Dear Friends and Family,
What a wonderful time we had in the Lord, Sunday, although it was filled with some hiccups and few missed cues! Hiccups, you ask? Well, I made a few last minute changes to the order of worship and forgot them for one! Then, I turned off the projector on accident and had to wait for it to ‘warm back up.’ Still, God came in spite of my mistakes and we had a wonderful service! Praise God! Perhaps our ‘hiccups’ were a premonition about what God can do with ordinary unpolished folks that are obedient to Him.
This week we began a 14-week series on the book of Nehemiah. Nehemiah was simply a ‘cupbearer to the king’ (the disposable guy who discovers if the wine is poisoned by drinking it first and then serving it to the king), but God can do much to build His Kingdom with ordinary folks who remember His promises and act!
God’s message was titled, ‘Sat down and Wept’ from Nehemiah 1:1-10 and had three points. First, if we want to build the Kingdom of God, Nehemiah teaches us to be open, seek the truth about others (even if it is bad news) and then let our hearts be broken! After Nehemiah asks about the condition of Jerusalem and the Jewish remnant (v. 2) he hears the report (v. 3) and sits down and weeps (v. 4a).
Do you seek news about others even, perhaps especially when you know it is bad news? Do you listen and let your heart break over the report? If we want to build the Kingdom of God we need to begin by being open and heartbroken.
Second, Nehemiah teaches us to turn our broken hearts to God. Beginning in the second part of v. 4-11a we find Nehemiah mourning, fasting, and praying to God. In his prayer he remembers God’s promises, his personal failures and confesses his own sinfulness and the sins of the people (v. 4b-7) and the consequences of those sins (v. 8). But in his grief Nehemiah also remembers God’s promises to gather His people regardless of how far they are scattered if they return to God and obey His commands (v. 9). God can do the impossible and will!
What do you do when you see a hopeless and impossible situation that breaks your heart? Do you turn to God? Do you remember His promises? If you want to build the Kingdom of God you need to remember to turn to God, remember His promises and believe in faith that He really can do the impossible! They may be far from God, but they are never too far! Amen!
Finally, in vv. 10-11 Nehemiah teaches us to be humble. Four times he uses the word ‘servant’ and concludes v. 11 by confessing ‘I was cupbearer for the king.’ Nehemiah knows who he is! He is a ‘nobody!’ But (and this is critical) Nehemiah knows to whom he is praying. He knows how awesome and powerful God is, too! While a cupbearer can’t do much on his own, with God all things are possible!
Regardless of where you are coming from God can use you! You may not be much alone, but you + the Awesome and Living God can do the impossible! Are you willing to believe God can use you to build the Kingdom? God can use you if you are open and heartbroken, turning to God, and remembering to stay humble!
This week’s Bible study is titled ‘Dealing with Temptation.’ All of us face temptation, but we can overcome it, avoid sin, and live victorious lives! You can always find our Wednesday night Bible Study on the table outside the sanctuary. NOTE: Can’t make Wed. night, but still want to do a study? No problem! Let’s find a time that works for you and complete it together and then see if others would like to join you! Discipleship is just too important to neglect! Just ask!
Blessings! Pastor Dan
Hello From Pastor Amy/Your Part-Time Church Secretary
My office hours will be on Tuesdays from 8am-5pm, but if you need to see me, you may want to call first. My responsibilities also include preparing our weekly program, so if you have an event that you would like to put in the program or newsletter, please feel free to contact me!
On Prayer Requests: If you have a specific praise or prayer request which you would like to appear in the program and/or newsletter, please make sure to fill out the tear-off sheet in the weekly program, or contact me at any time.
Please Update Me! We have a long, ongoing list of prayer requests. Please keep me updated. Requests will be pulled from the newsletter & program after 3 weeks. Thank you!
Church Office:616-459-2773 My Contact Info: 616-514-9521 or firstname.lastname@example.org
NEWS & EVENTS
Graveside Memorial on Sunday July 1st
As most of you know, our church suffered an incredible loss on July 2nd of last year when 12 year-old Jiquirria Vaughn-Orban drowned tragically while camping over the holiday weekend. We are approaching the one year anniversary of his death. In this difficult time for the family, we ask that you especially pray for his parents, Dustin and Natasha Orban, his sister Danasia and his grandmother Julie, extended family, and many more who are missing him.
In an effort to show our love and support to the family, we would like to invite everyone to travel with us after service to the cemetery and place a floral arrangement on his grave and spend a few moments remembering Jiquirria and surrounding his family in prayer.
If you would like to join us, talk to any of the Orbans or Pastor Dan or Janie. The cemetery is located on the corner of Hall and Eastern. There will be small maps available on the sound booth. Thank you for your support!
