether they are rich or poor. It was easy in James’ day, just like it is in ours, to give special attention to those who are wealthy, and to look down upon those who are not. James was writing to a church gathering and warning them about that. The reason he needed to address this issue is likely because there were people in that church gathering who actually were showing favoritism to the rich and discriminating against the poor. That’s not something that Christians should be known for, and yet it’s something that can easily take place even in our churches today.

One of the beliefs of the leaders who were instrumental in launching the Free Methodist Church in 1860 was the belief that this scripture should be taken seriously. At that time some churches were charging “pew rental fees” and those with money were renting the best seats at church. Poorer attenders would have to sit in the rear or stand if all the seats were taken. Our founders knew this was wrong and “Free Seats” became one of the tenets of the Free Methodist church.

So, this is the first big theme in James 2. Don’t treat the poor any differently that you treat the rich. Show rich and poor alike the same respect and consideration.

The second big theme is the relationship between faith and works. James emphasizes the idea that we might say we have faith in God, but if there is no evidence of that in the way we live and act then our “faith” might be questioned. Real faith in God is going to be seen in the things we do and the way we do them. That doesn’t mean our works save us. We are saved by grace through faith – not by works (Ephesians 2:8-9). “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” (Romans 4:3; Galatians 3:6; James 2:23) Abraham wasn’t saved because he did something that made God save him. He was saved because he trusted in God, had faith in God. But because he had faith in God, he did act in ways that pleased God. His faith was seen in his actions.

If we examine our lives and there is no evidence of our faith in God in the way we live, do we really have faith in God? James would say in that case we may have a “dead faith”. A dead faith won’t save us. On the other hand, just doing good things but having no faith in God won’t save us either. What will save us is a true faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 10:9-11), which is evidenced by the way we live for Him. Not perfectly, perhaps, but growing more and more perfectly as we journey with Jesus day by day.

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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