Top Ten - May 15

1. 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 this coming weekend. 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.

2. Costa Rica Missions Team Car Wash This Sunday, after both services, the Costa Rica Youth Missions team will be hosting a car wash in the back of the church. If you have time, please drive around back, say hi to the team, and get your car washed. The team will wash your car for free but will be accepting donations for their missions trip in July. Please keep the team in prayer as they get closer to their mission trip this summer.

3. Playground Work Next 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!

4. Early Birds Rummage Sale Thank you to everyone helped set up, serve at and clean up after the rummage sale last weekend. The Early Birds small group did a phenomenal job and it was a most successful sale. They were especially appreciative of all the volunteer help they received from people outside their small group, and we are all appreciative of the fact that they raised over $4500 which will benefit our Costa Rica Youth Missions Team and our Connected Community in Gahanda. Thank you!

5. Family Photos with a Purpose Another thank you to those who made themselves available to take photos of families this past Mothers’ Day Weekend. And thank you to the families who had their photos taken and made a donation which will bless the mothers of our ICCM children in Gahanda. Thank you and we hope you enjoy your photo!

6. 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 so she can be ready for you. Thanks!

7. 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.

8. Baseball Night in Batavia On Wednesday, June 19 we are inviting everyone to come out to the ballpark in Batavia and enjoy a baseball game. What makes this a special night is that one of our young people will be singing the National Anthem and our K-4 kids will be singing God Bless America. Tickets are $8 a piece and you’ll be able to register for this soon on our website or our app.

9. Kid’s Camp! Registration is open for the Northgate Kid’s Camp – “Set Sail” – which is taking place this July, from the 15th through the 19th. Kid’s Camp is open to all children from the age of 4 through those who will be entering 4th grade in September. Camp runs from 9-3pm Monday through Thursday and 9-1pm on Friday and lunch is included. To register for camp, visit the “Register” page at

10. Right Now Media As a Northgate attender you have access to thousands of Christian videos covering all ages and topics. You’ll find Bible studies, studies for couples and families, things for young children and so much more. This is a free service to you as a Northgater, but you do need a password, which you can get by contacting our church office:


You Can Count on This – James 3:5b – Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. (Read James 3:1-18)

It’s interesting to consider why James, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, devotes a significant part of his letter to Christians to the importance of taking control of the tongue. But then, it really isn’t that difficult to understand why God would want him to do so, is it? All we have to do is think about how much trouble has been stirred up in families, groups of friends, couples, co-workers and even in the church (the fellowship of Christ-followers) by a wayward tongue.

We’re all familiar with the phrase, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” And we all know that the last part of that phrase is untrue. It may be helpful to learn this phrase as a defense against letting someone’s words get to us, but the reality is that we have all been hurt by a careless or mean-spirited thing directed our way. Just as a broken bone once healed may leave a scar as a reminder of the damage, words can leave scars too, scars on the soul and in the mind and heart.

James isn’t the only Biblical author to address the need to keep our tongues in check. Paul speaks to this in Ephesians 4:29-32. His encouragement is that we only let come out of our mouths things which are “helpful for building others up.” Sometimes we may have to say an uncomfortable thing to someone, or something that is hard for them to hear. But the check is, are we saying it in a way that is intended to “build them up”, to help them to grow? Or are our words more likely to spark a destructive fire?

As Christians we are called upon to be very careful about how we talk, the words we use, the way we use them and the motivations behind our speech. As we prepare to say something to someone, we do well to remember what Jesus said in Matthew 12:36: “Everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken.” As people who belong to Jesus, we do not need to fear condemnation for our words (see Romans 8:1) and there is some discussion about how this warning applies to us, but it’s possible that while we may be saved, and not in fear of a judgment of condemnation, Jesus may still ask us about things we have said. “Empty words” implies words that are unhelpful or useless, in contrast to speaking in way that builds others up. Jesus wants us to realize that how we speak matters.

Does this mean we can never tell a (appropriate) joke, or talk about sports or movies or other things that may not have a lot of eternal substance to them? I don’t think so. What I think James and Paul want us to consider is how damaging words can be (James) and how we can use words to help others (Paul). Not all conversations are deeply meaningful, except perhaps in the sense of building relationships, learning about one another, sharing hopes and dreams, etc. But even in “non-significant” conversations, we have a responsibility to use our words in God-honoring ways.

Here's the thing that we know and need to be aware of – how we speak reflects the condition of our hearts. “For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” (Luke 6:45b) If we have trouble with the use of our words, if we are prone to start forest fires with them, let’s go to Jesus and ask Him to make our hearts right. As He does His good work in our hearts, our tongues will get healthier too.

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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