Jiquirria Vaughn-Orban Memorial Children’s Library!
We are happy to announce that Julie Orban has donated $150 to start up a library for children in memory of Jiquirria. Did you know that he loved to read? In fact, at his funeral, we heard a poem that he wrote about his love for books. Julie thought that a children’s library in his name would be a great way to honor and remember him!
We invite ALL children to check out books at any time. Right now the library is located downstairs in the room for children’s church. We are praising God that we now have a children’s library in our church! What could be more important than ministering to our children through books and education? Thank you Julie! Interested in letting your children check out a book or helping to build up the library? Talk to Gerry Dawson.
Praise Team Singers Wanted!
Would you like to sing with Pastor Dan on Sunday morning? One commented they ‘didn’t know they could join me’ and she was surprised. Pastor Dan would love to see more folks use their gift of singing with him on Sundays. All he requires is a humble spirit, a willingness to attend practice on Wednesday night after bible study and Sunday morning at 9:00am, and a desire to worship God! Interested? Let Pastor Dan know!
World Mission Broadcast Offering—You can still give!
World Mission Broadcast takes the Gospel to the world through radio, television and internet programs. On the air since 1951, World Mission Broadcast (WMB) reaches even the most remote parts of the world, with words of hope and holiness... and lives are changed. The cost to support one minute of WMB airtime is $4.00. That's right. $4.00 to air one minute of the Gospel somewhere in the world. How many minutes will you support this year? It is not too late to give to this great cause! Just specify “WMB” on your giving envelope before you put it in the plate. Thank you to all who give! Received so far: $55
Family Festival at Indian Lake Nazarene Camp – Jun. 30-Jul. 01
Do you have plans for the June 30-July 01 weekend? If not, there is fun, food, and fellowship for all at Indian Lake Nazarene Camp! Family Festival is typically held on the July 4th weekend, but changed because the 4th is on a Wednesday. You will find a 5k run/walk, dodge ball, volleyball, basketball, horseshoe tournaments, crafts, wagon rides, a climbing wall and a zip line and more!
Janie and Pastor Dan will be working at the information table (near the ball field) on Saturday between 8am-10am (stop by and say hi!) If you have any questions see Janie or Pastor Dan! Here is a link to a postcard: http://www.nazcamp.org/Special%20Events%20Info/20120107%20FAMILY%20FESTIVAL%20POST%20CARD%20LG%202012.pdf
Kids Camp at Indian Lake
Indian Lake offers a camp week for boys and girls from 3rd to 5th grade. This is an awesome opportunity for our children! Our church is offering financial assistance if you are interested in sending your child. The deadline for registration is July 1st, so see Pastor Dan soon. Also, Youth Camp is also available for grades 6-12. The registration deadline was June 1st, but you can still register with a late fee!
Because July is a busy month due to summer and events at Indian Lake Nazarene Camp, we have several dates for you to note changes:
July 4th: Wednesday Family Night cancelled
July 5th: Ladies LIFT cancelled
July 11th: Wednesday Family Night cancelle
No July Children’s Program!
In addition to other July cancellations, we will NOT be holding any Wednesday Night Program for children. The children’s program will pick up at it’s usual time on the first Wednesday in August at 6:30pm.
Family Camp Week at Indian Lake – You are Invited!
There is fun, food, and fellowship for everyone this summer at Indian Lake Nazarene Camp. If you don’t already know this, Pastor Dan and Janie have cabins at Indian Lake and invite everyone to come down and check it out. Below are a few events we have planned during the week of Family Camp.
Sunday 7/8 – 5:30-6:30pm Potluck before the ordination service! Pastor Dan and Janie will provide hamburgers and hotdogs grilled to near perfection, lemonade and coffee, and paper plates, napkins, cups, and silverware. You bring a dish to pass! Then, stay and attend the Ordination Worship Service at 7:00pm (typically ends at 9:00pm).
Wednesday 7/11 – 8:30-9:30pm Free Ice Cream AFTER the 7:00pm service. Come to church at 7:00pm and receive a free coupon for ice cream from Pastor Dan at the Indian Lake Snack Bar when the worship service ends!
Sunday 7/15 – 1:30-3:00pm - Potluck before the final service of Family Camp Meeting! Pastor Dan and Janie will provide brats and chicken breasts grilled to near perfection, lemonade and coffee, and paper plates, napkins, cups, and silverware. You bring a dish to pass! Then, stay for the final worship service at Camp Meeting at 4:00pm.
If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to ask Janie or Pastor Dan!
New Website Coming!
We have launched our new website!
Here is the link:
Please take the time to check it out, and understand that the site will be under construction as we build it up and get used to the new software. Please send any input or ideas to email@example.com. IF YOU ARE INTERESTED in helping keep our website updated, Amy would love the help of someone who is more adept at using technology, so let her know!
Do We Have Your Contact Info?
It is once again time for us to update our directories. If we do not have your contact information, or if there have been changes, please let us know! You can also receive our newsletter every week via email. Please email or give your information to Gerry Dawson or Amy Orban.
In addition to the weekly Children’s Church we have added two new programs for our Children!
At 10:00am on Sundays during our Sunday School hour, we now have a Children’s Reading time. During this 45 minute period before church we will be reading about missionaries from the Church of the Nazarene. We have a series of 6 books that will be read. These books will be read aloud by adults from the church. Children who attend regularly and listen to all 6 books will be treated to lunch at Chuckie Cheese! We will complete the readings by the end of May.
On Wednesday nights @ 6:30pm Pat and Shannen Parsaca have started the Caravan program, which is a scouting, or kids’ club, type of program. All children grades K – 6 are welcome!
In Children’s Church we have started a “Children Helping Children” program. This will be part of the semi-annual Alabaster Offering. Each child will have a box of their own. Every week they attend Children’s Church a quarter will be added to their box. In addition they may bring an offering to put in the box. All Alabaster Offerings are used to buy property and build schools and churches on the mission field. The Children will be able to march with their boxes on Alabaster box Sundays. We hope to see your children on Sundays and Wednesdays. If you have any questions please ask Cherry Pakiela or Gerry Dawson!
Want to help, but not sure how?
If you are wondering where to plug in, but are not sure how, we have opportunities. Current opportunities include a soundboard worker, nursery helpers, childrens workers, potluck coordinators, visiting our shut-ins, greeters and ushers, visitor follow-ups, Sunday School teachers, music leaders, people willing to shovel snow in the winter, and much more. It doesn’t matter how long you have been attending our church, serving is a great way to honor God and get to know the people around you! If you sense a call to a specific area or need some ideas to pray about, please contact Amy Orban or Cherry Pakiela or Irene Pratt.
Indian Lake Nazarene Camp – Summer 2012 is coming!
Summer 2012 is just around the corner! Indian Lake has all kinds of upcoming events, so get ready. For those of you who don’t know, Indian Lake is a Nazarene campground in Vicksburg, MI where people from all over our district gather. They have camp and activities for everyone, including families and children. Pastor Dan and Janie have two cabins on Indian Lake, and always invite everyone down to visit! We will be publishing more information on camp week in July and other events as they become available. Here are a few things so far:
June 30-July 1: Family Festival Weekend, activities, parade, & more.
July 7-14: Convention Week
July 16-20: Boys Camp
July 30-Aug 3: Girls Camp
Note: If you have a child interested in attending camp, please talk to Pastor Dan or Amy Orban! We do have people in our church willing to help sponsor children going to camp even if you cannot afford it! We believe any child should be able to have this wonderful opportunity.
There are fliers posted on the bulletin board outside of the sanctuary if you would like more information, or you can also talk to the experts, Pastor Dan and Janie. You can also see the camp’s website at www.nazcamp.org
June 30/July1 Family Camp Weekend at Indian Lake Nazarene Camp
July 1 Family Church/Communion Sunday – NO Children’s Church
July 4 NO Wednesday Family Night
July 5 NO Ladies LIFT
July 6 First Friday Chinese Lunch @ 11:30am, Empire Buffet Alpine
July 7-14 Convention Week at Indian Lake Nazarene Camp
July 9-15 Pastor Dan vacation week
July 11 NO Wednesday Family Night
July 15 Reverend Chris Christopher visits
Northeast Community Church of the Nazarene
Church - 616.459.2773
Parsonage - 616.459.0402
Pastor Dan Cell - 616.204.1153
Pastor Amy Orban – 616.514.9521
Other Contact Numbers:
Julie Orban: Weds Night Dinner Coordinator 616-890-5550
Tracy Tamm First Friday Chinese Lunch 616-406-9602
Irene Pratt Ladies LIFT 616-949-4679
Gerry Dawson Sunday School/Children’s Church 616-863-6808
Cherry Pakiela Sunday School/Children’s Church 616-916-7595
Pat & Shannen Parsaca Weds Night Children’s Program 616-272-6021
Theo Orban Weds Night Youth Group 616-890-4045
Larry Branagan Trustee 616-538-8765
“Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.” -C. S. Lewis
July Worker Schedules
July 1 SS – Janie Hathaway & Jean Christoffersen
Worship – Anna Boeve & Valda Einis
July 8 SS- Janie Hathaway & Emily Morse
Worship – Britney Toole & Alannah Parsaca
July 15 SS- Janie Hathaway & Barb Buning
Worship – Anna Boeve & Morgan Parsaca
July 22 SS – Janie Hathaway & Liz Bowman
Worship – Mary Danks & Alannah Parsaca
July 19 SS –Janie Hathaway & Shannen Parsaca
Worship – Lindsey Wright & Tracy Tamm
July 1 – Pat & Dick
July 8 – Terry & Jerry
July 15 – Dick & Larry
July 22 – Jerry & Pat
July 29 – Larry & Terry
July 1 – Pat Parsaca
July 8 – Shannen Parsaca
July 15 – Mike Braun
July 22 – Joan Grinwis
July 29 – Alannah Parsaca
Reflections from Pastor Amy
Weekly thoughts, life-lessons, and reflections from a redeemed child of God, a woman, a mother, a
wife, a sinner under the Cross of Jesus Christ, and a Pastor-in-training.
June 26, 2012
“God’s light shines brightest into the darkness”
~Corrie Ten Boom
One year ago on a hot July weekend, we were preparing for our week of vacation. We were making lists and shopping and double-checking that the tail lights worked for towing the camper. I was sitting in our green recliner when my husband’s phone rang. He had a strange look on his face. Not much was said. He hung up. “My mom is at the campground with Jiquirria and they can’t find him, they think he might have jumped into the lake.”
Denial. Consideration. Thinking the best. Complete and total terror. Knot in stomach, palms sweaty. More denial. More terror. Within an hour we were at the hospital being told that he drowned. While little Theo toddled around and looked at the fish swimming in the tank in the Helen Devos Children’s Hospital, I watched the auntie of my toddler attempt to process the fact that her son was gone. In that surreal way I watched it unfold for each person there, my husband, the grandmas, the little sister, our Pastor, the aunts and uncles and cousins, myself.
No one could possibly be unaffected by this. This thing. This monstrosity. This tidal wave of injustice and wrongness. This heavy incredible painful blackness that words cannot, in any way, do justice. Death.
No experience in my life has made more clear to me the fundamental wrongness of death and human suffering. The absolute raw, soul-crushing weight of a child with an untimely death, the knife which cuts, the ache that makes it hard to breathe. God did not want it to be this way, it was not supposed to be this way….
During the days that followed, days where we all desperately wanted to feel anything other than how we were feeling, I was reminded of 1 Corinthians 10:13: “No temptation has seized you but what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”
Really God – you call this “common”? You mean to tell me this kind of suffering is common in this great world of yours? This is not beyond what we can bear? This is doable? Manageable? This all-powerful grief that now holds us in its hands so that we can hardly breathe – tell me, where is the way out? Because to me it looks awfully dark right now… In retrospect, thank you Jesus for allowing me these questions and this anger.
And so our Pastor came. And Janie came. And phone calls and emails came. The visitation came, the funeral came, the luncheon came, and so came many, many from our church family, who sat behind us like a strong wall of protection and comfort. And the hugs and the tears came. The Sunday afterwards came, and the church gathered around us and laid hands on us and prayed for us. And through all these things I knew that Jesus came, the way out was provided by the Provider of Ways Out, the Son of God himself, just like He promised in His Word.
I wonder on a regular basis why, which I think is what we all do when we are faced with tragedy. Maybe the trying to make sense of it is useless, but maybe it is helpful for some. I also wonder if it will ever be one of my sons taken, or if my husband’s cancer will come back, or if someone else close to me will be snatched away. It is not enough for me to bury my head in the sand with a smile and deny the possibility, or to live in an ignorant state of optimism pretending that none of those things will ever happen, because when I get down to the honest truth, I know that some of those “ifs” are really “whens”. No, it is only enough to rely on the Word of God, his immeasurable grace, the comfort of his spirit and the love of his son, in every trial, in every gift, in every moment of life and death.
God did not want it to be this way, it was not supposed to be this way….but most importantly, it will not always be this way. As his grandma and mom have said, today Jiquirria is celebrating with Jesus. May everyone who has suffered a loss also experience the hope that can always be found in the Word of God and His people who come.
Dear Father we ask that you uphold each and every one of us who are carrying heavy grief. We know from your Word that you promise to be with us when life is more than we can handle in our own strength. Make yourself known to us, draw us to yourself, and give us hope in dark times. Be especially with Natasha and Dustin as they grieve this child, be especially with his sister Danasia whose life is forever changed, be especially with his Grandmother Julie who loved him so much. My prayer this week that you send your Spirit out to remind your church to lift this family up in prayer and uphold them in their grief in the way that only You can. We pray in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.
With love, Pastor Amy Orban Phone:616-514-9521 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org